I usually wake up around six thirty, turn over and go back to sleep until ten past eight, knowing that there’s a dream coming. They’re generally the usual instantly forgotten gubbish, but this morning’s was highly entertaining until the end. I’ll summarise – the original was like a David Lynch film.
I park the car in a leafy square in Islington and make my way to my appointment, which is in a building that turns out to be my old redbrick secondary school. There are two corridors, one on each side of the assembly hall, but I’m only allowed to use one of them. I get redirected into the forbidden corridor, but manage to find my way to the assembly hall, which has been revamped as an open plan office space. Sheila, who has offered me the job, explains that, whilst they really want to employ me, they don’t have a desk for me at the moment. I protest, and she says I’ll have to talk to Rupert Murdoch, but he’s not available so Ed Balls will deal with it.
I must have walked out, because I’m now trying to find my way back to the car. An old woman in a fleamarket gives me directions, and I get a lift from some roadworkers in their very crowded blue pickup truck. When I reach Down Square, as it’s called, I find that it’s been turned into an excavated building site, like a china clay pit. I remember that I’d parked the car right up on the edge, but when I get there it’s gone. I can see some rusty cars way down in the bottom of the pit, but mine’s not among them. This is where I say “Oh no, not that again,” and wake up. It’s ten past eight.
The recurring dream is, of course, called ‘Losing the Car’. It crops up every year or so. It stems from an incident during my first honeymoon, when we’d rented a Cortina, driven it to London , parked it somewhere in Bayswater and later spent an hour combing the grid of identical streets before finding it, to one-way recriminations. That was a mistake, which obviously went in deep.