In my dreams

As we hurtle towards spreading good Covid this Christmas (I wish we’d had no relaxation of the coronavirus rules over the festive period but there you go, these decisions are taken by people on a much higher pay grade than me) and run with open arms, headlong into the cheer of Brexit (don’t get me started on that) and the prospect of chlorinated chicken and beef pumped up with growth hormones on the near horizon and the end of free movement into Europe, my dreams are getting darker.

Yesterday, after a day spent indoors, the rain battering and swirling as The Beverley Sisters’s sang Little Donkey for the latest window in the Lush Places’ Living Advent Calendar which no-one could find, the aforementioned animal obviously having legged it after getting wind of coronavirus and Brexit, I settled down to a few chapters of my book before bed.

Mr Grigg was ensconced in the front room watching the final episodes of MasterChef: The Professionals. I had taken my leave before any of the judges tucked into the sweetbreads, not able to stomach Gregg Wallace’s eating-with-his-cheeks-full-Mockney proclamation which was likely to follow.

So I snuggled down to the latest Louis de Bernieres novel, which, being a reviewer for the Historical Novel Society, I get to read before it hits the shelves. I’m hooked, but more of that another time.

After a disturbed night’s sleep, I was woken by the whistling car that goes by at between six o’clock and six-thirty most mornings. It makes a distinctive, high-pitched but rather friendly squeal as it goes around the corner.

I sat up, trying to remember why I hadn’t slept so well and why I had a funny taste in my mouth.

And then it hit me. It was another dream.

This time, my dream me had eaten some really stringy, dry beef and it was threatening to make me gag as I walked home in the dark from Yeovil. I was aware I was being followed by an older man with whom my dream me had earlier carelessly flirted.

I looked back over my shoulder to see a black suited and booted Joe Biden jogging along behind me. His teeth were gleaming. He looked kindly but dream me knew he wasn’t. I tried desperately to ring for a taxi on my phone but they were all out picking up people from Christmas parties.

Photo credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

From Haselbury Plucknett to Misterton, Joe Biden was gently calling me, and all the while I had this stringy beef in my mouth.

I finally ducked into a primary school and made my way through the gym, which had been laid out as an agility course for guinea pigs. I balanced on the bar, wheedled my way through a long and winding tube made of yellow fabric and then found myself up on the dado rail looking down on Joe who was now in a white tracksuit and looking a bit like Morgan Freeman’s God in Bruce Almighty.

And then the actual whistling car roared by and I woke up, trying to take the taste of stringy beef out of my mouth.

I went downstairs, greeted the dogs, lit three positive vibes joss sticks and thanked my lucky stars that the dream me was at least being chased by Joe Biden and not Donald Trump.

That’s about it.

Love, Maddie x

By Maddie Grigg

Maddie Grigg is the pen name of former local newspaper editor Margery Hookings. Expect reflections on rural life, community, landscape, underdogs, heritage and folklore. And fun.

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