I woke up this morning feeling incredibly sad. I’d had a bad and incredibly vivid dream. I was with Nathan half way up something which looked like a bizarre cross between a tower block and York’s medieval City walls. I’m not altogether sure how we’d got there, or where we were going, but we were high up, and the road underneath us was a long way down. Nathan, for some reason, got on a motorbike and started riding away from me along a ledge. He was singing happily at the top of his voice. I was distracted momentarily and when I looked again, he’d vanished. I ran to the edge of the ledge to discover that he’d slipped off and plummeted to the ground, and was lying face-down on tarmac 30 feet beneath me. I immediately started to scream and shake uncontrollably and for some time couldn’t make my legs move. Eventually, I was able to I run into a lift. I pressed the button and started moving downwards, but became aware that Nathan was in the lift with me, holding me and hugging me and telling me that everything was okay, even though I was aware that he was still lying, half-dead on the street outside. At that moment I woke up, with tears streaming down my face. I assume I’d called out in my sleep, because Nathan woke up at the same time and asked me a number of times if everything was okay.
This was very clearly a dream about the fear of loss. At the moment, everything for me is hurtling past at an alarming speed. I’m living life at an intense pace, balancing on a perilous tight-rope, unable to stop and take stock even for a second for fear of losing my balance. Nathan represents stability. He is my backbone and without him I would be utterly lost. I think the dream was my subconscious subtly pointing out that I need to remind him of this fact a little more often.
It’s rare for me to have dreams that have so clearly been formed by a lucid place in the brain. Years ago, when my Grandmother was still alive, I dreamt that she was on the hillside behind her house, using two tea trays to scoop up an enormous pile of autumn leaves which she was going to put on a bonfire. She was always making bonfires. It was one of those white, intensely misty October afternoons. I suspect if the sun was visible, it would be close to setting. I could hear music; beautiful string music, and suddenly it was clear that I was in a dream and I was able to interpret everything I was seeing. I was observing the cycle of life. One day my Grandmother was going to return to the very ground that she was clearing of leaves. I sat and watched her for some time, feeling an extraodinary sense of grief, but realised I was drifting further and further away and that she was getting smaller and smaller. Eventually, she was nothing but a tiny purple speck on the hillside, surrounded by a rusty field of autumn leaves. The heavy white mist turned blue, and then grey, and suddenly all that was left was the music...
Pepys woke up on Saturday 26th May 1660 in his own cabin, and spent the day on board the ship mooching around, missing the company of the great men he’d been rubbing shoulders with over the past few days. No doubt he was also wishing he was able to follow the King and witness his triumphant arrival in London.
Montagu was out and about, in fact, he was able to go on land for the first time since the epic journey began, having vowed to stay on the boat until he’d safely delivered the King to England. With the job done, he was free to celebrate.
And Pepys’ mood was soon improved with the news that, of the 1000 ducats the King had presented to the crew of the Nazeby-cum-Charles, Pepys was to be awarded 30 pounds, which was not to be sniffed at. Why, even nowadays, that sum of money would keep me in pots of tea for at least 2 weeks!