Early on Saturday morning I had a vivid, lucid dream. It seemed more real to me than anything in my waking life, and still does:
The house where I now live had relocated to an inland cliff, close to the sea but not adjacent to it. I was moving to the property next door, which was one of those futuristic-looking buildings from the 1960s: A dumpy, upright cylinder, of approximately three stories, attached to gracefully-meandering, curved wing, that gradually deceased in height as it tapered off.
The exterior was a grubby white colour. It was bordered by a rectangular wall, four to five feet high, that had obviously belonged to a much older, more conventional house that must have once stood on the site. That were odd gaps in the wall that probably accommodated long gates, however these had been removed. Because of the size of the current property there was no real garden to speak of.
Inside, the layout was a labyrinth of short, narrow corridors leading to bedrooms and bathrooms, of which there were a great many.
Initially my bedroom, which was in the wing, facing towards the sea, had no windows. When I returned there later, the room had divided itself and was now split level, with a small lower section approximately three feet in length, at the bottom of a carpeted six foot drop. There was a long narrow window along the base of this level. Above it, and projecting outwards, there was a much larger leaded pane. Neither seemed to let in much light.
One bathroom I entered was carpeted with dirty white lino that was curling over along by the walls and in the corners. Positioned horizontally across the back wall there was a blue-green bathtub. Side by side, directly in front of it, there was a pair of similarly-coloured foot baths, comparable to the ones that you used to get in public swimming pools. The room was dirty as if soil and leaves been allowed to blow in from the outside.
I could hear Flap – the very first budgie I owned - who has been dead for almost 23 years, calling to me. I walked through the house searching for him. In one of the bedrooms I saw my chameleon, Schubert, who died in August, 2012 - Just the back of him, disappearing behind a bedside chest of drawers. I pulled it away from the wall but he wasn't there. All I could see was the thin, bare-wood back panel, lightly spattered in the lower corner nearest to me with flecks of white paint.
I woke up disorientated and went downstairs to the kitchen. The Aga had gone out and was cool to the touch. I don't know how to relight it.
When I returned to bed I slipped back into the same dream. I was carrying a small cardboard box of my possession over from the old house. I looked down at it and thought: 'Why I am doing this? I don't need this stuff any more.'