I overslept this morning – if you can count dragging yourself out of bed at 9:30am on a Sunday morning oversleeping. I also had the strangest dream I’ve had in quite some time. I’m going to try and write it down before it vanishes entirely from my head.

I still lived at my parents house in Oxfordshire, as far as I can tell. I lived there alone though, but with the golden retrievers we had when I was a teenager. The dream began with me having some sort of falling down moment (a common theme in my head just recently), and going on trip.

I took a train towards the south coast – or at least I think it was the south coast – perhaps the New Forest (a real place, where we went camping years ago). I had nothing with me, other than the clothes on my back, and a wallet.

I remember being in the queue at the visitor centre, waiting to ask if they had space for somebody to stay – alone – for a few nights, and realising while in the queue that I probably needed to buy a tent. I remember the sudden panic that I had nothing to sleep on or in, but I wasn’t so much worried about being cold, or exposed – more worried about what other people would think.

Alongside the counter there was a wire rack with bits and pieces of camping stuff – and I spotted some small fold-out one-man tents – so picked up the pink one that was closest to me.

Having taken a step forward in the queue, I had second thoughts about the tent colour, and turned around to swap it for another. At this point I realised the packet in my hand was actually a bottle of shower gel – and there were no tents on the rack.

While paying for a pitch in the camping area, I asked about camping shops, and the man processing my payment talked vaguely about a shop in the next town. Except it was already past closing time.

I remember wandering around the field randomly – looking for somewhere to “camp” (read: lie down, with no tent, no bed, and no blankets). While wandering along, the thought occurred to me that there would be nobody to feed the dogs – and that I had better just walk back to the railway station (however the hell far away it was), and just go home.

That’s when I woke up, looked at the clock, and realised it was 9:30am.

I wonder what it all meant? Something about being prepared perhaps? Or maybe about freedoms, obligations, expectations – the usual things I wrestle with. I think perhaps most people have the same thoughts from time to time.

At least I didn’t turn up at the campsite with a suitcase full of marmalade sandwiches. If that had happened, I might have started looking for other signs that I was writing the story myself – and yet, in a strange sort of way perhaps we do write the stories of our dreams.

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