I had it in my head that I’d already posted this…  But a trawl back through the blog suggests not…

Recurring dreams are something I have a lot of.  When I think about it, I actually realise that I don’t have that many entirely original dreams.  The vast majority are either dreams I have had before, or continuations of dreams I have had before.

I have been planning for a while to make a post in which I document those recurring dreams…  Here we go.

  1. Probably my most frequent recurring dream involves my university dissertation.  In the dream, I am going about my daily life, the age/stage I am in life now, when I suddenly discover that my dissertation is incomplete, and therefore my degree is invalid.  I find out however, that all is not lost, and that I can still complete it.  However, the main problem is that I no longer know what I need to do to finish it, and I have no idea what the deadline for finishing it is.  In some versions of the dream, I make efforts to contact my old department to find out more about deadlines and the like, but the information I need is seemingly impossible to get my hands on.  I have no idea whether the deadline has been and gone, or whether it’s in 3 months time.  It’s very frustrating!  In a slight variation, I am back at university and realise that everyone is frantically studying for Finals, and I’m not.  I either don’t know when my exams are, or how to prepare for them.  Both of these dreams are strange, because I didn’t have any anxiety at the time about preparing for exams or writing dissertations.  I was extremely diligent, so I’m not sure why Brain picks on this topic a lot.
  2. Another dream I have involving university is for some reason having to move to another hall of residence whilst doing my degree.  This hall is some distance from the rest of the university buildings, and is virtually deserted, apart from me.  I have a very large bedroom, right at the very end of a long corridor, with large windows overlooking park land.  The interesting thing is that I have this dream so often, and so vividly that I actually have to remind myself that it’s a dream and I never did have a hall room with large windows.
  3. Yet another university-themed dream involves some variant on either looking for my bedroom, or getting to my bedroom to find someone else in it, or getting there to discover that it doesn’t look like I remember it.  This dream has a tendency to morph into hotel rooms, rather than hall rooms.
  4. Possibly my longest running recurring dream involves 2, completely imaginary, shops.  In my mind, both of these shops are located in an imaginary industrial park near Sixfields.  They are both shops similar in style to Poundland.  But larger, and much more full of a random assortment of stuff.  In my dream, I like to visit these shops and just wander around them, looking at the stuff.  But each time, I’m a bit annoyed, because there used to be a third shop “which we visited when in America”, which seemingly closed down years ago.  This third shop was the best of all of them, and I’m annoyed that it no longer exists.  This dream often morphs into me walking around a very large Sainsburys.  It’s huge, but dark and dingy, and I never seem to get further than the grotty staff entrance/loading bays.
  5. I am in a city, possibly London, visiting an abbey of some sort.  However, there is another place that I want to visit, which I “remember visiting before”, which was “the most beautiful place I have ever been.”  I see this building in the distance, and get excited at the thought of going in it again, but never quite make it there.
  6. I dream about the outside of Grovelands (childhood home #2) quite often.  Usually the back garden plays a significant role.  I rarely dream about the inside of the house, but the outside, front and back, are dreamt about quite often.  The surrounding estate quite often features in dreams where I’m “running away from”, or trying to out-wit some sort of foe.
  7. A very large shopping centre features quite often.  Sometimes I end up losing my car there, but usually the dream just consists of wandering around this shopping centre.  Usually I’m on my own, but just occasionally someone else is with me.
  8. A dream I had a lot when I was younger, but less often now, is where I visit the posh areas of town and break into people’s houses.  I never steal anything, I just want to look around!  In this dream particularly, I’m always impressed with the depth of detail of things my brain can conjure up!
  9. I quite often have a dream in which I walk through Daventry town centre, out to the far side of the town centre, towards what is, in real life, the swimming pool and council offices.  In dream world they aren’t there, but instead is a large and grand building, possibly a church, in beautiful grounds, with pleasant cottages all around.
  10. In another I am wandering around a city, usual Paris or New York, but most often Paris.  I am concerned about fitting in all the attractions I want to see before it gets dark/I have to leave.  I have been to the real Paris, and it looks nothing like dream Paris.

Writing these down, I realised I don’t often dream about other people.  My dreams are usually just featuring me, or populated by randomly generated strangers.  Sometimes I’ll dream about family/friends/colleagues/children I’ve taught, but usually it’s just me.  Is that true for everyone?

I have also realised that my brain appears to continue story lines from one dream until the next time I have it.  My brain uses twists to the basic story line and builds on them the next time.  For example, recently I dreamt my friend Laura moved in with “her lawyer”.  A month or so later I dreamt I met up with her and found out she was 4 weeks pregnant.  And the father was “her lawyer”.