I Had A Dream……..

Wow, talk about blog cobwebs !  It’s been a while, dear readers.  Anyway, here we go again and let’s see how long the muse lasts this time………

It’s January in England so as usual the weather is a mix of rain, sleet, snow, blue skies and temperatures all over the place. This week we’ve had the lot, but as yesterday was dry with clear blue skies, I wanted to make use of being retired (in my 14 year now !) by going off somewhere new.

I’m now a member of both the National Trust and English Heritage and just about every castle, stately home, abbey, park and formal garden in the UK is owned or maintained by one or other of these organisations. So being winter, I thought I’d find a nearby English Heritage owned stately home to visit and keep the castles, parks and gardens for the summer……if we get one.

I spent about an hour picking out such a stately home (Brodsworth Hall), just 35 miles south of here. I even used Google’s Street View to virtually drive there and look for parking places and so on because I like to plan and prepare. It’s half the fun.

It was then that I thought to check opening times and found that in the winter months, the gardens are only open at weekends and the house is closed entirely. “Well tish pish and a pox on that” I said to myself.  (I find when I’m alone, I often talk like Edmund Blackadder).

I’ve since discovered that most castles and stately homes close for the winter so I guess I won’t be flashing my membership cards at their imposing entrances any time soon. Pah. Probably just as well as I doubt they have central heating anyway. Bit of a waste in a castle I suppose with all those arrow slots and draughty drawbridges.

So, moving right along, I finally come to the reason for this blog title.  Yes, dear reader(s), my ability to waffle has increased to a level even I’m concerned about !

On Tuesday night, or 1am on Wednesday morning to be precise, I noticed there was a Glen Campbell concert on BBC4 when he was at the Royal Festival Hall in London, in 1977. I’ve always liked old Glen and had actually downloaded (cough) his greatest hits album a few weeks ago and had it playing in the car earlier this week. While half watching the concert, I went to Wikipedia to check if he was still alive as these days I’m never sure who has popped off, so to speak.

That’s when I found he had announced in June 2011 that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease 6 months earlier and as the disease had progressed, he was now, at 78, in a long term care facility. In 2012 he went on a farewell tour using a teleprompt to help him remember the lyrics and with 3 of his grown up children in his backup band, often helping him along. Amazingly his much admired guitar playing was as good as ever.

As well as making me very sad, especially when looking at my tv screen and seeing the ruggedly handsome artist as he was in 1977, it brought up the subject of Alzheimer’s again and this, with age related senility and dementia are all subjects I fear these days. I’m 62 now and despite feeling much younger and thankfully being (relatively) healthy with no pains anywhere, I worry about such issues more and more.

I’ve never been much good at remembering names and will often discuss a tv show or movie actor by saying “oh you know, that guy who was in…oh that war movie where he was with thingy and they both fell in love with…..oh that actress who was in that movie with whatshername from that tv show we both like”  Freaks me out a bit when my friend Daphne then tells me who I mean !!

So far I haven’t found myself standing in the kitchen and wondering what I went there for. When that happens, I’ll let you know.  If I remember, that is.

But following on from the concert, I watched a YouTube documentary clip about Glen Campbell where his wife said he was currently forgetting whole episodes, periods of time, and that was both sad and frightening for her.

Clearly that all affected me and if even you doubt that what happens in your daily life can affect your dreams, I’m here today to say it can……and did with me last night.

I had a dream…………

Bet you’re glad you stuck with me now, eh ?  I’ve finally got to the point.

The experts (ha !) tell us we all dream regularly but don’t always remember them upon waking.  Well I probably remember about 3 dreams a year at most and I’ve always felt like I’ve missed out on something….as usual.  The upside is that I NEVER remember nightmares (if I have them) so it’s a trade off I’m ok with.

Last night I wouldn’t class it as a nightmare as such so my blog title is fairly accurate. I was standing with a small group of friends at some social event and suddenly one of them commented on my hair (yes thank you Debby – who, when I told her about this, said “You had hair ? That WAS a dream !!” ) as I’d told them I’d had it cut.

“They didn’t do a very good job of it” he said, “it’s all uneven at the back”.

I looked in a nearby wall mirror and checked out my hair…..which was just like that of Glen Campbell from that 1977 concert !  Well except that I could see that it was in a bit of an uneven state.

Glen Campbell

But then I tried to remember why I’d left the hairdressers like that and fear gripped my heart……as I had no recollection of ever having gone to get my hair cut. The entire event was missing from my memory.

My friends were still chatting away and I was getting more and more upset that I couldn’t remember and the more I tried to make it happen and recall going to get my haircut, the more stressed I became. It was at this point my brain went into “safe mode” and I woke up. Phew.

But I did find some dark humour when reading about Glen Campbell as exactly a year ago he recorded his last song, dedicated to his wife.  The title was “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” which seems a bit harsh but of course it was giving a poignant nod to the final stage of his Alzheimer’s disease.

But we know how some Country & Western song titles can be mini statements about broken dreams and relationships so in my (sick) mind I renamed his song  “I’m Not gonna Miss You….Cause I Don’t Know Who The Hell You Are

Come on, don’t judge me…..that’s what it means after all.  I’m just making it a bit more clear, that’s all.

Dang it I was going to end with something clever to tie in the dream story with going to a stately home but…..well you can guess what’s happened.  Sighhhh.

Time to power up the TiVo and watch that show with whatshername who was in that movie with that blond haired actress and the guy with the beard that used to be in that show with……………..

Daphneeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee !!

5 thoughts on “I Had A Dream……..

  1. Helen

    Ahhh, nice to hear from you. After all this time I have almost forgotten you !!
    Good move joining both English Heritage and the National Trust. When we stayed in England for a little more than three months some years ago we did the same and found it well worth the money in places to visit ( The Trust also provides parking for some walks etc ). We found that our visits were not always planned ones as we often stopped when we drove past their signs along the way.
    I don’t think I’d want to know if I was suffering from the dreaded Alzheimer’s.

    1. silverback69 Post author

      Thanks, Helen. Yes places they can’t really geographically charge for, like Brimham Rocks, is free to explore…….but £5 to park for 4 hrs. A bit offputting if you only want to spend a couple of hours there.

  2. jay53

    Ah, you’re like OH. He ‘doesn’t dream’ either .. except that I’ve often had to prod him awake because he’s mumbling away or yelling in his sleep, so he does dream, just doesn’t remember. And he’ll come to me all excited about three times a year to say he’d remembered a dream. Me, I dream quite often, sometimes dreams of epic proportions and the downside of that is that I DO remember my nightmares.

    So sad about Glen Campbell. Terry Pratchett has it too, and that’s a tragedy. He’s still writing at the moment, but he needs someone to write for him because he often can’t find where the letters are on the keyboard these days. It’s a terrible, horrible disease.


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