In which The Author goes exploring again
I was supposed to be travelling to Portsmouth with some friends – John Wilcox (an old mate from school) and another chap (unspecified). I’ve never been to Portsmouth, but I knew I had some decent maps and road atlases at home.
After a number of false starts I collected my maps and set off for our rendezvous. There’d been a last-minute change of plan, so we were now leaving from Leicester. (I’ve never been to Leicester either.)
When I arrived at the coach station I was quite a way ahead of schedule. I decided to explore for a while. I wanted to take some money out first. There was a row of cashpoints in the terminus, but only two were working, and there was a long queue of students waiting to use them. I eventually got my money and set off for the city centre.
I hadn’t gone far when I came to a covered market called Satan’s Den – the sign was perfectly legible, so the dream hadn’t become fully lucid at this stage. The market had a number of stalls selling tapes, CDs, t-shirts and so on (like the old Kensington Market), and of course there were several punky/goth girls browsing around.
I told one girl I needed to be at a particular statue; she directed me behind the counter and out into a little courtyard overlooking a pedestrianised area. One of the buildings was a theatre, and about half a dozen girls in Tudor costumes were outside, singing a modern pop song with altered lyrics to promote a Shakespeare play. I remember thinking ‘I must tell Geoff about this production’, so the dream must have slipped into lucidity by this point.
I managed to get lost and found myself on a series of staircases enclosed in glass, with signs pointing to the Thames Path. The stairs overlooked a pleasant riverside scene lined with weeping willows, and I was surprised to find that Leicester stood on the banks of the Thames.
I had an odd encounter with some chaps in a waiting room of some description. I then had a text from John to say he was at the bus station. I tried to reply but my battery died. I set off to retrace my steps.
I found my way back to the market, and asked someone for directions again. Once again I went behind the counter and down a slope into a warren of freight tunnels and loading bays. There was a woman trying to find her way out, and she pressed a button mounted on the wall, thinking she’d found a lift. A few moments later a young chap appeared from below, soaked from an unexpected ducking in the river. I knew I was running late now, so I tried to find my way back through the market.
I woke at approximately 7.30 and wrote this account immediately.
I can’t recall any further details, but the dream had several more incidents during the early phase (‘Portsmouth’) and quite a bit more happened in the later phase (‘Leicester’) as well.