Category Archives: Dream

The Ticket Inspector…

*

I am late.

I am expected in Leicester and now my only option is to catch the last train.

The last train to Leicester is a slow train and also appears to be experiencing difficulties.

Stopping where there are no stations.

That sort of thing.

It becomes clear that many of my fellow passengers are not going to get to their destinations and as the ticket inspector makes his round they discuss alternatives together.

As this is an unfamiliar route I assume that Leicester too is now out of the question.

A strange thing about the ticket inspector, although this is a new route and I have never met him before, he knows my name…

“Yes, Stu…”

…and uses its familiar form.

“You’ll be in Leicester in twenty minutes time.”

Not only does the ticket inspector know my name and use its familiar form, he is also incredibly accurate.

My alarm clock is due to go off in precisely twenty minutes time.

*

*

Dreaming Stones: Going underground

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

The roads on the Isle of Skye are my kind of road…narrow, winding and green. I was loving driving around the island, but when presented with an even narrower road that climbs a steep hill and throws in a hairpin bend or two, the only thing to do is to take it.

The road led us up the headland above Uig, and we were already eyeing up possible parking spots. Any accommodation we had found for the night online was exorbitantly expensive… there was no way we would pay over a week’s wages for a night’s lodging, even if we could… and so far, we had seen no ‘vacancy’ signs either. Skye seemed to be closed on Mondays; for a holiday destination, this did seem rather odd.

Following the headland, we had magnificent views to the neighbouring isles whenever there was a break in the mist. We had not gone…

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Dreaming Stones: Full spectrum

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

sunny view of the isle of skye

We had a day to play on the Isle of Skye… there are undoubtedly many worse things to do with a Monday morning. Crossing the Skye Bridge in brilliant sunshine, we were certain of a lovely day’s exploration. Across the water, tantalising islands rose from the mist. Blue peaks gave us shy glimpses and there may have been squeaking from the driver’s seat.

clouds over islands

Ten minutes later, as we pumped up the ever-deflating tyre yet again, the heavens opened. Serious clouds, heavy with rain, emptied themselves upon the landscape, filling countless streams to overflowing, nourishing the waterfalls and silvering the morning.

misty morning road

It didn’t matter… we had decided to drive first to the little ferry port of Uig so we could see how long it would take and know the way for our early start the next day. Meanwhile, we were keeping our eyes open for a bed and breakfast with  a…

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Dreaming Stones: Tides of light

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

skye lochalsh (2)

With the decision made, the ferry booked and the light changing as the sun went down, we took the cameras out to play, leaving the mainland behind for a little while. Not intentionally… but the road through Kyle of Lochalsh, the ‘strait of the foaming loch’, becomes the Skye Bridge and, once on it, what else could we do but cross?

skye lochalsh (4)

The bridge was opened in 1995 and connects the old ferry port to the Isle of Skye.  Beneath the bridge, the loch plunges three hundred feet, almost vertically, to a rich landscape of strange creatures and plants that remain hidden from the eyes of the curious. Also beneath the first part of the bridge is the tiny island of Eilean Bàn, the White Isle. The island was once home only to wildlife and lighthouse keepers. It later became the home of Gavin Maxwell, the author of ‘Ring of Bright…

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Dreaming Stones: A stroke of luck

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Below us there was a loch ringed with hills. In the distance, mountains. Before us, a road that led to the shore. We hadn’t a clue where we were… unless heaven has a place on the map. All we knew was that coming over the crest of the hill we were faced with unbelievable beauty and a light that reached into the very depths of the heart.

We were not map reading. The road we had taken, through the Highlands from Dingwall to Kyle of Lochalsh, was a simple one to follow; the hills, lochs and forests were not really opening many side roads… It was not until we came down to the water’s edge at Balmacara that we realised that we had reached what was to be our destination for the night. We were looking across Loch Alsh to Skye.

That was as far as our planning had managed…

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Dreaming Stones: Incipient weirdness…

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

It was later than anticipated when we left the rest of our Companions on the Sunday afternoon at the end of the workshop. We hadn’t eaten, needed a garage for the damnable deflating tyre and we were a long, long way from home. Even with motorways and optimal speeds every foot of the way, home would still be a solid ten hour drive south. But then, who was heading south?

It may look as if we are always gallivanting, but Stuart and I both work, taking holdays for workshops and meetings. As I work seven days a week, even weekends have to come out of the holiday entitlement and, as we live a couple of hundred miles apart, no matter where we go, there is driving time to be added which eats it away even more. While we are wandering the country, we try to spend time meeting friends or…

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St Michael de Rupe…

*

“It is something of a ‘dream come true’ to be here, looking at this.”

“In all its technicolour glory.”

“Traditionally, Michael is depicted either ‘slaying’, or ‘fixing’, or as we might say, ‘drawing’,  or even ‘tickling’, the dragon, or, he is depicted with scales and sword in, or on, or above clouds.”

“So at a stretch this could even be described as traditional.”

*

*

“But look at his apparel.”

“This is St Michael, the Celt,

or St Michael, the Hermit,

or St Michael, the Druid…”

“Of all, of which, we whole heartedly approve.”

*

*

“And look at the colours.”

“The golds, and greens, and reds…”

“Earth colours!”

“Or dragon colours.”

“And look at the way in which he is holding his sword.”

“He could be ‘sighting-a-line’ or ‘plumbing-a-depth’.

*

*

“But I thought we were calling this traditional?”

“We are!”

“So where are the clouds?”

“Ah, where indeed…”

*

 

Royalty eh?…

*

The king finished scrutinising his appearance in the full length mirror with a satisfying ‘gurgle’.

His royal tailor had done an altogether splendid job of ‘ironing out’ the few minor discrepancies of attire which had been picked up at the first fitting…

It was, decided the king, now perfect!

All that remained to be done… was to wait.

The crowds were already pouring into the capital from all four corners of the realm.

The minstrels and street entertainers had been plying their trade since before the early hours.

The advance guard of flag wavers would soon be pressing their features to the railings which surrounded the royal palace.

‘They enjoy waiting’, thought the king, ‘it adds to the suspense. Even in the rain, and one ought really to be fully rested before such an event. One should take a little nap. It would hardly matter if one overslept. One would not want to be early after all.’

So, as the subjects of his realm were readied for his illustrious arrival, the king slept.

And slept on…

The king was awoken from his slumber by a frenzied knocking on the heavy oak door of his dressing room.

A hideous dream he had experienced, about wily weavers, and a hard to fool child.

He caught a glimpse of his own form in the mirror as he rushed to the door to open it, and that glimpse confirmed his nightmare.

As the door was flung open the palace butler looked at the royal features aghast.

“Call the guards,” said the king, “someone has stolen my dress suit!”