A cup of tea is never wrong 

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I had an unusual dream last night. Well, all dreams are unusual but this was exquisite. It had a title and a theme tune. 

It started at a town hall. I was late for work and in the wrong place. A band consisting of students from my school was setting up in a large hallway and I asked them to play me a song. They demurred, explaining that the people in the town hall were there to watch the cricket and the band was only able to play during the advertising breaks. I would have to wait. But I was running late…

The town was a technicolor, disarranged version of Ballarat but with decidedly English flourishes. For instance, the cafes had a motto they emblazoned on their windows and menus: ‘A cup of tea is never wrong (but we’ll make you a coffee if you want one).’

I found myself in a run-down part of town with small children trying to steal my mobile phone which, frustratingly, kept showing the wrong time. So I couldn’t tell how late I was…

I followed a friendly guy with a vicious dog to a garage hung with dog skins and collars then…

Da di da di da di da, da di da di daah – the rasping theme tune kicked-in and up flashed the dream’s title: ‘South Monica Termite Music’.

I’ve always been fascinated by dreams. They are psychology’s dark matter. They remind us of what we don’t yet know and they are uncanny, frightening and joyous. I’m aware that they might represent nothing more than the brain taking out the trash but that doesn’t stop dreams from being a visceral experience. I don’t know whether this is true, but I suspect that some of the partition walls in the mind come down when you are dreaming.

I’ve woken with fully formed songs in my head. But there’s nothing magical about it because I have written a lot of songs the conventional way over the years. I’m sure engineers design machines, artists paint pictures and chefs cook food in their dreams.

It’s all in there, somewhere, jumbled about.


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