Reasons why Fran steers clear of psychologists

You know how, in the middle of doing something else, you suddenly remember what you dreamed last night and it gives you a little shock?

I was considering, just now, how to start this blog post and my hand was hovering over the keyboard to write the first sentence. Then an image from last night's dreams tripped across my mind. My stomach clenched in panic because, for a nano-second, I thought that perhaps it hadn't been a dream, but a real happening.

Thank goodness. It wasn't.

In the dream, I was at an event - a concert or a film, I think - with my good friend and fellow-writer, Deborah Jenkins. (Hi, Deborah!) We had found seats. But things were going wrong. For a start, two really handsome men sat in front of us. Deborah and I nudged each other and then one of the men turned round and said to Deborah, 'What a beautiful woman you are' or some such compliment.

The same man then said to Deborah, while nodding in my direction, 'I see you've brought along your favourite troll.'



Rude!

I was so offended by this that I took myself off to the toilets. I've been doing this as a response to insults since the 1970s. Even in a dream, instinct took over.

I sat down in a toilet cubicle but soon sensed that something was amiss. Water was dripping on my head. The drip then became a more persistent flow and as I looked up I realised I was not in a toilet but in a shower cubicle, fully-clothed, underneath an increasingly rigorous power shower.

I sloshed my way miserably back to where Deborah was sitting, pleased that the two men had been sitting in front of us, and were therefore less likely to laugh at my misfortune, only to find that they had shifted seats to the row behind us and were able to benefit fully from the sight of my dripping form.

At that point, I woke up, forgetting the dream entirely, until right now, as I started writing this.

I dream about toilets all the time. I may have mentioned this before. A psychologist would have a field day with me.

Telling you about the dream, though, does lead me nicely onto the subject of my new book which is what I originally came here to tell you about.

On a very simple level, I think frequent dreams about toilets hint at anxieties about shame and exposure. These themes, you may or may not be surprised to hear if you follow this blog regularly, feature strongly in the new book which is called 'Miss, What Does Incomprehensible Mean?' and is due for release on 21 May by SPCK Publishing. Here's what it looks like.




It's a memoir in diary form, charting a typical year in my life as an English teacher, and it aims to be funny and warm, but it also explores what happens when your job throws up issues from the past that you don't have time to, or the inclination to, deal with. So, the publishers have described it as 'life-affirming' which I won't argue with as that makes it sound worth reading.

I won't post regularly about the book on this blog as I try to reserve this space for funny, non-promotional pieces that will entertain you rather than badger you.

But if you would like to receive email updates about the book's release and associated events and happenings, please do go to my website here  and sign up. You can pre-order from there if you're really keen :)

I'm now trying to remember how many times I've mentioned toilets in the book. A few times, I bet.













Comments

  1. I am VERY keen ... and also very insolvent the last couple of years ... if things improve in this respect I would love to own your book.

    As for toilet dreams, I have them more often than I would like. My bladder is the XXXS size, and in my waking hours I much too often would like a toilet when there is none to be had. That carries over into my sleeping hours too, especially if I need to "go" ... So, no buried meanings here, just a really cruddy straightforward one. Your dream sounds more nightmare-ish than dream-ish to me, much like my own, and I hope that perhaps you can have fewer of them in time.

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    1. Thanks so much, Jenny! I too am hoping for fewer toilet dreams and more 'Barbados beach' dreams or those I remember when I was a child when I dreamed so often that I could fly, I almost convinced myself I could in real life and tried once or twice.

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  2. Like jenny_o, I also have the xxxs sized bladder which usually handles things just fine unless I've been drinking coffee which I load up with sugar. Then it's run to and from the bathroom all day and half the night. I usually only dream of toilets when I'm asleep and really need to pee, the dream wakes me enough to realise I have to go, so I drag myself out of my warm bed. It makes me wonder though, if children sleep so deeply any dream of toilets doesn't wake them and they just 'go' when in their dream they find a toilet.
    I avoid psychologists because I fear I might make them crazy enough to need one for themselves.

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    1. I swear I have a different channel for coffee. If I drink a cup of tea, it goes round and round my body and begs for exit about two hours later. If I have coffee, it takes a rapid perpendicular drop and I have ten minutes if that. As for your reason not to see psychologists, that made me laugh!!

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  3. Haha! What a hilarious dream! The funniest part, for me, (apart from the bit where your loo break turns into a power shower) is that a handsome man would tell me I was beautiful! Apart from the hubs of course. I suppose it makes sense of the 'In your dreams' thing, because it was! What a bizarre one though! Great post as ever and touched that you dream about me despite the unusual circumstances. Truly cannot wait for this book. xx

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    1. I came to my blog site with the intention of changing your name to a generalised 'a friend of mine who is taller and thinner' in case you objected to the direct mention, but it was too late. You were already here and commenting! Yes, bizarre dream, but you were obviously very much in my thoughts :)

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  4. I don't think I've dreamed of toilets since I was a child. Then I dreamed I was sitting on one, and I peed the bed. I think that cured me. Will the book be on Kindle? If so, I'll put it on my wish list.

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    1. Ha ha - that would cure you, fast! As for the book, it may be on Kindle eventually. Watch this space. I'll let you know!

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  5. I often find myself sitting on a loo with the door unlocked and people outside peering in. I occasionally walk around and find I forgot to get dressed too. In my dreams. I laughed most heartily at your dream, Fran! Last night, I was taking my daughter to Buck Palace for a dance competition while simultaneously repainting the loo. What does that mean I wonder?

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    1. Yes, people peer in! When they've finished peering in on you, they come and peer in on me!!

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  6. Reading Ruth's comment and your reply, I realised that I was editing it. The word peering kept losing one of the letters....

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    1. I thought that as I was writing it! So close, so close!

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