which is worse – disappointing sex or disappointing breakfast?

Two boys of about eighteen or nineteen, who shared a bedroom as students.  One saw his various sexual conquests as a sign of his machismo and boldness.  The other considered lust to be shameful and weak, and regularly told his room-mate that his behaviour was sinful.  In reality, their sex lives differed very little, and each one was writing a confessional memoir.  Both books featured the same sex object, a girl who both young men were regularly sleeping with, and whose name had one letter different from mine.

A would-be erotic dream where I’m in bed, possibly in a hotel, with an unidentified casual who (according to the dream) I’ve seen a few times before.  But he’s unattractively sweaty and I’m considering telling him I don’t want to meet again after today.  He climaxes (I think?) and sort of half-heartedly suggests starting again after he’s had a rest, but he sounds grumpy at the idea of having to attend to my pleasure, and I’m not sure I can stomach it anyway.

Staying the night a hotel with my mum and Sibling. We met in the restaurant for breakfast, but since I don’t do well at mornings, the other two were there before me.  I arrived just after 10am to find that the restaurant, which was Portugese-influenced, had stopped serving its breakfast menu.  Apparently, the Portugese don’t really have specially designated breakfast foods, so fry-ups and cereal were only served as a concession to unadvanturous guests before 10am.  After that, you picked from the standard restaurant menu that was available all day.  I had some kind of lightly spiced pork and rice concoction, which was delicious but not the eggs royale I’d had in mind.  Next to our table, another family (middle-aged parents, teenage or young adult children) were kicking up a stink about the restaurants total disregard to its customers’ needs. Coming over here, taking away our food-based traditions…

The King’s autograph on a plate

At a wedding reception with a particularly fine standard of catering.  I mean, everything we ate was the bomb.  The waiters just kept bringing out trays of food, multiple options for each course, for you to have as much of whatever you wanted.  By dessert, most of the other guests were full to the point of shirts bursting open, but I’d paced myself.  I knew there were going to be five, maybe six different desserts all brought out one after another and who knew which would be the best without being prepared to try them all?

I was still labouring contentedly, with my defeated fellow-diners splayed out on their chairs like exploded slugs, when the waiters brought out the sixth dessert. There were long white trays holding an individual glass, like a large shot glass, for each guest. What I tasted a teaspoonful of can’t be described in terms of mere banoffee cheescake.

Now, I happened to know that this particular dessert was somehow associated with Elvis Presley, and that although I’d never seen this myself, some restaurants / hotels that served it would use chocolate sauce to drizzle a copy of the King’s signature on the serving tray.  I asked our waiter if I could have Elvis’ autograph in chocolate sauce, but the waiter’s first language was from a different European country, and he didn’t understand my request.  I said it was cool; if he could just leave the full tray on the empty table next to ours, I’d get round to my share and probably then some, after I’d finished what was already on my plate.  But such was the other guests’ opposition towards eating any more, almost no sooner had the waiters and waitresses brought out these desserts than they were coming back to take them away.  I shooed two black-and-white clad members of staff away, but when the third came round – and my mouth was still full – I found I didn’t have the energy to explain again that I was getting round to it…

When I woke up I had Black and Gold by Sam Sparro stuck in my head, a song I haven’t (knowingly) heard in years but which told me that a YouTube video I’d recently watched was probably the trigger for the dream.  I love listening to ASMR videos because they help me sleep, which is of course essential for my research. This was the first video I’d seen by cutebunny992, and in it she described her recent “dream” wedding.  Marianne’s repetition of the word dream (at 0:48 and 2:33) acted as a direct suggestion for my literal dream. Her chosen colour scheme – white, gold and black – was reflected in my subconscious choice of music.


More fragments – a selection of anxieties

Writing a novel; I can’t remember what it was about, but I sure remember the self-doubt, wondering if what I was putting out there was at all interesting or just self-indulgent.

Carelessly splashed some water on the bathroom floor (while brushing my teeth?) and one of my housemates pointedly remarked – in front of the whole household – on how he’d had to dry it up.

A different male friend (not the one in previous fragments) was hoping for a relationship with me.  Not wanting to hurt his feelings, wondering with guilt if I’d led him on.

In reality, I was staying at Sibling and C’s house. In dream, we were all staying at C’s mother M’s house (this being the first time I’d met M; in reality, I’ve never met her).  Based on strange goings on, Sibling, C and I reached the conclusion that M had murdered someone. Not for the first time, said Sibling and C. We tried to excuse ourselves by going for a curry, to discuss how to turn M in or at least avoid being murdered ourselves. But the curry house was full of people we knew, and because we didn’t know how to explain wanting to sit separately from them, we ended up at a table with three or four others. As we were eating, a helicopter descended and M arrived with an entourage of security staff. Back in the downstairs hallway, we got into a brawl and she threatened me with some kind of weapon (not a gun… a knife? a club?).

… possibly woken up by one of the cats, in reality, jumping on the bed. When I told Sibling about the dream over breakfast, he said that nothing of the sort would ever happen; apparently M loves curry so we’d never have made it to the nearest balti house without her.

First day at university

Induction day for my MSc course, although the building it was in was a cross between the sixth form block at my school, and an NHS outpatients’ centre I once worked at as a secretary.  My Dad drove me there although it was only a few miles down the road. It was in an uninspiring suburb of the city, surrounded by a large car park.  The main road there was congested.  I was the last to arrive and the other students were already settled at long trestle tables and were eating from a buffet.

Surrounded by 18-20 year olds who first assumed I was a similar age and reacted with unflattering surprise to finding out how old I actually am, I felt embarassed that my career isn’t further along. I felt they were looking at me thinking they would be mortified to be in my position at my age.

We were directed to play ice-breaking / team-building games outdoors on the back lawn.  It was a sunny day, and I loitered by the outer edges, feeling out-of-place and looked down upon.  I felt I may have made the wrong decision in coming back to university, not only because I was out-youthed, but that the course was too basic and not covering my real interests.  I couldn’t show those around me my strengths, and the experiences I had – which my coursemates didn’t – were not recognised.

wtf, subconscious?

Well, this one doesn’t need much interpretation.  The insecurities that crop up here are real and self-explanatory, albeit not as prominent in my conscious mind as in this dream.

My dad would drive me to university if I had to move away for it – although in the dream, the campus was only a short bus ride away, and in reality, though it will involve a bit of a commute, I’ve no intentions of moving out of my current house. I see the being-driven as a metaphor for the help that my dad – a lecturer at another university – is helping me in getting back to academia.

The symbol of being on a busy, congested or slow journey is a common one in people’s dreams. Easy enough to see the analogy. In this case, I also had a sense of guilt that my dad was putting himself out, when I could have made my own way to campus and in fact probably would have got there more easily.

It’s only as I’m writing these dreams up that I’m seeing the links that my subconscious mind makes between different times of my life, and how they affect me now. The locations – sixth form, and my former workplace – tell me that I’m still feeling sore about being underestimated, undermined or unrecognised in those places.

As for the buffet, we could explore the symbolic meaning of food – nourishment and all that – but I dunno, I’m happy enough to say that I just fricking love food.



the one about the yoghurt

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and this epic blog began with a dream about yoghurt.

It was set at my maternal grandmother’s home, in a part of the bungalow known as the… well, did anyone else’s grandma have a Back Passage? (I know, right?  So far as I could tell she never, in all her eighty six years, figured out why people were sniggering.)

There was a small fridge in there – barely bigger than the portable ones you might take camping – and I was trying to get a jumbo tub of Natural Greek-Style to fit on the bottom shelf, but no amount of manoeuvring could get the fridge door to close.  I had to leave the tub of yoghurt on the floor directly next to the fridge, but I wasn’t at all happy with this compromise.

wtf, subconscious?

Upon waking, I was so delighted with this dream that I told pretty much everyone I came into contact with for the next few days, and it was at this point that one of my housemates suggested I start a blog.


Another dream-interpretation site tells me that “to see or eat yogurt in your dream, suggests that you need to learn to behave appropriately for the different situations and circumstances you find yourself in.” Others suggest an improvement in health and finances; an attempt to live healthily; or an immature way of seeking spiritual nourishment.  (It seems dream dictionaries are kind of reluctant about reaching a common consensus.)

To put this dream in its mundane context, another member of my household recently did have a giant quantity of natural strained, extra-thick, Greek yoghurt in a blue and white pot so large it actually had a handle.

The less obvious background to the dream was that I’d recently started having group therapy through the NHS. I’d wanted one-to-one sessions and to share my therapy time with seven other people felt like an enormous compromise. I was a newcomer to an existing group, which struck me as being pretty set in its ways, and I’d waited a long time for therapy, during which there were a lot of reasons I could have done with the support.  A long-term relationship had ended and I’d moved house; work was stressful and disatisfying; a relative had died unexpectedly, so on and so forth, on top of longer term issues that I had hoped to address.

I felt there was so much in me that it was impossible – impossible – to store it.  It simply couldn’t fit into its constraints.  It was no good me putting my emotional yoghurt (if you will) to one side, because the longer it was left, the more rancid it would turn.

As for the setting, I often find my dream-self back at my parents’ house, or my grandma’s, despite her having vacated it over ten years ago.

Whether my subconscious was trying to say something witty about the back passage, I’ll have to keep pondering.

…no, on second thoughts I don’t want to know.

Not today.

Let’s start with a pre-cognitive dream.

My friend Helen and I were in the bathroom at my parents’ house, supposedly getting ready to go out. But she had a stomach ache and felt sick. She curled up in the bathroom cabinet, clutching her stomach; I could see she was really in intense pain.

She asked for a bucket to puke in, but I didn’t want to go round the house looking for one. I tried not to show that I really just wanted to hurry out for an evening of fun, and didn’t want to have to look after a vomiting person. I offered her a measuring jug, cringing inwardly at the thought that it might not hold as many chunks as were about to come out.

To my relief, what came out of Helen’s mouth was a perfect, lightly fried egg. I emptied the egg into the bath and it plopped slimily into the tub like a fish.

Each time I held the jug to Helen’s chin, she produced another egg, which slid into the bath with the others.

WTF, subconscious?

What stands out to me about this dream is my reluctance to help my friend beyond what was strictly convenient for me. I felt impatient and at least a little bit disgusted at her predicament. (Sorry mate!) I think it’s suggesting that I feel over-burdened or compromised by looking after other people’s needs. I’m torn between not wanting to be selfish, and resenting those who do encroach on what I hoped was going to be fun-time for me.

Dreaming of our parents’ / childhood homes (which I do a lot) generally suggests some unresolved issues from our upbringing. The feelings of not wanting to let other people’s needs compromise my own – but not wanting to let on that I feel that way – are ones that I recognise. And presumably they stem from childhood.


Helen and I actually were going out together the following evening. But why eggs, I had no idea.

We were going to a comedy gig (Bianca Del Rio’s Not Today, Satan, if you’re curious), and before that we went for dim sum. I ordered a daring selection of seafood, and Helen went for vegetarian delicacies, including some caramel buns, which came nestled in a bamboo steamer like eggs in a basket.

She couldn’t finish the last one, so we cut it in half. And this is what I saw:



So when I came to write this blog, I searched the internet to show you caramel buns looking like cooked eggs…

But Google went one step further.



What. The actual. Fuck.

…I hope you’ve enjoyed this, my first ever post on wtfsubconscious? You can use the contact page to send me any comments, questions, suggestions on how to make this blog more awesome, or dreams of your own that you’d like to share.

Catch you again soon!