long night!

oh my goodness!! That has to be the worst night’s sleep ever, and not just because my granny’s spare bed has seen better days (back in the 1920s no doubt!!).  I was suddenly sat bolt upright at around 4am this morning, absolutely petrified, and was so upset afterwards that I could not go back to sleep.

I’m not usually one for nightmares, but I had one last night, and the thing that is always the most worrying is that they generally only occur when someone I know has died, or something major happens, like a tsunami.  No idea why I had one last night, but will come on to that in a bit, if you are bored enough to keep reading my blog.

So, in the nightmare, which started off all lovely.  In the English countryside in a little rural school, filled with yummy mummy types.  The school was small and on one level, but with no roof, like a ruins really, made of flint or lime brick walls.  Inside the school, there were beautiful artworks in reds and greens and blues of nice things rather than graffiti.  The art work was from last term, and I was supervising the primary school children who were painting over it with cream gloss paint, ready for the new students next term to create new pieces of art.  I had three children with me, two small boys and a girl, about 7 or 8 years old probably.  But I thought it was time to give the next children a turn, because for some reason everyone had volunteered to help.  I wasn’t their class teacher, I was just in charge of supervising them to make sure they didn’t get hurt and to make sure the school met the government’s health and safety requirement (it was a weird dream ok, and I have no idea why that was an important factor!!).

So, the children ran along to another building, which was a bit like a victorian train station in size, made of red brick, another ruins, but with a roof, and inside was a coffee shop where the mum’s and dad’s with pushchairs were relaxing and waiting for the children, but no one was in a hurry, they were just chatting and drinking cups of tea and eating chocolate brownie cake (why that specifically, I don’t know!).  The next two volunteer children were boys, one was a little asian boy, but they were both keen to get started on the painting.  They were waiting in the alleyway behind a gate, so I let them in, and then decided to check the three other children had got to their mums and dads ok, even though I knew they would be fine.  There was just a little green, grassed area courtyard between the school and the red brick building and it was less than 20m away.

I went to check on the children in the brick building, whilst the two little boys were painting the walls cream. One of the mum’s said hello to me, and she had a little kid of about 2 years old in the pushchair.  As I turned to walk back to the school, someone was chatting to me, and suggesting I get the school kids to paint the other building.  A bit like a mausoleum with no roof, big round building.  It looked great for painting, but I said the children wouldn’t be able to paint it because it was too high off the ground and the health and safety would have a fit! No, you would definitely need scaffolding, ladders, and hard hats to paint that, but it would look amazing.  In the distance behind that building was a war memorial in reddish brick, but beautifully coloured, and nearby were lots of little square houses, each painted in different and warm colours.

Suddenly there was a bang, like thunder and I jokingly said “what can the boys possibly have done now, they are only meant to be painting”. Myself and whoever it was I was talking to laughed.  We looked towards the direction of the bang, which was behind the school ruins where the boys were painting.  And in the distance on the horizon was a bright yellow chanook helicopter with a crane dangling from it and a big cargo box.  It was looking a bit shocked (I know helicopters don’t look shocked in real life!!), but the pilot seemed to have things under control, and we were not worried because we thought the helicopter had gone to help deal with the loud bang.

Behind the helicopter was a large cloud of smoke in a mushroom shape, getting bigger, and then we realised there had been an explosion and that the helicopter was lucky to have survived being so close to the explosion on the horizon.  But hopefully that was the worst of it now and the children would be safe.  Even so, I decided to get them and take them to the coffee shop to be with their parents, just to be on the safeside.

It wasn’t a nightmare, until a second later, when there was a massive bolt of lightning right in the centre of the mushroom cloud, and I realised we were in massive trouble.  So I ran through a stone archway, into the green court yard, and was trying to get back to the school even though it wasn’t far away.  I could now see workmen just behind the school building, and they had been rebuilding the village, quite happily.  One man was still working on the roof behind where the school was.  He was wearing a white t shirt and blue jeans, and seemed to be relaxed and still working.  But looking through the school building and to the floor beneath him, people were running and panicking because they didn’t know what they should do for the best.  A man pushed a girl through the school towards my direction.  She was about 5 years old, with black long hair, and a pink padded jacket with a fur trim on the hood.  She didn’t know where to go, but ran past me and towards the tearoom where the parents were.  Then I saw a beige long curly haired labrador type dog.  Obviously old, but a family dog and it was looking for its family members were really didn’t know where to go what to do.  That’s when I started to panic because animals usually have instincts in these situations (apparently!).  I called it “dog dog”, but it was too confused to come, and just kept running side to side along with the people, who didn’t know where to run for the best.

I started running towards the school, but seconds after the lightning bolt, small splinters of pine wood started flying past, making whooshing noises, and smelling of pine and fire.  If you got hit by one of those you would be dead as it would pierce right through you at that speed.  Then other things started to fly towards my direction, but not necessarily at me.  There were several hammers and malets with big black heavy ends, and old wooden handles.  I tried to duck and dive them, but one caught me on the front of my right thigh, and another on the palm of my left hand as I tried hard to deflect it. Luckily they didn’t hurt me, but I knew I would be dead if I received a proper blow head on.

Now, I was scared.  Because I was stuck, if I continued to run forward, I would get killed on the way by flying debris, and if I got to the school, I would have to take shelter there, and hope there were no more explosions.  I could see a temporary green panel of wood on the floor below where the man in the white t shirt was still facing my direction and going about his work.  How could he not have been hit or have heard the explosion?  If we were lucky, then maybe the panel would hold, but it was unlikely.

To run to the tea room building which was much stronger, and lower to the ground, partially below ground so less likely to be hit by the debris, then I would have to turn around and wouldn’t be able to see or dodge the debris flying towards me.  There was no way I would survive.  I was panicking because I felt that we had made the wrong decision about the girl in the pink jacket running towards that building, if she got hit she would be dead.  But she should have made it because she was small, and running behind me in the opposite direction, so I probably shielded her from the worst of the debris.

I only knew that none of us had any intention of leaving our village, that we loved so much, and that had so much history.

Then I woke up with a start, and had the fastest heartbeat ever!!! And was pretty freaked out for hours afterwards, not like me at all!  I have no idea why I woke up so suddenly or why I had such a nightmare.  I thought that maybe it had been thundering because it was raining a little bit, but everything looked fine outside.  I love thunder and lightning, it usually makes me feel strangely calm and safe.

I can only think that my subconscious was worried about the gas situation outside of my grandmother’s house.  A few days ago, I had smelt gas outside our house, and also outside of the neighbour’s house, so I told them both, but my granny couldn’t smell it and said it was probably just calm fumes.  My neighbour couldn’t think why there would be a gas smell outside of his garage, and so we left it at that!  But apparently one of the houses about 6 doors down from us, had a strange smell of gas every time they switched their television on, which they thought was a bit crazy, but contacted the gas board anyway just to be on the safe side.

The gas board came to investigate.  Yes there was gas coming from their television whenever they switched it on, and they traced it back to a gas leak under the ground, outside of my neighbour’s house.  So, the workmen have spent the last three days digging up the street and repairing it, and it is cordoned off now.

My guess is that someone the true life gas situation, is what triggered my nightmare, but maybe it is also a sign of the new year and that I am at a cross roads in my life.  I have to move on from the past (the school), and head back towards my future (the tearoom) but its a bit scary to travel without being able to see where I am going???? OR some such Freudian dream interpretation!  Oddly enough, my cousin in the next room also had a nightmare last night, her first one in years too. So I just hope that it is not an omen or something sinister……..

My aunt and cousin have gone back home now, after our little christmas celebration post them being snowed in at home in York.  But it turned out to be a lovely christmas after all:)

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About Sarah Rows Solo

British YouTuber and Founder of Environmental and STEM education charity Oceans Project, preparing for a solo row around the coast of Great Britain.
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