London 057Last night I dreamed I returned to the United Kingdom. I always meant to go back there, to live there for a time once more as I did when I was at University.

The last time I visited, I took my  fourteen year old daughter. That was thirteen years ago. We enjoyed such an adventure. There was no plan. We traipsed around England, mostly staying in London, exploring freely.

London had changed a bit since my school days, but not so much as to lose that ambience of long endurance and that incredible air of fable. Time still seemed in long supply, and I believed I would return again. I did not factor in the world going quite so utterly mad.

london night lights bridge

My dream revealed a withered and dying United Kingdom, a divided and broken land, its culture and people utterly vanquished.  South Kensington, the place I had lived as a student, was lined with crucified bodies, heads on spikes. Masked men wearing  black robes patrolled the streets, heavily armed. In my dream, they turned to carrion birds to feed on the ashes of the land they conquered. It was horrifying. Perhaps, a symptom of playing too many video games and reading too much dystopian fantasy.

I woke up weeping for its demise more than I would for my country of birth. I rolled out of bed in the night’s darkest hours before dawn and immediately took to my computer to seek plane reservations that I might return there before my visions could come to fruition.

I believed I was awake in a bright morning to find my reservations well in place. I packed and gathered my passport and arrived in London. No, I had not awaken from my nightmare. The UK was still there, but it felt dead, like a movie set more than the real place.  I told myself it was the hour of the day, and entered the tube station at Piccadilly Circus.

People packed into the platform and that gave me comfort. Here they all were, citizens of London, waiting for their train. The train came and true to nature, the people queued up to enter as a mechanized and polite voice reminded them.

“Mind the gap.”

No one did. By the time I boarded the train, all of those people disappeared into the gap which for me was a simple step and for them, an unscalable chasm. Then I awoke to my life once more, and I wrote this blog post. Let this only be a nightmare. Please, world, mind the gap.

5 thoughts

  1. A nightmare it is. Actually, it sounds like your subconscious telling you to take a moment. Perhaps you need to take a week or two this year and step back in time, and head to England. Get a ticket to a soccer game and cheer on your beloved Liverpool in person.


    1. I definitely plan to return to UK and to see a Liverpool game at Anfield (if I can ever figure out how to get tickets).

      I have been so worried about you and the other Rieders in Australia. Those fires sound horrifying. I hope you are safe. Take care.


      1. Thanks for thinking of us, EM. Sam Hawke and I both live in the same city – Canberra – and we are sick of the smoke, but so far *touchwood* safe from the fires. We are constantly at ALERT status because we are surrounded by fires to the west, south and east. Not much we can do to change anything, so life just goes on 🙂

        And I’m sure you know this., but just in case:
        1. MEMBERSHIP. Liverpool encourages fans to join its membership scheme to be in with a chance of getting tickets to home matches. The club says a minimum of 10,000 tickets for every home game go to members. Membership costs £35.99 for UK-based fans, £39.99 for those based in Europe and £43.00 for the rest of the world. A ‘light membership’ is available from £26.99 and gives access to tickets without the welcome pack. Tickets for members go on sale twice a season in July and November. The sale date is announced on the official website and in the Liverpool Echo.

        2. GET A FAN CARD. A very small amount of tickets may be available on general sale around four weeks before a match. These are available to fan card holders and can be bought online.


  2. I am a member of the Liverpool FC club. It’s a matter of coordinating UK travel with a good Anfield day and the funds to get the tickets. I do really think I will be moving to UK by 2022 if we are all still dancing around on this earth.

    It is raining constantly here. Wish I could send that rain your way. Keep safe. And I am really pulling for both us to hit the query trenches hard this year.


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