What dreams may come?

Writing about your dreams is boring, we all know that – but what if we’re all having the same dream together?

We’ve both found ourselves having similar dreams in recently months, replacing the usual nightmares about zombies, rats and missed trains.

Now, it’s all about mundane experiences in the real world: checking into hotels in seaside towns out of season; catching buses through East London or central Somerset; going to the cinema to watch mediocre films.

And, of course, going to the pub.

It turns out the pub of our dreams is utterly, wonderfully unremarkable. Here’s Ray’s dream:

It’s a standard town pub with three ales on the bar, mid-afternoon. The TV is on. I order a pint of the guest ale and take a seat near the window. I read my book, watch the world go by. The beer is fine but not amazing so, for the next round, I go for good old Butcombe Bitter. While I’m on my second pint of Butcombe, with a bag of crisps, an elderly man asks if he can sit at the other end of the table. I say, of course, no problem. He reads his newspaper, I continue reading my book. At about 3pm, I decide it’s time to go. I take my glass back to the bar, say goodbye to the landlady and the chap I’d been sitting with and step out into the drizzle.

We don’t know if dreams really have a purpose or function but these feel like opportunities to practice or rehearse. Yes, that’s right – that’s how this all works. But maybe it’s just about administering a small dose of the pub experience to keep the cravings at bay.

What’s interesting is that we’re not alone – this might be close to a universal experience during lockdown.

After seeing a few tweets like this…

…we ran a poll:

That’s a pretty remarkable result – 58% of all respondents said they had dreamt about being in a pub.

But of course our followers might be said to be prone to thinking about pubs so, for a bit of extra info, Ray ran the same poll on his own not-just-about-beer account. With far fewer responses, the result was similar:

Our assumption that this is our brains running preflight checks before we can go back to the pub for real isn’t the only possibility.

It might simply be that, in difficult times, our collective subconscious is throwing us a bone. Here’s what one website says it means when you dream about pubs:

A public house, pub or bar represents a positive self-image and a deep sense of happiness and fulfillment. It could also represent the places you go to try to escape your problems.

Well, yes. Overnight therapy indeed.