There is a theory that maybe dreams are your brain washing through all the information it's received during the day. That has never quite made sense to me as, rather than seeing the stuff of the preceding day in my dreams, I find that things from way back in my childhood suddenly appear there, even though I haven't seen them since and have indeed imagined I'd forgotten them. So I have remained puzzled about what purpose dreams fulfil.
Until this morning, that is, when I woke with a sense of dread, having persuaded myself, through the medium of dream, that I had to join my husband and everyone from where he works on a cruise that starts in Helsinki the day after tomorrow and lasts until 30th September.
I was utterly convinced that this was going to happen and I was filled with scurrying worried thoughts about:
1. How to get to Helsinki, as I had booked nothing;
2. What to pack;
3. How, as a fully-paid up introvert who after more than an hour of mass social interaction per day, (absolute maximum), I was possibly going to manage. Could I do what I used to do at boarding school - that is, sit in a cupboard on my full laundry bag, with a torch, a book and a bag of boiled sweets? What if I was sprung? I looked pretty silly doing that at 15; at my age I might look certifiable.
And then I realised that none of this was going to happen, that there was to be no cruise. The relief was enormous. The knowledge that I don't have to go anywhere filled me with joy - and it still does. The day has become suddenly marvellous.
Perhaps that is the function of dreams.