Love Story – a dream of fur and loss

Herbie is our Oliver Barrett IV – his love means never having to say you’re sorry. Even when you dress him up like a fool.

Sleeping is great. Dreaming is even better. Sometimes, however, you wake from your dreams so rattled and upset it takes a minute to breathe and realise that reality is not the place you’ve just come from, but the place you’re blinking into.

Last night my beloved Herbie died. It was an intense, mad, running around to places everywhere kind of dream. In the midst of it, Herbie was there, and something was wrong.

This is my second mate, looking like he’s about to walk the plank.

He was lying down, and losing consciousness. Someone told me he was dying, and I gave him water from my water bottle which he lapped up, and then stopped breathing. I cried and cried, and continued to cry any time I had to tell people what had happened. Then, for some reason, I started delivering meals to homeless people, cooking chicken kebabs for a wedding (that stubbornly stayed raw), and tried to work in an office (all at the same time). Oh, I also snuck in a bottle of champagne in a cafe in Greece, where That Man and I were trying to dodge whinging kids at all the surrounding tables since we were alone. Totally normal dream behaviour.  Shut up, Freud.

That Man always jokes about Herbie being decrepit or washed up, and mentions his death fairly flippantly. I feel a pang of panic when he does. Why the attachment? It’s his constancy, and unconditional brand of love. I’m not invisible to this dog. While the kids ignore what I’m saying ten times over, until I ponder the kind of dramatic action I’ll be forced to take to be noticed (fake anger – always a good look. RESIST THE BOTOX PEOPLE – or your kids will NEVER respond); this dog? He is watching, waiting, itching for me to speak to him. When That Man is stressed and tired and distracted, unable to hear me calling from another room or asking a fairly simple (but yes, boring) question, this dog has his supersonic hearing attuned to the tones and nuances of my voice, ready to come trotting to my aid if he perceives he could help out. Hell, he’d grow thumbs if he could. He already talks. He even eats cucumber. He’s a special dog.

Deck the dog with festive antlers, fa-la-la-la-la…

When I’m sick, he sits and watches me worriedly, beside my bed, and licks bits of me that protrude beyond the covers. Sweet and gross. As I type this he’s behind my chair, dreaming of rabbits. I can’t watch any movies with dogs in them, since Herbie wants to take them on and is convinced they’re in his living room. He’s huge, and in my way, and barks at the door constantly, and drives me crazy when I trip over him since he’s behind me most of the time, but I would miss his presence like a limb.

So when I woke this morning, tears on my pillow, panic in my chest, the sound of his snuffly snore beside me on the carpet was the most reassuring thing I’ve heard since the sound of my girls sighing in their sleep. Herbie? Can we do a Dolly the Sheep and clone you honey?

I had a dream …

Button pusher

Not about the winning horse, unfortunately. But as it’s Melbourne Cup day, I kind of felt like writing something a little frivolous and vacuous, since that’s how I’m feeling while I FOLD WASHING in a not-hat.

My subconscious has been hard at work again it seems, perving away while I’ve been a dutiful and oblivious wife with blinkers on, and unbeknownst to me, COMPLETELY changing my taste in men overnight. WHAT?

My leave pass. Let’s discuss.

Once upon a time my celebrity leave pass was always fairly blurry, but dark. At best I had a top 3. I will not bother going into a discussion here about the relative cognitive value of these celebrities, because that’s not really the point of this ONE NIGHT. And besides, the fabulous Mumabulous (she always leaves me short of creative adjectives) has done a thorough and well-considered round-up of the thinking woman’s crumpet here.

So, my original top three, in no particular order, were:

4. Robert Downey Jr.

Blue steel. Because I’m worth it

Since I saw him as a wee bairn in Chance Are (1989) with Cybill Shepherd and Ryan O’Neal I was sold. He’s a bit left-of-centre (plus), can take the piss (plus), is funny (plus), and can fly (bonus points). Minus? Even I couldn’t stay awake through the Sherlock Holmes movies. And he’s only about as tall as my shoulder.

3. John Cusack

I’m frowning in an ironic way.

He is smart AND sarcastic AND hot. He’s not all flashy Hollywood and actually seemslike a real 3-D person. He’s even on twitter, saying real things. He understands satire and has a dry sense of humour. He’s still on my list, but I’d rather drink scotch with him while he says witty things.

 2. Jake Gyllenhaal

It’s all in the eyes. Really. Yep. Does my hand look like it’s on a Bible?

Ahhh. New generation. No analysis here. Talking? Nope – don’t need talking. He has nice eyes. Yep. It’s all about the eyes.

You will notice a common theme here. They are all dark. They have a similar type of appeal I guess, a little out of the usual straight down the line Brad Pitt garden variety what-you-see-is-what-you-get.


In my dream the other night, a vision appeared unto me. And this vision was a man. A beautiful, perspective, channel-changing, god of a man. And now there is only one. I can never go back to black. Or dark, I should say. Now there is only one leave pass for me. My leave pass is:

1. Chris Hemsworth

Phwoar … I mean – Thor.

What happened? There is clearly something of an abrupt change in my taste here. Why has my subconscious been quietly subverting me? Am I stereotyping these dark-haired boys into ‘complicated’ and ‘interesting’ categories based on nothing, and thinking that dear Chris is going to come and save me from them? Cos he will, you know. He just looks like a really nice guy.

Who’s on your leave pass list?