The Dream Dustbin: Charlie’s Dream

This series is called the ‘Dream Dustbin’ for the purpose that it is inspired on entirely on the concept of dreams and the power of the subconscious. I hope to dramatize dream experiences through a range of artistic media including illustrations, photography, written verse or narrative, soundscapes, sculpture, etc.

One of the most important elements will be in sourcing the material, and I am completely open to any offers from willing ‘dream donors’. I plan to work closely with every individual dreamer so that the finished piece is able to express most effectively and, ultimately, entertainingly, the emotions or narrative of the dream experience. It can be as personal or as anonymous as is comfortable. If there are any enthusiastic Arts people – photographers, film makers or artists of any kind that might be interested in contributing their skills to a piece, then please do not hesitate to get in touch – the more creative, the better.

Embracing the power of individualism is my ultimate aim in creating this column; shining a light on the subconscious and making something funny, beautiful, but most importantly, completely original, personal and unique.

In each Column, I will be providing a short summary of the dream that is my subject matter, followed by my reinterpretation of it through my chosen artistic medium.

Eat cheese, dream big.

Note: If you would like to be a ‘dream donor’ and have YOUR dream creatively reinterpreted by Flora, leave a comment detailing a recent dream you have had, or email Flora directly at flora.phillips@durham.ac.uk. All submissions are welcome and the writer is more than happy to work with you to produce a piece in your preferred creative medium!

Keep reading for the dream and its re-interpretation on the next page!

A theme park made entirely of salted butter- definitely a dream come true!
A Brief Summary of Charlie’s Dream:

After what was a very mundane day at school, Charlie went to bed and fell asleep.

Charlie began to dream.

It was a very happy occasion; the sun was shining and he was enjoying a day out with the family on a visit to a theme park. I had encouraged Charlie to try and remember what he had seen, or more relevantly, what he had eaten, before going to bed… Charlie had dreamt of visiting a theme park based entirely on salted butter. Everything from the rides themselves, the picnic benches, the stalls selling food and merchandise, the railings for the queueing lines, were formed out of salted butter.

More specifically though, the experience was of walking around the park museum – suggesting there was quite some heritage about the place – and being led by a very over-enthusiastic tour guide. There was a significantly melancholic tone in Charlie’s voice as he informed me that he never actually went on one of the rides in the theme park. It made me question whether he perhaps had some form of ion or salt deficiency, or had been craving toast, or had even overindulged on a buttery jacket potato that evening before going to sleep. All of my suggestions were, however, shunned. The main focus seemed to be on the salted-ness of the butter – perhaps it provides better stability than unsalted (a greater density, surely?). Nevertheless, the tour guide seemed to take centre stage, raucously praising the achievement of such feats of engineering, though an off-yellow, oily, fatty version of Thorpe Park does not quite appear as an immediate candidate for celebrated architecture. The group were educated in the extensive processes of construction (or rather ‘churning’) and management of the park.

My concern was that during the peak of tourism, over the summer months, serious health and safety risks would have to be assessed almost hourly in terms of the parks inevitable ‘melting point’. My worries were, once again, shunned. Charlie however, insisted that he had been having a fantastic time, and felt very privileged to be given a special tour of the ‘dairy’, lapping up all of the facts and information the guide was offloading to the group.

As the tour ended, so did the dream – perhaps the subconscious had become saturated… Whatever the case, this in my opinion was a beautiful first example of how the most basic or staple thing, such as the everyday breakfast necessity, could be conjured into something, as Charlie puts it, “a great day out”.

Perhaps the thing that ought to be taken most from this, is for us all to bear in mind;

“Recommended Daily Allowance of Fat: 70g / of which saturates: 20g”

“Recommended Daily Allowance of Salt: 6g”

A Sonnet on Charlie’s Dream:

CHARLIE

Golden droplets ooze from melting towers

Shimmering in the oily pools of salt,

Yellow beams shine like those of sunflowers;

In his joy he cries as the ride then bolts

Suddenly, thrillingly below the arch;

Built on sodium’s crystal chloride mounds,

Fruitful milk, ripened in the month of March,

Princely his form, in butter he is crowned.

Dairy’s monuments straight from the udder,

Made for all seekers of adrenaline,

Machines, though soft, growl rumbles of thunder

As wheels glide smooth across tracks creamy-thin.

Such radiant rides of glee, the tour guide boasts.

Yet, in truth, all he really seeks is toast.

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