Ilaid back on my chaise longue, which is a worn purple velvet affair swamped with grubby throws and cushions, Charmaine loomed above me – glasses poised at the end of her nose – notebook and pencil in hand.
“I have to practice, Aunt Scarlet, now close your eyes and relax”
I muttered something about wishing I’d taught her modern calligraphy. It was my own fault that I was now being subjected to Charmaine’s latest fancy, which was to train as a dream counsellor.
“Would you like to have a go with my vintage 303 nib?” I asked, with a pleading intonation.
Charmaine ignored me and chewed the end of her pencil as she flicked through her notebook. She looked displeased, and in exasperation she threw the notebook aside and took a huge tome from a picnic basket that she had dragged into my studio from the hallway. The huge tome thudded onto my desk causing my collection of tiny bears to topple over.
Opening the Dictionary of Dreams, Charmaine thumbed through the pages in an expert fashion, but couldn’t seem to find what she was looking for. I knew this because her brows had knitted themselves into a puzzled frown.
“So you’re saying that he was creeping up to your house across a muddy field? He looked like a scarecrow and every time you looked out of the window he froze and stood still? He wasn’t chasing you? You were making soup? And you felt strongly that it was Autumn, and that the scarecrow was Swedish?”
“I didn’t say he was Swedish! I said he was a swede! Look you silly girl, it was exactly like this…”
Charmaine’s brows unravelled to reveal a wide-eyed expression and I swear she looked almost relieved, but also a tad annoyed. In my defence I seldom remember my dreams, but she was so keen; I didn’t think it would hurt to be inventive.