Sunday, May 29, 2011


En arche en ho logos, begins that most theological gospel of St John. In the beginning was the Word. And so began one of the strangest dreams I've ever had, in which I dreamt I was leading the life of a specialist in Greek tablets unearthed on the ancient and shifting boundary between Wales and England.

I remember the dream in great detail because I kept waking up to pen notes on my own real-world thesis, which continued to exist after I had woken up. But the dream persisted despite these useful interruptions, and it involved watching Barcelona thrash Manchester United from a friend's house, at a party involving his many relatives, to which I'd been invited by his late mother.

I remember other details, some involving the evolving house of my dreams, which in this particular iteration was a cross between stacked campervans and shophouses from the south of this island. But the last I remember of the dream was a voice saying to me, "If you find it in Phtakis, it will tell you a lot about Welsh-English relations."

Naturally, when I was sure I was awake, I did an Internet search on Phtakis. The results astonished me. There were few hits. But the hits I got were for a long-dead scholar of that name, whose speciality appeared to have been the collection and cataloguing of... stone tablets with Greek inscriptions, in Asia Minor. Brrrr.

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