I must have jumped about a foot off the bed, I knew that I had been shot in the back. We had been tracking a family of badgers when some poachers opened fire on us. As I slowly came too I realised that this was just a dream, I explained the dream in its entirety to my half awake girlfriend, in the hope that she would forgive me for disturbing her precious sleep.
Some time later I awoke fully to the realisation that my girlfriend had long left for work. The reality was that I had in fact experienced a dream within a dream, I had never actually fully woken or had a conversation with my girlfriend prior to her departure. This surreal world of nightmares started about two weeks ago, but to explain fully we need to flash back to six weeks previous.
I received an e-mail about six weeks ago from a lady in Nigeria. A request for us to supply a Willett ink jet coder, this was a strange request as this type of system died out around 10 years ago now. She explained that she was setting up a water bottling plant; as water is a rare and precious commodity in South Africa. Unfortunately Nigeria is still trying to play catch-up with the rest of the world in every aspect, and the very latest ink jet coding and marking equipment sadly falls outside of their financial boundaries. Technical support for the older ink jet coders is around in abundance, not so for anything younger than 8 years of age.
Although we support a vast range of old Willett ink jet coders, the request from Nigeria was going to require something a little out of the ordinary. This machine would have to be assembled entirely out of spare parts. As these parts are now rarely required, we have stored them away in the roof space for safe keeping. Access to the roof space is via a rather large 5 foot long by 4 foot wide hatch. The very high ceiling is about 16 foot from the floor. so access is via a special ladder arrangement. During one of my sorties into the roof space in the hunt for elusive parts for said ink jet coder, my mobile phone rang and in the struggle to retrieve it from my pocket I stumbled backwards over the pile of parts I had accumulated.
As I hurtled backwards down through the loft hatch I managed to hit my head knocking myself unconscious.
I remember opening my eyes and my first experience was the severe pain in my back and in my head. I slowly pulled myself to my feet and staggered to the cold water drink dispenser.
After drinking some water I realised that I was alone and with a very strong urge to lay down, decided to drive myself home for a lie on my bed.
Fast forward four weeks and every aspect of that day had been erased from my memory until, Friday evening I drove the five miles to my home as normal. I must have been halfway between my car and the front door of my house when Zap !. A searing pain in my lower back and side brought me crashing to my knees. Which brings me back to my dream.
Whilst I endure a variety of tests and scans in order to ascertain how much damage I have done to my left kidney, during the fall. I have been prescribed a cocktail of drugs to minimise my suffering.
Unfortunately these drugs appear to have a slight hallucinogenic side effect, whilst under the influence of sleep. Every time I awake from a sleep I find myself laying there trying to work out what parts of my life are reality, and what parts are still there in my sub-concious but were in fact part of one of the many dreams I have invented in my head.
The ink jet coder has now been completed and fully tested to the point of destruction. On Friday our Nigerian lady arrived on the train to view her new/old Willett coding and marking machine. After an intensive training course we packaged up her ink jet coder and drove her back to London. She flies out to Nigeria this week with the final piece of the jigsaw in order to begin bottled water production in Nigeria.
In a little over six weeks we have made this lady’s dream a reality. Something in my head tells me that although we are in fact many years ahead of our unfortunate brothers and sisters in South Africa, in terms of technological advances in industrial production techniques; we are in reality not that far ahead in terms of the medical service offered to our patients on the National Health System.
Unfortunately my dreams will have to continue to be anything but reality for some months to come, whilst I await more scans, tests and a diagnosis to ascertain a course of action to rectify my problem. Until then I will continue to keep taking the drugs.
Sweet dreams everyone.