Out of body experience, dream, or just a bizarre hallucination?

“I prised my eyes open, and yet couldn’t seem to fully open my right lid. As I struggled to sit up off the bed, I looked down at my right arm, crooked at the elbow and curled up next to my head in my usual sleeping position, except I felt nothing but numbness. Horrified, I stared down – it was as though this arm belonged to somebody else – and then recoiled as I brushed the pale, cool skin in my attempt to climb over the dead limbs beneath me.  As hard as I tried to move, I couldn’t, and I still couldn’t see properly for my distorted vision in my right eye. My physical self wouldn’t let me leave. In one last struggle to break from the numb body beneath me, a force so incredibly strong pulled me back, curling me in to myself. And then I woke up.”

I wrote the above right after I woke up, following a nap during the afternoon. Unsure whether suffering with a throat infection or hayfever allergies, I had taken an antihistamine tablet, lay down on the bed, and closed my eyes. The experience was so vivid, I couldn’t be sure whether it had been real, or just a dream. Of course, after coming round and reading back on what I’d written, it might well have just been a very lurid dream. But I know others have had similar experiences, some describe them as out of body experiences, others describe them as hallucinations.

I’m interested to hear if anyone else has experienced anything so scary and real. Recent reading has provided peace of mind that it was simply a case of sleep paralysis. The mind is a powerful thing, using images and sensations learned through incredible special effects we can see on television, as well as intricate detail put across to us in story-telling. In hindsight, the entire concept feels and sounds ludicrous when trying to explain it. However, it is a fascinating subject, and now that I’ve actually lived it for myself, I was rather intrigued, and had to share.

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Green (muddy) fingers

A couple of weeks ago, something strange came over me and I decided to settle into the sofa and watch an episode of Gardeners’ World. I rarely watch TV, and when I do, it’s usually only ever Corrie or TVD (the writing crew close to my heart as well as close friends and family will be all too familiar with this acronym). I confess to enjoying Lifestyle programmes, such as house buying, building and renovating (think Location, Location, Location; George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces) some cookery/grow your own veg series (Hugh-Fearnley Whittingstall is always a fave) and when I stumble across it, a nice relaxing gardening programme. But when most folk are settling down to a night in front of the TV, I’m usually reading or writing. Except on this particular day, I sought out Gardeners’ world on catch up TV. Perhaps it was the frame of mind I was in, for I was immediately transported into a world of possibility for our almost blank canvass back garden, and I realised that even though our garden is the size of a postage stamp, we too could have a tree in the form of a Morello Cherry. Not only does it have beautiful blossom in spring, but it bears fruit for delicious autumn/winter puds as well as being an ideal attraction for wildlife. So I went out and bought one the very next day. What followed over the next few days was a three-day search for the right container for my new baby, as after digging down less than a foot I hit concrete (I was not happy). We now have a lovely ceramic container, although it will probably need replacing for a bigger one in 5-10 years.

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Since buying our first tree, I’ve spent the last couple of weeks researching, reading and inspecting gardens everywhere, as I seem to have got ‘the bug’.

The most I’ve ever accomplished before starting with this garden is a couple of containers in the summer filled with annuals, which I used to water religiously morning and night, so to start planning features in our (very) small garden is both daunting and exciting. I’ve neglected to mention the climbing roses, and the honeysuckle and clematis, which we planted last year and the year before respectively. It’s slowly starting to take shape, and that’s the wonder of it; seeing things grow, deciding which beauty to plant where, studying different aspects of shade, light and location. Last week I also bought another honeysuckle to go with our new tree, then searched five garden centres for a chocolate (cream) vine, which is one of the best climbers for a shady aspect (example below).

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(Photo from crocus.co.uk)

Eventually I’d like this little corner of the garden to be a cosy morning-sun catcher, enveloping its visitor in delicious fragrance as they catch the first rays of the day – the only aspect in our garden which gets the sun first thing in the morning.
Spring is a wonderful time to try something new. What are your hobbies? What are you most passionate about? Writing is my first passion, now it appears gardening might well be my second. I’m a total advocate of nature and I’m on a mission to create a wildlife haven, regardless of the size limitation. I’m dreaming of birds, butterflies, bees, a hedgehog and maybe even a miniature pond.

Do you have ‘green fingers’? What’s your favourite part of gardening?

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