On dreaming, Dad and chilli crab

The other day, I dreamt about walking into an old style English pub with a rock climbing wall at the back, a dog on a leash, and my father. It’s been 10 months since my father died. This was the first I had dreamt about him in this entire time, which is highly unusual.

I dream about people a lot, particularly those I interact with. If you’ve ever told me your name and had a conversation with me, chances are, you’ve passed me by in a dream. I’m not sure why this is. Maybe it is something to do with how my mind resolves the impressions that people make on me and how they change as relationships develop. My father has been a figure in my dreams a lot, throughout my life. After he died they stopped, cold.

It seems suitable that I would dream about him again in Copenhagen, the place Dad once declared his “favourite city” even though he’d never been here, presumably because it was the one place that had a song he liked to sing every now and then.

A year ago, I spoke to my father from Copenhagen, and he was anxious about meeting the new guy, which was expressed in his wanting to know if chilli crab was something he and Mum could feed him when they met. It is a signature celebratory dish of the Winfred household, and Asians obsessively feed people they love, and this obsession increases exponentially if you are a parent.

Flemming and my father met briefly in hospital, two days before Dad went under the sedation he never woke from. I am ineffably grateful for this.

We never had chilli crab in the eight month stretch that I was in Singapore though, six of which Flemming was there for. We’ll be going back during the Christmas period. It may be time to change this.


  1. Charlie says:

    Funny how dreams work – mine are inexplicable. Glad your Dad got meet Flemming – these things are important. My daughter met her great grandparents a few times before they died – I’d want the same thing for me if it were possible. It’s the dotting of the i’s and crossing of the t’s in ones life.

    1. Charlene says:

      “It’s the dotting of the i’s and crossing of the t’s in ones life.”

      I love that analogy. You are so, so right.

      The small things, that can somehow make all the difference down the line.

  2. I am eternally grateful I did get to briefly meet your father. It was a brief meet but it meant so much and I replay the moment often in my head. One day it will be the right day for chili crab and it will be a very special moment.

    1. Charlene says:

      Brief and especially meaningful, all things considered. I too am grateful. I will be grateful for the rest of my life.

      Might have to talk Mum into cooking this chilli crab when we get back. Dad was its promoter, but she’s the one that cooks it. It’s quite something!

  3. Brian Miller says:

    You know, I dreamt of the two of you last night. Weird. :)
    Chili Crab, eh?

    1. charlene says:

      Chilli crab is great, and my mum makes the best in the world. Of course.

      You must be looking forward to our arrival! We’ll keep you posted when we’re going to be in your side of town :)

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