Dreams of Our Father


Another recent dream featured a foreign city — in this case Paris — and an extraordinary hotel. It was a very large hotel, with a bank of paternoster lifts (see the animated gif to the right) — some of them travelling horizontally to a nearby annex, a bit like a toy train or a gondola. On reflection, this was an oddly reassuring dream … sort of showing that a dream about small enclosed spaces isn’t necessarily always about claustrophobia.

My only personal contact with a paternoster lift was back in 1983, at the Cooperative Retail Services offices in Stratford, East London. The CRS was hosting free workshops for worker co-ops, and I was there as the official delegate of the Balham Food and Book Co-op. All us unwashed hippies were fascinated by the paternosters, and wasted so much time frivolously riding them up, over, and down the CRS’s five-storey building that, when the afternoon session began, we were sternly told that we were grounded — the paternosters were now out of bounds.