Dickensian - Russian - supermarket - dinner. I sat down yesterday to write those four words down, then gave it up. The dream was so long and complex that it would take too much effort to recall all the scenes, and anyway I'd find them vanishing even as I tried, as so often the case. But just now the four words came to me again, and I checked that none of the scenes were lost, though of course most of the detail will be a lot weaker more than a day later. But it goes to show, a bit of writing down can fix dreams.

I or she or he was a... perhaps an orphan?, a character with a history, someone someone wanted to know about, or to stop someone know about. I was in the house (I'll assume it was "I" though it also had an odd feeling of me watching a story of someone else), and then someone came. They were the one who wanted to find out or repress the family history. I bundled myself into a neighbouring room, an attic or an arras, or a space under the floorboards, somewhere where I could hide from them but overhear.

He had a fruity voice, perhaps cruel, drawing out. He wore old fashioned clothing, I think a waistcoat and a hat, and primped himself like a pompous character from Dickens. This is why I call this episode Dickensian. There was, I think, a genealogy, a family tree, either recited or shown.

Scene two was in Russia, a snowy region full of distrust and dissent. Marina -- someone called Marina, or actually my friend Marina -- was a kind of agent, or superhero, or leading figure in an underground network. I saw how dangerous what she actually did was, and my respect for her increased. There might have been railway lines, or tunnels to go through, perhaps a border to break for.

Next the supermarket, an endless vista as these often are in dreams, and I'm not very clear any more about what I was doing in there. I faintly recall an abundance, a sort of Goblin Market stacked up on the shelves, and I was walking around stocking up on good things. Perhaps rich cakes and chocolate; perhaps rich wet fruits; or things for holidays. There might have been a shoplifting incident. It might even have been me doing it.

Over in one part of the supermarket were long communal tables where feasts and dinners were spread out, and among them was my company's, probably the boring Christmas dinner I didn't ever want to go to. I wasn't one of the popular people who'd be up with the interesting talkers in the middle, but I'd be stuck as usual with ugly L. or boring S. or, oddly, whatsisname from another job long ago, temporary and with kids.

The most persistent fascination of this is that I dreamt of Marina like that, so real, so vivid, and only a week or so after dreaming of Judy.