A Very Dreamy Story

A Dream Within A Dream

By Thai Peck

The theatre – more like a palace really – heavily ornate in gold-plated furnishings.  The passage was wide and bright with mirrors reflecting all the lights of many huge crystal chandeliers.

The music was still ringing in her ears as she was walking along the corridor. Perhaps it was from Mendelssohn’s violin concerto or could it be Dvorak’s cello suite; whichever, she was too happy to care.

She was loved, adored and he was kind, handsome and he loved her! Her heart skipped with happiness as they made their way down a grand staircase. Her hand gently ran over the beautifully carved balustrade, a gleam in her eyes showed much admiration for the artistic labour of the past, she took a deep breath as though she wanted to inhale the spirit of this grandeur, her eyes glancing up at him, she smiled; a quiet gratitude. He watched her, a gentle smile beaming on his handsome face, it was such a pleasure witnessing her expression of appreciation, and he held her gently down the steps, as though she was the most precious thing on earth. 

The foyer now looked like an art gallery. A bright red velvet-cushioned bench beckoned them to sit down and contemplate an enormous painting on the wall. The light rain was falling steadily outside. They waited, his hand holding hers, their eyes gazing at the same direction where so much information appeared slowly on the painting pleading the artist’s hidden story.

A stranger stopped by and parked himself by her side, pleasantly commented on the painting. An amusing reply from her: “Those human-beings in the painting are staring at us with wonderment too!” It took him a moment then the stranger gave out a hearty laugh while her lover squeezed her hand gently, looking at her with an approving smile full of love and admiration.

The stranger stood up, took a bow and walked away, she noticed that he was in full dinner suit attire while she and her lover were casually dressed: he, with a pale blue open-neck shirt and she wore a flowing reddish silk dress and a cardigan over her shoulders

They walked out of the theatre foyer; the evening light was softer but no less bright. She exclaimed: “It stops raining!” He smiled happily: “So it is!” A young pretty lady came to greet them: It was his sister who was looking cheerfully with tender friendliness toward her. All three walked together among the crowd.

It was late but there were still so many people around, outside in a sort of carnival atmosphere, everyone was cheerful and happy. She was walking holding on his arm feeling as light as a feather, she wore no jewellery, carried no handbag, no “iPhone”, no purse and she felt so free.

They stopped by a stall selling beautiful handcrafts and artwork including many beautiful silk scarves. How she loved touching the soft flowing silks gently against her cheeks, they were the most luxurious colours that she had never seen before. He offered to buy her one, or two or as many as she liked, but she wanted nothing, she needed nothing as long as he was by her side and while all she wanted was to feel his soft breathing on her neck.

His sister, however, bought one for herself; it looked so pretty on her, a mixture of pastel colours that looked just like a watercolour painting from somewhere… Watercolour…? Out of nowhere…? Why did she think of watercolour…?


(All of a sudden, the bright light dimmed and it became so dark as though someone slowly turning the switch off…)

“…What happened? Where was she?” She tried to peer into the darkness gathering her thought but her mind wandered far, so far…

Grandma! Grandma!” 

She heard a voice calling but did not know where it came from. She did not know why someone called out: ‘grandma‘. Whose grandma??? Her own grandmother had died seemed like centuries ago!

How pale the light turned, perhaps night had fallen, her vision blurring. She tried to stare into the dark shadows catching sight of the man she loved but she could hardly see… Then all of a sudden! She sighed with relief as the white light regained its brightness. Through this blurred vision yet she could see it so clearly:  There she stood with her lover by her side yet, for a moment where she thought she had lost him… Her heavy eyelids closed contentedly… A smile on her dry lips…


In a half-lighted room, the doctor whispered softly to the young woman standing by the hospital bed: “I think your Grandma has gone.

The young man put a hand on her shoulder to comfort her; slowly the young woman leaned her head on his shoulder. It was a summer evening; the golden sunset was going down slowly outside the window, casting a brilliant glow about the small room, the young woman was wearing a flowing reddish silk dress and her young man in the pale blue summer shirt…

The end


“…I stand amid the roar of a surf-tormented shore, and I hold within my hand. Grains of the golden sand – How few! Yet how they creep through my fingers to the deep. While I weep – while I weep!  O God! Can I not grasp them with a tighter clasp?  O God! Can I not save one from the pitiless wave? Is all that we see or seem but a dream within a dream?” 

Edgar Allan Poe


Author’s note: “From a vivid dream, this story (published 2015 WP) was created in loving memory of a beloved.” 







A Rose In The Deep Of My Heart!

A 2.5 acres of landscaped garden with hundreds varieties of roses that suitable for Seattle climate, and being a pesticide-free garden, the gorillas of the nearby zoo can enjoy the gourmet treats of the spent flowers.

This beautiful rose garden is within ten minutes walk from where I stayed. It is not only a sanctuary for the birds and the bees but it is a great place for me just to sit and contemplate, letting each breathing to exhale and inhale the perfume fragrance of the roses, a perfect place for daydreaming!




“All things uncomely and broken, all thing worn out and old – The cry of a child by the road way, the creak of a lumbering cart – The heavy steps of the ploughman, splashing the wintry mould – Are wronging your image that blossoms a rose in the deep of my heart.




The wrong of unshapely things is a wrong too great to be told – I hunger to build them anew and sit on a green knoll apart – With the earth, the sky and the water, re-made like a casket of gold – For my dreams of your image that blossoms a rose in the deep of my heart”  W.B.Yeats

The Lonely Shore

Again on the beach today when the sun appeared only briefly. Alone as always I thought of painting, the little sand dune looked inviting but the clouds that also inspired me, and I loved clouds! The day was cold and the beach looked deserted, I imagined that I was the only one standing on this shore until the seagulls landed searching for tasty morsels among the pearly shards. On this lonely margin of the sea I thought of you…

April And Memory

(In memory of a beloved)

The unseasonal warm weather of late autumn added with term one school holiday seen a lot of people down on the beach, the sea is perhaps warmer than even in the middle of summer. It is good to see everyone enjoying the day. I walked along the long sandy beach thinking of you, looking for your footsteps on the lovely white sand. It’s two long years since you left me, sometimes I felt as though it was only yesterday and there wasn’t a day going by that I did not think of you and not a night that I did not miss you.

The gentle autumn’s breeze blowing gently was a relief from the full sun and warm sand, hearing the children’s laughter reminded me of our grandchildren and that last summer when they played on this beach with you, the image I saw so often in my dream.Things that were so real could no longer be real again thus in dream I dwelled only to wake with the aching pain to find you are no longer. I tried not to miss you but I missed you all over again just at the thought of it. I saw the shooting star last night on my walk after having dinner with some friends, I made your favourite dish and my friends enjoyed it.

I went to sleep dreaming it was your spirit that smiled on me. This morning the sun rises and I wake up to a future with blessings that I once had you in my life.

Night Butterfly

“This is the most controlled floral I’ve done in a while. I loved the streak of the blue-purple amethyst that’s like a butterfly in the night. And alone in the night garden I sat thinking of you. The summer evening filled with sweetness while the heat of the day turned my hydrangea all brown. Iris was also your favourite flower as with yellow rose and red cyclamen and many more. So when I happened to paint them you entered my thoughts, and I felt so alone without you. No hand to hold or even just to touch the tips of your fingers. Here in the night with the moon and the stars, I sat alone in my garden…”

Journey To Seattle

Early Saturday morning checking in with Qantas at Melbourne airport, the ground staff had my wheelchair ready. Although my knee was a lot better after many physiotherapy sessions, I could not face walking at the airport with heavy bags less I should miss a step and would do more damage to it. The wheelchair was a better option and no, my knee was not totally back to normal by any mean and yes, it could stay like that for sometimes according to the therapist.

The Qantas staff who operated the wheelchair was a handsome young man. He might even be younger than my son, but I was very impressed with his politeness and courteous manner. At the X ray security check, the operator demanded that I should take my shoes off while it was okay for me to stay sitting on the wheelchair, even though I was ready to stand up and walk through the X ray portal, but she insisted that was no need, only that I had to take off my cardigan. Well, my young man had to help me pull off my cardigan, unzipped my ankle boots, took them off my feet then wheeled me through the doorway.

I felt a little embarrassed and sorry for the young man even if it was for him just a job like any others, especially when he was patiently getting down on one knee putting my feet back into my boots, gently zipped them up, then wheeled me to the Qantas lounge. Where I sat, almost crying thinking of my husband and remembered all the tender caring attentiveness he had bestowed on me for all the years we had together.

One thing I was so glad about, was that I did not have to walk through the terminal with my heavy cabin bag among an unusual crowded airport on the day, the traffic of humans and their wheeled cases was terrifying.

Boarding the A380 airbus was a long boring process and more so when the plane was full. “Champagne or orange juice?” I just wanted a glass of cold water and was ready to nod off. After a long while, the plane started to move away from the gate, only when it was about a hundred metres away, the engine stopped. For a few long second, suddenly not a sound, everyone stopped talking, a total silence that was quite strange and almost eerie until the captain’s voice announced that the plane lost power and we had to move back to the gate for some adjustment.

At the gate we were (over 300 of us) patiently staying in our seats for what it seemed an eternity for about forty minutes before the monotonous engine sound started to hum again and then we were on our way but not before our turn to wait on the runway for taking off. Altogether we were delayed for about an hour out of our schedule fortunately I did have plenty of time to connect with my flight to Seattle.

I knew it would be a long thirteen hours flight from Melbourne to Los Angeles, but trying to relax even in business class did not come easily. The novel “I Am Pilgrim” helped keeping my mind off the slowness of time from sitting in one’s restricted space. I admired the power of surrendering and acceptances from the travel discomfort demonstrated by my neighbour: After devouring small portions of three-course meal and exactly nine glasses between the French champagne, sauvignon blanc from Adelaide Hill and Penfolds shiraz, she settled down to a goodnight sleep until to wake five hours later and started all again at breakfast.  I was grateful she did not snore.

It was my loss that I had no appetite because Australian chef Neil Perry put together a delicious in-flight menu, but all I could consume were a small plate of fresh fruit and a sandwich for my dinner. Sleep never came easily to me either, an hour here and there scattered throughout the night as I turned to “I Am Pilgrim” for distraction, that I must say it was great reading if you try not dwelling into the descriptions of violence. I enjoyed Terry Hayes’ style of writing very much.

Los Angeles was an enormously large and busy airport that’s beyond my comprehension, yet every little details seemed to function so effortlessly where everyone knew what each had to do. I was wheeled from Qantas airplane after landing, to US custom, collecting luggage, transiting to another terminal by shuttle bus and boarding a domestic flight to Seattle, with such ease not by one but five different people who knew exactly what to do while maintaining good humour and pleasantness, which left me such a warm feeling in believing the world is a good place to be if one cared to travel outside our comfort zone.

By the time I was in my seat on the Alaskan airline 737, another packed plane, my body and mind were ready to collapse from the tiredness that started almost a whole day ago. It seemed like hours that the plane was travelling on the runway and while I was slipping in and out between sleeping and waking I dreamt that I was on a plane travelling on a huge and very wide road to Seattle, its wings were swaying from side to side, trying to avoid hitting the trees lining on both sides… The announcement from the cockpit woke me up, and then within second I was back in oblivion until the plane landed at Tacoma International Airport.

When I was able to hug my daughter and the grandchildren and only then that I realised why I have made that long journey, there is something that one just had to do to reach the reward of being able to hold my family in my arms, smother them with kisses then all my discomfort and tiredness were eliminated…

View of Mt Rainier from the rooftop.
View of Mt Rainier from the rooftop.
Snowcaps of Cascade Mountain
Snowcaps of Cascade Mountain

The Breath Of Spring

A brilliant spring day today around Chelsea beach seemed to erase the winter blue away, but which already started to change as the day moved on with some dark clouds and may even rain. I went down to the beach for my morning walk and ended with these snapshots.Photo by Thai PeckPhoto by Thai peckPhoto by Thai peckBench.6 (1)Extract from a novel by Guy de Maupassant which I reread siting on (our) favourite bench, and which I’d like to share with you:

“… A free and charming life began for her. She wandered along the roads in dreaming spirit, or else frolicking down the little valleys winding paths which covered with a fleece of gorse blossoms, the strong sweet odour of which intoxicated her like a perfumed wine, while the distant sound of the waves rolling onto the shore seemed to rock her spirit…

She felt herself becoming mad with happiness. A delirious joy, an infinite tenderness at the splendour of nature that drowned her fluttering heart. It was her sun! Her dawn! The beginning of her life! The high expectation of her hopes! She reached out to the radiating space with a desire to kiss the sun, she wanted to speak, to shout some soothsayer at the outbreak of the day, but she remained paralyse in the helpless enthusiasm. So, resting her forehead in her hands, she felt her eyes filled with tears and she wept deliciously…

And this would continue forever in the serenity of an enduring affection. It seemed suddenly she felt he was there, next to her; an unusual sensation overcame her, running through from head to toes. She squeezed her arms against her chest as though hugging her dream, and on her lip offering into the unknown, some strange feeling made her feel almost faint, as if the breath of spring was given a kiss of love…”

Photo by Thai PeckPhoto by Thai Peck


En Français

“…Une vie charmante et libre commença pour elle. Elle errait a pas lents le long des routes, l’esprit parti dans les rêves, ou bien elle descendait en gambadant, les petites vallées tortueuses dont les deux croupes portaient, comme une chape d’or, une toison de fleurs d’ajoncs. Leur odeur forte et douce, exaspérée par la chaleur, la grisait à la façon d’un vin parfumé et au bruit lointain des vagues roulant sur une plage, une houle berçait son esprit.

Elle se sentait devenir folle de bonheur. Une joie délirante, un attendrissement infini devant la splendeur des choses noya son cœur qui défaillait. C’était son soleil! son aurore! le commencement de sa vie! le lever de son espérances. Elle tendit les bras vers l’espace rayonnant, avec une envie d’embrasser le soleil; elle voulait parler, crier quelque chose de divin comme cette éclosion du jour, mais elle demeurait paralysée dans un enthousiasme impuissant. Alors, posant son front dans ses mains, elle sentit ses yeux pleins des larmes et elle pleura délicieusement.

Et cela continuerait indéfiniment, dans la sérénité d’une affection indestructible. Et il lui sembla soudain qu’elle le sentait là, contre elle; et brusquement un vague frisson de sensualité lui courut des pieds à la tête. Elle serra ses bras contre sa poitrine, d’un mouvement inconscient, comme pour étreindre son rêve; et sur sa lèvre tendue vers l’inconnu quelque chose passa qui la fit presque défaillir, comme si l’haleine du printemps lui eut donné un baiser d’amour…”

Extrait d’un roman par Guy de Maupassant

First Of Spring

A prose for my love

"Morning walk" Watercolour by Thai Peck
“Morning walk”
Watercolour by Thai Peck

In the morning walk on the first day of spring, gentle sunlight sparkled through branches and leaves, though the air was a little chilly still I was happy enjoying the fresh outdoor. Again I saw you in my dream that was ever so real. I would have scolded you for leaving me as I used to but instead, I thank you for being with me even just in spirit, so that I will never be lonely continuing on my journey in life, and only for you I would grow summer flowers to see another spring.

"By the fishpond" Watercolour by Thai Peck
“By the fish pond”
Watercolour by Thai Peck

“… When winter’s cold wind and rain no more,

When the first lonely butterfly flits on the wing,

When red glow the maples, so fresh and so pleasing,

O then comes the bluebird, the herald of spring,

And hails with his warbling, the charms of the season.


He drags the vile grub from the corn it devours,

The worms from the webs where they riot and welter;

The bluebird will chant from his box such an air,

His song and his services freely are ours,

And all that he asks is, in summer a shelter…”

(Extract from a poem by Washington Irving)


Extra Steps…

Photo by Thai PeckDespite of how slow I walked during the last five weeks wandering over England, Scotland and Wales, my left knee started to give me some discomfort during the last few days while stopping at my son’s house in Surrey on the last leg of my journey.

Surrey, England
Surrey, England

Photo by Thai Peck

It turned out that I have sprained my knee without knowing until a slip on a doorway at a café yesterday, which gave me an excruciating pain that the doctor had to be called, now I was ordered to rest from all my modest up-hill-and-down-dale wanders. The next five days will be just rests and exercises for my knee to heal before a long flight back to Australia.

I tried not to think that my journey should end on a low note, that was not what I intended. Maybe I should consider myself fortunate that I am not in a worse situation and the high note is yet to come?

The woodland in Surrey
The woodland in Surrey

Photo by Thai Peck
Photo by Thai Peck

Anyway, the weather has been good everyday, and the granddaughters have been wonderful for hugging and kissing on daily basis.

Photo by Thai PeckPhoto by Thai Peck





Photo by Thai PeckPhoto by Thai PeckMy son thought it was a drastic measure on my part to get out of babysitting, and worse still to get some attention by two good-looking strangers who just happened to be around helping me every little step from the café to the car. It might have been only 50 steps but I managed to drag them out to a hundred, at least!

Photo by Thai PeckPhoto by Thai Peck







Last but not least, I am now also a proud owner of this cool walking stick, which came with a flashlight and an alarm and it can be folded down to the size of a folded small umbrella. Serious James Bond’s stuff indeed! 🙂


Photo by Thai PeckTintern was also a very pretty little village on the bank of Wye River in Monmouthshire about five miles to the border with England where my train arrived in Chepstow. There is a bus from Chepstow taking you all the way, to the town of Monmouth passing through Tintern every hour.Photo by Thai Peck

DSC01851I hopped on the bus just outside the hotel heading to Monmouth, though I did not think much of the town itself, the bus ride was worth every penny for the scenery. The valley and meadows were such picturesque landscape to marvel on. Henry V was a Monmouth baby he was born in Monmouth Castle in 1387.Photo by Thai PeckPhoto by Thai Peck

My many morning walks through the meadows by the river are still the best things on this trip. Where I also met many nice people from everywhere including Australia. Wye Valley shall definitely be the place had the most magic for me…Photo by Thai Peck

“… I hear this water, rolling from their mountain-springs, with the soft inland murmur. Once again, do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs that on a wild secluded scene impress. Thoughts of more deep seclusion; and connect the landscape with the quiet of the sky…Photo by Thai Peck

…The mountain and the deep and gloomy wood; their colours and their forms, were then to me an appetite; a feeling and a love that had no need of a remoter charm…Photo by Thai Peck

Photo by Thai Peck… For I have learned to look on nature, not as on the hour of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes the still sad music of humanity…Photo by Thai Peck

Photo by Thai Peck… I have felt a presence that disturbs me with the joy of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime of something far more deeply interfused. Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns, and the round ocean and the living air, and the blue sky and in the mind of man: A motion and spirit that impels…Photo by Thai PeckPhoto by Thai Peck

… Therefore am I still the lover of the meadows and the woods, and mountains; and of all that we behold. From this green earth; of all the mighty word… ”  William WordsworthPhoto by Thai Peck