I dreamt last night I was visited by the spirit of my Great Uncle Hector. Initially I didn’t recognise him as his face was masked by a cricket helmet. His identity only unveiled when he proffered in his unmistakeable West Yorkshire tones “If you win the toss, Gary, I’d bat first.”

Distracted by his idiosyncratic batsman’s helmet, which bore left and right car indicators and a sign on the rear warning ‘If you can’t see my mirrors, I can see you’, I didn’t question why he felt the need to share that advocacy. After all, I wasn’t even playing cricket in the night vision.

Before evaporating genie-like into one of the pockets on my dressing gown, which hangs forlornly on the back of the bedroom door, he revealed they were trialling the use of Facebook in the afterlife.

His parting wail assuring me if the project gets rolled out to ‘our side’ he’d invite me as a friend; promising if I accepted he wouldn’t invite me to play Candy Crush. Adding he’d some afterlife photos to show me of him and David Bowie playing table tennis and a selfie with Richard Madeley’s sincerity.

Hector also spoke of footage of his audition for ‘The Other World Has Talent’, where he constructed a scale model of Simon Cowell out of balloons.


This non-mainstream behaviour typical of Hector who, when alive, always had some hairbrained scheme afoot. This quirkiness extending as far as converting his budgie Tufty to Judaism. An act leading to renaming his feathered friend Havel, along with a subsequent huge financial outlay for an avian bar mitzvah.

Great Uncle Hector is a late relative on my maternal grandmother’s side, and bears the accolade of being the first family member to visit the Great Wall of China. To clarify, that’s not the mammoth construction in Asia that stretches for over 13,000 miles. I’m referring to the Chinese takeaway on Edgar Road in Betterstone. An eatery that was recently closed down after Public Health officials renamed it the Salmonella Inflictor of China.

It’s the first time Great Uncle Hector’s ghost has visited me during a dream, although I think he once appeared during my waking hours. I could be mistaken. though. as the white apparition floating around my back garden bore the writing ‘Tesco – Every Little Helps’ so was possibly a supermarket carrier bag.

A month or so back, in the wake of her mother’s passing, my wife Karen asked if I believed spirits of loved ones returned to influence our lives. I responded I’d no idea, feeling I prudent to keep an open mind about such possibilities. That being said, me suffering a cardiac arrest so shortly after her mum died has swayed me more towards the possibility of spirits existing……. I just hope she doesn’t come back anytime soon to finish what she started three weeks ago!!

A consummate raconteur, Great Uncle Hector is welcome to connect anytime he likes. although I’m not convinced it’ll be via the other world Facebook trial mentioned in last night’s dream, which I venture will never get rolled out to living loved ones.

It’s now nearly 10.30 pm in the UK (11.06 Hull Time) and GJ Strachan is flagging. To clarify, by that I mean I’m very tired; not I’ve started working in a role where I flag finishing cars in a late night Formula One race.

Consequently, I’m going to hit the sack….. Goodnight!