This happened to me; for many years I had a recurring dream of being in a barn and seeing a fire blazing away, yet, at no time did I fear the flames. The only bad things which I remembered after the dream are I had the taste of burned food in my mouth and the smell of pitch in my nose.
Years later, talking on the subject of dreams with my late friend Faye, I came to realise the significance and form a theory, a theory which can never be proved and yet fits the events.
At the time I was working in the museum in Bristol and one of my favourite paintings showed an overturned boat having the limpets removed and being re-tarred ready for the next fishing trip. In the corner of the yard there was a braziers going to melt the pitch, which both explains the smell of pitch and the fire which I didn't fear,as it was contained.
Coming from a fishing family, I am used to eating real smoked kippers-not the yellow coloured shop sold version-real kippers are brown and taste of the wood they are smoked in, which explained the taste in my mouth.
I can never prove my theory, but it fits the facts and the odd thing is since our talk about the painting, I have not had the dream again.