Earlier in the week I contacted the nefarious hacking superstar Lambshank, asking if she knew how to delete my email address from the Ashley Madison infidelity dump, if it was there, that is, and bearing in mind that if it was there I'd have no idea how it got there in the first place.

In any case, Lambshank must have misunderstood my heavily encrypted text message, for all I received in return was a cache of emails from the Prime Minister's "dreams" folder in his Hotmail account. An edited selection of the deep-winter missives follows.

From Bill English
Last night I dreamed of a cow. The cow was dressed on top like Mick Jagger and on the hind like an All Black. It was bolting around the streets of Whanganui, getting shot at by a group of uniformed officers from the Chinese People's Armed Police Force.

I've thought it over, and it seems to me this dream is a metaphor for an economy enjoying robust, broad-based expansion, with strong fiscal and monetary policy frameworks, a healthy financial sector, and macroeconomic stability.

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From Michael Woodhouse
Last night I dreamed of worms. Enormous, battleship-sized worms, writhing in a chamber beneath the volcanic crater of Rangitoto, bent upon destroying humanity and turning the world into mud. This struck me immediately as neither healthy nor safe.

From Sam Lotu-Iiga
Last night I dreamed of pukeko. I had rushed to Mt Eden Corrections Facility to cull the invasive birds, and fired off several rounds. Bang! Bang! Bang! It was only then I realised that what I thought were pukeko were in fact my brogue leather shoes.

From Steven Joyce
Last night I dreamed of a whale. It had washed up at Pt Chevalier, whereupon a bevy of bleeding heart liberal bloggers gave succour. My suspicions that they were filling its muddled head with leftist propaganda were confirmed when it later surfaced in a jacuzzi at Stout St, Wellington, daubed with the slogan Mbie-Dick.

From Paula Bennett
Last night I dreamed of mould spores. You and I were cheerfully polishing the furniture in our pristine abode while, on the other side of the brick-and-tile duplex, Nick Smith and the last Labour government were becoming enveloped in millions of ravenous spores.

From David Seymour
Last night I dreamed of a bear. Beg your pardon, I dreamed of beer. Hic! I wonder, do you think I might get my title upgraded to Permanent Undersecretary to the Ministry of Fun-Times with Responsibility for Rugby-Based Breakfast Beersies?

From David Carter
Last night I dreamed of a zoo. But then I woke up and realised I'd left Parliament TV on.

From Richie McCaw
Last night I dreamed of a prime minister, sitting on the edge of my bed, wearing my boots, reaching for a handshake while tapping me on the shoulder with a plastic sword, stage-whispering, "Arise! Arise! Arise!" Full credit for the effort but if you do it again I'm telling Steve.

From Judith Collins
Last night I dreamed of a panda bear. Aren't panda bears lovely? I see two absolutely gorgeous panda bears have just been born in Washington. I suppose you'll be getting us a panda bear soon, won't you, like you said you would?

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From Tim Groser
Last night I dreamed of a beaver. It was draped in the magnificent, brand-friendly Canadian flag, but refusing to buy the cow I rode in on. I tried to negotiate by telling the beaver it was an idiot, but because it was an idiot it failed to understand me. I was so furious I raced back to the hotel and Skyped Chris Finlayson. We smugly patronised each other in a range of languages until dawn.

From Murray McCully
Sheep. Still sheep.

From Mike Hosking
Last night I dreamed of fluffy ducks, all light of foot and bouncing with the joys of spring, bounding through fields of - no, I can't do it any more. Do you have any idea how hard it is to put up this front, to play this part, to wake up every day, having dreamed the same dream of shadows and chasms, and to stare, weeping into the mirror, incanting Life Is Perfect until the smile fixes? Sometimes I wish I could abandon the laddish, haughty voice I adopt for the radio and the TV and let people hear the real, albeit squeaky, way I speak. Let people see the inexorable anguish of mortality, the struggle with the essential futility of it all, the icy despair that gnaws without pause at my soul. I await instructions.

From Michael Woodhouse
Last night I dreamed of the Easter Bunny. Of smiling families enjoying retail experiences at garden centres over the long weekend. Unfortunately the garden centres were full of giant flesh-eating worms.

From Bill English
Last night I dreamed of a cat. It was falling from the sky, hurtling towards Earth, past the skyscrapers of Shanghai, past a gurning Gareth Morgan. The cat landed with a thud in the middle of the Bund. I couldn't be certain of its wellbeing but it did bounce a little, which was promising. A trickle of milk ran from its crumpled body and into the Huangpu River.

Ordeal by OE - tick

Many column inches have been filled this week with the travails of 20-something New Zealander Alex Hazlehurst and her cautionary tale of struggling for months to find rewarding media work as a newcomer in London, despite being hardworking, talented and blonde.

Many guffawed, fuelled by their petty jealousies. But I know how she feels for I, too, was once a 20-something newcomer in London and I, too, was hardworking. Today I tell my story for the first time.

It was the winter of 1999. I was living in Wood Green, up the Piccadilly line towards Cockfosters. It was a slog. I printed multiple copies of my CV at the internet cafe. No one contacted me about work. So I put the CVs in envelopes and sent them out. Still nothing.

It was cold but there were consolations. I watched daytime TV with Gareth, my flatmate from Dunedin, on the dodgy Sky connection installed by the dodgy landlord. We played chess on a board made from cardboard and silver foil. The local Goose and Granite had 99p Guinness pints before 5pm.

One day, after a few months, I got some shifts subediting at a partworks publisher in Hammersmith, so that was okay. Please donate to my fund at givealittle.co.nz/tobysukordeal.