Weekly Diary


I had to pull feathers from my apricot flesh before I could get dressed; they were intrinsically colourful but didn’t go with my orange hued Incredible Hulk t-shirt. After a breakfast of roof shingles and moss (various species, not all known to science) I went to town wearing caterpillar track sunglasses and chimney pot earrings (I tried on a flower petal hat but was persuaded not to wear it by the reincarnation of Joan of Arc who was leading her Britains horse through our Airfix kit living room). After walking a trail of false eyes and real lashes I found that I had left my money at home; I tried dancing for a bear who had recently emerged from High Street temporal portal but still came home empty handed in the back of a medieval hay wagon.


I woke as two people and wrestled with myself before breakfast but could not recombine; the other self headed for Southampton airport pursued by Keystone Cops. I couldn’t go to town as planned as the sheriff had put my face in jail – I was hoping to breakout with the help of the spectral figure that slept during the day in an old pram (I placed a flower at his feet and he gave me a new sim card for my flower pot shaped mobile phone). I looked at the garden as if it was a cripple waiting for a saint to perform a miracle and then climbed into the printed circuit board of my studio where the L.E.D. lights shone in response to each question I asked myself – I wish now that I had asked easier questions.


June said goodbye to the sailing ship which was berthed in the cold water of the kitchen as I nurtured the hot water in my head. This was my first day in the porcupine garden and I spoke to a despondent group of Knight Templars who were off the play cricket with a band of middle aged spinsters and members of a dance class for spectacled bears – in the end the umpires won. I toiled all day under a palm tree sky until I had to rest my coconut eyes. Inside the fish tank shrine the mult-coloured occupants built a pyramid and took turns to rest underneath with picked brains and mummified tongues; the roughly hewn stones reached out of the tank like the main characters in an Alfred Hitchcock film entitled the “The Boulders”.


I walked into the gunfighter heat with two fresh water springs in my twin holsters, one would make a small puddle on farmhouse style ceramic tiles and the other would become the river Thames complete with Eighteenth Century corpses (purportedly blown up like aircraft carriers) and a secluded spot where an alternative Ophelia could take swimming lessons and then a night school course to become a veterinary nurse. I swam myself in the antediluvian silt and found many plants ready to flower; I considered them to be like memories which you don’t know you have until a stranger walks up with a small piece of note paper in their hand. I went out with a trowel and June came in with a sack of potatoes as a head.


I had to go the town recently found crystalised on the edge of a dead sea before I could lick the garden like a first class stamp. I spoke to the ermine shop assistant in a weasel language and she gave me a European otter who was in trouble with its kind for trying to elope with a moorhen. Coming home along a pilgrim route I cast off my fish scales and dinosaur feathers and worked in the heated ice house until June come home with her clothes in a small washing machine on her shoulder; I thought it was a parrot and gave it a peanut. I spent part of the evening stretched out between two saplings so that the machine man down the road could use me as a hammock. I had the last laugh however as I used him to scrape bird mess of my imaginary car.


I was up sky lark early and caught the barracuda bus to a deep sea village where I found the god Neptune talking about flames that remained lit underwater. I marvelled at this and then pulled an exact replica of the Flying Scotsman with seven carriages from the space between my navel and the photograph of an old lady in a tropical bird garden. I wanted to fly away and meet her again but I can only ascend into any kind of sky at night. I folded up our remaining conversation and tucked it away to enjoy later. The cat which hid an entire civilisation greeted me on my return at our Mickey Mouse door; we exchanged small plastic models found in some breakfast cereal packets and I then sat down on the first stage of a Saturn Five rocket for the rest of the afternoon.


June wanted to go to town and sent me a message on a scarf last worn by Billy The Kid on a trip to Blackpool beach. I gave her my bucket and spade and went into the garden with a Sub Saharan desert on my top hat (I had an oasis in my top pocket but the skeletons in my back pocket wouldn’t let me look at it. I worked in the top of the bill at the London Palladium heat for almost all of the day, only stopping to rescue a falling flying fish from the Great Bear Constellation. I put it back in the ceiling as I couldn’t reach the sky. June laughed her way along the grinning pavement (I usually sent the silent pavement to Coventry where it could admire the Graham Sutherland tapestry in the cathedral like a clothed Lady Godiva).


About Gerald Shepherd

Gerald Shepherd is a painter, graphic artist, sculptor, digital/multimedia artist, photographer, writer, curator and arts administrator. He has also been involved with science art, performance art, conceptual art, installations and environments (as well as peripheral creative pursuits such as garden design).
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