Weekly Diary


I spent the day inside; I couldn’t get out as each door was blocked by groups of small antelopes who had stopped off mid migration to exchange their travel money. June had taken down the curtains and the little boy inside my head walked the path between a scale model mechanical digger (who had been busy recording bird song for a new album) and the invisible home of a family of fairy tree surgeons (who had been out pollarding dandelions). As he skimmed a small stone across a placid lake I remembered the dew pond at the top of the hill and my mother having to go behind it – June put new curtains across the fish shaped windows. After this I pulled a white rabbit out of a pot of white paint and draped the closed doors in simulated waterfalls – when I opened them again steam came out.


I started the week on a spaghetti tight rope with a phone dangling from each ear; these contorted my landscape hair but did allow me to talk to myself as June prepared to sail with the Argonauts (I made sure I gave Jason a tip when he brought the wine – Gigondas: my favourite). In a strange blue light I ascended the vertebra steps to my medulla oblongata studio, I stayed there for most of the day, counting the numbers of cars that went up and down the road and dividing by the number of books in the Old Testament – I later used the result to calculate the number of full stops in Dante’s Inferno. June came home with her very own rain cloud who I called the Duke of Clarence; she had a one act play inside her mouth, pushing out her cheeks and bringing her eyes together.


I had to go to town with Sinbad clinging tightly on my back (with an old man on his – legs wrapped like cling film – and a bonobo on his – arms smeared in Yorkshire Pudding mixture). I spend far too much money in a shop shaped like an eagle head and came home far too slowly with wings on my carrier bags. Having a gyroscope on my cranium I ascended the stairs like an Easter Island head being erected and worked in my studio as the last member of my race. All the dogs in my painting were riding motorcycles and I had to contend with exhaust fumes as I climbed the north face of the Eiger. I made my descent with shopping bags attached to my arms, hitting the ground with a brush mark just as June walked in a with a litter bin on her shoulder in lieu of a parrot.


It was a smoking hat early morning and I had to take my friend Big Ears to the elf hospital. I put on my snake ladder clothes and followed the smoke trail down the hill (a group of alopeciated dwarves simultaneously came up it). I passed a fruit juice carton person with her yoghourt pot child; we compared fruit but didn’t have time to talk. After almost touching fingers with a wooden chair painted by Michelangelo I walked home using inverted umbrellas for shoes. I looked in the sad eyed cave entrance on the way but it was empty – apparently the prehistoric burial bones were having a training day; I said I would come back tomorrow and then played a game with the prehistoric children – I recognised the hand prints on the wall but didn’t recognise the game.


June was taken ill during the night, leaning over the side of the gently rocking boat – I held onto the mast as small aeroplanes with human heads slowly proceeded across the glowering sky. Sometime later I launched myself into the smiling sky, propelled by visual poetry and strung beneath a cloud. June stayed in bed most of the day; I sat next door virtually moving through several different landscapes simultaneously, making a note of all the bright colours and assigning each a number. I later got my calculator out in my studio and examined the total – which was large enough to be a cricket score with fireworks every time a wicket fell. We had an early night; she floated along a moon line and I surfaced inside a cave.


I got up on one side of the chasm before following a rope bridge to the other; June was stretching across the crevice in a dream, I was loath to wake her in case she fell. I travelled across the cold grey countryside and met the man in a warming room. I went outside to run my hands together and the lady next door came in with a crocodile wrapped up in an old envelope – the former threatened to cry while the latter gave the route of a steam roller which would flatten all round numbers in at least three counties. I came home inside someone else’s shopping trolley, only climbing out to change buses. Someone else had claimed the front seat and I watched the film from several rows back; looking to my left to notice an Iron Age hill fort and to my right to recall a page from Pride And Prejudice.


I had to change the coloured sand in the sand clock I was handed in a previous existence before changing the water in the mermaid tank. I then had to walk miles in a hoverfly suit to collect the night’s catch from the quayside even though it was many miles inland. Coming back I imagined the Wrekin as a shark’s fin and thought it would be nice to live in an old boat on the valley floor, only thinking of the seaside when the almost invisible girls waltz by. I entered the house almost translucent and handed June a box; she had been keeping her fish scales moist in the bath and the light fitting in the bathroom – which like me has never had a shade – was looking for all the world like a sardine. I stepped into my suit again and checked my halteres in the half light.


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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