Weekly Diary


I was woken by a child’s doll who had climbed the stairs unaided; I brushed the miniature dragons out of my hair and waited for the children to arrive. They emerged from a baked beans can which had rolled down the hill from where the road bridge stepped over the railway line’s sinewed arm. Poppy jumped with Nijinsky antlers touching the ceiling while June loaded up the rainbow wagon with duck bread and we set off for a fried breakfast adventure. We played like prawns in an otherwise uninhabited ocean – I was a grandpa wolfman with mermaid and merman vampires while the paving slabs became dumplings in gravy. At the end of the day I accidentally called candle flames frogs and the lights slowly closed their eyes.


I answered the door with a telephone moustache; the lady on the step was holding pair of boots – I asked if they had stopped dancing and she said they hadn’t even started. I secretly knew a lot of things that hadn’t started but I kept them to myself. June had taken her feet to work and I had to sit on scaffolding around the Empire State Building eating my lunch before I could follow the thought bubbles of a dreaming head. I painted as a silver skinned alien: the colours on my palette arranged like grave stones and I was just going to start reading their inscriptions when June came back early wanting information – the cat wanted a smile like the Mona Lisa and the forester from “The Cunning Little Vixen” wanted a three piece suit for a Rhode Island Red rooster.



I had to go to town to see a patch of ground dedicated to the Egyptian god Anubis; I paid my bill and then came home via the labyrinth at the palace of Knossos (the rise and fall of Minoan civilisation being a favourite comic of mine when I was growing up). After a snack of skull and crossbone crisps I started to fill in the empty spaces in a self portrait several storeys high – I had to be careful when I stepped out on my own balcony holding a picture of passenger pigeon wings. I was still waiting for a novelty plasma globe (in lieu of Romeo who was busy learning his part in a play) to speak from the shadows when June came back from work with telephones in each hand. She brought her hands together and we both listened to the conversation.



I stood staring at two flowers in the piece of garden beneath the bedroom window for some time before getting up and washing a bible instead of my feet. I felt sure that they were getting closer together and would have found out for definite if a hooded person with crane legs (scientific name: Grus monarcha) hadn’t come in and picked them. I wrote down my observations and the dog and I then walked as pilgrims along a very short section of ancient road. I came home with ideas like an avenue of trees and spoke in falling leaves to the congregation behind the door. In reality I found only a haversack and a rolled up newspaper (painted green with red spots and called an art work). The trees turned into stepping stones receding into a four and a half dimensional distance.


There was a long walk around the entire perimeter of an Edward The First castle before I could enter the Museum of the Future and work. I made a convoy of colours career down a dusty hillside road but let go of my Sumarian paintbrush when a lady knocked the door; she was swimming inside a polythene bag that someone had won at the fair and I had to guess the weight of a diamond encrusted parsnip before she let me sign my name at the bottom of a blank sheet of paper. I mused on the wisdom of doing this while looking at torpedoes scuttling around in the moat of the ivory tower castle. Ignoring the fact that good people walk on stilts I followed a subterranean chamber until I came to the place where the Montgolfier brothers’ first balloon was kept.



A very early, kitchen table leaning, morning. I caught the croissant vehicle by the edible public house and met the old king on another slice of toast. I called myself the old pretender (the young pretender having driven off on a Triumph motorcycle: circa 1925) and looked at myself at various times simultaneously. I was honoured when an early beard was proclaimed to be a lost map of Atlantis but somewhat deflated when a later one fell in love with a hedgehog and hibernated in an old petrol can. After closing the last colour coordinated book I came home between the folded wings of a butterfly. I had to walk Poppy, complete with a bejeweled mediaeval town on her back, before I was able to get into the cockpit of a Gloster Gladiator and help save Malta.



I started the day with the image of a very grand house hovering mere inches from the front of my face. I counted the floors and then counted the windows – June looked up Mulberry in the dictionary. The concrete, but still cognizant, men we keep encased in water and glass needed attention before I wired myself up to the international grid and became an invisible companion to a lady with a strangely flickering face. I later found more flickering face people and magically took them to an Anglo-Saxon encampment where we all stood before the vocal cord flames. I looked up and thought of young people attempting to execute an immortal and invulnerable man – a never ending story. June came in looking down and holding an old book.


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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