Weekly Diary


I got up, counting the revolutions of a large crane in a distant building site, by the time I had parachuted a tea bag into a gaping cup it had screwed itself into the soft earth behind what I have long called the hippopotamus buildings beside the railway line (apparently they can be ferocious if approached). I bandaged my mouth to stop the loss of words. They had been assembling in the parade ground of my imagination all night – although by the time the sergeant major had arrived many had deserted. June was downstairs trying out a new mop on the clock dial, however she never managed to wipe the smile off its face – as a joke aside: a painting looked at a person and didn’t think it was a very good likeness.


I had a bird brained morning in what was basically a mammalian day – this was before the dinosaurs had re-evolved and a stegosaurus had put its name down for the leadership of a local political party (incidentally, all the tyrannosaurs I ever knew spent far too much time looking in the mirror!). June went to work with tyre tracks in her briefcase – she filed the vehicle when she got in. I then went into my studio wearing a scuba suit with a watercolour waiting on my easel. I painted a red field below an orange sky with both reflected in a pair of sunglasses worn by a girl on the edge of a parapet: the landscape fell off but the girl was saved by a passing troop of mandrills (more correctly a congress as they all have left wing inclinations). I later dressed as Quasimodo and met June in town.


I fell through a crack in the sky and then through a crack in the ground, waking up as a tiny rock orbiting a very small planet circling an obscure sun in the Andromeda galaxy. I answered the door with a passport photo on my shield – it was far from flattering and has since been replaced by a bowl of tulips. I had to sign my name on the back of a sheet of paper without reading what was on the front. I wondered if the man in a wallpaper pattern suit was really a vampire king slowly shrinking in the sunlight, his crown sliding down his body until only his feet were visible. We talked like eggs playing football in a bird’s nest and then parted as soft friends, him with a picture of the sun on a tambourine and me with a plastic octopus for a tie clip.


The house was a mythical garden as I left via a broken flower pot – the shards were later found in a peat bog and were pronounced to be from the fake tan phase of the late bronze age; as they were discovered beside the perfectly preserved remains of someone from the far distant future I questioned this assessment as I caught the train to a medieval city. I met the old giant, who had shrunk himself into normal stature to squeeze into a lipstick shaped vehicle for the trip to the buildings spread like butter on the hilltop. We waited with eyes both open and closed. As we emerged from the main entrance I heard a robin singing from a tree in the middle of a roundabout and pictured a young boy trapped in a car, growing old as he looked out at the endlessly repeating landscape.


I caught another train today, after travelling to the station on a boiled sweet. I remembered old fashioned signals looked like saluting soldiers and then noticed bullet holes in the tree leaves. Smoke was visible in the space above comic heads where previously speech balloons had been – I pulled myself into a thought cloud and rained on the empty seat neat to me. The business man had a bicycle in his pocket but still got a taxi when I followed him out into the cast off remains of a Stonehenge sightseeing trip; I wrote E equals MC squared on a half fallen sarsen stone and then looked for the sacrificial victim in a lady’s shopping bag. I realised much later that we are all sacrificial victims in other people’s shopping bags and then corrected my watch by the church tower clock.


A spring like day, good enough to go on a bank note, however I couldn’t go out as a visitor was due. He allegedly changes his appearance every visit and today he was a bright green frog on a silvered saucer which floated several feet above the ground. I put on a hand embroidered turtle carapace coat and we talked in subtitles. In front of us a lady well known for keeping a collection of Commonwealth coins in a goldfish bowl was busy pulling a barrage balloon out of a push chair (she keeps the goldfish in her purse and pays the rent with them – I pay mine with snowballs that I pull out of the fire). As I was just about to shut the front door a meteorite landed in the fridge, I ran to rescue the conference of early life forms before the delegates had morphed into sun ripened tomatoes.


June and I got up at the same time: normally she goes downstairs first with a pair of motorcycle handlebars emerging from her forehead and her feet covered in imitation eagle feathers. I usually talk to the trolls in the wardrobe before I go downstairs, the remaining parts of the motorcycle in one hand and a pair of mechanical bird talons in the other. We left the Raft Of The Medusa just as the smoke from a ship came over the horizon (it is reported that the ship came over several days later). A bugler by the gate pulled a typewriter from his bugle horn (two disembodied hands still feverishly typing) with the same look of disgust as a parent seabird finding a plastic fish in the mouth of its chick. I dropped some coins in the musical nest and we walked to town.


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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