Weekly Diary


June had to work. I accompanied her up the spider silk road as rumour had it Saint Patrick was about with his snakes. The plastic hatted miller stood with a gaping mouth at the gaping entrance of the mill – a sign on the door offered coins for the empty mouths of Ancient Greeks. I later stood in the garden like a tall tree while all the small shrubs busied themselves about the place (I had long given up the idea of there being a little copse where everyone held hands). While waiting for the snow people to fall I sat in my shuttle cock studio throwing paper doilies into the air. Once the plastic hatted crocodile had closed its mouth June and I went out, our heads replaced by alarm clocks (hers went off before mine). I was hoping for a house made from cheese but had to make do with an acorn bungalow.


I woke with a duster on my forehead after dreaming I was a chest of drawers – a bowl of apricots (which our neighbour called peaches) sat on my chest and a miniature camera sat on the apricots. Some time later it would record an entire tree entering the Earth’s atmosphere and parachuting to the surface like a reluctant ballet dancer pushed out of a plane – one of my early aliases was an advocate of extreme dance (one of my late aliases was an advocate of extreme cookery: with the chef sat inside the gas cooker – picture a cat sat in a bird cage and then change the channel for the adverts). I got up after a quick polish and entered my studio in a similar way to a basketball entering a basket – I didn’t worry that it was my own side’s basket.


June went to work with a thin vertical line spreading down her body. I was just thinking I could align her up with the church tower when a Super Sabre went over head during a Vietnam bombing run. My dolls house world took a direct hit but luckily the Action Man doll occupant was swimming with dolphins in the South pacific). The man who rung earlier arrived completely divided into two; I asked if he talked to himself much as another plane raced overhead. I then told him about a friend who could only talk in drum duets and he banged his tom-toms and left; I silently arranged the faces in a flower vase, fed the sea urchin coat stand and then burrowed into the soft sand off my desert island studio. June came home like a spider monkey falling from the hands on a six thirty clock face.


I had to go to town, even though I kept an exact model in the top drawer of my bedside cabinet, and followed the uintatherium herd down the railway slope to the place where I pretend hats replace brick dwellings and feather dusters replace trees. I only stopped a little while: swimming in a tank and continually forgetting where I have been. I came home in a recyclable shopping bag and practised my scribble style yoga on the door step (ending up like a bow tie on a Vaudeville performer) before climbing the gantry of a Russian Mir rocket. I entered my studio with a ball of string I mistook for the cat. Outside a small hippo picked up litter while a marginally larger one threw it down again – I thought of going out dressed like Bela Lugosi but felt it wasn’t dark enough.


June got up earlier than usual, the full moon having been eclipsed by a crescent cockerel – about this time every morning a lady hurries up the road and in a half sleep half transcendent state I imagine another lady on her head walking the other way; I then imagine the first train of the day moving both directions at the same time (I would imagine it moving in up to another eight extra dimensions but June inevitably wakes me up as she returns the kookaburra suit she was wearing to its riverbank nest). When I rose myself I began singing one verse of my secret song in the cupboard under the sink and the second in the cupboard under the stairs – sadly there isn’t a cupboard under the floorboards although if there was it would be in the shape of a nuclear powered aircraft carrier.


I got up very early myself, the crepuscular cockerel having been eclipsed by a fire breathing dragon slowly entering the swirling Magellanic Clouds. June was standing in the kitchen like a railway signal that had moved only after the train had past; I put lipstick round my eyes but never smiled – I then thought how much better this world would be would be if all clocks moved slower. I put my voice in a cage with the aim of teaching it to speak and then flagged down the bus in the farmer’s field: the driver had a bull’s head and I told myself to be careful where I sat as I mused on the existence of god in a world of perennial flower gardens. I prayed to a Daffodil before meeting the old man in a glossy brochure of brand new kitchen units. I came home with a topsail attached to my working class hat.


June had to do weekend work again. I heard her shut the circular door to our tree house and then felt the touch of invisible tree branches; I spoke inaudibly and dressed inside the gutter pipe of a Georgian mansion, emerging sometime later dragging a grand piano and a lot of regrets held within a racy fishnet cat suit. I walked the goldfish while the dog swam six lengths of the aquarium for charity; I then designed a multi-storey house based on a pair of waders last worn by Flora Macdonald for an underwater sword dance. In the piscean afternoon June went to town in a mechanical moth cocoon while I stuck balsa wood models of a Convair B36 to my chest, walked to the front door like Mae West in a gunfight and signed for a package of Victorian fob watches in Sumerian cuneiform writing.


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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