Weekly Diary

This is a bit late as I had a week off creative work last week to work in the garden.


After lazing on the side of my breakfast plate I went out into the bedroom garden to change the sheets; June was standing upright as one of a pair of caryatids – the other one was pretending to be a knight of the Edward the Third era and had a galvanised bucket on its head; in no time I had filled the bucket with weeds. The lintel across them both had a message carved into it – I couldn’t read the words but learnt a lot from the time it took to write (I then transformed all my art works into intervals of time and now plan to exhibit a row of annotated clocks). I worked among plants for most of the day while very strange figures, purportedly escapees from an earlier version of my imagination, made a bridge from the point where the robed figure touched down to the point where it took off again.


I grounded myself for the week and locked the cockpit of the vintage jet plane I usually pilot: it first flew in the early fifties and was designed without swept wings – this means I stand relatively still while the clouds go supersonic. June is back to work and had gone up the road pulling a small figure permanently stuck between a frog and prince. Apparently a lady got out of a taxi and gave it some loose change; the car was driven by a man in a bird of prey costume and drove off at great speed. I went out into the bare foot garden to polish and paint nails, only coming in when a man knocked the door wearing footwear from the Anglo-Saxon period of English history – strangely we spoke in Romano-British words even when he accidentally knocked over one of my prized ornamental pots.


I had to go out, catching a dagger blade as it had just left the hilt and following it to a wound on a lying figure; luckily it was only superficial and I came home in a small red bus with giant black wings. I thought if I was in space it would look like a ladybird. I had found the old king in his court winding up lengths of time as if they were merely twine – I took a ball home with me and plan to tie up my own thoughts with it at some point. I went out into the royal garden and did a short shift as a shadow from a very old tree – the shadow itself was on respite, visiting the ruins of the palace of Thebes and paddling a box of thirty five millimetre slides up the Nile. When I got back home I returned to standing in the middle of a fence in lieu of the post.


I settled back to a week of working in the garden, after having spent the night on an ironing board with the hot iron balanced over my chest like a Sword of Damocles – unfortunately Alexander the Great muddled up legends and cut the knot and I spent the rest of the day with a Romanesque arch in the middle of my torso. As the light faded bats issued forth although if I had been writing the story a pale figure would have looked out instead and sighed as a man in white armour flew off in a chariot pulled by swans. June came in tired and we made dinner between us from fireworks that hadn’t gone off and champagne bottles that had rebounded from the ship’s hull unbroken. I didn’t tell her that I now call the garden the Field of the Cloth of Gold and made all hoverflies and solitary bees princes and kings.


It rained today and I smeared mud on a glass pane and waited for the inevitable faces to emerge and then busied myself potting plants on an old table. In an unashamedly black mood I imagined the table being used in the past for dissections and midnight autopsies and pretended to map out the lives of unknown organisms with pieces of coloured string. Then as the grey clouds parted I saw the rain forest on a sheet of wood followed by a blinding white light which I suspect was caused by several people simultaneously having the same thought. June came home later than expected after having begged a lift from Gary Cooper who had ridden out of town two minutes before midday. I heard the train arrive and then walked the dog along the railway line before a later than usual dinner.


I had to go to town, after putting it off all week, pulling small red worms out of the burgundy carpet in one shop and bent nails out of strips of clenched wood in another. A classical sculpture gave me the only leaf it had and I unceremoniously gave it to the rabbit when I got back home along with messages from various museum specimens in their serried rows of glass jars. I was tempted to call the jars a glass orchestra and then compose a piece of music to represent the result of the Permian extinction as written on an old wall in Olympus – this would have been built just before the gods had discovered religion. I then made the silhouette of a crying nun with my hands in front of another wall and subsequently cheered her up again with the fluttering shadow of a peacock butterfly.


I got up, ignoring the figure with old newspapers for hair and made myself a breakfast of Celtic field patterns. June was munching on the side of a small boat, purportedly made from toothpicks by a French prisoner during the Napoleonic wars. We went out for dinner after I had planted more miniature soldiers – remembering that the soil has to have the appropriate spent cordite and shrapnel content. I came home after dinner leaving June berthed at Long Beach, California. I then played more war games with botanical specimens – sadly neither side could claim victory. When June was ready to come home I walked to town again with a fragment of the Wansdyke earthworks on my forehead. As expected a group of ramblers came up and insisted on walking along it.


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).
This entry was posted in Diary, Poetry, prose, Uncategorized, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Weekly Diary

  1. Brian Hughes says:

    This is beginning to make sense to me. I’m starting to get worried.

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