Weekly Diary


June went off to work (for the last time on a weekend) while I had a mechanical digger breakfast, feeling like butter just scraped on a piece of burnt toast. I trudged behind a plough in the rain pierced heat; occasionally picking up a lump of marcasite, imagining it turned into an exquisite piece of jewellery and then throwing it down again. After my final trip I sat in my studio and tried to paint a number of coloured bands floating above my head, I thought I could see letters in the bands but I couldn’t make out any words – in defiance I threw myself to the floor and then drew round the shape I made. Knowing that June would be late home I imagined myself in a place where all knowledge is stored – finding out straight away that marcasite jewellery is actually made from iron pyrites.


I donned a suit and tie and then scrambled about in the mud by the garden pond, picking up each lily leaf in turn as if it was a telephone – the last caller hung up on me when I pronounced my name in a regional dialect of modern day Orangutan. Immediately after this a tree in our neighbour’s garden surprisingly stated that unborn children hide inside atomic nuclei and blasted off on the latest space mission. In a terrestrial response I took the dog out for walk, coming back after she had preened herself in a clump of goosegrass – she then went to man the barricades during the Paris Commune and I signed my initials in reverse on the Bourdon bell of the cathedral of Notre-Dame – we met up later as twin nuclei in a parenchymal plant cell: thus proving once and for all that all life is one.


I woke in the centre of a bright orange rose. June had been up some time and was smelling a pink stain on the curtain covering the garden window when I fluttered to the ground like a rubber band powered toy from an inexpensive set of Christmas crackers (I usually get a small plastic comb and a differently coloured paper hat to everyone else). While feeding a line of open mouths that had replaced the tuning pegs of my classical guitar I imagined a face hidden behind cloud and thought for the briefest moment that if the world had been created rather than evolved there would be clues left for us to find. June banged the door and then said goodbye while I grew to over thirty feet tall and planted my balconies with a variety of attractive summer flowering annuals.


I opened the sachet and climbed out (checking my Best Before Date as I did so), June was still downstairs surrounded by a fence of knitting as she prepared her walking about lunch. We came together and then parted again (like dentures in a bedside cup); I went out advertising a bed and breakfast vacancy in my back pocket while she went up the road cutting the day into almost identical lengths – there was one short piece left, which as usual I eventually got! Fast forward and the dog patrolled the dark side of the moon and I sat in the sun unravelling my ideas and then getting them entangled again; we went indoors when June came home in the mouth of a pelican and straight away wrote something in her address book that can only be read by people with Seville oranges for eyes.


An early trip to the one eyed countryside with a cloud descending over Sidbury Hill reminding me of a girl wearing a Dreadnought Class battleship for a hula skirt. I found a Friesian cow inside a plastic tent and then conjured up a field of sickle holding arms being harvested by a bundle of wheat. I met the king of the sheaves in his hillside cavern and we talked of the future as if it was the past. After a breakfast I read instead of ate, I stooped in a splinter of garden while spearlike clouds scurried overhead. The sun checked its watch as I missed my connection on my serpentine return journey. I met some old friends by the side of the half way road; Dawn spoke at midday and we talked of the summer as if it was a set of numbers: starting odd and ending even.


June surprised the figures outside the gothic houses opposite ours by going to her place of work with a joint of meat in her shopping bag (the figures would have been hooded in my dreams but in reality had their faces partially obscured by ornamental chimney pots). I saw them again later as I reassembled the jigsaw we are using as a door step. I walked the dog in the dragon parade ground and then settled in my coniferous wood studio to create deciduous wood paintings. I stopped briefly when a troupe of Old Testament figures marched through the house before disappearing in the heavily planted back garden – I thought to myself that I would have to be careful when weeding and then sucked on an electronic organ instead of a straw and dropped several pieces of medieval masonry into my glass.


June left the house inside an upright vacuum cleaner (I am told it can be used wet as well as dry) moments after I had finally disentangled myself from the dream I had been having during much of the night: like in all my dreams I point but cannot touch and when I open my mouth to speak no sound comes out. Curiously I worked in a composite shop selling imitation excaliburs to pretend King Arthurs – all the while being conscious that the corridor behind the counter led to the living room of my late grandmother’s house. June had to show carpets how to be vacuumed and then went to town like a piece of driftwood slowly progressing up the shore. She rung me when her shopping bag was full and the wood, looking like a praying nun in a burning cornfield, had finally settled.


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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2 Responses to Weekly Diary

  1. Brian Hughes says:

    “I imagined myself in a place where all knowledge is stored…”

    Believe it or not, I actually had a dream about a week ago where there was this shop that contained all the knowledge in the universe. I say a shop, it more like a library, and I went in and it had drawers and books and all sorts of stuff in it. And in one drawer I found several of my paintings, which surprised me. I’ve no idea what the dream meant…but it was actually quite cool. Especially for my dreams, which are usually really horrible.

    • Well if the internet is the place where all knowledge is stored perhaps you need to get more of your paintings online.

      Incidentally I wasn’t refering to the internet in my piece but the possibility of collective memory (which I had been musing on while working).

      I usually don’t sleep very well and rarely remember my dreams; the one mentioned later in the week being a rare exception. For some reason most of my remembered dreams are concerned with jobs I had as a youngster or going and coming from them.

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