Weekly Diary


Although expecting a visit from the unicorn lady I went out into the well thumbed paperback garden for most of the morning (June having swam on dry land up to the hill overlooking the diagonal cuts where the valley tried in vain to take its own life). As it turned out the lady of the unicorn never arrived until much later although a little girl with dog whelks for eyes knocked on our door by mistake. I had to place half forgotten days into bags, ready to walk the plank with them over a system of martian canals – they were once thought to have contained water and are now thought to contain blood. At the end of the day I put a fire in a block of ice and surrounded myself with swirling figures: some were entirely imaginary and some were not.



June sat in the chair with her head in the hedgerow. I had to go out in a car wrapped up in old curtains and I walked out the door (which has a slight lisp) with a boomerang for a head – it hasn’t been reported if it ever returned. The remainder of my body went on the long journey, tracing a route around a pearl necklace and then a gold bracelet. My friend and I stopped at the point where the minute hand of his wristwatch pointed due South – although I still insisted on looking West as this was where the bad weather usually came from. I put a mix of conscious and subconscious utterings on a pristine wall, sullying it with my imagination, and then came part of the home on the needle of an old fashioned record player.



I got up wearing the wrong head; it took me sometime to find the right one as it was hiding behind the washing machine. June was playing the flute in the refrigerator after losing her voice in a vacuum flask just before Sir Edmund Hilary took it to the summit of Everest. I was exploring the deepest diamond mine in the World at the time and got very excited when I found a lump of coal. I couldn’t work in my studio as it had regressed into a child’s swing; instead I sat watching a frowning face finally smile. As the afternoon aged I went into the garden to stand quite still while marble statues ran around everywhere. I moved when they finally stopped, coming in with a garland of barbed wire and machine emplacements round my neck – June was cooking in a minefield.



The small people on my head had arranged themselves into convincing representations of amino acid molecules (which may mean that life on Earth is evolving all over again) before I followed June to town – we both wore complimentary colours although only I clashed with the shopping centre facade. We ate a meal in a wind tunnel before June went on her streamlined way and I came home with my jigsaw puzzle face broken down to its constitute pieces. I had to work in the glare of my headlights imagination, after taking a little while to start the car, and was still adding spots to the surface of the sun when June returned, her arms artificially lengthened and her shopping configured to look like the holy family on the flight into Egypt.



I got up early after a night spent at the bottom of a garden pond – I found out later it was someone else’s garden (although as every crying person knows, the actual water is universal). I caught the bus in the armpit of a fallen warrior at the battle of Thermopylae and travelled in the dragon mist to the water lily leaf I grew up on. I met the frog king and we talked of walls in doors and windows in picturesque views. We both blinked after breakfast and I came home before the bad weather started its charity football match in an unused area of sky (this had been previously been used for Women’s Institute paint balling and a pedestrian boot sale). June was stood in the sink when I got in and I dropped a bottle in a bucket of sand – I will watch if anyone comes to retrieve it.



A more typical day with a kaleidoscope breakfast, which I consumed dressed as a semi-aquatic elf. June and I went out on a wooden tongue depressor – the man in the restaurant went ah. June carried on shopping; several tyres from a Massey Ferguson tractor round her arms while I went home, heads recently dropped from a head tree in my recyclable carrier bag – my science teacher, who later went on to become the seventh skittle in a set of nine, told me that we were still breathing dinosaur breath – I had a baby stegosaurus on my head at the time. Once inside my jawbone of an ox studio I carried on with the task of drawing white marks on a large white canvas – the canvas was actually destined to be reused as a sail on the first Viking long boat to reach North America.



I got up earlier than usual for the first bookend of a weekend. A train was coming into the station in my head but I suddenly found I was barefoot and had to return home to put on New Testament sandals. I had to visit a city perched on top of a telegraph pole – I heard complicated messages as simple vibrations and placed a tuning fork against the left flank of a passing asteroid. Friends and I looked at blank patches of sky and found pictures in them before I absentmindedly dropped a song into a glass of wine, the music grew fainter and then stopped altogether when it touched the bottom. I wondered, while looking at a cobbled path, whether I could communicate across time and then had to make way for a horse and cart – the man in the back had just invented the first ice cold fusion reactor.


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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