Weekly Diary


I went out as the black woolly jumper of the family, travelling at a tree sloth pace through an old person’s back garden and a young person’s front. I made a friend out of a naked mole rat and we exchanged our worst fears several hundred feet below ground level. Once I had reached daylight I crept up on a coffee shop (and ordered tea) and then flung myself home through a forest of fraying wires and the stuffing destined for a triple bed mattress. I was stalked by fragile winged dragons as I went down instead of up and up instead of straight along – where a tennis ball knocked over a row of princess dolls in a game I had actually devised myself. The train crept back in bare feet on hot sand with the sun an octopus sorting the mail in a Venusian post office.


June and I went out, each in an individual glove (typically mine was missing the finger tips). We clapped our hands together at the train station and watched the train arrive like a dancer taking a bow before her routine had finished. On arrival at the moon palace we ate pyjamas and underwear before watching an underwater eclipse. A man older than me pulled himself out of the swamp with his prehensile moustache, prompting me to write a joke on an undertaker’s lapel thinking he would probably never read it. I watched June walk a mobile phone round the block while I held onto an empty bag in case its contents escaped and then spoke to a much younger woman – a disapproving vicar searching for his church descended by parachute: both he and it were torn at the edges.


Concerned that my shoes were slipping on the sugar frosted tarmac I put on a couple of ocean liners and then stuck a smile behind my ear to smoke later. June walked round the house, first clockwise and then in a silhouette of a sand dial before deciding to go to the shop. Apparently the man behind the counter had compiled a consumer questionnaire – as usual we put no to everything and celebrated our nonexistence by jumping into the air every time a dark matter particle collided with a fragment of dark energy. I imagined a demigod wearing sun glasses and then proposed to paint it in a rainstorm. As I was doing this a man made entirely from wood came to the door but didn’t knock – it was only when I went out with the dog and a metalwork nef filled with congealed tree sap that I noticed the sawdust.


June left the house an as ingredient for a recipe, leaving me to stir the dog and then take a large cup of tea for a walk. Another ingredient rung sometime after, although by then I was no longer hungry, and all finally returned home to cook a meal. I wanted to eat on a battlefield of painted crockery but June had already dropped my breakfast bowl and wrote no on a small piece of bandage lent to her by a mummy from an early part of the Late Kingdom. By coincidence I had been thinking of writing my memoirs on peeling tree bark (I found out later that someone had cut down the tree). As June went to listen to the television I hung a painting over the radio and waited for a large meal to swim past our sailing ship house ticking loudly.


I had to take the Celtic pattern route out of town to say goodbye to an old friend. With my minimally decorated room of thoughts lugubriously lit I waited on a platform where the trains no longer stop and thought of figures in blackthorn thickets reached through a slip slide path of mud. I moved onto the living platform as the train approached. I then found myself at the church after a spell in a phantom cart – the phantom driver and I talked of being born in a cemetery. Most of the people I met were a draughts piece move away from the present and I jokingly called my contract phone old. I came home as sediment in a beer barrel; rolling into the hedge at the bottom of our front garden just before a lady walked by with her child sat in a Sherman tank – it turned the corner before it fired its gun.


June and I climbed down from our balloon top bedroom which we keep in a box of naval mines. I thought the balloon was filled with helium while she thought it was hot air – incidentally the mines were covered in Late Sumerian cuneiform writing and had been franked in Essex. We both landed as porridge (June likes extra sugar in hers) and then parted as an attractive shade of mauve separating into blue and pink. The blue went to sit in his studio like a bird of prey brought to the edge of extinction by game keepers and the pink learnt how to make microwaveable meals out of scrap metal. The scrap metal was found at the top of the garden along with a small figure holding the directions to Roswell. The afternoon changed into its pyjamas and rest of the day was pampered like an old pet


I left the house in abyssal darkness and walked along a path of sea urchins and starfish, counting the number of dimly lighted windows as I did so. The monster and I met (both of us in disguise) and travelled together, one inside the other, to a small patch of a pretend land. In a multidimensional jump I then climbed out of a Douglas Dakota that had crashed into the centre of a Twenty Fifth Century rain forest. I met the forest king in his thylacine lair and we talked of time as if we had both lost its friendship; however on reflection it was probably only an acquaintance. The king and I said our elastic goodbyes and I came home as a deflection from an unknown force; letting myself into the Piltdown Man house to find June walking about on stilts and holding a marsupial elephant tooth.


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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