Weekly Diary


I got up in the vacuum flask morning with my hot tea thoughts still warm. I noticed that June was sat in the middle of a diorama of the Battle Borodino, conveniently placed between the opposing French and Russian armies although everyone knows that the French won the battle but lost the war. Surprisingly the dog was wearing an almost completed maquette for a house in the style of Frank Lloyd Wright instead of a hat. However I later took the hat for a long scarfed walk, coming back though a field of short necked giraffes – they never made a sound even though I was carrying a portable recording studio last used by a Led Zeppelin tribute band (I had found it in a dried up river bed in East Africa along with the brow ridge of an early hominid).


I started the day nailed to a joist in lieu of a floor board; June was one leg of an ottoman and the dog was a crisp morning with the sea lapping onto frozen sand. When the board finally got up, like planed wood in a forest, he had to go to town quickly; dressed in still living ivy and the broken strings from a classical music concert the night before. I spoke to a frog person on the way down and a fire salamander on the way back – by which time I had pebbles in my bag and bare feet to walk over them. In the distance I saw flying eggs which prompted me to mull over one of the fundamental questions of existence. June was sat indoors when the front door opened like a dying centurion with a small South American marsupial shelling frozen peas on her lap.


I got up in the pseudo-dawn; the light streaming through the bedroom window looking like it was made from used lollipop sticks. As usual, the ideas in my head insisted on practising yoga before continuing with day. I had breakfast in the slipstream of a fast moving jet and then dressed like a musk ox to take the dustbins out. June was talking to a polar bear and the young lady next door was climbing up the ladder in her own tights to reach the first floor window – her partner meanwhile was sat in the garden wondering how he would furnish the basement. June went to town in between telephoning someone to say she was going and then telephoning someone else to say she was back. I worked alone all day; the jungle in my head in stark contrast to the desert outside.


I woke up on top of a mountain; June was at the bottom complaining that I had taken all the bed covers – the irony was not lost on the stream of ethereal people who continually move though our fairground house even though it wasn’t built when they were alive. I often wonder if the living room is still full of past occupants of the house – if so I wish they would turn the television over as the programme is boring – at that moment the presenter put arrows in his head as he couldn’t find his hat and the wagon train opened up a convenience store for the local Indians. I worked in my straw house studio for the first part of the day before moving into my stick house study (the wolf was asleep in his brick built house dreaming of wearing a red cloak).


I left our red ant hill in the pitch black, looking back at the semaphore signal of light and then crossed the bridge, a sound entering on one side and emerging on the other. I had a tunnel trip to the brown bear village and then talked to the king grizzly as Goldilocks sailed by, holding on first to a ship and then to an iceberg – I could hear voices in the house next door and then they stopped. Big bear and I talked like musicians at night, although he had to leave during the middle of my saxophone solo. I then left myself just as the delivery man bought the rest of the band. I came home as a black and white movie extra in a full colour film. The lady on the step was making a flying bird with the shadows from her hands. I held out my own hand and she flew away.


I dreamt I was a snowman buried in snow drift and woke with the duvet cover holding its hands out in despair. I pulled a champagne bottle out of my water glass and got up to christen the ship to be called morning. June had (for once) already traversed the slipway and was drinking a cup of hibernating butterflies – I only drink butterflies if I have proof they had all died of natural causes. Later Poppy and I walked in a landscape where numbers had replaced trees; strangely she only sniffed even ones. June had danced with herself in a passing troll’s pocket while we were out and when we came back, followed by a slight breeze I had named Medusa, she was preparing to go out herself, her face partly hidden by a many petalled flower and the rough hand getting ready to pluck it.


I went down our permanently hungry stairs dressed only in potato crisps; June followed over an hour later holding a fob watch between two slices of stale bread and staring at what would normally be the dregs of her coffee cup floating in mid air. I mentioned I thought I saw a rhinoceros running in a supermarket and then invented an automobile with wheels one side of its chassis and legs the other. Before I had fully worked out which side to put the drivers seat, June and one of the many versions of myself decided to go out for a drink. We found an oasis in the middle of an ocean and waited for the music to surge onshore. Like all microphones interviewed by a person we had been provided with speakers in our coffee cups and quietly waited for a snack named after the Bikini atoll.


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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