Weekly Diary


The rain prophesied by the patina on the back of a stag beetle never came so June and I went out (both dressed as penguins, just in case). The voices in my head refused to speak to me although I could hear them talking to the veterans coming back from the front that we passed on the way down the railway road. I noticed the trench an ocean going tug had cut along the high street: it ended just before the guildhall where a large Christmas tree stood like a hospital matron writing notes at the bottom of the patient’s bed. The patient still isn’t feeling very well but ate his meal of stars and planets as well as any black hole. After shopping under a bat’s wing June and I came home cradling last year’s bird song and an album of Neanderthal portraits; some of which I recognised.



I rode a Trojan horse down the garden while June rode Troy itself to town; coming back some time later with another human being asleep in her bag. I talked to the door which had a chip on its shoulder and then to a face in the mirror which had a collection of parrots wrapped in newspaper on his. June was standing next to a woman who had been scribbled on a large sheet of paper; “no news is good news” was written at the bottom. The lady had her red hair cut short and her green hair left long; I would have commented if a very long arm hadn’t descended from a passing cloud and picked up a lighthouse which was warning ships at the bottom of the garden. Later while curled up inside an old fashioned kettle I reflected on the writings of Herman Melville; none of which I have read.



I made a drop in the ocean that fills the space between the world other people can touch and the world that only I can. I called myself fifteen as other numbers sped by. June took her numbers (there were more than mine) to town as she wanted to have road markings painted on the top of her head. After a brief spell swimming several feet above the ground in the garden I came into the warm house to feel cold and work. I looked at an illness and saw the long ribbon manes of a Chinese dragon. The young lady next door apparently has her own dragon which she keeps in a box indoors. I wondered how many boxes could be kept in boxes and didn’t think any more about dragons until we heard something heavy land on the roof at the end of the day.



I got out of bed and sunk up to my middle in quicksand, which got slower as the morning progressed. June was moonlighting as a flag pole in the garden with a flag from a Sumerian colony on Mars fluttering in an artificial breeze – incidentally I have long thought that the entire street exists inside the belly of an artificial whale (called Jonah). The few plants that still had leaves in the garden were attempting to learn another language when I walked to the top and then immediately came back again to spend the rest of the day inside the still beating left ventricle of the house. I painted the inside of my head to match the decor of the room before reversing the procedure. June had gone out, but only for a short while and came back in earnest conversation with a reincarnated dodo.



I got out of bed using rocket boosters attached to all six of my limbs while June merely turned over with a ground plan of Stonehenge imprinted on her back – I marked the places where children are buried before metamorphosing into a warm blooded reptile and running up the road at a snail’s pace to catch the cold blooded bus. I reached my destination as one part of a still life by Paul Cezanne and met another part in his off centre bungalow for a Post Impressionist chat. We both wondered why the wine bottle was leaning at an angle and then talked about people who had smiled at a distance and not when close up. I imagined two worlds colliding when a very large man got into a very small car.; later questioning both mortality and immortality while trying to stop a continuously dripping tap.



June went to town in a San Francisco cable car, leaving me to walk the dog along a series of holes made by falling Ancient Egyptian artefacts (we had been watching the pyramids circle the Earth during the night). When Poppy and I got in she returned to her tapestry of King Harold invading Normandy and I took the egg shell escalator to my mountain top study to paint with points of light in a sun darkened room. The men who are mostly scaffolding walked up the road as I stopped to fill the bath with Earl Grey Tea, one looked in the first floor window while the cat was trying on a powdered wig and corset painted in the dazzle camouflage of a Word War One battleship. Luckily she was sheltered by an evergreen tree growing from the middle of the double bed.



I was feeling tired after sleeping as an A4 card in a A5 envelope for much of the night. I fell out when the envelope was opened and looked up to see the clock hands moving backwards and then more implausibly both ways at the same time – I thought to myself that the latter must be closer to reality. June went to town, leaving me to paint several different versions of the same scene on the dorsal plates of a mature stegosaurus. Later in a simultaneous prequel and sequel to a film the same scene painted several versions of me – I thought the one with a block of flats on my shoulder was the most appropriate. June and I went out later in the day: I was dressed in a knight’s armour from the time of Edward the Third and she was a herbaceous border designed by Gertrude Jekyll.


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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