I had to work on the beach in my back garden for several hours; the tide lapping up against my feet as I tried to compose a verse using grass snakes. I then joined the Home Guard, wearing a turtle on my head instead of a helmet, and didn’t climb the sea shell encrusted ladder into my studio until it was time for dinner. I ate a book followed by some scraps of paper which had blown into the room when the strange creature in the front garden took off. I cleaned out the mine shaft and was busy smearing coal dust on my face when June returned from work.
I floated across the top of my cup of tea talking to an unknown species of fly as I did so – June was meanwhile standing on a shelf devising cobweb clothes. I pulled myself up by grabbing the tail of a flying horse and then sat in a birds nest until the beanstalk elevator had reached ground level (lingerie and beachwear). I went to town dressed as a marble column and returned with a classical statue standing on my head; I finally persuaded him to step down by showing him my Peter Pan t-shirt which I had been wearing under my potholing gear.
June had to stand on a hill again so I dressed as a scarecrow and visited some of our native birds for a chat. I worked in glass houses for the remainder of the day, placing small stones in catapults. June returned with a flock of starlings in her hair and we ate our bread beside a pool which looked like a gaping wound in someone’s flesh – I put my hands in the air and my next door neighbour measured the distance between them. We all walked the garden like we had lost something and then I pretended to find it; after this we watched the sun disappear behind clouds.
I didn’t stand very long as a saquaro cactus in the toenail desert and before lunch a little princess emerged from a hole in the ground, casting aside her flippers and donning a grizzly bear suit. I became a merman bear and we travelled the garden in search of fairies (we never found any but named the water drops glistening in the sunlight – the one called Paul finally landing on my head). In the afternoon I was trapped in another water droplet which floated to the garden centre to find a place to land. June and I had a meal and came back in a chariot.
I was alone in an outside room for most of the day as June had flown away inside the house (the hat I was wearing was a replica of the hillside I ran up as a child – I later ran down my present day hillside even though it appeared flat). After a dinner of flower petals I returned to the desert were I had hidden the ice cubes and collected up as many coloured stones as I could – marking the spot where I thought the sinking ship would finally settle. I only had a few minutes to hoover my beard before June returned dressed like a Knight Templar.
I was up very early, following a line which got fainter. I stopped off at a citadel on a hill, thought about a military haircut, mowing the lawn and a little Filipino girl balancing a book on her head – I read her face but couldn’t read the book. After tying myself to the rock face, I tended plants before digging a trench to march along (it was so deep that the hat I was wearing looked like a rabbit evading a fox). I said goodbye with my bare feet stuck in thick mud and opened the front door with tendrils instead of fingers. June came in later wrapped in a carrier bag.
After finding a childhood powered pogo stick in a nettle patch I hopped down the hill, descending as the sun rose and a purple dragon flew over head. I watched the clock face in the middle of June’s dress and decided to call myself Fred; I immediately tied another knot in the piece of string I keep in my pocket and hid under the bed (the footsteps grew louder). The picture over the mantelpiece represented me over the first eleven years of my life, ten of which wearing short trousers and one a skirt. I only wear long trousers to answer the door.