16th August 2016
I order up a lot of tapes from the archives of different versions of the same famous play. The reason for this is to show how different each interpretation of the same script can be. In one of the versions the stage is covered with hundreds of red stilettos, in another version there is a bath with black and white squares printed on the bottom for playing chess. The archivist is so excited that someone is interested in these versions and that they might see the light of day. I tell him I did the same experiment with Porgy and Bess last year. One of the versions was with dogs and Frank made his entrance on a skateboard.
10th August 2016
It is raining and lots of little animals are congregating on the grass. One of the rabbits opens up packets of blank CDs and distributes them to the others. They use them as sledges to slide around on the waterlogged grass. I am watching them and laughing and laughing because they have little furry builders’ bums when they sit down on the CDs.
14th May 2016
I am walking around a fairground and I find a game where the player has to stick their hand through a hole in a tent and feel around on the table for an object, which they can keep if they get it back out again. I remember that there was a report on the news about this game being such a good money-spinner because people tend to be indecisive and panic when their hand is in there. I watch a man take off his watch and rings and put his hand in. I can see the objects on the table and I mutter ‘Jaffa Cakes’ under my breath. He dutifully picks up the packet for me and gives me one. I realise I am very hungry and go to find some food. Everything strikes me as being grubby. I find one stall that sells pies – they have empty pie cases on display and you can choose whatever filling you like. They are cooking a giant mushroom slice directly on the gas hob, not in a pan and I decide this looks horrible. I go into a mall and find a fancy coffee stand and order a peppermint tea and a scone and a creamy cake that comes on a soft pastry base. I am about to leave the base behind until I realise it is edible too, so I pick it up but I can’t really carry everything.
15th October 2015
I am bobbing on the surface of a small, but very deep indoor swimming pool, surrounded by children who are also bobbing like rubber ducks around me. In the middle of the pool there is a rectangular hole, a deep shaft the size of a grave with perfectly straight sides made from the water itself. Looking over it is like looking down a stairwell with solid blue walls at the bottom of which is a fat man wearing a white vest lying on the ground. The swimming teacher is going to demonstrate the perfect dive through this hole to the bottom where his fall will be cushioned by the fat man’s belly. Something strikes me as odd that the teacher would choose to dive into the man when there is all this water to dive into. He dives but he is not quite straight enough and he grazes the water walls with his limbs. The water has a jelly-like quality to it so that it bounces with the disturbance, creating huge swells at the surface that heave us up and down and make us feel queasy. I can’t see through the hole any more so I don’t know what happens when he reaches the bottom.
15th April 2015
I live in a house full of sea creatures. This is my home since childhood. There are shellfish and anemones that live in the corners of the ceiling and molluscs along the cracks and joins of the walls, and in the shower there are jellyfish whose tentacles hang down and get entangled in my hair when I shower. But I do not mind. I am used to them and even though I knew it is strange, I really love them being there. But one day I have to go round and put them to death because we are moving house. I go through the house saying, ‘Kill the jellyfish,’ and ‘Kill the molluscs.’ My parents are getting married and we go outside to get in the car and wait for the digital map to load. When it comes up on the screen, the roads are red and look like veins pumping blood. I see my beloved Mr Frog outside the car dancing around in his tail coat and cane and I say goodbye. We go to the place of the wedding on the banks of a big river where there are two sets of people locked in a mind war. One girl bends down and dips her fingers into a finger bowl with a lemon slice and the commentator, who is clever, says, ‘Why did she do that? Something is going to happen.’ Suddenly the girl upturns a giant clamshell onto the head of her opponent and immobilises him. I think that it is an anticlimax. The girl runs away leaving her opponent on the riverbank to the crocodiles.
15th January 2015
My brother and I wait until everyone has gone to bed and then we go into a blue bathroom and lock the door. We want to prove that planes fly up the sink spouts at night. Sure enough, after a while, tiny biplanes come out of the darkness towards the sink, and we watch them disappear up the silver tube.
11th September 2014
Two men are sitting talking to each other on a stage with a record player between them. The end of the kaftan of one of the men gets caught in the needle of the record player and so the other man strangles him as punishment. Then he stands up and comes to the front of the stage with his arms out in supplication. He is wearing a voluminous outfit of draped silver lame, like a futuristic Henry VIII. He explains to the audience that he is the personification of wine. Usually, he explains, wines are peaceful, but, he gestures to the dead man in the Kaftan, ‘Look we are dying!’ Except that he speaks in a strange garbled language that sounds like, ‘I ig wini, wini pigful.’ Luckily there are subtitles so I can understand. Suddenly lots of men in outlandish colourful costumes come out onto the stage singing and dancing. They are all the different kinds of wine and they sing about having to mix new wine and old wine in order to carry on.
18th May 2014
I go into a giant casino, full of roulette tables and machines with bright flashing lights that make loud noises. I sit down in a waiting room area and read a magazine. There is a feature on Sienna Miller. The interviewer writes, ‘One shy man,’ and ‘she puts her stiletto shoe forward in an artful manner.’ The pictures accompanying the article are terrible. Sienna looks so old and wrinkled, like a seventy year old. The photographer has accentuated how much she has aged rather than airbrushed it. Her skin is golden brown and scored with lines, saggy and shiny. I am fascinated, and secretly a little pleased. Her new film is called, ‘I’m so lonesome I could cry’ and I know this is familiar to me, but I can’t remember what it means. The girl next to me gives me a piece of blue cake so that I can remember. I realise it is a Hank Williams song and I start singing the first line, ‘I hear that lonesome whippoorwill’. I go out of the casino into the car park to find my colleagues. We drive along a motorway through the desert at dusk. The colours are very vivid, the desert an unnatural yellow, the sky almost purple. I look up and an aeroplane is flying low across the sky and on top of it there is a giant monster, half komodo dragon, half snake that is being smuggled into America. I talk to my colleague about the problem of childhood obesity and she points to a brown leather sofa at the edge of the motorway where the most famous obese kid in America is sitting. He goes there every day to eat sugary foods and be seen by the passersby.
22nd April 2014
Alecka has turned into a tree, a small beech sapling in a pot. Rosie and I are carrying her between us around the woods looking for a place to plant her. It is very urgent that we find a place for her soon, because there are some bad people looking for her. But nowhere we find is suitable, it is too dark and there are too many tall pine trees. The woods are eerie. Alecka is frightened about being a tree and being left alone in the woods, she is nearly crying and we reassure her that it will be ok. Eventually we find a space in a clearing with some other beech trees and we plant her in the middle. We need to be able to find her again because soon she will look like all the other trees, so I take out a machine from my rucksack, like two black bricks. I bang them together over the top of Alecka and then slide them against each other until they make a noise that generates a grid reference.
16th April 2014
I am trying to glue together a small model of my mother’s head that I have made. It is a lovely brown, the same shade as the base, which pleases me a great deal. But I realise I have used too much superglue and it is leaking over everything and I can feel my fingers sticking together. As I look at the head I see that the skin of the cheeks are bulging in a horrifying way, as if there is too much pressure under them. Then water starts to leak out of the eyes and the hair follicles and drip down her face. The skin of my mother’s face begins to rip apart and I realise that the plastic bag of water inside has burst.