Gnome is Home



The story begins seven months ago, with the seemingly random
abduction of a garden gnome from the property of a Gloucester
pensioner, Eve Stuart-Kelso. After noticing its absence, the
grandmother of three presumed it had been stolen, and soon forgot all
about it.

Yet last week, she opened her front door to find the
missing leprechaun, which she had nicknamed Murphy, staring up at her.
Beside the battered garden ornament lay a tightly wrapped parcel,
containing an album of 48 photos showing him engaging in daring
activities at exotic locations all over the globe.

Mystery solved:


The gnome-snatcher who took Murphy on a round-the-world trip was yesterday exposed as 22-year-old law graduate Simon Randles.

is taking a year out before joining the Royal Marines in February and
he decided to take the stone ornament with him on his travels after
spotting him in a suburban garden.

He owned up to owners Derrick and Eve Stuart-Kelso, who took it in good spirits.

SomePhotos of Murphy’s travels


11 thoughts on “Gnome is Home

  1. There are five or six things in this story (these stories, I suppose) that illustrate to me why, as a born-and-bred Murkin, I’ve become such a fan of the Brits in recent years (despite Tony Blair hooking up so tightly with Bush).
    ++ A sense of humor (both from the gnome-taker and the gnome-takee).
    ++ A silly and often surreal tilt to that sense of humor.
    ++ An unstated acknowledgement that gardens are something worth thinking about
    ++ The gap year (“You got your law degree? Take a year off and travel–with a gnome if necessary–before you join the Royal Marines.”)
    ++ The impetus to spread a little levity but don’t be a total asshole.
    I can think of more but that will do for now.
    People from any country can do similar things (LikeWhere the Hell is Matt?), but it comes so fluently from the UK, among other great things.
    Thanks, Scout Prime, for showing us the denoument of this story.

  2. I also like the Brits in that if you don’t have the inclination to go to college, you needn’t waste your money (or that of your local council) and can apprentice somewhere to do something just as necessary to modern life.
    And, another fave thing I love about the Brits – “locals” – pubs w/in stumble distance of one’s home. No parking hassles, no “drink-driving” worries.
    Oh, and as a resident of Houston, I am deeply envious of a public transport system that not only moves one around the Metrop, but also gets commuters in/out of town and on holiday! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Dang, it’s only 8:15 a.m., but now I want a nice pint of lager! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Amen to all the above. I loved living in London for the short time I was there. Lovely country, lovely people. That was *my* gap year–graduated from college, took a year before I started on my master’s degree. Which I am still working on, 16 years later.
    Okay, so the gap year expanded.

  4. This isn’t particularly original. Remember the movie “Amelie?” She steals her father’s gnome and sends him photos of the gnome traveling the world. Also in Europe there was (or maybe still is) a Gnome Liberation Front, which steals gnomes from yards and leaves a note.
    Still, it’s nice the young fellow returned the gnome with the photo album. I am sure the nice lady had quite a laugh about it.

  5. Mothra, I knew where the guy got the idea (Amelie of course), but the originality of the deal wasn’t the thrust of the issue.
    I wish someone would steal the brain-dead gnome (and his surly keeper) from the WH and never return them!

  6. Elspeth, if you want to go Brit, don’t talk about “lager”… or, as it’s known in pubs up and down the UK, “gnat’s piss”.
    Mine’s a pint of Abbott. That’s a bitter beer, THE [alcholic] drink of the true Briton.

  7. Ruth, thanks for your concern. I wasn’t trying to go “Brit” – I just didn’t feel like putting my usual pint choice as a representative. I am a Guinness girl and yes, I know that’s Irish, hence my hesitancy to throw it down there as an example.
    And I have “actual British” friends that DO drink the odd lager, ale, stout, hard cider, sherry, wine, and liquor (quite well rounded in their drink choices when the mood strikes) – so don’t go all high and mighty in such an unwarranted fashion. I know what “Abbot” is – and my ‘true Briton’ friends can take it or leave it and don’t subscribe their patriotism to one particular drink.
    Thanks for the insult. Cheers,
    Elspeth (actual English/Welsh/Irish ancestry)

  8. *Elspeth (actual English/Welsh/Irish ancestry)*
    With a name like Elspeth–ya think?

  9. Elspeth: blimey, calm down there! My comment was entirely *humorous* and tongue-in-cheek. Thought that was kind of obvious from my phrasing, but clearly not…
    Have a Guinness on me.

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