Friday, August 15, 2008
cut and paste:
"In an episode that re-creates a scene from the French film Amelie, Murphy was returned to Eve Stuart-Kelso with a letter saying he had taken off because he had "itchy feet".
In the 2001 film, starring Audrey Tautou, Amelie steals her father's gnome and gives it to a friend who takes it around the world and posts back pictures of it in famous places to show him what he is missing in life.
Besides Murphy was a Tesco carrier bag containing the album of 48 photos and stamped immigration permits to South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Hong Kong and Laos.
The album showed Murphy - who weighs a hefty 8lb (3.6kg) - abseiling down a mountain, standing in a shark's mouth, swimming in the sea, and riding a motorbike.
Murphy took to his travels with a companion only referred to as "The Bear" - although some of the photos picture a group of young men who might have been responsible.
The accompanying letter explained his disappearance: "There's more to life than watching daily commuter traffic and allowing passing cats to urinate on you."
Mrs Stuart-Kelvo, who once ran a motel in Florida with her husband, said it was "such a shock" to see Murphy returned to the front garden of her Gloucester home.
She said: "The leprechaun went missing many, many months ago and I had forgotten about it.
"Then I opened the door on Thursday and saw he was back. It was such a shock.
"I thought, 'Well, it's a bit of mischief but at least he hasn't been put through the window.'
"Murphy was quite badly damaged and there was a tightly wrapped parcel next to him. My curiosity eventually overcame my alarm, because I did wonder if it might explode.
"Then I saw it was a beautifully bound photo album and opened it up.
"His feet were missing, but that's no real surprise given that he was sent abseiling down a mountain!"
She added: "It was the strangest gift I have ever received. I just keep thinking how funny it is. It makes me smile to see all the people he met on his travels. It was a wonderful surprise."
Murphy's letter read: "Hello! First of all I feel I should explain my prolonged absence. A gnome's life is full of time for reflection, and whilst surveying your garden one summer morning, I began to get itchy feet.
"I came to the conclusion that the world is a big place and there is more to life than watching the daily commuter traffic, and allowing passing cats to urinate on you.
"So I decided to free myself from the doldrums of the Shire and seek adventure. My travels have taken me across three continents, 12 countries and more time zones than I can possibly remember.
"There have been high points, low points, and positively terrifying points. But I have survived - small thanks to the companion with whom I have shared all these moments."
The letter also revealed that Murphy - whom his captor called Barrington - met former England cricketer Geoffrey Boycott on his outbound trip to Cape Town.
"Said hello to the big man and he seemed a decent enough bloke but unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me," he wrote.
A spokesman for Gloucestershire Constabulary remained straight-faced about the matter, saying: "Any theft of a person's property, even if it is carried out as a joke, will be treated as a crime by police."
But Mrs Stuart-Kelso said she would be "delighted" to meet the culprit. "I thought the album was wonderful," she said."
see the pics here
Posted: Friday, August 15, 2008