Crocuses and a bad hair-transplant, the similarities are striking.

Crocuses and a bad hair-transplant, the similarities are striking.

My postman came cap in hand with an apology this morning for pushing a wheel-barrow through my crocuses.

He was brought to this expedient, so he says, by the weight of post that is now finding its way to the Brown Advisor. As for my crocuses, they have all the impact on my lawn of a bad hair transplant, insouciant sprouts sticking up here and there with no attempt to form a thick satisfactory clump. Please forgive me now if I clump up my correspondents – at this time of year I fall prey to crocus envy which can only be appeased by clumpery. Mr L from Wychwood asks if the mighty Capability Brown was a Macaroni, explaining that he means Macaroni in the 18th century sense – an Italianate Dandy and an advertisement for himself, like the recently deceased David Bowie. I can clump his question with that of Mr M of Blandford who asks if there are any statues of the man, adding that he believes there were several and that several copies were made of them. Of course the seasons change and even clumps will pass, but I do not think that Brown would ever have made a show of himself, and if he did not over-dress it was because his style was be inconspicuous. Nor I think would he have known where to put a figurative statue unless it was very high up on a column. Statues tend to define spaces and hence to limit them and to restrict the free flow of the imagination.

These are not I think the answers that Messrs L and M were hoping for, but the best that I can do, and the issue is one to which I have alluded in other posts (notes 60, 65 and 78 for example). Miss K of Leeds asks if there is to be a statue of Bowie, or if he will get a plaque in Westminster Abbey. She proposes that genius, deeply absorbed into the culture, yet though Brown may have served his purpose and his native country, he will never now be so celebrated, being longer dead and less remembered.