Are “Ornamental Hermits” the New Gnomes?

Wondering what to buy that person who has everything for Christmas this year?

hermitA University of Leicester academic has suggested one of history’s most bizarre garden accessories: an ‘ornamental’ hermit.

Professor Gordon Campbell says that ornamental hermits can help you manage your winter blues. And you’d be in good company doing so.” The wealthy 18th century landowners who indulged in the practice would ‘outsource’ their melancholy while enjoying life to the full,” he explained.

This guy investigated the little known history of ornamental hermits and wrote “The Hermit in the Garden: From Imperial Rome to Garden Gnome.”

Sometimes these hermits (i.e. gnomes) were imaginary and sometimes they were REAL! “Hermits were often hired for seven years, required to refrain from cutting their hair or washing and had to live austerely. They could receive up to £600 in return, enough to never work again.”

hermit2-617x416So what’s this all mean for Christmas, you ask? Well you ask, and I answer.

“It meant that the busy CEO could outsource his melancholy, contemplative side, embodying it in a hermit for hire,” Campbell said. “The ideal of living frugally did not therefore inhibit the good life. It’s a bit like bankers carving turkeys for the homeless on Christmas Day.”

We drunk gnomes are a little suspicious of these ornamental hermits, but it’s certainly an interesting concept to ponder while gazing out the window on a rainy day.

Holiday cheer with a beer,
Kamikaze the gnome

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