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Malcolm was here

May 17, 2010

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I’m flat-sitting in Highgate this weekend. As well as an abundance of kids, dogs and gorgeous posh houses, Highgate has a huge cemetery which is home to an abundance of famous people.

“Who are you here to see?” asked the nice lady at the gate as if I was visiting someone for afternoon tea. When I told her, she advised me that I’d find him opposite the “Dead” headstone of pop artist Patrick Caulfield (below).

And sure enough I found Malcolm McLaren’s grave as easily as she described. Carved of wood, its epitaph is a simple “Malcolm was here.”

There were a few handwritten notes left nearby including one on top of a couple of fags containing the words “Malcolm, you were many things but never boring.” Amen to that.

It had just been raining so a cleansing calmness hung in the air. Hardly anyone was around which added to the leafy stillness. It was only after I’d walked round, seeing Karl Marx’s monument en route:

…that I spotted a bunch of colourful pens in front of a very plain headstone. As the passing attendant rang the bell to sound the closing of the cemetery for the day, she commented that the pens were new and she’d never seen them before. What a striking way for fans of Hitchhiker writer Douglas Adams to mark his final spot.

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