Letter: When a sulky Stone and his flower child went gathering exotic herbs

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The Independent Online
Sir: On memories of Mick Jagger (24 July): one evening in the early Sixties, I was working in the Culpeper herbalist shop in Bruton Street, W1, when in came an enchantingly pretty girl in an enormous picture hat and a diminutive miniskirt. She wanted to buy herb seeds to plant in her garden. When I explained that we only sold the dried variety she looked so devastated that I told her that there was a herb farm near me in Kent and perhaps we could visit it together. 'Oh Mick]' she cried, 'this kind lady says we can visit a real herb farm]' Only then did I become aware of this slouched figure in the only chair, wearing a ruffled shirt, velvet suit and an extremely sulky expression. With him was a small boy.

If ever a man did not want to visit a herb farm it was he. Meanwhile, the delightful 'flower child' was ordering so many herbs, pomanders and expensive soaps that I began to worry how she could pay for them.

The small boy began pulling the ear of a large, friendly poodle, and I said to Mick: 'Now if that was my dog it would have probably eaten your son by now.'

He replied, 'It's not my son, and I rather wish it had been your dog,' and with that the odious man started to fiddle with some joss- sticks on the counter. Just then the assistant told me that my 'flower children' were Marianne Faithful and Mick Jagger, who could easily afford to buy up the shop.

Apparently they had been making a film that afternoon at Pinewood Studios, and they must have come to Culpeper's en route for home in Chelsea. We never did go and see that lovely herb farm in Kent.

Yours faithfully,


Oxted, Surrey

(Photograph omitted)