I’m just warning you. I haven’t even started to write this post, but it might end up being my favorite one ever. Or at least in the top 5.
How do I know? Well, I’ve fleshed it out in my mind…
Giggling like a school girl, all the while.
***Note: It is about 38 hours after publishing. And while 99% of you are phenomenally kind and get the joke and love the post, a few have sent me scathing notes (either as a comment, unpublished or email) and some have gone so far as to publicly shame me on social media. (that has been removed)
One woman sent me a threatening message.
I am sorry if something I’ve posted is offensive to you, but please understand that your inflammatory attacks towards *me* are not appropriate. I’ve spent too much time crying when I should be feeling nothing but joy about my upcoming trip.
This is a good time to remind a few of you.
This is a blog written by me, Laurel Bern; it is free of charge and elective reading. But, it is not a public forum where anything goes and you can spout off whatever is floating around in your mind no matter how hurtful. I only have love in my heart for pretty much everyone, but not when I’m attacked.
Perhaps, first think how you would feel if someone sent such words to you.
If you don’t like the content, that is absolutely fine, but then please stop reading it and leave– QUIETLY, like you came. We only want readers who are enjoying the posts.
(back to the post)
This trip to England is a dream beyond my wildest imaginings.
We are going to be taken to places that nobody else ever (or very rarely) gets to see.
And one of them, is where God lives!
Please rest assured. I am not making a sarcastic joke. Not about God. Never. But, it’s personal.
But the fact that I have this opportunity to see God’s House is just beyond the beyond.
Will God be there, Laurel?
Well, duhhh… of course, he’ll be there. There’s no point in ever leaving paradise!
But, I’d like to give you a little preview, because I have seen God’s house (and gardens) many times before, but only in photos. The photos make me swoon. Have to say that I am a little worried about what will happen when I’m there for real. But we’ll get to that in a sec.
As it happens, God has assigned two mortals to be the care-takers of his house and gardens and they love to show it off on instagram. (you will get links later.)
But in my eyes, these two are not anything close to being mere mortals.
They are the keepers of the kingdom.
Laurel will you just shut the f up and get to the point???
Ahhh… patience, my darlings… All will be revealed— when the time is right.
But, one of the reasons for the long preamble is because some of this is difficult writing for me.
And it’s because you’re about to learn a side of me that perhaps has been inferred but has never been fully expressed.
Please forgive me. I promise that you’re going to have a fun ride.
Yes, yes, Laurel… Whatever… Where does God live already? Can we go there one day too? Is it in England???
Oh dear, that’s more questions than my brain can handle.
But fine. Maybe you’re right. I’ll show you now.
Here is where God lives.
and yes, it’s in England. Dorset, to be precise.
I don’t know about you, but to me, this is all so incredibly beautiful, it hurts.
But not like the pain I feel in my feet.
No, this pain is a little difficult to describe, but it’s the good kind of hurt.
It’s kind of like the hurt you get when you’ve had one too many slices of banana cream pie. (hold the tabasco, please)
Okay. Many of you have already recognized this amazing place as the exquisite classic English home and gardens of
(Charlie above tending the garden)
Charlie McCormick and his famous husband, the classical architect, interior designer, blogger, author…
(not to mention) phenomenally-handsome (well, geezzz they both are!) sickly talented rock star of all rock stars—
But you see…
Even though I’ve never actually met Ben Pentreath,
it doesn’t explain in any way how I feel about him by just looking at his amazing work.
It’s something like this…
Here’s the thing.
Somehow the trip coordinators found out that I’m such a rabid, frothing at the mouth fan of Ben Pentreath and have a tendency to get carried away… I’m so embarrassed.
But, alas it’s true.
I can’t control myself.
I’m really sorry. I’ve tried everything. Hypnosis, acupuncture, yoga, exercise, meditation, vitamins, the paleo diet, vegan diet, gluten-free diet, dairy free diet, wheat-grass juice fasts once a week…
None of them had any effect whatsoever.
The ONLY thing that has any effect at all is the previously mentioned banana cream pie.
It calms me right down like nothing else!
But here’s the real issue.
The trip coordinators also found out about my lack of self-control when confronted with insurmountable beauty and because of their overwhelming concern are allowing me to come on the trip, but only under one condition.
I must agree to wear a muzzle when visiting Ben and Charlie.
Oh dear. I’d rather not, but fine. Yes. Of course. I’ll do it. I understand that it’s for their protection as well as anyone else who might feel it necessary to intervene while I’m FREAKING OUT OF CONTROL!!!
And if I get a muzzle with a yap lock, it will also help me not say some impulsive dumb-ass embarrassing thing as well.
But Guys, this is where I desperately need your help. And that is because I’m torn between numerous muzzle-model options.
Yes, I know! I had no idea that there are so many human muzzles on the market. Evidently, there are other folks who share similar issues of requiring to have their faces incapacitated. Cool. Maybe we should form a support group. I’ll have to check on FaceBook.
So, please bear with me for one last essential wardrobe choice. I so appreciate this!
They call this one the Hannibal Lector. Whoa! Heavy. With a nice chianti…hehehe…
I don’t think that I’ve actually ever eaten anyone, but you can’t be too careful, I guess.
Still, it looks a little scary, no? And besides I don’t know if it goes with any of my outfits.
This one’s kinda cute and it looks like there’s a yap lock. Perfect! And it’ll coordinate nicely with my new leopard belt. I wish it was spots on both sides though. I’m a classical girl. And that means symmetry!
I guess this one would work but how am I supposed to eat? I refuse to eat my banana cream pie through a straw! No, that won’t do. But it would probably be helpful when our weather in NY turns snot freezing cold. ugh. any day now.
This patent leather muzzle is quite chic, but dang. The reviews aren’t so great. (I found it on Amazon) ;] They do say that it’s great for reducing speech. Awesome! However, the zipper is too low making it difficult to breathe. No, that won’t work either.
See how difficult this is?
And just so you know. I have better things to do than muzzle shopping. But I really want to meet Ben and Charlie!
Wait! I’ve got it!!!
Heavy-duty duct tape!!! Oh, and I could stencil on a Greek Pattern border. Wouldn’t that be adorable? And I could remove it long enough to eat and then put it right back until we leave.
Well, we need to leave all of that aside because I have more that I need to share.
Are you feeling okay? You DEFINITELY need a vacation. And of course, you can control yourself and act like a respectful adult, right?
Well, it depends on how much banana cream pie there is. ;]
But, I better bring the muzzle. Just please tell me which one and I can have it over-nighted. Thanks guys.
Oh wow! It’s getting late and we need to go back to the house!
Aptly named “The Old Parsonage.”
And make no mistake. I am positive that this is where God lives.
It’s not the biggest house, or the fanciest, but it’s so full of beauty and love.
You can feel it popping off the page!
BTW, I imagine that God has a LOT of houses!
Let’s step inside.
The beautiful entrance looking into the kitchen. Love the wallpaper!
Oh, just stop it already! THE most, charming flower room, they call it.
The charming living room which I posted a while back.
Ben and Charlie’s frighteningly incredible English Unkitchen.
Complete with, oh blimey! The shmata hanging from the ceiling. Forgive me, yet again. I know it has a name but forgot it.
Is there room for a cot in the corner? ;]
Wall color, Laurel?
Say, please, please.
Thank you. :]
Well, it’s a Farrow and Ball color called Wet Sand and it’s not in their current offerings, but you can get it. If you consult this page, you can see the current colors.
But sure. There is a color in the Laurel Home Essential Paint Collection you can look at that reminds me of this. (by Benjamin Moore)
Grand Canyon 118
This a wonderful color and positively glows at night.
And please don’t forget that the prices for the paint/palette collection and Laurel’s Rolodex are going up in price on November 13th.
What??? That is the most glorious dessert I’ve ever seen! Oh my word!
You know… That could work in place of banana cream pie. ;] Is that a cup of English tea? Duh, of course it is!
Maybe Ben needs someone to make tea for his team? I could do that!
To reiterate, in case you missed it, our group will be going here… to the Old Parsonage.
uh huh… it’s okay to hate me. I hate me too! lol
and there’s more.
Not only are we going for a visit, but Ben and Charlie are making us lunch! Or giving us lunch.
Well, anyway. We’re having lunch there. :]
And I very much need some of that amazing dessert.
Memo to God: Please tell Charlie and Ben to make a yummy dessert– for everyone’s sake!
Of course, there are going to be more photos. My photos! But before I sign off, I wanted to share some of Ben’s exquisite work. It’s very different from his home and will give you even more of an idea why I need the muzzle.
uhhh… we’re going here too– on a different day. I’m already crying.
An architectural drawing of the above entrance in the photo! I adore architectural drawings! Don’t you? It was my favorite thing to do when I was in design school. Such a lovely loose style. Gorgeous!
I believe that the house is this one, from Ben’s gorgeous portfolio.
Those windows! Those of you who own the paint and palette collection may recognize the window in a couple of the boards. BTW, these are all from the same house!
This is a different home, but way cool kitchen and that red!!!
This is Ben’s fabulous first book which you can get here.
And his wonderful second book which came out late last year.
And an image of Pentreath & Hall, the fabulous shop he owns with artist, Bridie Hall. The walls were once a warm gray and then I think this orange came next. Recently, they were painted a pretty soft pink. I don’t think that I’ll get to see the shop, but Ben has tons of pics on his instagram and of The Old Parsonage, too. You definitely need to see that. You will be transformed. Guaranteed.
Oh, and Charlie’s instagram page is awesome too.
Uh oh… breaking news!
“Houston, we have a problem.”
I found an article with a darling photo of Ben and it talks about his diet. How ironic!
But, this is what Ben Pentreath said about lunch:
“1pm Lunch is as regular as clockwork, extremely boring and usually at my desk – some sushi and miso soup with a fruit salad.”
Well, there it is… I better bring the muzzle. Just tell me which one and I’ll have them overnight it. ;]
Now, if I can only figure out how to stop myself from rolling around in the garden!!!