A stormy day at Kingston Lacy

This weekend, Queenie and James came to Dorset for some best-friend bonding. It was blowing a gale and raining, with just a touch of arctic chill, so we decided the best thing to do was take photographs outside. (We all have trench foot now but that’s another story.)

Kingston Lacy is a country mansion surrounded by pretty gardens and a vast parkland (which we were simply too chilly and bedraggled from the storm to explore).

The house looks a little incongruous with the Dorset countryside because one of the owners, William John Bankes, had a real penchant for Italian design and decided to model it after a palace.

I totally get it. He is me when I’m on Pinterest, searching ‘Scandi interiors’ and ‘Portuguese tiles’. It’s easy to get carried away. Except I’ve never imported a whole ceiling from a Venetian palace. Well, not yet.

Unfortunately, William wasn’t really able to enjoy his Italian-inspired mansion. He was gay and since that was illegal in the 1840s (and until the 1960s but I’ll save that rant for another day), he had to flee and leave the house to his brother. Although rumour has it, he visited in secret.

Other than that, his life sounded fun. He travelled ’round the globe and was mates with famous poets like Lord Byron.

I bet they weren’t this fun together, though

It was lovely to hang out my pal, who I don’t see often enough. As these photographs show, she really makes me smile. Sometimes it’s out of pity (because India is next to Pakistan) but usually it’s sheer joy.

‘What do friends do in photographs?’
‘Um, I dunno. Hug me?’

It’s nice to spend time with people who are every bit as strange as yourself. So it was worth being drizzled on and blown about by the wind, in the end. Especially since we have an excellent new cover for our debut rap album:

(A big thank you to James, Instagram husband to the world, for taking our snaps, acing as our carer, and helping us grow and blossom as human beings.)

Need more Queenie in your life? Here’s more of her on my blog. Or head to her own piece of the internet at queeniekylee.com.

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