Welcome to the Home of my new Online Magazine . . .
Because sometimes FANS can live like Rock Stars too . . .
This Premier Issue is a goodie!
It may even help you plan your next vacation!
In this issue I will take you to the location of one of the most famed rock-n-roll photoshoots of all time AND
tell you how to spend the night there!
So Scroll Down and Follow Me to Merry Olde England;
Fair Land of Ruins, Rolling Hills
& (most importantly)
A ROLLING STONES FANGIRL'S
ROCKS CIRCA 2017
We had made a long drive up from the southern portion of The Cotswolds and were a bit frazzled from hours of driving on the wrong side of the road on a busy Friday afternoon. Our GPS had not been helpful. In fact, we had begun to suspect that she disliked Americans and was trying to steer us wrong as often as possible. But our tension melted the moment we turned onto the gravel road leading to the property. The pavilion is surrounded by pastures on all sides. Fourteen horses grazing on three sides ignored our approach, but the sheep made sure we were aware of their presence by "baaaa-ing" continually.
We parked the car under a big tree inside a special enclosure built to keep the neighboring livestock off the grounds. It was a completely surreal moment for me: I had just driven straight into the landscape from my favorite Rolling Stone photoshoot. It was everything and more that I dreamed it would be! I staggered out of the car, somewhat zombie-like in my giddiness. Sensing that I had been rendered useless, my husband went about the task of unlocking the front door while I stood inside the walled enclosure with my jaw dangling as my mind tried to grasp the fact that I was actually at the place of my teenaged dreams.
at the Swarkestone Hall Pavilion in the early evening.
Of course, just as we arrived, it began to get misty and look like rain. But my husband loves horses and sheep, so he was already enchanted from being enveloped by the beautiful creatures on all sides. (As was I.) We could have been sleeping in the back of our car and still enjoyed the surroundings! Nevertheless, the real litmus test awaited: would the inside of the Pavilion be equally amazing? I mean, it WAS the last three nights of our 32nd Anniversary trip and they needed to be special.
Any concerns I had harbored evaporated immediately when Dan opened the door. We peeked inside and began grinning like chimpanzees. It was immediately apparent from the craftsmanship of the stairwell that the inside was going to be as spectacular as the outside. We galloped up the beautiful stairs to the first floor.
Dan opened the door, we stepped inside . . .
And from that moment on, we never wanted to leave!
Dan investigates the roof and the bathroom . . .
I should probably mention that my husband and I were on our vacation to celebrate our
Anyone who has been married for any amount of time knows that's A VERY BIG DEAL.
When we made the decision to go to England I told my hubby that we HAD to stay at the Swarkestone Hall Pavilion because I had longed to see it in person since I first saw it in the Rolling Stone photo as a kid. I showed him photos and he thought it sounded pretty cool. (Not the Rolling Stone connection part - just the restored English landmark part.) Let's be honest: No man wants to think that the only reason his wife suggested staying in a romantic, renovated ruin for their anniversary was because the Rolling Stones had been there. I'm not a complete idiot, so I tried to be sensitive to this fact. (Tried being the operative word here . . .) And because I am so sensitive in a Rolling Stone-Awareness kind of way, I did warn Dan that there could be a few things that some might regard to be "minor drawbacks" when compared to staying in a swanky hotel.
Firstly: There was no TV or Wi-Fi. Dan likes to read, so that was no biggie.
Secondly: We would have to climb to the top floor and cross the roof outside to get to the bathroom located in one of the turrets (which is a brisk prospect if it rains). And it's in England. So it's gonna rain! But Dan likes camping, so he was still game and I booked our stay as fast as my fingers could type in the reservation on their website.
Ummm . . . I may have forgotten to mention to Dan that once, during a storm, lightning had struck the lead roof of one of the turrets. I just crossed my fingers and trusted to God that there would be no lightning during our stay . . .
Besides, the Landmark Trust always provides fire extinguishers!)
As an gift for our 32nd anniversary, my husband agreed to photograph me posing as all of the Rolling Stones from the famous Michael Joseph photo shoot at Swarkestone Pavilion.
To pay homage to each Stone, I had to pose in five different outfits in ten different poses.
As my husband patiently waited, I changed clothes in the bathroom in the top tower. It was, of course, impossible to perfectly replicate the pose on the Hot Rocks album because Swarkestone had been a windowless ruin when the Stones draped themselves over the ledges. So I struck poses on the rooftop as similar as possible (and photoshopped them onto a single photo later). Once I finished posing as a particular Stone on the roof, we would trot down three flights of stairs so that I could pose in the yard as that same Stone. Dan marked his spot in the grass so that he could photograph me from the same angle each time.
This took about 2.5 hours (or longer).
It was the most wonderful anniversary gift.
(For me that is. For Dan . . . Maybe not so much.)
It's just another one of the reasons I married him . . .
He's my very own Michael Joseph!