Our outspoken pink shutters are known to spark discussion about its origins, with some raving about them and their clear-cut charm while others reject the insipidity they represent for them. I have no intention to raise that fire and am fully aware that there is no arguing about taste; this is what bold statements provoke, even if they are not meant to be provocative. Our love of intertwining things also turned them into an identifying part of the narrative around our life at Les Pierres, probably further complicating nonacceptance.
Some people are convinced that the fluorescent complexion can’t be a natural one because “You know, it’s so unusual”. This does strike me odd on many levels, but mostly because the counter argument is right there, not just in the flowers we planted all around, but even in our adjacent veggie garden where the emerging Borlotti Beans (Lingua di Fuoco) instantly prove them wrong.
Years ago, when Ivory was working for a magazine in Holland, he went on an undercover mission to a weekend gay-conversion-camp in the UK, where the Jack and the Beanstalk story and its morality were used to reclaim masculinity. It was all very hush hush and secretive, with the location of the weekend being disclosed last minute and use of phones or watches not allowed to create a vacuum.
For a few days he disappeared from the face of the earth and with various brainwashing techniques often used in sects to bind participants, attendees of this weekend were asked to reenact the trauma in their youth that supposedly made them gay, forcing a different outcome before sending them home with a small bundle of well-deserved magic beans.
His reporting about the experience eventually led to questions in the Dutch parliament and government funding for similar organizations being scrutinized and halted.
Being the sane, critical and pragmatic person he is it still took Ivory weeks to recover and to this day I’m sure he is safe-keeping the magic beans somewhere. I respect his contradictory renunciation but like to think that putting them in the ground instead will result in something pretty and pink, like the paradise we have found.
Because nature doesn’t do unnatural.