Love letter to Charlie

11 January 2015
Ben Pentreath

Six months ago this week my life was turned upside-down. I had the amazing fortune to be introduced to the most wonderful person I’ll ever meet… the most wonderful person that I think a lot of people will ever meet.

Around about last July, regular readers of the blog will have noticed a chance in spirit in this text. I was very shy of writing about Charlie to start with; if I’m really honest, I didn’t want to screw anything up by saying too much of what I felt.

The story of how we met is, in its own little way, rather wonderful, and doubtless will be a tale that we recount in years to come; one day I might even sit down and write about it here. Suffice it to say; things happened, and in the late summer, I was blessed when Charlie moved in with me.  It wasn’t that much later that we decided to get engaged.

And on Friday, Charlie and I were married. I’m also not going to say too much more about our tiny ceremony in Camden Town Hall, which was so strangely, deeply, curiously moving; or about the lovely lunch and evening we had with our closest local friends afterwards; I’m not going to say too much about how happy, proud and frankly amazed that I am to say to people now… please meet my husband, Charlie.  But I am.

One of these days, too, I’ll probably write on this blog about the changes at home. Some are big, like the beautiful new wallpaper in our bedroom (that’s a BIG change for a decorator… let’s just remember what this blog is normally about); some are small… like a kitchen which is now never without an avocado. They are all wonderfully, gloriously life-changing and life-enhancing and every single day of my life I feel like the luckiest man on earth.

I think it would be wrong not to have a little thank you, too, for a change of culture than within my own lifetime means that I could get married on Friday to the man I love. I think, if I’m honest, that even on this blog, if you look back, you’ll find me struggling with the social changes going on here. I’m so lucky; and so grateful – especially on a day where the world struggled with a different type of intolerance, in Paris, that in the quietest little way, Charlie and I were able to do the most wonderful, lovely but normal thing in the world, by expressing our love for one another, in front of our friends – for now, and for ever. Thank you too to my Mum and Dad, for their support and understanding; thank you to all my friends who’ve been so excited about this massive change in my life.

I’ve already had some lovely comments on the blog, and please, there is no need for any more. There really is nothing more to say except thank you to the kindest, most genuine, most wonderful person I’ve ever met… for joining in life’s great adventure with me.

Charlie, I love you.

Unknown Unknown-1

94 comments on this post


You are fortunate and do is Charlie.


Dear Ben,

A mutual friend told me about your blog. I am DELIGHTED that you are so happy, many congratulations to you and your Charlie.

Your Valentines article in the FT was great, very touching and true.Congratulations

Faith A.says:

Many congratulations Ben, such exciting news. All happiness to you and Charlie in your life together.


Congratulations to both of you!
Ben although we’ve never met and I’ve called at the shop every time I come to London from Liverpool ( I did on one occasion have a lovely conversation with Bridie) and I read your blog each week you are someone who touches the people around you however remote with your words, your spirit and your general enthusiasm for the here and now.
I sincerely hope you will both find happiness for many years to come.
Best Wishes


To Ben and Charlie, look forward to meeting you both hopefully, we are delighted for you.
Much love, Jenny and Ian et


So Ben, you now have your readers writing to each other in the comments section. Who knows what sort of anarchy and general assorted mayhem might follow?

Lisa! Thank you for your message to me – very chuffing. I too noticed that there were two PPs replying to the last post of Ben’s. (Well actually, now I look again, there appear to be three, though two are me – having written one message, not seen it appear, and written another, so compelling was my need to send congratulations).

So by my tally, there is one upper case PP (me) and one lower case pp (who is not). No assumption of grandeur implied by the choice of case, obvs. I’m the PP of sheets and cakes and other daft comments. I’m in Australia, but am actually English and shortly to be in Dorset for two months, though with my mother-in-law and not with Ben and Charlie. Alas alack. I used to comment under the name of, or something like that, but since I haven’t updated that blog in over a year it began to feel a little like false advertising. Maybe I should resume it for the sake of clarity (the name, not the blog, which is a long story – house, restoration, psychopathic builder, court case, judicious though reluctant silence).

Which is all as clear as mud, probs!

No need for more comments? On your and Charlie’s marriage, on happiness of this scale, there is always room for Congratulations and a BIG HUG for you both! Best wishes always!



Congratulations Ben and Charlie!! Thank your for sharing the beautiful moments in your life. You truly are an inspiration!!


I had to comment. Probably because of the rebel in me. Being asked not to do something? Impossible not to do it. I did try sitting on my hands..sorry.
So here it is. Congratulations. What lovely news.
My mother lives in Poundbury and I often read your blog over the phone to her and send her some of your photos. So I feel a tenuous albeit ridiculous link.
Your heartfelt words were so moving, being loved and loving in return without having to worry about anything, and so fully is a lucky thing, I’m so pleased for you both.
Sigh, x


Huge congratulations,just read last weeks blog.So,pleased for you both hope your life is filled with joy,happiness and lots of love!


I see I’m a ‘lurker’. Lurking, maybe but moved to tears of by this wonderful post. I wish you both tremendous joy in your life together.


Of course the greatest thing in life is… love and be loved in return.hx

nessa ryallsays:

Congratulations! I am so happy for you both! Wonderful!


A few posts ago Ben mentioned that people enjoyed reading the comments also. So can I address this to ‘PP’. The PP of’the knotted sheet out of the window’ and ‘the upside down ginger cake’. I still burst out laughing when I think of them. Priceless.
But now do I detect we have at least two ‘PP’s? One in Australia and one in the states ? Perhaps we need some PP identification. And Ben…I think you should transfer the congratulations from the previous post to this. You probably didn’t expect such a huge response. You are much loved by your readers. Lisa

i know you said no need for more comments ben.
and i’m number 78! all the way from the middle of the usa.
but i couldn’t NOT say . . .
every word you wrote just sings with happiness and love and the simplicity of a beautiful life together.
it’s an honor that you shared it with us!
to you two.
the best. always.

W O W ! ! !

Charlie and Ben!!!!!

I am so happy for you guys. HUGE congratulations.



Such a beautiful expression of love. Congratulations and best wishes for much happiness to you both.


Congratulations and best wishes for your future together!


I’m late to this (busy week) but I saw your wonderful photos on IG and my husband & I were both pleased as punch for you. We married in Toronto in 2003 just after the law changed and though we had already been together for 10 yrs at that point, it was a surprisingly heartfelt moment I didn’t expect. To be able to say “this is the love of my life and we’re married”… Well, it’s great! All the best to you both for a long & happy lifetime together.


I was prickling with tingles as I read your post, skipping with such insouciance as it did, down to a wedding. And then I was filled with warmth at your shared joy. Happy times Ben and Charlie. May your life together be full of richness and depth and subtlety. And all those everyday things too – shared silences, both saying the same thing at the same time…. all of it!

I too am glad the UK finally woke up and made this most fundamental choice available to everyone. And not before time. Here in most of Uh Straya it’s still not allowed – my friend’s son had to dash off to Canada to marry his man.

And of course there were comments. What did you think? That we’d all say ‘ho hum’ and turn back to our coffee?! And of course curious ears want to know how you met, and curious eyes want to see the new bedroom wallpaper, all in good time…

melinda kesays:

Congratulations to you and Charlie! Wishing you many happy memories in the years to come!

From someone who rarely comments but who just had to this time … Congratulations!

Sue Lentonsays:

Warmest congratulations. Such a lovely contrast to last week’s events.

Congratulations, what a happy sight! Such cuties you two are.
Much happiness to you both from California.


How can we NOT comment? Congratulations and every best wish to you and the utterly adorable Charlie–and thank you as always for sharing your extraordinary life with all of us.


Wonderful news Charles. I hope you and Ben will be soooooo happy for ever. Congratulations. Love Victoria (your mothers friend in NZ)

PP(the other one)says:

Well of course there were going to be comments. Axiomatic, innit?

I literally tingled all over as I scrolled down your post and was filled with warmth by your evident joy. Thank you for sharing it with us. My very sincerest wishes to you both for a life together which continues to expand and deepen over the years.

And obvs we (well, I) want to hear the story of how you met, and to see the new wallpaper in the bedroom…


felicidades desde madrid!


Congratulations and best wishes to you both! Looking forward to reading about the happy years to come.

Suzy O'Briensays:

Wonderful, wonderful. And a fabulously happy life together.


So happy for you and Charlie. Congratulations!


And I am still laughing at pp’s comment as there is a bit of that at my house, too. Even my teenage sons know about you 🙂


What lovely news at the end of a not-so-lovely week — your joy is contagious! Best wishes and congratulations to you and Charlie.

david noonansays:

congratulations ben and charlie. super happy for you both.


Each week I start my day reading Ben’s uplifting thoughts,and beautiful images, and my world is all the better for it.
Today it is time to express to Ben and Charlie my joy on the happy news of your marriage.
Of course we do not “know” each other in the formal manner,much is the pity.
However as someone who has read weekly for quite a while, I simply wished to say I wish you both great joy.

You have made a very cold Canadian winter morning, sparkle just that much brighter!

Sharon Marchsays:

Did you really think you would get away with no messages of congratulations ! wonderful news ,you look made for each other,so happy for you both – Sharon

Pierre B.says:

Scorpio and Capricorn should make a good match… Congratulations!


Congratulations! It is wonderful when two people who love each other are able to marry. Happiness always.


Do excuse me (you have said there is no need for any more comments), but in a world full of intolerance and not enough love, after #jesuischarlie #jesuisahmed #jesuisjuif…. Please allow me to say how thrilled I am for you and Charlie. The best is yet to come !



A perfect start to the year. Congratulations to you


Oh Lord! I rarely fail to shed a tear on a day we are just talking about the Parsonage’s crop of dahlias – you cannot imagine the current waterworks on reading this wonderful, wonderful news.
As someone who has never met you but who regularly tells my saint of a beloved husband that I’ll be off to live with you at the Parsonage whenever I’m in a huff with him (you are quite safe – we live in NW Connecticut with three small children) it might be considered doubly odd that I’m sitting at the kitchen table mopping up tears of joy while contemplating popping a champagne cork at 9.30 on a Monday morning. But for those of us who read your blog not just for the design inspiration but for our weekly nudge to seei the beauty, joy and kindness in everything and everyone right in front of our noses, the news, even so early out of the New Year gate, that Ben and Charlie are MARRIED will surely top the best of all our 2015 lists! Thank you for sharing your wonderful life with so many of us strangers. And especially thank you for sharing your love for Charlie with us. If Saint Husband and I are this thrilled for you (HUGE heaving sighs of relief from him!), I cannot imagine how much joy and happiness you and Charlie finding each other and your marriage has bought to those who actually know and love you. Enjoy your happiness together and long, long may it last. You are so deserving of it.


As one who had to wait over thirty years to marry his beloved I know that “strangely, deeply, curiously moving” reaction you had at the ceremony (ours in a judge’s chambers at the Supreme Court of New York) and I wish you all the happiness you surely will enjoy! All the best to you both!


I’m so happy for you both! I’ve been following your blog for so long but only now I felt the urge to leave a comment. Thank you so much for sharing!

Peter and Cynthiasays:

Congratulations on this great news! We look forward to meeting Charlie, in Dorset perhaps?

Could those smiles be any wider? In tears! Lovely! All the best, forever!
(…no need for any more [comments].” Be real! This is HUGE! And OMG, the world needs as much good news as it can get.)

Melanie Snydersays:

I am so happy for you. My husband and I marched in more than one Gay Pride Parade in California so that our son, for one, could marry the love of his life. May you have many happy years together

My most heartfelt congratulations to you and Charlie! I am so pleased that I had the opportunity to meet you both last month, and be able to see your happiness in person. xoxo


Congratulations! May happiness follow you always.

Congratulations to you both; wishing you all happiness and blessings for the future.


Solid delighted for you both!!


Just one more comment? Please? Well done!


Well of course you must have many,many more congratulations! I wish you both every happiness and thank you for sharing this with us all


Congratulations and all the very best for you both.


Reading your post this morning made me shed a tear for your happiness! So thrilled for you both and your contentment is so wonderfully contagious!


What a happy day! Congratulations Ben, to you and your beloved Charlie( who has such a sweet and kind face)- I am rooting for you that you’ll have the same long and happy marriage that I have enjoyed.
Why shouldn’t you go through life with a best friend by your side?Makes life all the more sweeter! And, in light of all that has happened lately in the world, I have come to realize that it’s wrong for anyone to impose their values on us .
So here’s to Ben and Charlie: Be happy!


Such happy wonderful news. Anyone reading this blog knew Charlie was good for you. (Just like those avocados.) I wish you joy, Ben and Charlie!


I am yet another lurker (ardent reader of your blog posts) and just wanted to wish you and Charlie a wonderful, wonderful life together. … So glad you found one another. Lee

Susan Tattersallsays:

I have been married for 30 years this year, it is the best thing I ever did. So happy you have found someone wonderful to share your life with, nothing beats it. Many Congratulations to you both.

Philip Krabbesays:

Congratulations to your both – love is what its all about!And by the way a handsome pair of guys! My only concern is Charlie might distract you too much from your always inspiring and interesting Blog…


armloads of flowers boys


Jenny Msays:

Beautiful news, congratulations to you both. So good that you are able to be married…thank goodness times are changing. from another lurker. (from down under)
PS. Ben, also thank you for all your beautiful posts & photos.


Very best of wishes, your love shines through and your faces say it all, blissful happiness which is richly deserved after all the happiness you have brought so many with your beautiful blog.


This is the first time you have made me cry
on a Monday morning – beautiful words and
thank you for sharing your joy.

What a beautiful and wonderful expression of love and tenderness. It brought tears to my eyes and I do not even know you.
Congratulations. You are both lucky to have found each other and embark on a lifetime of adventures as one.


I am really happy for you, what a lovely way to start Monday. With very best wishes for the future.

Margherita, Parissays:

I saw the llovely photo of Charlie posted on instagram after being extremely saddened by Alan Turing’s life in The Imitation Game and I couldn’t help, then, feeling particularly happy, for you both and for all the people who value freedom and justice. Much happiness, boys!!!


best love to ben and charlie xx

Wishing you both every happiness and many happy returns of your wedding day


Congratulations! What a lovely post.


Your blog is always joyful and brings me much pleasure every Monday morning but this is a particularly happy post. Many congratulations and much happiness.

As hugely happy for you as a person who knows you only through onoine prese=nce is capable pf being (which is still pretty happy!) Good for you guys, hope you will be very good together for a very long time indeed 🙂

Karl Stedmansays:

Wonderful news, congratulations. All the very best to you both.

Gerard Ellissays:

Congratulations Ben & Charlie. Go maire sibh bhur saol nua.


WOW….congratulations to you both! Ben, we know how truly wonderful Charlie is….so now, cannot wait to meet you (who has captured his heart)! Roll on February/March….¨down under¨ xx

So happy to read this! Many congratulations to you and your darling husband Charlie, wishing you all the joy and love in the world as you start your married life together X


CONGRATULATIONS!!! I and the whole of Benland are thrilled for both of you! You are a beautiful, talented pair!


So happy for you both. So beautifully put Ben. Finding each other was the last piece of the jigsaw for you both xx

Very classy post. Jonathan and I wish you much happiness. It’s a great thing being able to marry the man you love, and so wonderful to live in a time when it is possible.

Congratulations!!!!!! Wishing you both many happy years to come!


Another lurker. All the best to you both, and thank you for this most wonderful blog.


How wonderful for you both! <3 Cheers!

Steve Truncellitosays:

Congratulations and best wishes to you both for a lifetime of happiness.

Susan ehrekranzsays:

How lovely- and what happy news .


Ben, you have brought such happiness to me in sharing your life for the last few years, thank you for the honour of sharing your greatest joy. Congratulations.


Cheers to your happiness! Congratulations Ben and Charlie!


A lurker, coming out to say congratulations! What a wonderful thing!

Lady Bilgewatersays:

Thank you for all the joy you give to the world. May you both find happiness around every corner.


Mazal tov!

Southern Galsays:


l’amour est la vie!

Erica W.says:

Awww! Congratulations to you both!


beautiful words ben. all the best to you and charlie..

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