January 28, 2013

Don’t Read This

Several times over the past few weeks, I’ve received e-mails from readers unhappy about what I’ve said in this blog. One person was rather furious that I had negative things to say about the painting of Kate Middleton. I was in good company there, as most major art critics around the world were scathing in their comments on the painting.The second person berated me for my comment about old lady dealers at auctions. She was quite ugly in her e-mail and was personally insulting to me. She didn’t even have the good grace to leave her remarks in an anonymous comment, but sent them in an e-mail, complete with her information. It’s rather shocking that someone would insult me to my face like that, and over a seemingly innocuous comment. Of course, as most reasonable people understand, I am not forcing you to read Pigtown*Design. I am quite pleased that you do read it, and I love that you leave comments and send me nice e-mails. But no one requires you to read what I say. And as most reasonable people also understand, what I write here is my own opinion. Most-times it’s positive, it’s informative, it’s a little bit educational. Sometimes, it’s critical. All of the time, it’s real and most of all, it’s what I think.

If you don’t like what I write, please don’t feel obligated to read it. But don’t send me ugly e-mails demanding that I unsubscribe you immediately. If you look at the bottom of the almost daily e-mails, there’s a place that you can unsubscribe yourself. I can’t do everything for you.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I attended a wonderful art preview on Friday evening, and it was just the perfect antidote for a snowy evening – the chance to see fabulous photographs of a really special garden. This five-acre garden was created from nothing. Just an old ridge line with loads of rocks, no special features and nothing to recommend it. The owners have worked on the gardens since the mid-1980’s and have created a special place for themselves, and others.

One of the fun things about this party was the live event painter, Patricia Bennett. As the party swirled around her, she painted the event to be saved for posterity. What a terrific idea!

Another highlight of the party was meeting a man who is interwoven with my childhood memories!The one, the only and the original Gomez Addams, also known as John Astin, shown here with my friend Nancy Hill, Director of Cylburn, where the party was held. The Addams Family was my favourite TV show and I loved the wicked sense of humour and sophistication of it all. Mr. Astin is a native Baltimorean and is currently teaching acting at Johns Hopkins University.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The Auction on Saturday was somewhat successful, although I didn’t get the Governor Winthrop Secretary desk that I wanted. It was in a lot with two huge clunky Victorian pieces that I did not want, and so when the bidding went above my limit, I dropped out. I did get a big box lot of fabrics including some gorgeous ikats and silks, as well as another box lot. Coopers (7)David, however, scored like a bandit, getting the amazing sofa that he had his heart set on.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I came back from the auction to see a big box on my porch and when I opened it, I found the most gorgeous flowers from a friend in California!morganLush pink tulips and blue Siberian iris flowers are just the thing I needed on a bitter cold winter’s day! Thanks, Morgan!!!

I know I’ve said this dozens of times, but I am so lucky to have such great friends.


  1. Hello Meg,
    I just wanted to say that I LOVE reading your blog - I don't always agree with your views because I am not you and hold my own strong views on many or most things. I have full respect for people who say what they think and I for one don't want to live in a world where we must all just agree on everything rather than accept and value our differences.
    How boring and dull that would be. So, please continue to do all that you do. Share your adventures and state your opinions. A
    s you said, we have the power to choose.
    Personally I choose to continue reading Pigtown Design and long may it last.

  2. Hello Meg. Don't worry about negative comments, however disheartening they may be. We all get them, and we just have to accept it as one of the downsides of blogging. (And I'm not referring to people disagreeing with what we say - who cares about that - but to those who are without the wherewithal to construct an intelligent argument about what they disagree about.)


  3. Hello Meg, I was formulating my reaction to the negative comments problem, but then Columnist expressed my feelings exactly. An occasional bad comment at least is a sign of a wide readership and that your topics are timely and touch a nerve. (However, as a Clevelander I've had to hold my tongue about that Ravens necklace--really, now!)

    You were very lucky to meet John Astin, a great actor and comedian. I'm glad to see he's looking so good and is still active.
    --Road to Parnassus

  4. Love the sofa that David got. When I spied it in your prior post, I was so jealous that I couldn't be there. Great score with the fabrics.
    Just ignore the crazies. xoxoxoxo

  5. Hi Meg - Hahaha....loved your comments to the naysayers! I thoroughly enjoy your blog, read it every day (and appreciate the fact that you post almost every day). Conner's antics crack me up, unless he's eating the blinds and standing on the roof, your well researched information about Baltimore, etc. So interesting. I'm in PA so want to plan a visit to Baltimore and have been keeping a journal of all the great places you've written about.

    Keep up the good work and, as Mary said, ignore the crazies!


  6. Meg,
    Geez people are perplexing- I wouldn't want everyone to agree with me all the time- how boring and limited would we all be in what people can teach us? There is a blog out there for everyone. When we get to a point can't be honest, well then really what's the point of anything? Unless the emailer is a personal friend of KM why does she care you didn't like the portrait? I didn't care for it either -as i felt it didn't capture her freshness and true current youthful beauty. It seemed like a glimpse into the future and most people were uncomfortable with it.

    I too LOVED the Adams family so what a fun day you had!

  7. Kudos to whomever had the chachas to email you without hiding behind 'anonymous'. You might not like what they said, or how they said it, but I certainly respect that they had enough respect for you to say it to you, from them, without playing games.

    Now...in the words of the immortal Phaedra Parks - If they aren't talking about you, you aren't relevant. Congratulations! You've arrived!


  9. I wish I would get some negative comments. The closest I came was a few years ago when I was trashing the book Sophie's Choice and went on to express my ambivalence about Meryl Streep. I either need to be more provocative or a bigger readership. (The former probably helps develop the latter.)

  10. I read your blog, Little Augury, Pure Style Home, Cote de Texas, and from time to time a few others. As a lover of portraits, I was perplexed at Kate's portrait: why is it so large? There is a size considered optimal - the head should be 3/4 life size in an oil portrait - as it gets larger it starts to be grotesque. Somehow the artist did not get the proportions quite right; he should have just shelved it and tried again another time. Hopefully someone like Nelson Shanks will give it a go. Over the next 20 years there will be countless portraits of this lovely girl!

    Suzanne on St. Simons

  11. Meg, I am absolutely dumbfounded by people who actually take the time to express such negativity to a blogger. Don't they realize the nature of blogs such as yours? As you so clearly stated, your blog is your place to express your opinions; it is not a forum for discussion or exchange of ideas. Those who disagree with you so strongly are more than welcome to create their own blog to share their viewpoints. Please don't let the actions/opinions of so few bring you down or, heaven forbid, discontinue your blog. I, personally, have discovered and learned so much from you. I miss you on those few days a week that you don't post. So, if I may join the other posters who are encouraging you, let me just say: Stay Calm and Carry On!

  12. Isn't it amazing how many stupid people there are in the world? It's one thing to have a different opinion and to voice it politely and another thing entirely to insist someone else change to suit them. Some folks do seem to thrive on indignation; can't be bothered myself. Love that couch - bet it's very cozy in winter!

    1. Sadly, no, it no longer amazes me that hordes of stupid people inhabit our beautiful country. What's worse is many of them are actually educated and have no excuse to not "get" our first amendment: we're not in North Korea; you don't have to read anything you don't want to. Gah! Don't get me started.

      On the upside, take it as a sign that you've reached blogging fame. No one bashes a nobody.

      Meg, I love your blog and look forward to reading it every day. You and every art critic worth their ink were spot on about the Duchess' portrait.

  13. Golly, all I get are spam comments telling me I have many spelling mistakes in my posts.

    You seem to incite a much more excitable crowd.

    You also have a huge group of followers so I guess it's not surprising a few would disagree. But then again, why read you?

    You don't see me following a bunch of Log Cabin Republican blogs. Why? Cause I may have friends who belong in this group but we don't spend hours talking about our differences and I don't know to know their innermost thoughts.

    But I like to know yours. Especially on OKL. hahaha.

    xo Jane

  14. That picture of Kate was a hideosity. She is gorgeous, and it was lifeless. Dull. Blah. It did not capture her spark.

    I can't believe people sent you ugly emails about that. Ignore them. They'll go away, and if they don't, ignore them anyway.


  15. Meg, I am so sorry that you experienced such ugly reactions, and although I would like to say "Just ignore the rash comments" I know that is not always possible. I read your blog every day and enjoy it so much. The only positive thing I can say is that at least someone had the guts to put their name on their comments. I truly appreciate the work that goes into your blog and someday I will analyze why I enjoy it so much. Until then, please know that there are many more who appreciate your efforts whether we agree with your opinions or not. All the best to you and Conner.

  16. I always find it weird when people complain about the opinions of others. They're opinions; we all have them. It's one thing to disagree, and even say so, but why would anyone waste their time berating a stranger for disliking a painting?

    I enjoy your blog, Meg. You always share such lovely (or ridiculous) things.

  17. Give me a break! Some individuals have too much time on their hands and (I think) enjoy spewing negativity in every way they can. Meg, your blog is a joy to read as there is always a topic of interest to agree with or not. There is no reason for someone who's opinion differs to be just plain ugly! Isn't there an expression about it's not what you say but how you say it?
    A happy thought - the beautiful flowers from your friend made me think Spring!

  18. "If they aren't talking about you, you aren't relevant",loved that quote from Phaedra Parks. The key here is he/she wanted You to unsubscribe + How funny. I know he/her comment must have been hard to read; however, You are doing a grand job.
    Aren't those flowers from CA special? xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

  19. Don't take ANY notice of such people - rise above it! I love your blog - don't change anything.

    Some people are just jealous or spiteful - hence the name 'troll'.

  20. Say anything you want! You are intelligent, ladylike, and not blasphemous or scatological. That's perfect in my book. Don't worry about what the crazies say. Now, I must have been living in an East Coast hole. I never realized that brass was 'out.'. I don't collect Indian brass, only English,usually antique brass. The last few days several bloggers are rediscovering brass. What's up with that? I have never lived in a new house, so I've never had builders' selections in my house. I think certain things are classics and never go out of style.

  21. Such a lovely flower vases. Are they available in retail stores?

  22. Hi Meg, I'm the Live Event Painter, Patricia Bennett. I really enjoyed reading your blog post about the Brightside Gardens opening and Brightside Gardens. I think you captured the feeling of the event perfectly. The Cylburn Association really knows how to throw a party!

    Thank you for including me in your blog:) too!

  23. Meg,
    Your posts are interesting & original.
    Always enjoy your point of view, whether it
    agrees with mine or not. I appreciate someone that states their opinion and doesn't try to sugar coat or please everyone, which is of course, impossible to do. You are always diplomatic and never offensive. Those that respond in a negative manner need to chill a bit and stop over reacting.

  24. Hi, Meg,
    Just another fan here in blogland wanting you to know how much you and your blog posts are appreciated! I love that you have your own point of view and that Pigtown Design is not the same as many other blogs. Keep up the posting about all things British whenever the mood strikes you. I love hearing what you have to say!
    xo, AnneHH

  25. Great attitude Meg! What a gorgeous bouquet and wonderful gift. During the 4 years of visiting my son at JHU I was always looking to catch a glimpse of "Gomez' on campus - no luck. Glad you had the opportunity to meet him!

  26. Just wanted to chime in and say "I read you....loud and clear", and enjoy it always. :)

  27. Sigh, envying you the box of fabrics from the auction - what excellent luck!

    Your "I can't do everything for you" remark really tickles me......thanks for the chuckle!


  28. I had to stop by and show my support.
    Please keep blogging and ignore the nasty, negative ones...
    I took a break from blogging over the holidays because of some nasty comments.
    I almost made my blog private, but ultimately I decided not to give those ogres power over my life.
    I respect your decision to address this and cut them off at the knees.

    Your blog is a gift and appreciated by everyone who counts!


  29. Meg, for readers who want only happytalk, there's already plenty of fluffy blogs full of that stuff, where every gimcrack girly tchotcke is doted over and the latest Hunky-Decorator-of-the-Month is annointed as the Second Coming of Albert Hadley, but where actual ideas are far outnumbered by exclamation points!!! Thank you for being real.

    By the way, that incredible sofa David scored is a room in itself and only needs a langourous pyjama-clad Bright Young Thing slouched in it, propped up on Fortuny pillows.

  30. Box of fabrics oh my. I scoop up patterns at thrift stores. I justify it as building an archive of fashion design. So many un opened patterns an opportunity lost to create ones own style now it is up to me to pry my hands from the computer and put my fabrics to work alas not all fabrics are suited for all patterns I shall have to educate myself on 'What will work" and then make it work. I love jackets the short cropped jacket.... I digress meg do you have a collection of apparel patterns?? McCalls 2127 circa 1985 or should the shirt dress coat dress make a return Simplicity 9703 circa 1972 ?? I have a Bernina 930 This is a bit overwhelming however I shall Stay calm and Carry on.

  31. "I can't do everything for you." That made me laugh.

  32. How DARE anyone disagree with you? And then to voice their opinion and actually put a name to it? What is the world coming to?

  33. Hi Meg - it must have felt awful to get such negative, personal emails. I love your blog - love your voice, and your openness, your taste, your Conner...! Don't let the baddies get you down. You are so appreciated, especially on these grey winter days. I think I'll try to get in for the Kips Bay house. Thanks for mentioning.

    Have a great great day!


Thank you for reading and commenting on Pigtown*Design. I read each and every comment and try to reply if I have your e-mail address.