A Bit About Berni : Artist, Accommodation Hostess, Celebrant, Blogger, Loony…

“Real – Enthusiastic – Joyful – Poetic” .. B Brockman 2019
Berni & Hubby, John celebrating 25 years of Happily Unmarried Bliss
25 Years of Happily Unmarried Bliss

So this is me: Bernice Benton: celebrant, stained glass artist, B&B owner, Official Loony…

I believe that every person is extraordinary, that every chapter change in the novel of our lives is worth a celebration. Everybody is unique; and, as The Alternative Celebrant, I aim to help people celebrate, commemorate and remember in their own unique and ordinarily extraordinary way, by helping to create and then deliver services that truly reflect them, encouraging them to be true to themselves and those they are celebrating, forget about what is ‘expected’ and do it exactly how they want. I specialise in intimate, honest, heartfelt events: funerals, remembrances, elopements, vow renewals, joining ceremonies and other unique personal reasons to punctuate your story.

I own a small rural B&B, Cerdyn Villa in Llanwrtyd, Mid Wales; I am a stained-glass artist and teacher: and I am Lady Lily the Pink of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party. Sometimes these hats are worn separately, but somehow, they all work in synergy to create one unique and alternative package.

…some people would say I’m eccentric… you can judge for yourselves… .

I turned 50 in 2017.  I don’t know how the hell that happened!  When I look in the mirror I’m always surprised it’s not the 18 year old me looking back…. time just rages on.  It was about then I decided I wanted to be an Independent Celebrant.

My life was very ordinary, until I realised it wasn’t.  Until I realised no-one is ordinary, no-one’s life is ordinary and we can all and do all experience the extraordinary in our everyday lives.  We simply don’t always notice.

My blog finds the extraordinary within the ordinary.  It is a celebration of all things everyday that make each of us unique and ordinarily extraordinary human beings. …..

“Berni is the voice of Bogsnorkelling, my happy companion gardener, a mind full of artistic and looney ideas, and a friend who can be a warrior when needed but always kind and compassionate” – Jenny W Sept ’20

A Bit About Berni , the Accommodation Hostess : Cerdyn Villa B&B

“Visited with a young family and we loved our stay here! Bernie is so welcoming and friendly, the kids loved feeding the chickens and the breakfast was plentiful and tasty! It’s really close to the train station in a beautiful location.” – Matthew – July 19 via booking.com

Way back in 2005 we upped sticks and moved our lives to the beautiful town (village) of Llanwrtyd Wells in Mid Wales.

No planning, just a sp

Cerdyn Villa Guesthouse, BnB, Bed and Breakfast, Llanwrtyd Wells, Powys, Wales, accommodation
Our B&B , Cerdyn Villa, Llanwrtyd Wells

ontaneous move born out of desperation. We run a B&B from it (Cerdyn Villa, LD5 4RS, come and visit us 🙂 ). We could not be happier. I am an accommodation ‘hostess’ and I’m pretty good at it, I knew I would be.  I always wanted to have a guesthouse.  Hubby, was never so sure, but he is an excellent host, he loves to chat with the guests as much as I do.

We’re in Wales because Hubby and I quit our middle management office jobs after a two-day holiday to a place chosen by sticking a pin in a map.  We visited Llanwrtyd Wells, Mid Wales and returned home to sell our house, hand in our notices and pull our 7yr old son out of school. We moved ourselves here lock stock and car transporter within 3 months of the initial visit.  Without a care in the world, much of a plan or a backward glance.

A Bit About Berni, The Alternative Celebrant

I believe that every person is extraordinary, that every chapter change in the novel of our lives is worth a celebration Everybody is unique; and, as The Alternative Celebrant, I aim to help people celebrate, commemorate and remember in their own unique and ordinarily extraordinary way, by helping to create and then deliver services that truly reflect them, encouraging them to be true to themselves and those they are celebrating, forget about what is ‘expected’ and do it exactly how they want. I specialise in intimate, honest, heartfelt events: funerals, remembrances, elopements, vow renewals, joining ceremonies and other unique personal reasons to punctuate your story.

“Berni has a charismatic warmth, which makes people feel safe, important, worthwhile, interesting. Berni is welcoming, she oozes love, reassurance, compassion” .. J Oddie 2019

I don’t like to follow too many rules.  I also think that many things are cause for celebration.  I’m an atheist (born to Jewish parents – also atheists).  As an Independent Celebrant, I can design services and celebrations for any occasion; be it weddings and funerals to divorce parties; coming out ceremonies, pet funerals, vow renews, naming ceremonies; commitment celebrations; memorials…anything.  I’m always working hard to ensure others celebrate their own extraordinariness in a way that best reflects their personalities.

 

A Bit About Berni’s Unique Stained Glass and Acrylic Artwork

“I have the privilege of unique piece of glasswork made by Berni in my reflexology treatment room. So many clients comment on its beauty. This was a vision Berni had from a photo and one she developed with love.” – Katie P

Berni at Internation Womens Festival Exhibition , Brecheiniog Theatre, Brecon, exhibition piece, Stained glass panel

So here’s a little bit about Berni, the artist…

I always felt I had “an artist in me” so started community art and stained glass classes and now that’s what I do.  These days I also use our home as a studio for my art and glass business.

As well as the B&B and the arty stuff, I do gardening work, the odd bit of bar work and the odd bit of waitressing.  I also do loads of other adhoc things that  present themselves.  For a while I ran a craft shop called In the Pink.

HRH Prince Charles, Myddfai Commuinity Hall, Brecon Sustainable Development Fund , Stained Glass window Project, Year of the Welsh Legends
HRH Prince Charles, ‘opening the curtains’ at Myddfai Hall – Year of the Welsh Legends window
“We’ve 3 pieces of art from Berni and they all are bloody amazing.” – Kells  – Nov ’18

I love people who ‘don’t fit into a box’ , eccentrics, rebels, free-thinkers.  Anyone who’s a bit ‘alternative’….

Bernice Benton, Cerdyn Villa B&B owner, Monster Raving Loony member, Lady Lily the Pink, Glass Artist, Blogger and moreA Bit About Berni’s Alter-Ego, Lady Lily the Pink…

…Which is probably why I joined the Monster Raving Loony Party as my alter ego, Lady Lily the Pink, soon after moving here and discovering my home is in the town where Screaming Lord Sutch played his last ever gig and also the place where the party has its Brecknockshire H/Q. I’ve even stood for parliament….

What can I say about Berni, the Loony?

protest against temporary traffic lightsat 2yr anniversary
raising awareness of the 2 year anniversary of the temporary lights

I would say I’m a bit of an antagonist.  I like to stand up and be counted when I feel people are wronged.  I like to ‘advocate’ for those who feel they don’t have a voice.  As such I often find myself in ‘hot water’ or in the local press for making a noise about local issues when, perhaps, the public servants would prefer everyone to keep quiet!  Anyway, I’m sure my blogs will cover some of these antics…

russian egg roulette, world alternative games, llanwrtyd Wells

Bog Frogstag party, bog Snorkelling, Berni as the Bog Frog
Bog Frog with Stag party this weekend – I really didn’t think I’d be the only one wearing fancy dress (or clothes for that matter!)

I do, of course, happen to live in the most eccentric town in the UK; also the smallest.  A happy coincidence (some would say ‘fated’).  Llanwrtyd Wells invented Bog Snorkeling; Man v Horse Marathon; Mountain Bike Chariot Racing; to name but a few.  It also created the World Alternative Games… gathering eccentric pastimes from around the world together bi-annually to the benefit of the community, the amusement of the world and the interest of the press.  I take my hat of to the great characters and the wonderful personalities you will no doubt read about here

 

Berni & Ffloyd…

Berni and Flloyd at Hillman Imp Club National at Hatton ParkTent attachement by Sails of MeritWe are great fans in our household of classic cars;  I own a 1968 Hillman Husky, now Lady Lils campaign wagon.  Originally baby blue, but when I acquired it, it was Ford Navy, and unless I wanted to set up a pet funeral service and use it as a hearse, it really didn’t match my personality.

Over the years since he/she ( Ffloyd is sexually fluid) came to live with us, she has gone from navy to Barbie Pink, then had the black front seats sprayed pink to match.  More recently , my classic car restoring step son, sprayed her this very mature and gorgeous magenta.  I added a pink fur roof liner and the front seats were replaced recently with a pair from a Ka, (once they’d been sprayed pink)… it now sports , what the Hillman Imp Club might refer to as, ‘The Hungarian Brothel’ finish!  By the way… a double airbed fits very nicely in the back, and the amazing Sarah Liscoe of  Sails of Merit, made me a pink changing tent from an old pink gazebo I happened to have.  It hangs off the back hatch, making camping with it a reasonable activity.

Eldis, classic caravan

Ffloyd, Hillman Husky
originally Hubby sprayed her Barbie Pink for me

We also own a late 60’s Eldis caravan which I bought to be a studio in our garden, A 1972 Volvo, a Singer Chamois (called Clifford) and an Imp, sprayed bright yellow and with the roof cut off (Thunderbird 4).

 

…some people would say I’m eccentric… I think of myself as ordinarily extraordinary, just like you xx

 

(32) Comments

  1. I love seeing Berni grow in so many different ways. I am so pleased she is following her heart and has become a celebrant. She will excel and soar, she will be the same free spirit, both thoughtful and caring and utterly unique.
    I have the privilege of unique piece of glasswork made by Berni in my reflexology treatment room. So many clients comment on its beauty. This was a vision Berni had from a photo and one she developed with love.
    One day we will work together on our new ventures and I can’t wait for this to happen.
    Berni I am so pleased to be able to call you a friend xx

    1. Berni Benton says:

      thank you so much for your lovely words . Wouldn’t it be magnificent if an opportunity to work together presented itself xxxx

  2. Berni is a fabulous person and artistic spirit, creative, generous, funny, easy going and just well… lovely, whether she’s all dressed up in pink or not! The house is also beautiful, welcoming and cosy, as are the gardens, peopled by gorgeous, chatty chickens. I’ve greatly enjoyed learning from and working with Berni in her stained glass workshops and look forward to more!

    1. Berni Benton says:

      Deborah, thank you so much! Look forward to seeing you too now that workshops can restart xx

  3. Kim Thomas-Jones says:

    Bernie, this page is full of amazing content, I love it. Story telling is always the way to get peoples interest and attention, and we have a complete history of you, and what ‘Bernie’ is about. Congratulations, it’s brilliant. Looking forward to hearing more. Kim.

    1. Berni Benton says:

      thank you so much xxxx

  4. Sue Watts says:

    Love it xxxxxxxxx

    1. Berni Benton says:

      thanks Sue xxx

  5. WOW

    Wow Content

  6. […] at A Bad Witch’s Blog, Rose Tinted Ramblings, Mabh […]

  7. […] at A Bad Witch’s Blog, Rose Tinted Ramblings, Mabh […]

    1. Sue Hazell says:

      Lovely website and lovely Bernie. A very special person that I’m so happy to have in my life. You just couldn’t hope for anyone better, whatever your needs.

      1. Berni Benton says:

        sue, the feeling is mutual x

  8. Hugs and kisses.xx

    1. good to see you… looking forward to seeing you again soon

  9. Looking forward to reading more! Thank you for the inspiration!

  10. Hi Lady Lily, just wanted to pop by and say hi and… And… Gulp…. A Hillman Huskey. My parents first car in 1960. I was four and sat in the back while dad swore and mum worked the crank shaft to start it on a Cold morning because he couldn’t and the dog slobbered down my neck and… I have to follow for that and having voted Looney in 1987 when despairing of everyone else. What other connections will we find. PS you are not middle aged btw. I’m middle aged and only just at 59 – I have plans to embarrass my children for decades yet. You are in your middle youth. Just saying….

    1. lovely to chat – you know, pretty much everyone who sees me in Ffloyd talks to me, which is one of the reasons i love having him/her. Most people seem at some point to have owned or been in an Imp… very few a Husky – they’re pretty rare …only about 60 left. That chunk of life …middle youth (i like that) through middle age is pretty exciting i’d say… more confidence , more time, less self consdciousness …and kids , even grandkids to embarrass … i do it with flare… i have to say i’m quite an exceptional mother if success is based on the embarrassment factor.

      1. Brilliant – we can share tips. My daughter knows the more expensive her wedding plans (if she ever decides to wed) the greater the embarrassment that will ensure – currently the threat is the 50 plus (in age) naked glee club (with me in the lead) singing Love is all around us as she walks down the aisle..

      2. PWAHAHA! That I would love to be a fly on the wall for… although with that hanging over her i suspect she is unlikely to marry.
        Offv to the Senedd in Cardiff on Saturday with a bus full of Loons to film more for our Party Political Broadcast….. there’s a blog update there ….watch this space

      3. Can’t wait. Good to know the loons are still with us but then again if Boris replaces Cameron and Corbyn remains in place for 2020 I think one has to admit satire is finally dead.

      4. you’ve nicked my punchline – my whole point as a Loon is to reveal that we already have it!!!

      5. Oops. Soz…

      6. lol… glad others see it too x

  11. Witney In The Pink ABC Witney says:

    Loved reading your blog, We have a pink day in Witney on the 4th of October, all the shops go pink and lots of the streets are decorated with pink ballooons, we also have a pink car parade, but nowhere near as many cars as you had in yours. If by any chance you have friends from your parade who live near by could you ask them if they’d like to get involved in our parade, it’s only a couple of hours and is for Against Breast cancer. cheers Anya witneyinthepink@gmail.com

  12. Hi, I looked at your Rapido some time ago, nice. Anyway recently got the smaller version and looking to find the long sofa covers in the fabric you have/had and as I read you were recovering them I wondered if you still had the original covers? I got the van off an Imp Club member actually, how can I email/contact you to follow this up?

    1. i still have most of them – i actually just popped half of them in the bin – but will go and rescue them now – are you going to Imp National in Huntington next week? if so my partner can bring them – you can email us at enquiries@cerdynvilla.co.uk

      1. will email you shortly

      2. emailed okay

  13. hey, just dropped by to say hello

    1. Hi – thanks for dropping by x

      1. And thanks for following, reading and sharing your thoughts.
        Look forward to seeing you more frequently

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