The Heatley Cliff

Why Robert Downey Jr. Would Make An Amazing Pretend Butler

When we created the Heatley Cliff, our intention was to imagine a perfect escape. A place that suited our tastes, our sensibilities, our love for the pastoral English countryside and a way of living that harkened back to gentility and good matters. In our everyday life, it’s hard to find the time to have a picnic by a gurgling brook, or a proper tea service (doilies and all!) or even something as simple as hours in front of a roaring fire reading an excellent book. In point of fact, we almost never find the time. The Heatley Cliff gives us an emotional place marker. It  is a day dream go to for what our lives would have been like had we not had children or careers or jeans. If we had been born ladies of leisure, we would reside at The Heatley Cliff.

Part of the great fun of this World Of Warcraft for chicks type of musing is the notion that we never have to actually do anything laborious or tedious. This is obviously not how our real lives work, but at The Heatley Cliff, We. Have. Staff.

And since this is an imaginary world, we have chosen our staff based on wit, intellect, humor and muscle mass. For months people have been asking us to deliver a full list of all those who work with us. So come on over this week on the Heatley Cliff so we can introduce you.

Our Land Steward is the super intense hottie Gabriel Macht. His job is to collect rent from the tenants and to make sure the estate runs at a profit. Nothing gets by this guy, not even the new dress I’m wearing this evening. Hello.

Our House Steward is none other than the silver fox himself, Anderson Cooper. He does all the hiring and firing and purchasing for the Manor. We needed someone who wouldn’t be intimated by all the Richie Rich things we have (he’s a Vanderbilt, after all). He is also responsible for hiring the men you see before you. Thank you, Anderson.

It is true that cutie patootie Ewan MacGregor  was our butler for a while, but he had a bad habit of dipping into the wine cellar and whooping it up with the rest of the staff. As a butler, he is supposed to set the example, but let’s face it, he’s too cool and nice. We were secretly relieved when he  tendered his resignation so that he could go around the world, again, on his bike. So we hired a guy that’s clean but far from squeaky. Robert Downey Jr. is a hoot and a half, but that man gets things done. And then some. You don’t cross the Downey.

Anyone who listens to our podcast already knows that our beloved “Fassy” Michael Fassbender is the chef here. He does not like to be called “the cook”, under any circumstances. Trust me on this one – he’ll make you pay with a raw diet, and not just vegetables, people. Ordinarily though he is saucy and sassy and we quite enjoy him quip with his sous chef, Chris Pine. Talk about banter!

So let’s talk Footmen.

We are traditionalists here at the Heatley Cliff, and we hire our Footmen based on the same qualifications they used in the olden days. Hotness. The men we employ are all long, tall drinks of water. Funny, because they can actually get us long, tall drinks of water. We don’t overdo it though. We couldn’t actually or we would basically just stare at them all day long and not do anything else, so we only have three. Henry Cavill is our First Footman, Alexander Skarsgard is our second and Chris Hemsworth is the under footman, and yes sometimes his younger bro Liam subs for him when he has to go be Thor. You’re Welcome.

My daughter has a theory that there’s at least one girl in every elementary school class that’s horse crazy. Like, really crazy. That was never us, but had we known Joe Maganiello would end up being our Head Groom, we might have prepared a little. Joe likes to take us on long walks in the high meadow grasses. Imagine the the movie Mr. Brown if Mr. Brown was smokin’ hot and I was Queen Victoria. It’s not all idle walks, sometimes we do ride hard and fast, together. Stop, Amy. Right now. Jesus.

Joe can’t be expected to handle all those horses alone, so we have Nacho Figueras there as well as a groom to help out. I mean, he does know a lot about horses, and polo and being internationally sexy.

We love flowers here at the Manor. And we find that wandering through our garden on a beautiful spring day to be one life’s great pleasures. We have a formal garden. We have a kitchen garden for Fassy, and of course we have a cutting garden so that Gosling, our head gardener, can bring the outside in and decorate our home with the smells and colours of his life’s work. I especially love it when he puts a vase of fresh cuttings on my bedside table. It’s so  silly of him to think that I would need reminding of him when I lay in bed. Originally in our podcast, Sher and I agreed that all the dudes from Magic Mike would be part of the garden staff. Then we saw the movie. Alex Pettyfer looked dirty all the time (and not in a good way) and Matt Bomer was too pretty. Joe already is our horse guy (no pun intended if you’ve seen the film!) so we decided that between Gosling and Jason Mamoa, they could handle the work. But please, if you have any ideas for additional landscaping staff, please feel free to  leave a comment. You may notice that I’ve attached photos of them shirtless because they are mostly shirtless around here (hey, gardening is hot, dirty work!) and I wanted you to really get a sense of what it’s like for us at home.

Ever since Downton, Sher and I agreed that hunting birds that aren’t cute would be fun. We don’t want to shoot anything fluffy or overly mammalian and birds generally, as a rule, terrify me. Also, guns make us feel pretty bad ass. We also like to pretend we are Katniss every once and a while and get our bow and arrow on. Who helps us with all of this? Why, it’s our glorious Gamekeeper, Taylor Kitsch. He is so tough, but yet, oh so gentle.

You, of course, are always invited to pop in any time you wish. But we can’t just let everybody come over – this is paradise, after all, and we would be inundated. That’s why we need a gatekeeper. Yes, it all sounds very Ghostbusterish, but seriously, we need someone at the entrance to the Manor to make sure that only our friends (or people delivering packages of yarn and shoes) get through the gates. For this task, we’ve employed the seriously tough Tom Hardy. Look at him. You don’t mess with this guy. Unless, of course, you’re a consenting adult, if you know what I mean…

Speaking of Ghostbusters, like all proper English Manor houses, ours is haunted. We got a lot of ghosts floating around here. Basically what this means is that we get to keep company with anyone we want, living or dead (great loop hole huh?) So one of the ghosts who’s a real regular is this guy-Not sure who he is?  And yeah, I’m talking to you, teen girl. This is Jim Morrison. Not the fat, whiskey bloated version who couldn’t deal with fame Jim Morrison. This is the Lizard King, behold him in all his glory.

photo from guy webster

Don’t worry. We’re not all about men here at The Heatley Cliff – soon we’ll be posting a list of our female staff. We do love our eye candy, but it would be weird with just us and all those dudes…wouldn’t it?

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