Privilege Looks Like This…

Over the years I’ve had many conversations with friends from all over the world about white privilege (and yes, seen it all too clearly in my own life). In the past two years I’ve also seen evidence of what I would call ‘British privilege’ (it is not exclusively British of course – and, indeed, spread unevenly through the British Isles – so perhaps it would be more accurate to call them Anglo-Saxon Attitudes, to quote Lewis Carroll and Angus Wilson). Here are some examples, with no further comment, just to get things off my chest. For more excellent examples of these kind of liberal blindspots and microaggressions, see Americanah.

What is your evidence for saying that the general discourse against foreigners has worsened in the last two years? Do you really think that people are less tolerant now? I haven’t seen any examples of that. If you don’t like it here, why don’t you go somewhere else?

Do you really get that question ‘Where are you from?’ I have to say, I’ve never had anyone ask me that. (From a blonde woman with an English-sounding name). You must be exaggerating. Anyway, there is nothing inherently bad about that question. It just shows genuine curiosity, people want to find out more about you.

The UK has always been interracial and tolerant of all the different ethnic groups throughout our history. The only reason we have now started turning against our Commonwealth brothers is because we are trying to make up for the immigration we cannot control, the one from the EU. We have to allow all those people in, so instead we are putting all sorts of barriers up for those whose immigration we can control, like the poor people from the Commonwealth. That was never the case before.

There are so many empty houses in Spain – why do you think no one from the UK is going there under this freedom of movement? I’ll tell you why: because the UK is far too generous with its benefits, so it’s more likely that the Spanish are coming over here.

I am vegetarian, I am careful about recycling, I no longer use plastic straws, I care deeply about dolphins and sharks and other animals. I travel all over the world and love finding out about other countries and cultures. I am very much against racism. But… We’ve had to accept far too many people from the EU who are not qualified and our infrastructure simply cannot put up with it. I mean, just look at what has happened in Germany with all those refugees they have let in.

Where are you from? OK, but I meant, with a name like that, where are you originally from? Or where are your parents from? That is so interesting! Do you ever go back there? Do you still have family there?

What would we do without immigrants? I mean, our whole NHS would collapse without all the doctors and nurses from abroad. They certainly need to continue to allow valuable people like that into the country. It’s just those others doing unskilled labour and driving down wages who are a problem.

I don’t understand why people want to come to this miserable, rainy island with all the potholes and crowded trains and all that. I would love to live in the sun and on the beaches of many of those countries.

On a lighter note, here is the answer when I ask people in the UK what they think those coming to visit or stay in their country find most difficult to adapt to:

The weather? Queuing? What do you mean – unmixed taps? I’ve never had a problem with that!

 

Source: Zamzamacademy
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Friday Fun: Converted Barns

Barns were very popular types of conversions in my part of France, after people ran out of chateaux (or budget) to renovate. Here are some to pique your interest…

The Mill on the Floss type of barn from Brittany, from bellesdemeuresdebretagne.fr
Contemporary Dutch barn interior, from kontaktmag.nl
Probably more of a warehouse than a barn, from countrydecos.net
Lots of gorgeous stonework, from Red Banana Studio.
American ambition, from thisoldhouse.com
Barn for sale in New York State, from Brown Harris Stevens.
British conversion, from Ideal Home.
And we finish on a French note again, by Franck Labbay Architecte.

Friday Fun: Contemporary and Futuristic Homes

Glass seems to be the building element of choice for futuristic homes. Let’s just hope there’s no one waiting to cast any stones!

The mountain chalet updated in Colorado, from onekindesign.com
It’s all about the views in this Brazilian home, from Casa Claudia.
High ceilings seem to be compulsory in modern houses, as in this Spanish house. From Casa Luxo.
Inverted clifftop house (bedrooms downstairs, living room upstairs) from habitusliving.com.
Another American extravaganza, from houses-design.info
Now we move onto futurism, from luxuryhomedecor.org
More modest and sustainable: a container home. From mycontainer-house.blogspot.com.

Friday Fun: And We’re Back to Normal Libraries

We’ve resumed normal service after all of the mountain-themed posts in recent weeks. We are back to libraries – although there is probably not much that is normal about these home libraries!

The library for world travellers (aka Dan Brown and his wife). From Media Book Bub.
Cool blues in this library from Architectural Digest.
The chic library featured in Vogue. Love those armchairs with foot rests.

 

Too few books, but comfy armchairs here too. From relaxdeco.com

 

Libraries with galleries are always more interesting… From Pinterest.
Library from the Villa Lombardia featured in the film Call Me By Your Name. Now for sale on houseloft.com.
Vertical aspirations in this library from Tumblr.

Friday Fun: Luxury Mountain Lodges

I think the Americans must have a different definition of mountain lodges to just about anyone else except the Swiss. Have a look at these! Certainly not the kind I will be coming back to rest in after skiing…

Ready to go canoeing? From Stonewood LLC.
Montana Magica hotel lodge in Chile, from Atlas Obscura.
A dreamy terrace to admire the view, from Style Estate.com
Swimming pools are of course always a bonus. From poolguide.com
When you are isolated on a mountain, you can afford to have big windows. From Once Upon a Better Home.
After a hard day of climbing mountains, isn’t this the perfect spot to come back to? From mountainventures.com

Friday Fun: More Mountain Escapes

Preparing for my ski trip at the end of this month, so all I can think of currently are the mountains. Sadly, I have the feeling that my accommodation won’t be quite as attractive.

Mountain resort Chumbipemayangste in India. from booking.com
Traditional Japanese ryokan in the mountains. From Japan Quest Journey.
The view from the Alpine Escape studios in Romania.
Mountains and sea – the pinnacle of views! From Annandale Black Tomato, New Zealand.
Maliba Lodge, South Africa, from Pinterest.
Another amazing landscape from New Zealand, Te Kahu.