Letter From Home Part 3: All White, Alright?

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Gleaming pristine white dazzles and dares you to upset its cool fabulousness. In almost every home I visited, white is the color of choice. Glossy smooth surfaces, sumptuous seductive leather, cozy cuddly cashmere, white is everywhere. Fittings, fixtures, and furniture are all determinedly white. Bathrooms are clinical and kitchens are like laboratories. All the homes I visited from stately Georgian town-homes to Edwardian villas, rustic farmhouses to mid-century-modern bungalows, the interiors were dominated by varying shades of white. The ever- present brilliance of whiteness comes as a stark contrast to England’s frequent cloudy gray skies. The whiteness is even more noticeable when you come in off a grubby street jam-packed with dirty, dusty automobiles. From super-duper Teslas to top-of-the-line prestigious German models, keeping a car clean appears to be a low priority in England. But, presenting an unblemished sparkling white home interior is de rigueur. Far different from my days of growing up in England. Then, most homes were decorated in various shades of awful. Garish wallpaper, hideous prints on everything and stubbornly oppressive furniture. The whiteness in today’s English homes seems to be a statement: “We’re modern, we’re cool, and we’ve got brilliant taste!” Yet this is a quandary for a visitor like me, still perplexed as to who voted for Brexit?”

For the month of June and part of July, Life Elsewhere. host, Norman B has been revisiting England, his home country. Part of his journey has included interviews which will appear at later dates on the program.

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