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There’s an old saying that I find surprisingly helpful even in modern life. There’s nothing more a White person with a nickel hates more than a Black person with a dime. Essentially, White people have been so brainwashed by their global privilege that it makes them sick to be confronted with the reality that sometimes, Black folks are just doing better than you.

That’s what happened with London editor Liv Siddall and Paula Sutton.

In this example, Siddall is the White person with a nickel. And Paula Sutton is the Black person with a dime.

Her dime just so happens to be an estate in the English countryside. And Siddall was so incensed by the idea of Sutton sharing images from this beautiful life that she let it drive her off if Instagram. But instead of keeping her feelings of bitterness to herself, Siddall shared them with the world.

In a tweet, she’s since deleted, Siddall wrote, “Deleted Instagram today for the first time ever (eight years!) Don’t know when I’ll be back, but let it be known that this was the image that did it.”

She included an image of Sutton sitting pretty on a picnic blanket, on a well-manicured lawn, in front of that countryside estate I mentioned earlier.

It was a moment of ridiculous jealousy and likely some unaddressed racism. But what the devil meant for evil, God used for good. Siddall’s tweet only served to drive more attention to Sutton’s page. And while there you can’t help but notice the beauty and her follower count jumped significantly.

Eventually, Sutton learned what caused the spike in numbers and she graciously addressed Siddall’s concerns about her feed.

View this post on Instagram

Well, it’s been the strangest 24 hours that I’ve ever experienced on social media. It started with a twitter rant using my picture as an example of what is wrong Instagram (the author has since contacted me privately and apologised) and ended with an incredible outpouring of love, support and kindness that I will be eternally grateful for. I – like many people – started this account to talk about the things in life that make me happy; Architecture, A styled room here, a cushion there, a baked cake, a summer dress or a bunch of flowers… It turned into a space where I felt comfortable to show my face and to also write a little about my feelings of positivity and being grateful, and more recently exploring my feelings of loss in losing my mother whilst still trying to seek out joy… It’s always been a safe little corner to explore a creative side that I kept hidden for so long after servicing the creative endeavours of others. I enjoy creating little scenes and stories… I’m inspired by old Hollywood, and by the fashion photography of the 1950’s and 60’s, and all that is reflected in my images. I suppose what I didn’t realise – in my naivety – is that some people look at the pictures without reading all of the captions and therefore understanding who I am… These images are meant to be joyful and fun, and are styled and created to please the eye. They are a tiny snapshot of an otherwise very mundane and normal life. Too shallow for you? Perhaps….but I’m a firm believer in taking the responsibility to find the content that brings YOU joy and moving on from the things that upset you. I just want to thank each and everyone of you who understands that, and who came out in droves to follow, cheer on, show solidarity and support. I’m not one to dwell on things, so that’s all I shall say on the matter, but THANK YOU. From every inch of my heart. With love ‘Auntie Paula’ – as it seems I am now known!! xx❤️💫 • • • #forevergrateful #joyseeker

A post shared by Paula Sutton (@hillhousevintage) on

Sutton explained that Siddall contacted her to apologize. But she started this page to share the things that make her happy.

Most importantly, Sutton wrote, “I’m a firm believer in taking the responsibility to find the content that brings YOU joy and moving on from the things that upset you.”

And there’s the rub.

Siddall’s comment ultimately launched her into another realm of popularity and she was later profiled by The New York Times.

In the interview, she shared this about race and being accepted in the space of country living.

“When I started in this community, it genuinely did not occur to me that it was not a place for me. My mother was into country houses and country living. I didn’t think it was out of the norm.

My parents arrived to England from Grenada without a penny to their names but were able to eventually build a lovely life for themselves. They instilled in us that we could achieve anything. So I didn’t think that a lovely lifestyle and a nice house couldn’t be mine. But at the same time, making it sound easy would be unfair. I know life isn’t as simple as wishing.

The situation last week has opened my eyes a lot. But I also believe that people should live their dreams and be unafraid of what other people think.”




You can check out images from Sutton’s beautiful Georgian home on the following pages.

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I’ve mentioned in the past how, at first blogging – and then Instagram – gave me a creative outlet at a time when I needed it most. Despite my now positive outlook (i.e. grinning in every photo 😁) , there was once a time when I wondered what direction my life would take, having left London and my career for a new adventure in the English countryside without a solid plan or clue. Social media is often criticised for good reason, but through it I have made lifelong friends, learned new skills, grown in confidence and moulded my own personalised version of a creative career – whilst simultaneously finding comfort in the kindness of strangers who have shown interest in my ‘journey’. Through these increasingly difficult and isolating times, being able to touch base over the internet with family, friends and ‘friends that we have yet to meet in person’, has become increasingly important. Today, I sat down in the comfort of my own sitting room and chatted with Charlotte from @vivietmargot over a cup of tea. Nothing odd about that? Except Charlotte’s tea was being consumed across the pond in Charleston, USA. Our ‘Live’ conversation (which is still available to watch on her stories for a few more hours) was a wonderful excuse to chat about life transformations and things that make us happy…. a topic close to my heart, and so important to harness in these extreme times. Despite living in Charleston, South Carolina, Charlotte also spends much of her time here – in this incredible French countryside house in Deux Sevres. It was the inspiration for her company @vivietmargot and the catalyst for her own story of reinvention. Definitely one to follow and certainly one to inspire. 💗xx • • • #community #itsgoodtotalk #allinthistogether #beautyseeker

A post shared by Paula Sutton (@hillhousevintage) on

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I’ve always been a big daydreamer. My daydreams usually revolve around beautiful houses and gardens, and what I would do with them and how I would live in them… Even as a teenager – when I had grand ambitions of becoming an architect triggered by one trip to the Ideal Home Exhibition circa 1983 – my daydreams revolved around pretty houses rather than pop idols or pretty boys! Sadly my commitment to my imagination was stronger than my commitment to being good at maths – a necessary requirement for studying architecture – so that particular ambition died a quick death. However, my love of beautiful buildings and my imaginary walks through their rooms and grounds thankfully never waned… I say this because the start to this year has been a particularly challenging and sad one for my family, and as I sit here listening to the relentless rain, I find immense comfort in my imagination and thoughts of beautiful homes and gorgeous gardens. It’s probably why I love the escapism of Instagram so much… Instagram allows me to stumble across beauty such as this; the stunning @chateaudetocqueville as found via @classicist_org (If you love classical architecture you’ll love this page) At first my eyes were drawn to the stunningly perfect symmetry, and then I noted the hydrangea bush and immaculate climber and I was completely and utterly smitten – (all ideas that I intend to implement this year at Hill House.) Apparently this tower (part of the larger chateau) can be rented out for short stays – which proves that Escapism can in fact sometimes become a reality – and what better or happier ending for an active imagination can there be than that! 💫 • • • #littlestoriesofmylife #classicalarchitecture #loveofcountryhouses #france #oldhouses #chateau #oldfrenchhouses #imaginebeauty #escapismisgood #escapismisgoodforthesoul

A post shared by Paula Sutton (@hillhousevintage) on

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