It’s no secret to my friends that I had a close relationship with my aunt, who was my mentor. Two weeks ago I was asked by English Heritage to represent the family by unveiling a blue plaque on her house in Halsey Street. I enjoyed many memorable visits, ate delicious meals and carried out creative house repairs there – I was a kind of honorary household ‘comptroller’ (her word). It was in this Chelsea street that I built my aunt a sink cabinet on the back of my open Land Rover, woodwork shavings blowing down the pavement and neighbours being mostly tolerant, if understandably a little grumpy. Yellow lines were yet to arrive. There was a flex to trip over but even that could start a friendly chat. This was my entree into kitchen making.
The BBC have picked up on the unveiling story. .
There were three other speakers (pic below, left to right): food writer Rosie Hanson, Rosemary Hills, writer and academic from English Heritage, and Jill Norman, food writer and literary executor. We all told stories about her life for half a rainy hour, revisiting the remarkable, productive life she led for many years just behind the walls, windows, steps and door we stood in front of.