I was born in the seaside town of Morecambe, Lancashire and until my mum met my stepdad and we moved inland to Blackburn, we lived with my Nan and Pop – Ida and Colin. The Hemingways were a working–class, Yorkshire family (Nan had moved to Morecambe for health reasons), thrifty and careful. Nan and Pop died a decade ago – I miss them dearly, but I can still taste the veg that Pop grew in their tiny back garden, the fruit he grew in his home-made greenhouse, the stews that Nan made in Pyrex casserole dishes that were clean but ingrained from 30 years of cooking the same stewing steak and onions. I can smell the homely smell of sofas, cushions and rugs that had served them well since the fifties, and my school butties wrapped in old Co-op bags and sealed in Tupperware.
You may have read in the press, or heard it on the radio, that I got an MBE for services to design in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. So tug your forelock, doff your cap and curtsey. My mum is really proud, everyone in the village knows, and she’s about to go out and buy a fancy hat for the visit to the Palace
Put money into property? Are you kidding? Not when it makes good sense to renovate rather than rebuild