Oh lucky man.
I feel really priviledged that my big birthdays have been celebrated by our cooperative with great parties. For my 50th, we had a long lunch in a marquee in the sun-drenched roof gardens on what had been Derry and Toms department store in Kensington High Street. For my 60th we had just won the new Herbarium at Kew Gardens, so they organised a great gathering in the magical Temperate House; this was accompanied by the premier of 'The Greenhouse Effect' by David J Weber a pupil at the Purcell School of Music where we were building their Music Centre, played by the bursar's quartet.
More recently we combined my 70th with the celebration of Claire Herniman's 40th year working in the office, managing us and our money; this time we partied with friends of the practice in Global Generation's inspirational mobile Skip Garden in its first location at Kings Cross.
This time I was given a wonderful present of 100 trees as part of the Trees for Cities charity that plants woods in the more deprived parts of our cities; since 1993 they have planted over 500,000 trees in the UK and abroad with the help of 65,000 volunteers. We currently have one tree for every Londoner but we need two to help mitigate the effects of climate change. So, on a cold and damp Saturday morning in February, my granddaughters and I joined over 300 enthusiastic teenagers and other volunteers to plant 10,000 fruit and nut-bearing trees in King George's Field in Southall. What a wonderful present - thank you Cullinan Studio!
*photo of the tree-planting volunteers in heart formation courtesy of Trees for Cities