Thursday, 19 November 2009

green apples, fondant fancies and earl grey tea...

Have you ever done something and immediately forgotten about it as you never thought anything would arise from the seed?
I have.
But every now and again, something does spring up and makes you so happy your head goes light and excitement and pride fills your every thread of being.
And so it was with a section of our week - Tuesday was the day we were heading to London to pick up an award I never even thought we would be shortlisted for.
We were going to London to pick up our Green Apple 2009 for Environmental Best Practice.

This award was based on our efforts at the Royal Horticultural Society London Plant and Design Show in February 2009 - our little eco front garden - 'the electric urban orchard'.

So in true eco fashion and dressed in some of our finest, we boarded a Southern train and rolled up to London Victoria to attend the awards ceremony which was held at the awe inspiring House of Commons.
Once through the very intimidating security system, we wandered through sections of the House (occasionally interrupted by security personnel who asked if we knew where we were going - we didn't a lot of the time). At one point we ended up by the Parliamentary florist, who is housed in a bottom section of one of the gate arches, and I could not resist the urge to pop my head around the heavy oak door and ask further directions.

'If you get to the river, you have gone too far' was the reply, 'so turn left before you get there!'.
We did, and found where we were all congregating - a lovely little section next to the House alongside the River Thames.

Greeted with tea, sandwiches and cakes, we instantly regretted the horrible plastic offering we had bolted before we entered. But, so as not to be rude of course, we had a lovely cup of Earl Grey tea (with milk) and a couple of perfectly cut finger sandwiches and one of the tiny, Alice-in-wonderland style cakes. The looked beautiful and tasted even better.

Once we had all congregated, the awards began, and it was truly humbling hearing the size, scale and commitment of many of the projects who had also gained an award. We felt very proud yet as if we didn't deserve to be there.

One project had saved £750,000 and thousands of tons of CO2 by adapting a few changes, another organisation had planted 50,000 broad leaf trees and another had created a whole toad habitat in wales to prevent them needing to cross a main road.

It was incredible to see and hear about all of the inspiring projects, and it was fantastic when people also wanted to hear more about what we do at the office.
After we had been presented with our award, we did a little more networking and ate another posh sandwich or two, then wound our way back to the south coast with our Green Apple nestled in our bag.

Well done to everyone who was presented with an award and thank you to the Green Organisation for putting it all together. We met some wonderful people and came away inspired and enlivened by all of those we met.


  1. Tea and cake in the crucible of power - not bad!! Well done on the award

  2. Thank you Martin! We did feel a bit like extras from Spooks, and it was very odd thinking about who else was in the building.
    They all eat very well if our tea time spread was anything to go by...

  3. That is a mighty fine shiny green apple: congratulations. I hope that you will carry it with you always.
    I notice that you also seem to managed to avoid all MPs which has to be another bonus.

  4. Congratualtions - what a fine award, very stylish.

  5. hello claire

    well deserved to you, congratulations. I seam to be on a time slip here so just seen the news lol

    hope plans are going well take care