There are loads of maps of the capital but this one is very special. Why? Because it’s a record of all the places in London that have meant something to me over the years – from Lavender Hill, where I used to hop on the 6.30am bus for the early shift on the Evening Standard, to Queen Mary University of London, where I wept with pride when my daughter got her degree.
I’ve hung the picture in the kitchen and spend hours admiring it, spotting somewhere different each time. There’s St Bride’s Church, the journalists’ church in Fleet Street, where my daughter was christened in a long white robe passed down the generations, the Southbank Centre’s skate park, where my son always stops and gazes in wonder at the skateboarders’ leaps and twirls and the American Bar at the Savoy, where my mum used to take us for a drink on Tuesday nights once she’d finished her column.
PS. I’m a bit of a pushover when it comes to personalised presents. My most successful gifts to other people have included ink stamps from The English Stamp Company, bags with the names of important destinations from Not on the High Street and satchels from the Cambridge Satchel Company, embossed with people’s initials.