Last week 'Queen's Counsel', the cartoon strip I've drawn in the Times since 1993, was awarded "The Cartoon Art Trust Award for Strip Cartooning" at the annual CAT Awards. The Cartoon Art Trust supports the Cartoon Museum in Bloomsbury, hosting the CAT Awards Dinner to raise funds for the museum and keep its doors open.
At the dinner were some of the finest cartoonists in the UK - Matt Pritchett, Mac of the Mail, Nick Newman (who co-writes Private Eye), and plenty of politicians and lawyers to dig deep into their pockets to support the good cause.
I'm not sure I felt entirely worthy of the prize - there was too much talent in the room, too many great cartoonists. And I wasn't the only one who seemed to feel that way. The lifetime achievement award went to the amazingly talented Peter Brookes, who does the daily political cartoon for The Times. In his acceptance speech Brookes said: "I was going to say I don't deserve this award, but then I'd run the risk of everyone agreeing with me". Which is pretty much how I felt on the night.
Queen's Counsel has been in the pages of The Times for almost 25 years, so it's probably an award for longevity as much as anything else. But when I said this to Mac of the Daily Mail he said "longevity? I've been in the Mail for 40 years. That's longevity!"
And, of course, he's right. Malcolm Gladwell says you need 10,000 hours to get good at something, and right now I'm probably about half way there.
So maybe in another 25 years I'll get really good at this stuff.