Sunday, November 8, 2009

Strange few weeks

Yesterday, I wrote a blog post for the STC France Ning group. Here's some of it: 
Derek Torres was a member of STC France. He was also member of STC Chicago, and if he was a member of any other chapter, please excuse me for not knowing to mention it. Many of us here in Europe might remember him from the Region 2 conference in London a few years ago, back in the days when we still had regions. He and co-author Stuart Mudie (also a member here in France) gave us a preview of Windows Vista. It was a session well-worth attending, for me at least, since I decided then and there to skip moving on to Vista.
Then, he moved to Paris and became more involved in our local events. I saw him last March at our Conference, where he presented the results of his survey on the wiki as a viable collaborative tool. It was right after the birth of his daughter and he was giddy with fatigue.
Since then, I followed him via facebook and Twitter as he battled the Paris transport system on his way to work in the suburbs.
He was so experienced -- a published author, and all. I didn't realize he was so young (33, Carrie told me) when he died at the end of October from complications due to the H1N1 flu. Just a couple of months younger than my eldest!
I've just come home from his funeral at Père Lachaise.

It's strange how Derek's death has affected me. I think it's because he was just a few months younger than Claire. He's left a wife and three young children. His brother, now taking responsibility for the whole Torres family, is Louis' age. In the last five years, the family has lost all the grandparents, the father, and now Derek. Anyway, as you can see, I've been affected by this.
But what else is new? Nothing much. I went to the chiropractor and walked almost all the way home. Her office is near the Arc de Triomphe and I didn't give up until I got to the center of Vincennes, where I got on a bus: 10+ km. I was not wearing good shoes and had blisters on the bottom of my feet. I also went on a walk in the woods northwest of Paris with Ile de France walks. It was a long, long walk and just after lunch, my right boot lost its rubber sole. I could walk, but it was uneven and I could feel all the stones and other irregularities -- very uncomfortable and it slowed me down. Since I was already the lagger in the group, most forged on ahead and Mary Lynne stayed back with me. We still made it to the café to meet the others before the train back to Paris, but they had done an extra 5 km.
The biggest news is that Claire is coming tomorrow with Aurelia! Geoff couldn't really take more time off, unfortunately. He had taken time in early August for the wedding preparations and after. Then, he took more time off when Aurelia was born and had to take a few more days when Claire had appendicitis later in September. So, now, I'm going to the market to buy some veal (Claire can't get veal in England!) and other things she's longing for. Then, off to the AAWE storage to drop off our donations to the bazaar. That will clear up the basement a little. Louis has now taken a good deal of his stuff, so we're starting to see the floor and walls again.

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