Anyway, by way of one final "celebration", a small group of us from NOCS went out to lunch with Boris yesterday. Considering that almost every event we've ever attended together has involved serious, if not raucous, drinking, it was a surprisingly tee-total affair. Possibly, in part, because of the sombre undercurrent because of Boris' imminent absence. But the event was otherwise a highly enjoyable chance to shoot the breeze, poke gentle fun at one another (well, mostly at Boris), and to reminisce.
Part of the lunch involved presenting Boris with a gift that we'd devised to remind him specifically of, well, of us. Following up a sterling idea by Bablu and Simon, I cobbled together the design below in PowerPoint, and we managed to get an engraving company in Plymouth to both expertly create it in pewter, and to pony it to us in time for Boris' departure ...
The resulting object can be seen in the grasp of no less than Boris himself below. A close-up of the engraving itself can be found over here.
Anyway, it still feels a little odd today having seen Boris off. In part, I guess, because he's not completely left our academic world, and there's a chance that we'll bump into him at conferences, etc. So it doesn't feel like he's really headed over the horizon yet, and I don't feel quite as down as I thought that I might. I suspect things will be more pronounced when he doesn't make it to our next social events, especially the traditional Biomodellers Christmas Lunch.
Anyhow, as we've all reminded ourselves (and will doubtless do again over the coming months), we haven't so much lost a friend as gained cheap accommodation in a desirable, faraway locale.