Every now and then, on my searches in the interwebs, I find a comment or an answer by Tim or Jens, and different emotions hit me:
There is a moment of shock, a ‘speaking from the dead’ frisson, then sadness at their deaths, and then, also, gratitude and a sense of wonder that they are still helping me out.
Jens never missed an event, be it in Switzerland or abroad (where the both of us were sometimes the only attendees coming from Switzerland). I found him to be exact, friendly, helpful and in the last few years he had been a driving force within SNOUG, the Swiss notes user group and had organised a few weeks before his death a very enjoyable day for us locals.
I only met Tim in person once, at the ILUG in Cardiff (where he delivered his infamous Star-Wars themed session with Paul Withers). Blattschuss. What a wonderful session.
I regularly read his blog, and I was always impressed about his creative energy, always pushing at the boundaries of what is possible, and I always wondered – Where does he find the time for all of this?
We had a long chat walking to the restaurant and I discovered that he also sung in his spare time – a hobby that I share with him, and Julian Woodward. I had imagined us singing a trio together, for a laugh and hopefully for a bit of a surprise. He was enthusiastic about the idea. It would have been lovely, he had such a deep bass voice, almost effortless, Julian is a Tenor, and I am a baritone, so it would have been perfect.
Tim was also surprisingly accessible, and, his evident acumen notwithstanding, never made me feel silly. His explanations always left me thinking ‘so that’s how you do it’ instead of the unfortunately far more common ‘that went miles over my head, I’d better just nod as if I understood’.
At the moment I just feel grateful to have such a wonderful job, to have so many talented persons pooling their knowledge without any financial reward, to work in an environment that is so fast-paced, and being able to discover such persons as Jens and Tim.