Today I said goodbye to an old friend.
I first met Vikki back in the early part of what was probably 2006. Things were different: I lived in a different house, did a slightly different job and Emily and I had only one of our three children. Vikki was my desk wife – a term she coined and which stuck through the years, through shifting geographies (I now refer to her as former desk wife), reassessed priorities and the casual growth of facial hair (mine, mostly). We’ve seen a lot of changes, but it’s that first year, when we were sitting together, that I remember with particular fondness, because she brightened up the place – and she still does, even in the face of her imminent departure for another well-respected publisher.
I have mentioned Vikki’s blog (it now has a new address, which doesn’t seem to be working this evening) more than once, but merely mentioning it really doesn’t do it justice. Read it. Better yet, subscribe to it. She’s one of the most intensely joyous people I’ve ever known – not in the sense of being purely joyful, as her life has had its trials and sorrows just like that of anybody else, but in the sense of squeezing every last inch of intrigue and innovation from what she sees around her. She will see an opportunity in every difficult situation. The pillars around her desk are adorned with images from culture – mainstream and otherwise – and she has spent the last seven years unleashing hidden talent after hidden talent, turning her hand to writing, knitting, chicken-rearing and goodness knows what else. Her knowledge of contemporary folk music is second to none, even if she and I disagree on the relative merits of Show of Hands and Steve Knightley’s Timotei hair. Taking a seat of importance among her loves, however, is Doctor Who, and she’s been a great source of tumblr-retrieved memes and general inspiration over the time I’ve known her. If I’m stuck for something to post, I can always rely on Vikki.
As part of her leaving gift her friends in the office assembled a ‘box of awesomeness, full of the sorts of creative endeavours for which she has become well known around here. There was home-made jam and (I think) felt origami, which technically isn’t origami at all, but at least you avoid the paper cuts. I’ve said before that I’m not the scissors-and-glue type – but I delved into her Facebook albums and then did a little creative cropping in Fireworks, and this is the result.
Well, you know. Happy trails, Ms Rose. With your departure you take some of the office’s colour with you. You will be missed by a great many of us, and particularly by me.
My first entry in this blog – way back when – concluded with a quote from Elton Pope, and I wanted to finish this one with another quote from one of the departing companion episodes. You know, something pithy and nice that manages to avoid the mawkish sentiment of Martha Jones’ farewell or the insufferable Rose-on-the-beach scene. We’re currently nearing the end of the Fourth Doctor’s run with Leela, but his final words to her (at the end of ‘The Invasion of Time’) are “I’ll miss you too, savage”. His final words to Romana II – “You were the noblest Romana of them all” – are a little better, if not exactly fitting, delivered as they are in a burst of white light. But perhaps we need to skip to the end. Because it’s not until afterwards, back in the TARDIS, as the Doctor leaves the fellow Time Lord and her tin dog behind in E-Space, that things are finally resolved properly, as Adric asks if Romana will be all right. “All right?” comes the Doctor’s response. “She’ll be superb…”