When Lin asked Ed for a meeting in Port Meadow one rainy afternoon, little did he know it would not be a tête-à-tête. Braving the British summer drizzle, the Scholars who had remained in Oxford were waiting for him with a picnic, the occasion being a small gathering to express our gratitude for the three years Ed spent as Ertegun Director. Spread out over the empty meadows in little groups and armed with requisite protection, we escorted a rather befuddled Ed to the picnic place and presented him with food, drink, and a bespoke beekeeping experience day voucher, to be enjoyed at his discretion.
Scholars with Ed Herzig at Port Meadow
Given the relative absence of friendly faces in all our lives over the past few months, conversation flowed easily: we asked Ed about his favourite memories from the House, and shared some of our own. Ertegalas, Wednesday seminars, conferences, and a memorable trip to the Lake District—topped by a wet picnic at the bottom of a valley that we all seem to remember fondly for some reason.
A celebration, of course, cannot be complete without cake. And cake there was, only just a tad rained on and still very enjoyable.
Ed’s farewell cake: ‘We will miss you, Ed’
We gathered in a large circle and thanked Ed once more for his time with us, being grateful for his advice, sense of humour, and the many events he and the two administrators had organised for us. Many thanks to Maria therefore, for putting the picnic together, and to Ed for being a fantastic director and someone whom we knew we could always come and talk to. Honourable mentions go to the weather and to a stranger who managed to enliven the end of our gathering. We look forward to having Gervase as our new Ertegun Director, and we hope to soon see both Gervase and Ed in the House when it eventually reopens!