This is a picture of Tracy and I, one of my best friends at work when I worked at a White & Case. Sadly, she was killed almost 4 years ago. It’s at this time of year when I remember people who have gone before and the good times I’ve spent with them.
The camaraderie that exists in work is a wonderful thing and can last for many years after people have left. Just last year, I was invited to a reunion of people from White & Case. I hadn’t seen some of these people for 10 years and it was great to get together and catch up with everyone’s news. One of the main topics of conversation was a trip down memory lane to our infamous ski trips. Back in the day – before the dreaded crash – the firm arranged a long weekend ski holiday. It was very generous because it wasn’t just limited to lawyers, but was open to secretaries too. With a small contribution of paying for our own flights, we were treated to a lovely hotel, fantastic food, lift passes and the most gorgeous Swiss mountain scenery.
The first trip I went on was very shortly after I had started working there, and I was quite reluctant to go, but it was on that first ski trip that I met my friend Tracy. Starting work in a large firm can be a daunting thing – let alone heading off on holiday with people you’ve never met.
But Tracy took me under her wing and, along with her mate Lena, we spent pretty much all weekend together. None of us actually skied (!), so we just spent time wandering around the scenic streets and mountain bars, drinking hot chocolate and wine. Tracy was a kind and loving person, and we remained good friends for years afterwards, lunching a couple of times a month at Pizza Express. I even remember her regular order - Pollo Ad Astra pizza and a medium glass of Pinot Grigio. Well, who wants a dry lunch!
I miss her presence in the world and I think about her often but especially at Christmas when her children and grandchildren must miss her terribly. So, Christmas time for me is about sitting in front of the telly with some old movies, cheese - and a nice bottle of Pinot Grigio. Cheers Tracy, wherever you are.
And Merry Christmas to all of our wonderful clients.