Ten weeks ago, when I had a chat with my best friend at the University of Cambridge, David Modic, that I was leaving the University of Cambridge and going onto new adventures in Estonia, I was both sad and happy.
Sad, because I knew our regular chats involving our combined terrible sense of humour would no longer continue (well, they will, but from now on they will mostly consist of ICQ chats rather than face to face), and happy because I knew he would want me to take this opportunity, and that I knew his leaving date had also been set.
I knew in my heart that working at the University of Cambridge would not have been the same without him, as whilst one of his roles was to advise CERT, for me one of his primary objectives was also to keep me sane(-ish, at least).
That time has now come, and today David and his lovely family have left Cambridge and are on their way back to Slovenia (a country I am so pleased David has introduced me too, and one I will be visiting lots in the future [ED: Heads-up David - get a room ready]).
David & I met completely by chance. I was having a coffee and a smoke outside the Computer Lab, and as all smokers do, we started chatting. Instantly, I knew David was going to be not only an amazing asset for my work (this was a secondary bonus), I also knew he was going to be an amazing laugh, an excellent friend, and someone who I could completely rely on. In all aspects, he exceeded my expectations.
Together; we have done international exercises, he has advised me on really awkward cybersecurity cases, we have hacked ships.... the list is endless. Professionally, I couldn't ask for better in a colleague.
However, the most important thing for me is the true nature of the friendship. During my time in the Navy (I know you are all humming the tune), one of the best aspects you get from living in a tin can is gaining true, real friends. One that always has your back. One that will tell you the truth, even if you don't like it, but always does it away from others - never to belittle. One that always listens, one that is always there, and one that when you meet them again after an absence, you immediately click and it is as if nothing has happened and it was all just a glitch in the matrix.
I never thought I would meet a friend in "civvy street" that would ever meet those criteria.
David, you are a true shipmate. I salute you.
May I wish you and your epic family 'fair winds and following seas', and if you ever, ever need anything, I'm always here for you - I'm just an "uh-oh" away. :)
"Yeoman, Bravo Zulu, Close Up :)"