Sunday, 12 October 2014

A Proud Mummy in San Francisco

Not really anything to do with OOW except that a write up about OOW wouldn't be complete without a mention of my companion for the week.

I am mum to a wonderful child, not only my daughter but my best friend. She is 26 ( having had a birthday during OOW) and a serving officer in the British Army; yes I am a very proud parent.

She has been on an extended period of service and on completion had a long vacation, but having packed in meeting a new cousin for the first time, being godmother for her best friends daughter, best woman for her dad's wedding and buying her first home, she didn't have much time for me; who had also started a new job! So I suggested she come out to San Francisco with me, she came out once before 9 years ago and entertained herself while I worked so she knew what to expect.

I think she had forgotten just how busy I am and combined with jet lag that she does suffer from (I don't) she was a bit grumpy at first but soon met up with friends she had met around the world at various conferences (she has attended more conferences worldwide than most users and met many of my fellow ACE directors).

She is technically an Oracle user, at university they used PeopleSoft Campus Solutions and the army use EBS for HR /Pay. Not that she wanted to attend any sessions or even talk Oracle!

She arrived on the Thursday evening at the end of the first day of the ACE Director briefings and we had a quiet evening with friends. Friday morning she joined in the Chi Gung led by Kent Graziano ( which was the only day I managed it). Then I sent her off slowly to the city to get a jump start on checking into the hotel, when 80 ACEs arrive together you can imagine the queue.

Saturday I had free time and we did the cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge, the first stage of my OOW Triathlon.

Sunday started with the bridge run and she ran with her friend Alex Gorbachev and made many more new friends. That evening was the ACE dinner and thank you OTN for her invitation. She loved the entertainment and had a great time.

Monday we had the bay swim and she is a great swimmer. She had been disappointed she didn't know about the Alcatraz swim on the Saturday, she isn't up to Connor McDonald level but could have completed this, but at least she got to swim, and was impressed with my attempt.

Fiona Martin from UKOUG had been unable to take part in the bridge run but wanted to so having never met my daughter before they got together and ran the bridge together, making Fiona entitled to a t shirt. After dinner they went to Foley's the Irish bar in San Francisco were all UK delegates / Oracle & partners end up and I joined them there to celebrate her birthday as it reached midnight.

Tuesday her actual birthday was my busiest day, but she had a late breakfast (having celebrated well into the night) and then her great friend Mogens Nørgaard, with whom she has previously taken part in the Nijmegen Marches  and who had visited her when she was at Sandhurst, took her for a champagne lunch. I joined them later and then we had coffee in the most fantastic coffee shop and Gallery I have ever been in. Mogens has a party trick of opening champagne with a sword. She had never tried this and he promised to put that right. Unfortunately he couldn't find a sword in downtown San Francisco but never one to get hung up on details brought her an alternative later in the week.

I had to go to a partner dinner but my friend Alex Nuijten offered to take her to dinner and onto the Benelux reception. I think she had a great day.
Wednesday she came to the Appreciation event at Treasure Island although she opted to leave early with me about half way through the Aerosmith set. But before the party we went to the Bloggers MeetUp where Mogens arrived with champagne...........and an axe. Bottles opened the problem was then what to do with the axe? Mogens took it back that night, but then gave it to me in the restaurant of the hotel the next day, not that anyone seemed worried. Then I got to bring it home in my checked luggage.
Then all too soon it was Thursday, I was speaking I the morning but we did have time for lunch again with Mogens and some other OakTable people, included the MOFIL Graham. This was when Doug Burns asked if she was my real daughter.
Yes she is.