It’s under sad circumstances that the blog returns from its 6-month baby-induced hiatus. I found out this week that one of my old collegues at the London Wildlife Trust died in a cycling accident in Oxford. Claudia was 31.
We met as volunteers at Camley Street around 2008, a time that anyone who worked there will remember with a great deal of fondness. There was a tight-knit group of graduates all in their early-to-mid twenties and we probably spent just as much time in the pub as we did working on reserves.
I was usually the older, grumpy one but even I couldn’t stay grumpy around Claudia. Her enthusiasm was infectious. Everyone loved Claudia and everyone was inspired by her. I envied her energy for activism, her ‘fuck it’ attitude to just getting out and throwing herself into things.
She was a smart cookie, warm, caring, progressive and generous. In short, she’s exactly what the world needs more of right now. She’s exactly the kind of role model I would have chosen for my daughter.
Claudia was about to complete her PhD when she died. She was working with indigenous tribes in Bolivia (yes, I was stupendously jealous!). I hadn’t seen her for about 5 years. That seems an impossible length of time. Almost as impossible as the idea that I won’t see her ever again.