Anyway, at the kiddush, the food and socializing after the service, I nearly fell over when a very old friend of mine walked in. DY is someone I met at Jewish summer camp when I was, what, 12? Summer camp was a very odd experience for me; I attended an academically selective, all girls private school from the age of 8 to 18, and it was at camp that I was suddenly thrown into a world where what mattered was not your intelligence, but your coolness. I was so not cool, which made it fairly hellish in some ways. But I did meet some of my favourite people there, mostly the other uncool outsider types.
I've run into DY unexpectedly several times since. Once when I went to a young CCJ conference which she turned out to be running. And last autumn I went to a funeral, mainly to accompany my grandmother as the deceased was a friend of hers. And it turned out that this friend of my grandmother's also happened to be the grandfather of DY, so of course she was at the funeral. In fact, she was not only at the funeral, but leading the service, as she is a trainee rabbi.
Just wow. DY is in Stockholm with one of those groupings of young European mostly Progressive Jews; now I know that this particular group is based in Stockholm, I should definitely get in touch with them. Anyway, it was so cool to see her, and she introduced me to various people and it was all social and nice.
At DY's invitation I attended a panel discussion after the service with her Jewish education group. The discussion was a bit rubbish, being very badly moderated; the individual speakers had quite interesting things to say, but they were not interacting either with eachother or with the audience. And the moderator was not only not promoting discussion, but actively stifling it by repeatedly diverting the topic to his agenda. Quote of the afternoon, though:
So, speaking as an outsider, what's your view of the human race?
I went home briefly to drink tea and sort a couple of things out. When I came out to come to the lab and go online, I got caught in a really intense rainstorm. So I am soaked through even though I was wearing a mostly waterproof coat. On the plus side, the sun was shining through this downpour which caused an extremely impressive double rainbow.