A look back at the summer of 2023

by Jörn Selling

Retrospective 2023

As Jörn moved to his Uruguayan homeland with all his belongings at the beginning of this year, this is the last of his much-appreciated season reviews. We would like to take this as an opportunity to say goodbye to him with a few words (see below).

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Videolink on YouTube: youtu.be/U52MCBcHCOQ

Jörn Selling has been firmm's marine biologist since 2003. What are the best words to describe him? Ailurophile? Absent-minded professor? Kind-hearted person? Misanthrope? We think they all fit.

His heart beats for all sea creatures, but especially for cats. Several evenings a week, he set off after work to provide food for stray cats in various places in Tarifa and the surrounding area. And some days he was late because he had to quickly capture a cat and then take it to the vet for castration.

Customers entering our old office in Calle Pedro Cortés couldn't blame him for not getting up from his desk. He probably had a cat on his lap that had made itself comfortable here. As he didn't want to disturb it, as he explained to the customers with a smile, he preferred to remain seated.

All those who knew him a little better avoided asking a question he hated: ‘How are you?’ All the poor people who didn't know him so well and asked him about his well-being could prepare themselves for a barrage of reasons about why things in the world weren't as they should be ...

Katharina had to worry about the firmm data more than once. Because apart from his title as the ‘cat father of Tarifa’, he also more than lived up to the term ‘absent-minded professor’. After the security check at the airport, his hand luggage was on one occasion mixed up with that of another passenger. After a real scare at the gate and a sprint back to security, everything turned out fine and the computer and all the data were saved. Or the colleagues were called in the evening/night because he wanted to make sure that he had switched off the hot plate or because he couldn't find his key (because he had left it in the office door).

His talks at the firmm meeting were always very popular. He was able to captivate the audience with his vast knowledge and sarcastic humour. Katharina then heard a lot of praise about him, such as ‘I could listen to him for hours.’. He was also good at taking the mickey out of himself and at many firmm celebrations he would make his colleagues laugh by describing his mishaps with the humour that lay dormant in him and came to the surface on such occasions.

Jörn, we will miss you and wish you a great future in Uruguay.

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