Yesterday evening I popped along to La Cantine in Colombier to attend a get-together of former Autodesk Neuchâtel employees. I was only expecting a few people to be there, but there must have been somewhere between 50 and 100 of my former colleagues there during the course of the evening.
La Cantine is a restaurant run by an old friend and former Autodesker, Antonio Barroca, and I’ve mentioned both Antonio and his restaurant in the past. If you’re ever in the Neuchâtel region, do stop by for some great food with a wonderful atmosphere. Here’s Antonio fanning the flames of one of his outdoor grills. As you can see, his restaurant is on the edge of wide open space - in fact it's an airfield from where Antonio has done many, many glider flights - so it’s a perfect place to enjoy a party.
I was completely overwhelmed at getting the chance to catch up with so many old friends.
I've met many Autodeskers, over the years, and one thing I've found to be nearly universally true is that they're just great people. Autodesk Neuchâtel was a magical time for many of us, and having this chance to reconnect and relive some of the fun was a real gift.
Everywhere I looked I was surprised to see more faces of people I recognised.
While I see Anna quite regularly - we're neighbours - I hadn't seen Alain in over a decade. (He was one of the first people I met at Autodesk Neuchâtel, back in the day.)
Not everyone was ex-Autodesk, of course (myself included). Perhaps it's safer to think of ourselves as future ex-Autodeskers. ;-)
Antonio put on a special menu for those who stayed to eat.
Unfortunately I'd made other evening plans, so left as people were sitting down. Next time I'll try to manage things better.
It was a lovely evening with great company. I hope it happens again sometime soon, as it was simply impossible to catch up with everyone.
Many thanks to Yann Grobon for taking the initiative to make this happen. I expect many people will see familiar faces in this post - it would be great to read your favourite memories of this time, if you have time to leave a comment.