You, who have chosen to publish your results in theEuropean Journal of Mineralogyand thus had many contacts with me, you will think “Why is the editorial secretary addressing us now, through the Journal? She never did so before! What is going on? What does she want to say to us?” Before knowing so … you will have to be patient!!!

I have ensured, for several years, the publication of the French journal«Bulletin de Minéralogie»(formerlyBulletin de la Société française de Minéralogie et de Cristallographie), which some of you are familiar with.

In 1989, the first issue of theEuropean Journal of Mineralogycame into being. It was a new adventure for me: receiving papers from all over the world, with all their attendant contacts, working with European colleagues, and succeeding in coordinating everything. And there, this adventure lasts for 18 years.

This editorial work is very exacting. Exacting for the authors, as you may have experienced; I smile here, because I know that you think “She made me suffer, that editorial secretary!”. If you have suffered indeed, I regret it … but it was necessary!!! Exacting for the printer, especially concerning the production delays. Exacting for myself, either for the quality of the completed work, or for the publication delays. But, alas, nobody is infallible, and I must admit that there have been some small problems, from time to time! I have always been solicitous to respect you as the author you are.

18 years? This amounts to about 1700 papers, to check, to prepare for printing, to correct the proofs (I had for the latter, since a few years, the help of a colleague in Stuttgart), in short 108 issues. I will not count the number of pages, there are too many!!! To ensure a bimonthly publication, one needs to work simultaneously on three issues, each at a different stage of completion. I often received papers only a short time before they had to be sent to the printer, forcing me to work in great haste: what an anxiety!

18 years? Certainly! But there will be no 19thyear for me. After all this time spent on editing, it is time for me to retire. There, now you know why I have addressed myself to you, in this issue no. 6/2006, which is the last one for me!

Before yielding my place, I would like to thank you for all the help you gave me, especially by respecting the journal’s instructions for submitting your papers, this made my work considerably easier and also prevented publication delays (Oh yes, this has happened, and it was really annoying for you!). Thank you also for the messages with acknowledgements and encouragements which I have received from you during my whole career.

Carry on, you all. See you again!