It is only proper that a weblog with the name Jambalaya! should pause and reflect on the devastation that Hurricane Katrina has wreaked on the home of the said dish, the loss of life, and the virtual destruction of its major city, New Orleans.

I have visited New Orleans twice and have very fond memories. Although it has its problems, it was a fun place to be, and no human community deserves the fate that has befallen it. Our thoughts at Bayswater Farm are with you all.

Another visit was looming this December, for the American Society of Hematology annual convention. My first visit to both New Orleans and ASH was for such a convention twenty years ago. It was a large event then, but would have been massive this year. It seems from this side of the Pond that there is no way this year’s convention can now take place.

New Orleans thrived on tourism, and conventions such as ours will have been major players in its economy. Should this year’s ASH convention not now go ahead, I suggest that the least we could do is donate our registration fees to a relief fund for the people of this stricken city.

(Addendum: It now seems that ASH plans to relocate its annual meeting to another city. I may or may not go, but have made a donation to the Red Cross.)