In 1983, as part of a European University Institute empirical study of the European Parliament, I came to Strasbourg with a friend to interview the UK’s first directly-elected MEPs. Some were terribly busy and didn’t want to see us. Some – John Hume memorably among them – were terribly busy but still made time to see us. Some, seeing that we were scruffy students, wanted nothing to do with us. And some, seeing that we were scruffy students, pampered us with hospitality and meals. Janey Buchan, a fierce leftwing political activist (and a great anti-apartheid campaigner) whose reputation for taking no prisoners preceded her, fell into the latter camp. Janey (who passed away on the 14 January at the ripe old age of 85), always barefoot in her office, made me cups of tea and sandwiches and gave maternal advice. I remember the electric kettle on the floor and the teabags and fresh milk. Later, when I had become an official and represented an institution, the European Commission, with which she frequently fought, she remained warm and friendly towards me. I knew, as the obituaries have recalled, that she could be a ‘good hater’ but despite the fact that I disagreed with some of her political positions (starting with her euro-scepticism) she was never less than kind and friendly towards me. The invitations for cups of tea continued and she would regale me with anecdotes about musicians (Pete Seeger, for example) and politicians (Willy Brandt, for example) she had befriended. When she retired from the Parliament in 1994 I lost touch with her. Indeed, I don’t think I ever saw her again. But despite all of the notorious good hating that I have read about I’ll remember her as being kind, friendly and attentive.