441px-BilboquetToday I hosted a farewell lunch for Zoltan Krasznai, a bright young Hungarian colleague who is heading off to fresh pastures in the European Commission and who has served me with great distinction for four years. Our Belgian trainee at the moment is a champion French boxer (la savate). To break the ice, I asked my other guests if they had shown similar sporting prowess. Here’s the list of my champions: bowling and archery; chess and athletics; gymnastics (including a national champion); squash and bilboquet. Yes, bilboquet (that would be Bernard, faithful readers would imagine, and you wouldn’t be wrong). I was deeply impressed by the degree of skill and application around the table. I used to have a theory about how those ambitious in sport later translated their ambitions into other arenas. If so, I not only presided over a lunch table of talented athletes but also of future achievers.