This afternoon the President and I gave out medals and certificates to EESC officials having served 40, 30 or 20 years in the Committee and/or in the EU institutions. These are almost family occasions, with a festive atmosphere. I have prepared notes on each of the recipients, full of affectionate detail, and, as I said in my opening words, I truly enjoy these occasions because I found out about the wonderful hinterland of our officials. On this occasion I was not disappointed. There were amateur thespians and gastronomes and hunters and a colleague who has recently ridden his bicycle around Cuba, Argentina, India and Japan (including pedalling to the top of Mount Fuji to see the sun rise). But the colleague who caught my eye was a Danish lady who is a former Olympic fencer – and is still very good at it. Keep it up, Annie!