A little while ago (22 July) I wrote a post about Una O’Dwyer, whom I had regarded as a fixed part of the scenery in the European Commission’s Secretariat General, but who has, incredibly, retired. This evening I attended the farewell party of another landmark colleague, Joan Scott. When I first knew her she was the assistant to the then Secretary General of the European Commission, David Williamson. As such, she was an important backroom figure in innumerable European Council and other important meetings – and has a rich store of anecdotes as a result! She went on to head up the Bureau des Stages and from there went to the humanitarian aid office, ECHO. But now she, too, has retired. Of course, what’s happening is actually perfectly normal. Generations of officials are constantly retiring and making space for new generations. Like Paul Robeson’s Ol’ Man River, we jes keep rollin’, we keep on rollin’ along…. By the way, Joan, I Googled you for a picture. There was no picture to be found (you modest thing) but when I typed in ‘Joan Scott European Commission’ those mysterious algorithms threw up a nice picture of a tomato, hence the illustration. Have fun, Joan!