At lunchtime today I spoke at a seminar, together with Simon Taylor, a senior journalist at the European Voice, on the Lisbon Treaty. The seminar was organised by the Society of European Affairs Professionals (SEAP), and was held at the headquarters of Interel Cabinet Stewart, a Brussels-based European Affairs consultancy. It was an enjoyable occasion. First of all, the teamwork, between a journalist and an official, worked very well. Second, there were a number of old friends and acquaintances. Third, the audience was not only appreciative but asked very pertinent questions. I have always believed that officials should get ‘out there’ and discuss what they do with stakeholders of various kinds. But occasional ‘reality checks’ of this sort are particularly important when, as is currently my case, you start to spend quite so much of your time in the ‘day job’.