To Metz this evening. Tomorrow I will be ‘giving evidence’ to the Forward Studies Section of the Lorraine Economic, Social and Environmental Council. This evening I dined with the EESC’s former President Roger Briesch (to my right in the picture), the President of the Forward Studies Section, Raymond Bayer, and a Vice-President of the Lorraine Council, Philippe Buron-Pilatre (on the left in the picture). The fate of Florange’s two blast furnaces is in the balance these days and who better to speak authoritatively in this context than Roger, a born-and-bred steel worker? He was my first President at the Committee (in 2003) and we have been good friends ever since. The dinner-table conversation ranged enjoyably far and wide. I shall post a separate post about Philippe, who has an extraordinary past and a special hobby. He is also a passionate follower of Americana and our meal was given a special frisson for the fact that it was taking place literally a few metres away from the officers’ mess where the Marquis de Lafayette ate his last meal before heading off to America to fight against the British in the American revolution.