Twenty-four years ago I began my career in the European Union institutions, starting in the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers. In the end, just seven of us were recruited off of the open competition list and we are all, more-or-less, still in touch. This evening I nipped off to the Old Hack for a jar and a chat with two of them. It is perhaps an inevitable consequence of time that most careers advance but, in all modesty, this seems to have been a good vintage. We meet up quite frequently to discuss this and that, and always, I suspect, with a slight sense of wonderment that we have all come so far (and, alas, that so much time has passed). As I have written before on this blog, a big advantage of getting older is the possibility of having old friendships.