To the EESC’s staff committee to explain to them the state of play with regard to the drafting of the 2010 budget (yes, the budget yet again). The exchange of views went well. Having been a representative of this and that myself in the past, I very much value the existence of the staff committee and the work that it does. I want a close and constructive relationship with the staff representatives and am determined to work hard to maintain this, so the meeting was encouraging. However, the naughty President, Alan (that’s him in the picture) , had put another, much less consensual, point on the agenda. Consquently, I was given a light grilling all over, though one bolt of lightning singed my eyebrows and left a distinct whiff of brimstone in the air. I came out of it feeling a little like one does after a sauna; it had definitely been good for me, but it didn’t necessarily feel like it all of the time!