Then a Georgian diplomat comes round to ask me what I think are the key differences between Abkhazia and Kosovo. He has at least heard of Kosovo which speeds things up a bit.
Then job interviews down the phone to Armenia to fill a new post in Yerevan. Call my colleague in Tbilisi to give her my feedback and discover that she has just missed her plane to Baku. Commiserate.
Frantic digging through emails for rest of the afternoon to catch up with the backlog since I was away for most of Thursday and all the weekend.
Then the Romanians come around to try and talk about their new government’s new policy on Moldova. They don’t quite seem to know what their policy is yet, but I’m well aware that it will be very important once they have one.
Finish emails, start to clear backlog of tasks.
Time to go home. Thai food with Anne. Mmmm.
Scramble to finish contribution for annual report all morning, interrupted by colleagues picking my brains for their bits of same. Alarm beeps and I remember I have lunch engagement downtown. Send email apologising for inevitable delay of annual report.
Am late for lunch because of impossibility of finding parking space. Bloke who finally locates one for me (with extortionate fee) has Balkan accent. I do not enquire further. Macedonian intellectual and I entertain NGO people (few of whom know about Macedonia) with update on politics in my favourite country. Have to rush out the door at 1400 precisely.
Pick up colleagues from front door at work and zoom on to European Parliament where MEPs interested in Moldova are meeting. Seven MEPs are going to Chisinau this week to observe the elections. We are late because European Parliament is redoing its entry procedures and the aide sent to pick us up from the door goes to the wrong entrance twice. Third time lucky. My colleague makes presentation on next weekend’s election to the delegation – to general surprise in his native French (most such presentations are in English, including that of the German from the European Commission). Translation is provided in English, French, German, Polish and Estonian. The Estonian chair of the committee leads brief discussion (in her native language).
Back to work, time for another bash at the report, then member of the German Bundestag turns for informal chat about the Balkans (narrowly missing collision with EU Special Representative for Afghanistan, who is here to see my boss). The German MP is a nice guy, one of those Protestant clergymen who was also an East German dissident in former days. We just about have time to discuss Kosovo properly and then he goes. Edited to add turns out he was briefly foreign minister of the DDR in its dying days.
Finish my bit of the annual report at last. Write livejournal entries. Go home. Temperature still below freezing.
Actually I like days like these. Not too horrendous a backlog, plenty of structure, and generally a feeling that one is being useful.