Rescued from a long-dead blog

A dramatic few days.

I spent the weekend in Belfast at MeCon, my first ever science fiction convention. Greatly enjoyed it; long conversations with Scottish socialist author Ken MacLeod, brief hallos with Belfast based author Ian McDonald, which was the aim of the trip. Also made friends with a good group from Dublin led by Pádráig Ó Mealóid. Very much committed now to going to OctoCon in the autumn.

So on Tuesday I opened my email and saw a job advert from ELDR which made me think, hmmm, perhaps I could be persuaded to leave CEPS for the right money; so I forwarded it to Anne. On the way home I was stuck in a traffic jam and pulled out my phone to see if she had got the email, and saw that I had missed a call from a vaguely familiar number a few minutes earlier while I must have been in one of the tunnels. I called back and was answered by Gareth Evans, who basically offered me the job of Director of Balkan Programmes at the International Crisis Group.

After some discussion with him later on, with Anne listening in, we decided to accept. The money is much better than CEPS, and the work at a somewhat more exalted level. So much cause for celebration. Karel and Daniel at CEPS were sad but not really surprised. Michael is in Cyprus and I didn’t manage to talk to him until yesterday (Thursday).

And then the next excitement was the agreement between Serbia and Montenegro. A dubious piece of work, this, with lots of serious questions left unanswered. My NGO friends very upset about it because it looks bad for Djukanovic. My European Commission friends very upset because it looks good for Djukanovic. I think it’ll fall apart before the end of the year, and Djukanovic’s challenge is to make it look like someone selse’s fault.

Weekend! Hurrah!

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