My weekend was wiped out by the sky-high pollen count, and given I was out in the country, it hit me hard. Still, it was lovely to see Dom, my brother. He’s just bought a house in Buckingham so I went to see that – it’s lovely and I think he and Esther (the black lab) will be very happy there. I had such an English weekend – watching cricket on the lawn at Stowe, attending a dog show with the beagle puppies. We went down to the kennels afterwards (can you have imagined me visiting kennels even a few years ago??!!) and saw the Beagledors that have resulted from Esther’s brother Louie getting into the Beagles a couple of months ago. They are very sweet!
Back to work though and the start of my second week. It’ll be a big week for the EU, with the Irish referendum on the Lisbon Treaty and the No vote there strengthening all the time. Of course the Commission are (interested) bystanders in all this, but we do need to get this institutional stuff sorted out so we can move beyond it, and show what it is we do concretely, rather than giving the impression that all the EU does is discuss treaties.
The Employment Council is today discussing working time, which is always a big story in the UK. And this one has lasted a while – I was dealing with it when I was Employment Spokeswoman in 2003/2004! I hope that we’ll be able to reach a solution today, because both employers and the working public in the UK and the rest of the EU need to know where they stand on this issue.