While I've been wading knee deep in my wellies through the last week's rainy season, my colleagues have been off to slightly more pleasant climes across Europe. Over in Denmark, a colleague went to a huge banking hall in central Copenhagen that has just reopened as a banqueting hall, a central feature of the conversion centre now housed in the cavernous building. Walking down its corridors, my colleague spotted that instead of vending machines for tea of coffee, there were self service points for fizzy drinks, including a choice of two draught beers. It was, his hosts agreed, a very open-handed gesture. "You certainly wouldn't see that in Sweden," one said. Then, after a pause: "Or Norway." It appears that Danish intercity trains offer special accommodation for business travellers to make their journeys as productive as possible. But, as my redfaced colleague discovered, the use of mobile phones is banned, according to a little label in Danish stuck to the table. So don't phone the office without moving out to another carriage or into the corridor. A colleague just back from Holland tells me what a pleasure it is to visit a sweet smelling Netherlands these days. Bacon traders among our readership will remember visits there in the 1990s when the Dutchmen's embarrassing problem with pig excrement created more than a few visiting buyers to screw up their noses. But given there are fewer pigs around these days, buyers can breathe deeply again. Finally, the French have had the last laugh on our esteemed editor after all his Frog-bashing leaders in defence of our farmers. He received a letter from Paris this week headed: "To Clive Beddall" which added:"Dear sir or madam." {{COUNTERPOINT }}