So, here I am in a cafe on Vitosha, the main pedestrian thoroughfare in Bulgaria's capital, Sofia, surrounded by men enjoying a shisha pipe, a Mozart string quartet on the headphones and a Grapefruit Sour by my side. The sun is shining in a perfectly blue sky, it's warm. Life is good, right?
If only it was that easy.
I've spent the weekend at an ALDE Party Council meeting which has, in itself, gone well. The main business ran smoothly and, as a member of the Financial Advisory Committee, seeing the financial reports earlier than most, I had no questions to ask.
I feel a bit semi-detached, to tell the truth. I'm a member of a party which, through no fault of its own, feels as though it is drifting to the periphery of the ALDE Party as Brexit draws closer. My colleagues are passionate in their belief that we can somehow avert the cliff edge, but I have an uncomfortable sense that our sister parties have moved on and look upon us in the same way that motorists look at accidents on the opposite carriageway - "there but for the Grace of God, but I'm glad it isn't me". They listen to the messages coming from Westminster and take the Government at its word when it talks about when we leave, not if.
Where does a member party from a country that isn't either in the Union, or aspiring to be in it, fit in an organisation whose goals are free trade, freedom of movement, and so on? I don't know that I have an answer to that.
So, what did happen in Sofia? Well, I've got to write that up for Liberal Democrat Voice, so I ought to give that some thought.
However, Sofia is a much nicer city than I remember, although it was December when I came here the first time, and most cities are improved by sunshine. But twelve years of European Union membership have certainly changed Sofia for the better. It's a city of leafy side streets, of Orthodox churches in that curious Turkish style whereby they look like a giant hand has squashed them from above.
I've taken the opportunity to walk around, somewhat randomly, as it isn't a city with that much 'must see' stuff. As a result, I've found some interesting neighbourhoods, a cafe culture that I hadn't expected, and a liberal link. William Gladstone has a place in Bulgarian history, having spoken out for Bulgarian independence in the 1870s. So, naturally, I found ulitsa Uilyam Gladston and took a photograph.
I'll be back in London tomorrow, and it will feel a little like leaving Europe in a psychological sense. Forget geography, being European is a bit like being part of a family. And when your Government are determined to convert the bonds of family into a formal business relationship, you know that it's never going to quite the same after that...