First full week back at parliament and I've remembered why I look like this most of the time! Don't get me wrong, I love it but it's hectic and my two committees haven't even restarted yet! It's like you go in there on a Tuesday morning and don't emerge AT ALL till late on Thursday by which time you come out with that Friday feeling only to realise that it's not quite the weekend yet! Of course you do emerge at some point but I know I was in my office till 10 the other night and I wasn't the last to leave.
It's hard to explain why it's quite so tiring but I think it's down to the intensity and the often highly charged atmosphere. It's not just the MSPs who feel it, it's everyone. Whatever our jobs are we all leave there on a Thursday feeling whacked. On the positive side, you leave feeling ALIVE. It may be tiring but it's also very exciting at times.
I've had some interesting experiences this week. I met Michael Russell, the Minister for External Affairs (amongst other things) to update him on my trip to Sri Lanka. I went to the launch of the Scottish Mental Health Film & Arts Festival, I sat through the debate on Al Megrahi on Wednesday morning and listened to Labour make political capital out of the situation despite news emerging during the debate that Gordon Brown had just said he respected the decision! And I had to spend the afternoon in the Chamber too as I was speaking in the debate on the School Consultation bill. I got my first intervention (!!!) from George Foulkes of all people. But I warned him to be gentle with me and he was!
Thursday saw the government launch its "programme for government" and there was so much to be proud of in the 13 bills that were outlined.
So there was all of that, 400 million emails at least, dozens of constituency cases to catch up on with the team in Glasgow, articles to write and finally, when I left on Thursday I had to race to get the train back in time to chair a meeting of Glasgow SNP!
Now I'm off for a full day of meetings, the last of which ends at 7pm. I'm thinking the most exciting thing I'll have the energy for tonight is watching Corrie!