Strictly speaking I've been working throughout the holiday period, as the out-of-hours sign-in sheets at Hounslow Civic Centre bear witness.
However, despite a two-hour gathering of the Community Safety Partnership on Monday it was yesterday that the "normal" business of meetings and briefings was resumed.
First off was an informal meeting with Housing officers and a Labour councillor to discuss a suggestion he'd made to me in respect of a housing matter in his ward. Despite the adversarial nature of our relationship when in the council chamber it was a sensible and very constructive meeting, beginning with a warm handshake and concluding with me taking on board his ideas which I believed would bring us the benefit of helping to keep a tight-knit community together. It was a welcome departure from his party's traditional refusal to work with members of our Group and a way of conducting political business that I find far more rewarding than the contrived yah-booing that is its traditional preference. I live in hope that it will catch on.
Once the business of that meeting was done with I stayed around for another meeting with the same officers to discuss a number of topical issues that need to be attended to, not least the forthcoming Housing Revenue Account (HRA) budget setting.
Then it was off to Kingston for a couple of hours for a shopping trip to fulfil a promise to my daughter Rosie on her last day before returning to school. It's frightening how quickly they transform from screaming infants to fashion chicks (though still occasionally screaming).
The evening was dominated by an unusually long Executive meeting to which I brought two reports, one recommending a spend of a little over a million pounds to offset a shortfall in the costs of a New Build project, an unfortunate consequence of the credit crunch. Whilst support was not unanimous - one of my Executive colleagues expressing reservations about the principle of building new social housing - my recommendation was carried by a majority on the Executive in spite of my admittedly provocative invocation of Mao Zedong in support of my case. Any coalition necessitates compromise, and in the case of ours it has brought about a pragmatism which I believe to be healthy for our local government and for democracy.
My second turn was a response to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee's recommendations following its Review of Allocations Policy. Whilst all of the recommendations were helpful a few were impractical, one or two were not particularly well thought-out and certain of them conflicted directly with the administration's stated policy. Nonetheless I was pleased to be able to accept a significant majority of the recommendations, and where I wasn't I made it clear that I was prepared to talk further. The Executive supported me on this.
The last meeting, between the two Community Group councillors serving on the Executive, took place at a local hostelry. No minutes were taken, which is probably just as well.
All in a day's work!