What an extraordinary opening session it was for Tynwald in January 2014.
Looking down from the public gallery it seemed as though there were more vacant seats than those occupied.
Speaker Rodan's cushion was taken by Deputy Speaker Singer - resplendent in his civvies - no wig and gown for him.
Similarly Clerk Phillips was absent, replaced on the day by LegCo Clerk King.
Rodan and Phillips were on the other side of the world, in Wellington, New Zealand attending the Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth.
The visit of the Princess Royal had lured Ministers Cretney, Gawne and Watterson away from their day jobs.
The Bishop had also abandoned his political flock to meet the royal personage together with MLC Coleman.
Another MLC, Wild was unwell.
So that's a total of 6 Tynwald members granted leave of absence by the President to abandon the national parliament for other matters.
The morning session after all was only Questions, so not at all important apparently.
Proceedings returned to normal in the afternoon with the return of the rain soaked royalists.
In the meantime Wild continued to be confined to bed, no doubt listening in, whist Messrs Rodan & Phillips were hard at work in the NZ Capital
presenting an important discussion paper to our Commonwealth colleagues entitled "Privilege in the Isle of Man - the experience of a small jurisdiction"
What's that all about?
Normal service will be resumed in February - that's when the Manx Budget 2014-15 is presented - everyone present please!
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