The temperatures on the Isle of Man have certainly fallen sharply over the past week. I definitely noticed the colder weather as Ellen and I were standing outside whilst attending two Remembrance Day Services on Sunday, especially in St. John’s for the National service as there was a cold wind blowing across the field.

It was also a wonderful Remembrance Service in Onchan and there was a real sense of Community and coming together.

The first job on Monday morning was to drop off the car for some further works. I am starting to think that our car is like “Trigger’s Broom” in Only Fools and Horses – with no original parts left! Certainly time to get another one in the New Year…

Arrived in the office for 8.30am and most of the morning was spent printing off and preparing for this month’s Tynwald Sitting, along with having several detailed discussions with colleagues on various topics.

Mid morning I walked over to DED for a mission and vision meeting as the Department of Economic Development transforms into the Department for Enterprise, subject to Tynwald’s approval next week.

From there I walked back to the Tynwald building and straight up to the Barrool Suite for a Department of Infrastructure briefing on the Strategic Air Services and the Open Skies Policy – although I have to question the timing of this, as the Environment and Infrastructure Policy Review Committee is already looking into the Open Skies recommendations from a previous Committee.

Once the meeting finished I just had enough time to read through my speech and to make several small changes before walking down to the Claremont Hotel for this year’s Taste and Accolade Event, which started at 15.00.

The awards celebrate the quality of the Island’s hospitality industry with categories including the Taste Highest Quality Assured, Taste Quality Assured, Harvest Scheme, Gold, Silver, and Breakfast Accolades.

Back to the office briefing before heading home at 17.15.

My Tuesday morning routine changes little. In the office just after 8am as I prepare for today’s House of Keys sitting. I was also able to catch up with a few e-mails, along with reading through the Legislation and Bills being tabled in the Keys later on.

Just before 10am I headed down to the Keys Chambers for today’s sitting, and there were 10 questions down for oral answer and a further 4 for written reply.

We also had a Safeguarding Bill 2007 for Second reading and the Freedom of Information Bill (Amendment) Bill 2017 and the Road Transport, Licensing and Registration (Amendment) Bill 2017 for Third reading.

It was a short sitting with all business finished for 11.15am, but that wasn’t the end of my day – far from it. Once back in my office I managed to print off all the correspondence received from the call for evidence regarding the Open Skies, which the Environment and Infrastructure Policy Review Committee is now reviewing. I also needed to printed off several more reports on the Tynwald Order Paper.

At 12.30 Tynwald members headed up to the Barrool Suite for an inspiring presentation given by Bill Dale and Beach Buddies. Bill gave Members an update on his recent trip to the USA and the excellent work being undertaken by the Charity, which certainly benefits the whole island enormously.

The presentation finished just after 14.00, which gave me time to make several calls and to catch up with e-mails etc. Tim Crookall, MLC and I then walked over to DED for a short motorsport catch up meeting and to discuss a paper being brought by the Department.

I managed to get back to the office just before 16.00 as a number of Members were invited to look around the Isle of Man Courts, which included a short presentation by the First Deemster, Mr. David Doyle.

Back to the office again briefly to send a couple of more e-mails before leaving the office at 17.25.

Once home I started to read through the written submissions with regards to the Open Skies but still managed to finish for 20.30.

Back to back meetings on Wednesday, in the office for 8.10am but I was able to fully catch up with e-mails and phone calls before my first meeting at 10am.

I was also able to draft several questions for the House of Keys sitting on 28th November.

Just before 10am Tim Crookall, MLC and I walked over to DED for a meeting with the Manx Motorcycle Club as we continue to look at various issues relating to the 2018 programme and beyond.

The two hour meeting finished just before 12 noon, at which time we moved from Meeting Room 2 to Meeting Room 1 for a Department meeting on the Vision and Mission for the Department for Enterprise, subject to Tynwald approval…..

Tim and I left the meeting slightly early as we needed to be at the Douglas Town Council for a meeting with the David Christian, Council Leader and other Council members.

The meeting gave us an opportunity to discuss entertainment on the Promenade and facilities up and around the Grandstand, which form part of the overall bigger picture and discussions we have had over the last 12 months.

Again, we had to leave that meeting slightly early as the Public Accounts Meeting was brought forward by 30 minutes.

Finally got back to my desk late afternoon, which gave me time to catch with e-mails before leaving the office at 17.10.

A slightly different routine on Thursday, instead of going directly into the office I headed down to the Promenade for a brisk walk at 8am. I used to walk along the promenade most mornings, but haven’t found the time over the past year, but I certainly need to make the time going forward.

Unfortunately, my body shape needs exercise, I think it goes back to the days when I did Judo three time a week. A brisk walk listening to music also helps reduce stress levels and clears the mind for the day ahead.

It wasn’t a long walk, just from the Queen’s down to the Sea Terminal, around the Quay and then back again.

Straight after the walk I headed into Onchan to review a Constituent matter before getting changed and arriving in the office for 10am.

I took the opportunity first to draft a couple of letters and e-mails before starting to read through the Tynwald Order Paper.

At lunchtime there was a briefing by DED and Education on the Departments’ several proposed changes, which are being tabled at this month’s Tynwald sitting.

The afternoon was spent continuing to through the Tynwald Order Paper, and it is surprising how quickly three hours can go by……

I left the office at 17.00 and it was then a mad dash to get ready for the Isle of Man 2017 Awards for Excellence, with Miles Jupp as compère .

It really was a special night – a big thank you to Isle of Man Newspapers and to all the sponsors for an amazing evening.

Finally got home just after midnight….

Friday was a really enjoyable day – in the office for 8am in order to send a few e-mails etc, before jumping in the car and heading to Foxdale.

As political member with responsibility for tourism, I was invited to look around the facilities and activities being undertaken by Laser Mayhem, which is located at the Watertrough Plantation, South Barrule.

This is a most enjoyable part of being an MHK – just actually listening and discussing someone’s ideas and plans which support our local business sectors.

The facilities at Laser Mayhem are certainly first class – not forgetting a wonderful little coffee house if you are ever in or around the area. I certainly got some exercise as we spent around three hours walking around the South Barrule Plantation.

Managed to get back to the office at lunchtime, but I only had time to drop off my bag and walk over to the Court House for a business lunch. The meeting was a general catch up and to discuss some of the issues facing this administration, especially around Pension Liabilities, the Hospital and the breakdown of many of the barriers within Central Government.

The rest of the afternoon was spent preparing for Tynwald and generally catching up with things.

I left the office at 17.00, but again it was a quick turn around as we had been invited to Ballakermeen School to watch the musical show, Guys and Dolls – another fantastic evening, with a top quality performance by the students. Many congratulations to all who were involved in putting together such a wonderful event.

I also have my political surgery on Saturday morning, which is being held in the Community Centre (the “Hub”) between 10am and 11.30am, but I am still hopeful that I can get out for a walk on Sunday.