In my [not sufficiently] mis-spent youth, good weather was always a sign that it was exam time. Nowadays it signals the onset of General Synod. All church gatherings of this kind are, of course, impenetrable to the novice or the outsider because they function by something akin to parliamentary procedure. In Ireland there was always a sort of ‘up from the country’ and ‘across the border’ feel to the Synod – with a pinch of ‘checking up on what those ones in Dublin are up to’. Scotland feels rather different. Last year I was too new to have much sense of belonging – this year I’m looking forward to being blamed for something as a sign that I have now arrived. At least there is a Starbucks across the road – and a very sociable dinner on Friday night. So there is hope. But I’m still taking my laptop and some work to be getting on with just in case there might be a moment or two which is less than enthralling.