After a long summer break, the parties should be returning to the talks table refreshed and energised but unfortunately it is more with a sense of weariness and no great optimism that the negotiations resumed at Stormont yesterday.
AS Irish citizens prepare for further chaos over Brexit, they are surely entitled to expect that, at the very least, their radio coverage will remain in place as they go about their business across the island.
While the tone of Arlene Foster’s renewed attempt to facilitate the return of our devolved institutions was generally measured, she must have known in advance that her proposals were not likely to produce any form of breakthrough.
The day to day issues faced by the rest of the world can only appear fairly minor when compared to the sense of sheer helplessness experienced by the 130 million citizens of Japan as North Korea fired a ballistic missile over their country.
While the selection process faced by Conservative MPs in the south of England would not usually attract undue wider attention, an intervention by a pro-Brexit group which was stepped up yesterday will certainly be followed closely on both sides of the Irish Sea.