Frankly, it's difficult to know what is the most distressing prospect - the return of rush-hour traffic, the resumption of the Assembly or the looming tax deadline of September 30.
Certainly, there is no doubt that the schools are back, with universities and colleges due to follow in a couple of weeks.
Suburban roads, which were such a haven of peace and quiet over the summer, are once again clogged with traffic.
According to the Department of Regional Development, the school run represents a fifth of morning peak traffic, but such is the congestion that this must surely be an under-estimate.
The DRD has also been doing its bit to slow everyone down, by carrying out roadworks on just about every major artery.
From the M2 at Sandyknowes to the Westlink there are still lots of opportunities to sit in silent contemplation as the traffic grinds to a halt.
Of course, Northern Ireland Water has also joined the party as work progresses on the £100m Belfast sewer project, although the Go-Co insists most of its operations are subterranean.
Whether, of course, such hassles are raised on the floor of the Assembly remains to be seen.
As the MLAs re-assemble after their lengthy summer break, there's lots for them to get their teeth into.
And with all those additional advisers, there should be no shortage of hands on deck.
But no doubt more petty political squabbles will pre-occupy the parties as they start to tackle some of the issues which have neatly been put out to review.
Which brings us to the deadline of September 30 for the return of Inland Revenue self-assessment tax forms.
OK, so those wet summer evenings were the time to complete the form, but with September being so distant, it was just too easy to procrastinate. Should really have gone out to review.
Art of burying bad news
No doubt it was all an entire coincidence, but it was difficult not to be a mite suspicious about the timing of the job loss announcement up at Tyco Health Care in Ballymoney.
The news broke at 3pm on a Friday afternoon, but not any old Friday afternoon.
Instead this was prior to a Bank Holiday weekend when most people were focused on the break.
And, of course, by the following Tuesday the world had moved on and the closure of Tyco was old hat.
The American company gave very few details as to the reason for the shutdown, which will see 260 jobs being lost.
An evasive company spokesman stubbornly refused to tell Radio Ulster why Ballymoney had been singled out for the chop.
Factories may come and go but sadly it looks like burying bad news will never go out of fashion.
Ryanair's fighting talk
DESPITE its preoccupation with Aer Lingus, Ryanair is as busy opening up new battle fronts as it is launching new routes.
A couple of weeks ago the airline crossed swords - not for the first time - with the Advertising Standards Authority.
The ASA had the temerity, you see, to chide Ryanair over its claim that it provided the fastest option for travel between London and Brussels.
The authority maintained that the Eurostar train service was actually faster and cheaper than Ryanair's flights from Stansted.
In its characteristically withering manner, Ryanair responded by saying that "even a four-year-old with basic maths" could work out that a one hour 10 minutes flight was quicker than a two hours 11 minutes train journey. And just to underline the point, Ryanair sent a "Dummies Guide to Mathematics" to the authority. Very witty.
And now Michael O'Leary is gunning for BAA, the company which runs Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted.
In comments which will strike a chord with regular travellers, he denounces them as "God-awful" airports and calls for BAA's monopoly to be broken up. Surely now it's just a matter of time.