The first day back for the class of 2022 and all turned up present and correct at Stormont.
Usually it's a day where those arriving for the first time following the election wouldn't know quite what to expect.
But this time around they had all been forewarned. Turn up, sign in, class dismissed.
No Tales of the Unexpected. No last minute changes of heart.
Sir Jeffrey Donaldson strode down the Stormont steps ahead of the high noon start to the new five year Assembly mandate and there was little to convince anyone they had turned up to get to work.
No movement on the NI Protocol, no movement in the Assembly.
“It is not words that will determine how we proceed, it will be actions,” Sir Jeffrey warned.
Today there was not much more than words. What action ensued was the regimental filing in of MLAs to the chamber, all dressed in their finest like this was the school formal rather than the first day back, to where Sinn Fein and the DUP swapped sides.
Several pairs of stilettos were on show, bravely worn by the female MLAs as they descended the staircase.
Before leading his reduced number of MLAs into the chamber, Sir Jeffrey continued: “The choice is clear if the European Union is serious about protecting the political institutions and the Belfast Agreement and its successor agreements then they know what to do.
“Equally the same message is there for our own government as well. The ball is firmly at the foot of the government.”
There are games being played, but on pitches further afield than the grounds of the Stormont estate.
There would, as expected, be no nomination of a Speaker to the Assembly. That will leave the Assembly unable to function.
“My members will be signing the roll and taking their seats for the first time,” Sir Jeffrey added.
“As I have made clear this morning we have taken the decision not at this stage to support the election of a speaker.”
Michelle O'Neill, Sinn Fein's First Minister in waiting, was all smiles as she greeted schoolchildren on her way into Stormont, but any joviality quickly disappeared once the doors swung shut behind her. There was frustration at not being able to get down to business. The public, she said, were being punished by the DUP.
And there was the expected circling of wagons around the DUP stance over the NI Protocol.
At this stage it remains frustration. Nothing less was expected on this Friday 13.
But the anger will grow. “We know where the landing zone is,” said UUP leader Doug Beattie, another not shifting his party stance.
“We need to see immediate moves to remove checks on goods coming from GB to NI and staying here.
“We cannot keep having circular conversations with no progress being made.”
Problem is, that is what's happening day after day and the not-so-merry-go-round is showing little sign of slowing.
“If there is serious will from the EU to resolve the problems caused by the protocol then we need to see movement from them.
“They had the opportunity pre-election and chose not to. In an increasingly toxic political atmosphere it is time to see action from them.”
For an hour the MLAs were in the Chamber, filing back out again for the lunchtime suspension. They walked sombrely past the waiting media, with a return due at 2.30pm.
No one was expecting that return to last longer than an hour before a day which should have heralded a new Assembly ended with the stalemate of inactivity everyone had been resigned to in the first place.
With no Speaker, Stormont will stay silent, though there's a lot of people who will have plenty to say about that in the days weeks and possibly even months ahead.
All dressed up for the day and nowhere in particular to go.
Somewhat ironically the gents toilets were occupied by two plumbers, lying on their backs tinkering with the under sink pipes. Someone should tell the keyholders to the castle it'll take more than a couple of men in grey overalls to get the system back in working order no matter how many tools they have at their disposal...