The Association of Scottish Colleges and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities were lucky last Friday to squeeze in addresses from Brian Wilson, the bustling Education Minister.
For this week the ministerial diary was even more than usually hectic. Wearing his industrial hat, he was off on a trade mission to Bordeaux to "bat for Scotland" against the backdrop of the Scotland-Norway match.
"If your conference had been next week," he told Cosla, "I'd have had to come back from Bordeaux. Which I would have - of course." Cosla versus Bordeaux? No contest.
The Minister disarmed the ASC more by his content than by his travel plans. (FE Focus, page 34).
Indeed Jim Thomson, chairman of the board at Clackmannan College, was forced to his feet to declare his distress. "There are no grounds for attacking you," he told Wilson.