“I had one job,” says the outgoing Scottish Parliament presiding officer after getting another name wrong.
But Ken Macintosh shouldn’t have worried. Many more MSPs also tripped over the short, printed oath they needed to repeat to formally take their place at Holyrood.
It should be forgiven, though. It’s been a long, long year, and there was a strange sense of first-day-of-school for the new intake.
In the corridors of devolved power, new MSPs and staff tried to work out how to recognise each other by face coverings or eye colour.
So complex was the one-way system, members were being sent in giant loops around the building to get from A to B.
The overspill area in the entrance hall was decked out like an exam room so members could stay far enough apart.
“Hopefully the bar will be open soon,” deadpanned one returning MSP with a keen eye on the Covid routemap.
The milk in the fridge by the long-empty media offices went off in November. The less said about that, the better.
As far as first days go, it was clearly one for the election winners getting their first sense of the place in which they will soon be passing laws.
New members were equally nervous and delighted as they took turns to raise a hand and formally declare they’ll do their job as best they can.
There was the usual sprinkling of revolutionary zeal – from a clenched fist to disclaimers of doing it under duress “for the people”.
Most were just happy to be here, at last, after a socially distanced election and two-day count.
It was heartening to see a group from so many backgrounds. Labour’s Pam Duncan Glancy, behind her new desk and seated in her wheelchair, held a red rose up as she was sworn in.
The spread of languages used after the standard English oath also demonstrated this is a parliament beginning to look more like the country it represents.
There was Arabic from Anas Sarwar, Punjabi from new MSP Pam Gosal and Urdu from Kaukab Stewart.
Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Karen Adam was a first for the use of British Sign Language, something she learned as a child to communicate with her dad.
There was French with a Canadian twang, Welsh from the Scottish Borders, and Zimbabwean Shona from North East MSP Maggie Chapman.
Inject some energy
There was some fine Doric, some Lowland Scots and several Gaelic versions to accompany the English, including from returning finance secretary Kate Forbes in Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch.
Scotland was well represented in all its splendour.
While the Mary Celeste atmosphere around the edges of parliament was still apparent, the chamber itself has been in use throughout the pandemic.
It might not be under new management but there are plenty of new faces who will now want to make an impression.
The test for the new intake is to sweep away the cobwebs (and bin the outrageously out of date milk) then inject some focus and energy into the place. It’s going to need it.