The reality of politics is that you are a public figure being invited to functions by reason of your public office, and the reality of the public is they rightly do not give a toss about that.
The enthusiasm for participation early in your career wanes substantially later, so the temptation to honour every invitation should be an easy transition.
Thus, for the rest of my political life I will be stained by the wedding planner tag. Such is life, repay the money if there is ambiguity and take it on the chin.
As for issues that will have a greater effect on those we are sent to serve. It was with some solace that I read on the The Australian that negotiations between the two agriculture ministers had been instrumental in a substantial quarterly increase in the cattle export quota to Indonesia.
I see the role as minister as one of the hurdles in a larger race and have stated that one of the first goals for the Agriculture Department is to revive the live cattle trade.
Gloating at the clean-up of the policy car crash of the previous administration should never be your singular and premier policy objective, but it is too soon to let the public forget how flawed was Labor's approach at this point.
The oath of the executive council means the days of open ventilation of policy iterations are left at the door of cabinet.
However, your views remain the same and the only key to a greater expression of the direction of the bus is to get off it.
Unfortunately, in every direction we move now we have to deal with the budgetary predicament left by Labor. If you go on the Office of Financial Management website, you'll note that we have gone $280 billion against a $300 billion limit. It is not saying anything startling, it's just the truth.
When you reach your limit, the cheques bounce. This means every policy objective we have has to answer a very serious question: where is the money going to come from?
And, in fact, if you just carry on in the same manner as the Labor Party did, you will hit the limit without having achieved anything.
This is always how the pendulum swings in Australian government. The Labor Party gets to spend it, the Australian people realise it has spent too much, the government changes, Coalition gets to repay it, the Australian people do not like the experience of repaying debt and they change back to the people who spent the money in the first place.
The imminent issue for agriculture is where the current drought goes in the north of the nation.
The problem we have is when crises of nature turn up, such as the northern Australian drought. How do we deal with it?
We can get the live cattle trade going, and this is starting to happen.
That alone will not deal with the issue in the short term.
Northern cattle producers, led by Luke Bowen, are very enthusiastic about the sale of leasehold land to Indonesian interests as a mechanism to better promote two-way trade between northern Australia and Indonesia.
A joint venture operation should be mutually beneficial to both countries.
It has been claimed by some that my position supporting this approach is hypocrisy, because of my natural caution towards extension of foreign ownership of key agricultural assets.
In this instance, although the amount of land is vast, the proportion of cattle required is not excessive, nor does the freehold of the land change title.
It does promote greater trade between the two nations in such a form that it starts to relieve some of the pressures that are on so many properties in the north at this present time.
I'll be heading to the north in the next week to see how we deal with an issue that does not react to our policy settings, and that is the weather. I am hoping the wet season starts soon, because that is the best solution to the drought, and there will be nothing I can offer that comes close to that.
Barnaby Joyce is the Agriculture Minister and the deputy leader of the Nationals.