Belated congratulations are in order as the SNP marked another significant milestone in reaching 100 days, not of its first term in office, but its second running the government of Scotland.  Self-congratulation appears to be off the agenda though – nothing on the SNP website, nowt from the Scottish Government either.

Right on cue, though, a trio of disparaging and dispiriting articles in the Scotsman – a political one, an almost identical analysis, and in case we hadn’t got the message, a down in the mouth leader that ponders these last 100 days and concludes, clunkily, that the SNP Government hadn’t hit the ground running but jogging.

No we haven’t witnessed 100 days of dynamic action, as we did in 2007.  But then there are fewer quick fixes to be found.  And this time, where’s the hurry?  The SNP has a whole extra year to work with – pace is going to be everything this time round.

Moreover, with three opposition parties in disarray, floundering and leaderless, there has been no one snapping at their heels;  indeed, some of the Scottish Government’s poor headlines have been of their own making (or rather the media’s, seeing it as their collective national and noble duty to offer some kind of scrutiny).  This administration will last the course – the previous minority one did not know when its number might be called – and indeed, unless Labour gets its act together might even enjoy a third term.  Who needs a hundred days when there are thousands in which to make your mark?

In any event, many of the SNP’s manifesto commitments either involve no change at all – continued council tax freeze, free personal care, free tuition fees etc – or ambitious, sweeping change – new capital investment programmes, innovative legislation, a living wage, a real shift to localism.  Such measures are hard to fashion into immediate actions and ready soundbites.

These kind of reforms take time.  As the First Minister found out, in a rare lesson in humility, with the harried anti-sectarianism bill, sometimes the old proverbs really are the best:  less haste, more speed.  Our patience is likely to be rewarded with a number of “big bills” to be announced when the Scottish Parliament returns the week after next.

The only show in town, as far as the SNP is concerned, has been the opportunity presented by the Scotland bill to maximise devolution.  Its parliamentary timetable at Westminster demanded that the Scottish Government focused its attention on securing as many additional powers as possible;  indeed, one of the most vibrant and busy committees of the next 100 days is likely to be that set up to explore, scrutinise and make the case for all the powers the First Minister has put on his shopping list.  The prospect of items being crossed off that list is highly unlikely given the dominance of the SNP on the committee and in the chamber.

But it was not just the Government which eased itself gently into this session;  the Parliament too did not exactly spring into action.  Weeks went by with minimal parliamentary activity;  committees took an age to appoint convenors;  in the seven weeks before shutting up shop for the summer, the Parliament did not even open officially.  But with a very different shape and size to parliamentary groups, as well as a whole host of new parliamentarians, the logistics of getting the show on the road this time round were harder to achieve.  And crucially, everyone seemed exhausted from the efforts expended in the election – no one had much appetite for bounding Tigger-like into this session.

Now they’ve all had the summer to recover and recuperate, to rejoin and renew, there can be no excuses.  Yet, while the press appears to have rolled its eyes and declared the summer to have been “boring”, it has largely ignored the fact that the Scottish Government has been very busy indeed.  In fact, most of the Cabinet Secretaries and Ministers have had little more than a week off.  Not only has the Scottish Cabinet been on tour around Scotland, visiting far flung places like Stranraer, Fort William and even Kirkcaldy,  its members have been on other tours and trips, immersing themselves in their portfolios in different parts of the country.  Inbetween times, some of them have even managed to find time for some constituency work and pop home for tea with the family.  There are no five holiday Cameronians in this bunch.

And yes, it might make for few headlines.  It might seem – to some – to amount to aimless wandering, but it actually purports to serve a much needed purpose.  To make clear that Holyrood is not Edinburgh’s Parliament but Scotland’s, that this SNP Government belongs to and governs for all of the country, reminding everyone that it takes its new-found responsibility as the National Party of Scotland seriously.

Taken together, it might not amount to an action-packed, thrill a minute hundred days of glory.  But if it ensures thousands more days in government, and thousands more yes votes in the independence referendum, the SNP will consider it time well spent indeed.