A slam dunk in First Minister's Questions.

Image copyright (C) British Broadcasting Corporation
Image caption Who took the biscuit? A slam dunk in the Assembly chamber

"What's that loud ringing sound?" asked the press officer in the canteen.

It was Cardiff Bay's version of the division bell calling members to the chamber for First Minister's Questions. It's a sound we've barely heard since April.

"At last" said another. "Can't wait to get on with some proper work".

It was a proper lively First Minister's Questions too. Carwyn Jones avoided the usual slouched position, one arm on the lectern, an I'll-answer-if-I-have-to look on his face. Today he was ready for business - ready for Plaid's Simon Thomas who wanted to know more about the appointment of the new Counsel General Theodore Huckle.

If he's a full time barrister, how much time will he have to give his new job? Is he well up on constitutional law? Was there anyone else considered? Is he a member of any clubs and societies that could conflict with the interests of this institution?

Carwyn Jones was ready, willing ... beaten to it. Up shot another Plaid AM. Dafydd Elis-Thomas disagreed with Simon Thomas on just about every point his colleague had raised. It was "an excellent appointment". There was nothing unusual in working barristers with jobs out there in the real world also advising governments and institutions. In fact it was a good thing. No slur on past holders of the job and all that but having an independent, non-political adviser was just what was needed.

"You've done your job for me" was all that was needed from the First Minister. How delighted Plaid must be to have the former Presiding Officer back in the fold.

Conservative caretaker leader Paul Davies had three goes at riling the FM. Shame on Labour for downgrading the rural affairs portfolio in cabinet. Why claim now that the economy of rural Wales is bound up with the economy of urban Wales when Labour's manifesto said that "Welsh Labour understands the particular challenges facing rural Wales." Which one was it?

Both, obviously was the gist of the reply.

Kirsty Williams, the loudest of three pretty subdued Liberal Democrats, went on the transparency of public spending. When would all expenditure over £25,000 be published now that the government has finally agreed it's a good idea to do so? "In the the course of the next few weeks" came the response. What about the budget that we'll all get to see in the Autumn? Could the government stop the habit of publishing the figures in a way that makes it well nigh impossible to work out how spending priorities change year on year? Mr Jones sighed, as he's wont to do when he responds to the Lib Dem leader. He didn't think there was a problem but he'd do his best.

On cuts coming the way of S4C and BBC Wales and "the mess of broadcasting here in Wales" as Bethan Jenkins put it, the First Minister was robust.

"The people of Wales pay their licences" he said. "They are entitled to have a BBC that gives them the news that is relevant to them, that gives them Current Affairs programmes that are relevant to them and that is a point that will be made very strongly many, many times over the next few weeks".

The appointment of a new Chair of S4C was to be welcomed, he added but does not solve the channel's problems.

AMs then went on a whistle stop tour of Wales: a proposed bid for a North Wales leg of the Tour de France, the Tesco junction in Cardigan, the future of Tonyrefail and Ammanford town centres, the impact Swansea City's promotion will have on bus travel ... and the need, therefore, to protect free bus travel for the elderly. Yes, really. Points to Labour's Mike Hedges for cheek.

Then came the exchange: the one that started so well but where Plaid's Jocelyn Davies taught a new intake of AMs how to throw a fight half way through. Her accusation of Labour inaction while her own leader was on holiday in France "takes the biscuit" said Mr Jones.

A slam dunk you might say.

The question now is whether Mr Jones will still be in fighting spirit when he sits down for a meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee in London in half an hour or so. My thoughts on why he's unlikely to score such sitters in the company of Alex Salmond, Peter Robinson and David Cameron are here.