The work of the House of Lords should not be confused with sittings of the House. A great deal of work takes place in committees – indeed, committee work can be much more time consuming that participating in debates in the chamber – and in peers’ offices. Committee work entails not only attending meetings but also working through the paperwork for them, which can be extensive. Before the House sits at, say, 2.30 p.m. many peers will already have done a full morning’s work.
The work does not end either when Parliament is not sitting. As one parliamentarian once observed, letter writers don’t take holidays. The mail continues to flow in during recesses. We notify the Attendants’ Office prior to a recess where we want our mail redirected. Each day’s mail is then put in a parliamentary parcel and despatched. I had two packages arrive this morning. People continue to lobby, invitations flow in. The work carries on.