James To Kun-sun, a budding Democrat who a year ago was about to be ousted from Legco, recalls with occasional frustration his battle back to the chamber. THIS has been a difficult year. 'I have had to work very hard as, not being in office any more, I was without a natural supply of information,' Mr To said. As a shadow legislator, outside the chamber and with no vote, he needed to make the extra effort to make sharp analysis that would grab media exposure. 'I have experienced very bitter moments as well. With reporters trying to ask me for a quick response in the Legco corridors after some provisional legislature meetings, security guards would come up and stop me. 'We had to go all the way outside the building before I could make a statement or two. I was so angry. Even public visitors were allowed to speak in the corridors,' Mr To said. He was also angered by what he regarded as the too-relaxed attitude of some provisional legislators and their failure to grill officials. 'I remember during a few meetings, I waited for some legislators to take washroom breaks to hand them some memos, reminding them they should have asked some questions,' Mr To said. He said in times of disappointment, his faith in Christianity and his self-esteem had helped him carry on. 'I suppressed my frustration because I knew I would come back. I am the one who holds the public mandate. 'You really need to have a very strong determination to weather through the past year,' Mr To said. His office is cluttered by a pile of yellowed newspaper cuttings waiting to be photocopied and filed - such is a politician's life after a year without an assistant. Mr To said he was not under any particular pressure during the election this time but said he was happy to be returning to the legislature. His victory had been a 'victory of the people'. He is taking the time before the new legislative session begins to tidy up his paperwork and throw away unwanted documents. But life is relatively leisurely compared with the same period last year - with just 17 days remaining before the Legislative Council was scrapped and the provisional body took over in the early hours of July 1. 'Of course, I still need to prepare for the new session, but now is a world for economic issues - all other matters must step aside,' Mr To said.