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I don't know, Nick! I'm not... Wonderwoman.

Fran: Bernard? Finished with your accounts?
Bernard: Yes. I've turned them into a rather smart casual jacket.

Unlike the sensible jag, I left my 2003/04 tax return until Sunday evening and encountered the totally overloaded inland revenue "file online and we do all that nasty maths for you" site. Since they said "it's your own fault for leaving it so late and we're still going to fine you a hundred quid even though it's our server which can't cope" (I paraphrase; it is more politely phrased here), I took the paperwork into the office today to knock off over lunch.
At which point I realised I'd picked up the guide to filling the form in, the form itself and...left the "workings out" booklet at home. Why the hell do I need three sodding booklets to fill out a form?
' "If you live in a council flat"... "beside a river"... "but are not blind"... WHAT? WHAT?! "What is your mother's maiden name?" What's her first name? I just knew her as Ma! Ma! That'll have to do. Ma... possibly deceased. '
Bernard Black

I queued up at the local tax office and did my best bewildered writer thing to get a replacement "workings out" booklet. It's not actually called that, but that was what we called such books in maths O-level so...I then spent thirty minutes this evening manically doing sums. There was a slight error when I deducted the wrong thing from the "taxable income" box and found myself owing tax. Which I don't, due to not selling a single story or book in 03/04. It seems my brain, which treats maths with contempt and dislike when it comes to minor details like working out the bar bill, woke up at this point. Perhaps due to the similarity to the cold sweat situation in which I took said maths O-level early (that was in a January too). I eventually found where I'd gone wrong, deducted the right amount from the right place and went back to the offices to hand in my homework like a good girl.

I very nearly forgot to sign it.

Posted @ 9:37 pm on Monday, January 31, 2005
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