There’s an old saying about waiting for a bus, you wait for ages without one arriving then three come all at once! It was like that for me on Thursday, no electrical offers of work then I get three in a row. All very nice of course but I often wonder why it happens. At one address they had been without a bathroom light for four weeks yet they called me in the middle of the day expecting me to drop by then. I did call but it was after I had completed the first job. I asked them why they had waited for so long before calling someone out to fix it. Their answer? They were not that bothered! The problem I had with the work was its timing and consequently I missed having lunch. Even when I had returned home late in the afternoon someone called for my services but that work I scheduled for the following morning. I was looking forward to a relaxing weekend as the weather forecast was for a warm and sunny couple of days. Whether I could put up with doing little was doubtful but I wanted at least to get the opportunity. If I was to do any work it would only be something at home. Thursday marked the beginning of a new financial year in the UK for me and for everyone else as far as the Inland Revenue Service are concerned. It was April 6 the tradition start of the financial year. This means in the weeks ahead I will have to prepare my accounts ready for submitting my tax return form later. Most years I would have already done much of that work by now but this year I have been too busy either doing electrical work, such as I have received, and working in the garden and have been too tired to even think about my tax return. It actually doesn’t take me long these days because my turnover is quite low, well come on I am 71 years old! It is something I seldom look forward to, a reluctant exercise but it is one that unfortunately must be done. Most of the work is in simply collating the information, adding up profits and expenses before filling in the form. Anyway it is the price we pay for being self-employed. Each year I think it will be the last tax return I submit but up till now nothing has changed. Maybe next year? In the meantime I carry on while I still have the inclination.
A few weeks ago I received a letter from my motoring organisation, the AA, informing me that the bank details they had with which to pay my membership renewal were now invalid. This happens when a card has been replaced by my bank. I was to call them nearer to the date of renewal with my new card details. Around about the same time as I received that letter I received one from the Inland Revenue Service showing an estimate of revenue due for payment in January. I was pottering around the house on Monday morning with nothing to do so I phoned my local newspaper to make arrangements for cancelling my advertisement over the Christmas and New Year period as it would be pointless advertising during the holiday. I do this every year but somehow still get one or two jobs anyway. Not long after I received a call from a guy living in the next town asking if I could install some replacement light units. I jumped at the chance as I had no work scheduled until the following day. I was away from the house for about two hours and on my return I saw that E had left my post on the stand in the hallway. We place post there so that it can easily be seen. Obviously the postman had called whilst we were out. E had taken our neighbour to her hospital appointment as she is reluctant to drive herself because of the treatment she receives. E was already eating lunch as she had to go out again. I had the rest of the day to myself but first I made myself a snack. After lunch I opened the letter from the tax office, this time it was my statement showing the actual amount of tax due. A few clicks on the computer and I had the payment done. Then I noticed the letter from the AA where I had placed it to remind me to action it. Funny how we forget things isn’t it? I had forgotten but no doubt would have been reminded anyway as I had put the letter in a prominent position. I telephoned their office and gave them the new card details, the membership renewal date is mid January. I like to get things out-of-the-way as early as I can as I don’t like having debts hanging over my head. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw my tax bill, it hadn’t been as much as I had first thought.
I usually take at least one day off at the weekend from my weekly labours but this past weekend I was forced to take two. The weather made a turn for the worst and it rained almost solidly for the two days. What made it even more uninviting was the high wind, especially on Sunday. I have been eager to do some more work on my little project but as it is all outside work the weather decides when I can do that. Most of the concrete mixing and laying has been done but some still remains, the footings for constructing the steps to the vegetable plot. The area is raised a couple of feet (say a half-metre) above the pathway leading to and from the garage where I have been constructing some concrete steps and is about at the same level as the adjacent patio. Hence the need for a couple of steps to reach it safely. I shall be using precast concrete paving slabs for the steps rather than mixing and laying concrete to make them, it is easier and quicker but there will be some brickwork required. If the weather remains fine, as it is now, I hope much of the heavier work will be completed this week but I can’t let it interfere with taking E out to lunch! As the weather was rather lousy over the weekend I decided to fill out my tax return for the Inland Revenue, something I usually put off doing until later. I hate, well no, that is too harsh a word, I dislike collating all the paperwork and accounts and filling in the form but it has to be done. I breathe a sigh of relief when I have finished. You would think I had mounds of information to collate but in fact the whole process takes me less than an hour! Well I am only a part-timer these days so there is little really to do. I just find it a chore. On Sunday morning I missed breakfast and spent a half-hour on the treadmill, went into the garden to cool off. I returned indoors, cooked a Bolognese sauce before bathing and getting dressed. The sun finally showed up in the afternoon and the weather turned less unsettled. So far it has remained that way.