Friday, July 22, 2011

Of pipes and tax ...

The skies are leaden and the rain comes down; the grass grows lush and can't be cut; Clare goes to Taunton for radiotherapy.

Yesterday I completed my self-assessment tax return for 2010-11 and was gratified to see that my own tax model was pretty close to what the Inland Revenue computer demanded. As usual, I was confused as to whether the IR would re-assess my July 31st Payment-on-Account for tax year 10/11, which had previously been set at 47 pence. I called them and they did not. So nothing to pay until January 2012.

That's a relief as the bill arrived this morning for the replacement water supply pipe under our front garden. This took two days of labour for two men, with the burrowing mole repeatedly getting stuck in rock (pictured: one of the men has dug a pit in our driveway to free the jammed device; its silver top is shown with the arrow).

Our total bill is in excess of £1,500.

My brother Adrian was lauding the 3G Kindle which his elder son bought him as a present. Great for those long coach journeys, easy to read in the sun (how would he know?); relatively cheap novels. I teeter on the edge of a decision: books can easily be shared and look nice on the book case. But Adrian points to seductive features: the Kindle can read to you in its mode as a female robot; the font size can be dynamically changed for easier reading.

This morning was devoted to paying bills, dealing with Bristol Water and uploading my next article which will be published Monday afternoon UK time. It's about the VR version of the multiverse concept, but told as a little fable. The style on seems to be settling down into a breezy, slightly tabloidy style and I'm happy to accommodate and learn the skills of this mode of writing.