Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Hector the TaxmanHe knows.

Surely he must know.

Either that or my neighbour's complete idiocy is utterly unrelated to me, but nah, that's too improbable.

Those of you who have been paying attention might have noticed I've been just the tiniest bit annoyed recently. So imagine my great delight when, early in the morning, by neighbour decides to start smashing one of his windows. Apparently he'd taken the dog for a walk. And left the door on the latch, and so didn't take his keys with him. Comes back, discovers the door is locked. So what is the natural response (given he apparently is the only person in the street not to partake in the mass spare-key exchange)? Call his son with whom he shares the house? Call his lodger (except he hasn't been seen for a while, so he might not still be around)? Call a locksmith? Leave it till after work? But there's the dog. Take the dog into work? Ask the retired neighbour on the other side to mind he/she/it for the day? Leave it in the back garden for the day?

Oh no, don't be silly. The obvious choice is to pit a large terracotta pot planted with seedlings against the double glazing. The glazing won the first round. Smashing crockery, but deeper than normal, is not a nice sound to wake up to.

He then found a stone (one of the few which hadn't miraculously migrated to the middle of our back lawn: must be the badger), and hammered away until it broke. Plate glass has very special sound as it breaks; horrendously wrong would be a fairly good way of describing it.

A few sickening layers of glass later and all is quiet. Either he's in, or falling shard of glass has neatly liberated his femoral artery. It stays silent for a while, and then the hammering begins. And goes on. It stops, and then starts up again. There's another odd noise, and more hammering. Crashing sounds, smashing sounds, jangling all the way, oh what fun it is to have a neighbour who is batt[a]y.

So that was fun. And by the way, this is same man who spent the entire weekend (when he wasn't mowing the lawn for the third weekend in a row with his wonderful petrol driven mower. From the noise it makes, it should have spun off into many pieces years ago) apparently building an internal wall for the sole purpose adding shelves to it, having run out of vacant wall space elsewhere. Unless he has a very profitable sideline in testing the ease of construction of every flatpack item in the Ikea catalogue, his home must be submerged in self-assembly units stacked four-deep. At least that's what I assume he does, judging from the omnipresent hammering, drilling, sawing and grinding that thrums through the party-wall. Or maybe he's just trying to reinvigorate jazz.

My sheer unrelenting joy was further bolstered by receiving a letter from the Inland Revenue. Except it wasn't actually a letter, merely a form. To be filled in. With lots of details I don't know. Having panicked and scrabbled for any relevant bits of paperwork, I then notice that it's not even for this year. Oh dear. I don't even know whether I can just stick N/A in half the boxes, as I've no idea what the accompanying TLAs mean. And to think I've only just stopped ostriching about the whole National Insurance fiasco.

Oh, to live in a tax haven. I can't even say it would probably be foggier, as today is doing fairly well on the dismal scale. How dare it revert to seasonally average temperatures? Who cares about the norm when we've had a sniff (more like a lung and half-ful) of sun and temperatures well into double figures?

Worryingly, I think the tax form is actually to do with how much rebate I get. Which means I really ought to fill it in, as there's no way they will just work it out for me.

Hang on, it's for year end Apr 04, yet they want to know if I am still to receive income in that year? They really do judge everyone by their own standards, don't they?


PS. Just trying to balance out the unrelenting tone of this post, LondonDan had an interesting site buried away in his archives. Do you know where in London the pictures on this site where taken? I got 1,3,4,5,11,13,17,18,[should have got 19],20,25,26,36,[should have got 48], with a fair degree of ish to some of the answers (and apparently 36 is not the one I was thinking of). Which probably means I've been bored and lonely in London too often.

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