If there’s a theme for week one, it’s guilt with a side of frustration.
It’s heating guilt that’s on my mind. I married a super woman who ‘compliments’ me, in the sense of our differences enhance rather than clash. The other sense of compliment is something of a work in progress.
One of those differences is metabolism; I feel the cold, she treats it like a misbehaving pet.
Which means there is something of a thermostatical standoff. By that I mean if I approach the thermostat I’m told to stand off. I have no clue how it works, which is as she likes it.
Every other day, the Textiliste visits her mother; it’s not exactly a fun-filled trip these days so I want to be welcoming and supportive when she returns. Which isn’t easy when my suppurating snout has turned to an icicle because the heating will not, cannot, is genetically predisposed not to come on before 4 pm.
I understand there is a green argument here. We need to control our reliance on electricity and gas. Reduce it. Only…
Thus I have resorted to subterfuge. I dug out the electric heater and snuck it next to my desk. I last as long as I can before the inability to feel my fingertips and safely make a cup of tea drives me to give in. At or as near to 4 pm as I can I turn off the heater and hide it away so that when she returns at five or thereabouts, she is none the wiser.
That was until she found the cat curled round the gently cooling heater and wondered why. I admitted it seemed odd but I knew I was sussed. That became evident today when, as she was leaving she placed a blanket on my chair. I think that’s what’s called a hint.
As for the frustration, I am trying and failing to create an online account with HM Customs & Revenue. I know of few people who want to pay tax. Most of us accept it is inevitable and, indeed, appropriate but it is at best a necessary evil. That being the case, you would imagine HMRC try and make the process as easy as possible. To start with all went okay. But that’s the seductive trap of all things IT related. You get past putting in your name and then it floors you. Just to get past phase one, I needed my personal details, my National Insurance number and my postcode.
Simples, if you believe that ubiquitous sodding meercat. Not for me. It took me about fifteen attempts to realise the tax authorities, in their infinite wisdom had me registered as a Le-Pard. A bloody hyphen. Like I’m some chinless wonder… (apologies to anyone who has a hyphen and a chin)
Thank heavens I sorted that out, I thought. Taking a deep breath I launched into the ID proving section: my passport details…
Sorry the details do not match our records…
Seriously? Do they not want me to pay tax?
At least I’m not No-vax Djokovic, suffering at the hands of Australian bureaucracy…