It’s that day again

The first year that I had to do a self-employment tax return, I did it on August 15th. Since then, I often hear other self-employed writers moaning and complaining because it’s near the tax return deadline (in January) and they haven’t done theirs yet, so I decided that I would do mine on August 15th each year; that way it’s done and I don’t even have to think about it.

But it’s good weather today, and I still have loads of work to do outside, so I think it might be postponed until the end of the week, when rain is forecast. I’ve been busy for the past week, though. I sanded, undercoated and glossed the garage door frames, for a start, and set to on the big five-bar gate and gateposts. This didn’t mean just a coat of paint. It meant digging out some rot and applying wood hardener, painting the whole lot with fungicidal wash, brushing with a wire brush, painting again with the fungicidal wash, filling the deep holes with (very expensive) large repair wood filler, and the less deep holes with ordinary wood filler, and sanding it all down, and then two coats of fence paint. My sander did a great job, but stopped working with about four square inches left to do – but that was ok. Without the sander, I would still be sanding it all down now.

Anyway, it looks much, much better than it did.

In between all this, I tidied a bit indoors, and planted some new plants. And both my hoses stopped working. I think the fittings are ok, actually, but we had had a problem with the water supply and I had fiddled with them and made them stop working. I’m an idiot.

I’ve answered a lot of emails, although not as many as usual; August is usually a bit quiet. Many of them were to do with the new Poetry on Loan recommended poetry book list, which is now very nearly ready to go to the printers. Hooray! And entries for the PoL poetry competition have been trickling in steadily.

I forgot to say that one day last week I had a complete communications failure. First, I had no emails, because my ISP had a problem. Then we had a very brief power cut, after which I had no Internet at all; I soon realised that this was because I had no phone connection. I used the other phone to call my phone provider, and they said I had to unplug everything, leave it for an hour, and then plug it back in again; the phone thought it was off the hook. This sounded like rubbish to me, but it worked, and by evening everything was fine. But meanwhile, I thought to myself: this is what retirement would be like. I moan a lot about emails, but without them I felt bereft. I’ll just have to keep on working, I think.

And there has been proper work this week – a very good session at the hospital, and quite a bit of stuff for Artlift. And on Sunday, I had a long meeting to do with the Croome Plumlines project; I have to write four poems. I think I’ve done three of them, and established a framework for the other poet and me to work on, but there’s a tight timescale and I do feel a  bit pressured. I hope they’re ok.

And in other news – I think the last hurdle for my mum’s probate has now been overcome – except that The Brother is away until early September so nothing can be signed until he gets back.

And I’ve been to the gym twice (Sumba and Pilates), and tried all my clothes for The Daughter’s wedding, and even practised my make-up. I never wear make-up, so this is all a bit strange to me. I’ve seen a film (Jason Bourne; it was just another Jason Bourne movie), and bought a new sander.

This week I absolutely have to do some more indoor stuff, but for now I’m going to go and start work on the porch. It might be that day again, but this day the weather is too good to waste.


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