Ho Hum

May. 5th, 2005 10:51 pm
liadnan: (Default)

Well, on early showings Labour are set to take 100% of the seats. Admittedly that's based on 1 return, but I think it's indicative.

Actually, if the BBC exit poll is right I should have followed my inclinations and punted on a majority under 80. Christ knows I could do with the money. So broke I'm walking to and from my office every day rather than renewing my travel card, The rest of my life is at similar level.

liadnan: (Default)

For various reasons it became necessary this evening to look for something in the folder I stuff all the paperwork for my Blackwell's bookshop account this evening. And then, you see, the original reason -looking for an invoice for the purposes of my VAT return due next week- was swept away in the urgent need to organise that file (from which I actually need something about once every other year). And now that urge too has been swept away by two successive and horrible realisations, viz and to wit: I have had a Blackwell's account for almost 10 years (I became quite emotional* at the discovery of a batch of bills addressed to 142 Walton St).

During that time I have spent a quite disgusting amount of money there, in Broad St and latterly CharingXRd. And I buy books in other places quite often. No. I'm not going to say how much. Well, what do you expect when you give me an account somewhere like Blackwell's on, effectively "pay us sometime, when you've got a bit of cash" terms. (At least, that's what it was in the old days. No longer.)

The first is an oddly depressing realisation. Particularly when I come across invoices for books I could have sworn I bought, oh around this time last year, and discover that, no, it was around this time in 2000.

(I did find the invoice I was looking for in the end. For anyone astute enough to be wondering, it was something with a CD in the back and hence a VAT element.)

Had a fairly blue weekend. Found the order of service for Dad's funeral in the general clearup that preceded (and was necessitated by) doing the VAT return. Hence*. I was sure I had significantly more whisky at the start of the weekend...

*I have of quite a lot of strong drink taken.

liadnan: (Default)

In my pigeonhole this morning:

"Dear [Liadnan]
On your recent VAT return you entered X in box 3 as your gross VAT for the quarter and in box 4 that you were reclaiming Y as VAT on purchases in the quarter. However, the figure you then entered in box 5 as the sum due to HMCE, Z, for which you also sent us a cheque* is 1000 pounds more than X-Y. We suggest you may have omitted to carry a 1 in the thousands and return your form for correction.
Love,
Her Majesty's Commissioners of Customs and Excise.

Or words to that effect.

As I said to the pleasant lady in Cardiff on the phone, this goes some way to explaining why I'm quite so poor this month.

*Which they have cashed. Obvs.

liadnan: (Default)

It's that bank statement time of the month again and my dead reckoning has gone horribly wrong. If I hadn't been paid a significant fee early (a week after it was incurred instead of the usual 3-6 months) I'd be absolutely buggered. At the worst time possible. I think some fee-chasing is in order.

I'm also absolutely freezing. It may well be entirely in the mind, but I'm convinced Primrose Hill is noticeably colder than the rest of London at any given time.

liadnan: (Default)

Conversations with my bank manager are much more entertaining now it isn't simply a sea of red. Having first had an argument with them over whether it was my problem or theirs that a restaurant I went to a month or so ago had charged me twice for the bill (theirs) we then embarked on a discussion of why, precisely, I had been charged for an overdraft.

"Well, you must have gone over your free overdraft limit."

"Please to point out where, precisely, I went into the red at all."

"Um."

"So I'd like you to check that each and every bank charge I've ever incurred from you was properly made."

I emerge triumphant and leave, pausing only to kick a small puppy.

***

Budapest was, as I've already indicated, a fun weekend, though heavier on the drinking than the cultural side. We stayed on a boat, (or botel, if neologisms don't make your fillings ache) which was perhaps a little on the small side, but reasonably convenient and cheap. I can't say I recommend the "Porn and Mafia" tour, or at least, those going on it should be prepared for a mysterious lack of any mafia and the porn being limited to the guide allegedly being an ex-porn star, also for Strange American Girls whose intentions are vague (muttermutter); but otherwise a clear success.

I also managed to have a proper Idea about something I could write for the first time in ages while I was there, though I can't quite see any connection between the idea and the weekend.

***

There are three things I could do tonight: go to a Chancery Bar Association lecture rivetingly entitled "Ramsay 25 years on: the future of tax avoidance" (the Annual Lecture and the high point of the ChBA's year); go to a concert at Westminster Cathedral of renaissance stuff for Lent (which is actually quite tempting); or sweet FA. The last seems the most likely.

***

I tracked down, through no less than three degrees, the Opportunity that seemed to be available last week... unfortunately I was informed by the penultimate link that she has a boyfriend. Ho hum. I am now confused on whether this shows my decision to turn it down, on the grounds she was too drunk to know what she was doing, to be the height of wisdom or the depths of folly.

liadnan: (Default)

It's been a long and shitty week.

Actually, from the work point of view, it's only been two days, but they've been a very long two days. The flu whatever has pretty much gone, but it has left behind near total exhaustion after about two hours work. Which doesn't really cut it when you're in your first year of practice as a barrister and trying desparately to get as many sets of papers through as possible.

Whatever. At least I've got the freedom to say soddit and go home when I want now, or just take the day off entirely. So long as I'm prepared not to earn any more money that day.

Plans for the weekend are a bit fluid. I really ought to go and see my parents, since I didn't get around to it last week, and I have a hankering to go to Oxford and see people I haven't for too long, but I'm also feeling a severe case of London Inertia. The feeling, that is, that London holds all that any mortal could possibly want, and making the effort to go and see those who for some strange reason deprive themselves of this is just too hard.

Plus, I have the excuse that if I don't I might get around to doing some work, both barrister and writing work that is. It's a blatant attempt to deceive myself of course, if I stay in London I shall quite probably do absolutely nothing all weekend, but if I'm not entitled to kid myself, who is?

Having a bit of a blue period about being 30, with a side order of skint and single (though the 30 bit is the real problem, frankly). Why it should come now, 6 months after the event, I'm not entirely sure.

liadnan: (Default)

I'm bored with being ill now.

To add insult to injury, I struggled into Chambers this morning to discover there was no work for me to do, no one had anything to offload on me, and no one much cared if I went home again. Which is what I intend to do.

Bank statement also arrived this morning. My finances, for many years an attempt at re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic into ever more complex forms, appear to have screwed up badly this month: I have something like 70 quid to make it to the end of the month, unless I turn to those fair weather friends, my credit cards. So I am going to have to talk to the bank manager, who always makes me depressed.

Spent yesterday lying around in Primrose Hill. Actually listened to most of the debate, at least in the background. Most impressive speech of the day was Hague's, surprisingly.

Incidentally, despite the fact I disagree with him and thought he was a shite Foreign Secretary (but a very good racing journalist), I also thought Cook's resignation was massively impressive.

I came round to supporting the war a long time ago, as most of you know: I'm not going to change my mind now, nor do I feel livejournal is a particularly good forum for examining it. Basically, it stems from the fact I'm a liberal interventionist by nature. Yes there are lots of places which could do with regime change in the world. Why this one, now? Why not, frankly. What matters now, I think, is what happens after, both in Iraq and elsewhere. I hope we are able to build a liberal democracy there: I don't think it is naive to think that is possible. I am also, quite emphatically, not a cultural relativist, and I don't buy the idea that somehow Arabs can't cope with (don't deserve?) western liberal democratic values. Perhaps, if we do succeed in that, we can also stop pretending the House of Saud are ok guys.

I'm tired, ill, poor and its sunny outside. Balls to this, I'm going home.

Suitings

Oct. 17th, 2002 04:00 pm
liadnan: (Default)

I have just spent 650 quid on two suits. I feel extremely poor. And somehow suspect that skiing this season has just become a non-starter of an idea. Again.

Today's phrase is floating redundant. There is no good reason for this, and I leave it to those of you who are excessively bored, or possibly just know, to work out where it comes from.

liadnan: (Default)

Thursday morning. Seems to come round once a week.

I like Thursdays. They always seem hopeful. If you think that sounds like nonsensical wibbling, chances are you're right.

I should, of course, be working: spent yesterday faffing around being worried about the meeting. Well, that hurdle's jumped: now I have to get stuff finished by Monday morning.

I'm going to have to buy myself a new computer and a new suit too. Which is a fairly considerable financial outlay even without considering that finances are going to be a little tight for a while. I think I shall have to do some fast talking to the bank. They forgot about me some time ago: my personal manager went, they never told me who was replacing him, and no one has rung up to hassle me about my overdraft and loans in the way he used to, which suited me for a while.

Thinking about getting a Mac G4/G3 Powerbook. Yes, I know, linux, blah, but I just don't have the time to learn how to use it properly since, as far as I'm concerned, there are many things more interesting in the world I don't know enough about yet.

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