Diary – Tuesday 13 August 2002

Torrential rain all afternoon. Left Liverpool Street station in chaos. Infuriating absence of public announcements resulted in hapless would-be tube travellers being directed from entrance to entrance, concourse shortcuts blocked by lakes of rainwater and cash machine queues. Took me 10 mins to elicit that tube was inaccessible. My irate departure took me straight into the lake outside McDs’ where upon annoyance really set in. Stomped to Bank muttering under my breath about city wankers with golf umbrellas restricting walking flows to one person per pavement width. Phoned Phil to alert him to my inevitable delay – the reason for my brisk pace and ire being that I was due to met him outside the Prince Charles at 6.15, and that was looking wholly unlikely. And I’d tried to make sure I’d not be late. Foiled again

Arrived sodden at Bank and opted for the Waterloo and City line to waterloo thence Northern line to Leicester Square, figuring that the Central was more at risk of flooding, and heavy demand from fleeing commuters.

Got to Prince Charles just ahead of Phil even so (just) and we munched pop corn and revels through “No Man’s Land”.

Calling all you admin-abhorers!

who have to fill in a UK tax return/do self assessment this year.

I’ve just filled out mine using the IR’s online tax return.

Provided you’ve kept and collected together all your:
– P45s & P60s / Payslips
– bank etc account Certificates of Deduction of Tax
– Dividend tax vouchers
– details of pensions contributions (could be a deduction on your payslip if it is paid out of salary)
– and anything else you need for e.g. income from property, self employment etc

then it’s amazingly straightforward. no hairpulling, no calculating, and telephone and email hotlines if you get stuck. Plus you get a PDF of your return which matches the Form to keep!!

Honestly, compared to completing the form by hand it’s a million times easier. I’ve just spent 30 mins doing mine, and it’s done and dusted. Finito. Compare that to evenings and weekends of agony in previous years trying to understand what went where and what page to turn to next.

DO IT NOW – you will have received all the tax paperwork you need, and if you’ve lost it you’ve time to ask for copies before the 30 Sept deadline.

No excuse for whinging come 05 April 2003

This has been a public service announcement.

Diary – Saturday 10 August 2002

Went up to see TJBR on Saturday afternoon, and they were all, bar Jo, awful! B&R hyper and overtired after a birthday party featuring a ball-pond and too much sugar & fizzy drinks, bro because he’d got the beginning of a nasty cold. which i think I’ve now got too….

Discovered we had to take a rail replacement bus from London Bridge to Peckham Rye to get to Kirsten and Mark’s.

I prefer the bus, not because it’s airier or because I feel claustrophobic – although I detest the commuter cattle carriages which operate on SWT enough to consider moving within walking distance of work – but because I like seeing how London fits together. It’s an upwards spiral – you need a certain familiarity with London’s layout in order to catch the bus, and the more you take the bus, the better your understanding of London’s geography is.

Diary – Friday 09 August 2002

My trainers arrived!! Yaaaay! Not au fait with the cause of my excitement? I’m planning to put picture here.

Main find of the day was the new transport for london site.

When did it change? At last, an integrated journey planner!

I just did a search for getting from Finsbury Park (train etc interchange closest to bro) to Peckham Rye station tomorrow, and it’s come back with a great route in a really clear display (which doesn’t cut +paste) and description:

18:30 Finsbury Park
Take Bus W5 towards Macdonald Road to Archway
Station Stop: C
Buses every: 12 min.
Max journey time: 29 min.

Archway Station
Walk to Archway.
Transfer time: 6 min.

19:05 Archway
Take towards Morden to London Bridge
Transfer on foot.
Av journey time: 21 min.
Transfer time: 7 min.

19:29 London Bridge
Take South Central Trains towards Beckenham Junction
to Peckham Rye
Av journey time: 8 min.

19:37 Peckham Rye

you can enter from/to details as a station/stop, an address, a postcode, a place of interest.

I’m sold!

Played (and broke) ZeldaChat

Met Phil outside Liverpool St, and caught the bus back to Hackney, where we finally watched ‘the best episode of Angel ever’ – I’d say that it suffered from a bit too much hype and delay-generated anticipation for its own good.

Diary – Sunday 04 August 2002

After amazing sheet lightening and rain storms, complete with thunder during the night and early morning, we emerged to breakfast al fresco outside on the deckchairs – just like the blue ones we used to have at the cottage – it must have been the standard Argos offering c 1980! The sun got stronger and the ground dryer as the day progressed, so we took sandwich materials, teabags and dry matches to the beach hut feeling very Famous Five, and spent the afternoon sitting on the beach, looking out to sea, at bronzing families and beach boulers, yachts and speedboats, reading Shogun (quelle surprise) and Cities of Civilization (Phil). Hot enough for lashings of sun tan lotion and bottles of water. Late lunch, no icecreams, even with a shop within 40 paces!

We returned to the caravan as the afternoon cool set in and the dark clouds gathered ominously again. Fantastic having a beach hut to throw all the deckchair type paraphernalia into. The skies didn’t seem so heavy back at Naze Marine, and we pottered and read and tidied before walking to the station, just missing the 6.30. Strawberries helped to pass the time until the 19:15 trundled off to Thorpe-le-Soken and onward to the urban sprawl of East London, depositing us at Liverpool Street Station.

Caught the tube home via Clapham Common and the No 37 bus, getting a ‘I’ve gone to bed, shattered’ sms from Hazel en route. Detoured into CJ station to buy a cheese and mushroom West Cornish Pasty – slightly disappointing as always – and dispensed with unpacking in favour of bed and book and pasty. Asleep before 11pm – a befitted a weekend of slumbers!