So, one of my kids comes home from school and says "Hey Dad, what is the longest month in the year?"
Hmmmm, I muse away.... 30 days hath September, etc, etc"
"Well, 7 months have 31 days - so there are 7 that are the longest"
"No, no, no. Which is the longest?'
I then started to think that maybe he was talking about the number of letters in each word... "September!" I announced in triumph. "September - it's got 9 letters, it's the longest"
"Naw, wrong again!"
By now he was crowing like Tony Blair after just receiving a favourably stitched up Inquiry.
"O bloody K. I don't bloody know. You'd better bloody tell me"
Answer: October. Why? Because the clocks go back in October by 1 hour, therefore October is 1 hour longer that the other 31 day months.
Well, I never knew that - but I do now.
A Taxing year?...
January 31st 2003 Phew!! Just managed to get my tax return in. What a palaver! Mental note to 'sloth-side' of my head. Get off your arse and make sure that you send in the next tax return pronto - like, before the end of September - then the good old friendly tax people will calculate it for you. How very considerate! I mean, to quote Adam Hart-Davis in his extremely irritating TV tax ads "After all, tax doesn't have to be taxing". (What brilliant wordsmith thought that one up then?)
February. Must keep that receipt, 'n stick it in with my tax return which should be in by September.
March. Hmmmm. This windfall, left me by Great Aunt Mimsie. I should put it to one side - and if I need to pay the taxman anything, I can use that?. How mature of me - sorted! Saved lots more receipts, must find box to put them in.
April. Decide to invest windfall into having a really good holiday, because.. because I bloody well deserve it. And anyway, my return only needs to be in by the end of September - I can easy save whatever I need by then.
May. Take a teeeny-weeny small loan out - just to tide me over for 'spends' on my fab' holiday. Well, it's only someone else's money - and everyone's doing it!! Got even more receipts, God, at this rate, Gordon Brown will owe me money!
June. God it's hot. Sun, sea, sand and sangreeeea! Mental note: must sort out my tax form as soon as I get home "Alfreda, whack a bit more of that Ambre Solaire stuff on me back will you?"
July. Can't find tax form. Where the hell is it? Ring up very understanding man at tax office called 'Gordon' - he's Scottish - and prudent. Understanding Gordon tells me I can submit my form 'online'. Blimey, what am worrying about? I can upload in a matter of moments... I mean, theoretically, I could send it on the last day of September at a quarter of an hour before midnight if I really wanted to...
August. Relax, plenty of time, now I can submit 'on-line'
September 29th Ohhhhkkaaaayyyy. Must sit down and do it. Right after I've read this really interesting article on traditional reindeer farming in the frozen northern wastes of Finland.
October 1st Damn, missed the deadline, never mind, I can still make the end of January deadline - just as long as I give all my 'P' forms to my accountant...
November Where the bloody hell is my 'P 11D' form. I mean, can you believe it, I had it here, just here... and now it's gone... Come to think of it, where's my 'receipts box'?
"What do you mean you've thrown it out! It wasn't just an old shoe box, it was my receipts box.."
Don't you just hate going through sweaty bin bags looking for stuff that's always at the bottom. And don't you just hate it even more when you've chucked the entire contents of your pets cat litter tray in there, not an hour before.
December Christmas is coming, hoorah!! Make entry into brand spanking new 2004 diary... "January 5th, ring Andrew (my Accountant), make appointment." I've put extra bold, black underlined underlinings, just so I don't miss it when I come back from my Christmas holidays.
January 5th Blimey, my first day back. I can't remember a thing! I mean, what the hell was I supposed to be doing today? Best thing is to get back into it, slowly like - then it won't be such a shock. I'll start stuff tomorrow... or maybe the next day... possibly. I'll open my new diary at a brand new page - crisp and virginal - there! January the 7th.
January 30th 2004 Now, I just know I've forgotten something... OHMYBLEEDINGGOD -TAX!