Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ash Wednesday

Tim had a busy day today. There were two services for Ash Wednesday at St Helena's Church, where he's the organist, and he might have been playing at both of them. The first was at 9.30am so he got up unusually early (for Tim) shortly after 7.30. Much to the disgust of our scheduling cat Sophia, who tried to herd him back into bed again!

He was also assisting in a puppet show as part of an assembly at one of the local schools, theoretically at noon, with a rehearsal at 11am so he didn't come home after the service (at which there was, after all, no music and only about 12 people). The assembly ended up being late so he wasn't home till 1.30pm. In the afternoon he did his hour's practise on the piano, then worked on his theology course; after supper he had to go back to church for 7pm for an evening service (where he did play). I don't think I've ever been to an Ash Wednesday service, despite nearly 40 years of being an Anglican in the UK. Apparently ashes are put on people's heads, made from burning last year's palm crosses (from Palm Sunday).

As for me - well, my day started much like yesterday. A little more relaxed, as there's no toddler group today, and since Richard's away we weren't expecting anyone for lunch - usually the bookkeeper, who only works on Wednesdays, comes to lunch with us when he's in at the office.

So I started filing the various paperwork (bills, receipts, etc) which I dealt with yesterday, then decided to do a bit more filing. We seem to have mountains of paperwork, and neither of us is very good at sorting it. It lives in the study, taking up increasing amounts of space.

We do have to keep financial records for 6 years, since we're still registered as self-employed in the UK, filling in tax returns annually for the UK tax office. To be on the safe side, I keep 7 years' worth, and have them in box files sorted by year. Of course, we probably don't need to keep ALL financial records - supermarket receipts and water bills from 6 years ago aren't likely to be of any interest to a tax inspector - but I keep them all anyway. Well, almost all. I have started throwing away small till receipts (60c for bread rolls on a Sunday evening, for instance...) but even that goes somewhat against the grain.

Anyway, today I decided that my bulging current files were getting too large. So I emptied out the box file containing the 1998-1999 financial records, re-labelled it, and filled it instead with the 2005-2006 paperwork. Then went through the stuff I wanted to throw away, ensuring I tore out and destroyed bank account details and full names where relevant.

Of course it all took far longer than the half hour I expected, as I got inspired to sort out really ancient tax information (child benefit letters from 1996... requests to fill in tax returns from 1995....) and a whole folder full of 'miscellaneous' which had sat at the bottom of the cupboard for the past six months. Mostly rubbish, with one or two items of nostalgia.

Then I sorted out a few items that had moved from the guest flat to the main part of the house while our visitors were here last week, and returned them to our homes. Then I tackled the job of trying to sort out our vast amounts of piano and other music. We have one elderly piano (in the guest flat living room), one keyboard/drumset/several guitars etc (in the studio), and one digital piano (in the main living room). I made some rough categories and organised them in a way that seems to make sense.

Although it's satisfying to have things sorted, it's somehow exhausting - not physically but mentally. To relax, I sat down and did a code-cracker puzzle followed by a Sudoku. It's like exercising a different muscle, I suppose. Different cognitive processes.

So that took up most of my morning...

I don't seem to have done much this afternoon. I wrote several emails, some of them quite long. Read blogs. Looked on online bookshops at various theology books that might be of use to Tim (but mostly are out of print). The computer can take up so much time, and I'm never entirely sure why.


Anonymous said...

I'm having difficulty logging on to blog ger, which is being very gerrr at the moment, so I'll have to be anonymous for a while.

I'm amazed that your cat tried to get your son back to bed, our cats are always trying to get us up!

Susan from Celadon Pool

itsboopchile said...

Your post could have been mine!!!
I, too, have reams of paper. Some I put under "read" but still don't get around to doing it.
I print stuff to read later, and that winds up in the same "read" file.
I have free time, but guess I don't use it wisely.
So, I understand your post very well!!
I do enjoy your writing.

Betty G