All the little things add up.

I have had a lot of little things all needing my attention – and one big thing – and they were really starting to get me down, so on Thursday and Friday I knuckled down and started working through them.

The most horrible big huge gigantic scary daunting task was to do my accounts to give to the accountant for my tax return. Normally, I keep my records updated as I go so that when the form arrives from the Taxman, I just tidy things up, add my P60 and bank tax summaries, and hand it all over to my accountant. However, last year was such a pig of a year that I’d simply been throwing all my receipts in to a folder – though at least the folder was divided in to separate months. Stephen had already helped me a lot by wading through and putting all the receipt details on to a spreadsheet but I needed to do a lot more with them before they were ready to hand over. With heavy heart, I started – and faltered as I was overwhelmed with a sense of not being able to do it (almost to the point of tears) but then I gave myself a pep talk and dug in. And I did it! After hours of hard work, correcting mistakes, writing spreadsheet formulae and then summarising the information, I got the job done. HALLELUJAH! 🙂 It took just an hour or so to summarise the income side of things as I keep this information on a spreadsheet anyway now. I found all the bits and pieces of paperwork to go with it, saved final copies to a USB stick and put the lot ready to take in next week. Oh WHAT a weight off my shoulders. I really felt like I’d fought a huge bear and won. (And since then I’ve even put the first three months of this tax year on to the spreadsheets so hopefully I won’t have such a horrible task next year. )

Having got the biggest job done, I decided to sort out the little tasks too and by the end of the two days I felt really pleased with myself.

Firstly I dug out the 3 letters from British Gas nagging reminding us to arrange our boiler service. The problem was that each letter wanted us to arrange a date within the next 2 weeks and until this point, I didn’t HAVE any spare time in the forthcoming fortnight to be around for the check to be done. So I sorted it out and we are now booked in.

I was keen to pre-order the new City home shirt as you know, but the new City website had problems and didn’t get sorted out until too late on the Wednesday for me to wait. So it was Thursday before I could try – but the website still had problems and twice I got to the payment stage and the site died on me. So I mailed to ask whether my order had gone through or not as I didn’t want to keep trying if in fact I was placing multiple orders (non-returnable as I have my name on the back.) It wasn’t until Friday that I got it sorted – by ordering on the phone – though even that wasn’t without it’s difficulties. (Namely that my card payment wouldn’t go through as it had already been used on the same order. Except that the order hadn’t gone through. Er…..? It took 3 calls to sort it all out!) Eventually, though, I got my shirt ordered and now I can sit back and relax and wait for it to arrive on the 17th. 🙂

Next, I wanted to get the car booked in to Kwik Fit as it was a bit noisy and I wondered if it might be the exhaust even though it had only been done in April 2007. However, I drive long distances so need the car to be healthy and decided to bite the bullet and get it checked. I saw on their website that I could book online so I went ahead and did so. I arranged to take it in the next day, but when I tried to print the confirmation, there was an error message saying there was a problem and to wait 24 hours then call customer services if it wasn’t resolved. Erm, I didn’t HAVE 24 hours so I decided to just call my local branch – which is what I should have done in the first place! They couldn’t have been friendlier and said I could take the car down straight away if I wanted, so I did. I’d debated whether to mention the (3 year) warranty on the exhaust which they fitted before as I was convinced they’d find a way round it saying it was a different part or something. In the end though, my innate honesty got the better of me and I gave them the receipt and warranty along with the keys. I waited whilst they looked and was told that they’d found the problem. The silencer on the rear section had split along the seam. I looked at the man blankly, not knowing if this was good, bad or indifferent. Then he smiled and said the good news was that it was covered by he warranty and wouldn’t cost me a penny. 🙂 That as REALLY good news as I’d been dreading the cost. He said it was very unusual which makes me wonder if it’s those blasted speed bumps in Chester which have done it – and in particular the stupidly high but short ramps either side of one particular zebra crossing. No matter that I drive between 10-20mph over the speed bumps, and I almost stop completely to go over the zebra crossing, the car is always jolted heavily due to the poor design. HOW do people living in Chester afford to run their cars? I’ve already got through one-and-a-half suspension parts because of this. Anyway – all that aside, my car was fixable, could be done that day, and wouldn’t cost me anything. Hooray. I left the car for a couple of hours and then walked down to collect it later. I was really pleased, the service was very efficient and friendly again, as last time and I recommend them.

Whilst the car was done, I called Sky as one of our boxes (in Raji’s room) isn’t working. Billy was supposed to call them, but after a couple of weeks of me asking, he still hadn’t done it. So after huffing and puffing to clamber into Raji’s room to get the viewing card, then up the stairs to Billy’s Sky box for that card and back downstairs to the living room for that one, talking to the man at Sky all the while, I found out what the problem was. We’d received 2 new viewing cards weeks ago and they sat in their unopened envelope in Billy’s paperwork pile for ages. Until we had problems with the living room box and Nel tracked the envelope and then I installed the new viewing card. I gave the other card to Billy, as we assumed it would be for the TV in his room, and he duly told me it was all installed and fine. Then we discovered Raji’s box didn’t work which is a problem as he does like to watch sports (anything – cricket, rugby, golf, tiddlywinks…) for hours, not realising that the kids and I might want to watch something but we don’t have TV’s in our rooms so can’t. Also, of course, we pay an extra £10 a month to have that box in his room. (Because of the area, without satellite, you can’t watch TV here. Freeview doesn’t work and the analogue signal is so poor as to be unwatchable!) ANYWAY …….. it turns out that the second viewing card was for Raji’s box and Sky had deactivated the old card. Billy HADN’T put the card in his box at all, and it’s now gone AWOL. Sky can’t send out a replacement so we need to find that missing card. If all else fails, Sky MAY be able to reactivate the deactivated card. Bloody men! And lies! Grrr!

After getting through all the above I felt VERY noble, very tired, and VERY deserving of a drink – or three 🙂

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  1. […] my way to Tesco last week, it occurred to me to pop in to Kwik-Fit who had done a good job with my exhaust before, so off I went and asked if they could help. The man on reception took my keys and he and a […]

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