Avoiding my tax return

Today I was supposed to be going through a pile of teetering paperwork to start work on my 2012-13 tax return. I feel the need to get it out of the way to ‘clear the decks’ for a fresh surge of writing. I know I’ll feel better when I’ve dealt with it, but I seem to have spent all day today avoiding actually doing it. It seems that I will do anything else… ANYTHING… except look at bits of paper with numbers on. Here’s how it’s gone so far…

1) Angus looks at me. Needing a walk. Do a longer walk than normal. Only fair to the poor dog, after all. He needs the exercise. So do I.

2) Get back. Put on a washing. Then decide that I need new business cards. Now. Spend about an hour designing and ordering print with Aylesbury college copy shop (who do very reasonable rates by the way). Then time for a coffee. Stare out of window for a short while.

3) So impressed am I with the college’s rates, I decide that I might as well get some Abominators bookmarks done for school visits and the Wychwood festival, to hand out to children. Tweak the design I’ve already worked on and send over to the copy shop for a quote. Another half hour used up, but the bookmarks look great.

4) I’ve been invited to be a guest blogger on Girls Heart Books, so it makes sense to get myself a gravatar on their site, and anyway I’m pretty excited about it. Another half hour on that. Could have done this later in the week, but in light of the financial mountain of paper lurking on my table, it suddenly seems incredibly urgent.

5) Hang up washing. Put another washing on. Do a quick blog entry for my ‘Stressy Buddhist’ blog, (www.stressybuddhist.wordpress.com) which I’ve just started for fun. Again, could have done that this evening…

6) I approached the Accelerated Reading scheme recently, and now an email arrives saying I can send the book. I glance over at the tax stuff. ‘No time like the present’, I decide, getting out a padded envelope.

7) Start to daydream about an idea for a new Abominators story. Write a few things down. Realise need to hang out the other washing and put a third load on. Decide it is urgent to pick moss out of Angus’s fur.

8) Time for a late lunch. Make a salad, and eat it while listening to The Archers. Pip really is being such a brat. And poor Tom. The shadow of the tax pile looms over me like the shadow of my old Maths teacher back when I was at school. ‘Concentrate, Jennifer! Stop looking out of the window!’

9) The house is a pigsty. ‘I can’t work in this’ I think to myself. Quick tidy round.

10) Come across an email from Sam Hearn, the illustrator of The Abominators. Reply to it. Remember I needed to register for PLR. Do it. Feels good to get it sorted, I’ve been meaning to do it for ages.

11) Remember I promised to send two copies of The Abominators to a charity near Reading for their auction. Package them up.

12) I can’t let the charity wait, I reason to myself as I survey the mess of receipts and invoices mocking me from the kitchen table. I have other stuff to post too… and need to get  a set of spare keys cut. Off to the High Street. Another hour disappears.

13) I get back. There it still is, the tax return heap – looking at me resentfully. Only an hour till the boys home from school, where’s the day gone? What on earth have I done? It’s not too late. I COULD make a start on it in the short time I have left…

14) or I could write a blog about avoiding doing my tax return instead…

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