Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Job satisfactions

I went to St German's this morning, to meet with a group from the STAR Community Centre in Splott, which was visiting various places of worship for the different religious faiths which have their meeting places in Splott and Adamsdown - Reformed Synagogue, Sikh and Hindu Temple, Mosque and Saint German's. My task was to give them a guided tour and speak about Catholic Christian worship and the story of Christian mission in the area since the 1880s. The group numbered only half a dozen. Few, if any of them were churchgoers, so I enjoyed giving them an introduction which explained how Saint German's comes to be a special place in this part of South East Cardiff.

Recently, Clare has been sorting out redundant stuff for disposal, and giving the kitchen cupboard a good clean. After lunch, we made a sortie by car to the Bessemer Close waste disposal and re-cycling centre, with some ancient pans and a defunct lawn mower, plus bags of garden waste, as we'd missed the early morning collection today. Then we went to the Shaw Trust charity shop in Cowbridge Road, to deliver some bags of clothes, a tricky job by car as there's little parking and the street is always congested with through traffic. It's a lot easier when there are two of us.

Then it was my turn to get busy. First, I had two lots of flight boarding passes to arrange for autumnal sorties to Spain. Having waited the requisite week since my airport panic visit, getting seat assigned on my outbound flight to Malaga next Tuesday was straightforward, but the booking system insisted I pay to have a seat assigned on the return flight, before it would issue me boarding passes for both. It refused to issue them for the outbound only. This was the flight I booked early in the year for going to Nerja this autumn, and then had to change flight dates to suit the month in Malaga instead. Making the changes cost me over a hundred euros. The original tickets booked had been printed off months ago, nothing extra to pay. The imposition of a seat booking charge on my return flight is to my mind sharp practise and most annoying.

After this I had some on-line banking to do. This works very well and gives a measure of confidence that it's secure to use, provided that computer security is kept completely up to date, of course. Then it was time to tackle this year's tax return. I noticed from looking at old ones that I'm four months earlier getting my affairs sufficiently in order to do the job this year. It's now eleven years since I started doing tax returns on-line. The HMRC site has much improved over the years. It's clear and informative, although it can be a little confusing if you just want to go direct to your tax return, as there is a great deal of helpful information as well as choices to wade through first. 

Clare found this a problem when she did her on-line return over the weekend. To avoid having to hunt, I searched through my records and found the URL of the personal tax log-in page, possibly an old one, but it still worked, after a delay and enabled me to get started. Thankfully it only took me a couple of hours to complete, as I was able to find all the necessary supporting documentation, following a tidy up earlier this year. Tax is horridly complex, but despite this HMRC's return pages work well. 

With this behind me, my 'To Do' list is now much shorter, and I feel pleased with the achievement.

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