VAT fuelled intervals

It took me longer this morning than usual to calculate my quarterly VAT return, in part because my accounting software doesn’t easily cater for the differential rates of the Flat Rate scheme, but mostly because the department that sold me on the idea of Flat Rate told me to do it incorrectly (using the net rather than the gross sales figure)… which meant that I had to go back today and calculate additional payments from past quarters.  And then work out how to record these in my accounting software!  Oh how I truly miss Maurice ‘Tigger’ Dawes!

To add injury to insult, the culpable department still think that they are correct, which meant that I was forced to call the ‘automated queuing’ helpline and endure 15 minutes of a message repeatedly saying that it may be helpful to look on our website while your waiting.  I persevered and finally got a real person who confirmed that both my accountant and my colleague in RiVO were correct.  Strangely, she didn’t seem to care that one of her colleagues was advocating an incorrect treatment of the figures.  I suppose that that a little misinformation in the system could make life more interesting life for some people?

Anyway, fresh from this frustrating and monumental waste of time, I climbed aboard the magic carpet and ran my little legs off.

The downside of having run five miles in each of my sessions last week is that to do three and a half seems half-hearted.  So I was forced to do another five and I did it as intervals: slightly faster, elongated ones.

I warmed up at 6mph then alternated largely between 7.5 mph and 9mph , with short segments of 6mph or 7mph.  A couple of the the 9mph segments were 800m long which helped to increase the average speed from last week.  So five miles in 39 minutes 7 seconds, an average of 7.67mph.  And one very sweaty me!

Dream scene

My friend and favourite contemporary artist Darren Coffield link is a man of amazing intellect and to hear him expose the influences behind one of his paintings is a rich invitation into the mind of a genius. I have two of his paintings and I intend to buy more when my finances allow, as he is clearly going to be one of the most influencial painters of our generation.  One of the two is the initial proof for a series about dreams and it’s painted on fine silk which you can see through.

On initial inspection it looks like a black circle surrounded by squiggles in black and dark grey, but as your mind assimilates what is there it becomes clear that it is words written over each other, black in one direction, grey at right angles, each floating over the other but legible if you focus.

The painting signifies the moment of waking, when you can remember snippets of a dream for a short time, conversations, contexts, landscapes. As the mind awakes fully, so the dream fades, becomes more elusive, evaporates.

I was taught how to catch dreams about fifteen years ago, unconsciously waking at the end, keeping your eyes closed, writing on a pad next to the bed in a jumbled scribble, before falling asleep again.

So this morning I was deep in dream. I’ve not seen my good friend Maurice ‘Tigger’ Dawes for some time, but he was there in my dream showing me the house at the end of his lane. Strangely it had a deep, square-cut hole across its whole front, about the size of an olymic swimming pool. Inside there was a shed and a brand new Land Rover. The latest design, much more sweeping lines and somewhat reminiscent of the cab of a truck from the back. I wondered whether this was the latest experiential marketing campaign – maybe the idea was to work out how to get the thing out under its own steam.

The house was initially a strange big tent under an enclosed scaffolding, but when as we pushed through the broken front door it morphed into a darkly lit, wood panelled interior. Moving through we entered a room that had a seating gallery and there, seated all around, were fifty or sixty people. Maurice said that he had always wanted to perform a play there that had yet to be written, and spoke the first two lines.  These escape me now but the crowd applauded.

Then I was walking along outside again, passing a group of youths sitting on the other side of the road, each holding a big stick. As I watched so the nearest youth arose and started running towards me, as if to continue a game of ‘it’. I ran away and glancing over my shoulder was pleased to see I was quicker than he. Slowing down, I picked up a large, flat stick and conversing amicably with him, I showed him how to ride it like a snowboard.

With this change of balance, I awoke.