Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Bright lights, big city

Lord H is back at work today (groan, moan) but I've got an extra day off for good behaviour - should I ever exhibit any. So I took the opportunity to get myself up to London and sort out my US tax situation at last (should royalties for any of my US books ever materialise of course - I am indeed the eternal yet frazzled optimist) as if I don't do it, then I'm taxed twice - once in the US and once in the UK. I must at this point offer huge and grateful thanks to fellow authors, Clare London and Sharon Maria Bidwell for sending me detailed and helpful instructions about the whole process - thank you, thank you, thank you. Adding to their wisdom, I've found out that the drop-in service for puzzled authors (no, really, that's not what they called it ...) only operates between 9am and 4pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, so avoid going up at the start and end of the week if you're ever in this position. The reasons for my actual attendance include (a) my reluctance to give my passport into the hands of the post office, and (b) the vast expense of notarising official passport copies if you don't take it to the embassy yourself. Best to spend £14 or so and have a trip out is what I say. In the end, it went very smoothly and door-to-door I was only out for about four hours. The security guards at the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square are very jolly indeed, there was no queue and I was in and out (as it were) in about 20 minutes or so. And I only had to remove my watch and give up my keys and mobile phone into their safekeeping. I also - rather amusingly - had to drink from my bottle of water in their presence to ensure it wasn't anything dubious. I was dealt with in the Inland Revenue Service office (also no queue, hurrah!) very efficiently and the lovely old gent there not only helped me complete my W7 form (for getting my US tax benefit number) but also filled in the parts I didn't understand on my W8 form (for notifying the US publishers that I don't pay US tax) too. What a hero. I also managed to remember to buy a lovely tuna mayo sandwich at the Godalming Station cafe which I ate on the train home, feeling as if I'd survived a rather tricky school trip. As you do. Anyway, now I have to wait for my actual US tax number to arrive, which should take about four months or so. Always good to have something to look forward to over the summer ...

Anyway, here's this morning's meditation:

Meditation 80

There shall always be bread
on the table.
The trouble comes
in the intricate pattern

of packaging:
which man carries the blue cloth,
who is in charge
of the red

and who lays the purple
over the altar.
It’s a holy mystery of course
but I’m betting

it’s the women
who deal with the ashes.

For the rest of the day, I've been sending my rejected short stories of yesterday out into the virtual marketplace again in the hope of finding a good home. Ho ho. And I've sent out two more submissions of The Gifting. Never say I'm not a tryer, eh. And really I think it's about time for a nap. I'm developing a gentle headache that hasn't really gone away since this morning and I'd like to see the back of it soon. I'm probably overtired - as they say.

Ooh, and due to Lord H's photos, we've found out that the skua-like birds we saw on the Bosphorus are in fact Mediterranean shearwaters (of the Yelkouan race), who also get as far as Turkey - so another new bird, hurrah.

Tonight, I hope to catch up on some of the TV I've missed while we were away, and do absolutely no writing - or worrying about it - at all. Ha!

Today's nice things:

1. Writing friends
2. A smooth London trip
3. Tuna mayo sarnies
4. Poetry
5. TV.

Anne Brooke
Anne's website - keeping the home fires burning, dimly ...


Casdok said...

Glad you got your US tax sorted out.

Hope your headache dosnt get worse. Cross fingers for your submissions.

Anne Brooke said...

Thanks, Casdok! The nap has certainly helped the head!


Hugs galore


Jilly said...

Good for you for managing to sort out the US tax thing.

Anne Brooke said...

Thanks, Jilly!