Sunday, December 31, 2017

Same time next year

HMRC
Usually, VAT-registered businesses submit their VAT Returns and payments to HM Revenue and Customs 4 times a year.
With the Annual Accounting Scheme you:
  • make advance VAT payments towards your VAT bill - based on your last return (or estimated if you’re new to VAT)
  • submit 1 VAT Return a year
When you submit your VAT Return you either:
  • make a final payment - the difference between your advance payments and actual VAT bill
  • apply for a refund - if you’ve overpaid your VAT bill
The scheme wouldn’t suit your business if you regularly reclaim VAT because you’ll only be able to get 1 refund a year (when you submit the VAT Return).
That sounds like a plan. My fascinating life, eh?

Saturday, December 30, 2017

What's on the end of the stick, Vic

Vic & Bob's Big Night Out returned for a special one-off episode last night and all is well with the world.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b09ksl9c/vic-bobs-big-night-out

Friday, December 29, 2017

Selfie



Vice News
Beheadings, violence, and the so-called Islamic State (IS) may seem unlikely subjects for a comedy show, but Saudi Arabia's satirical Selfie series, which looks at the militant group's violent activities through a humorous lens, has proven a runaway hit with viewers.
Selfie has garnered top ratings since it began airing on Saudi network MBC for its brand of dark humor that perforates the blanket of death and tragedy that has accompanied IS's bloodied land grab across the region, the series' writer Khalaf al-Harbi told the Associated Press.
"What's coming is darker," he said of the situation in the Middle East. "Maybe I am a bit pessimistic, and I hope that I am wrong, but I don't think I am."
The group's supporters, on the other hand, are not fans of the new show, and have responded with online death threats against the show's leading actor and writer.
In one skit, an aspiring "caliph" brings together a ragtag band of fighters to start his own militant group, squired by his "mufti," or top religious cleric, who never graduated from school. In another, al-Qasabi plays the bumbling father of a Saudi boy who left to join the Islamic State. The father must go undercover as a militant in Syria to bring his son home, all the time trying to dodge partaking in violence himself.
The show also doesn't hesitate to mock the Sunni-Shiite divide. In one skit, two Saudi men meet in an airport in Europe, and it turns out they both are quite keen on women, alcohol, and parties. But when they discover one is Shiite, the other Sunni, their arguing grows so intense that airport security becomes involved, and the police cart them off to a mental institution when they discover the men are arguing over something that happened 1,400 years ago.
Selfie has no qualms satirizing ultra-conservative religious attitudes in Saudi Arabia, for which it has been slammed by mainstream clerics as heretic, particularly as it airs during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
One of the episodes in particular, which derides Saudi Arabia's religious establishment over its disapproval of types of music, recently led Saudi cleric Saeed bin Mohammed bin Farwa to accuse al-Qasabi and MBC of heresy.
But al-Harbi said that Selfie aims to emphasize how the militants have misappropriated and perverted Islam for their own purposes. The show's success, he claims, proves that satire can sometimes be more compelling and a better vehicle to remind the public of this fact than traditional or government-run media.
"I felt this is a weapon that will reach the audience," he said. "If it was just something comical, we would have focused on easy societal issues that aren't dangerous and are guaranteed safe."
Well I never. I had no idea such a show could even exist. Maybe there is hope after all.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Too Much of a Good Thing?

I felt rather smug when I got tickets for Danny Baker in Crawley next July (see Icons passim).

I feel somewhat less smug now that he has added a gig around the corner at the Wimbledon Theatre - http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/danny-baker/new-wimbledon-theatre/

That said the Hawth theatre show is nearly sold out - https://www1.ticketmaster.co.uk/danny-baker-live-good-time-charlies-crawley-20-07-2018/event/3500536397681707

Maybe I can return my tickets there for a refund?

I bought my dockets via Ticketmaster but the new show is not appearing on their website yet, see over by yer.

I will wait until it shows up before I pursue this further.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The future's so Bright, I gotta wear shades



I signed up for a month's free trial on Netflix over the holiday break so Ben and I could watch Bright. Just for the record, checking out "a movie so profoundly awful that Republicans will probably try to pass it into law," was the son and heir's idea rather than mine.

Now I've got the streaming service however I ought to try and make the most of it. I've been binge watching Chef's Table and was told at a party that Stranger Things is good stuff.

Anyone else got a suggestion or two?

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

David Hurn

The world-renowned Magnum Photos photographer David Hurn is Wales's most important living photographer. This year he is donating his archive to the National Museum Wales, alongside a unique collection of 700 photographs by other photographers, including Henri Cartier-Bresson, Bill Brandt and Dorothea Lange. It is a remarkable gift to the nation.

The BBC documentary is well worth a look and I must go to the National Museum of Wales exhibition next time I'm back.

Monday, December 25, 2017

For the time being

Well, so that is that. Now we must dismantle the tree,
Putting the decorations back into their cardboard boxes —
Some have got broken — and carrying them up to the attic.
The holly and the mistletoe must be taken down and burnt,
And the children got ready for school. There are enough
Left-overs to do, warmed-up, for the rest of the week —
Not that we have much appetite, having drunk such a lot,
Stayed up so late, attempted — quite unsuccessfully —
To love all of our relatives, and in general
Grossly overestimated our powers. Once again
As in previous years we have seen the actual Vision and failed
To do more than entertain it as an agreeable
Possibility, once again we have sent Him away,
Begging though to remain His disobedient servant,
The promising child who cannot keep His word for long.
The Christmas Feast is already a fading memory,
And already the mind begins to be vaguely aware
Of an unpleasant whiff of apprehension at the thought
Of Lent and Good Friday which cannot, after all, now
Be very far off. But, for the time being, here we all are,
Back in the moderate Aristotelian city
Of darning and the Eight-Fifteen, where Euclid’s geometry
And Newton’s mechanics would account for our experience,
And the kitchen table exists because I scrub it.
It seems to have shrunk during the holidays. The streets
Are much narrower than we remembered; we had forgotten
The office was as depressing as this. To those who have seen
The Child, however dimly, however incredulously,
The Time Being is, in a sense, the most trying time of all.
For the innocent children who whispered so excitedly
Outside the locked door where they knew the presents to be
Grew up when it opened. Now, recollecting that moment
We can repress the joy, but the guilt remains conscious;
Remembering the stable where for once in our lives
Everything became a You and nothing was an It.
And craving the sensation but ignoring the cause,
We look round for something, no matter what, to inhibit
Our self-reflection, and the obvious thing for that purpose
Would be some great suffering. So, once we have met the Son,
We are tempted ever after to pray to the Father;
“Lead us into temptation and evil for our sake.”
They will come, all right, don’t worry; probably in a form
That we do not expect, and certainly with a force
More dreadful than we can imagine. In the meantime
There are bills to be paid, machines to keep in repair,
Irregular verbs to learn, the Time Being to redeem
From insignificance. The happy morning is over,
The night of agony still to come; the time is noon:
When the Spirit must practice his scales of rejoicing
Without even a hostile audience, and the Soul endure
A silence that is neither for nor against her faith
That God’s Will will be done, That, in spite of her prayers,
God will cheat no one, not even the world of its triumph.

I was torn between Auden and Morecambe and Wise for this year's Christmas post.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Accept No Subtitute

Everton v Chelsea: Cahill & Fabregas left out, youngster on bench
Gary Cahill has been left out of the Chelsea starting line-up for the game at Goodison Park, where the Blues will again play without an out-and-out striker.
With Alvaro Morata suspended, Eden Hazard is set to lead the Chelsea attack, supported by Pedro and Willian.
Cahill is a substitute, with Antonio Rudiger starting and Cesar Azpilicueta captaining the side. Marcos Alonso is back after suspension.
Cesc Fabregas is also on the bench, with Tiemoue Bakayoko again starting alongside N’Golo Kante in midfield.
Teenage striker Callum Hudson-Odoi is again among the substitutes.
A spot on the bench again for Callum. This time in the Premiership. He didn't get on and it was a dreary draw apparently but this may well be the season he breaks into the first team squad as a regular.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Friday, December 22, 2017

equidistant

At noon today, both Danny Baker and I will be as far as we get each year from our shared June 22nd birthdays.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Will The Last Jedi Turn Out The Lights

BBC
Star Wars: The Last Jedi - the most divisive film ever?
"This movie is an absolute insult to all Star Wars fans." "I'm going to go have a funeral for my childhood now." "This is NOT the Star Wars movie you are looking for!"
"This movie was AWESOME." "I was on the edge of my seat, I laughed, I cried." "I do understand the backlash, but I believe it's wrong. This is a great movie."
Ben and I went to see it yesterday and we are firmly in the latter camp.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

I learned the truth at seventeen

From the Daily Mail on the Chelsea v Bournemouth Carabao Cup quarter-final tonight:
Conte sees the Bournemouth cup tie as an opportunity to rest and rotate amid Chelsea's hectic festive fixture calendar and is likely to make widespread changes as seen in previous rounds against Everton and Nottingham Forest.
'These players are the future for Chelsea,' Conte said. '(Dujon) Sterling is a good player, Hudson-Odoi won the World Cup and Ampadu played against Everton.
'I must consider the young players if they deserve to have this chance. Ampadu is with the first team every day. Odoi deserves his chance to show he can play for this team for 10-15 years.'
Won't that be a thing if Callum gets on for the Chelsea first team tonight.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Less Politically Correct Time When Christmas Was About Honoring The Glory Of Saturn

HOLLISTER, CA—Longing for the days when people understood the true meaning of the holiday, area man Steve Rocha told reporters Monday that he remembers a less politically correct time when Christmas was about honoring the glory of Saturn. “It was the one time a year when families would gather round the altar and sacrifice a suckling pig to the god who ruled in the Golden Age, but nowadays you have to act like you’re ashamed of that,” said 41-year-old Rocha, adding that people used to be allowed to openly celebrate the agricultural deity with a sumptuous public banquet and copious amounts of gambling and debauchery without being accused of some sort of religious intolerance. “You can’t even say io Saturnalia anymore without the PC police biting your head off. Boy, the days when you could spend Christmas serving your slaves as if they were your masters in an evening of fun role-reversal are long, long gone, I’m afraid.” At press time, Rocha was lamenting the fact that the holiday cups at Starbucks had not a single traditional image of Saturn devouring his own newborn children.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Mali: A playlist

Rod is off to Mali in Jan, seconded to the European Union.

No Brexit for him then: https://eucap-sahel-mali.eu/

The soundtrack is at least rich as I follow him vicariously round the world.


Sunday, December 17, 2017

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Chez Lindsay to Chez Moi

I am taking it easy today after the Tighten Up Christmas do https://www.chez-lindsay.co.uk

I watched Dune in my dressing gown. It is not as bad as getting up and watching Fight Club but it is still pretty bad.

Paul Muad Dib: My name is a killing word.

Myself: Is it now? Good for you.

Friday, December 15, 2017

India’s first ever Happiness Minister goes on run following murder of opposition politician

A manhunt is under way for India’s first ever ‘Happiness Minister’ after he fled an arrest for murder charges, say police.
Lal Singh Arya, 53, disappeared on Tuesday after being named a suspect in the murder of opposition politician Makhanlal Jatav.
Mr Jatav, from the Congress party, was shot dead while out campaigning for another candidate in April 2009.
An arrest warrant was issued last week by a court in Bhind.

Mr Arya has previously denied the charges.
He is the head of India’s only Department for Happiness. Set up by the government in the central state of Madhya Pradesh in 2016, it is tasked with improving “the happiness and tolerance of its citizens” and “putting a smile on everyone’s face” through services such as free yoga and meditation classes.
Mr Arya, of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), had been due to appear before court on December 19th.

Police were unable to find him at his home, his official residence or in his home town.
God bless us, every one. Yule logs, shining cheeks, fat Santas; the charitable soul, open hearts and good cheer.......

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Carl Jung and the Lion King

In this lecture, Jordan B Peterson finishes his analysis of Disney's Lion King, which provides a dramatic representation of many of the archetypes identified and analyzed by Dr. Carl Gustav Jung, student of Nietzsche and Freud, and originator of analytical psychology.

Just over an hour in he starts talking about the Bomber and his mates.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A Wander up the Wandle


AFC Wimbledon were today given the go ahead to start building their new £25 million stadium at Plough Lane.

Less than a mile and a half away from home. A leisurely stroll through the park along the river to the football sounds an attractive proposition for 2019.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Skiers take to the slopes in Brecon



Cheaper than Austria last year was for me I'll wager. That said, it is hardly the most thrilling two minutes 17 seconds of footage ever recorded.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

A message from the management

A great team performance and result today beating a very physical Guildford side 20-10 which now takes us into the Surrey Cup semi finals hosting London Irish at Old Ruts in January!
It's all gravy, for Ben and the boys.

Friday, December 08, 2017

Lunchtime's shopping list

  • black rubbish bags
  • disposable razors
  • dishwasher tablets
  • shoe laces
It's not all glamour you know.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Stand up for your rights

I would have bought an Echo Show for the kitchen as soon as it came out in the United Kingdom if Google hadn't disabled YouTube on it. I needz recipez on videoz, you seez.

A couple of days ago, when I fired up the YouTube app on the Fire TV stick  I got a message saying that it would be unavailable on the platform from the beginning of next year.

Public spat between two of world’s biggest tech companies intensifies as Google uses access to video platform as leverage to force retailer to sell its products sayeth the Grauniard.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Mummers, pace-eggers, soulers, tipteerers, wrenboys, and galoshins



I am a mime. My body is my tool. Above the timeless art illuminates Theresa May's encounter with the Ireland border yesterday. (Ho ho, very satirical.)

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Lock In

I'm currently planning to take Ben to see Wales v Scotland in Cardiff in February next year and then Italy versus Wales in Rome on 9 February 2019. It has struck me that if we target seeing all the Six Nations opposition, both home and away, at the rate of one game a year we are looking at a decade long programme.

I think that is worth doing.

Monday, December 04, 2017

The Old Switcheroo

I have been supporting Swansea in the Premier League since Cardiff were relegated after a single year in the top flight at the end of the 2013-14 season.

After last weekend, with Swansea at the bottom of the table and the Bluebirds second in the Championship, dare I start to dream the we will be promoted in the same year that the Swans are relegated?

Oh yes I do.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Rites of Passage

When I am grown to man's estate
I shall be very proud and great.
And tell the other girls and boys
Not to meddle with my toys.
Ben's first driving lesson is booked for Friday.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Gregory Porter's Popular Voices

Gregory Porter was wonderful when I saw him supporting Stevie Wonder at Clapham Common in Summer 2014. He's made a TV series in which he presents a 100-year celebration of the mystery, joy and pain that lies behind some of the greatest voices in modern music. It finished last night but you can still catch it on the iPlayer here; highly recommended.

Friday, December 01, 2017

Over paid, over here, over balanced

Head coach Warren Gatland says Wales' fourth autumn international against South Africa is a 'balancing act' for the Welsh Rugby Union.
The match is being played outside World Rugby's international window which means both sides are missing key players who have returned to their clubs.
Gatland says the money raised from the match is important for the game's finances in Wales, and it offers young players valuable international experience.
Wales: L Halfpenny (Scarlets); H Amos (Dragons), S Williams (Scarlets), H Parkes (Scarlets), S Evans (Scarlets); D Biggar (Ospreys), A Davies (Scarlets); R Evans (Scarlets), K Dacey (Cardiff Blues), S Andrews (Cardiff Blues), C Hill (Dragons), A W Jones (Ospreys, capt), A Shingler (Scarlets), J Navidi (Cardiff Blues), T Faletau (Bath).
Replacements: E Dee (Dragons), W Jones (Scarlets), R Jones (Ospreys), S Davies (Cardiff Blues), D Lydiate (Ospreys), R Webb (Ospreys), R Patchell (Scarlets), O Watkin (Ospreys).
I'll be watching obviously, but I think it is ridiculous.