I had one of my little chat's with the revenue today. I spoke to a woman who has spent quite some time developing a 'fair but firm but quite evil' tone of voice. I did explain that I have an appointment with an accountant tomorrow to look at change of status and that I've clearly been charged too much tax as I've been underestimating my expenses - that seemed to break her stride - she did acknowledge that I've been making payments all month - and then gave me 7 days to 'sort something out' - whatever that means. I had a strong urge to leave the studio and walk into the sea.
Just spent an hour on the phone to my mortgage company - they seem to be saying that if I stay with them - a change of status will not be a problem - even if I move to another product at the end of my fixed rate period, or before. It will be a problem if I go for a new property or ask for a further advance. Not sure if I trust them on that one - I have an appointment to talk to someone about that - next available slot - 27th APRIL. I bet if I was a new customer - it would have been much sooner.
Work is challenging and a bit dull - and difficult to concentrate on at the moment, which is exactly what it requires. My head is literally spinning and bursting. A couple of people 'in the background' have let me down over various small things and it's really pissing me off. Never underestimate people and their potential to disappoint.
Talking of disappointing people.
Last night - C5 presented a documentary to the nation about people on benefits, part of the program was set in Hastings. Obviously it was a totally biased and contorted misrepresentation of the town - they managed to find a rather sweet but not bright young girl with a baby living in what could best be described as a large walk in wardrobe - she was just about surviving on less that £60 pw - and had a very positive attitude considering. She was adamant that her child wouldn't end up on benefits and would go to college and have a decent quality of life. What she lacked in education she made up for in resourcefulness and wanted to go back to work herself. They picked her because she was also very heavily tattooed - and that made good television. The also picked up on a woman who was probably my age but looked much older and was the archetype benefits scrounger with an attitude, self-absorbed, a bit selfish, a bit racist, and clearly scamming the system for all it's worth. Again - good TV. They tried really hard to make Hastings look crap and run down - quite a lot of cropping and editing going on.
I have an alternative.
"Trust Fund Street" My Pitch to C5
Hastings - a small seaside town that's struggling under the burden of an influx of middle aged 'Down from London' types' and trust fund losers searching for an inexpensive life in a succession of large Edwardian and Victorian properties that have been lovingly restored to look like something that wouldn't normally pass a health and safety inspection. . They don't work, they can't - they have never learned how to do anything, just congregate all day in coffee shops and expensive bars, grumbling aggressively about everything and how hard it is to live on what your tenants pay to live in one of your other houses. They stagger around drunk on prosecco, many have never worked, never had to, some did a bit 'in the media' during the late 80's and others have either scraped together a bit of funding from their parents estate or have been able to sell the X council house in London they lived in - but a million doesn't go very far these days. There will be the usual anti-social behaviours - mostly in the Old Town as they stagger around pissed all night calling each others name at the top of their voice and running back and forth to the toilets to snort coke - which is the main reason they live here. They have constant parties, are at an art opening every night, which just leads to more alcohol abuse and anti-social behaviour, and many of the independent shops are closing because they bully the owners into letting them have huge discounts 'so they can show it on their blog'. It's also affecting the coffee shops because so many of them crowd in and take over - making a single cup of coffee last all day while they complain about the other 'incomers' - people who have lived here for slightly less time than they have and give funny looks to the fully qualified paediatrician who is serving their coffee because she's Polish. Their lives are very hard, many down to their last dozen pashminas - even the Labradoodle hasn't been professionally groomed this year. I'll probably follow one about through the heartbreaking process of having to close their blog because they didn't get a book deal and the Sunday Times wasn't interested in their 'down by the sea' travel feature. Never mind... Margate is on the up. They might try there - and it's quicker to get up to the West End.