How could anyone be so thick??

How frustating it was whilst I was painting the various parts of my Sea Vixen on Saturday. I spend the time to tape off the relevant lines to make sure there were crisp edges as if it had been painted by professionals in a spray booth. I took the brilliant white paint and sprayed the surfaces ensuring that I applied it evenly and with a distance between the surface and the spray can. Gentle, even side to side motion spray on and spray off until the surface was covered. I placed the part in to the lid of the box and picked up the next part, repeating the process to ensure the part is sprayed and then the next part. With the final part sprayed it was time for a coffee and to let the parts dry.

I returned some time later to see how the spray had taken and ultimately how the parts looked. I was pleasently surprised and really pleased with how the finish was and could visualise how the white would look against the Sea Grey, which was the next color that had to be applied. Again I spent the time to tape up the surfaces to avoid cross contamination of the paints, with this done I applied the grey with a brush being careful not too load the brush with excessive amounts of paint. It is better to give two or even three coats on the model than one heavy coat and risk the color running. With all of the parts now having their white and grey colorings I once again left them to dry, this time overnight. I spent some time on the games console on Saturday playing against my Daughter and her friends, I’m not going to lie, I got my ass well and truly wooped AGAIN. I can not get it in to my head that simply running around like a headless chicken with no tactics or stealth as I have been used to, can possibly work, it is wrong, it goes completely against everything I have been taught and have taught. But this is not the real world, it is a game and no matter how advanced it is, it is a game….and tactics count for very little when you go up against 12 year old’s, hence I got my ass kicked!

On Sunday I had a visit from Alison as Steve was out on a bike ride. He is a sporty person who enjoys walking up mountains, playing sports and riding the push bike. I forget how many miles he cycled on Sunday but I know it was a good amount. So Alison came round for a coffee and a chat which gave us a chance to catch up. We talked for probably an hour or so before she headed off for a walk with Jack, Steve would meet up with them after his cycle ride and no doubt a shower. With Alison and Jack on their way to enjoy their walk I decided to remove the tape from the parts of the Sea Vixen which I had sprayed and painted the previous day. The finish looked great on the grey, now to take the tape off of the white to see how the parts looked now they were finished. Carefully I began to remove the tape from the white, it was the `T` tail, a reasonable sized part so this would really show how it had turned out. I began to pull the tape off of the white, slowly, carefully until….the tape would not let go of the white and it peeled it like an orange. Gutted. I trimmed back the paint with the craft knife and rubbed the white back down with sand paper and checked the other parts. Unfortunately it was a similar story for the other parts I had painted. It soon became clear that I had taped off too early and that the white would need re spraying. A job for another day.

On Monday my Wife’s Cousin came to stay with her new baby, Lewis. I had not met baby Lewis as it is difficult for me to get in to peoples houses now. So to that end, my Wife, kids and Mother in Law had travelled down to see Georgie and baby Lewis a few weeks ago when he was born. I had forgotten what the sound of a baby crying, giggling and gurgling was like, the occasional visit maybe but to have it in the bungalow all of the day and night, brought back memories of `Pickle` and my other children. Really nice actually. Tuesday was another day of rain where we spent the day worrying if the toilets would be ok. I had really hoped that I would be able to apply the colour to the `Picklemobile`but the weather has been rubbish and so I have been unable to continue with it. `Pickle` has asked a few times about her jeep, she goes and looks at it in the garage and asks when she can ride it, I hope that it won’t be too much longer before she will be driving it down the cycle path.  Last night, (Tuesday), I went in to TA. The main event was using the video ranges at the Marine Base down the road but as I had travelled in my mates car and I did not have the `Chucklebus`, it made it much more difficult for me to go. I was not going to ask the lads to lift me in to the bus and so I stayed at the TAC and helped some of the lads with their kit.

Today I went to the Tax office in Taunton, I have spent over a month researching on the internet, the HMRC website, telephone calls to the HMRC and eventually was directed to make an appointment for the Tax office in Taunton to sort it out there. So I got to my appointment and explained to the gentleman behind the desk, David, exactly what I had done. The research and the telephone calls to various departments within the HMRC and that I had been told to get an appointment to come to the tax office and so here I was. He listened to what I had said and then called one of the departments to help. This was as it turned out a complete waste of time. I was put on to the phone with a lady whom David had been speaking and explaining to. She told me that it was not something that they dealt with at that department, which we already knew. The point of the call was to see if they could point us in the right direction. So she asked me to explain AGAIN what had happened and why I was in the Tax office, which I did. I extensively listed and explained everything which I had been told BY THE VERY DEPARTMENT I WAS TALKING TO, and she said….”We are not the department to help. I suggest you make an appointment to see your local Tax office.”  REALLY, SERIOUSLY? So I again told the lady that I knew the department was not the one that could help and that I was looking for them to point us in the right direction.

The lady on the phone was telling me what I knew, which I told her, and I reminded her that it had been her office that had told me to make an appointment to the local Tax office and that it was my  local Tax office that was calling her. What happened the next four times you simply could not write. The lady on the end of the phone, who clearly had been dropped from a great height on to her head as a baby, (which I did ask the Tax office if this had happened as it was the only explanation for someone being so bloody thick), told me and I quote. “I am sorry but we are no the department that can help. All I can suggest is that you make an appointment for your local Tax office.” FOUR BLOODY TIMES. I pointed out to her that I was in the Tax office and that it was the Tax office that had called her to which she replied that I should make an appointment to visit my local Tax office. It was at this point that I gave the phone back to David and contemplated banging my head repeatedly on the desk. Although he did not say anything, his head shaking from side to side confirmed to me that he too thought she had been dropped on her head.

So the outcome of the visit to the Tax office? I went to register as a non profit organisation. This will enable me to take donations on line and claim the gift aid, I will be able to start a just giving page and raise money which I will be able to distribute to different charities. If I managed to raise more than £5000 I would then have to look at registering as a charity. It was the charities department of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs who had the incredibly thick and unhelpful lady in today. Despite spending nearly an hour with David, who by the way was very helpful but as confused as I was, we came no closer to getting any straight answer from the HMRC. Just before we had admitted defeat, and that the HMRC website and Charities department was a waste of Tax payers money. After all, if the HMRC office can not figure things out, then what the hell chance do the general public have, David found a form, a form which he believes is the correct form for tax relief and to be able to be issued with the number which will show has charitable status, apparently. So all I can do is fill it out and see what happens.

This afternoon I went for a `st-roll` with Alison and Jack to Ilminster, no time for the Stonemasons today though, it was directly to the Doctors surgery where I had to be shown how to use and collect a blood pressure monitor. My Doctor, (not the one I saw a few days ago), has asked me to monitor and record the pressure at various times and if I have a headache or sweats or spasms. Hopefully this may give an indication as to what is happening. Having done this, it was back to the bungalow. Alison headed off right away as Steve would be home in the not too distant time scale and she wanted to get dinner on. My power chair was fitted with two solid tyres today as I no longer trust the air filled ones and my manual chair is off to Exeter tomorrow as I think I have a bearing gone, potentially one that had been replaced at the last service. So it is all go. I had a very exciting phone call from Stacie at the Band of Brothers which I hope to be able to take part in and share with you after the event, I called the Clifton Suspension Bridge this week to see about abseiling from the bridge to raise money as my next challenge, but by all accounts it is illegal (which is bad), I e mailed another venue which I shall hold off for telling you at the moment but I did receive a letter from some aviation enthusiasts today who may be able to help with my original idea for the abseil challenge, I just have to wait to see if they can get the permission.

So as you can see, I have been a busy boy. Still lots to organise and lots to achieve and sort out and so to that end it is time to go to the land of sleepy bo bo.

Goodnight all.


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