Jonathan: Today’s been grey and sodden – the first rain for a fortnight, and after the strong sunshine, and brisk dry winds of last week, we’ve really needed every drop. So, it’s been a day for indoor work! This morning Denise and I worked together on a turnaround at Carrick, but this afternoon Denise has mostly been spinning – and I’ve been finishing our partnership accounts for last financial year – The reckoning up of profit and loss … and taxes due!
Normally we get this done by the end of April, as we hate having these things hanging over us, but a week or so ago I discovered that the information required by HMRC has changed since last year, and so I’ve had to work through all the accounts restructuring them so as to deliver the information in the format now required. I’ve just one more thing to do: print off the paperwork ready for posting … and get it checked by Denise. She’s a merciless proof-reader and checker-in-chief – my legs shake uncontrollably and I burst into tears at the mere thought of her finger jabbing accusingly at a double-space between words!
It’s good to have the reckoning-up settled – and paid for. We’re not ones to delay everything to the last-minute – least of all payment – we want to know just where we stand. Unfortunately, it seems that where we stand is not the bed of roses others might suppose. Those who know us well know how hard we work – they say we never stop! But though our profits in total are enough to get by, they’re the equivalent of a couple both working a 40 hr week on minimum wage. (In fact we probably work about 60-72 hrs a week each, using significant skills – though admittedly there’s no journey to work costs, no mortgage or rent, and no children at home to support.) That’s treating all our income as earned by the sweat of our brows … there’s nothing allocated to any such thing as ‘return on investment’. As we’ve said many a time, we’re either getting a return on our investment, or payment for our labour, but certainly not both!
But that’s just the money talking, isn’t it? And when money talks, it takes – it takes away happiness! We’re not here in Uist for money! We’re here for … ach, if you need me to tell you, you’ll never be convinced. The way we live is not for everyone. Or even very many at all. But for now, at least, and for as long as we’ve our wits and our health, it’s enough for us. More than enough!
A trip to see our daughters in Wales and Spain would be nice, though!