Taxing times: 15.23 GMT today, to be precise. That’s when Her Majesty’s Inspector of Taxes acknowledged receipt of my Tax Return. I can now direct my creative talents elsewhere. So – good news – I won’t be spending my birthday in the Tower. Not only that, but he has promised me a substantial refund. Good news? Well, partly –because the HMIT, being more optimistic about my earning power than I was, had taxed me accordingly - in advance of course. In other words, he will be refunding a minuscule proportion of my own money. But at least the nightmare is all over until next January – made slightly more nightmarish than usual because my least favourite financial software vendor, Quicken, pulled the plug on my accounting package, and, since Microsoft already pulled the plug on theirs last year, I had to learn another one. So welcome to Bank Tree – a quarter the price of Quicken and much nicer people.
Now the bad news: according to the BBC, Everton’s Steven Pienaar is to join Tottenham for a fee of about £2.5m. Sorry, how much was that? “He's certainly not dear is he?" said Harry. I know Harry’s a pretty slick deal-maker, and I know midfielders come cheaper than strikers, even those who don’t strike very often and have earlier use-by dates, but 2.5million… Makes you wonder what ‘arry would have paid for Darren Bent – certainly not ten times that, as the former French teacher at my old school just did. But, like the HMIT and Bank Tree, much nicer people.