My huge, smug grin’s because I’ve filled out my tax return

COMMENT: All agencies must to held to account for Anne Savidge’s tragic death

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I have a huge, smug grin on my face at the moment. Because as bad as everything gets around me, there is one super-marvellous thing in my life right now.

If I were a schmaltzy columnist, you might think I’m about to embark on a love-in about my family. But I’m not.

If I were a self-promoting publicist, you might think I was going to talk about the fact that a play I’ve written got published this week.

But I’m not, although I admit I’m a little gleeful and if anyone out there is looking for a gritty 15-minute retelling of Red Riding Hood for their GCSE students, check out me out on

Nope, that grin is because I’ve completed my tax return.

And better yet, there was no last-minute panic involved as my marvellous system worked perfectly.

Last year I cunningly wrote down the password and my access code in a place that I remembered.

So that when my hideous spreadsheet was completed in Excel, I logged on to the HMRC site and fired in those numbers to the tax office.

This was after finding all my receipts and other bits of handy-dandy tax-like stuff.

That in itself was a major surprise to my husband, he who oversees all things mathematical.

My accounting, via sandwich bags and envelopes stuffed full of receipts which are then tucked into empty plant pots, cutlery drawers or handy little ethnic boxes collected from the four corners of the globe, fills him with maniacal stress.

But it’s a method that works for me. I know exactly where everything is when I need it – even if it’s sat there for two years.

Self-assessment has always been one of my worst nightmares.

In fact, the only nightmare which has bugged me more – in daylight as well as in the darkness – is one that started at a very tender age after reading James Herbert’s The Rats.

As bad as things get around me – leaking windows, doors, and walls – I can sit smugly tight in the knowledge that at least, for another year, I have filed on time and that particular problem is put to bed.