Hot July Nights and Karaoke

A busy and varied month.

My sister graduated, which coincided with a return trip to Nottingham. It was surreal walking past students house that friends used to live in. Now there are faded stories about the time we lit a bonfire in the garden and burnt things. (OK, that was just the once on the corner of Faraday Road / Derby Road).

Always good to see the guys, despite our increasingly busy schedules. It’s the last summer before everyone starts their adult jobs. Yes, the six-year medical degrees have ended, but not before the drunken press up with a 75kg Indian standing on your back contest. Sam beat Graham 4-0.

Where I audit and fix printers.

Angel (North London)
Most sane people are finished with exams after university. I even had a sadistic enjoyment from setting my English students tests. But I decided that I needed three years of professional exams in my life. It’s a constant and unyielding pressure. I’ve spent three weeks at college in Angel. I just found out that I passed the mock exams from last week. I don’t feel any satisfaction – it’s just relief.

Why do I do it? Obscenely ridiculous post-qualification salary.

Actually, the my real motivation for work is the chance to sing karaoke on a regular basis. I’ve sung Take That’s “Back for Good” three times in July. Happy times.

2009_07_02 BBC Drinks 37 

Now I’m off to Canada for two weeks holiday. They say that Karaoke is banned there. Unhappy times.

Mr Taxman

My one rule for this blog is: if my manager won’t like it, then don’t publish it. For that reason, I never talk about work, except to say that my job is fantastic and it’s the best place to work. If you don’t believe me, please check the official sources.

Now that my boss is placated. I can finally talk about the work I’ve been doing: absolutely none. I’ve been in college studying for (yet) more exams. The days are shorter, but very intense. Still, the weather was quite beautiful, which made for relaxing lunch breaks in the park.

I have three exams in September. These are not walk in the park exams (economics degree) but reinforced concrete exams (GCSE English Literature).

  • Financial Accounting – further use of the double entry dark arts in conjunction with the Accountant’s Bible (i.e. the International Financial Reporting Standards manual).
  • Audit and Assurance – it’s not about bean-counting, it’s about checking if the beans have been counted correctly within a margin of error of 5% or 475 beans (whichever is larger). Drop in these random words to ensure that you pass the exam:
    • Segregation of duties – you can’t count the beans and eat the beans
    • Going concern – not enough beans
    • Authorisation – who said you could count the beans?
    • Corroborate – checking for further evidence that the beans have been eaten. Involves a rubber glove.
  • Taxation  – when filling out your tax return, if it feels wrong then it’s probably immoral and definitely taxable.

Taxation is the hardest of the three. The syllabus is huge and there are a million little rules to learn. But it’s the subject that I find most interesting and useful. I can work if Mr Taxman is taking more of my money than he should. I can help friends avoid the wrath of Mr Taxman. I can also tell everyone that Mr Taxman is actually a fashionable, friendly and fun guy, who wants to help rather than hurt.


Not a photo of Mr Taxman, but an artist’s impression of how I will look in 12 month’s time.