What kind of tweeter are you?

I’m not the one to judge, having been doing twitter seriously for just a year, but anyone with powers of observation can see certain patterns in the chaos. If it seems that the list leans towards those either writing, editing, agenting or publishing books, that’s because of MacNaughton’s Laws 1 & 2:

1. Every damn fool thinks he or she can write a book.

2. Every damn fool is on the Internet.

And yes, both the above apply to myself; I appreciate the irony. Note the order below is not arbitrary.

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An old-fashioned tax tip

Long ago, in the dark ages of the Internet, when half the links led to sites with the ‘digging man’ in yellow and an “UNDER CONSTRUCTION” banner, I found a site that assisted the harried Father and Husband (as it was assumed by the host) to do his taxes. The video was presented by a stately-looking gent, grey hair (white at the temples), wire-framed glasses, a white dress shirt and, if I remember correctly (this was almost 20 years ago), a tan cardigan. He could have been a lawyer, or the family doctor (nothing so pretentious as a specialist, mind you.) He stood behind a wide wooden desk, a leather wingback chair and bookcases in the background.

What I have on tax morning
What I have on tax morning

In a calm voice, he began with now-familiar advice: “Get your papers in order. Take your time. Arrange your forms to the left, then your income statements and bank returns to the right.” Ah, yes, the old ‘lay it out neatly’ approach.

Then he stood up, straightened his glasses and pronounced this little gem: “When you’ve finished, and your forms are sorted, pour your first whisky.”

A fine tax tip indeed. And that was just the first whisky — there were more to be had — after the Schedule A was completed, for example. Then after Schedule D, when all of those stock transactions (he assumed) were entered. For this guide, the drinks were breadcrumbs in the Forest of Tax Drudgery, little rewards to draw the striving taxpayer along the way and keep him calm.

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