The continuing story of what happened earlier this year after I gave up blogging. Life with Hubby...
Well, it’s rained for over three weeks. It rained while we were away in France non-stop and we have come back to soggy fields and a garden that resembles a lake. It just never seems to stop.
Hubby was looking surprisingly cheerful considering he has been thwarted by the weather, Hubby is a complete outdoor person and being stuck inside is the worst thing that can happen to him. He behaves like a caged animal and it is best if you leave him to his own devises.
“For a man who is trapped inside yet again, you seem to be in quite a, dare I say it, cheery mood,” I remarked, wondering if that would in fact be the wrong thing to say and would plunge him back into his grumpy mood.
“Hmmm,” he replied thoughtfully.
“Come on, I recognise that look. You are looking quite mischievous. What gives?”
Hubby slurped his coffee and paused for effect. I hate it when he does that. He knows I am dying to know what is going on.
“The council are sending someone to re-assess us for council tax,” he replied and took another slurp.
The last time we were assessed for council tax I had the devil’s own job trying to persuade the incompetent from the council that we only had three bedrooms. We lived in a long bungalow which was a converted cow barn. The young man from the council insisted that the house looked far too large to only have three bedrooms. The length was deceptive and was due to an extremely long hallway. The hall was so long I used to play football with my son down it. In the end I took the wretched man inside to prove my case.
I also fell foul of French authorities when we lived there. For some unfathomable reason they decided that a fallen down old barn that we used to house our car in was a habitable dwelling and insisted we paid tax on it.
I sent endless letters and photographs to prove that it was no more than a pile of stones with a badly tiled roof. In the end they sent an official letter threatening to take us to court. I had to jump on a plane to France and go and visit the council offices. They kept me waiting at the offices. I waited almost an hour to see someone who finally emerged from his office wiping bread crumbs from his shirt.
He waved his hands and accused me of having an extra house. I waved mine back and brandished photographs at him. He said the photographs could have been taken years ago. I screeched that there was no electricity or water to the building. How could anyone live there? He shrugged. I pouted. He grumbled. I became extremely cross and said that the only living creature in the barn was an owl and if he would like to send his rotten tax demand to the owl then he should.
In the end after a vociferous shouting match, I won. He promised to adjust the tax demand, promised that I would not go to court and explained it must have been a misunderstanding.
I was, therefore rather bemused by Hubby’s reaction to the impending visit from the council. This is the man who believes that we as all being 'shafted' for tax. He cannot comprehend why we should pay tax just to get our dustbins emptied once a fortnight. He’d been complaining about being re-assessed for tax for days.
“Uhm, forgive my stupidity, but why are you not snarling about the official coming?”
“Take a look outside. It is pouring down with rain. The garden is saturated. It is soaked. You can’t walk on it. Old ‘Snoopy Drawers’ isn’t going to be here long. He’ll not be able to take in what there is here at all. Normally, he’d prowl about and charge us for having a view or for having a garage. As it is, he’ll be too keen to get back to the office and dry out.”
Hubby was right. The official turned up, took a photograph of the building, said he was sure it was in the right band for tax and beetled off faster than you could say “How much?”
Finally, a wet day that didn’t dampen Hubby’s mood. I hope it stops soon though. I’m fed-up with being cooped up too, especially as I have given up blogging!