Pete Davison: An August Sort of Gentleman

Posted on August 12, 2011 by

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I hate August. It’s one of the biggest pain in the arse months there is. It’s partly through my own doing that it’s a pain in the arse, of course, but it’s also an unfortunate combination of things that it’s not particularly easy to do anything about.

The reason it’s a pain in the arse is that it’s always expensive. During the month of August, I have to pay my car tax, renew my car insurance, and get my car serviced and MOTed. When I lived away from home (which quite soon I will be again, yay!) August was also the month to renew the TV license and, if I was moving again (which I did every year for quite some time) find some way of scrabbling together a deposit on a new place to live.

This year is going to be no exception. Tomorrow it’s the annual “cross your fingers and hope the car survives” experience of getting it serviced and MOTed, and inevitably there’ll be SOMETHING wrong with it that needs fixing, which costs more money and time. While people are hitting it with hammers, or whatever it is mechanics do while they’re servicing your car, I’m also going to go and get my car tax done which, given the “Do It Online!” system that the government was so excited about when they introduced, should be an easy process, but unfortunately isn’t, largely because of the combination of other factors that August throws your way.

Boring factoid: you can’t renew your car tax online if your car insurance is about to expire, even if you’ve already had the renewal paperwork through. This completely negates the convenience aspect of being able to do your car tax online because you then have to go to the post office and queue for hours and ARGH.

I am going to beat the system this year though by only renewing my car tax for six months while renewing my insurance for a whole year. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, August!

Breaking up the month is next week’s trip to Gamescom in Germany, when I’ll be far to busy to worry about mundane things like tax, deposits and all that sort of thing. It’s fairly unlikely I’ll have any time to socialise (sorry, “network”) let alone think about things which aren’t happening RIGHT NOW in Cologne.

Following that, I’ll be moving house. This will involve handing over a large wad of cash to an estate agent (or possibly handing over a debit card and closing my eyes) but at the end of the process there’ll be a new place to live available to me. Which will be nice. But then I have to move all my stuff there. Which will not be nice. Moving house is stressful, but fortunately there are no time pressures this time around, which means I can take my time over bringing stuff in gradually rather than having to get everything done in one night.

(Incidentally, there are those who say that moving house is as/more stressful than the breakdown of a marriage/divorce. Having been through both I can say with some confidence that the latter is infinitely more upsetting and stressful than having to carry a lot of boxes and furniture into a van, sometimes throughout the whole night. The former may well do your back in and cause you to be completely knackered, but the latter does unpleasant things to your emotions and brainy parts, as my blogs from last year will attest. Just in case you were wondering.)

I’ll be happy when September arrives. When I was a schoolkid and later a teacher, September was a stressful time — time to go back to school. But as a “normal” person now with a regular job that doesn’t take six weeks off in the summer, it’s just another month — and more significantly, it’s the month after the pain in the arse that is August.

So sod off, August. You’re a pain in the arse.

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Posted in: Pete Davison