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  • Tax dodging

    So yesterday I got all my stuff together to claim the Artists Exemption on my book. This means I won’t have to pay tax on the income from it - no complaints here about that. My accountant was delighted when I told him I was writing a book - ‘It’s great,’ he said. ‘A legal way to avoid paying tax.’ And he doesn’t even have to be creative.

    There’s a good chance that the amount I make will be so little that even with the day job, I wouldn’t be liable for tax anyway, but I was thinking positively as I filled in the forms.

    Under the regulations, the books has to contain artistic or cultural merit, and the Revenue Commissioners reserve the right to have someone judge that for them - there’s a job I’d like see advertised.

    For a non-fiction book like mine, there are some extra requirements. Textbooks or books that help you do your job don’t count, nor do most collections of journalism, but other things are fine: literary criticism, autbiography, and the vague ‘heritage value’ clause.

    The book should fall into any number of categories, but we’ll see what the Revenue think.

  • Here is the news

    In an entirely non book-related blog, I just want to say how much I love news aggregrators - those little apps that collect up syndicated newsfeeds and make keeping up with blogs and news so much easier.

    On my Mac at home, I use NetNewsWire Lite (shown), and it’s very handy. You just add in the address of the RSS feed (often shown on sites accompanied by a litte orange XML logo) and it’ll update whenever you’re online. It’s also easy to create folders to keep you sports feeds away from your friends’ blogs, for example. On the PCs at work, I’ve yet to settle on a favourite reader, but ExtremeTech did a recent review of RSS readers that might be worth a look.

    So now, rather than trawl through my browser bookmarks or just get my news from a couple of sites, I can have a quick scan through the latest info all in the one place, arranged the way I like it. And of course, all the P45 blogs offer an RSS feed that newsreaders can use - just use the ‘Syndicate this site’ link that’s on the left hand nav.

  • Put a fork in me

    I’m done. Can I have my life back now please? After a month of working all but full-time at the day job and coming home to work flat out on the book, I’m delivering the final draft tomorrow.

    I think it’s better than it was, but there’s a wood and trees thing going on, so I really can’t tell any more. At a micro level, a large number of the individual sentences have definitely improved. It’s a little scary how much work the manuscript could still soak up productively.

  • Still no punctures

    The bike I used for the first trip (from Bangor to Bobbio) was nothing special, but now I’m finishing off the book of the trip, I realse it’s got an amazing claim to fame - it’s not had a puncture. Ever.

    It’s now been over two and half years since I put the Conti Top Touring tyres on it, and rode 2000 miles across Europe - with no punctures. That was amazing enough, but since then the poor loyal Dawes has been relegated to hack bike, as I hauled myself to work down the East Wall Road. And still no puncture.

    The tyres have regularly been topped up with air, but never completely deflated. Does this mean there’s ancient air in those tubes? Or French or Italian air left over from the trip?