2007 — 22 September: what with one thing and another...

..I've belatedly realised (having just skimmed the Saturday Guardian's "Money" section) I have no idea if I filled in and sent off my Tax Return this year. Seems I have until 30 September to do so if I want "them" to calculate what I owe. But, on the other hand, I do remember them sending me duplicate notices of my Tax Code for 2007-2008, so maybe they're already happy?

So while She's quietly sleeping ahead of the last of Her mornings meds — the morphine — I'm rooting through a not terrifically well-organised home filing system1 in hopes of striking lucky. By the way, the Boeuf Wellington went down a treat last night, thank you Shelagh!

Last night saw just the one minor2 episode of break-through pain, quickly nailed (and accompanied by a surreal conversation we were soon actually laughing about that I attribute to a combination of the evening morphine and Her only half-waking state). Mention of morphine leads me (once again) to cultural critic (gadfly?) Theodore Dalrymple, whose book Romancing Opiates is quoted from here:

By the time the Communist Party came to power in 1949, there were approximately 20 million opium addicts in China. Chairman Mao, no student of [John Stuart] Mill, decided that the only answer to the problem was ruthlessness. As Dalrymple writes, Mao gave the Chinese opium addicts "a strong motive to give up and the rest of the population a strong motive not to start. He shot the dealers out of hand, and any such addicts who did not give up their habit. The carrot for addicts was life and the stick was death. It would not be going too far to say that, within a mere three years, Mao produced more cures than all the drug clinics in the world before or since, or indeed to come. He was the greatest drug worker in history."

Lee Harris in an article called "Drug Addiction and the Open Society"



1  In-depth digging has shown me that I convinced myself (when working through one of their sets of notes) that I did not fall any longer into the class of citizen from whom they automatically want a Tax Return. I also phoned a very nice lady at the State Pensions forecast office who assured me that, following recent changes in the law, and with 38+ years of National Insurance contributions under my ever-tightening belt, I was now eligible for a full State Pension without any need for further NI topping up. Let's see if I can just manage to live long enough to reach (State) pensionable age, shall we?
2  I do not for one minute seek to trivialise Her pain, but the quicker I can bring pain-management to bear the better we both like it. And if She's quickly calmed and comforted, my adrenalin rush is also minimised, which greatly increases my chance of getting back to sleep ready for my next duty.