I usually carry lists in my head, but there’s rather a lot to have to get right, so I’d better tick things off as I go along. Having said that, writing lists seems to have taken up quite a lot of my sense of achievement and I’m tending to rest on the old laurels. I have done a few things though, mostly emails and sorting out papers. Getting started on the financial stuff is hanging over me, I admit. It’s the biggest burden – by no means the biggest job, but the one I’m doing everything to avoid.
It all started to go awry when I couldn’t get either Word or Excel to open on my computer. I do have a laptop too, or rather a MacBook but I haven’t really adjusted to doing everything on that. I like it well enough, but I do prefer a good big screen at the right height when I’ve got a lot of work to do. The things I needed on Tuesday hadn’t been transferred over, but luckily I’d emailed the most necessary ones, so I could print the documents from my phone (yesterday, I wanted to print something else from my phone, but it claimed the printer was offline, meaning it couldn’t connect with the printer that was online and worked perfectly well via the computer). And then Microsoft and my computer made up their tiff and, presently, it’s all fine. I’m taking it as a warning and will transfer everything over, though.
We have put all the china in lot order and next I have to type everything onto a spreadsheet – description of each piece, its condition (the condition report is another big job), the reserve, the estimate and the owner. Then I take all the photos and check them – that is, make sure i haven’t got to take any of them again, crop the photos and brighten them. I don’t edit them otherwise, but the colours are duller in a light box than taken by natural light. After that, I can print out lot numbers – this is slightly more work than it sounds, as I need to print the right number of lot numbers for each piece – eg, if it’s a teapot and cover that’s two, if it were a dish on a stand with a lid, that’s three, a vase is only one. The lot numbers have my name and the date of the sale. Stick on the numbers and I can put all the china away, to clear the room for the blog party. After the party, I have another ten days or so to compile the catalogue itself.
Mostly, today, I’ve been choosing what food to serve at the party. Because when you’ve got a lot to do, obviously you do the least urgent thing.
Tomorrow, I’m going to do the financial stuff, because it’s so much better not to leave it until the deadline. The most tedious bit is going through all my bank accounts, checking how much interest I’ve received each month. Often, it’s a matter of pence, but I have to put down all the information and add it up. In a nice little twist, if you receive less than £500 in bank interest a year, you get it tax free. But once it goes over £500, the tax-free concession is removed and you pay tax on everything over £250, so you have to list it to be sure it’s okay. I’ve never had as much as £100 in interest, but that’s not the point. The list, under Accountant, simply says “Everything.”