Tax return resolutions

It is tax return time for self employed people, freelancers, and others. It is my least favourite part of what I do, and I manage to get myself into an unnecessary state of anxiety about it every single year.

As usual resolutions have been made about how I will be more organised about everything from now on (see cartoon), so that tax return time isn’t January, but [name of month that is a good amount of time before January].

The good news: I have now managed to send my figures to my accountants, who actually do much of the hard work of knowing what to put in which box, knowing what I can put in which category, etc. I’d recommend Morgan Cameron, by the way, if you’re looking for someone to do your tax return or indeed anything else that accountants do.

To everyone still working on their tax return: I wish you well.

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How to apologise

Yesterday a cycling shop posted one of my cartoons with the credit removed. I try to be generous with the use of my work online, but it is frustrating when a cartoon that will earn me very little money anyway is posted with no way for a reader to find me. It turned out that they hadn’t removed the credit themselves, but still, I wasn’t very happy.

Today emails were exchanged, they apologised, a link was added to the original post, and the situation was resolved. This was their apology on Facebook (image also posted above). I liked it – a creative response. Thank you Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative. A conversation is ongoing, and hopefully good things will come of it.

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Church halls and celebrity speakers

I’ve been adding some cartoons from ‘How to Avoid the Peace’ to CartoonChurch.com. Here are the latest two, in larger-then-usual no-sidebar-on-the-page form. First of all ‘The church hall’…

And ‘The celebrity speaker’…

There are more to come. I’ve got two of my favourites from the book that I’ll be posting this week, and you can see these, and the 8 I’ve posted so far, here: How to Avoid the Peace cartoons. As always licence-holders can use these cartoons in their church magazines, newsletters, in talks, and elsewhere – details here.

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Officially opening a bike rack

Today I got to officially open some new bike racks at Kings Road URC church in Southend. It was a lovely thing to be asked to do. I’ve been to the church before to do a cartoon talk, so I know that they are a lovely bunch of people, and a congregation who take environmental issues seriously.

Melanie Smith, the minister, said some appropriate words from the Book of Common Order of the Church of Scotland (apparently the URC equivalent didn’t contain a blessing of the bicycle stands). Then I cut the green ribbon with the green scissors (photos below – some will be sent to the local paper to spread the word) before we retired to the church for coffee and mince pies.

Installing cycle parking is a brilliant thing for a church to do. Cycling is fun, healthy and sustainable, and bike racks like these make it easier for people to use a bicycle to travel to church activities.

These lovely heart-shaped bike racks (other shapes available) were supplied free by Park That Bike, an organisation funded by local councils to do this and other cycling-related activities. Currently you can benefit from this scheme if you live in County Durham, Dunstable, Gateshead, Houghton Regis, Lincoln, Luton, Newcastle, Oxford, South Essex (Basildon, Castle Point, Rochford), Southend, Thurrock or York. Your employer / organisation / church can apply here, and I’m told it is very straightforward.

If you don’t live in one of these places other schemes may be available – do let me know if you are aware of any. If not, why not lobby for something similar where you are?

[Update: Free cycle parking also available in Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, Bournemouth, Derby, Herefordshire, South Gloucestershire and Swindon, all via Lifecycle UK. Thanks Ross.]

As an aside – I do enjoy these kinds of events. I’m available to open cycling cafes, church extensions, and small supermarkets. All openings considered – no job too small.

Some more pictures…

Read moreOfficially opening a bike rack

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Blogging again in 2018

I always like to come up with a grandiose New Year’s plan that I can spectacularly fail to achieve. This year’s, I have decided, is: blogging.

OK, so in actual fact I’m going to be keeping my sights set low so as to put no pressure on myself at all, but hopefully you’ll be reading rather more from me here on the Cartoon Blog.

Planned topics: My latest cartoon work, cycling exploits, the current state of the tide, and other sundry subjects, yet to become apparent, which merit investigation.

Any other suggestions as to interesting topics welcomed.

So why blogging, in 2018?

  1. I love a visual medium. This rules out podcasting, for instance.
  2. I like to have my own ‘home’ online. One that isn’t Facebook or Twitter, where I can do what I want and gather my best (and worst) work.
  3. I started blogging in 2002 (approx), and I really enjoyed the years when I was blogging the most.
  4. Cartooning is a solitary business, and I’m hoping writing a blog might give me more interaction.
  5. I hope that I can produce content that people might quite enjoy.

That’ll do for now. If you’d like to follow, there’s an RSS feed for people who know what one of those is, or you can get the posts delivered by email. Alternatively I’ll be posting new posts on my Twitter feed.

Thank you, and Happy New (blogging) Year!

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