I received a letter from HMRC saying that I will have to submit an online Tax Return this year which I was not happy about as I had tried before and there were tears before bedtime as I couldn’t make the damn thing work so continued with the old fashioned paper version.

Having phoned HMRC it seems there is no option this year so I attempted yet again to open an online account but it seems I have to open a Gateway account first which I could do merely by putting in the details of my passport and it would magically recognise me.

Unfortunately this was where I found out my passport had expired a couple of months ago, so I had to renew it which was surprisingly easy, how unusual to utter that phrase in these days.

I went to my normal photographer and had my photo taken which came with a code which I uploaded and the photo did indeed appear as if by magic and it made a jolly fine effort at cropping the photo to fit.

It seems as if it was only a couple of weeks later and my new passport has arrived and what joy, I now have a shinny new black passport (although it is allegedly very dark blue) but has no mention of the European Union on the cover and to all intents and purposes has the look of a proper British passport.

Barring the fact that all these things were so easy and so joined up, proving that big brother really is watching us now, I am at least delighted with the new passport.

It's not even blue': Bemusement over new British passports being 'black' |  The Independent | The Independent


About The Diary of a Country Bumpkin

I am a retired actor, although to be honest I only retired because I wasn't getting any work due to losing my agent when I became a full time carer to my mother who had dementia. and the option of becoming an unemployed actor/waiter at my age was ludicrous, especially as my waiting skills are non-existent. Having said I’m retired, I don’t think there really is such a thing as a retired actor for I am still available for work, I just don’t have an agent or any connections with regards to obtaining any worthwhile work. I have over the years done student films when there is nothing else available, always low paid (if at all) the only incentive was always the promised copy of the finished film for your show reel which nine times out of ten always failed to materialise. I spent many years looking after my aged mother and shortly after her death I was lucky enough to run into an ex-girlfriend of many years ago and our romance blossomed once again, resulting in us getting married in 2013. My move to the countryside inspired me to write The Diary of a Country Bumpkin which tells of my continuing dilemmas in dealing with the rigors of the countryside from the unexpectedly large number of pollens, fungal moulds and hay products waiting to attack the unsuspecting townie. I enjoy writing, see my play Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori on The Wireless Theatre Company, The Plays Wot I Wrote and The Battle of Barking Creek both available on Amazon.co.uk and am very fond of classic cars so my ideal occupation would be acting in a film I had written set in the 1930s/40s, we live in hopes. I am delighted to say that since venturing to the countryside where space is not quite the premium it is in town, I have due to the availability of two double garages acquired more classic cars to form a small collection the pride of which are a 1947 Bentley Mk VI and a 2000 Bentley Arnage. My various blogs and websites are continually evolving and I’m sure that by following the appropriate links you will find something which will edify or amuse. I have written a number of different books all available on Amazon, so don't be shy should you feel the urge to purchase. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mr-Joe-Wells/e/B06XKWFQHT/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
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  1. Is travel still a thing?

  2. Not at the moment but at least I’m ready when things open properly and we go back to the old days with a proper British passport which means there will no longer be any queuing at passport control anywhere for there will be a man from Thomas Cook stationed at any border waiting for our arrival who will spring into action the minute he catches sight of us. We shall raise our fine black passport aloft and we follow said fellow as he walks in front in his top hat and tails, top hat in the air calling “make way, make way, British coming through.” At least that seems to be my recollection of how it used to be!

  3. Timothy Price says:

    We had to get a new passports this year. We were planning to go to Belgium in August to present papers at the International Conference on Construction Grammar. But then covid cooties took the world by storm, and the conference got postponed until next year. At least I got a new proper USA passport and will be ready for next year.

    As for taxes online, I’ve been doing mine online for a few years now. I use the web version of Turbo-Tax which makes the process of completing tax returns not terribly painful, beside paying the taxes, and easy to submit to the IRS. Is there a proper British version of Turbo-Tax available?

  4. I imagine the British Gateway online service is the quick way to send in a tax return although I don’t think it is Turbo charged. I am never in a rush to pay tax and I would steer clear of turbocharging unless of course it’s the one on my Bentley Arnage!

  5. This is the first time I have seen the new passport. It does indeed look good. I can’t recall when mine comes up for renewal – I think a few years yet but I can at least look forward to it.

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