Monday, March 28, 2022
Another Sunday, another outing with Olga. That obelisk behind her is one of the tallest gravestones in all of Hampstead Cemetery, I'd wager, and it's just off the main drive near a roundabout. But it's also inconspicuous, almost entirely hidden by shrubbery. I didn't know it was there for the longest time.
This is who's buried there, in case you're curious. (I'm not saying it's anyone you should know.)
We had a good walk but that wasn't the major achievement of the day. I FINISHED OUR AMERICAN TAXES! Woo hoo! We don't even have very complicated taxes but every year they give me fits. Basically I have to state all our income and then claim it under the foreign earned income exemption, so we wind up paying nothing. (We do pay in the UK, though.) I just have to make sure Uncle Sam knows about it all, and it's a pain in the neck.
I also have to make sure he knows about our bank account by filing something with the Department of the Treasury known as an FBAR, and I do that by going to a web site that looks like it was designed in 1994 and filling out a brief report. Unfortunately, yesterday, the FBAR site wouldn't accept my report; I did it three times and kept getting an error message. So until Treasury gets its ducks in a row our FBAR remains unfinished.
Anyway, it's an immense relief to have the taxes done for yet another year. I'm sure you've heard the famous expression that "in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." (It's attributed to Benjamin Franklin, but he was actually quoting earlier sources.) Well, we've had both death AND taxes in this blog post! You're welcome.
I also tried to clean my camera lenses. Remember how I had the camera professionally cleaned last spring? Well, once again my pictures are almost ridiculously speckled with shadows of dust and fiber, and once again I cannot figure out where that stuff is hiding. I cleaned the filter (both sides), the lens itself (front and back) and the mirror inside the camera, and the sensor supposedly cleans itself every time I turn the camera off or on. So where is that pesky dust?
I think I'm going to have to get it professionally cleaned again.
This is the lens paper I'm using. It came from my Dad's darkroom and I'm sure it's from about 1965. (No, despite its age, it is not the source of the dust.) I love the graphics. What is that thing on the front cover, the Sydney Opera House?
(In case you're curious -- and talk about tangents! -- here's what the opera house looked like in 1965, still under construction.)
Last night Olga developed an upset stomach, which became pretty dramatic. She kept having to go outside and then she would not settle down and go to sleep. She usually slinks away to another part of the house when she's not feeling well, often to the rug on the bathroom floor, and that's what she did last night before returning to her dog bed in the living room. I wound up sleeping part of the night on the couch to be near her in case she needed to go out again. Consequently I'm bleary-eyed this morning, but fortunately, she seems better.