Fiscal year, that is. I've done my income tax submission and I've done my GHST report for the quarter, so I feel quite clear, not light-hearted,exactly, but light-headed. The nicest thing about tax time is that you don't have to do it again for a year. But there's something else, a subtle bonus not apparent in the neat presentation of numbers. Tax time presents a total recall of the year that was. Every receipt comes with a memory attached. I get to relive any trips I took, food I enjoyed, purchases I made, whether sensible or extravagant.
My father used to say, about travelling, that you're only sorry for what you didn't do. You'll forget the cost of what you did but not the memory, so go ahead and splurge. I took a sight-seeing bus from Queenstown, New Zealand, over to Milford Sound for a boat trip. As we were parking, the guide announced that a ten-seater plane was available to fly a few of us (ten, in fact) back over the Southern Alps. Yes! My hand shot up before he could say how much it would cost. I was my father's daughter. (Why have I drifted into italics?)
I also leapt at the chance to take a hot air balloon trip over the African veldt. And my dad was right. I remember looking down on the back of an eagle and the top of an elephant, but have only a vague recollection of the price. It came back to me, briefly, when I was totting up the numbers for the taxman that year. I have one question:
Why, with my fear of heights, do I always end up in the air?