The Damned United

The first of something like seven films scheduled for release in the next few weeks which I’ve been really looking forward to was The Damned United, which has been reviewed as that rarest of things, a good film about football. And it is: I really enjoyed it. What I find odd though is that several reviewers have said “it’s not about football, you don’t have to be a football fan to enjoy this film”, and I have to take that as being true, as the reviewers writing that really don’t seem to be football fans. But as far as I’m concerned, thie film is totally about football. All I could see were those league tables superimposed on the screen as Derby moved up the league, remembering Keegan and Bremner being sent off at Wembley, and wondering, as we all did, how England would have got on if Clough had been made manager. The film was, for me, 100% about football and 100% nostalgia. Clearly it’s worked on a quite different level for other people; apparently it’s a love story about two inseparable men – I even heard one girl saying, as we left the cinema, that she’d got quite tearful at the end. All I could think about was “thank goodness Clough and Taylor got back together again, or we’d never have had those great evenings when Forest won the European Cup”. So the moral of the story is: if you want to go and see a genuinely good film about football, which will be particularly resonant if you grew up in the seventies, you should go and see The Damned United – and the real bonus is that if you’ve got a significant other who isn’t into football, you can take them and apparently they’ll really enjoy it too. Although they’ll be watching a completely different film.

Tweeting from Portman Road


Well, four or five of us twittered from this afternoon’s riveting nil-nil thriller at Portman Road; the whole project is a little primitive at the moment, but I honestly believe that one day this sort of thing will be taken for granted. Over forty fans had signed up to follow the Twitter feed (presumably largely those not at the game!) and I’m sure that a few more kept an eye on the page.

Anyway, if you followed the Tweets, how was it for you? Useful? Not really adding much to information you could get elsewhere, such as the Ipswich World commentary, the BBC text updates or the TWTD messageboard? Or a lifeline? Do let us know below, because it’ll be useful feedback for those of us who contributed, and those who might like to join in at a later date. Be honest!

4-20mA Aerospace Widgets news

4-20mA Aerospace Widgets - often seen in aircraft, apparently

This post is a bit silly. Sorry. Apparently, the 4-20mA current loop standard is important in widgets for the aircraft market. At least, it is as far as this page about 4-20mA Aerospace Widgets is concerned. I made the page up just now, to show how companies can build an authority page on search engines for niche subjects they might be involved in. The page took me about 30 minutes to create, and even if it was a real subject, assuming I was knowledgeable about the subject, it shouldn’t have taken any longer. Anyway, let’s see how it does in Google, shall we? Here are links to the Wikipedia pages about 4-20mA, aerospace and widgets, just to help the whole thing along.

VAT, the Flat Rate scheme, AdWords, AdSense and confusion


I’ve just spent far too long (as is always the way) trying to find out what I should be doing when it comes to accounting for VAT with my AdWords, Amazon affiliate marketing and AdSense activity. The confusion stems from two things: firstly, these services are supplied from other EU countries (with different VAT rates) or from outside the EU; and secondly, Google usually charges most UK advertisers Irish-rate VAT on their AdWords and apparently, if you’re a business (which you almost certainly are, if you’re using AdWords), they shouldn’t be charging you that VAT. All this leads to everyone I’ve spoken to not understanding how much money they should (or shouldn’t) have been paid to or from Google and HM Revenue and Customs. Spend an hour Googling various small business forums, and you’ll find totally contradictory advice, so it gets even worse.

So, to save you the effort I’ve been going through, here’s the best set of advice I’ve found on affiliate marketing and VAT. Huge respect to the authors, an affiliate marketing specialist accountancy service in Yorkshire, who appear to know a lot more than your average high street accountant.

From this document on Affiliate Marketing for those on Flat-Rate VAT, I’ve understood therefore that if you’re on flat-rate VAT, the following applies:

1. Amazon affiliate payments come from another EU country (Luxembourg) but are “out of the scope of UK VAT” and therefore not included in your flat rate turnover;
2. AdSense payments come from outside the EU (the USA) and are also out of the scope of UK VAT and therefore not included in your flat rate turnover;
3. AdWords expenditure is to another EU country (Ireland) but does not have to be included in your flat rate turnover (Section 6.4 of HMRC leaflet 733, updated March 2007).

So in summary, that means nothing has to go on your VAT return regarding Amazon affiliate income, AdSense income or AdWords expenditure. Their only relevance to VAT is that they might lift you over the threshold where you have to be registered for VAT, but if you’re already registered (and on the flat rate scheme), that’s not a factor.

Note this will not apply to you if you’re not registered for VAT, or if you are registered but aren’t on the flat rate scheme. And as ever, check with your own accountant or go through this with the National VAT Advice Service on 0845 010 9000 – if you call, ask for a reference number at the start of the call and ask that the advice they give you is recorded with your account.

Champion Larch Ditherers

110% Larch Dithering! Champion!
110% Larch Dithering! Champion!

I’ve always loved anagrams, although my admiration for their possibilities reached its peak many years ago when my flatmate and I realised the best ever anagram of his name was “Bob Ganjashit”. In those days, you either did anagrams with Scrabble letters, a big piece of paper, or a program you could download for the BBC Micro which took ages and never came up with much. Now you can go online and get thousands of anagrams of anything in seconds. So after all these years, it’s time to generate a new list of anagrams of my own name, and choose a top 25, which are presented here in alphabetical order …although I so want to be known as Archdeacon “Shrimp” Hitler in future.

  • Archdeacon “Shrimp” Hitler
  • Armchair Dolphin Etchers
  • Catholic Shrimp Hardener
  • Champion Larch Ditherers
  • Charred Ophthalmic Resin
  • Chartered Philharmonics
  • Cherish Chart Palindrome
  • Childcare Orphan Hermits
  • Chlorinated Chimp Rasher
  • Hardline Seraphim Crotch
  • Harsh Antlered Microchip
  • Harsher Dental Microchip
  • Hashed Armpit Chronicler
  • Hermetic Porch Handrails
  • Hierarchical Depth Norms
  • Hornier Chimp Cathedrals
  • Horrid Chemical Panthers
  • Milder Rhino Catchphrase
  • Monarchical Third Sphere
  • Panoramic Child Thresher
  • Patrolman “Chi-Chi” Herders
  • Philanderer Thrash Comic
  • Pilchard Archeries Month
  • Prehistoric March Handle
  • Technical Shrimp Hoarder

One day I ought to do definitions of what all these exotic creations might be.