Working as an Inland Revenue Tax Inspector in sunny Torquay back in 1992 I took the somewhat risky decision to turn my back on the cosy ‘job for life’ and index linked pension, and move out of my comfort zone to become the proverbial ‘gamekeeper turned poacher’.
Yes, the full backing of the Taxes Act may well have wielded a certain power, but in the popularity stakes, I was definitely bottom of the Hit Parade – now that certainly dates me!
On the basis that ‘everyone deserves a defence’ and armed with the invaluable inside knowledge, I signed up with a firm of chartered accountants to offer my services in representing those who fall foul of the Taxman. There’s never been any shortage of work as sadly ‘tax’ is a club we all have a lifetime membership of – potentially from the cradle to the grave and sometimes even beyond! It is those who fail to join the club (or let their subscription lapse!) who come my way, to take what can be a long and scary journey. I often say, the taxman doesn’t suffer from stress, but he’s a carrier!
Using my experience from ‘the other side’ I have developed my hands-on approach to keep the taxman’s hands off your money. Life is never dull and invariably there’s a humorous side – often at the Revenue’s expense.
At the end of my career, I hope that those on both sides of the taxman’s desk would say that I was approachable and fair and always went that extra mile.
As a frustrated actor I have also taken great pleasure in guest lecturing on cruise ships, as well as speaking to fellow professionals. ‘Talking Tax’ is what I do! Tax isn’t rocket science, nor is it always an exact science, and if I am able to save you something, no matter how small then it’s a job well done.
My Favourite….by Lindsay Henson Tax Investigations Adviser
As a family, my husband Martyn and daughter Maddie absolutely adore everything about Brighton and recently spent a week there. First stop is always English’s Fish Restaurant. The cosmopolitan staff, in their starched white aprons, are so knowledgeable that you are never embarrassed to seek their advice and try something different from perhaps the haddock you would automatically plump for at home. Last time we all started with the Scottish native oysters in shells for the first time, without being nervous about asking how to eat them!
I am immensely proud, as a largely tone-deaf over 50-something, to have commenced piano lessons at last and am heading towards my Grade 1 exam, having been polishing the ever-silent grand piano in the front room for the past 2 years! I have to admit that practicing is a real struggle, but mastering a piece I remembered so well from a book Maddie studied at the age of 6! gave me such a thrill and my aim is to be able to play along with some Beatles numbers, accompanied by the equally struggling Martyn on guitar and maybe master a few Christmas Carols by the end of this year to surprise the family on Christmas day.
I am totally unapologetic at not being a current popular music fan-I just don’t get most of what is played on the radio these days. I love everything and anything about The Beatles who I think have stood the test of time and their legacy will outlive me! We saw Paul McCartney last year in Cardiif and I cried through most of the songs which evoked such powerful memories from childhood to childbirth, as when I had Maddie in 1995 by C- Section, we had the Sergeant Peppers album on throughout and even the doctors were boogying along with it!
Out of everything it has to be good old fish and chips, but preferably partaken in Grimsby or Cleethorpes. Whenever my clients come up north from London I always take them to a local restaurant for lunch and invariably they cannot praise it highly enough and always go for the mushy pea option too!
To unwind from the somewhat academic nature of my job, I have developed a voracious appetite for the British crime genre virtually to the exclusion of any other, not only for pure escapism but it satisfies my naturally suspicious nature and need for problem solving. I regularly devour a good book at one sitting, keeping me from my piano practice! By far my favourite author is Peter James, a charming man whom I was lucky enough to meet recently, the creator of impeccably researched, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace. His last book and 6th in a series which just gets better and better, is “Dead Like You” vividly set in Brighton and is a gruesome murder trail by a very human detective you cannot help but adore. Number 7,”Dead Man’s Grip” is out any day so it’s in the diary!
Oh, so many films so little time, but for pathos and humour combined I go for “Mrs Doubtfire”. I always prefer family viewing anyway and am fortunate to be able to watch it all over again now with my two amazing grandchildren Edward and Roisin aged 6 and 7.
By sheer chance on our travels in 2000 we came across an unspoilt resort called Diano Marina on the Ligurian coast of Italy and have returned there every year for a week to a family run hotel where little if any English is spoken. It’s very much a 3- meal- a- day foodie’s paradise with intermittent sunbathing, so a week is all the waistline can take. We swear we will improve our Italian every time but never manage more than the basics plus sign language!
An easy one, for me it’s Vivienne Westwood for that special occasion, flying the British designer flag for flattering clothes that real women can breath and move in ! All to be passed down for posterity to my daughters for when they get to the point they never think is coming- the fuller figure!
The day the 3 of us paced the hospital car park in Warwick awaiting the arrival, after a long labour, of our first grandchild and nephew Eddie. Within seconds of his arrival we literally pushed through the door to see this chubby little miracle looking the absolute double of his mum Sophie. Just over a year later his sister, ever the stubborn and impatient one, shocked us with her unforgettable, but thankfully safe arrival in 10 minutes on the sitting room carpet!
Since taking the decision to work for myself I have at last dispensed with the formal accountancy “uniform” of navy suit and white blouse. I now enjoy sporting the more smart casual code of comfy, tweedy country wear and find everything and more at the newly opened “Tilletts” shop in Seaview Street Cleethorpes. The staff are so friendly and enthusiastic about their non-high street, exciting brands that it’s infectious and like having your own personal shopper! They know just what suits me so I am happy to be guided by owner Mel Tillett’s good taste! She services my other hobby of cooking with her older-established shop just along the road “La Cocina” selling everything a cook could desire. All in all it’s right up my street!
I feel a theme developing here in admiring greatly the sheer beauty of the Brighton Pavilion. The intricacy of the outside is free for all to see but a tour of the spectacular interior is guaranteed never to disappoint. Locally my favourite place of interest and industrial beauty is the Grade 2 listed former rope factory, The Ropewalk, in Barton upon Humber, now a centre for the arts, music and theatre, where we have spent many a great night out enjoying top class music and comedy.