Went to the tax office today. Boy, I swear they must have sent all their staff on How To Be Nice courses, because they’ve all turned incredibly nice over the last year or so. Whereas before the place used to be Sourpuss City, it’s now actually filled with jovial clerks who are helpful and even witty. Some of them. Not all. Not the man I got first who looked like someone who just cannot … quite … squeeze … forth … that … smile, no matter what. But he was trying, I could tell. Just a slight push and he’ll make it. I’ll be rootin’ for him.

In any case, it was YT who had to grit-her-teeth-and-smile at the buoyant tax lady on the fifth floor upon discovering that I shall have to pay almost twice as much in taxes this year than last year. [Please do not ask me to go into it, I cannot bear to think of it any more]. Walking home was an exercise in some serious self-inflicted brainwashing, in which I trained myself to love my taxes because they a) ensure me a super-duper health care system b) ensure my kid a good education c) help remove my garbage d) allow me to have representatives in embassies in foreign countries e) pave the ring road around Iceland d) let cabinet ministers be driven around in big flashy jeeps with drivers who take them to long boozy lunches, and-so-forth. I pay my taxes with a cheerful smile, yes I do. Safe in the warm conviction that my taxes will take care of me forevermore amen.

As previously documented, our Polly is a depressed little cockatiel these days. Having been forced to go on the pill, she’s completely lost her spark. She eats incessantly, chases me around like a puppy dog [she can’t fly], and in between she makes herself really round and fluffy and nods off to sleep in the most unlikely places [like the middle of the kitchen floor]. This state of affairs has had the YT household slightly concerned, exacerbated by the fact that her poops have been, well, not as they should be.

So this morning, the vet was consulted per telephone. The verdict: Polly must be put on a diet. She cannot eat at will. She must eat healthier [none of that junk-food seed, it’s broccoli and carrots from now on]. She must imbibe oatmeal broth instead of water. And none of those millet spray thingies she so loves, no sir. It’s tough love time.

No update. Status quo. Sunny, beautiful, but windy and frigging cold. Current temps –3°C [that’s 26.6 on the Fahrenheit scale] and then add windchill which brings it down to about –25 or so maybe. The day broke at 7.02 and night will fall at 19.26.