I think that everyone must have their own approach to shopping whether that is online or in person. It is obviously quicker to buy online. You may well get more of a choice than you would see in most shops and you don’t need to go out of the house. But, personally, I would rather buy clothes in a shop where I can try them on. But I also want to be left alone to look through everything, try things on and wander about while I think. Not many shops where you can do that now.

If I am online, I will accumulate items in the basket and then go back, or not, and delete the ones I don’t want, or even just go away and come back later. I may never go back. I browse. I virtually never, just go and buy something just like that.

This is maybe one of the reasons that Helen does not like me doing the weekly shop with her. She has a list and that is pretty much what she buys. There will be some other stuff but she is in and out as fast as possible. I think we are incompatible, certainly in a retail environment.

It’s quite funny because I don’t think I am a ditherer. For most of the time, I want a solution and I want it sorted now. But shopping, for some reason, is different.

I was told many years ago that the best decision is to get it right, the next best decision is to get it wrong. The worst decision is not making a decision. If you are right, that’s fine. If you make a decision and you realise it was the wrong one, you can usually go back and change it without much loss. But if you dither and don’t make a decision, nothing happens, or if it does, someone else has decided for you.

I know all this very well. I have shared that wisdom with many people. So, why do I not just buy something? If I am online, I can send it back if it’s not right. If I am in a physical shop, I can go and try it on. Why can’t I shop as fast as Helen? Beats me. Maybe I need to get out more.

It did occur to me that perhaps I should pay a visit to Sophia Hanson, the hypnotherapist in Inverness. She seems to have a pretty good track record for sorting out wayward habits. Perhaps that’s the solution. But then perhaps I might start buying too much.

Anyway. I have not been anywhere near a shop of any description today, online or other. I have had a brilliant day. The reason? I received about 60 out-of-office replies in my inbox! I should definitely get out more.

It was a sign that our long running issue with the circulation of our newsletter was finally sorted. It meant that the newsletter was now going out to all the people on our mailing list, and not just a select few. Hence a lot more out-of-office replies.

It was a joint approach between our IT guys at RM IT Services and Adder Business Solutions. Either way, it means that we can feel confident in building our list again.

And for those that have missed it, that is you were not one of the select few who continued to get our newsletter, the headline event you missed is the change in basis periods for the assessment of profits for sole traders and partnerships.

That is highly likely to mean you pay more tax for the next few years if your current year-end is not 31 March or 5 April. If you think this might affect you, either go to our website where you will see our earlier blogs on the subject or get in touch. If you trade through a company, relax, it does not affect you.

The acceleration of tax payments is a shot in the arm for the Government. This is on top of the vast amounts of tax they now collect because the allowances and rate bands have been frozen, and will continue to be for the next 4 years. At the end of that, will there be anyone not subject to higher rates of tax? The complication of course is that for earned income, the rates of tax in Scotland are higher anyway and higher rates of tax start at lower levels of income. Remember that the national rates as announced in the budget will only affect unearned income up here, including dividends.

Think I need some retail therapy! A chance to unwind, relax and dither.


Alan E Long

The Long Partnership

07770 738770



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