Saturday, 13 April 2013



People who really know me well, will be surprised by this outburst, but to me "gifts" a very special things we give to our family and friends.


I send a lot of presents to my Hubby's rather large family in the UK.  We also have our best friends there too. .
Friend Beryl rang on Thursday night to say she'd posted a parcel to the UK (she's from Yks) and had come across a few problems with our Post Office and insurance etc., but was gobsmacked to be told that the UK party would have to be pay "DUTY" to actually receive the parcel.  She had put "gift" and the value and what was in it, on the 'custom's advice' slip.
  Now we were wondering if this was true or not.
I got another phone call last night and  "YES".  The parcel had arrived and before she could take it home she had to pay 23 pound (I can't find the pound symbol).  My heavens above, you don't want to know that I
used the "S" word.  I don't really swear, it just pops out.
Well, now I am in a quandary!!!!  I make a lot of gifts to send across, but I certainly don't want the recipients paying.  It would hardly be a "GIFT".

We think this must be something to do with internet shopping, but gifts are gifts.


I've just had my photo done for my passport renewal and it looks like a mug shot and my face really looks like I have some blotchy red disease.  Does anyone think the same if they have a passport?
I may put on some makeup (which I don't wear) and have it done again.  I'm not really vain, but it's an absolute shocker.  Hubby's isn't half as bad.


This is the cover of the book I have spoken of  in my last post.  It has been reprinted many times, with different covers, but this one is one of the brighter ones.  I have a Special Edition, which includes all her stories and another book on her life.

I will post again later this weekend with a bubblier lot of new.  Have a lovely weekend ladies.


  1. There must be some way round the duty problem, but I'm not sure what it is! My mother in laws's family live in Australia and they send small, inexpensive and lightweight gifts through the post. Maybe buying vouchers for a favourite shop and sending them via email? How frustrating for you.

    I need to renew my passport soon, and am already dreading having my photo done. No-one looks nice in passport photos.

    Enjoy your weekend. x

  2. Not caught up on blogs yet, Sue, but...

    GIFTS - the only experience I have of sending international post (from the UK, of course) is sending a package of 'little things' from the UK that an American quilter might appreciate.

    I filled in the customs docket (value was too small to insure) but the parcel never got to the recipient, which made me very sad as I'd put a lot of effort into finding a little fabric that I thought she would like; and English tea bags, and Scottish shortbread. Hey ho - I would have felt bad if they had arrived and she had had to pay a chunk in duty!

    PASSPORTS - the photo? Ha! Been in your situation! Either accept that you look like a corpse (not likely!), or spruce up with a bit of blusher/lippy to make yourself look like a human being on the pic!!

  3. It's true about the duty here, even on "gifts". If a gift is under £40, it is exempt. Say you have a parcel value £60 and postage is £15, the charges are worked out by adding those together, plus a flat rate Royal Mail handling fee of £8 and charging 20% tax (VAT) on that sum, so you would have to go and collect your parcel and pay £16.60 ransom. Note, for that they don't even have the decency to deliver it!

  4. I think it's terrible that a gift can't be sent without the recipient having to pay duty. Saying that, it costs us enough to post things within the UK these days, the postal prices are shocking so it's no surprise really. What a lovely book cover and a great title. How lovely to have a special edition.

  5. Sorry I've been AWOL :{ Busy here (in a good way) and not much time or inclination to use the PC at the end of the day.

    QuiltSue is 100% right about the ludicrous charges. Years ago I sent a quilt to America for a show and had to fill out reams of paper in advance to ensure I didn't have to pay duty on its return back to the UK and yes, daft though that may sound, it happened to a lot of people. Now I just don't enter quilt shows, much easier!

    If you mis-declare the contents then you won't be insured and if the package goes astray you're stuffed :{

    Jo is right, postage costs are insane these days. The PO complains they don't have enough business so increases the prices to a point where I reckon lots of folk think twice about sending stuff.