Sunday, May 7, 2023

Shipping News

View from my window last night


People who know me know that I am an avid writer of letters. I love to send parcels and packages. And to receive them. Well, the latter two I think I must now say "used to". Readers of this blog probably have read previous rantings of mine on the topic of sending internationally, mostly quilts - cost increase, customs regulations, you name it. Repeatedly I have stated that the fun of sending things either to friends or to exhibitions that are not within EU territory has definitely become a costly and very nerve-wrecking enterprise. I don't want to go into great lengths about it, here, again - but...  

For one thing, I bought a children's book used to send to a friend in the US. The book (plus shipment to me) cost me a total of €3. Sending it to the US cost close to €20. Not that I regret doing this, I knew it would be outrageously expensive, compared to the material value of the book. But do you understand when I say it is no fun anymore? This was a not so serious story.

My quilt "Everyone has the right", 


Everyone has the right (text messages)

which traveled with SAQAs "Forced to Flee" exhibition for more than three years was sent to me via FedEx  - which refused to accept my documentation of how the quilt had been in my possession, more so: made by me, but more than three years ago. Bill Reker from SAQA talked to FedEx people in the US, but those in Cologne would not accept that SAQA was paying all costs entailed and wanted me to pay for re-entry. It finally got sent back, and Bill and I have arrived at an agreement that a private carrier will bring the quilt to Festival of Quilts at Birmingham and I can pick it up there. That's one serious story.

The other story is that DHL, with which I had set up an address for delivery of numerous quilts either for exhibitions for the Patchwork Gilde's AGM or the annual EQA challenge, just so that my husband would not have to face opening the door for approx. 80 different deliveries, changed the setup of the automated P.O. box just recently. It doesn't recognize my app-registration anymore, and what used to be a relatively easy and well working arrangement has turned into a nightmare and extremely stressful situation. I know there are currently at least three parcels waiting for pick-up in that box. But so far I have not been successful in retrieving them. I spent a large section of my birthday this past week trying to figure out what was going on, talking to a 'service help' in Bonn, who, unfortunately was absolutely not help at all, "I don't know why it is not working, you will have to file a comment online", managed to catch and talk to the parcel delivery person who promised that the parcels would be taken out of the box and delivered to our door step within one to three days (we are currently between work days two and three), one of them has come. Another one has been announced as 'in the box', so there are still three parcels out there. I feel terrible. I figure I am responsible for these quilts as people entrusted me with taking them to the AGM or collecting them for FoQ. I need to document and measure them and fill out forms so other members of the Guild's board can do their job filing insurance values etc. - I am letting them down - 

I haven't slept well in several days and the whole situation is completely blocking me. That was a second serious story. Currently with an open end.

I haven't been able to calmly sit down and do some stitching, I jump up after a few minutes, doing this, fuzzing about that. The only thing I managed to do, after finishing my son's birthday quilt (which he liked well enough, not going into a frenzy of excitement, but I suppose that would have been too much to expect from an 18-yr-old) was that I started a "Sweater, somewhat slanted" after a pattern by "a field guide to needlework"'s Sarah C. Swett. Despite the current and still valid regulation that I may not cast on anything new as knitting project until at least two more have been finished... but this sweater starts with a single slip knot as a first stitch, which in my opinion doesn't count as proper casting on. 


There is a story behing this project which I will talk about at some later date. The first time I saw this sweater on Sarah's feed I thought I would have to try this, but I was going to figure it out by myself, and I was going to start from the lower end of one sleeve and knit it all in one piece from there. For a specific reason I have now gone ahead and bought the pattern proper, and knitting it in between studying sessions (I have a small exam coming up next Thursday to show that I have learned the necessary basics about dialysis etc.) and fighting against metal postal boxes it is a soothing activity indeed. 


Using up stash yarn, another regulation these days.

And tonight I will attempt once more to retrieve those quilts... keep your fingers crossed for me!

1 comment:

  1. I so sympathise Uta. I used to collect and mass post quilts from here in N Ireland and send to quilt shows, but the anxiety was horrendous, One time the show hosts packed up the quilts minus a miniature. I spent about a week lying to everyone that the consignment was not back yet, meanwhile I was frantically being passed from pillar to post about the missing item. Then the battles with customs about getting my own work returned to me without having to pay. I could go on and on so I fully understand how you must be feeling. I have given up sending to shows because of it all.