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by Clare Mansell

The British Forces postal service is, on the whole, a pretty wonderful thing, but it has the potential to both delight and disappoint in equal measure.

The idea behind BFPO is that you can post anything from the UK to a forces base overseas for the price of UK inland postage. This is achieved by the Royal Mail only taking the post as far as a sorting office in London, and then the military distributing it from there onwards.

The mail for Cyprus travels onwards from the UK by ship or plane depending on its weight. Small packages under 2kg get flown here and usually arrive in 4 or 5 days, bigger boxes come via regular ships which unload in the middle of the week. Any post from them usually reaches us on a Thursday, thus Thursday morning is always weighed down with expectation and Thursday afternoon is often shrouded in disappointment.

I ordered some accessories for my sewing machine and a dress (supposedly for a New Year Party!) six weeks ago and I’ve been on this Thursday rollercoaster for the last month, becoming ever more certain of success, and ever more disappointed as each week passes.

Still, sometimes BFPO delivers above expectations where you hold least hope. You may recall that when I signed up for my dressmaking course recently, I had to place a rush order for some Amy Butler & Anna Maria Horner fabric from the US (see above) and just ten days later it is here, having flown into the UK and out again. I also had a delivery of some customised labels from Singapore which also came via the UK and got here in two weeks.

So maybe next Thursday will be my lucky week for the sewing machine and clothes….

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Fiona Sadler (from facebook) February 5, 2010 - 10:28 am

I love your quilt. Have you managed to get it mended? I have had similar problems with BFPO – two companies this week contacted me to say my goods had been returned as the carrier had no contract! very frustrating. Nice fabric – cant wait to see the dress. I… also love the labels – could I have the details, I’ve been searching most of this week for something alike.
When does Bella move in?
Hope you are all well – loving your blog.

Clare Mansell February 5, 2010 - 10:35 am

Oops, should have amde it clearer that they are in fact stickers, not sew on labels. I use them to fasten the wrapping on anything I send or give as a gift.


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