Spooks 2

Our tatty chattels finally made it across the high seas, landing safely at the port of Felixstowe in Suffolk. Her Maj’s Revenue and Customs eyed the consignment with cynical suspicion and decided to x-ray the boxes for contraband Turkish delight. This public service was provided at our expense, incurring a charge of £100. Isn’t this a bit like being frisked by the fuzz and paying for the privilege? The boys in blue found nothing untoward and the family silver was released. That was that, or so we naively thought.

We received word from the carriers that our precious cargo would be delivered by a 19 metre road train (their words) and if they couldn’t park within 15 metres of our new gaff we could kiss our goods goodbye (my words). When I pointed out that the medieval streets of old Norwich are characteristically narrow and that a 60 foot mega truck was a tad excessive for our modest six square metre load, they recanted and decided that a van of standard girth would suffice.

D Day arrived. The van pulled up outside and two large gentlemen swung into action, huffing and puffing as they piled the boxes into neat rows inside our new living room. The entire sweaty exercise was completed in under 30 minutes. As we unpacked each box, it was obvious that spooky hands had been fondling our family jewels. A shattered lamp emerged from one battered box. Glass fragments from the same lamp magically appeared in a different box. Hey presto. The backs of photo frames had been removed and replaced with the clips left open (the same photo frames suffered the same fate when they delivered to Turkey four years previously). Most distressingly, the base of one of our tall super-sleek speakers had been hack-sawed off and the broken thread lay discarded at the bottom of the box. Just as well we smuggled out the rechargeable marital aids in our hand luggage. Clearly, this bump and grind was much more than a bit of rough handling by a hairy docker. Who would have thought?

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16 thoughts on “Spooks 2

  1. Shocking! search by all means but damaging items is just not on. Suggest you make a complaint and claim on your insurance! Mind you we had to pay Import tax both in the UK and when our belongings arrived in Turkey, held to ransom, pay 1500 euroes or we charge you a further 350 a day storage. All Customs are corrupt it seems…….

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  2. What a shame but this seems to be common among customs and cargo companies. We where so lucky when our goods arrived in Turkey nothing had been touched inside the crate and only a wine glass was broken. My next door neighbour had half her cooker dismantled and bits lost on the way. I was not so lucky with my cat they kept her in the customs office after she arrived and I had to wait till the next day to pick her up after she had been feed hamsi (sardine like fish) and I paid rather a lot of money to release her, I gave up asking why.

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  3. . . with UK effectivly under martial law the plebs and peons can expect more of this sort of stuff. Think yourself lucky that you haven’t got (yet) a missile battery in the loft, your property commadeered without warning or compensation. Think I’m joking? ‘. . in Defense of the Realm’ regulations are now in play in the UK and I predict US style detention and ‘re-education’ camps a la Obama where deviants can be disappeared, their bases hacksawed before being packed into seperate ‘boxes’!
    On a personal note guys, what has happened is a real bummer, I hope you get something sorted by way of recompense – it would be nice to think that someone could be held responsible. Stay cool!

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    1. I’m cool. During the Olympic ceremony last week we thought of offering to the nice young soldiers on the tower of Bow Quarter but it seemed just a little too far. We waved to each other instead.

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  4. You guys got off relatively lucky. My brother and I foolishly used a Maltese carrier when we moved from Germany to Malta. Ended up loading the articulated lorry ourselves and paying 3 times the original quote to get our goods back. It was either pay up or get knifed by the hairy gang that had surrounded us at the customs arrival yard. Not uncommon there apparently. A sad introduction to life there!
    Moving from UK to Germany was a doddle though. Our van was searched each time we crossed the channel but despite being questioned about the contents (swords, axes, scientific equipment etc – the usual paraphernalia you collect through life) and destination we always got a polite safe journey once we mentioned we were moving to the Rhineland. On one occasion this was supported by a salute and adding “sir” to the good wishes! It was then that we realised that by having recently shaved our heads we were probably assumed to be on a military posting of some sort. Ha, how we laughed all the way to Koblenz at the irony that we are both Marxist pacifists. Good times;)
    Easiest place to move through customs and immigration we found was Italy. They have no idea bless ’em. Let anyone through and some of the sights and characters we saw on those trips were clearly not legal on many grounds. Love the country though. Couldn’t live there as it would drive me nuts but a year is not complete without at least a short trip there for the food, wine and coffee.
    Anyway, welcome back to the home shores gents. You timed it perfectly after several years of misery the Olympics will hopefully life the mood if not the GDP.
    Keep bloggin’.

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    1. Polite German efficiency, hopeless easy come easy go Italians and Mafioso Maltese (add to mix the more lira, more lira Turks). Blimey, you’ve been around! What were you doing hauling swords and axes around Western Europe? Yes, we’re enjoying the Olympic lift and Liam is permanently glued to the TV/radio/laptop (delete as appropriate). I haven’t seen Corrie for ages!

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      1. It’s the Norse ancestry. Doesn’t seem right crossing seas or going up a river without axes and swords. No idea what to do with them in anger but can’t shake the habit. Games almost over so you’ll get your fix or Corrie soon sir.

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  5. I think if we ever had to relocate to a different country, we would just sell / give away everything and start again in our new place. It all seems like such a hassle and I would be sooo miffed if anything was damaged. You seem very philosophical about it all. 😉
    Julia

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    1. I guess there’s little point worrying about the things I can’t change. We sold most of our furniture which was handy. The stuff we brought over and took back were mostly personal items which I’d find hard to part with. None of the important stuff was damaged.

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