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Friday, 20 March 2015

It's an eclipse Jim....

...but not as we know it!

A partial eclipse over most of the UK today, and thankfully I live in one of the few bits with very little cloud :)

I wish I'd cleaned my windows...

Thursday, 19 March 2015

New knitting pattern: Mercia tea cosy

My next pattern is available now to download as a pdf file HERE.

A pretty tea cosy in 2 sizes, named after my current home, the kingdom of Mercia.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Thank you to the Royal Mail

As you might imagine, I have a love-hate relationship with the Royal Mail (and USPS, but this post isn't about them). I spend monthly on stamps what most people spend on their mobile phone contract, and some months it feels like I'm literally paying my postman's wages.

On 30 March 2015, the Royal Mail are putting up the postage rates again. Nothing new there, it happens every year and I'm not against businesses making a profit. Except we know that the Royal Mail hardly makes a profit, if at all, and is slowly losing the battle with other mail carriers here in the UK. There has been talk of stopping Saturday deliveries, reducing deliveries to certain more remote areas of the UK, and the more obvious putting prices up by a lot more than they usually do. New postage rates pdf is HERE.

Many of you reading this might be struggling to remember the last time you actually sent something through the post. We all use texts and emails now, don't we? Well no, not all of us.

I have started buying greetings cards on Folksy, rather than on the high street. Generally they cost the same even when postage is included, and I like to support small businesses. One in particular is DaisyWings, run by a lady artist based in Berkshire who puts her gorgeous watercolour illustrations onto greetings cards. The Royal Mail get two hits out of this: one when the cards are sent to me, and another when I send them on to the recipient.

But in general, I use the Royal Mail to communicate with my husband and my penpals. Over the past 10 years I have sent on average 6 letters each week and the international letter rate has gone up steadily from around 60p to the new lowest rate of £1 for anything up to 10g (basically a postcard). There used to be a large table of prices and weights, but the Royal Mail have now simplified things wonderfully, and there are just 3 rates for international letters. The majority of mine will fit in the "up to 20g" rate, which will be £1.33 a time.

When you consider how many hands that letter will pass through, and the 4800 km journey it goes on between me and my husband, I think £1.33 is still a pretty good deal. So well done and thank you Royal Mail, for getting the vast majority of our letters across the pond safely.