June 16 – Gillian’s Birthday and Mosaic Arrives

Birthday dinner at Cooden Beach

Hello from Gillian and Michael

Today we finally took delivery of the mosaic. It was a bit of a mission so we were glad to receive it safely finally. We had delivered the Medieval Mosaic to Christchurch airport the day before we left. It was supposed to leave New Zealand on Thursday 2 June but NZ customs wanted the boxes open. The keys were there but it wasn’t their job to open the boxes. So Rohlig, the logistics company, had to go to open them and then the mosaic missed its flight. It was supposed to arrive the following Friday but arrived in Heathrow on Thursday 9 June as it got bumped up a Singapore airline flight. Then the system of using a customs turn number which we needed for importing into the UK had ceased in May. So we had to apply online for an EORI number which takes three days then another 24 hours to go live on the computers. All this time the mosaic was stored in Rohlig’s bonded warehouse and we had no idea how much they and customs would eventually charge us. When the bill came it was only £119.01 so we were very pleased. Also, we had been given the advice to get a carnet which is a customs document that facilitates the temporary export of goods overseas. However, they are only valid for one year. We did not do that which allows us to have the mosaic in the UK for as long as we wanted. Luckily I was in daily contact with Tim and Andy at Rohligs in London and they were excellent at keeping in touch with us.

The mosaic arrived at Peter’s house in St Leonard where the mosaic would be safely stored until the exhibition can be set up. We were very excited to see how the mosaic had fared during the trip but the six boxes had been wrapped in shrink wrap onto a single pallet and that is how it arrives safe and sound. Peter and the delivery man were both eager to see the mosaic so we opened one box and took out a panel to show them both and to put our minds at rest. Before we shipped the mosaic we took out all the glass covering the mosaic. It took over 100 kg off the weight of the shipment but also we thought it would probably be broken en route. This was a good choice.

Afterwards, we went for a drive up onto the Hastings East Hill with Peter, and later in the day, we went for a drive ending up at Pevensey Castle. Unfortunately, we arrived too late in the day to visit the castle so we have to return. Mike took me to Cooden Beach Hotel for my birthday dinner which was lovely. Michael is also booked to speak to the Senlac Rotary group later on in the year and this is where they hold their monthly meetings.