Well, I don't know about all of you but I had a busy start to the weekend. My son had his Year 12 Formal on Friday night and my other son returned home from Boarding School for the holidays. Luckily my husband was able to get home from Melbourne in time to help out with the transport as, of course, both boys needed to be picked up or dropped off in opposite directions at the same time. Of course with every Formal comes the After Formal. I convinced my son and his friend to come back to our place after the Formal to change, and leave the friend's car here, then I drove them to the After Party. I got back here in time to have an hour's sleep and then returned to collect five of them to bring them home to camp here for the night. For five teens, three of whom were old enough to drink, they were no trouble at all. My husband and I fed them bacon, eggs and croissants for breakfast and while the partying son went back to bed I started to answer emails. Why am I telling you this? Because I spent a good bit of yesterday feeling particularly TIRED so if I didn't reply to part or all of an email or a Facebook message please let me know!
Now down to business, requests have been a little quiet this week but I am not complaining seeing as we have all the quilts to make for HMAS Melbourne and we have had quite a few on the list for elsewhere. We are catching up nicely though so there is no need to panic.
I do need to let you know about a few changes though. Up until now we have always sent our quilts and laundry bags straight to the recipients in Afghanistan, Dubai or wherever. Things need to change slightly with the closing down of Tarin Kot. As the base closes down facilities are being reduced and of course one of the facilities that will be inevitably reduced is the postal service. Soon the PO in TK will be closed and, whilst deliveries will still be made they will be less frequent and will eventually be stopped 1 Dec.
What does this mean for us? Well, our quilts and laundry bags are far too precious to us and to the guys and girls to mess around with them. As per advice received we will not be posting anymore quilts or laundry bags to TK after Tuesday the 16th of October. I have checked through the list and I think most of the requests that we have underway should be able to make that deadline as far as I know. There are still a few new requests for members in TK that have not yet been allocated. Some of our quick quilters might be able to take them on and complete a quilt in time to post it off by the deadline but I know that most of you won't want to be put under that sort of pressure so I have had to come up with a new idea.
We are going to have people in TK till December some time. I don't want those people to miss out on receiving quilts. Of course it is better for them to receive the quilts and have the benefit of their colour and warmth whilst they are in TK BUT if the option is to miss out as there is no time to post one or have one sent to their home to await their return then most of them will opt for the latter. I already have two fellows on my list who are more than happy to wait til they get home to receive their quilts if that means they will be able to receive something along the lines of what they have asked for.
Now how do we get around the fact that sending the quilts to a soldier's home address will incur a postage cost. Simple! I am asking the soldiers to arrange for someone to send me a 5kg pre-paid satchel to use to send their quilt to them. Let me tell you, they are more than happy to do this.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to email me. Also we will continue to send quilts and laundry bags as we have done to elsewhere in Afghanistan and the Middle East. Nothing will change there.
Tomorrow night I will post the requests we have at the moment and I will clearly mark who the priorities are. The highest priority will be those in TK, followed by anyone whose quilt needs to go in the mail before the beginning of Dec and then we will have the rest of the HMAS Melbourne requests. Stay tuned!
One a different subject, some of you will know that Sydney will be playing host to the International Fleet Review from 3 - 11 October.