Before we left London I Googled the declaration form to check what we needed to declare. It stated that all food stuffs fresh, cooked or preserved. We removed these from our suitcases and placed them in our carry on Luggage to simplify our passing through customs at Tullamarine. I decided to wear my sneakers home as my other shoes have a metal strip and would have to be removed. I wandered through the metal detector not paying much attention until a security officer stepped up. “Would you take your shoes off please.” “It didn’t beep, did it? I questioned. “I wore these so I wouldn’t need to remove them.” “Just a random Check!’ she smiled. After she tested my shoes for cocaine and other drugs I went to move on but, she stopped me again, “I need to search you,” I’m laughing nervously! “We sometimes watch ‘Airport’ shows at home, I’ll have something to talk about.” I’m said as she ran her hands all down my arms and legs. “Sorry, I have to check here.” She pulled up my top and felt around the inside of my jeans waist band. “All you’ll find there is a ‘muffin top” I remark. Is this really happening, I’m thinking as I go to move on,I look back to see Yvette getting the same treatment. Everyone else is on the other side waiting, they all went straight through without a question.
It didn’t stop there because as we went to pick up our carry on luggage we found some of our cases had been set aside. Mine, Yvette’s and Brianna’s. Yvette was at the counter, she looked a bit nonplussed as they removed her undies and personal Items packed around our jars and tins for protection. I walked over to her,.”Who are you?” the officer asked as I reached out to touch the case, “Don’t touch anything please.” Initially he seemed quite officious. He reached in and took out the offending article. A jar of Raspberry and Elderberry curd. In all Yvette had five small jars she had bought at Dover castle and at Fortnum and Mason. “You are not allowed to carry liquids and Jells on board over 100 mls.” he declared. We knew that, “But this is Jam!” I state, pointing to mine and Brianna’s cases, “That’s what you’ll find in the other two also.” “I hope you are going to take this home and eat it.” Yvette remarked. “It will be such a waste.” “Sorry, we cant do that it has to be destroyed.” By the time the officer had finished he was being very sympathetic. “I’m so sorry I realize you are disappointed but It’s not up to me its the rules. Back home Fiona bought Brianna a jar of her strawberry jam with glitter in it but she never got to taste her Banana Preserve. Yvette and I quit while we were ahead, oops I think that was, behind?
To add insult to injury when the declaration card was handed out on the plane it stated that all one had to declare was Meat, Poultry and fish. (Fresh cooked or pickled). The Jars could have been packed in our main luggage after all. That’s what you get for trying to do the right thing. Photo of Brianna, Yvette and Caitlin at Greenwich.