something to declare

A likely story

"The cake will be delivered within 14 days" - Royal Mail promotion.

We like to keep our contributors sweet, especially those of the calibre of Harriet O'Brien (whose story on Cornwall appears on page nine). We also need to watch the budget. So the Royal Mail Send-a-Cake promotion, back in October, presented an ideal solution.

All you had to do was to collect a few first-class stamps and send a voucher to an address in Cambridge. You could have a personalised message added. With Ms O'Brien's birthday impending on 25 October, the timing was ideal. "Happy birthday and many happy returns," we wrote, and with the self-satisfaction of the prescient, looked forward to another satisfied contributor.

The cake arrived on Monday of this week, over six weeks late. If the Royal Mail had shown the nous to change the message to "Merry Christmas" we could have forgiven the organisation.

Except for one thing.

Look at the width of this column, then imagine a square cake of that dimension. That is the exact size of the bite-sized confection. Ms O'Brien was amused, but not nourished.

A likely story

Bargain of the week

After Christmas and New Year, there is always a slump in demand for leisure air travel. In anticipation, Air UK (0345 666777) has brought out a range of cheap fares, both one-way and return, for travel from 6 January to 15 March. The best deals are between London and Aberdeen or Inverness (pounds 40 one way, pounds 75 return, including tax) and from Stansted to Florence and back (pounds 54 single, pounds 108.60 return). You must book 14 days in advance, but note that the usual "Saturday night stay" rule does not apply - making these handy for business travellers, too.

Next Saturday in The Long Weekend

Winter tales: the poet Brian Patten paints a picture of midwinter Krakw in a thousand words.

Plus: sing-your-way-around-the-world - how many naff travel-related Christmas tunes can you identify?

Visitors' book

Posada Mirador, Chihuahua-Pacifico Railway, Mexico.

Awsome [sic]. Thrilling. Thanks so v much. Keith Thomson and Martha Krupp, Tucson, Arizona.

Wonderful. Wonderful. Wonderful place. Mary and Earl Morris, Portland, Oregon.

Vista Magnifico. Nydia and John Gletne, Tahoe City, Ca.

Too romantic for someone so alone. Alona Guerra, San Antonio, Texas.

Es simplemente un lugar maravilloso. Betty Aguilar, Arocha, Nueva Rosita, Coahuila.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

    £15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

    Recruitment Genius: Transportation Contracting Manager

    £33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global player and world leade...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel and Spa Duty Manager

    £18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are friendly, sociable, ...

    Recruitment Genius: Payroll and Benefits Co-ordinator

    £22300 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This museum group is looking for a Payro...

    Day In a Page

    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
    10 best statement lightbulbs

    10 best statement lightbulbs

    Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
    Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
    Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

    Dustin Brown

    Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
    Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test