Friday, 30 December 2016

Renewing a passport

is such a pleasure - not. 
My passport needs to be renewed. It is a once in ten year experience I could do without. This time I had to go online. I had to fill out a form online and then print it off and head to the Post Office and have a "passport style" photograph taken.
I hope, this time, it will be relatively simple. They have all my documentation. I am within time to renew it the simple way...without trying to get together all the documentation I needed the first time around - rather a long time ago now.
I remember that well. There was a lengthy form to fill out. I had to get an original birth certificate and the birth certificates for my parents. I had to get three people to certify I was the person I claimed to be and that they had known me for more than three years. There was more, rather a lot more. Part of it was because I was going to be away for rather a long time. At least I was over 21 - the age of majority in those days. I didn't need parental permission to travel. The Senior Cat even agreed to be my Downunder contact address. Now it is Middle Cat - but it would be my nephews who came to the rescue.  They have up-to-date passports and power of attorney.
I am not of course travelling anywhere. That is not why I need the passport. I need it because I use it as photo ID. That proof of age card which is supposed to be the equivalent of a drivers' licence - and is issued by the same government department as a drivers' licence and only with a 100 points of ID - is not considered good enough by some agencies. The ridiculous thing is that I used my passport as some of the points, but only some of the points, to get the PofA card. 
Oh well, I might do some travel in the next ten years . If I do I'd like to think of my passport crammed full of stamps to exotic places.
We once lived next door to two spinster sisters. They travelled - and then they travelled some more. They had multiple old passports in their  possession stamped with some of the most remote corners of the earth. Seemingly the only place they had never been was the Antarctic. They would look back and tell us about the trip they had made to X and what had happened at Y railway station where they had eaten Z - but never zebra. 
One of these days I'd like to have my passport stamped at the beginning of the trans-Siberian railway travelling west, my passport stamped in Vancouver travelling east. I want it stamped in Europe and on my arrival back in the United Kingdom. Maybe, just maybe - at least one of those things. The last is important to me. There are friends I want to see before it is too late - and it has already been too late for some. 
Did I mention I had to have a photograph taken? I do not photograph well. As with most such photographs I look ill...but passport photographs usually do look that way. They don't let you smile. Hopefully though it means that I will be well enough to travel!

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