Editor’s note: this post has been sitting here for a couple of weeks, but I was too lazy to finish/edit it. I am now renaming it Part 1 and adding a happy ending in Part II.
At the end of my penultimate post I commented that I hoped I could find a passport photo a little more attractive than the last one. Didn’t work out that way.
I hadn’t actually got around to doing anything about renewing my passport, so I thought I needed to do some research and after entering various applicable terms into Google I came up with the official website. It informed me I had to fill out the form online, but as it was obvious I couldn’t actually apply on line because I had to send some new photographs, I thought I would push the "get started" button to figure out what was involved. But pretty soon I realized that I was actually filling out the form and I finally got to a place where I could “exit and save” and my data would remain for 72 hours. I didn’t want to give my Visa number at that stage, because I wasn’t sure whether they would void the payment if I didn’t print the form within 72 hours, or if they would pocket the cash and use it for their own nefarious purposes.
So I turned my attention to the photo and realized I didn’t know where I could get one taken these days. A few minutes with the phone and finally someone said, “Try FedEx.”
Walgreens to the rescue: a very friendly man with a tiny camera, took my photograph, then put it in a machine with a list at the side of various countries, pushed UK and within five minutes I had my photograph. I was still so mad from my dealings with Eric that I looked like an ancient bad tempered crone, but I had my photograph!
Part II: to be retitled “In which her Majesty’s Government does an awesome job.”
I hadn’t even attempted to track my package of documents winging its way from Detroit to Durham. Give it time. And then two days ago we came home and took ownership of two big yellow envelopes which my neighbor had signed for. One contained my old cancelled passport and one my new passport. The birds which graced the pages of my last passport have been replaced by a series of designs which I decided to call “Merrie Olde England”, but if you have nothing else to do you can admire the art work here.
Thanks for your offer of help, Tim. I am all set. Well done, your Majesty’s Home Office.