Saturday, November 16, 2013

Passports and Visas

A few weeks ago, The Builder and I were passing a lazy, early Saturday morning in bed, drinking tea, messing about on our iPads, listening to the radio. Out of the blue, The Builder pondered that he wasn't sure when his passport ran out.  Neither was I, but I thought it was sometime next year.  I got up to get the passports to investigate.

His is fine. Doesn't run out until some time in 2015.  What about mine then?

Oops.

It runs out on November 20th. This year :-S

I'm likely to want a valid passport in mid January!!! Otherwise I'll have trouble leaving the UK and getting in to any of the countries I want to visit during my Jumping Around in the Time Zones adventure. And I definitely won't get to the party ;-(

So I filled in a passport application form online.  A few days later it arrived at our place, waiting for me to sign it and return it, by one means or another.

Alas - I had just spent ALL of my available money resources on plane tickets.  I can't fly out on those tickets without an up-to-date passport, but equally I can't buy a new passport until I next get paid.  The application form sat about on the dresser and the dining room table - and acquired a few muddy cat paw prints as a decoration.  I hope the Passport Office is fond of cats!

A bit later The Builder ran across the passport application lying about and said he had the money for a passport.  I went and got some passport photos done.

If you had run up against the person in those photos in a dark alley on a winter's night you would have run away as quickly, screaming as loudly as you could.

A few days later I went and got some more taken. They might make me look as though I am about to cry but at least they don't make me look terrifying.

And then finally I got around to taking the form, the photos and The Builder's money to the Post Office where they ignored the paw prints, accepted the sad looking photos and The Builder's money and sent everything off to the Passport Office. That was on Thursday of last week.

On Monday I had a text message to say that my application had been received by the Passport Office.

Yesterday morning I happened to be at home in the morning when the doorbell rang.  It was a passport deliverer with my brand new, electronically chipped, very, very pretty passport in his hand.

I can go to the party!!

Freyja, in the meantime, has a perfectly valid passport but is waiting for the paperwork to arrive so she can apply for an American student visa. She leaves for Australia in 21 sleeps!!  There's an American consulate in Australia somewhere - there is bound to be. She can spend her Australia time camped out there badgering for a student visa.

(I've checked.  There's a consulate on St Kilda Road in Melbourne. She can camp there during the day and stay in Lindsey and Ian's flat in East Melbourne when the consulate is closed overnight.  Sorted :-P )
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