A cut out and keep guide
- Get passport form signed.
- Find Post Office that doesn't encourage the posting of twenty-two parcels at a time.
- Arrive at Plexiglass window. Smile. Present passport form with a flourish. Nod as woman behind Plexiglass checks form - yes, yes, yes - all appears to be in order. Produce debit card and prepare to be suddenly impoverished. Hold breath -
- Hold in silent scream as woman behind Plexiglass points out that passport form has been signed in blue ink which invalidates entire form.
- Meekly and mutely accept new, blank passport form.
- Return home and remain mute, meek and - indeed - blank for several hours.
- Search for black pen. Confiscate and destroy every blue, green and red pen in the house. Complete new passport form in black ink. Ensure passport is signed in black ink.
- Return to Post Office. Queue.
- Reach Plexiglass window. Submit form. Hold breath as woman behind Plexiglass checks form: yes, yes, yes ... YES!
- Become suddenly impoverished, but happily so.
ONE WEEK LATER
- Return home very late after very demanding day. Find very demanding letter from Passport Office on table demanding evidence of name change by Deed Poll. Ponder on name change? What name change? What Deed Poll?
- Read demanding letter again and realise that the name on birth certificate does not match name on passport application. Remember that Registrar in Births, Deaths & Marriages seventeen years ago was a bit iffy about the lack of a hyphen in small, sweet baby daughter's surname and insisted on using capital letters for the two surnames which small, sweet baby daughter was saddled with despite the fact that one surname was meant to be a middle name and has subsequently never been used as a surname.
- Ponder on what happened to small, sweet baby daughter ...
- Ponder on likelihood of this being sorted without a) being arrested for making a passport application under false pretences and 2) being hospitalised.
- Check travel insurance. Again.