|Goodbye old friend, gateway to France|
UK passports last ten years so you have time to forget the palaver of renewal. But here’s a happy story based on technological development.
I wasn’t looking forward to renewal. One reason was pure sentiment and normally I detest sentimentality. It meant junking my little red booklet representative of belonging to the EU. Replacing it with the UK’s flag-waving blue number and thus being forced – symbolically – into joining the Brexit voters. Who are now strangely silent about the “benefits” Brexit is bringing us.
Even worse is the very real palaver of organising a photo acceptable to the passport authorities. You sit on the stool in the supermarket cubicle, twiddle it up and down, yet still cut off your hairline (Forbidden). Get your hairline right and find you smiled (Forbidden). Contrive to look serious but your chin’s too low (Forbidden). An adult woman I know became so disturbed by all this she rang her father to help her. I sympathised.
This time a digital photo is required and so to hell with twiddling the stool. I spent £12 at a specialist. If I hadn’t chatted a perfect photograph would have been mine – approved and paid for – in three minutes. A lad with a Canon said “Lips together.”, “Chin up.”, etc, and that took 20 seconds. He fiddled with the Canon at the counter for a minute, handed me a colour proof (I looked dully insane.) with an eight-figure code. I swiped my credit card and was gone.
Online at home I followed a simple procedure, entered the code and was gratified to see my face appear on the filled-in application. The time-consuming bit was putting my old passport into an envelope and posting it to the authorities.
I was mildly exhilarated. I rarely yearn for Old Times.