Well... the passport story is completed this morning as I pick up my new one from the UK Passport Office.
It's been a struggle and I've had stress - not to mention a 'phone bill - that I don't need, but now I can rest assured that I can go on my own honeymoon, one week on Sunday. It's another unwanted lesson to me in how well I deal with stress and "officialdom", but it's also a lesson in how that officialdom deals with the public, and how hard I'd find their job. On both my visits to the Passport Office my attention was distracted by people on either side of me who were being knocked back simply because they hadn't read the forms properly and who were becoming vilely abusive to the staff. The punter is stressed because he needs his passport: this I understand because I had that stress. I had all (and more) of the documentation required, and 2 previous UK passports to back me up: I could show that I had taken it seriously, and still it was not easy. One person next to me yesterday had had her application signed by a croupier(!) and had not had her photo signed off by anyone at all and had filled in her form in blue ink, but still claimed it was the Civil Servant's fault that she couldn't get her passport that day. The desk staff keep coming back for more, 'cos it's their job. I don't know if I could.