Passports, stupid subaru and colds.

Well, another week rumbles on with the usual fuck ups. This week's petty little annoyances include:

PassportsYou would think that changing the name on your passport would be a simple thing wouldn't you? You'd send them a copy of your marriage certificate then they'd reissue your passport, withthe same date of expiry as your previous one for a nominal fee of £20 or so. You would be wrong. In the happy days of state induced fear of foreigners and terrorism getting a passport is more difficult than finding the Philosopher's Stone and the key for turning base metals into gold. You have to have a completely new passport, at a cost of no no fewer than sevently two of your English pounds PLUS you have to send your original marriage certificate so you have to send it registered post. Then you have to send a prepaid registered post envelope for the penny pinching misers to send the certificate back to you. they've just charged seventy two bastard quid for the passport, you'd think that the postage would be free. It isn't. This is before you even get to the issue of 'the passport photograph'.

The passport photograph has long been an ordeal dreaded by the average person. You went into one of those little booths in the post office or the supermarket and emerged 10 minutes later with a handful of photos that made you look mentally deficient and drunk all at the same time. You'd then send one off with your application. I assumed that things were still the same. So I sent off my application with my mentally deficient photo and a cheque for half of my remaining overdraft. A week or so later it wings its merry way back to me, I had had the audacity to smile on my photo, this was not acceptable and I would have to do it again but this time send in one with a blank expression. Yes, well, that should make me easier to recognise as I often walk around an airport wearing no expression at all. Anyway, I did some more photos and sent my new, surly pic off with my application. And again it returns to me, this time because the background was not the correct shade of white. What the fuck? Are you serious? I rang the helpdesk (there's a misnomer if ever I heard one) to see if someone was pulling my leg. According to the girl I spoke to no, they were not, the passport office takes identification very seriously and would not joke about such matters. Right then. So I have now been to a professional photographer to ahve some taken and am waiting for them to arrive so I can try again.

Pedantic wankers.


Stupid Subaru - Whoever it was that thought it was a good idea to design Subaru cars so that they sound like an elephant with wind was a tosser. And whichever pillock sold one to the fool next door was an even bigger tosser. Recently the fool next door acquired a subaru estate car and since then his principle source of pleasure has been to sit on the driveway next to our front window and rev the engine. All bloody evening. It's driving me nuts. What is even more annoying is that last night, at 10pm he decided that the revving didn't sound like it should so he called the RAC. He and the RAC man (who arrived at 10.45pm) then spent an hour and a half fannying about, revving the engine, driving around the estate and generally interrupting my sleep. After a while I moved into the spare room at the back of the house. You could still hear the bloody thing so I put in a pair of earplugs that I pinched from work. Even then you could still hear it and it took me ages to get to sleep, I was still swearing and thinking malevolent thoughts as I dropped off. I swear if this doesn't stop soon I'm going to fill his petrol tank with sugar and shove a galia melon right up his exhaust pipe. See him rev his sodding engine then. 


Colds – I knew it had to happen. I have got the Fridge Witches cold. Or the beginnings of it anyway. This time I refuse to go down without a fight – I have been to Boots and am now armed with First Defence (to try and stop the cold taking hold in the first place), Beechams Cold and Flu tablets to try and stave it off, vitamin C tablets, Strepsils and echinea. I may still end up with the cold (or worse, this vile flu that is going round) but at least if I do there's every change I'll be a decongestant induced coma throughout the entire thing. Happy days.

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6 Responses

  1. What also bugs me is all this nonsense about biological passports or some crap like that. Biodata? Anyway, when I renewed mine in the colonies (NZ$200 in January 2007) I got a standard British passport without that fancy biodata stuff. I’d be interested to know if yours has that extra, because I thought it was a compulsory, post-9-11-paranoia addition.

  2. I suspect my new one is biometric because the photographer informed me that you can't have any hair over any part of your eyes on your passport photo as they need to be able to see your full eye for the biometrics. How this is going to help I really don't know. Do international jihad supporters have a particular type of eye? Or are they just hoping that in the occupation box Osama's little helpers will fill in 'other – international terrorist', allowing them to be put on a database? I genuinely don't see how it can help.

  3. What a pain in the ass about the passport! If they are going to be so f-ing picky about it, they should set up offices where you can get all that stuff done by them.

  4. I prob shouldn't have but your post had me chuckling all the way through – only because I have been there (see, scars to prove it) and can sympathise greatly – I've filed out no fewer than 5 passport applications recently, none of them being up to scratch and the passport wasn't even for me – I was the countersignatory!!

  5. It's getting very silly. If things continue along this path then by the end of the decade to get a passport you'll have to fill in a complete personality test, submit a pint of your own blood to see if it corresponds with what's on the DNA database, take a polygraph test to see whether the purpose of your visit is to see Disneyland or further the cause of international jihad and submit a photograph verified by a certified member of MI6. Or you could go for the 'Fast Track' route and just send in one of your eyeballs.

  6. I’ve just been reading up on this and it looks like I just missed out on a biometric passport, since mine was issued in January 2006 (the High Commission in New Zealand only started issuing them in April–May) and not 2007 as I thought earlier. Apparently the biometric data cover not just the iris (I agree: do terrorists have a particular type of iris?! Has the US government managed to zoom in on bin Laden’s one on his fuzzy video tapes?) but the proportions of your face (now, Chinese physiognomy suggests there is some scientific foundation on this one but I doubt western governments would know!). And those forms are a farce. A friend of a friend had been done for marijuana possession as a teenager and honestly filled that out for his US form, and got turned away at the border. So honest people like that get turned away (I don’t even think he does any pot now—it was a school thing) and a crim who fills it out dishonestly can get in.

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