Monday, 17 August 2009


'That will be seventy two pounds sir'.


'Yes sir. Seventy two pounds, plus of course, our administration and checking fee.'

I was in my local post office, having just taken a very po-faced photo of myself in the booth. I was not allowed to smile. My head was to remain within the oval and my eyes were to remain at the level indicated on the screen. The swivel seat was a bit small, unsteady and mildly uncomfortable.

Compared to the picture taken ten years ago this one looked, how shall we say, slightly more distinguished? The hair was the same length, perhaps with a few more 'highlights'? The beard also had the same highlights - it must have been an expensive make-over.


Very smiley picture

The renewal form had been completed on-line and was now being checked by the good lady behind the bullet proof glass. "When did the bullet proof glass arrive, then?" I wondered. But I let her continue her painstaking checking, applying a grid over my photograph to check that my face fitted their requirements. It's an odd shaped head and I must admit to being concerned at this point.

But, this time around, my head and form-filling had all passed muster and I meekly handed over four crisp twenty pound notes and received a few coppers in return.

I have had a pretty stressful time of late but now find myself in a more care-free frame of mind. I have finally washed out of my head the cause of the stress and am able to move on. There is still a lot for the lawyers to sort out but that is just process. Perhaps when my right ear exploded a month or so back I started on the mend! So - now that my ear is better, I can fly again.

The Challenge was a good break and I suppose, really, the start of the healing process of my up until then woefully miserable life. So now I need a cheap break somewhere to continue the healing. With the return of my updated passport in a few weeks time I will have the world at my feet - wether it's Pimlico (Burgundy), the Alps, the Pyrenees or the Yorkshire Dales, it doesn't matter.

But I am determined to have a bloody good time.


  1. Good man yerself, a nice holiday will do you good!

    Best wishes,


  2. Price of passports going up to 77.50 in September. Canny move buying it now Alan.

    1995 they cost 18pounds.

    Back then we bought our petrol in gallons and all sorts of weird stuff though.

  3. Cheer up dear. Your life isn't that full of woe. You do have the weddings of your horribly brilliant children to go to. I also have to buy a passport soon. And I've only had mine for three years.

    Love Rach x x

  4. Pyrenees sounds good Alan. What ever the destination have a fine time.

  5. Head outside the EU and you can pick up some Duty-Free goodies. I can recommend Switzerland for its delightful air and closely packed contours.But is Yorkshire now a Sovereign territory?

  6. Ooh, lucky! It's lovely to be choosing a holiday destination :)

    But I let her continue her painstaking checking, applying a grid over my photograph to check that my face fitted their requirements. It's an odd shaped head and I must admit to being concerned at this point.


  7. I am determined to have a bloody good time.

    I'll send you some bail bonds, and the number of the British Consul.


    Lord E.

  8. Lots of adventures to be had out there. Me? I never got round to changing my passport when we got married, don't think I can be bothered now. If we decided to go abroad with the little treasures, it'd cost several limbs. Each!

    Have fun!

  9. JJ: A bad holiday would do as well.

    OW: ...we bought our petrol in gallons and all sorts of weird stuff though. Nope! You lost me there! Carrier bags?

    Rach: Do you actually need to change it? Your Mum would have saved a small fortune if she'd have kept her original passport...

    Martin: Ta me ol' bootie! (Norfolk lad...)

    Des: Am not sure if being, how shall we say, away wi' the fairies, would be good on the steep bits with my vertigo! All southerners need passports to enter Yorkshire; that's the law!

    PW: There's too much choice. I need help. (Mind you, people have been saying that to me for years...)

    Lord Elpus: Send me Miss Whiplash instead. She can talk the hind-legs off a slaughterman!

  10. Louise: Missed you there! Suggestion for the choice of limbs - always their little legs - that way you will know where the little treasures are at any time.

  11. You probably won't have to wait weeks, mine came back in 5 days, you may even have yours by now! As you have loads of camping gear buy yourself a motorcycle and head for Le Contynont, Britteny is nice this time of year, and spend some time chilling out on a beach.
    Grumpy, 'cause I'm not off until September.

  12. I've taken many portrait photos in my time and I have to say that yours is one of the scariest I've seen! I've encountered you a couple of times on the TGOC and you really don't look that scary. When you're committed to sharing your life with an image for ten important years then I feel it's worth having it captured by a pro, or at least another human being rather than the dreaded booth :)

  13. Des: and you really don't look that scary.

    Get a Pro eh? Ta for the advice - a bit late now... Ho hum I can use it to scare small children and pets then.

    Grumps: France - that's full of the French, isn't it?

  14. (Said very quietly in the privacy of my own lounge), looks more like something you'd see on Crimewatch. Scarey?!

    Mind you, I can't shout. I once had a Highline bank card with Deirdre Barlow on the back of it...

  15. No doubt about it, he's guilty as hell!


  16. Louise: Deirdre Barlow

    It's how I shall forever imagine you from now on!

    JJ: It's true - For the last twenty years, it's all been my fault! And no - your bum doesn't look big in that dress.

  17. Oh thank you say the nicest things!


  18. You always could come to Sweden, Finland or Norway for a vacation ;) Very relaxing here, and now is the best time...


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