Finally after months of procrastinating, I have managed to get the passports applied for. A mammoth task. S has his own, mine needed renewing, having expired two years ago and the kids both need their first. First stop, photos. It does not matter how much effort I make with passport photos, I always end up looking like Jabba the Hutt with a hangover. They will never let me into the United States with the scary looking effort I provided. Specs removed, hair slicked back unnaturally (I have a fringe) and a face so sour it would frighten children, I sent it off secretly wishing it would be rejected and I would get another go. And have you ever tried to get a six year old to not smile? L and I had to turn our backs on H. I knew he would automatically laugh when the camera hit him. I was right. The man in Timpsons was patience personified. Just as well. Eighteen quid down the lavvy - at that price they should have been able to make me look like a ruddy supermodel.
Not content with having to pay for photos, I also had to provide a full copy of H's birth certificate. I only had the extract. S and I had a humungous row the day his birth had been registered and I think I floated into the registrars on a post natally psychotic cloud and floated out again not giving a s**t about whether we had it or not. Another ten quid!
Finally forced myself to go and get poor J to sign them as she stuffed her dinner back one Monday night. I looked so different that she had to countersign mine again. We debated about how long we had known each other and I could have wept as she wrote 'I consider this to be a true likeness of...' on the back of my photo.
After parting with seventy seven quid for my passport and forty nine pounds each for the kids I sent them off. No check and send, I have a feeling that going abroad after twelve years is going to be a major eye opener. Everything seems to have changed and I have not even got to the ESTA's yet......