My ten year Passport is due to expire shortly, so I had a new photograph taken and filled out the form. Now, before you send it off, the local Post Office do a 'check and send' service to make sure that everything is absolutely spot on before it goes to the Passport Office.
I should point out here that I have worn glasses all my life. I put them on as soon as I get up in the morning, because I can't see much without them. Anyway, I handed the application form, along with the two photographs and my old passport, to the assistant for checking.
She looked at it for a while, and then called another assistant over. Between them they decided that I would have to have another photograph taken without my glasses. Now this is absolutely ridiculous. I look nothing like ME without my glasses on! I explained this to the assistants, but they assured me that the Passport Office wouldn't accept my photos.
So, I trudged across the road to have another set of photos taken, incurring an additional £5 for the privilege of doing so.
I then return to the post office, handing it all back over, along with the new, glassless photos. But, oh dear, what is this, the young lady is calling the other assistant over again to have a look! So there they both are, looking at my old passport photo and the two new photos that they asked me to provide.
"Oh dear", one of them said. "It looks nothing like the photo on your old passport, where you've got your glasses on." By this time, I swear that I am losing the will to live. Either that, or I was about to leap over the counter and throttle someone.
The upshot of all this, is that I now have to get the new photos countersigned by a professional person who has known me for at least five years. This has to be done to prove that it is actually me that is applying for the new passport! They then have to also sign my passport application form and enter their own passport number.
Actually, I just feel a bit sick at the stupidness of it all. Has anyone else who wears glasses ever come up against this problem?
I'm now off to pour myself a stiff drink!