It began with a trip to the local post office to collect a passport form and get her photo. Easy enough, dreadful photo - her serious face covered in drool and no bottom lip to speak of, she's sucking on it. Pasty looking, angry, not at her best. There are 8 of them, headshots, you need 2 for an application. One must be signed by a 'guarantor' to say 'this is a true photo of so and so, signed other so & so'. This is what happened to them.
Photos 1 & 2 & form #1 filled in & signed by my old friend who popped in for a cup of tea one afternoon. Says she will message me her passport details later. She does so, adding it's out of date. I read the instructions on the passport form, unacceptable.
Return to post office, pick up 2 forms.
Get newly married friend to fill in form. Her passport is current, but hang on, her married name is now different to her passport. Remember to check every detail before getting form signed next time.
4 photos left. We are leaving to Bali in 6 weeks with 3 of my girlfriends. One of them offers to be guarantor. Perfect. Until she fills in form & checks passport to see it expired 4 days earlier.
2 photos left. I reread the guarantor page and realise there are 2 options - 1) passport or 2) enrolment details. Get friend to fill in form & sign photos. Take to post office. Organise appointment for the following day.
Arrive at appointment. Go through f form, no problem. Man looks at last set of photos and says Sorry these have scratches on them, you can't use them.
I try not to cry. Ask the lady taking passport photos if she can take one of my baby. Sorry we don't do baby passport photos, you'll have to go to the camera shop. Try not to cry, or throw myself onto the floor in a tantrum.
Find camera shop. Get photos done. Wait 20 minutes for them to develop.
Here we arrive at the point of this blog. The new photos show a gorgeous baby girl, looking deep at the camera, possibly the best photo she's ever taken. I can't believe it. I profusely thank the woman who took them, tell her a bit of our story, tell her she's transformed the whole experience into a positive one, a happy one because of this beautiful photo she's given me.
Passport submitted, arrived in mail 10 days later. We're going to Bali baby!