How to get a passport in a hurry

Standing at the security check-in at the Passport Office in Peterborough, my hands felt suddenly clammy, despite having been made to wait outside in a chilly wind until my allotted appointment time. This moment had been a long time coming – but from eavesdropping on others in the queue I knew it could all yet go wrong. ‘I was here two weeks ago but I’d filled in something incorrectly on the form,’ said the woman in front of me to the staff member searching her bag. Meanwhile, the man behind flew into a panic when asked to show proof of an appointment booking on a mobile phone. ‘Oh hell, my wife booked

There is nothing speedy about speedy boarding

When my black passport arrived in the post, I decided to take a trip. I’m not a good flier, so the absence of foreign travel for three years had to be making my fear of flying potentially insurmountable. A one and a half hour flight to Cork felt manageable. The builder boyfriend had already been over to have a look at this farm we’ve had our eye on. Incidentally, I know this passport is meant to be dark blue, but it’s not, it’s black. And to make it more alarming, the picture of me inside it is bright orange. I had slapped cheap make-up on my face and was wearing

The joy of my new British passport

‘Anything you want?’ says Catriona on her way out of the house to go to the shop. I’m standing at the hob stirring a first batch of Low Life’s 2021 Pandemic Second Wave green tomato chutney. (My outdoor homegrown tomatoes stopped turning red just before Christmas.) The wooden spoon stops revolving while I google my brain for things I want. No results. Materially, I have everything I need. Too much of everything. What I once looked on as too few clothes now strikes me as insane excess. I’ve got a Honda Jazz that starts first time parked down in the village, lent to me by a friend for as long