488 miles for 5 minutes

Last week, I had the gut-wrenching realisation that I'd lost my passport. As we're just a few weeks out from flying to Malta for a holiday we've been postponing since 2020, it's safe to say panic immediately set in and prompted frantic searching up and down the house.

I'd used my passport fairly recently to do my DBS check for work and we'd used it to check-in to the flights so there were only so many places it could logically be. After thoroughly searching everywhere were could think of, to no avail, I took the plunge and booked an appointment to get a fast-track replacement.

Liverpool is the closest Passport Office to where I live (which is still a bit of a trek) but had no appointments soon enough. The next closest office... Glasgow.

Despite really not wanting to make the journey, I had no choice so I booked an appointment then dropped my Dad a text to see if I could crash at his place for a night to break up the drive. He lives near Carlise so it meant I could drive up the day before my appointment, get some sleep and not have to set off at some ridiculous hour to make my 10am appointment.

As you might expect, I didn't sleep well that night. Knowing I had to be up by a certain time meant my brain didn't really switch off. I woke up many times during the night. Finally at 5am, I woke up just enough to realise that actively trying to fall back to sleep might backfire so I got up and got ready to head out. By 6am I was on my way. On the plus side, I was able snatch a couple of moments to enjoy a lovely sunrise.

I made it to Glasgow by 8am and had a couple of hours to kill so I grabbed my bag (triple checking I had all my application documents) and went to find a place to park my arse for a bit. I ended up sat outside the Starbucks at the corner of Sauchiehall St and West Nile Street. As I sat there doodling in my sketchbook and sipping a rather hot coffee, I happened to notice a familiar face in the crowd. By random chance, Jasper and Charlotte Tandy were in town with their daughter staying for a few days. It was an unexpected surprise and nice to have a quick 5-minute chat, though it's been nearly 10 years since we last saw them so not really long enough so we'll have to try resolve that at some point in the future.

I headed up to the Passport Office leaving plenty of time to find the right place to be (turns out it was really easy to find) but if you ever need to go there yourself, just give an extra 5 minutes to get through security. It makes sense now I think about it but as I walked up to the door, I hadn't anticipated airport security style bag checks and metal detectors.

Note to self: continue to not carry your craft knife in your pencil case. That might have made proceedings a bit more complicated.

I sat in the waiting area for around 25 minutes before being called up to hand over my application and new photos. The woman who dealt with me was really friendly and after a few minutes of tapping away on her keyboard she said the magic words:

"Your new passport will be sent out to you and should be with you within the week"

Almost a week of stressing about maybe not going on holiday mostly lifted, leaving just a smidge left until my new passport actually arrives and is safely in my hands. Though having had my other one in my hands fairly recently makes me reconsider just how safe my hands are but I digress.

I headed straight back to the car, queued up 4 hours of podcasts then set off on the long drive home. I made the journey in one go so I managed to get home in time to grab a quick nap before I had to go pick up my son from nursery.

So, there you have it. 488 miles to Scotland and back for an appointment which took 5 minutes.