Renewing your passport is a bit of a pain. You have to fill in the form in black ink – and of course there’s not a pen to be had in the house, despite buying 100 0000 pens a few weeks ago. Then you have to sort out a photo that doesn’t make you resemble Shrek with a hangover. And THEN you have to find a friend who is willing to say they have known you for two years. If you want a British passport this is all very reasonable – you just find someone who you’re neither sleeping with nor related to, and get them to write in teeny tiny writing: I certify that I know Shrek on the photo.
If, however, like me, you are foolish enough to want to update your Irish passport, it’s like jumping into a time machine and shooting back to the 1950s. Because they have a list of people who are allowed to countersign your passport photo and you cannot deviate from this list. So when it came to getting my Shreky pictures signed I looked through the list of approved signers in growing despair. Bank Manager? These people don’t exist anymore. Doctor? I hardly ever go to the doctor so my doctor hasn’t the faintest idea of who I am. School Principal – not just a teacher, but the Principal. Again, you have to be a busy member of the PTA for the Principal to know who you are. Elected Public Representative – like a counsellor? No – don’t know anyone like this. Priest – oh yeah because they never lie do they? And I stopped going to church twenty years ago. Or Policeman. No – don’t know any police.
What are you doing Irish Passport People? Why are you making it so difficult?
That’s it. That’s the list. The only person left on it was Accountant. And she’s met me twice. So I explained the situation and she said, ‘ok but next time you’re in bring me a bottle of wine.’