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The life and times of james Hart: his family, his music, life in Luton and his occasional escapes onto the internet.

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Monday, 9 February 2004


I've got a new passport... my previous one expired before the turn of the millennium (it was an 18th birthday present from my mother, who has always loved travelling), and I've finally needed to get a replacement for a trip abroad next week. My company has organised a course to help me to do my job properly (I'm supposed to be a systems specialist, but I've only been there just over a month, so there's plenty left to learn!) and the company who makes the system is based in a small town near D?sseldorf in Germany. This isn't actually far from where I lived when I was a small child, but my memory of that time varies between vague and non-existent, for it was a long, long time ago.

Because of the urgency, I needed to go to the London Passport Office and collect one on their "really quick passport" scheme. My boss's boss was supposed to countersign my new photo, but nowadays the countersignatory (ooh... long word) must put his or her passport number on the back as well. Unfortunately, he forgot to collect it, so I had to attend the appointment with nothing but my old passport, a form I hoped I'd filled in correctly and the new photo.

Fortunately, the lady behind the counter seemed to think I hadn't changed much from my old passport - which eliminated the need for the signature. Hooray. Here, then, are the pictures - what d'you think? I don't do smiling in pictures, I'm afraid, so I might appear a little stern.

a passport photo of me
18 year-old me
a passport photo of me
32 year-old me

Passport photos have a unique 'quality', don't they? When the machine only gives you three attempts to get it right (I always use all three) it unerringly captures an awkward, frozen microcosm of person and personality, in soft-focus, miniature form. In some ways I wish they still took four different photos, so that the last one can be witness to an act of idiocy.

Still, I'm glad I don't do it very often. I don't photograph well.

Posted by james at February 9, 2004 11:48 PM

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