Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Lost my passport. Losing it generally.

J and I have 2 weeks in Turkey booked and we are meant to leave on Friday.

But I cannot find my passport, despite searching the flat forensically for 2 days and getting up at 5am and searching after work until 1am. I last had it at the 7/7 Memorial Commemoriation in Regent's Park where we were advised to bring ID. I must have lost it, or it was stolen then. I didn't notice, because it was such an emotional day.

I am devastated. I have kept going and going and going all year because I knew that J and I would be going on holiday, soon, soon, and then we could finally relax and plan our wedding, which has been put back to next spring because of all the anniversary/public inquiry stuff. We wanted to fly out on 7th July evening but J's work wouldn't let him ( he has resigned and has a new job to go to in a few months when he has worked his notice). Then I wanted to fly out last week, but last night there was a Home Office meeting with Tessa Jowell and Dr. John Reid which I needed to go to ( more on that later). So I waited, and waited until I could finally let go, and have a holiday, and I began to pack, because I was so excited, and it made it seem nearer and now I cannot find the stupid bloody passport, so I can't go.

I have kept calm, and I have kept searching methodically, backs of drawers, bags, bag linings, coats, clothes; as careful as a crime scene officer. Nothing. I searched very slowly and thoroughly. I didn't want to stop searching because then I knew there would be no hope.

Now I think it has gone into the 5th dimension, because I have looked everywhere. There is a same day replacement service, but they will not let you use it if the passport has been lost or stolen or damaged, unless it is an emergency. The helpline people have been very helpful; and they got me an emergency appointment, today, at 2.15pm and I went along, with all the forms, and the lady could not help me. I am supposed to go to a memorial service on Saturday as well, the beloved lady I was hoping to visit when I booked the holiday a few weeks ago has since died of breast cancer but as she has already been buried, it does not count as an 'emergency'. I am going to see if I can get another emergency appointment and try the Peterborough office tomorrow, in case they can help, or at least start the process so I can go next week, but I bet they can't because rules are rules.

I said to J to go without me, and I will try and join him in a week or when I have my passport, but he says he would rather not go without me and have a week on his own, and it is only money. I don't think we can afford to pay twice though; we are saving for our wedding. The holiday was to be paid for from my on-it's-way-apparently £1000 Criminal Injuries Compensation ( CICA) money which I've been told I am eligible for because of the scar on my wrist.

I keep crying. I look like a boiled owl. Everytime I look somewhere I see the things I have been getting ready for the holiday; sun cream, a new novel, a cheap and cheerful pink cotton skirt I got for a tenner. It was what I did when things were hard over the last few months, buy something small for the holiday, and put it away, ready, and I'd go and look at it when I was fed up and it would cheer me up.

Why, after everything that has gone on, does this feel too much to cope with? Much worse things have happened, to me and to everyone else, and it's not the end of the world, but this feels like something that I have no defences against. It's the final bloody straw. I am extraordinarily sorry for myself. Damn. Bollocks. Argh.

I'm going to go and look again. The flat has never been so tidy.

14 Comments:

Blogger Em said...

Don’t give up quite yet. The emergency appointment tomorrow may lead to a way of bypassing the rules.

Or one of your more knowledgeable or better-connected readers may come up with a wait-busting, corner-cutting suggestion. There is so much goodwill towards you that I am sure other options will be suggested. I am sure this must also be true of the collective Home Office conscience. For what my money's worth, I reckon they should give you an exceptional passport e.g. you deserve a diplomatic one!

And don’t crucify yourself because you feel your level of upset is out of proportion. This can happen when you have been brave and strong over big issues—something relatively trivial can set you quivering, even a long time later.

Something will turn up, even if your passport doesn’t.

July 26, 2006 9:17 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Rachel

I've done this before. You can(or you could a year ago anyway!) go to the UK Passport Office in Victoria and get one same day (info is here: http://www.passport.gov.uk). It's a bit (well, a lot) pricey though and it has to be by appointment.

Hope that helps - or that you find your passport. You deserve a holiday, m'dear!

JW

July 26, 2006 10:05 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ah - ignore my last comment - I see you've already tried them. That'll teach me to read things properly.

JW

July 26, 2006 10:06 pm  
Blogger Don't Call Me Ishmael said...

Oh goddamn it, how awful!!! You poor girl, I know exactly how you feel; my passport is one of my most treasured possessions and as I am also planning a "get me out of here NOW" trip in the near future I can vividly imagine what you must be feeling. There must be a way for them to issue you an emergency replacement. If my friend could get a replacement after her passport disappeared while we were somewhere in the rainforest of Madagascar (not kidding, this really happened) then there has got to be a way. Do you have photocopies of it? Things always go much faster if you have photocopies to verify the passport's existence. If you think you lost it at the 7/7 serice in Regent's Park, maybe there is someone you can contact to see if it was found. Maybe with your skills in advertising you could get the word out somehow and offer a reward for its return, no questions asked. Also, often airlines will bend the rules when it comes to missing flights because of passport problems. If you do have to miss your flight perhaps you can talk the airline into crediting you for another flight or at least the frequent flyer miles.

You have my heartfelt sympathy for what you must be going through. I'd lend you mine if I could!! I really, really hope you can still go to Turkey with your boyfriend. You still have two days, I think, before your flight, so you still have a chance! I am now sending all the good vibes I can to you. Don't give up!

-marina

July 26, 2006 10:16 pm  
Blogger Holly Finch said...

ooh god honey....i'm soooo sorry...of COURSE you feel crap, this is the final straw & this holiday has been keeping you going through these last chaotic months. I wish I could give you mine!

Call JR I say! I hope tomorrow's appointment can sort it out, but if not, hey, it's a heatwave here, why don't you run away to a B&B in Cornwall or invest in a tent? At the end of the day what you really need is 2 weeks away from London with the lovely J, it won't matter where you are as long as you're not here & you're together...it will be an adventure!!xxx

July 26, 2006 10:22 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

Thank you very much everybody for your messages of support and cheer. I am still looking, Miff thinks it is an interesting new game, to go through piles of papers. J is being stunning and says well he has so much work to do anyway...

It may appear overnight like a gift from the Tooth Fairy, though I cannot for the life of me see where it can be. I just put on a Motown CD and it played 'Searchin' and 'Nowhere to Hide' and I started to become slightly hysterical, so I am having a whisky and going to water the lavender bushes and calming myself down.

I told J to come home from work and we can get up at 5am tomorrow, and he can go back to work, and I can look some more, when it is daylight, and you never know, something might turn up.

July 26, 2006 10:40 pm  
Blogger Larry Teabag said...

Well it's probably no comfort, but just to say that the quality of your writing doesn't diminish with your emotional state.

>I look like a boiled owl.

Tremendous stuff!

Here's hoping for a happy ending. Worst case scenario, you could always jump on a train to the beaches of scotland instead...

July 27, 2006 12:34 am  
Blogger Don't Call Me Ishmael said...

One more thing... do you have travel insurance? They may be able to compensate you if you have to cancel your trip. Also I found this on the web. www.passportexpress.com. They can expedite your lost passport in 5 days... not sure if that's any shorter than what you've already been told.

Again, I wish you the very best of luck! I'm so sorry this happened to you.

marina

July 27, 2006 1:48 am  
Blogger Davide Simonetti said...

Rachel,

I'm so sorry to hear about this calamity. You need a break and this seems so unfair. I followed the instructions on Justin's site and emailed the Home Office in the hope that they can do something for you.

I don't know what the expected delay is in getting a replacement passport but following J out to Turkey after a day or a few days seems like the cheapest option, naff though that is for both of you.

I sincerely hope you both get the break you need even if there are delays

Dx

PS

I think I remember you commenting about renewing your passport on Europhobia a while back. I don't suppose you put it somewhere in order to go through that rigmarole.

July 27, 2006 3:11 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

My mother always told me to look in the place that you think you are least likely to find something - and more often than not this has lead me to finding what I have lost (if not by it being in that place then by triggering the thought process).

You've probably already thought of this, but did you have anything with you the day you last had your passport that you gave to someone else? Papers or notes or something that it might have got inside?

Good luck with finding it - sounds like you deserve a holiday.

July 27, 2006 12:59 pm  
Blogger Lord Hutton said...

I do hope it turns up, probably in a place you have searched a 1000 times

July 27, 2006 7:26 pm  
Blogger Ally said...

I am so sorry Rachel, I hope you find it ... . And I agree with Mr Teabag re the quality of your writing.

July 27, 2006 10:05 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello! I really hope you find your passport, it's awful when you think you've lost it but find it 2 hours later, let alone lose it for months. I'm from near Peterborough, so it makes renewing them rather easy.

Good luck!!

Miss Freddie (pointed here by MatGB)

July 29, 2006 4:00 pm  
Blogger Hema said...

Did you find you passport then..If yes where was that kept..coz even i lost of passport & I'm going thru the same thing as u were. :(

November 27, 2007 6:19 pm  

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