Saturday, 7 September 2013

Now it’s the passport and a meeting.

My (Tom’s) current NZ passport expires in November and the damned government has (again) changed the renewal process.  Moreover in the last decade they changed the valid period from 10 to 5 years claiming “All” western governments were doing the same.  Just more politicians uttering lies terminological in exactitudes!  Canada, the USA, Australia and UK all continue to issue passports valid for 10 years.  Moreover the NZ authorities have admitted changing to 5 years has significantly increased the revenue gained from the issue of passports.

Last time I had to renew my passport I was in Australia and the requirement included the need for the application form to be signed by a Justice of the Peace, doctor, solicitor, or school principal who had known me for the last 12 months.  That proved to be a very difficult requirement to achieve.  But like all other obstacles I eventually managed to overcome it.  Now the process has changed yet again!  This time the application can be completed online (great) and you supply a digital photo as part of the process.  But now you must also supply the name, passport number, and contact details of another NZ passport holder (who is not a relative) and who has known you for 12 months.  I haven’t been living in NZ for 12 months and certainly haven’t known any fellow kiwi’s in the UK for the last 12 months.  Just another bl00dy obstacle to overcome!  Thank g0d I’m retired and have the time to battle the bureaucracy.  I pity all those young kiwi backpackers who have to buy a replacement passport every 4.5 years.  You normally need 6 months left on your current passport when applying for a visa!  It’s a great little money earner for the NZ government!

We cruised up to Barbridge Junction this morning making good use of the fine weather.  The plan was to top up the water tank at the water tap on the junction but we were 100 metres short of the junction when a hire boat appeared from the Middlewich Branch and turned in front of us stopping on the water point.  Oh well; we’re not in a hurry.  After they had filled up we moored on the water point and filled the tank.  nb Serena passed as we were moored but there was only time to give a brief wave and hello to Judith & John.  We last saw them back near Braunston in mid May <blog post here>. Once the tank was full we moved forward onto the 48 hour moorings.  As we were tying the lines a boat appeared from the direction of Nantwich.  It was Kevin & Sue on nb Meander.  We knew they were in the general areas but had missed their phone call earlier in the morning when we were both on the back of Waiouru. It’s almost two winters since we last saw them at Aldermaston Wharf and Sue invited us aboard for a cuppa.  Seizing the moment I managed to take another of my really bad photos.  Poor Kevin is sitting in bright sunlight whilst Sue in in shadow.  But I’ve discovered Jan took a better photo with her Samsung so my photo has new been deleted and replaced with the one taken by Jan.

Sue & Kevin on nb Meand’er

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