Dateline: Easter Saturday, March 2002
Two hours before I leave for the airport, to fly to the UK for my nephew’s wedding. Suitcase packed, travel insurance arranged, tickets received from airline, all ready to go. Just need to get passport from usual hiding place (the cash tin in the cupboard in the bedroom), and it’s A for Away.
Go into bedroom, open cupboard, find cash tin, open cash tin and …. no passport. No passport? NO PASSPORT????? NO PASSPORT!!!!!
Breathe, lassie, breathe – deep breaths, that’s right, steady the nerves, look again. It must be in there somewhere, that’s where I put it back after my holiday last year … didn’t I? No? I didn’t?? Are you sure??? OK, maybe it’s still in the travel wallet which is …. Scrabble through drawers looking for last year’s travel wallet – not that one, that’s the year before – no, not that one either, that’s from two years ago (why on earth have I kept all these old travel wallets???!!!). AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!!!
Turn house inside out and upside down. Passport nowhere to be found. Suspicious thoughts start to occupy my mind about other half hiding it because he doesn’t want me to go … Stop it. Don’t panic. Deep breaths. More deep breaths.
Ring British High Commission in Wellington. “Currently we are closed for the Easter weekend, and will re-open on Tuesday blah blah blah. Should you require a replacement passport urgently this can be arranged in 1-2 days blah blah blah.”
Quick calculation. High Commission re-opens Tuesday. New passport issued by Wednesday, received by Thursday, fly out Friday …. Stop. Wedding is on Friday. And wedding is in Durham, several hours by coach from London … Whimper. Sob. Guess who never made it to the wedding …
Long overdue clean up of corner of lounge: found, buried in box of papers, one travel wallet from 2001 – inside, one lost passport …