Got accountant mate (anon) to sign the forms to get a speedy replacement (just had enough time luckily if I travelled to passport office the next day and waited for it to be processed). She filled in the form (A) so carefully, then got confused about a box she signed. She put a line through the signature, then filled in a second form (B) leaving the box blank, just to be safe.
Off on the bus to London, queued at passport office for about 40 mins, then handed over the form (B) to the most deadpan person ever. I blathered on about the Genova trip with Rosie, leaving the next day, blah blah blah. 13th birthday, blah blah blah. She gave the form straight back to me and said that mate hadn’t signed the box. ‘Ah, no, here’s another version where she did sign it’, I said cheerfully, pulling form (A) out of my bag. ‘It’s got a line through it, she will need to sign it again’, said Deadpan. Sob. ‘She works about 10 miles in the countryside from hometowny which is 1.5 hours on the bus, which is 20 mins on the tube from here, it’s not physically possible’, I blubbed. ‘Fuck off you loser’, she replied.*
credits: thanks to Tracy for literally spending a day searching with me
*She didn’t really swear, but said words to that effect.