Tuesday, July 29, 2008

palace soother

A refreshing drink on the balcony watching the sun set.
Feeling slightly calmer. Slightly less stressed.
Still worrying. Still feeling so *%$&! stupid.

I was so positive that my passport expired in October that I never bothered to check. So when I did and saw the date 1 Aug 08 ... well you can imagine the sinking feeling. The horror. The panic.

Today I drove down to St Catharines so I could get into a less busy passport office without having to endure too long a wait. That part worked very well. Before I even had a chance to sit down my number was called. But because I didn't have my plane tickets yet, they cannot expedite the process. There's always the chance it could be ready to be picked up by next Tuesday but they can only guarantee 10 days. That's 10 business days. We have a holiday next Monday. That puts it to Aug 13th. I fly out on the 14th. I can still work myself up into anxiety mode a little. Imagining all kinds of silly things that could go wrong. Like, I misspelled my name on the form. Or I put in a wrong number somewhere. Or they cannot contact either of my references ... silly, I know. My body is listening to the words of friends and the voices inside my head that vascillate from "don't worry, it'll all work out fine" to "omg, I would just be freaking the whole time". I will not completely relax until I have that little blue book in my hands.

In the meantime, I made one of these. Then another.

Palace Soother

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
Add 1 1/2 oz blended scotch,
2 oz each mango juice, passion fruit juice and orange juice
and shake sharply.
Strain into an old fashioned glass filled with ice and garnish with a fresh mango or orange slice.


  1. I really really hate those times when something goes wrong and it's ALL MY FAULT!!!!!
    I've heard that passport offices are usually pretty good about rushing things through if time is tight. Hopefully the panic you're going through now will soon be but a distant memory....

  2. Just keep drinking the palace soothers and the passport stress will soon be a distant memory. Have left an explanation of car cricket on Monday Musings.
    I am sure the passport will be ready in time and you will soon be over here in the UK. Bath is a fabulous city, so much to see and do. If you get a chance there is a fab musuem just outside of Bath - the american musuem. Stonehenge is another good place to visit, this is in Wiltshire, about 40 miles from Bath. Salisbury Cathedral is a great place to visit as well, the cathedral has the tallest spire in the world and it is also completely off centre - it is fascinating and on a windy day you can actually see the spire move in the wind.
    Don't know if any of the above interests you, but if you want any ideas of other places please let me know....


  3. FD & MA: ahh, distant memory. Just so long as the distance is 5,505 km or 2,972 nautical miles.

  4. Oh s***. That stinks! Waiting for it on this side is misery. Sitting on the plane with everything in place will be a heavenly sigh.

    When Don and I went to Paris one year, the night before coming home my wallet disappeared - maybe stolen, I can't be sure. My passport was in it. We were on our way to dinner at a Michelin 3-star restaurant. Needless to say, that should have been more relaxed. Long story short, I had a temporary passport in hand grabbing a taxi the next morning for the airport at the precise time we planned on leaving. I know it's not the same scenario as yours, but when I think about all the grief we went thru in those hours between 7:30pm and 10:45am, I could have used one of those palace cocktails!

  5. MA: Thanks. I was going to ask you about local non touristy sites. You have no email listed - ? I will be in Bath for 3 days - fancy meeting up in your favourite drinking hole (coffee or alcohol)?

  6. Ruth: Oh, to have a 3* Michelin dinner ruined!!
    I could be creating more grief for myself than necessary, can't help it.

  7. This just happened ot me with my kids passports, only with just two days notice. Worrying won't get that passport to you on time, but of course, you're going to worry until you get it. Good luck with this!

  8. Are they charging you astronomical fees to renew your passport as they do here?

    That drink looks really good. I'll have to see if I have time to mix one up.

    MA - I visited Bath and Salisbury Cathedral on my honeymoon back in '89. The cathedral was magnificent, and I marveled at its age and medieval beauty awed us.

  9. They'll come through. When they say 10 days, they seriously mean 10 days...

    Meanwhile, keep drinking.

  10. The drink sounds delicious. Wanna share a pitcher?

  11. You can also monitor the process online, if you go to the website, I think there is a link in there. We go through these things frequently with the various embassies (we do a lot of work in Saudi Arabia). One guy got his visa back the day of his departure.

    I do know that you can expedite the process but it's $100. That guarantees you the passport back in 5 days I think. In any case, I'm sure you will get it back in time. When do you have your tickets? You could still go to the passport office and present them? They could be sent to Ottawa. A thought...

    Meanwhile, enjoy that yummy drink!

  12. Em: you can even choose the pitcher

  13. Mr Nighttime: It is a great way to use Scotch in the summer. I actually altered it a little by using one of those mixed fruit juices.

    The cost has gone up to $87 plus another $10 to have me pick it up! It would have been cheaper to have them mail it, but if I'm not there when the postal carrier brings it... and being in a highrise, they sometimes just leave a notice in your box ... and it would have gone back to Mississauga because you weren't home...

  14. The passport office called this afternoon - wanted to confirm my writing on the address ... why do they not give you enough room to print legibly in block letters, sheesh.

    Anyway, she says [insert short laugh] oh don't worry, you'll be all right. Or, if something comes up and I end up departing EARLIER, I can send them the flight info and they'll put a rush on it.


  15. No, really, your passport will get there in plenty of time. Just keep in touch with them - don't sit back and just wait - or go online like UA says and keep track. I'm telling you from the public service side that nothing gets us moving faster than someone constantly on the phone in a panic

  16. XUP: Thanks. I know I worry needlessly. Too much time to think, thinks I.

  17. It will be on time, you'll see. And worrying about it won't make the time pass more quickly. However, the pitcher of great drinks might make a minute or two fly by! :)

  18. You'll be okay. The passport office is surprisingly quick at getting them back to people, in my experience. Best of luck...


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