One of my New Year's resolutions was to renew mine and my husband's passports, and to get daughter her first passport. I haven't left the UK since before she was born, and until now hadn't the need for one, so mine had long since expired.
Having discovered what we needed to do, we set off for our nearest Main Post Office to collect the forms.
We also happened upon a photo booth. Now these were a source of amusement long ago, when my friends and I would pile in and take a series of pictures of ourselves. Not anymore.
Really, I should have refused husband's suggestion to get the photos taken there and then as there wasn't a queue.
I should have dug my heels in, point blank refused and returned with full face of make-up and immaculate hair, instead of my minimalistic natural day face complemented by windswept barnet.
Instead I simply shrugged and said 'Yeah, why not'. This, my friends, was a huge mistake.
In a scene reminiscent from the Hamlet cigar ad - you know the one, with Gregor Fisher (Google it if you're too young to remember) - there I was perched on a small plastic stool, trying to keep a 'neutral expression'.
'Neutral expression' - who on earth ever has such a thing? Certainly queuing at passport control my expression has never been what can be described as 'neutral'. More like 'simmering rage', 'slightly shifty even though I've done nothing wrong', or 'in need of a cup of tea or something stronger', but never, ever 'neutral'!
The result resembles a mug-shot for a 120-year suspected serial killer. It's so bad I had to have a friend countersign it because I'm unrecognisable from my previous passport photo, which I hadn't particularly liked either but now realise was OK.
I would have tried again, but it costs £5 and in husband's words 'There's no point throwing good money after bad'!