I know I am not usually one to moan... ;-) But I have to say something about UK passport rules over the past 10 years.
When I had Marcel in 1997, I sent away my UK passport and he was added to it as my dependent child. This service was free of charge. He was also added to André's French passport at the time - thus he could travel abroad either together with both his parents or separately with either of them. When I had Charlotte in 2000, I asked for the same form to add her to my passport and was told that for security reasons this had been discontinued. Children now needed a separate passport so they could have a photo. Firstly I don't see why a photo couldn't have been added to my own passport given it has 32 unused pages inside but there you go. Secondly, what use is a photo of a 6 week old baby for the following 5 years anyway? I mean Charlotte had bright blue eyes and red fuzzy hair at 6 months but is now blonde with pale green eyes, so how the photo helps authorities from stopping you abducting someone else's kid, I don't know - I assume it was all a ruse to get more money into the government's passport coffers. So then in 2005 I had Léon, I applied for a passport for him - it cost me £28 last January. At the same time I had to get myself a new passport - £45. What a ridiculous price hike, I thought. Given Marcel also needed a new passport at that point (because he was on my passport that had just expired), I had to fork out for three passports - £28+£28+£45. Already I was majorly annoyed when I realized that in 10 years a UK child passport had gone from being free to being £56 - you see on paper £28 looks less than £45 but actually when you read the small print an adult passport lasts 10 years but a kid's on just 5. This, I thought then, was scandalous. Until this week when Lotsie's passport expired. I went through the same form as last January but was puzzled that the price information was no longer included. Instead they gave a web site to check current pricing. No bloody wonder - they were too embarrassed to print then - in one year they have gone up to £45 for kids and £66 for adults - what???? I for one would like a pay increase from my employer in line with the money my government expects me to be able to lay out!