Sunday, February 18, 2007

Sightseeing in London

On Friday Lena and I headed into town to get a friend to sign for her passport. He works in "the City", which means right in the heart of London. It's where lots of banks and financial companies are located. You can't swing a cat without hitting someone in a suit. Since we were on a mission, it wasn't really sightseeing, but we did walk right past 30 St. Mary Axe. That's the official name of the Swiss Re building, but it's known affectionately as "The Gherkin" to Brits. A gherkin is a small pickle, something I didn't know for the longest time. Probably because I don't like them very much. But I do like the look of this big pickle building, it's quite sleek and cool. I tried to take a couple of shots of Lena in front of it, but it wasn't easy as she was in a carrier attached to me, so the angle was poor. None of them are very good pictures, but all together I think it's a funny little collage of our Friday trip. Note, Lena doesn't always look quite so grumpy and jowly. The angle I took it from, about 15cm from her face causes the extra-thick jawline. Her wondering what the heck that is in front of my face causes the frown of concentration.

To get a Canadian passport, I needed someone to sign as guarantor that Lena is who we say she is. It's a very short list of people who the Canadian government will accept as a guarantor. These are the requirements:

  1. Have known you personally for at least two years.
  2. Live within the jurisdiction of the passport issuing office and be accessible for verification.
  3. Be one of the following:
    Practising lawyer
    Medical doctor
    Notary public
    Police officer
    Signing officer of a bank

Living within the jurisdiction means someone living in England. Considering we just moved here, how am I supposed to have known a mayor for 2 years? There are hoops you can jump through to get away without a guarantor signing for you (they involve a trip to the consulate and paying a substantial amount of money), but fortunately this wasn't necessary. A lovely fellow who I will call James, used to live in Munich and that's where I got to know him a couple of years back. He now works as a notary in London and was very obliging and willing in signing for Lena's passport. He even gave her paperwork his official notary seal, which should impress some bureaucrat along the line. That gets sent off tomorrow (along with her Canadian citizenship forms) and hopefully will get a passport back in 2-3 weeks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Those pictures are still really sweet. Lena has the right idea, make faces in the big city! Hope her passport application goes smoothly. There is a big rush for passports here because of a new rule that Canadians need a passport to fly to the States. Apparently in one month there was an increase of 33% in applications.