It’d be nice if just occasionally one of my so-called “mates” would remind me how much of a plonker I can actually be. It’d save me so much hassle and unnecessary panic.
About a week or ten days ago a letter drops through the old letterbox. A buff envelope no less!
Eyeing it with somewhat less than glee, and not a little apprehension (cos buff envelopes are generally an omen of something real nasty) I gingerly lift it off the door mat (sort of at arm’s length, pinched delicately between two fingers) and check the legends on the outside to see who this particular piece of nastiness is from.
The DVLA no less (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency)!
Oh, that’s all right then. Can’t be anything ’orrible. Cos I no longer have a car. Haven’t driven for ages in fact. So can’t be anything important, or requiring urgent attention, or worth worrying about or anything.
Chuck it on the table unopened then, and think no more about it.
Day before yesterday, rummaging through the various papers and stuff that I seem to accumulate from heaven knows where, I come across this letter again. Still unopened.
“Hmm”, thinks I, “wonder what its all about then? Guess I’d better open it to find out”.
Er… yes. I really should have opened it sooner. Turns out its kindly letting me know that the photo on my driving license expires not long into next month, and I need to replace it. Like straight away!
Now although I haven’t a car, and haven’t driven for years, a driving licence is always a useful thing to have around. For ID purposes if nothing else. And mine’s a particularly useful one anyway cos its one of the old sort that allows me to drive practically anything short of a bloody huge tank or something. Should I feel so inclined.
Can’t say I ever have. Felt so inclined. But then, you never know.
Had my first one in the early 70s in fact. License that is. Not tank. Never had one of those.
Which is when I took my driving test. Didn’t really want to do that. Didn’t really want a driving license. Or felt the need for one. No particular interest in having a car y’see.
But my “significant other” (how I detest that phrase) of the time nagged me into getting one (well, nagged me into getting both a license and a car in fact), her reason being that “it always comes in useful, for if all else fails you can earn a living with it”.
She was absolutely right of course. (Aren’t they always?) So I gave in. Anything to keep the peace really.
Though what she actually meant by “always comes in useful” was that I could then spend all my time being her personal chaffeur.
Which of course I quite happily did. For rather more years than I care to think about. And the odd thing was, turned out I really enjoyed driving. Loved it. Any excuse and I’d be in the car, driving somewhere. Even just down to the shops. Lazy sod!
So, mad dash around to get everything organised before the damn thing expires. Principally entailing getting another photo of meself taken. And curiously, I found it incredibly bizarre that me, a photographer (which is what I seem to be nowadays) should find myself going somewhere to have my photo taken. And paying for it! Weird!
Another odd thing… I always used to be a bit iffy about having my pic taken. Didn’t like it at all really. Would do almost anything to avoid it in fact.
But all that seems to have changed since I was suckered into this photography lark. A lot of it prob’ly to do with my awareness that the cops must now have absolutely hundreds of pics of me. On account of my other activities.
Cos it seems the State really doesn’t like anyone having an opinion contrary to their own about anything, particularly if its expressed in anything other than the most genteel manner possible. And so send their little blue-clad minions scurrying out to various events (where I just happen to be… purely to take photographs of course [ahem]) seemingly with specific instructions to take pics of li’l ol’ me. Very strange behaviour.
Mind you, I take lots of photos of them as well. After all, one good turn deserves another. Heh heh.