Tomorrow I must visit the Austrian embassy in London in order to renew my passport. Previously it's been possible to do everything by post, but current practice is that all renewals must attend in person, so I have a day off tomorrow and a trip right into Belgrave by Hyde park, as early as I can manage.
This afternoon's job was to hunt through the documents we have here for all the needed stuff. Laying awake during the night, I realised that I'd not taken time to hunt info etc for the application, and rather than scrabble around desperately this evening when I would be tired, decided it's worth taking time out to do with no-one else around and space to lay things out.
We keep our most 'historic' and personal docs in an old green metal tin that has been with me since before we married as my filing repository (tempting to say suppository, but that would be scratchy!) and so I dug it out and opened the lid.
The stuff we have in there was jammed tightly front to back. There's the recent UK passports envelope containing Chris's current passport plus sometimes mine when she decides to put it away before I secrete it in my preferred storage place, EHIC info & other stuff. There's an orange envelope with my old Reisepasses right back to 1962 when I first came to the UK, re-validated when I was 6 for a re-visit to Republik Oesterreich - the pages are all punched and have a multi-coloured thread passing through in a loop, held with an official seal on the last page. There were tax receipts, old payslips and letters confirming salary increases, insurance documents etc. Right in the back I came across the envolope containing marriage, birth & death certificates and finally my Staatsburgerschaftsnachweis - certificate of state citizenship - that I need for tomorrow.
I went through the lot, right down to the Triumph, Triton, BSA etc waterslide decals in the bottom. Hiding right there were some small pieces of paper, tightly folded & covered in fine handwriting.
It's really good to read, after almost 40 years together, love letters from before we were married. Puts a lot of perspective on how we got here, who we were and are, where we might go from here. It would be false to say I'm not sentimental, but that doesn't matter and I'm glad I married this slightly nutty woman.