Although I am rich enough to be driven, somebody suggested I get a Freedom pass. This proved to be the first of many mistakes and anxieties in the process of obtaining one – a Freedom card applies only to those over 62. Thus I returned to the Post Office, queued again, the young lady with a head-covering then spent some time searching for the relevant form, only to inform me I had to apply on line. This filled me with some trepidation as I am neither a relaxed nor competent internet user. I duly delegated one of my most efficient secretaries to this task. I stopped off at another photo shop for a digital portrait, not knowing what this was. It was one of the best mug shots of me, miles better than those banal expressions and over-lit photos that emerge from a booth.
My secretary could only get so far without my passport and debit card. We tried to pay with a corporate card, and another with no commencement date, but these were rejected by the system. Hearing so many horror stories, I refused to use a personal one, which necessitated another visit to the Post Office.
It’s generous of the government to let us oldies travel free, but I suspect I am not the first one to find the application process so onerous that the tendency to give up was a strong one.