Saturday, July 13, 2013

Leaving Heathrow

Wednesday 10th July

I am sitting in the departure lounge of terminal 4 at Heathrow. From here I can see the planes landing and taking off. Two have taken off while I typed the last sentence and another has just landed – I am not the fastest typist, however it will be very different at Lusaka airport!

The morning became a bit frantic when I realised that the printed visa application form didn't contain a signature and date. I was initially surprised when a “signature” was required for the online form. I typed in Jennipher's name and that seemed to be accepted but when it was printed the fields were left blank. On the confirmation e-mail it said that the whole form needed to be printed and indicated that this included the signature and date. However it seemed impossible to add these to the form or go back to a point where it would be possible.

It isn't easy to talk to a human being about visa issues. There are plenty of websites and even e-mail addresses, but at this stage there isn't time! I waited for half an hour on a premium rate number to be told that they couldn't help me and directed me to the British Embassy in Lusaka. I tried the Embassy in South Africa who directed me to a company who dealt with enquiries on their behalf. Eventually I spoke to a man in South Africa who told me if Jennipher signed the form and I added a covering letter it would be OK. I hope so!! I will not be pleased if the visa is refused because the computer didn't print the form correctly!!

The Saudi Arabian plane at the nearby gate is just preparing to move to the runway and take off; an Air France plane is taxiing past the window and a BA plane has just taken off! I can no longer see the Kenya airways plane – I hope it wasn't mine!There is constant activity here at Heathrow, but I had better sort myself out and find my boarding gate.


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