When the postman came to the house earlier, Julie handed me a letter from the DVLA.

It contained something that felt like hard plastic…

I ripped it open…

Pulled out the form…

And attached to that form was…


It has been renewed until August 2025, so I didn’t lose the seven months I waited for it to arrive.

I was going to take a photo of it to show everyone, but then I remembered that someone could steal the image, clone my licence, and pretend to be me.

So I am using a Gif of Victor Meldrew instead, to show how flabbergasted I am that it is finally here.

Passports And Driving Licences: Follow The Money

Following the recent debacle over renewal of driving licences that I have written about extensively on this blog, Britain now faces a new ‘delay scandal’.

Tens of thousands of people are unable to travel abroad, and have had to forfeit holidays they had booked. This is because the Passport Office has ‘untold delays’ in issuing new and renewed passports.

The reasons given are the same as with the Driving Licences.

They ‘didn’t expect’ so many people to want to go on holiday once all the restrictions were lifted.
They ‘didn’t expect’ so many people to want to renew expired passports in 2022.
So many staff were working from home because of Covid-19, and they didn’t have ‘full access’ to the systems required.
Postal applications mounted up after Post Office delays saw them being delivered in bulk.

Strange how two huge government organisations like the DVLA and The Passport Office had all these issues during the pandemic, don’t you think?

Or maybe it is not so strange.

Yesterday, government ministers announced that the Passport Office is going to be privatised, to make it ‘more efficient’. Something similar is also being mentioned regarding the DVLA, to make the issuing of driving licences run more smoothly.

Let’s see how that works.

*Create a bureaucratic nightmare. Send home staff during the pandemic, making sure they have no access to the system that allows them to do their jobs.

*Once the scandal erupts, and public outrage is reported in the media, you can ‘justify’ selling off the organistations concerned.

Who would buy them? Well existing ‘logistics’ companies, owned by friends or relatives of government ministers of course. The contracts will be huge, lucrative, and long-lasting. That will insure the move is not overturned if a different government comes to power in 2024.

Will the passports and driving licences arrive faster when that happens? Probably not. There will of course be a ‘transition’ to the new owners, one that will likely see tens of thousands of applications get lost in the system forever. Existing staff will be disposed of, and new staff on lower salaries and insecure contracts will be employed, using the ‘call-centre model’.

You can be sure of something else too. Passports and Driving Licences will cost a great deal more than they do now.

If you ever want to know the answer to anything going on in this country, follow the money.

The Oak Trees: The Saga Continues

Many weeks ago, myself and my neighbour arranged for the trimming of the Oak trees on both properties. He has one at the front next to our one, and the large one in our garden at the back overlooks his house and garden. He is a very fair man, and always happy to evenly split the substantial cost of the work every five years. Not only that, he gets estimates, contacts the Tree Officer at the Council, and agrees on a contractor.

So the work started in March as arranged, on the two trees at the front. We moved all our cars off of the driveways, and over three days, the trees were trimmed back heavliy. A job well-done. However, he was unable to start work on the largest tree at the back, as his rope-climber was going to another job. He said he would come back the following week, using a different climber.

He did that, but after twenty minutes at work he told myself and my neighbour that it was too windy, so dangerous to continue. Then he added that he would be unable to complete the job, as he would not be able to get a climber to work for him for some time, and then he had other committments. During a heated debate with myself, Julie, and our next-door neighbour, the contractor was told that if he walked off the job, he would get no pay for the work already done, and would likely be sued for breach of contract. Additionally, his reputation would be ruined on the Facebook forums where he gets most of his recommendations.

Following that acrimonious exchange, he eventually agreed to employ a different climber, and return at the end of April. They are here today and tomorrow, but so far have cut very little off the large Oak at the back. I am left hoping they will just get the job done and we will not have to suffer another stress-inducing argument later today.

My Driving Licence: A Positive Update

The DVLA has still not been in touch, and my licence has not arrived. I have not heard back from my Member of Parliament as yet, so yesterday I decided to email the Norfolk Police and ask for their advice. They replied last night, a great service from our local police force.

It seems I can drive until my new licence arrives, as long as I meet the following conditions.

You have the support of your doctor to continue driving
you had a valid licence
you only drive under the conditions of the previous licence
your application is less than a year old
your last licence wasn’t revoked or refused for medical reasons
you’re not currently disqualified
you weren’t disqualified as a high risk offender on or after 1 June 2013″

I do meet all those conditions, so as of today I am going to drive again. I have a printout of the email to keep in the car, and a note of my DVLA application reference.

Just a pity that I didn’t think to ask the police on the 17th of March.

If anyone who is affected by the DVLA delays reads this, I suggest you do the same thing, and then you will be able to drive legally.


Britain’s Driving Licence Fiasco

As most of you know, I am currently unable to drive, as my expired driving licence has not been renewed by the DVLA. (Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency) This is impacting my daily life, and that of millions of other drivers all across Britain. My friend Antony sent me this video, which was filmed secretly by an undercover reporter for The Times Newspaper. Although mainly of interest to readers in the UK, the sheer scale of the bungling and laziness at the DVLA is staggering to watch on film. I have written to my member of parliament referencing this film, which has been seen by the Minister of Transport. But nothing has been done since he watched it.

Trouble Keeping Up

With the decluttering finally drawing to a close, (Six bags of my old clothes and shoes destined for the Charity Shops) I have had another busy weekend.

Now dinnertime is approaching this Sunday evening. I have had no spare time to write my next serial episode, and the posts of bloggers I follow keep arriving in my inbox.

So, I cannot keep up today.

Bear with me, and I will read and comment on all of your posts eventually.



Book Promotion: The Response

I am delighted to say I have had a great response to the book promotion offer.

To those of you who have contacted me, I say “Thank You”. But please be aware that I will be publishing them in the order received, so there may be a delay until you see your promotional post on here. Though never fear, it will appear!

This is not time-limited, so if you are not quite ready yet, send me the details when you are.

Best wishes, Pete.

Long Day, Late Start On Blogging.

I had a lot to do today, something very rare in the world of beetleypete. Ollie had to be left for almost six hours, which hasn’t happened in over four years.

He was exceptionally pleased to see me when I got back, and received extra treats for being so well-behaved on his own.

Anyway, the point of this short post is to apologise for any late replies to comments or messages, and to let you know that any posts I have missed will be caught up with tomorrow.

I am still around for a while this evening, but by my standards, I will be having an early night.

New computer

The new PC tower has just arrived.

I am going to devote tomorrow to setting it up. I just realised how many other things I need to do. All the passwords to everything that are automatically saved on here. Bookmarked sites, and favourites too. And the various programmes like antivirus I already have set up on this one. Been writing down a lot of stuff in a notebook, and have also backed up the photos and documents onto a portable hard drive.

Fingers crossed I don’t end up throwing it through the window!

If I am not around for a while after today, you will know why.

(And of course, this old PC has decided to work perfectly well now!)