I had just reached the head of the queue when the official stepped back and announced that all services would be closed for an hour while passport office staff took a break for lunch. All the equipment on his desk was within easy reach and I seriously considered stamping my own documents. Sensibly, however, I wandered outside to amuse myself for the next sixty minutes.
An old man along the path invited me over for a ‘hug’. I politely declined and instead approached another man man who was sheltering under a white tarpaulin with a huge golden retriever dog. He told me that he was researching the early history of the Royal Dick School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh. He would be delighted to share with me his archive of photos from the 1950s and 1960s so that I check for pictures of my father amongst them.