My dad has just been told that, after much searching, the record of his previous passport (last used in 1976) cannot be found and he must therefore apply for a first adult passport. They were at pains to let him know that he could get one in two weeks if he went to Liverpool immediately...but that is useless since they had flights booked for Sunday. The killer thing is, had they not spent so long on the fruitless search (they first rang him to ask which name he used two weeks ago), this two-week thingy would have been useful.
As it is, my parents won't be going abroad for the first time in 36 years. They're all stoic and phlegmatic, but I'm raging.