The Crisis of the Invisible Prints

The Crisis of the Invisible Prints
London, United Kingdom

London, United Kingdom


“You could be a criminal”, said the woman behind the counter at the Russian Visa Application Centre brightly.

I had been stood in front of her and a number of her colleagues for over half an hour, trying desperately to comply with the recent requirement to provide fingerprints alongside visa documentation for entry into Russia.

It turns out I just don’t have recognisable prints: years of email-writing and guitar-playing have evidently worn down the skin on my fingertips (or ‘pillows’ as I now know the Russians call them) to an illegible sheen.

1. I tried drying my hands.
2. I tried using hand sanitizer.
3. I tried standing on one leg and singing the Russian national anthem very passionately.

All to no avail!

Any suggestions as to how I could turn this new found lack of fingerprints to my advantage in day-to-day life are very welcome!

In the meantime, they have sent my visa application off with a covering note confirming for what it’s worth that I am definitely a person who has fingers, albeit uncapturable ones.

I’d cross my fingers during this nervous wait to discover whether I can make the train journey across Russia that was the original inspiration for my trip. But I’d just probably make matters worse.


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Hello World!

Hello World!
Witney, United Kingdom

Witney, United Kingdom


My ambitions, aged ten and a half (click on the image to enlarge): Arguably the closest I have been to achieving any of these to date was a cruel defeat in the final of the Small Schools 8’s a few months after this was written back in 1995. Unbelievable; one of their goals was miles offside. Anyway. Let’s not get into all that now. The point is that starting on 27th April 2015, more or less two decades on, I will be attempting a variation on the theme of ambition number three: I will cross Europe, Russia, Mongolia, China and SE Asia & Australia by train. Somewhere along the way I hope to earn enough to come home via Latin America, the US and Canada. This account of my journey will serve 2 main purposes: 1) Keep family, friends and any other interested parties updated 2) Keep a permanent record of my adventures Check back for more updates soon!


Look out world!

My ambitions, aged 10.5:

wimg.1.copy.a-m-bitions

Ok they are my ‘Abitions’ but whatever.

The closest I have been to achieving any of these to date was a cruel defeat in the final of the Small Schools 8’s a few months after this was written back in 1995. Unbelievable; one of their goals was miles offside.

Starting on 27th April 2015, more or less two decades on, I will be attempting a variation on the theme of ambition number three:

I will cross Europe, Russia, Mongolia, China and SE Asia & Australia by train. I hope to earn enough along the way to come home via Latin America, the US and Canada.

This account of my journey will serve 2 main purposes:

1) Keep family, friends and any other interested parties updated
2) Keep a permanent record of my adventures

Check back for more updates soon!