Clare Teal: Playing the waiting game on the road to San Diego

You may recall from last week's gripping episode that we've been having a spot of bother getting our San Diego work visas through.

Last Thursday morning, at eight, Simon, Benny and myself had to go the US embassy, in London, for an interview as part of the visa application. Providing you fulfil all the criteria, you then leave your passport at the embassy for the visa to be printed in it – said passport is then sent back in the post.

The whole process takes between three and ten working days, which is fine but we only have two working days before we are due to fly.

As everyone else on the planet's interview is also at 8am, queuing can start quite early. As such, it was imperative we were at the very front; the embassy told us not to arrive before 7.30am. We settled on 7am.

Benny was first on the scene and would have been in pole position had he not stood in the wrong place for 10 minutes.

Such is the high level of security, you can't take mobiles, computers or electronic car key fobs into the embassy, so we gave all our stuff to Muddy; unlike the chap in front of us who was sent away with his mobile to a chemist up the road that had lockers.

Thankfully, the Americans were very understanding of our plight and promised to do everything they could to expediate the application, but couldn't guarantee the passports would be back in time to make our non-transferable flights.

Pianist Grant went home to Australia for Christmas and so had to have his interview in Perth. Thankfully, he got his passport back within 48 hours, if he hadn't, not only would he have missed his flight to the US but also his return flight home to the UK.

By some miracle, we got the joyous news that our passports had been delivered safe to our lawyer at six last night. So here we are, stuck in traffic, on our way to Heathrow. It may not surprise you to know that after all the stress we left an extra two hours early – just in case.

I think our hero was looking forward to having the flat to himself for a few weeks – he was thrilled when we told him his Aunty was coming to stay to help look after the goldfish.