It's probably a good thing I'm fairly used to chaos, and also that we didn't actually need to fly anywhere in a hurry.
It took me four goes to get the kids' passports renewed (and this isn't even mentioning the chaos and confusion trying to tee up with my friend who agreed to be their guarantor). Fortunately the post office I was using is less than 10min drive from my place and the lady who processes the applications is very good-natured and patient.
As per usual, it ate my art time. I did manage to finally get all the primaries done.