My love and thoughts go out to my family as they battle with the awful situation that faces them. My brother's son Patrick is still missing after 10 days.
Visit the facebook page:
I should be there. TV reports show my brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces, out with posters and clipboards asking questions of the public, and I feel I should be helping.
Yesterday I spoke to my brother for the first time since Pat went missing. He said the amount of use I'd be would be small compared to the effort involved in travelling and having to find transport and accommodation. He's right. Also, his daughter Zoe has been incredible in her perseverance, tenacity and technical skill. She has caused the police investigation to proceed faster than it otherwise would. The investigation would not benefit greatly by my involvement.
But at times like these, just being there feels like the thing to do. Humans gather together in times of crisis: we coalesce, mercury-like, forming something stronger than the sum of its parts. Seeing my family on camera acting as a unified group made me proud. I'm sure I was the only one who wondered why I wasn't there too.
I've been immobile for a week with influenza , incapable of walking to the local shops and wrestling with an almost permanent fever. Antibiotics have finally got to grips with it and yesterday I began to feel human again. I would have been more a liability than an asset, even if I'd made it there in the first place.
In the end, I get a glimpse of what it must be like over there at the moment: Frustration at wanting to do something that will have some magic result, while knowing that there is no wand that can be waved -- wanting to be in the right place, and not knowing where that place is. Endless hope and the belief that there will be a happy ending is what drives them all to keep looking and, for my part, I can at least be involved in that. I'm thinking positive thoughts, and I've made a donation to the fund that's helping them stay in the area and keep Patrick fresh in people's minds.
I shall be heading to England soon. Let's shake off the flu and let the dust settle on Christmas and New Year, then transport and accommodation might be easier.
I have kids too. And Grandchildren. This situation has made me think about my long-term goals and I think my globe-trotting days are over. Time to go back to England and see the family more often. I have taken on the apartment for 2015, and during next near I shall make my plans to get back from my 16 years of exile. I don't know how yet, but I think that writing and selling books is where is should begin.
Here's to a new year.
Moving with my dog to Slovenia.