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Ghandi

There come to us moments in life when about some things we need no proof from without. A little voice within us tells us, 'You are on the right track, move neither to your left nor right, but keep to the straight and narrow way.

A person falsely claiming to act under divine inspiration or the promptings of the inner voice without having any such, will fare worse than the one falsely claiming to act under the authority of an earthly sovereign. Whereas the latter on being exposed will escape with injury to his body, the former may perish body and soul together.

You have to believe no one but yourselves. You must try to listen to the inner voice, but if you will not have the expression"inner voice", you may use the expression "dictates of reason", which you should obey, and if you will not parade God, I have no doubt you will parade something else which in the end will prove to be God, for, fortunately, there is no one and nothing else but God in this universe.

For me truth is the sovereign principle, which includes numerous other principles. This truth is not only truthfulness in word, but truthfulness in thought also, and not only the relative truth of our conception, but the Absolute Truth, the Eternal Principle, that is God. There are innumerable definitions of God, because His manifestations are innumerable. They overwhelm me with wonder and awe and for a moment stun me.









DonInLondon Life

Don In London
Progress Not Perfection



DonInLondon London Times August 5
London 'Local' Times 2007

DonInLondon - Journeyman - Listener
Writer & Commentator on Life



August 2007
copyright© don oddy

Publish August 5 2005

DonInLondon - August 4 2007 ‘Day In The Life’ Gentle Persuasion

And not my Humbuggery!

A lovely summer day today. Probably the best one of the year. And plenty of people about baking in the hot weather. And I am still struggling with my computer updates and Microsoft. Its not anyone’s fault I guess but some things elude me computer wise. And making things work can be so difficult when we are ignorant.

Ignorance these days is not bliss for me.

I have been picking over the programme and fellowship of AA, and realise in a perfect world, everyone who comes to AA will find sobriety, feel better physically, find emotional well being and this elusive spiritual element to living. Ah but we are humans and we are far from perfect!

So some are disappointed with AA. As I was for a long while. I never got the chance to detox myself for years as the fellowship suggested, and I was quite mad in addiction and obsession. Today I realise some ways to sobriety suit some and others never really want to give up drink ever. And I guess I could not feel right with the notion of a lifetime without another drink or two…

Eventually as life became more and more difficult, the illness, the times to hospital, the broken limbs, the forever worry of being found out took their toll. And beaten down to nothing, I had a rock bottom as bad can be and then asked for help.

Help came from the NHS, Charity organisations and AA. And so the story involves not just AA for me, as I needed medical supervision in the darkest of days. And as time went along and I went along to AA, I realised even after having been thoroughly tested to near destruction, that I needed AA and all it had to offer.

What does AA Offer?

It has suggestions, people who are long sober, people with less than minutes sober and a some suggestions we might sample as if we were choosy and had any choices left.

Inside me, a mind still mad with obsession realised the only way to get three things required as much time to sort as my drinking time every day.

Three elements work together to make a strong foundation of sober living just for a day. That is physical, emotional and this thing called spiritual well being. To get these things sorted in my own noodle, well it would not happen all at once.

Someone suggested doing ninety meetings in ninety days. That got me to a physical place of less torture. So physically I broke the dependence on alcohol. Emotions were as mad as ever and my head felt like exploding every day and drink always beckoned.

Feelings come back and madness of our situation can make us feel absolutely horrified and not knowing where to turn or go, we have to face life again. We forget so easily that we have a disease of the mind as well as the body. And where AA takes us after ninety days really does depend on how we go along and get some help and listen, absorb some wisdom and try to keep sober a day at a time.

Physical

We get cleaned and detoxed reasonably in ninety days, which in itself can feel like a hundred years. And we feel raw inside and out.

Emotional

As we get our feelings back we don’t get to choose the nice ones to have, we them all back. From love to hate, from guilt to innocence, to argumentative to compliant. We get everything running round in our heads.

We need to keep faith and courage going, or even fear and ego, as long as we keep sober each day.

Spiritual

The third strand which gets us strong, its simply getting to the truth of us and why we are the way we are.

Spiritual is a questionable state of being, with some luck and application and have a go at being truthful and honest, some magic starts to happen, well feel better!

AA’s twelve steps, merely suggestions and not instructions, and much overworked sometimes. After all we have a lifetime to learn the steps and see how they can work in our living. So suggesting small steps and learning seems to be my key. And then learning more as time goes along.

Time

We need only ever work to one day at a time with sobriety. It is a crucial key to sober living. Lots of things may take planning and organising, but sober is just for today.

Tonight

A great meeting, and I was a bit too over the top. About how we are able to suggest and not be dictated to by others with their own agendas and notions of sobriety.

Fellowship

Everyone is different, unique and authentic, and yet we are all similar in this disease. We need make choices which suit us and keep us safe by the day. And we can build routines which help us find the courage and faith in fellowship and friendship.

Mentors and Sponsors

We have them and we utilise and share and make our path more easy in good company. Beware though of being bamboozled and feeling less than others if we are still learning life whatever our age may be. We need find our own path and way to live. We are all equal and need remember this as we feel more safe in fellowship. We are as good as the day, and people are as good as they may be with life going on. And the steps do work as far as I am able to judge for believers in god and agnostics and also for the less than clued in like me, who still have no understanding of God today. Except of course I am not God! We can still be in a state of grace regardless, as we need be taught God? Or we would have no notion that a God existed! After all if we were marooned on an island from an early age however would we know? Questions I have no answers to, but its good to ask and debate to while away the time if we are stuck for something to do.

And we do get busy as we get sober as we have an enormous gap to fill where booze once was..

Life Happens ..

And death, and other illness, and life circumstance get worse or better. We get to live on life’s terms, real and raw. And sometimes we need every ounce of fellowship and friendship as we face harder times and also in good times where temptation offers us opportunity to do more drinking and research which we know can kills us one way or another.

So there we are a few things to reflect upon in my head tonight. I guess I felt hot headed and realise I may have been a little more forthright about how to live and make life work. Not my way, hopefully your way.

I am a free spirit and more so today, without drink. My incapacities in other ways are pretty difficult, but what makes life work is wisdom gained and utilised. Experiencing life as is, with truth and with gratitude and humility.

Although tonight I felt I was less humble and more humbug!

We can all find a high horse to sit on, and humbugger away at whatever life is in any day.

I am glad I have a humbuggers head tonight, and with some reflection I may find a more even and level outlook in the morning..

A good day in many ways, and gently into this goodnight I go…




August 5th 2006 [Olden Times]


Back Then

Let Me Lose My revisionists Eye and Accept

Back then I had little gift of hindsight. It was the best of times and the bleakest of times. Growing up with every advantage given me by nature and family. And every disadvantage of nurture and family. For we come with both, that plus of gifts and that deficit of voids.

One of my best gifts, the gift of intellect and enough wits to make me see the truth of most of living. That wonderful insight into my life, well to an extent my own life. And as sure as I can be, an insight to undo the puzzles of most others lives and what they were about.

As to me, there was a deficit in my maturity and gifts. I was for a long time a small player in the emotions of living. I had experience of love and loving and it made me adept, and completely useless in some respects. Deep loving capacity and by this I mean all three levels, emotional, physical and spiritual. That deep loving facility, that got me most of everything I may have needed to sustain a happy individual. I know, as back then I had no real clue, I was imbued with great fears of love and loving, for the examples and the experience of deep love seemed to carry to danger of inevitable pain and burdens placed on the lover. And worse, the infliction of hurt so deep it made insides churn and wither as if poisoned and constricted to death. Those pains in early years always there. The knowledge of burning and loss and let down was inevitable, it had happened so often the harshness wore me out before I got going as an adult in love.

Back then, the idealist and the lover rolled into one. So scared to be in love and more scared not, and to be missing love. Needing inclusion and not sure what to make of it once included, love was deep and deeper and more meaningful in my minds eye than reality, where love grows with time and understanding. Where love is learned and authentic in its experience and never an ideal which clicks into place as if its another thing we add to our living and being. Love desired, wanted and needed and never understood beyond yearning and passion, so gifted the idealist withers inevitably as patience wanes and lovers come and go.

Back then…

So it seems we get our patterns and learning and as we are nearest to our experience we don’t see our true selves. The mirror we look into in those times is always tempered by everything we have learned to that moment and over ridden by our true self and ego’s drift. And that drift of Ego’s touch, makes it hard to reflect on truth. The truth of who and what we are.

Back then.

So gifted, with all the tools of insightful muse and emotions running deep as any current in that ocean of loving. Rip tides tearing chunks of me and lost to heartfelt miseries as lovers tumbled in and out of my life. "Mea culpa" strikes a chord as if it matters and it does. For my judgment is harsh on matters of my heart and its incomplete state. I recognise too well these days with hindsight’s clues, the wreckage wrought as damage done was never seen, and denied if ever close enough to feel the pain I inflicted, back then.

And I am truly sorry for those times of deepest will and wondrous loves lost to time. In truth lovers came and went and my heart broke again and again, as my boundaries of loving made me let go when I might have held on or heard the clues to more balanced loves along my path. And yet the greed of living and ego’s drift put paid to much of that.

As we face our truth, we get good with denial and all its hard facts pushed under a realm of dark. That dark of night, that empty feeling we have kept as friend through long years where "culpa" put to you was made my chore and ragged heart left blame elsewhere. The ragged heart repairs and sees more clearly in that mirror now. And reflections let me see how hard times made me so, and you too. As if it were one way, not so, a two way street we walk to that touch of "culpa" in us all.

And as we pick and tease our cause and make our history look this way or that, we know we were there too and the mirror knows, we see more faces than our own, and ownership is never one’s exclusive take on life of how we were back then…

Beware we don’t make the history just reflect the history we can make our own with hindsight’s clever eye. And when we write our history, we might include all elements we have, to include if the picture tells our story as a fiction or reality, as ego's drift finds exclusions to our elements back then.

It matters not as clever alchemy will provide our necessary elements to living now. Our formula to progress some more its always tainted with a whole lot more. And experience is teaching, the truth as was is lost to time, we abrogate and make our way, to making good this day.
Back then and now..

And now from backward times we live, with all our elements in place, the alchemist in us makes good our selves as knowledge makes our rhetoric speak as if we have the answers in our mind. Back then may show the way we learned and made the best of all we had. And found ourselves with time to grow and make another way of living with our love and all we are. Not quite as we might see in that mirror of our soul. We chop and change and add and wonder why, as when we go looking for answer deep inside, and find additions from our life were not all we might perceive from those times to now.

Revisions made, and acceptance sought, we know the truth is lost to time. And ego’s drift comes around as much as ever in our styles of now. And ego holds its sway as we make sense of living now and always. Ego has its part to play, back then an now. And we might find with enough truth learned to keep our drift to ego’s heights, and look with calmer moments as our mind reflects on all truths in us. And sees our culpability is best, so we learn and make amends to help us move along.

And in this step of living, we need be clear, that we never will replicate the truth of what we felt back then, and truth is lost to hindsight’s touch and wisdom interferes with visions and our dreams of back then and now
as bleakest moments tell, its gone forever and we start again.
So when we hear the truth, we need accept all versions as we call them in.
Informed so, with all benefits of hindsight given and our emotion and spiritual movements where they go…
Our picture clears to pin point clarity, and still we find our memories dictate, denials grow and passions ire is raised unless we let it go. As knowing offers nothing more than ever learned when it happened, back then.
The answers are clear as if it takes a master to work them out, we need only realise that time has gone and only partial stories will come out. And sift enough to find our part, and own our outlook as we were. Our selective truth provides enough of alchemy to make it work today. And allow our wounded spirits time to make a moment work again and see our part as truly as we can, and so give credibility to our cause to grow from what we were back then.

Now we see from times past and those heady mixtures we were made to be, that we were never perfect then and not so now, as we come to see, the mysteries become as big and bigger as we go along. Perfection is never the key..

Progress not perfection, it’s a fact. And now as time has come to close this part of life. Well I know the one I knew back then, in me was never close to perfect anything. And ego’s drift will always aids the broken heart in me. So repairs are made to life and mirrors polished as if they will ever reflect the real truth of then or now?

That sorry intellect is as if nothing learned, we may as well never see. Its what’s inside us we need feel to get to where we will understand this alchemy of living has no construction.

There is no recipe we can make, we cannot hold our alchemy to work our mixture and make us whole. We need only live our life as open as we can and let our feelings grow to see as nature gave the pattern of living, and nurture made us move away.

And nature will have made its perfect sense when alchemy is left alone. Our alchemy from ego’s drift predicts nothing of our spiritual path, and emotional growth is garnered from our living.

Repeat our patterns as nurture makes our will dictate, unravels fastest when we relate and make good on our living in the day, without the will to make it our way, or yours or both or anything more than as it is today.
Now and then..
Now and then as ego’s drift will take us to our living testament writ large with our revisionists eye, and then to our confidence we might turn and offer up a prayer to good conscience with watchful providence:
Acceptance is the key

"And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation -- some fact of my life -- unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.

Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in our world by mistake. Until I could accept my humanity, I could not be complete in living; unless I accept life completely on life's terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes"

So much we place in rhetoric and see with keen revisions made our part as our fault to find is mostly found as "mea culpa" we can cry. And cry no more for times gone by.

A prayer or meditation to good conscience

"grant me the serenity, to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference"
Just for today and every day.

Copyright © Don Oddy

-/-





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Be Tolerant

You have the power to tolerate anyone and any situation. But tolerance is not just suffering in silence.

It means going beyond any personal discomfort you may feel, and giving a gift to whom ever you would tolerate. Give your time, attention, understanding, compassion, care - all are gifts, which paradoxically, you also receive in the process of giving.

And, as you do, you will experience your own self esteem and inner strength grow. In this way you can turn tolerance into strength.






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"The Big Issue"

The Big Issue Foundation's core ethos is self help. We offer support to homeless and socially excluded people who seek to gain control of their lives and help them move off the streets and into a home and a job.We work with over 2000 vendors across the UK, supporting them with a diverse program of opportunities either delivered through our own services or in partnership with specialist agencies. Each new vendor has a Needs Assessment, and from this an individual action plan is set, which is monitored in supervision sessions with support staff.





Be Tolerant

You have the power to tolerate anyone and any situation. But tolerance is not just suffering in silence.

It means going beyond any personal discomfort you may feel, and giving a gift to whom ever you would tolerate. Give your time, attention, understanding, compassion, care - all are gifts, which paradoxically, you also receive in the process of giving.

And, as you do, you will experience your own self esteem and inner strength grow. In this way you can turn tolerance into strength.






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DonInLondon London Times 'World' News August 5 2007


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'I could feel the breeze as the bullets went by' August 5 2007




In the heat of the Helmand valley, the young men of the Royal Anglian Regiment face attacks from Taliban fighters almost daily. This gripping report supplies

a vivid insight into survival on Afghanistan's front line

Mark Townsend in Sangin

Sunday August 5, 2007

The Observer

He was pinned down by Taliban fire for five minutes, his body smothered in masonry as rocket propelled grenades thumped into the wall behind. Private Meighan

Kenny escaped. He always does. Sixteen times he has been shot at by Taliban fighters since arriving in Helmand last April. He has led men through scores of

Taliban compounds. Within their murky maze of antechambers he has often, quite literally, bumped into the enemy.

Kenny turns 21 in three weeks. 'I'll get there, don't you worry,' he grins, blue eyes squinting against the searing heat of another afternoon in Afghanistan.
Kenny's experiences are not unique in a campaign marked by ferocious fire-fights in brutal conditions. This is the story of a week spent on the front line

with young soldiers who daily share death, scorching heat and the laughter and banter of mates.

In the British army's forward operating base at Sangin, every soldier from the 1st Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment has a tale to tell. Teenagers

describe the high-pitched whistle bullets make as they fizz past the face. Rocket propelled grenades make a 'strange hiss'.

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Times OnLine August 5 2007


Virus lab behind foot and mouth outbreak August 5 2007




Fears as three herds are culledAlan Schofield, Jonathan Leake and Robert Booth

A SCIENCE laboratory that develops vaccines for the government was last night identified as the suspected source of Britain’s latest outbreak of foot and mouth disease.

Merial SAS, a private research firm, agreed to suspend production of a strain of the foot and mouth virus that it had been using to produce vaccines.

It is based just three miles from the fields where the outbreak was first detected. So far it has led to the culling of at least three herds.

The company’s production plant is next to the Institute for Animal Health, a government laboratory at Pirbright, near Guildford in Surrey.

Scientists at Merial have admitted to vets from Defra, the environment and farming ministry, that they had recently produced a batch of vaccines using the same strain as that found in the cattle — 01 BFS67, isolated in a 1967 outbreak of the disease in Britain. Government investigators have not yet established how the virus might have infected the cattle.

Exports of cattle, sheep and pigs are banned and their movement has been stopped nationwide. A 3km protection zone has been set up in which all animals are subject to vets’ inspection. There is also a 10km surveillance zone.

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Independent OnLine 'Indy' News August 5 2007


Kate McCann: My Story August 5 2007



Kate McCann: My Story

::: What really happened the night Madeleine vanished

::: Why her last words to me mean so much

::: How my twins are coping without their big sister

Published: 05 August 2007

On Saturday, it will be 100 days since Madeleine McCann was snatched from the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz. Interviewed for the first time without her husband, Madeleine's mother tells Lori Campbell about the criticism they have faced, the support they have received and how she and her family have coped since that dreadful night

The one thing I have always been definite about is that I wanted to be a mother. Then when we were trying for a baby and it wasn't happening, it was really hard. The longer it went on, the harder it was. I saw my friends having children and I was really delighted for them, but it made me feel sad too.

We tried unsuccessfully for several years to conceive. There came a point when we admitted we needed help. I was so desperate to have a child I'd try anything. I know IVF isn't everyone's choice, but I wanted to try it. By that stage I was happy to start the treatment because it was taking the pressure off us a bit. We had one unsuccessful attempt before Madeleine, and that was very hard. But when I got pregnant with Madeleine it was just fantastic. It didn't seem true. I did a test at home so I could handle the result if it wasn't good. I was looking at it thinking 'I don't believe that'. Then I went to the hospital and they checked it. I was really excited.

Madeleine's birth

Once we were past 12 weeks we were telling everyone. I swam every day until the day she was born to keep us both healthy. It was a really uncomplicated pregnancy. I had no sickness, nothing. It was so easy. I didn't know I was having a girl until she was born. [She smiles] There she was, perfect. She was lovely. She had the most beautiful face. I'd thought I was going to have a boy, just based on instinct. That actually made it even more special that she was a girl.

The first five or six months were really difficult. She had very bad colic and cried about 18 hours a day. She had to be picked up all the time. So I spent many a day dancing round the living room holding Madeleine. I remember trying to butter my toast with one hand and holding her in the other. We would watch the clock and Gerry would come home and there would be three of us. Sometimes she just looked so sad with colic, and the three of us would be cuddled together trying to get her through it. Like a lot of things, you go through that difficult, bad stage and it tightens that bond. We've both got an incredible bond with Madeleine.

The twins are born

When the twins were born she was amazing, I keep saying that, but she was. She was only 20 months old. She just handled it so well. She was still a baby herself ... [Kate's voice breaks and she has to pause to stop herself crying] I'll try not to get emotional at this point. I just remember when they were born. I'm going to get a bit upset now, sorry. When the time came to bring Madeleine in, it was in the evening. She came in and ... just her little face. When she saw the twins for the first time it was lovely. It was so nice, this expression. She sat on the end of my bed.

We had the odd moment of course, such as when I was breast-feeding the twins. There was a tired Madeleine walking about the room wanting attention. But she was remarkable the way she coped with it all. She would look at me and say 'hold it, hold it,' meaning she wanted to hold one of the babies."

Holiday in Portugal

She was so excited about coming to Portugal. She was holding on to another girl's hand walking up the stairs to the plane. She was no trouble on the flight, always chatting, and colouring in or reading.

The kids had a fantastic time. We all did, but it was lovely seeing them having fun. We did use the kids' club and very often did activities there. Madeleine in particular had a ball. They did swimming, went on a little boat, went to the beach, did lots of colouring in and face painting. Madeleine is at the age where she could really enjoy it.

They played tennis, which she loved, she was so happy. They had a little dance prepared for Friday. It was a little presentation they were working on in the days before. I don't know what it was, I never got to see it ...

On the evening she went missing, before she went to bed, she said, 'Mummy I've had the best day ever. I'm having lots and lots of fun.' [Pause]

That night

The night she went missing there was about 20 seconds of disbelief where I thought 'that can't be right'. I was checking for her. Then there was panic and fear. That was the first thing that hit. I was screaming her name. I ran to the group. Everyone was the same. It was just total fear. I never thought for one second that she'd walked out. I knew someone had been in the apartment because of the way it had been left.

But I knew she wouldn't do that anyway. There wasn't a shadow of a doubt in my mind she'd been taken. That's why the fear set in. Then you go through the guilt phase. Straight away, because we didn't know what had happened. We were just so desperately sorry. Every hour now, I still question, 'why did I think that was safe?'

I can't describe how much I love Madeleine. If I'd had to think for one second, 'should we have dinner and leave them?' I wouldn't have done it. It didn't happen like that. I didn't have to think for a second, that's how safe I felt.

Maybe it was because it was family-friendly, because it felt so safe. That week we had left them alone while we had dinner. There is no way on this planet I would take a risk, no matter how small, with my children. I do say to myself 'why did I think it was safe?' But it did feel safe and so right. I love her and I'm a totally responsible parent and that's the only thing that keeps me going. I have no doubt about that.

You don't expect a predator to break in and take your daughter out the bed. It could have happened under other circumstances and there would still be the regret. It wasn't like a decision we made. It was a matter of 'let's get the kids to sleep, then we'll have dinner.' It wasn't a 'shall I, shan't I?' thing. I feel desperately sorry to her that we weren't there.

This has touched so many people. I've had so many letters from mothers, really kind words. People have said 'Kate, we've done this a hundred times over ourselves. Why would you for one minute think something like that would happen?' It's not like we went down town or anything.

How did it happen?

People have said to me you're the unluckiest person in the world, and we are. That night runs over and over in my mind, and I'm sure people will learn from our mistake, if you want to call it that. But it is important not to lose sight of the fact we haven't committed a crime. Somebody has. Somebody's been there, somebody's been watching. They took our daughter away and we can't lose sight of that.

There are still moments where I think 'how did that happen?' You can't imagine in your wildest dreams that anyone would do something like that. It's awful for us but I have absolutely no idea what Madeleine's feeling. [She pauses to hold back tears] How can someone do that to a child?

When we moved apartments we unpacked some of Madeleine's things. We don't have a room for her set out or anything. I've kept her clothes together. She has lots of presents to open that people have sent. Mostly people who don't know her, and pictures other children have drawn.

The twins know she's not there and they do miss her. But on a day-to-day basis they are happy. They're lovely, like a little double act, they're so funny. They put their little rucksacks on, hold hands and walk off around the room. They're fantastic.

The twins' reaction

Their vocabulary has come on so much since we've been here. The older they get the more it stretches, and there are areas we're going to have to broach. But we'll let them take the lead. They talk about Madeleine's things and if they get a biscuit they say 'one for Sean, one for Amelie, one for Madeleine'.

There are photographs of Madeleine all around and they comment on them. They've got a lot of love and protection. We've taken professional advice just to check we're doing the right thing by them. We have contact with a child psychologist when we need it.

When we went back to the UK for a family baptism there was an empty seat on the plane and Sean said 'that's Madeleine's seat'. That caught me. Because I wasn't going home, it didn't feel too bad leaving. It was important for me to go. The hardest thing wasn't being in the UK, it was to be with such a close family and for Madeleine not to be there. I knew how much she'd have loved to be there ... Despite her small size she just has this huge presence. She brings a lot of joy.

Amelie asked me afterwards, 'Where's Madeleine? I miss my big sister.' I don't know where that question came from, it could have been because it was a family day. She's obviously made that connection, she knows Madeleine's her big sister. Amelie will sometimes point at the Cuddle Cat [Madeleine's cuddly toy] and say 'Madeleine. Her Cuddle Cat. Looking after it.' She's probably heard me saying that.

Sean said something the other day about Madeleine. It catches me. Then they do whatever they're doing, like 'look at this Noddy', and they're on to something else. It's not dwelled on.

Gerry's reaction

Gerry's way of coping is to keep busy and focused. He needs to feel like he's doing something. He's a very optimistic, positive person. I'm not always. With a lot of the campaign stuff, he has done the talking. Sometimes I want to speak, but I just can't. It's not natural for me. Gerry's used to having to speak at conferences and it's harder for me. But I'm equally involved. Every decision is mutual.

When Gerry went to Washington, he rang me three or four times a day to ask me what I thought. Although I wasn't there in person I knew hour by hour what was happening. We knew it was a positive visit. It wasn't about Madeleine in particular. We've learnt a lot and become aware of the bigger issue.

Other missing children

There are so many missing children out there, abducted children and sexually exploited children. Once you know all that you can't turn a blind eye to it. Madeleine is our priority, but we have to help. We can't just ignore those other children.

I don't know why the publicity's been so massive. We're normal people. We don't have amazing contacts or anything, we just have strong friends. Everyone brainstormed and became very creative. They did what they could and if that meant asking well-known faces, celebrities, it was done. They are normal people too. They wanted to help.

I still have moments of panic and fear. It's not as intense and unrelenting as the first five days. Now, obviously, we have hope and it's important to hold on to that. I do go back to those dark moments. It would be abnormal never to touch on them. I do feel panic and fear when I'm thinking about her, but it doesn't help. I'm not helping Madeleine by going there. It's important to channel those emotions into something positive.

Returning home

But I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to go back into our family home. I can't bear the thought of it. We'd lived in that house for a year and it was a really happy family home. We have so many happy memories in that house. Madeleine's room is shocking pink. She chose the colour.

Obviously things change as the weeks and months go by. We haven't got the pressure of Sean and Amelie starting school or anything. At the moment we're staying and we feel happier staying. We are closer to the investigation. Some of that might be mad, I don't know. We don't know where Madeleine is, we don't think she's in the UK but there's nothing to say she's any further from there than she is from here. It's a gut feeling. I'm aware there's probably things that would be easier at home, but at the moment this is the right thing for us.

And it's hard to think about work. I'm not looking too far ahead, but I can't drop the campaign, I know that. I can't turn a blind eye to it. We'll do whatever we can, working with other organisations, to try to make a difference. It's so hard not to get involved, it's so intimate to us now that we can't ignore it. It's not like I go round in a bubble, but I honestly did not realise the scale of this problem, children suffering like this.

The public's reaction

The criticism from the public is hurtful. I hate publicity, interviews, anything like that. I just hate it. When things have happened in the past to children I've wondered 'how do you get through that, how can you even live another day?' Then here we were doing press conferences. You just don't know until you're in that situation. Like this morning: how did I get in the shower, have my breakfast?

I just go through the motions. Any parent would do anything they could for their child. We're just doing what we feel is the best thing for Madeleine. Some people say the publicity will be harmful, that she'll be hidden away because of it. But what can you do, just sit and do nothing? It's difficult. It's awkward. But it's not about me, it's not about Gerry, it's about Madeleine.

As a couple, I think we're stronger than ever. We've got an equal partnership. We don't row, we've never rowed. We have different strengths and have reached different stages at different points but we help each other. We haven't talked about staying here for ever, we're just not looking that far ahead. We've had so much support, mothers can empathise with me. Speaking now, on my own, is a way of saying thank you. They've given a bit of themselves to me.

[Next Saturday will mark 100 days since Madeleine's disappearance] I'm still hoping we're not going to get there. Every day I'm hoping we won't get to the next day without her. But we have to keep going for Madeleine.

If I could say one thing to comfort her it's that we love her. She knows we love her very much. She knows we're looking for her, that we're doing absolutely everything and we'll never give up.

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There come to us moments in life when about some things we need no proof from without. A little voice within us tells us, 'You are on the right track, move neither to your left nor right, but keep to the straight and narrow way.

A person falsely claiming to act under divine inspiration or the promptings of the inner voice without having any such, will fare worse than the one falsely claiming to act under the authority of an earthly sovereign. Whereas the latter on being exposed will escape with injury to his body, the former may perish body and soul together.

You have to believe no one but yourselves. You must try to listen to the inner voice, but if you will not have the expression"inner voice", you may use the expression "dictates of reason", which you should obey, and if you will not parade God, I have no doubt you will parade something else which in the end will prove to be God, for, fortunately, there is no one and nothing else but God in this universe.

For me truth is the sovereign principle, which includes numerous other principles. This truth is not only truthfulness in word, but truthfulness in thought also, and not only the relative truth of our conception, but the Absolute Truth, the Eternal Principle, that is God. There are innumerable definitions of God, because His manifestations are innumerable. They overwhelm me with wonder and awe and for a moment stun me.




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