Lying in the Sun

British Summer Madness

British Summer Madness


More often than not – ‘A wash out’ is how the great British Summer is described, and a ‘wash out’ is more often than not a pretty accurate description.  Stores never short of raincoats and wellies (or willies as my spell checker insists on changing my type to) their stock not having to change too much season to season, though woolly hats, gloves, long johns and all things thermal all things which keep us warm, cosy on cold snowy days admittedly are cleared from shelves.   Though should an odd one or two escape the clearing system and remain there during summer season gathering dust, not an eyelid would be batted by British shoppers!

 ‘More sledges required on shop floor please, more sledges to shop floor please.’

The announcement resonated around the store, repeated several times, leaving me in no doubt that either this sunny warm spell was to end imminently, or the sun had taken its toll frazzling British brains, robbing them of their sanity!   Rain, in July, and lots of, to be expected  -  but snow?

Unusually high temperatures in UK this past week, in the high 20’s, wall to wall sunshine, sledges and sun protection cream being purchased together, side by side in the shopping carts.  The only explanation could be – some of us had stayed out in the sun a tad too long! 

Visions of the ‘announcer’ being stretchered off to hospital still ranting of sleighs – ‘three for two’ came to mind. 

‘T. in the Park’ Balado, Kinross’ last year, in terms of weather was a complete wash out.

As this year’s event loomed ever closer, backpacks, wellies, and rain ponchos, ‘concert gear’ was flying off the shelves as is usual at this time.  The purchase of sun protection cream on this occasion, understandable, had not the lovely Sean ‘No need to take your wellies this year’ Batty, Britain’s best loved weatherman, broadcasting from a sun soaked Kinross,ahead of the 20th anniversary ‘T in the Park’ concert, predicted warm sunshine and lots of it, and Sean, Scotland’s finest, never wrong, he who the Scots rely on to dress correctly for whatever the weather might throw at them…

Kids were gearing up for Kinross, preparing for a weekend of summer madness, young ones new to it all, freshers if you like, scrolling through lists on their mobile phones ensuring they had all they would need.  Wellies - check.  Rain poncho - check.  Torch - check.  Tent check. And a few other items which would allow them to enjoy their weekend to the fullest - unmentionables shall we say.

Unmentionables in my day or rather my mother’s being a garment of clothing!

 ‘You can never pack too many unmentionables’ she would say when preparing for our annual summer break.  Back then as a child, never quite knowing, what were these unmentionables she spoke of.  Never asking her either, just confident, that she would get the quantities correct – X number of swimsuits, X number of T. shirts and shorts, and X number of unmentionables.

Queues of  kids full of excitement purchasing and ticking off their list as each item, sledges too,  bleeped, as the bar code was scanned at check-out, as excited as I am sure they were only a few years back, as chubby cheeked youngsters, writing lists for Santa – a sledge perhaps topping that list too.

This weekend was going to be their best ever, the chatter among them told me so, they were definitely going to enjoy it to the fullest, party like they’d never partied before – because ‘before’ two hour birthday parties, Saturday afternoons, local bowling club, clown act, with every kid in the class invited, yes siree even the ones they didn’t like had to have an invite, were to be a thing of the past.  They would speak of ‘this party’  for weeks, nay years to come, that is the parts of it which they would be able to remember, as, as sure as eggs are eggs more than a few beers will be downed, “refreshments” I was soon to learn, transported across the usually rain sodden terrain, the field  which is their campsite, in what are known affectionately by concert goers as ‘beer buggies’ – or to those of us of a certain age – plastic sledges!

Many thanks to the young female, shop assistant who had the patience to explain to this old buddy why in July -  ‘more sledges to shop floor please’ seemed to send only moi into a state of panic and confusion, had me wondering if the time was not right to check-in to the dreaded care home!

Snow even in the UK would have the best of us thinking we were losing our marbles! 

For good measure, and in great graphic detail, she took delight in describing the ‘goings-on’ of concert revelers, not only the use of sleighs, but what goes on behind closed doors, or tent flaps to be more precise.  I did not disappoint her, gasping, if not recoiling as she told her tale.   Once home I had to lie down for a while…just to think of what I would be missing out on!  Boy did her ‘little chat’ bring back a whole host of memories…

While some things in life change, others don’t – sledges may have become beer buggies, unmentionables whatever their form will always be unmentionables, and the young, like my very helpful shop assistant will always believe that us oldies could not possibly have ‘been there, done that’ before them.

Never one to spoil what the young must experience for themselves and in their own way, being a captive audience for the young lady, feigning surprise if not shock and horror, as she intermittently, lowered her voice to explain some ‘unmentionable’ to me, seemed the kindest way… and listening to her did bring more than a smile…the old and the young, not really so many worlds apart as we might think, but still able to at times enlighten the other -  The young lady, did teach this old dog at least one new trick – I might just take up sledging!

This man Donal MacIntyre, a reporter, world traveled – What excuse can he possibly have for not ‘knowing’ for not being reliably informed?  Informed, that is, as to the facts of the Madeleine McCann case.

What would have made this man put in print what he has, without at least checking it out, becoming enlightened?

His world – The Sunday World, where anything can happen!  Not a world where sledges become beer buggies, where a bit of hanky panky goes on beneath a tent canvas when kids dis/arm themselves with unmentionables…


In Donal’s world…

The McCann couple become innocent in the disappearance of their daughter in a case which remains shelved in Portugal, the country where Madeleine vanished without trace.

Un-named persons become kidnappers. 

A childless nameless law abiding couple, who prior to Madeleine’s disappearance was going through necessary legal procedures to adopt a child, magically inherit a vast sum of money and decide –

‘F-ck this legal jargon, for a game of Marbles’ I think we’ll just buy a yacht, hang around Praia da Luz Portugal, Apartment 5A, the Ocean Club, as Gerry and Kate McCann will be bringing along three youngsters for a holiday of a lifetime, one of those holidays from hell if truth be told, where the kids get stuck in a crèche day after day and left in an unlocked apartment night after night. 

Me and the missus can offer these kids, well one of them, so much more than the docs ever could, we won’t ever leave whichever one we choose of the three McCann kids, alone at night for some rich bastard like me to come along and take her/him.    I’ll do a couple of dummy runs at 5A darling, have a look, see which one I’ll kidnap.   Have you any preference, boy/girl?  Saves all that paperwork that those adoptions agencies require!   I think we’ll probably pinch the oldest kid though, the one they say is mouthy, screams a lot, takes after her dad’s side of the family (though that’s debatable could be either or, or both) doesn’t sleep at night, wanders about, the one most likely to give us trouble, give us her tuppenceworth.  In fact, would you like to come along too, make a night of it, we can wait until we hear the McCann kids cry, cause they always cry when they are left alone, and that will give us a reason if we are caught, for being in 5A – 'We went in to comfort the kids.'

Too easy, like taking candy from a baby, snatching the younger sister, the calm happy go lucky kid, the easy going one, who due to the stage in her development is not going to be able to tell anyone, articulate in any great detail,  if asked who she is, who are her parents.   No, despite both kids being physically, almost doubles in appearance, we’ll take the one most likely to get us caught, the one with the coloboma!

And you know how we like to sit on the yacht sipping champagne of an evening one of the joys our inheritance brings, and play a game of cards – the oldest kid, heard she’s been playing a while now, still a bit rusty shuffling the deck (the cards, the cards keep up wife, not scrubbing the deck, shuffling the deck) we’ve got staff now for floor…oops deck cleaning duties, we’re rich now…in fact…I’ll get them to give 5A a going-over when they pick up the kid!  I’ll tell them to open the shutter and window too, allow a bit air in, hasten the drying process, wouldn’t want Gerry slipping on his arse now would we, when he goes to check on his beautiful children, his proud father moment turning into a ‘disaster’ a damp Dettol soaked derriere type disaster!  He wouldn’t think he was such a lucky man then eh?  Big sore bum to go with his big sore hangover and sorely big ego, in the morning! 

But don’t you fret now, he can’t Carter Ruck our cleaners.  Why would it be their fault if Gerry hurt himself when Kate was out dining, knocking back the vino, for the situation he found himself!  She might regret not being there at that moment, the moment his arse hit the tiles…but let’s face it who wouldn’t regret it, we’d pay good dollars to witness such a spectacle…Gerry falling on his fanny or arse, depending on which side of the pond you are...(and think of the forensic opportunities) but it would be no one’s fault but his own!

That’s it settled then, the eldest kid!

Four wheel drive car – check.   Inheritance/pot of cash – check.  Yacht – check.  Dettol, floor mop, and dusting cloth – check.  An, accomplice, two man job– check.   Key to 5A – check. New pack playing cards – check.

Snap’s a good game – uncheck.   Make that ‘Old Maid’ a card game known also as ‘scapegoat’ and I’ve a feeling there’s gonna be a few of those coming up…’ 

Got all that hun?'


So, yes a little taster of what life is like in Donal’s Sunday World – without the aid of unmentionables?

Childless couples so desperate for one of their own, who struggle (?) with the adoption system causing them to resort to kidnap.  Hardly fulfilling their dreams, their desires of raising a child of their own, taking them to the park, to school, birthday parties, to all places where kids meet other kids, kidnapping one that they need to keep below deck!  Telling others of their plans.  They would be real easy to find this couple, their details recorded too with adoption agencies, a simple job for the Met one would think.

Is this why Donal said:

“The Metropolitan Police team has declared that the "new witnesses and new evidence" points to a likelihood that Maddie is alive and is being held captive in a similar vein to the spate of recovered childhood kidnap victims that have been discovered in Austria and in the US.

But that too has its flaws Donal!   Loving childless couples don’t kidnap kids to keep them in the way you describe:

“The McCanns and the Met officers have taken hope from these horrific cases and point most recently to the case of Cleveland monster Ariel Castro (52), who kept three young girls captive for a decade until cries for help from one of his victims, Amanda Berry, revealed their existence to the world.

So which is it Donal – Is Madeleine with the loving couple who acted not out of badness, not in their minds at least, but out of frustration and desperation, at the adoption system, struggling with it (struggling to understand it, struggling to read the small print, struggling with what exactly?) or is she with a monster such as Ariel Castro, who ain’t playing Snap or Old Maid with her!

You cannot have it both ways Donal – perhaps have a word with your mates at the Met, their story and yours, like the McCanns – don’t add up.

You cannot have her with the loving couple and compare them also to the likes of Ariel Castro!  

I did laugh when I read.., well I laughed when I read your article in its entirety, but particularly so:

‘The Metropolitan Police have been aware of this line of inquiry for the past two years, but it's only since British PM David Cameron ordered a fresh review that they had the resources to follow it up independently of the Portuguese authorities.’

So, you are telling us that Andy Redwood, who keeps in regular touch with Kate and Gerry McCann, has known for two years about a couple who came into a load of cash, who are holding Madeleine captive, in the same vein as the disgusting and despicable Ariel Castro did to others, treating them in the most horrific way, and which gives the McCanns hope – and NO ONE, not the Met, not the McCanns, not Rebekah Brooks, not Clarence Mitchell, none of these big mouths, went to David Cameron and asked if his special fund for special cases had any more cash so that they could find YACHT MAN/INHERITANCE MAN/LOTTERY WINNER MAN/KINDLY ADOPTION MAN – whichever label suits best this man? Just left Madeleine with him, until recently when someone (who?) decided time to get the begging bowl out, hit Downing Street?

Do please explain Donal, why the wait of two years?

I will do my best to comprehend, the Redwood reasoning behind this decision.   Despite my years I was able to grasp the ‘beer buggie!’   I am sure I can at least be open to some sort of explanation as to why Andy Redwood, who is he tells us – absolutely compelled, absolutely compelled to finding what became of Madeleine McCann, sat on this for two years - and Cameron’s cash flow problems isn’t the answer!  Do remember this is a special case Cameron said, with special funds, from his special cache, being available. 

McCanns we are told, in close contact with Redwood, Redwood presumably informed them of Yacht Man – and EVERYBODY stayed schtum!   

What, all too scared to hammer on the door of Number 10,  and like Oliver, ask if they could have some more?   Not like the McCanns to be bashful when it comes to asking for cash!

As for the McCanns, they stopped their private investigation when the Met moved in.  But...IF they knew of this couple, surely that would have had the McCann private investigation all steamed up again - yet NO - by their own admission they have not been searching.

Why would that be if they knew of this POSITIVE LEAD?   And they have the cash tucked up in that Fund to do just that!

Redwood described this stage of the investigation as critical.  Was it not critical 2 years ago when he uncovered this?

If this couple is the Mets target – what of the other 36 persons of interest, or make that 35, one was already dead before Redwood made his ridiculous announcement!   They really aren't of interest now are they?

Should not all new funds being given to the Met be concentrated on this couple, who oddly have not been interviewed and unsurprisingly are British! Surely newly rich Brits with a yacht are not so hard to track down?

Unless this latest nonsense by UK press, Donal  MacIntyre, and the Metropolitan Police is some elaborate plan to ‘smoke out the culprits’ then we can forget ever finding out what happened to Madeleine.  Forget the real culprits ever being brought to justice.  Forget Madeleine, her body ever being found.

MacIntyre speaks of US Spy cameras which can detect number plates and which will be used to identify the vehicle he claims Madeleine was taken in.  It will be used to identify cars around the Apartment from where Madeleine vanished.

Isn’t technology a wonderful thing?  

To be honest though, if I have to choose between the US Satellite and Mr Smith the eye witness who is able to identify people seen in the area and who saw a man carrying a little girl of around Madeleine’s age, matching her description, being carried by a man of Gerry McCanns description, who he came up close with – I’ll stick with Mr Smith.  

Much as I am happy to accept, that in Britain, in July, a sledge can become a beer buggie… still too much of the old dinosaur in me to even contemplate replacing Mr Smith our man on the ground with a Satellite (floated, launched or whatever it does,miles up in the sky by US - doesn't cut it with me, and yes I know my lack of technology is shocking and age no excuse - shoot me) in my world, any month of the year– a stretch too far!

Arrange a line-up and Smith will pick his man out - if he's there!  We'll get his car registration later.

MacIntyre does give us a bit more information than our Met man Redwood did – he tells us Kate and Gerry McCann, and their buddies have been re-interviewed by the Metropolitan police and they are not suspects.

How ever did the Metropolitan Police reconcile the police witness statements of the McCanns and their companions?   Short answer - impossible without concluding, like the Portuguese Police before them, that the group hindered the police investigation with their deliberate lies and story telling.

If they managed to do that - then finding what happened to Madeleine is the easy part!   They should have by now, their suspects behind bars!

One has to wonder – after all of the recent reports, none of which stated whether they had or had not been re-interviewed, and everyone asking that question – up pops Donal with his update, to include the answer to exactly that!

Who is Donal working for?  Why would MacIntyre get the job of passing on this critical information and not Redwood who leads the investigation?

One hopes the Met are doing their job properly, but if we have to go on what they have already said, and what MacIntyre is telling us they have said, then we would have to believe they are bungling fools/covering up a crime/ or smoking someone out.   Police around the world will be laughing their heads off, at what has been reported - no right minded individual, never mind a Met Officer, not one of integrity would willingly surely, put their name and reputation to the recent nonsense unless for - operational reasons as Clarence would say. 

Never forgetting though, that Kate McCann is reported as having told a British social worker, the morning after Madeleine's disappearance, that a couple took her daughter!'

Did she say this?

Was it part of the McCann plan to put people off the 'scent?'  Look there, not here?   Kate telling people a couple, one male, one female,  took her daughter.   Lots of people to choose from, from the tapas 9 who could have made a 'couple!'   Gerry telling others a paedophile gang was responsible.

If Kate McCann said this, she would have to explain to police why she did and who she thinks this couple are?   Explain why she would say this to the social worker.  

Surely she would have told Portuguese Police at the time, if this is what she believed had happened, if she believed she knew who this couple are, and why she suspected them?

Don't believe I've ever heard Kate McCann speaking of any couple when being interviewed!

We are told also that persons known to the McCanns before heading to Portugal are not suspects.  So no one she knew of is guilty of crimes against Madeleine?  All people known to them having been interviewed by the Met then?

Are the Met using this 'couple' as part of any 'smoke em out' plan they may have?   The Met will surely have interviewed the social worker.

So much muddying of the waters.

Back to Donal -  
Always happy to admit when I am wrong and must on this occasion bow to technology.  Computer got it right – Donal is a Willie!

12th July 2013

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