Madeleine – 11th anniversary

The 11th anniversary of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann was pretty much like the 9th – nothing of major significance happened.

Kate and Gerry attended a service at the war memorial in Rothley.

Correio da Manhã wrote that the citizens of Luz were wearied of ongoing interest is the case, That may well be true. However, the Correio da Manhã article was bland enough to have been fabricated in an office in Lisbon, despite a claim that there was on-site content from Luz.

The background pattern to the week was similar to 2007, but far from identical.

While things have been extremely busy on the home front.

On 2nd May, my better half went to Alvor, near Portimão, to have a cataract operation. This was quick and painless. So much so that when she met Brian, an ex-pat waiting to undergo the same op, she was able to put his mind at rest. If you use the Miscarriage of Justice website, the “Webcam at Ocean Villas” shows you the gardens attached to the villas in Luz that Brian bought 20 years ago.

On 3rd May, it was a return trip to Alvor, to check that the cataract operation had gone as planned, which it had.

On 4th May, my beloved had one of those crunchy birthdays which ends in a zero. The major celebrations would be held on the 5th. First it was an afternoon peach blossom daiquiri at the beach front bar on Porto de Mós, the next beach to the east of Luz, then it was onto Tasca Jota in Lagos for the main event. Sample menu at

These celebrations had been carefully crafted to permit two things. First, we were expecting a visitor from Dallas, Texas, and she was on a marathon journey via New York and Lisbon, before a 4-hour bus trip to Lagos. She managed to turn up with about two hours to spare for the birthday bash.

The second visitor was more important. He is my wife’s eldest son, and she had not seen him since we came out to Portugal 6 years ago. He was booked to fly from New York to Milan, where he was scheduled to take part in a business fair. He landed at Milan as per his original plan, but then he flew to Frankfurt. From there he flew first to Lisbon, then to Faro, where he hired a car for the journey to Lagos.

He managed to make it to the beach bar in Porto de Mós while the birthday group was still there. His sister was giving my wife a big nudge-nudge-wink-wink hint, but as my beloved was recovering from her cataract operation, she was bit slow to twig it was her eldest in the background.

The evening went well. Next day was Mother’s Day in Portugal. The son was scheduled to make another epic journey to get back to his Milan business fair, so they decided to meet at 8.30 am in Lagos, to see if they could get a café open on Mothering Sunday at that time of the morning. They met at McDonald’s, it was open, it was quiet, so they decided to stop there to talk.

A happy Mother’s Day is spending a couple of hours chatting with your long-absent eldest in McDonald’s in Lagos, complete with an Egg McMuffin and a coffee. Bliss.


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