Day began at 6.30 with a phone call from LBC, wanting to discuss the 'abduction' of 5yrs old April Jones in Machynlleth on Monday evening. Little to add this morning, except that the community and Police are working together to do all they can to find April. Cllr. Gareth Jones, Mayor of Mach was also on the programme. As for so many others, this 'abduction' has disturbed me. Its impossible to comprehend how anyone could be so evil as to snatch a 5yr old little girl from her parents in this way.
After breakfast it was off to join a presentation by Tesco-Newtown to four local primary schools of equipment following collection of Tesco vouchers. There were two youngsters from each of the schools to receive equipment - or skive off school for an hour (take your pick). Lots of photographs, and smiles from the children.
Next stop was Berriew Church for the local school's harvest festival. Had to go this year because our little Ffion (five yesterday) was there. She's just moved back from Ireland to live by us and start school in Berriew. She was loaded down with her collection of offerings, and was clearly pleased to see her Granny and 'Taidy' there to watch her first public performance. It was a pity that I could stay for only 20 minutes before heading to Tesco-Welshpool for another presentation of school equipment to another five local schools. More children 'skiving off'. Not really.
After lunch it was back up to Machynlleth. For no real reason other than that I wanted to. Plan was just to have a coffee in the Plas, and chat with the Mayor, Cllr Michael Williams and Russell George AM about how the search for April was going. But by this time the Police had re-arrested Mark Bridger on suspicion of murder. Really felt the balance between hope and despair moving in favour of the latter. And the quiet coffee became a round of interviews, which I didn't much enjoy. But I really do want to praise the community and Police for the way they have responded to April's disappearance at every opportunity. Late afternoon was taken up speaking from Newtown studio to around 15 BBC regional radio stations. Although its only repetition, I felt shattered by the end. Needed a coffee on my own to recover. Before going home to face up to our grandson, little Darragh aged two, who is staying over this weekend.
The reason that the tragedy in Mach has had such an impact across Britain is that so many of us have a Ffion or a Darragh in our lives. We cannot comprehend what April's parents are going through. I don't know April or her parents but when spending the day with different little children all over Montgomeryshire, its impossible not to see April in every one of them. If a little girl can be snatched on Bryn-y-Gog (an open plan estate), when playing with her friends, in Machynlleth (one of the safest small towns anywhere), in Mid Wales (safest region in the UK) it can happen anywhere. Tonight, everyone in Machynlleth is still holding on to a little hope.