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It was a night I’ll never forget. It was a night nobody in Scotland will ever forget. Twenty years ago today, Pan-Am Flight 103, a Boeing 747 carrying 259 people from Heathrow to JFK, was blown out of the sky above the Scottish borders town of Lockerbie, killing 270 people in total.
I was at a friend’s house. We’d been watching TV and talking about football, and it had grown dark outside by the time I left. My friend was walking me out the house and when we got to the garden his neighbour saw us after returning from walking his dog. He told us a plane had been blown out of the sky and landed on a town in southern Scotland. We thought he was kidding.
He wasn’t of course, and even for a couple of teenage idiots like we were, we found nothing to say to each other as we tuned into the news to see for ourselves. I remember the faces of the newsreaders; shocked, upset, and aghast. It was horrific stuff. Nobody could believe that kind of thing could happen, let alone in Scotland.
The images of the burning houses at night, and over the next few weeks of the giant crater left where homes once stood, will stay with me forever.
Twenty years on and the man found guilty of the crime, Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, sits in a comfortable unit of Greenock prison after recently losing his appeal to be released on medical grounds. Nor should he. Nor should his wife pick now to proclaim his innocence and shout for justice; the man was responsible for killing 270 people. Rotting in hell is too good for him.
I applied for a couple more freelance gigs today. There seems to be a heavy flow of goodies at the moment so hopefully I can bag one or two of them. I’m only a few away from my annual target now so fingers crossed.
Got through a ton of outstanding email which had been bothering me, and did a bit more on my GDRs 2008 and 2009. I need another resolution – I should have another resolution for next year – one doesn’t seem right. Anyone got any ideas? I still want to lose a bit more weight, but perhaps something more meaningful?
Did some editing work on The Big Taff Affair and on that outstanding freelance gig. I want it wiped as soon as – either way.
I wrapped all my Chrimbo pressies and tidied my office and sent out all the short stories I have back on the books and waiting to go back out. Got to keep the ball rolling.
And I’ve gone back to the start with Blood Ties, my failed NaNo attempt. I’m not starting the whole thing again, I’m just refreshing it all in my mind and editing as I go, because over the last couple of weeks I’ve been having a lot of moments of clarity about the characters and the pot that I need to fix now before I move on. I don’t have to, of course, I could do it after the manuscript is complete (that’s what I’m always told and normally do) but it’s a complicated one and I need to stay on top of it. I think I know what I’m doing.
Laura stayed over at her pals so Gail and I grabbed some badly needed time together in the evening. What with her ever growing photography business and my commitment to writing, time alone is becoming more precious than it ever was. We ordered an Indian meal and watched a film I have on rental at the moment; a classic you may have heard of, and perhaps quite appropriate for my current state of mind – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.