Merry Christmas

This summer, when I took a break from blogging, I was expecting to spend a few months concentrating on writing fiction. When my brother Fergus went missing in September those plans went awry.

Having a member of your family suddenly disappear without trace has a range of unexpected repercussions. It’s now over three months since Fergus vanished in Switzerland and we still don’t know what happened to him, or indeed whether he’s alive or dead. It’s strange being in limbo, not knowing if he will ever come back, but sadly after this length of time I’ve come to the conclusion that he won’t.

For the past few weeks my dad and I have been going down to Edinburgh as often as we can to try and sort things out at Fergus’s flat. There is much to do and I imagine that this situation will dominate our lives well into the coming year.

Although I have been visiting tearooms during this process, I haven’t had the energy or inclination to photograph and review them. However, as a small distraction for myself I’ve set up a new blog called Any old excuse.

On this new blog I aim to review at least one item of chocolate-based confectionery a week. 

Tea and chocolate, two of the things that make life worth living.

Click on the picture above to find chocolate posts in 2015.

I appreciate that reading reviews of chocolate isn’t everyone’s idea of a good way to spend their time, especially if they don’t actually get any chocolate out of it. I’ve disabled comments to make it easier for me to manage, but if you ever feel like dropping by it would be lovely to have your company.

In the meantime, to all my wonderful fellow bloggers, readers and chums:

A very happy Christmas and new year,
and many good things to come in 2015.

Six wee dogs hoping for Christmas treats under the tree.

Six little dogs hoping for Christmas treats under the tree.


49 thoughts on “Merry Christmas

  1. Happy Christmas, Lorna, and I hope 2015 brings some good news. I once met someone who worked with an international missing persons’ bureau, and he told me that there are many reasons people go missing. It must be so difficult for your family and you not knowing, a horrible situation to be in.

    • Thanks Laura, I hope so too. I’ve heard that about missing people, that there can be many reasons why they go missing. In fact, it’s quite remarkable how many people go missing each year, and how many are never found. Most people are apparently found within 48 hours. Unfortunately, many of those who aren’t found in that time frame are never found. However, there are some who disappear for weeks, months or even years and then turn up again out of the blue. I find it hard to imagine that happening in this case, but you never know.

  2. I am very sorry to hear of your missing brother. It must be an extremely difficult time for your family. I will pray for you.
    Your blog is very enjoyable. I live in Australia so can’t visit the tearooms but I always enjoy going out for coffee and cake here, I will look forward to your chocolate blog, if there is chocolate in the house I have no self control so try to buy very small portions.
    God bless you and your family.
    Kind wishes

    • Thank you Wendy, that’s very kind of you. Your situation with chocolate is one many of us can identify with. I try not to eat too much of it, but I can’t help thinking of it as a vital part of a balanced diet.

  3. LornaI have thought of you and family often in the past year. I know there is nothing anyone can say to really comfort you, but I hope knowing that people care about you and your difficult situation at least lets you know you aren’t alone. No one can carry another’s pain. No one can touch another’s sadness, not really. We experience joy in numbers, sadness in solitude. I do hope your family finds resolution of one kind or another soon. You are right-not knowing is the worst. I had a brother go missing many years ago. Ours was found eventually and I hope that happens for your family. I think writing once a week on something totally unrelated to the disappearance of your brother is very healthy. I am proud of you and I won’t miss reading a post, I promise.Take care of yourself and each other and my thoughts are with you.Kathleen Troutmanblog:

    • Thank you Kathleen, it helps tremendously to know that people are thinking of us. You’re right that none of us can really know each other’s private pain, but kind words and thoughts do make a difference, and yours are much appreciated. I’m sorry to hear that your brother went missing too, but very glad he was eventually found. Every story is different I suppose, and there’s no way of knowing if the same will happen to my brother or not. We try to piece together clues and what we discover leads us to think certain things, but we can never be entirely sure that our theories are correct. To know for sure what happened to him would remove a considerable weight from the shoulders.

  4. I am sorry to hear your brother has never been found. I suppose you must have to get on with life, but he will always be in the back of your mind. I do enjoy what you write, and I can not argue with your current choice of subject matter!

    Best wishes!

    • Thanks Fifona, you’re right that life must go on. What’s difficult is finding a good balance of looking after Fergus’s affairs and doing other things that have no connection with the situation. As you say, he is always at the back of my mind. I frequently think of him as I’m going to sleep or if I wake up in the night. I think that’s probably very normal, although constant worries can be very wearing. However, deliberate distractions do help and I think they’re vital for retaining sanity. Eating and writing about chocolate is something I’ll look forward to in the coming year.

  5. Have been thinking of you often since the disappearance of your brother. I hope 2015 gives you the opportunity to pursue your writing. Heather.

    • Thank you, Heather. I do miss writing and I think if I can get back to it in some way I’ll feel better about things. I tried to write some fiction recently but didn’t seem to have the creative energy for it, so perhaps blogging is a good compromise.

  6. Hi Lorna, so nice to read something from you again. I too have had you in my thoughts and will continue to remember your family over this coming season too. This will sound ridiculous, but I had a missing kitten earlier this week, and I know your uncertainty is so much more than that. I will absolutely pop in and ‘enjoy your chocolate’ 🙂 Funnily enough, we will have six cats (four little) this Christmas around our tree … which reminds me we have yet to put it up and decorate it! (thanks 🙂 Truly best wishes, Trish

    • Thanks Trish, that’s very kind. I can imagine the distress of your kitten going missing. Losing anything precious is upsetting, but I’m glad your little one came back safely. Four cats round a Christmas tree sounds like potential mayhem on the decorations front, but I wish you well with that.

  7. Thanks for the update Lorna. So sorry that there is no news of Fergus. It must be the most difficult thing for you and the family to deal with.

    • Thanks David, I can’t tell you how much I wish there was news. We hope for it all the time but there’s just a vast chasm of nothingness on that front. However, I still hope that we might get some answers eventually.

  8. Great to see you here Lorna. I will follow your chocolate blog of course. So sorry there is no news of your brother. Give my love to your parents and have a Merry Christmas together as Fergus would want you to.

    • Thank you Darlene. One of the upshots of this situation is that I’ve kind of lost touch with other people’s goings on, and such a lot has happened to you recently. I hope you’re enjoying Spain, it must be lovely to be there at this time of year. You’re right that Fergus would want us to spend a nice Christmas together. It will be the first time he’s not been with my parents for Christmas so I think it will be a bit sad in that respect, but we’ll be thinking good thoughts of him.

      • It will be a different Christmas for us this year but a fun one. One always misses those not with us at Christmas time. Thanks for checking up on my goings on. XO

  9. Lovely to hear from you, Lorna. Have popped over to visit your new site. It looks great. I am so sorry that there has been no news of Fergus. Take care, Alison

  10. I agree totally with ‘veggiewhatnow’ – chocolate has medicinal properties. A great idea for a blog! Sending the kindest wishes to you and your family, Lorna.

  11. I can’t think of a single better thing to do, under the circumstances, than eat chocolate. Blogging about it is even better. I’m thinking very much of you and your family at Christmas-time, Lorna. Please let the Delightful Assistants know of the many well-wishes coming their way. And I hope you will be able to enjoy Christmas as much as possible, as Fergus would wish you all to do.

    • Thank you Christine, the delightful assistants are very glad of your well wishes. I’m glad you approve of my choice of subject matter, I must say I’m looking forward to all those chocolate bars. The difficulty might be in reigning in my enthusiasm. So much chocolate, so little time.

  12. Hi Lorna, much love & well wishes to you & your family at such a difficult time. I’m saddened to hear of the grief and worry that you’ve recently gone through. I hope you’ll have an answer to your many questions soon.

    Life is busy and there is always room for delicious Chocolate in my life too 😉

    • Thank you kindly, Alice. I totally agree with you, no matter how busy life is there’s always room for chocolate. In fact, possibly the busier you are the more you need. Nice theory anyway.

  13. Lorna, I was so happy to see a notice that you had a new post on your blog. It’s sweet of you to send us all Christmas wishes. I only wish that you and your family have some kind of resolution soon. Love and blessings to you and your family.

  14. A very Merry Christmas Lorna – followed your blog although can’t think why You need help really chocolate addiction is worse than drugs and alcohol combined lol #help not #following – I was desperate to comment but there seems to be no opportunity (though I would understand why) – seasons greetings from Scott, Mandy and all oor waines 😀

    • Thank you Scott and a very merry one to you, Mandy and family. I’m sorry about the comments on the other blog, I sort of regret disabling them because it’s so nice to get feedback. The problem is I fear I might not be able to respond to them all, that’s why I decided to do it.

  15. Hugs and warm wishes to you, too, Lorna, I am so sorry about the plight you and your family are finding yourselves in. It must be particularly hard at this time of year and I hope you will find answers soon.
    As for your chocolate blog – it must be the ultimate torture for a chocaholic desperately trying to rid him/herself of the crazed urges that seem to defy any amount of willpower. I will be devouring your posts, salivating, and wishing I had given in to my cravings during that last shopping trip so I could have had a suitable accompaniment for my read 😉

    • Thank you Sonja, I hope the answers will come one of these days, it would make such a difference. Re: the chocolate blog, I know and it amazes me that anyone would want to look at it. I used to follow a chocolate blog and it was almost painful to read each post. The answer is to always have a little stash of chocolate somewhere nearby.

  16. Sending so much chocolaty love your way, dear Lorna. You, Fergus and your family have been in my thoughts and prayers, and I hope that 2015 gives you a greater peace, an easing, and some time to return to yourself, your writing and the things which make your heart sing. Big hugs and love. Happy Christmas and my wishes for a bright and blessed new year xoxo

  17. I am so sorry to hear about your brother Lorna and I hope that there is a happy outcome, here’s the eternal hope…….I am sending you lots of love and warm Christmas wishes and also wishes for a happy New Year……Love Karen xxx

  18. I was sidetracked here from another blog and after reading the story, just wanted to send you blessings. Christmas can be very sad for many of us and so full of memories. I hope that you will eventually find some closure and peace,

    • Thank you for dropping by. This will be an unusual Christmas for my family but, as you say, many people find it a difficult time of year. We’ve been extremely fortunate to have the kind thoughts of people like yourself, which does make a difference.

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