“We need to be on standby.”, Gregg said when he called me at mid morning, “The aid worker taken hostage in Afghanistan comes from somewhere in Scotland.”
Before long I had packed my kit, we had quickly tested that the small portable satellite equipment was working and we were on our way to the airport to catch a flight to the Western Isles.
On the tarmac at Edinburgh airport.
We were joined by James and Ronnie the Sky News crew from Edinburgh on the bus that took us out to the aircraft that would take us across the Minch to the island of Lewis.
The hint of sun as we climb above the thick clouds.
We say good-bye to the sun as we start to descend.
Down through the clouds to gloomy Stornoway.
When we arrived we jumped into our hire cars and set off across the island to where the parents of the aid worker lived.
The hire car industry on the island is not large and does not have a huge fleet of vehicles. We piled the kit into our Fiesta.
The light was starting to fade as we drove an hour along country roads that often came down to single track with passing places to get to the small cluster of houses that were now in the pitch black where the family of the woman lived.
We were not sure which house it was so Gregg went and knocked on a door to ask.
Gregg in the lights of the headlamps talks to a neighbour.
He was very politely told which house the family lived in but, that all the locals had been asked by the Foreign Office to say nothing to the press and make no comment at all.
So we went over to the house where Gregg knocked on the door and spoke to the woman’s father.
He was very relaxed and had a courteous but brief conversation with Gregg saying that the family would not be speaking on camera but might, just might issue a statement.
He also said that he had spoken to his daughter just a couple of days before the horrible incident in the north of Afghanistan near the Pakistan border.
ITN had sent Calum, a producer up from London. He arrived in his little old red van. It had been the only vehicle lest on the island when he landed at the airport.
We thought that we were having it rough in our five year old Fiesta.
There was not much more we could do until the Foreign Office officially released the name of the woman.
So after a chat with Calum we headed back to the hotel to grab some food and as usual much needed sleep before getting up early to do some live broadcasts using the hotel’s internet system.