In the back seat of their family car on the way to the playground, Kate puts a protective arm around each of her two-year-old twins
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A precious trip to the swings for the family of missing Madeleine


At first glance the parents taking their lively twins to the playground could be any couple on a day out of family fun. For Kate and Gerry McCann, the hour-long excursion with toddlers, Sean and Amelia, two, represents something far more important, however - a brief respite from the anxiety and tension that are now part and parcel of their lives.

The parents of missing Madeleine drove their other children to swings on the outskirts of their home village Rothley in Leicestershire, where the family were greeted warmly by other parents. After the games, the quartet headed home, with the twins clutching drawings they'd made.

Their trip came as it was revealed that the Portuguese police are seeking access to Gerry's laptop and a journal written by his wife. After her sister-in-law Philomena suggested the idea, Kate kept a diary throughout her time in Portugal.

Philomena explained that she encouraged Madeleine's mum to put down her thoughts, saying entries would eventually help the family show their daughter, three at the time of her disappearance, how desperately she had been missed and that they'd done everything in their power to find her. It would reassure the little girl, explained her aunt, that "our love for her is unending".

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