Well it is that time of year again.
We’d like to say we are sitting in front of an open fire, a dog at our feet, listening to carols, the smell of something festive baking in the oven…but the reality, Dear Reader, is somewhat more prosaic. No, we are sitting at the kitchen table, listening to the squabbling of our errant progeny, surrounded by lists written on whatever available medium, a pile of Christmas cards waiting for our attention.
And so begins the annual hunt for old address books, trying to find the most up-to-date contact details for the ever-dwindling recipients on our Christmas card list.
Given our day job, you’d think we’d be more organised. As Private Investigators, one of the most common requests we get is to find someone. And though we hate blowing our own trumpet, we are very good at it.
This year alone, we have managed to locate more than twenty individuals. The reasons for wanting to find a “missing” person are myriad. We have found the biological birth parents for adopted children; we’ve tracked down people who owe money and absentee landlords; we have managed to reunite long-lost friends and relatives – you name it, we’ve done it.
Most of the time, once we have found someone, we rarely find out what happens after the job is finished. As a London private investigator, we always maintain a professional relationship with our clients. We have a brief, we fulfil the brief, and that is it.
But this year we did have one case which we have to say was rewarding in so many ways. After more than twenty years of unsuccessful searching, a client came to us to help find her birth mother. The trace took us the best part of three months, and spanned two continents. It was complicated, time-consuming, and involved painstaking research. But we did it.
Yesterday morning an envelope dropped on our door mat. Inside was a Christmas card. The card was nothing out of the ordinary – a typical snowy village scene lit up for the festive season. But inside was something which made even our cynical old heart skip a beat. It was a photograph of our client, taken in front of the Sydney Opera House. She was standing with her arm around an elderly woman. She had written on the back “Spending a month in Australia, getting ready for my first Christmas with my mum. Thank you so much for all your help”.
It’s not often we get to see the repercussions of a successful trace, But this was one we were very pleased to hear about.
So if you are looking at your Christmas card list and there is someone on it who you haven’t seen for years and you have no idea where they are, give us a call.
Now, where did we put that address book…?