It is hard to believe it has been three years since the day that changed the lives of Kate and Gerry McCann forever.
The memories of events leading up to the evening of Thursday, May 3, 2007, are still so vivid, Kate says, clutching her husband's hand.
"It does sound like such a big chunk of time because we can remember everything about that day so clearly.
"It's staggering when you say it's been three years."
Every day without Madeleine is a nightmare, say the Rothley couple.
The anniversary of her disappearance is another one of hundreds of difficult days they have spent missing their daughter.
They will mark the day in private, with their five-year-old twins Sean and Amelie.
"I think the anniversary is a landmark day for the media, particularly, but her birthday is more important to us," says Gerry. "It's more painful because it's her day and she isn't with us."
The Rothley couple are desperate to keep their beautiful blonde-haired child, whose picture was on the front page of every newspaper for months after she disappeared, at the forefront of people's minds. But slowly, their lives are beginning to return to some semblance of normality.
"It's obviously different to our old life but we've established a routine," Kate says.
"My job is obviously different to what it used to be and we're busier in general."
Gerry adds: "But when the kids are coming home from school and I'm coming home from work, our house just looks like every other household across Leicestershire.
"We play with the twins, bath them, get them to bed, tell them stories – all of that is normal.
"Sean and Amelie, you wouldn't distinguish them from any other happy five-year-olds.
"We can enjoy it and we do. There's just always that little nagging doubt that something's missing... it can hit you hard."
For a long time, getting on with life just seemed wrong.
"I'd think, how can I be sitting here laughing when my daughter is still missing," says Kate. "I feel it, it's like a nagging ache in my chest."
The twins keep them going. And they're both fully aware of what has happened to their big sister.
Kate says: "Sean said to me once, just as I was putting him to bed, it was out of the blue, he said, 'never give up, mummy'.
"I just said, 'don't worry, Seany, I won't do that. None of us will'.
"Last night at bedtime they were talking about Madeleine and saying she probably looks quite different now.
"Amelie said, 'mummy, she might speak another language'. They pick up everything."
Gerry says: "I think it's important that they know we're devoting a lot of time to Madeleine.
"As they get older they'll want to look back and see what we did for her.
"They talk about rescuing her and getting swords to get the man who's got her. They're amazing, they keep us going."
Three years may have passed, but the McCanns are still certain Madeleine is alive.
"We know there's a very good chance she's still out there and because of that, we just keep going," says Kate. "There are a lot of children who do come back.
"Madeleine is still out there and the person who committed this crime is still out there as well.
"We have to keep going."