Jan Leeming Blog

Jan Leeming

Shoreham 2007

Shoreham Airshow 2007
Me looking brave before taking to the air (and the wing) of the plane. Wow, it was cold !! But the whole experience was totally exhilarating.



2018 - July (1)
2018 - June (2)
2018 - April (1)
2018 - March (3)
2018 - February (2)
2018 - January (2)
2017 - December (8)
2017 - November (2)
2017 - October (13)
2017 - September (4)
2017 - August (2)
2017 - July (2)

All - 2018 (11)
All - 2017 (65)
All - 2016 (107)
All - 2015 (52)
All - 2014 (112)
All - 2013 (143)
All - 2012 (109)
All - 2011 (119)
All - 2010 (85)
All - 2009 (85)
All - 2008 (49)
All - 2007 (2)
All - 2006 (3)


Jan's Blog

Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.

Mrs Thatcher's Party

Date: 21st July 2018

Mrs Thatcher's Party I'm totally bemused that my name has appeared with a Question Mark in Dennis Thatcher's list. During my 7 years of reading News for the BBC I believed that it was essential to remain ?Neutral? even though I had strong feelings on many issues ! I tend to lean towards Conservative with a small ?c? but am probably more of a liberal. In those 7 years I did not even attend a Conservative Fund raising Fete. More than a year after I had left the BBC I felt free to embrace my political leanings and was only too happy to support the Conservatives at the Wembley Rally. I remember the event well because I felt honoured when asked to read a letter of support from Yehudi Menuhin. And what did I get for my support - a castigating in the Telegraph!! (Often referred to as the Torygraph). They declared that as a newsreader I should be non political. My job had long since ended and I was still not free to support the party of my choice. At that time I was also engaged to present a Conference in the North. On seeing my attendance at the Wembley Rally my Agent was phoned and told because of my political leanings the engagement would be cancelled!!! I am sure that being Right and not Left leaning has affected my career. But I am true to my beliefs and resigned from the NUJ because of them. Bad move on my part! I often wonder why Left leaning people tend to occupy the moral high ground and will rarely engage in discourse. I no longer believe that we live in a free society with freedom of speech. We are ruled by a vociferous minority - those who shout loudest do not necessarily represent the majority. The tenets of communism and Marxism are superb and it would be wonderful if we lived in a world without inequality and where all were equal but Real Life is not like that. You only have to look at the story of the talents of silver in the bible. Three were given a talent of silver each - one man buried his talent; another hoarded it and the third doubled his money. All were given the same but they used the wealth differently. We are all equal in the sight of God - but not in real life!! I'm so sorry that I did not receive an invite to the party. I had great respect for Mrs Thatcher who was very kind and considerate to me when we met at an SOS fund raising party. She made a point of breaking her walk to enquire as to my health after I'd been mugged within the supposedly secure portals of Television Centre. Can't see Blair or Cameron doing something like that.

What do you think? Send your feedback to contact@jan-leeming.com.


Date: 7th June 2018

I'm sorry that I've not been communicating but the house move has been far more traumatic than I could have imagined.  I almost expected the 'little white van' to turn up and cart me away.  But I'm still here and finally seeing above all the mess and problems.

I moved from a large flat in a large old house which always needed repairs to a New House where I thought all my worries would be over.  SOME HOPE.  This will probably be my last move unless I get shovelled off into a Care Home but, if I were to ever move again, I'd avoid a New Build like the plague.  I can't begin to tell you, and you'd be bored stiff if I listed all the faults besetting what I thought would be my perfect home.  Firstly it is 'Jerry' built and yet it conforms to building regulations.  I had no idea I was buying anything other than a Brick built house - it does have bricks but they are move for decoration than anything else??

The building is basically a timber frame, breeze blocks and what they call 'Dot and Dab' walls - in other word 'Stud'.  Not even the outside walls are solid - of course I didn't think to go round knocking on walls.  Every single room has cracking and the worst is around the windowsills and up the stairs.  I've even got a damp problem.  The French windows  have been taken off and refitted several times and there is now a crack at the bottom through which you could fit a pencil - and of course the wind whistles through.  The Front Door also had to be taken off and that is so heavy and badly fitted I had to buy a doorknob to be able to pull the door towards me in order to turn the key in the lock otherwise you can't unlock it.

The kitchen fittings were all stated as Bosch on the particulars.  Yet I have a cheap Lamona Fridge and Freezer - and am still waiting for this to be rectified.  The Extractor Hood didn't work and I waited 5 weeks for that to be repaired - damp in the circuit board probably because the house was empty all winter.

To add insult to injury, the Developers should have provided Wheelie Bins etc. to the six houses in the development.  For some reason I only had the huge and rather ridiculously large blue lidded one (I doubt even a family would fill it every fortnight)  for recyclable cans, plastic etc.  So I've had to buy the others.  Apart from anything else - and it should have been the responsibility of the developers - all six houses now have these unsightly bins (blue lidded, grey lidded, paper container and food container) and very little room in which to 'hide them'.  Why they couldn't have provided general larger bins is beyond my comprehension.  At the house from which I came, all eight flats shared the bins.

I do understand about snagging and have to wait for all to HOPEFULLY be put right.  So for the time being I will keep my powder dry and not tell you who are the developers except to say that they aren't one of the big companies and they are from out of the area - so I rather feel it's 'out of sight and out of mind'.  

I'm still beleaguered by boxes and 'stuff' for which I have no room.  My previous flat was a very large one and though I realised I was trying to fit a quart into a pint pot with the move to a smaller house, I now realise the quart has become a gallon??

The one plus is that I have a very small and now beautifully landscaped garden which is giving me so much pleasure.  I'm often out watering at 6.00am and keep going out to look at the growth of the plants - I can see the progress day on day.

So please excuse my rant especially as it is the first blog I've written for ages but I promise I'll try and get down to telling you all about my holiday to #Peru last year.

By the way, I'm off filming next month but don't think I can let you know where - but it is a rather exciting place.

Bye for now,  Jan.

What do you think? Send your feedback to contact@jan-leeming.com.


Date: 7th June 2018

I have been attempting for over a week to access my BT Account.  The Homepage loads with widgets showing and then jumps back to the log-in page.  This happens repeatedly and then I'm told I have tried too often and am locked out.  Online I see that many folk had this self same problem last year.

This evening I tried again with no success and in desperation tried Live Chat.  Having spent time typing in the problem and a long wait looking at multi-coloured bouncing balls, I was met with LIVE CHAT IS CLOSED - Why the hell could that not have come up at the beginning.  They boast that LIVE CHAT is availble from 7.30 - 11.00.  I tried to chat at around 8.15pm.

And to think what the CEO is paid for such a C... service and received a massive bonus- for what?   I've said it before and I will say it again, once this contract is up, I'm off.  And the cheeky whatsits have put me back onto a year's contract when I only had 9 months to go because I've moved home.

I absolultely dread having to phone BT about anything.  You wait forever for someone to answer and matters are only going to get worse because they are laying off staff - poor folk.

What do you think? Send your feedback to contact@jan-leeming.com.


Date: 16th April 2018


I'm so sorry I haven't been able to post any blogs but BT are a right shower.


Was without a phone line for almost a fortnight and then told I'd have to wait another 9 days for Internet connection.  Have tried dongles both EE and Vodafone - EE was useless with hardly any coverage and Vodafone just ate money.  A kindly neighbour is letting me piggy back on her internet pro temps.


Looked at my analytics and saw they weren't healthy because I've not been able to write anything.


Promise things will get better after 19th.  That too is a joke.  In my old home they cut me off almost at the crack of dawn - when they re-connect I could be waiting till midnight for it to work!!!


Will tell you about Peru etc. and so forth


Bye for now,  Jan

What do you think? Send your feedback to contact@jan-leeming.com.


Date: 3rd March 2018

I've said before and will say it again, I can see no earthly reason why people object to ID Cards.  The Liberals state that it 'Infringes our Liberty' - that's a joke.  So much information is held about us every which way that to have an ID would save a lot of time and might even prevent areas like  illegal immigration and health tourism for starters.

As I'm moving home, I have to change Utilities - and though I do not like working "Online' in these times it is considerably quicker than trying to contact  a person by phone.  You wait for anything from 5 - 30 minutes and are hit with 99 options????

So today I tackled Southern Water - and all went reasonably well.  Some questions I couldn't answer like Who lived at the address beforehand - the building is new so the answer is No-one but there's nowhere to give that reply.

But when I got to the end and saw the Privacy policy highlighted in Blue, I clicked on it and was absolutely staggered to see with whom Southern Water could share my details. AND THERE WAS NO WAY OF OPTING OUT - or if there were, I couldn't find it.  So now I could be flooded with people selling me things etc. and so forth.  

Here's the list - to which I couldn't press any Opt Out button.  When I clicked on the arrows all they showed me was a more comprehensive explanation of the subject.  So it appears I AGREE because I could find nowhere to Opt out.

I'm not that adept at technology so if I have mis-understood, I will apologize in advance. But I do not want to enter any competitions, receive Ads for products etc. and so forth ...........

Privacy statement
By continuing to visit any of our websites, or providing us data, or contacting us, and having drawn this statement to your attention, you agree to our use of your personal data in accordance with this privacy statement, or as we may otherwise tell you at the time of collection.

Links to third party websites and embedded content

Protecting your information online

How long will Southern Water keep my information?

How do I change my preferences for receiving marketing material?

How do I find out what personal data Southern Water hold about me?

Who do I contact if I have a query about Southern Water's privacy practices?

How will I know if this privacy statement is updated?

How do I update my information?

Email messages

What information is collected from visitors to our websites?

What are cookies?

Does Southern Water use cookies?

YouTube cookies

Careers online recruitment section

Online payments

Does Southern Water share personal data with anyone else?

Does Southern Water record telephone calls?

Does Southern Water monitor email communications?

Making automated decisions

Surveys and competitions

Where might my information be transferred?

Enhanced security of data transmission

Debt recovery

Credit reference agencies


What do you think? Send your feedback to contact@jan-leeming.com.

PRINT YOUR OWN and save the Seller money!

Date: 2nd March 2018

Am I really the only Grumpy Old Woman -GOW - who strongly objects to the Absolute Cheek of companies these days who expect us to print off pages and pages of documentation which in the past came in the form of a nice brochure - easy to read and file.  There used to be a more recent option of paying a few pounds to have a brochure sent to you - and even that now seems a thing of the past.

Maybe it is my age but I like to have something in my hands to read and highlight if I wish and don't want to have to read documents 'On-line'

I've just renewed my Contents policy - and was too lazy to shop around - so I've had to print off 10 pages of 'stuff' at my expense.  What happens if you don't have a printer?  Mind you 10 pages is moderate - I've had documents before which ran to 28 pages and with colour!

You are now expected to print your own Airline Boarding Passes, your Eurostar tickets etc. and so forth and to add insult to injury, they often have coloured adverts although I've now found the button to transfer the document to just Black and White - thus saving on my expensive colour inks.

I'm moving home and am extremely grateful that I wasn't asked to print off all the Bumph which has plopped onto my doormat from the solicitor - although I'm sure the cost will be reflected in the final bill. Without a word of a lie - one package was a quarter inch thick and the second was a half inch thick.  For the latter I had to literally summon up the courage to read all the stuff - or attempt to read and understand it.  When I moved 15 years ago it was a doddle compared with today.  The official 'Stuff' is unbelievable.  One document stated that my purchase might be in a flood area - its at the top of a hill! This was occasioned by the fact that a million years ago there was a pond which overflowed and is now long since gone??  

Apart from the annoyance and inconvenience of all this 'literature' - I thought we were supposed to be saving the planet and cutting down!

Sorry to sound so cross but moving is stressful.  I hope I will soon get back to normal and be able to share with you the wonders of Peru, Machu Pichu and also my superb holiday 'Canada and New England in the Fall' - that's if you are interested.  I sometimes wonder if I write my blogs for myself.

Hope you aren't being too badly inconvenienced by the snow.  Best wishes,  Jan

What do you think? Send your feedback to contact@jan-leeming.com.


Date: 2nd March 2018

By the Way - a huge Thank you if you responded to my plea for you to sign the Petition against the export of live animals. There was a very interesting Debate which I watched for 2 hours but gave up when the young SNP member rose to speak - apart from being against the motion, I couldn't understand him nor his Scottish colleague.

If you are interested, here are some links - AND IF YOU HAVEN'T SIGNED THERE'S STILL TIME

Parliament debated the petition you signed – “End the export of live farm animals after Brexit.”

Watch the debate: http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/b22ff481-91ef-4c91-affc-008cf49aa434

Read the transcript: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2018-02-26/debates/39AF207E-7235-4D57-8723-54F6F87CC17B/LeavingTheEULiveFarmAnimalExports

Read the research: https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CDP-2018-0042

The petition: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/200205

What do you think? Send your feedback to contact@jan-leeming.com.


Date: 28th February 2018

There's to be a vote in the Scottish Parliament about the banning of fox hunting.  

At school a lasting impression was made on me by John Masefield's poem 'Reynard's Last Run' and i've never ever forgotten the last line - the fox put up a valiant fight and even at the last they didn't give him a fair chance -

If you don't want to read the whole poem, at least please read the last line.


By John Masefield

The pure clean air came sweet to his lungs,
Till he thought foul scorn on those crying tongues.
In a three mile more he would reach the haven
In the Wan Dyke croaked on by the raven.
In a three mile more he would make his berth
On the hard cool floor of a Wan Dyke earth,
Too deep for spade, too curved for terrier,
With the pride of the race to make rest the merrier,
In a three mile more he would reach his dream,
So his game heart gulped and he put on steam.
Like a rocket shot to a ship ashore
The lean red bolt of his body tore,
Like a ripple of wind running swift on grass;
Like a shadow on wheat when a cloud blows past,
Like a tur4n at the buoy in a cuter sailing
When the bright green gleam lips white at the railing,
Like the April snake whipping back to sheath,
Like the gannet`s hurtle on fish beneath
Like a kestrel chasing, like a sickle reaping,
Like all things swooping, like all things sweeping,
Like a hound for stay, like a stag for swift,
With his shadow beside like spinning drift.
Past the gibbet-stock all stuck with nails,
Where they hanged in chains what had hung at jails,
Past Ashmundshowe where Ashmund sleeps,
And non e but the tumbling peewit weeps,
Past Curlew Calling, the gaunt grey corner
Where the curlew comes a s a summer mourner,
Past Blowbury Beacon, shaking his fleece,
Where all winds hurry and none brings peace;
Then down on the mile-long green decline,
Where the turf`s like spring and the air`s like wine,
Where the sweeping spurs of the downland spill
Into Wan Brook Valley and Wan Dyke Hill
. . . . . . . . . . . . .
On he went with a galloping rally
Past Maesbury Clump for Wan Brook Valley.
The blood in his veins went romping high,
“Get on, on, on, to the earth or die.”
The air of the downs went purely past
Till he felt the glory of going fast,
Till the terror of death, though there indeed,
Was lulled for a while by his pride of speed.
He was romping away from hounds and hunt,
He had Wan Dyke Hill and his earth in front,
In a one mile more when his point was made,
He would rest in safely from dog or spade;
Nose between paws he would hear the shout
Of the “Gone to earth!” to the hounds without,
The whine of the hounds, and their pad-padding;
He would hear the horn call hounds away,
And rest in peace till another day.
. . . . . . . . . . .
In one mile more he would lie at6 rest,
So for one mile more he would go his best.
He reached the dip at the long droop`s end,
And he took what speed he had still to spend.
So down past Maesbury beech-clump grey
That would not be green till the end of May,
Past Arthur`s Table, the white chalk boulder,
Where pasque flowers purple the down`s grey shoulder,
Past Quichelm`s Keeping, past Harry`s Thorn,
To Thirty Acre all thin with corn.
. . . . . . . . . . .
As he raced the corn towar4ds Wan Dyke Brook
The pack had view of the way he took;
Robin halloed from the downlan d`s crest,
He capped them on till they did their best.
The quarter-mile to the Wan Brook`s brink
Was raced as quick as a man can think.
And here, as he ran to the huntsman`s yelling,
The fox first felt that the pace was telling;
His body and lungs seemed all grown old,
His legs less certain, his heart less bold,
The hound-noise nearer, the hill-slope steeper,
The thud in the blood of his body deeper.
His pride in his speed, his joy in the race,
Were withered away, for what use was pace?
He had run his best, and the hounds ran better,
Then the going worsened, the earth was wetter.
Then his brush drooped down till it somet6imes dragged,
And his fur felt sick and his chest was tagged
With taggles of mud, and his pads seemed lead,
It was well for him he`d an earth ahead.
Down he went to the brook and over,
Our of the corn and into the clover,
Over the slope that the Wan B rook drains,
Past Battle Tump where they earthed the Danes,
Then up the hill that the Wan Dyke rings
Where the Sarsen Stones stand grand like kings.
‘ . . . . . . . . . .
Seven Sarsens of granite grim,
As he ran them by they looked at him;
As he leaped the lip of their earthen paling
The hounds were gaining and he was failing.
. . . . . . . . . . .
He passed the Sarsens, he left the spur,
He pressed uphill to be blasted fir,
He slipped as he leaped the hedge, he slithered,
“He`s mine,” thought Robin, “He`s done, he`s dithered.”
At the second attempt he cleared the fence,
He turned half-tight where the gorse was dense,
He was leading the hounds by a furlong clear,
He was past his b est, but his earth was near.
He ran up gorse to the spring of the ramp,
The steep green wall of the dead men`s camp,
He sidled up it and scampered down
To the deep green ditch of the Dead Men`s Town.
. . . . . . . . . . .
Within, as he reached that soft green turf,
The wind, was blowing lonely, moaned like surf,
Desolate ramparts, rose up steep
On either side, for the ghosts to keep.
He raced the trench, past the rabbit warren,
Close-grown with moss which the wind made barren;
He passed the spring where the rushes spread,
And there in the stones was his earth ahead,
One last short burst upon failing feet---
There life lay waiting, so sweet, so sweet,
Rest in a darkness, balm for aches.
. . . . . . . . . . .
The earth was stopped. It was barred with stakes.

What do you think? Send your feedback to contact@jan-leeming.com.


Date: 6th February 2018

Dear Friends

Some months ago I was one of the first signatories to a Petition to end the live export of animals - in good company with Selina Scott and Joanna Lumley.

On Monday there was a meeting in the Jubilee Room at Westminster and we heard from many speakers - Selina spoke for the Campaign, the head of the RSPCA addressed us, and we heard from people who actually police the Live Exports going out mostly from Ramsgate on small boats. The Ferry Companies stopped this trade in 2007.

I was surprised to learn that it isn’t the farmer who benefits by this cruel trade but the greedy middle man. Apparently a farmer gets £75 a head for a sheep - but when exported to Europe the middleman charges £150. I don’t think I need to tell you about the conditions these poor animals endure (including horses, donkeys, cows and baby calves) sometimes journeys of 16 hours crammed into lorries with no water. And of course there is the export for the Halal Market (least said about that the better or I’ll be done for PC).

I am not a vegetarian although I do not eat much meat but I believe that animals deserve to be raised humanely and slaughtered in like fashion.

We have 75,000  signatures so far and only till the end of February to get the other 25,000 to reach the magic number whereby there has to be a Debate in Parliament.

Please sign the petition and, if possible, pass on this email to your friends and family.

Petition - http://uk/petitions/200205

Love and thanks for reading.


What do you think? Send your feedback to contact@jan-leeming.com.


Date: 18th January 2018


I don’t think I am unintelligent but having lost a lovely ring on my Birthday in Paris I was trying to make a claim and almost lost the will to live after a conversation lasting one hour and 2 minutes during which time the Call Centre operative repeatedly had to refer to his Manager.

Of course I appreciate that it must be proven that the claim is genuine and I do understand that people cheat. Sadly as happens so often these days the honest majority are penalised for the dishonest minority. Honestly I felt as though I were a criminal and as for all the questions asked, I couldn’t see their relevance eg. when did I make the Eurostar booking. I lost the ring in a Paris Restaurant not in the hotel and not on Eurostar.

Then I received a lengthy email telling me to go online with regard to documentation required. That was a total No-No. I really couldn’t understand the site and eventually had to have a CHAT with an operative who actually was helpful. In the end I send a large envelope of copies of bookings for hotel, Eurostar, valuation etc and so forth.

I never take my few bits of good jewellery with me when I travel but the ring I lost was one which I wore all the time so did not expect to lose it. I had flu at Christmas and must have lost weight - the ring was usually quite tight but the weight loss and the cold must have ‘shrunk’ my finger and I was very upset to discover it’s loss half way through my Birthday Dinner Celebration.

I learned a lesson many years ago when flying to Capetown. I was wearing some lovely black pearl jewellery I had treated myself to by selling something else of value. I put the ring, earrings, and pendant into a jewellery bag and into my handbag. On reaching Capetown they were no longer there - someone had stolen them out of my handbag whilst I was dozing. Of course I was able to claim a fraction of their worth and have never been able to replace them - hence the reason I only take costume jewellery when travelling. If I lose it, I lose it and don’t have to go through the rigmarole of a claim.

As it is, if my claim is approved, the maximum compensation is just over a third of the value of the ring so it is not replaceable. Still, much as I loved it, it is only a ‘thing’ and there are other things in life which are far more valuable - health for example.

I daresay the extensive rigmarole of making a claim would apply to any company but the one with which I've been insured for the last few years for travel insurance is #InsureandGo

What do you think? Send your feedback to contact@jan-leeming.com.