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.



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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.

ZEN - TV Crime drama

Date: 25th February 2021

In The Times TV guide for 14th February there was an article promoting ZEN on the DRAMA Channel starring Rufus Sewell. I admire him as an actor and liked what I read in the article. Thoroughly enjoyed the programme and again this last Sunday. Was curious as to when it was made and how many in the series and was surprised to see that it came out 10 years ago and dismayed to read the series was cancelled after 3 programmes.

This was the reason, copied from Wikipedia

The series was cancelled by BBC One in February 2011; BBC One controller Danny Cohen later said there were already enough male crime-fighters on TV. Left Bank, the show's producer, tried to find other broadcasters to fund another series but were unsuccessful.

Although I enjoy Vera and other ‘Female-led’ Crime dramas, I find this PC reasoning absolutely MAD. In my humble opinion Zen is one of the best Crime Dramas I’ve watched in an age.

Perhaps the series was expensive to make as it was shot in Italy but it was a wonderful alternative to the drab home grown Detective and Crime Dramas. There are intriguing twists in the two stories I’ve seen so far - you are never quite sure who’s side Zen is working for. And his love interest is gorgeous - Caterina Murino.

I’m looking forward to the third and sadly last episode this coming Sunday.

Never used to watch Crime on TV but there’s so much dross I’ve found myself watching more and more Detective series. At least it gives some exercise to the little grey cells!

If you are interested in good Crime and Detective TV, then turn to 5USA - a channel dedicated to the medium. I’ve watched NCIS for a very long time but now have seen virtually all of them. Even the old ones like Columbo are enjoyable.

Happy viewing



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AUDREY HEPBURN'S PERFUME - English Promenade 19

Date: 25th February 2021


As most of you will know I am a huge fan of Audrey Hepburn and have always regarded her as one of my heroines. When younger I was always thrilled when people said I looked like her - not really but I had the same urchin hair cut and gamin looks.

Some years ago, whilst working as Ambassador for Just You Singles Holidays, they sent me for a long weekend to New York. I teamed up with another lady on the trip and we went walkabout ending up at The NewYork Plaza Hotel - I think we managed a cup of coffee it was all so pricey.

In the shopping arcade of the Hotel I saw an array of photos of the stars of yesteryear like Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Katherine Hepburn and many of the male stars as well. My interest being spiked I wandered over and discovered a Perfume Boutique. As is my wont I began a conversation with the Assistant and learned that Krigler Perfume had been personally formulated for many stars including Audrey. Naturally I was given one of those little paper sticks with a spray of the perfume and would love to have bought a bottle. Even though I buy expensive perfume (you get what you pay for and it lasts a long time) this was way beyond my budget but I often thought about it.

Having spent Christmas, New Year and my Birthday solo because of the Covid Pandemic and becoming increasingly miserable with the enforced incarceration, I fell to wondering if we would be released in time for me to celebrate my huge Birthday next January. Don’t! - how did I ever get to be so old - in my heart I still feel as though I’m in my late twenties.

During lockdown I’ve donated to a few charities but, in the main, I’ve not spent as much as normal so thought I would spoil myself for my Birthday next year and made the decision that I was going to have a bottle of Audrey’s Perfume - English Promenade 19.

Krigler is based in Berlin but they have a staff who speak and understand perfect English. I was helped every step of the way and told the young lady why I wanted this particular perfume

The package had to be delivered by Fedex and was due on Tuesday any time up to 6.00pm. It was a gorgeous mild sunny day and the dogs kept giving me dirty looks because of no walkies.

The parcel did not arrive - surprise surprise. That evening I wrote to Krigler and also to Fedex to the email provided by them. Krigler responded immediately - Fedex - undeliverable!!

Shannon at Krigler couldn’t have been more helpful and apologetic. The perfume arrived today beautifully packaged AND guess what, there were some extras - a beautiful candle and two handbag samples (so useful) and a card wishing me a Happy Birthday. How absolutely lovely and totally unexpected.

The perfume is divine and is not unlike another perfume I loved until they stopped producing it - Vallee des Rois by Mira Takla. Launched in 1988, you could only buy it in Harrods, London and Galeries Lafayette, Paris, though it was no more expensive than many other well known perfumes. Then it ceased to be sold and no explanation was given. Mira Takla is Egyptian and I wondered if she used some of the fixatives which are no longer available or became too pricey. I’ve still got a Christmas presentation case of her perfume and spray - the scent is still there after more than 20 years. That’s what you get with a good perfume.
Just looked her up and though the perfume is no longer made there are some for sale on line at ridiculous prices ranging from £400 to £550. I think I never paid more than £70 for them. The perfume and the spray held their scent for hours - a little went a long way.

Felt I just had to share this with you and my appreciation of the Krigler staff.

AUDREY HEPBURN'S PERFUME - English Promenade 19

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Date: 23rd February 2021

Miracles Mission Celebrity Auction

Miracles Mission is aiming to raise enough funds to build a Centre where disabled animals will be treated and, if appropriate, be fitted with ‘doggy wheels’. You can find out more by going to their Website.

Tried to publicise this on Twitter but twice the Tweets failed to go through. Perhaps because there was a link to Facebook where the Silent Auction is being held.

There is a whole list of Celebrity prizes including a chance to have an Audio/Video Message dedicated to you by the lovely Peter Egan.

Achieve your authentic “red carpet Hollywood look” or edit your wardrobe with a little help from Celebrity Stylist, Miranda Holder.
This personal styling session will be 100% vegan, including all products used.
If the winning bidder has a dog, there will also be a doggy styling session. One day of styling would usually cost £500…

There are Artworks and many other interesting donations

I gave my Eurovision Headband (the dress went years ago to a Charity Auction for Cash in the Attic) with accompanying photos of me in the dress and headband - well they were all the rage in 1982

There’s also my very first 9 O’clock News script, signed and with photos of me in a very shabby News studio (totally different from the Glam Set of today)

And the Indian Dress I wore for the last night party in The Real Marigold Hotel. It’s a size 10 and only worn the once.

It’s a shame that Miracles Mission cannot get the Auction on to Twitter but there you are. This is the link to the Auction and I don’t think you have to belong to Facebook to access it.


http:// https://www.facebook.com/events/710290026329411/. Please help if you are able. All these charities are suffering because their shops have been closed for almost a year.

Many thanks, Jan 


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Date: 23rd February 2021


A few weeks ago I was asked by this charity to be a Patron along with someone I admire greatly - the lovely Peter Egan. The day I accepted a dear little injured dog was brought in to the sanctuary - she’d been hit by a vehicle and paralysed in her back legs. They called her Jan for me - photo attached

I’ve made a donation to the Charity and also paid for her to have Doggie Wheels when she is full grown. She is already looking so much better but won’t walk again

People might question why I support Charities in far away countries - but the level of cruelty and lack of help would make a stone weep.

This small charity was set up by an English nurse who works full time but still manages to run the charity from her spare bedroom - No Expensive and luxurious HQ and eye watering salaries paid to staff????. That’s why I try and support where I can.

All charities have been badly hit by Covid especially the smaller ones who rely heavily on their Charity Shops which, of course, have been closed for best part of a year.

Please visit the internet and spend a few minutes reading about this superb Charity - ANIMALS SOS SRI LANKA.

Money donated to these small charities goes so much further than the same amount would do at home. For example - I paid £100 for Jan’s doggy wheels - but in this country the equivalent would be over £400. Perhaps they are custom made and might be better fit - but surely any help for a disabled animal is worth the effort.

I hope to visit my son in Australia for my ‘Big’ Birthday next January - how did I ever get so old?? and might just be able to make a stop in Sri Lanka where I’d love to visit the Sanctuary.

Even the price of a cup of coffee - donated monthly would be so welcome and helpful.

Thank you. Jan


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Date: 24th January 2021


Simply cannot believe the latest PC about the Three Wise Monkeys.

From The Times - Friday 22nd January

“York Academics see the evil of racism in three wise monkeys

A phrase comes to mind which I will alter ‘ Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ so to is ‘Offence”

I am highly offended and disgusted by the Halal killing of the Moslem and Jewish religions but to followers of those religions, it is not seen as such.

So back to the Three Wise Monkeys - Personally I’ve only ever seen them as WISE. Monkeys are revered in India - they have their own Monkey God - Hanuman and just outside Jaipur there is a beautiful Temple dedicated to Monkeys.

The Japanese revere the Monkey as being Wise.

The representation of Monkeys with paws over Eyes, Ears and Mouth to mean ‘See no Evil; Hear no Evil; Speak no Evil - appear to me to be Incredibly Wise Words which many of us would do well to heed.

When in India for the filming of The Real Marigold Hotel, we visited the beautiful Monkey Temple and three of us sitting on a wall, automatically took the stance of the Three Wise Monkeys with absolutely no offence meant or intended.

I am really tired of all the Political Correctness and the re-inventing of History. History is what it says - History - the Past which we cannot change. We can only work towards a better future. Without acknowledging History in its context, we have no future.

I’m sure if you scratched beneath the surface of many an Aristocratic or Rich family you would find contacts with the slave trade. An absolute abomination and, I believe the British were the first to do something to eradicate it.

Does anyone ever talk about Tribal Warfare in Africa and how their own people (of a different tribe) were sold into Slavery by the Victors.

Sadly we still have slavery by virtue of the ‘Sweatshops’ where the poor work in appalling conditions and are paid almost nothing. Think of that when next you buy an article which is ridiculously cheap - like a T-shirt for pence made in China or the Far East. It doesn’t take an economist to work out how little the ‘maker’ would have received for their labour when you factor in cost of materials, middle men, transport to the UK and another middleman selling to a shop or online.

I try very hard to avoid buying anything made in China and the Far East but it is well nigh impossible - think I’d be reduced to going around ‘naked’. Sadly the clothes made in the UK are predominantly very expensive and beyond the purse of much of the population.

Take care - stay safe.  Jan

Me, Wayne Sleep and Patti Boulaye


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Date: 23rd January 2021

Hallo and Welcome

My viewing figures increase every time there’s a Repeat programme on TV in which I’ve participated and a fortnight ago was no exception. I wondered why the figures had gone up and then realised there’s been a repeat of Part 1 The Real Marigold Hotel.

Last week it was superceeded by hours of Snooker but it is back again this evening at 6.00 pm and we attend the Ganesh Chathurti Festival. At the time I had no idea of the cruelty involved in training elephants. It was a very exciting event in which to take part and I was thrilled to bits when invited to ride a horse in the pageant. I don’t ride and never have done but as the horses were walking at a snail’s pace, I wasn’t going to miss this unique opportunity.

Don’t know if the crowds thought I was someone special because they were holding up babies and their hands to touch as though I had mystical powers.

Whilst we were waiting for the procession to approach a roar went up from the crowd ‘They’re coming - they’re coming’. I was so excited and jumped up and down like a teenager only to find what we thought were the huge elephants were grey helium balloons in the sky????

We all got swept up in the enthusiasm - some of us walked with the procession and the others sat on a roof terrace and observed. Writing about it, I can almost smell the crowds and hear the music.

I accepted the offer to join the team mainly because I wanted to visit India, the land of my Father’s birth. The Atkins family went to India at the time of Clive of India (maybe I shouldn’t be talking about it in these Woke times) around 1750 and my Father was the first member of the immediate family to return to the UK just before Partition. (Didn’t we Brits make an unholy mess of that causing strife which exists to this day between the Moslem Pakistan and the predominantly Hindu majority across the border)

I’ve always wanted to know more about the family. My father was thirteen when his Mother died and as he said to me ‘Fanny, as a young lad I wasn’t interested in Ancestry’. However after the Indian experience I joined FIBIS - Families in British India Society and also Ancestry.UK. The latter I found difficult to comprehend but a friend did much research for me and took our family back to 1800. Father didn’t know whether our family were part of the Military or the East India Company ( Oh dear!). From what I learned it would seem that our family were predominantly military. What also came to light was that I have a small proportion of Indian DNA and it didn’t surprise me to learn that we have Anglo Indian Ancestry.

What is strange is that, although I know very little about the culture and music of India, I’ve always been drawn to it. When I first returned from Australia in 1966, I got a job reading news for Grananda TV in Manchester and remember attending a Concert at the Free Trade Hall given by the World Famous Sitar player, the late Ravi Shankar. It was the first time he had performed outside India and definitely the first time in England.

In 2002 there was a musical in London ‘Bombay Dreams’ to which I took a friend and my son. It was a wonderful show which sadly didn’t run for long - I suppose it had a limited appeal. But I remember, as we stood to leave. the Tabla players on either side of the stage started a competition and we were right royally entertained to another 10 minutes of superb Table playing.

Well, as they used to say in ‘Looney Toons’ - That’s All Folks.

I used to write regular Blogs but these days refrain from doing because I get so incensed by so much going on in modern society and I’m not PC.

However, if you enjoyed this little piece, do let me know and I will attempt to write more often.

I tend to spend time on my Twitter account - mainly because I am restricted to 240 characters which prevents me from writing time consuming essays.

Nice to have you join me.  Stay safe.  Jan 

P.S.  If you would like to read and see more of my adventures in India - go to the left of the main Blog page - Archives -  click on  01/08/2016 and you will find 8 Blogs about Real Marigold Hotel 


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REAL MARIGOLD HOTEL - changed episode.

Date: 23rd January 2021

Sorry everyone.  The schedulers have really been having a great time changing everything.  Last week the billed episode gave way to Snooker and this week they changed the episode  from the one advertised.

This week's visit to the Taj Mahal was wonderful.  If you'd like to read more - go back to my Website Blog Archives  - left hand side of Blog page and click on 2016 - 01/08/2016 and you will find 8 Blogs recounting various visits including a fabulous one to Karauli which got completley left out in the editing.

At the Taj Mahal, my white parasol caused quite a stir.  Had girls, women, men and boys either wanting to borrow it or be photographed with me holding it.

Until next time, stay safe.  Jan 

REAL MARIGOLD HOTEL - changed episode.

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CREATE AN ACCOUNT - Anyone else frustrated

Date: 9th October 2020

Steam is coming out of my head - so frustrated at the amount of time one loses these days because you cannot talk to a person - fobbed off with a Bot or a chat IF YOU ARE LUCKY

My Apple Mac is 10 years old - it owes me nothing - but it is suffering from the beginnings of SENILE DEMENTIA.  I thought I was doing the most wise action by ordering a new one direct from APPLE.

Order placed on 29th September - Delivered assured for 8th October.  Not that many of us are doing much these days but I did cancel a social engagement, stayed in all day, and my little dog had crossed paws waiting for a walk ??

The deliverer was to have been UPS - Ugh.  I was unable to get updates on Tracking - WHY - I needed an account.  I don't like being hassled into setting up accounts for one item with a company I will probably never use again. However, I couldn't even set up an account because their website sent me round in circles - didn't have an account, couldn't create an account because I didn't have an ID and Password!!!!!  Eventually after a complaint on Twitter they DM's me - then it got even more bizaree.  In short they agreed the parcel had gone AWOL on 5th October.  Apple took payment on 3rd October

I couldn't take any more frustration yesterday so put on my brave hat and phoned Apple this morning. Very pleasant and mostly helpful but had to go through A - Z of steps I'd taken with UPS.  Having held on at the end of a phone for about 15 minutes I was informed that Apple now needs confirmation from UPS that the package has been lost (or stolen) as it got no further than the Dartford Depot.  Now I have to wait for a refund.

I wouldn't have bothered sharing my woes with you except that I've just come up against another of these darned 'Create an Account' scenarios.  In August I pledged a sum of money in order to get published for Born Free a book on Saving the Lions - a bit like crowd funding.  It's being organised by Kickstarter (suppose a bit like Crowd funding).  The money has been raised and the book will be published.  Tonight I received an email asking for my correct address etc. - and you've guessed they want me to create an Account!  Actually I couldn't so I hope that I do receive a copy of the book because I could proceed no further.

Why should we have to create accounts - especailly with companies with whom we are unlikely to do business again.  I'm sure it is just a cheap way of getting more names, addresses and details for their marketing.

The Internet was supposed to make our lives easier, personally I believe it has made lives, in the main, much more difficult especially if the Web design isn't fit for purpose. I want to talk with a person, not a BOT or an ALGORITHYM

FED UP from Kent.????

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Date: 21st September 2020


Scams seem to be proliferating at the moment and I'm fairly sure anyone reading this blog would not be taken in by it but you might have elderly relations or neighbours who might be scared and press Button 1. I am elderly but reasonably savvy

I never pick up my landline or mobile if there is no Caller ID.  Today I had FOUR phone messages saying that there was an underpayment of  tax and I must press Button 1 to speak to an Adviser or they would have to take action to have me arrested!!!!!  Sadly I don't work much anymore and I know my Tax is up to date so I just ignored the messages.  Also I am almost positive that the HMRC would not deal with a matter in this way.   However, what was strange was that on the landline phone screen a number came up INTERNATIONAL and a full number which looked like a valid Mobile Number.  I haven't tried to dial it for obvious reasons!

I wanted to inform HMRC but my Accountant indicated that they wouldn't do anything and the Police have got better things to do with their time. But if it helps in any way just be aware.

I've had to change both my Bank Debit Card and my Mastercard Three times this year because of fraudulent activity.  I'm very happy that the Bank and John Lewis Partnership are so vigilant but it does cause problems when you have to give the new numbers to regular payees.


Take care,  Jan

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Date: 21st September 2020

Was taking a peaceful walk with my little Papillon on Friday in the fields near my home.  Rounded a corner and from nowhere this Staffie Bitch launched an attack on my dog.  I know you shouldn't but I had to protect my dog and in so doing got a nasty gash on my leg.  

My little one was very shaken up but seemed to be okay.  The man apologised and said his Bitch had never done it before.  I tactfully suggested that if she'd done it once she might do it again and should therefor be muzzled.  

We limped home but when we got there and I went to pick up René he screamed with pain.  He couldn't walk properly so I whisked him off to the Vet.  Apparently he had a very swollen thigh so antibiotics and pain killers were prescribed.  On Saturday he projectile vomited water 4 times so back to the Vet and more injections.  Only today, Monday has he finally had a meal.

I'm not a litigious person and believe in live and let live but friends have said I ought to report the incident in case there's another more serious attack.  I didn't get the man's details but met another dog walker today and when I described the dog, she turned out to be the neighbour and said  the Staffie was vicious and she couldn't let her dog into the garden when the Staffie was out.

The whole episode was very unpleasant but the most unkind cut of all was when he phoned his partner and said 'The Old Lady said she's okay". I know I'm ancient but no one has ever put it quite like that????

Fortunately I keep a well stocked medicine cabinet so I had Antiseptic wipes and Antiseptic spray and appropriate wound dressings and my Tetanus is up to date so other than a scar I'm okay.  When you are OLD, your skin thins and almost anything bruises and scars you.????


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