Capricornian Birthday

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.


Date: 13th January 2009


I apologize for daring to share with you my Birthday Celebration but, bless you, many of you appear to tune in every week and there's not a lot about which to tell you at the moment.

The skies are grey,  the economy has had it, and there's very little about which to be cheerful so I hope you will indulge me.

It's not much fun having a birthday so early in the year - 5th January (it could be worse I suppose if you share your naissance with the Christ Child).  As a child I used to get a combined present and as an adult my birthday is often forgotten because it's so close to the Christmas and New Year Celebrations.

Anyway, my son insisted that I go up to London so that he could take me out.  I wasn't too happy at having to make the journey.  I don't like public transport at the best of times and avoid it whenever feasible.  However, Jonathan insisted that I didn't drive because of weather conditions and being able to have a drink or two.  As a woman, I wouldn't take a train in the evening because of safety - what is the world coming to!

Jonathan and his work colleagues have a favourite watering hole - a cosy little French Bistro called the Beaujolais very near the top end of Shaftesbury Avenue.  He met me off the train and we walked (well I was almost running as my son is 6'3” and strides like a giant) to the Beauj ........ where to my great delight we met Jonathan's best friend from school, Stuart, the very clever young man who owns his own business and set up my Website for me.  I've always been very fond of Stuart.  And also Jonathan's ex girlfriend - lovely Felicity.  It must run in the family this staying in touch with old amours.

Stuart treated us to a Bottle of Pink Champagne - my all time favourite drink and then the Manager - Marc treated us to another (just as well I didn't drive).  Then I was presented with the most fantastic Birthday cake I've ever had.  Mind you, I don't think I've had more than six cakes in my life.  As a child we didn't have the money for parties and as an adult, the celebration was too close to the remainder of the festive season.  Jonathan order this apparition from a French Patisserie - the Patisserie Valerie.  I can only describe it as a sort-of large Bavarois with three inches of fresh fruit atop it - redcurrants, blackcurrants, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and Cape gooseberries (physallis) and Marc had stuck into it something that resembled a Firework which lit up the whole restaurant.  It was such fun.  I'm not even remotely tempted when I pass an English 'cake shop' with it's donuts, Chelsea buns, iced buns and  rock cakes - all looking like lumps of baked dough.  They all look so unappetising but you have to blindfold me to pass the Patisseries in France and the Cake Shops in Belgium.

After our champagne and cake, Jonathan took me to a lovely restaurant - Incognico -  and assured me that I wasn't to be phased by the prices as it was a special offer dinner.  The food was extremely good but I wouldn't have enjoyed it half as much if he'd been paying the full price.  Because we'd had the champagne, we opted for a glass of wine each rather than a bottle - heaven knows what a bottle would have cost - a glass was £9.50.  Sadly the staff outnumbered the diners - as there was only one other couple apart from us.  I know it was a Monday but we were almost at the heart of theatreland - so it proved the Recession really is biting.

However, in our small corner of the world, we had an absolutely lovely time and my son couldn't have organised anything more enjoyable.

All good things come to an end and they did the next morning on the return journey.  It took a bus, a tube and a train (for which we waited on a freezing cold station) and the journey time was 4 hours.  I could have done it in two in the warmth and comfort of my car.  Had I driven into London, I would have driven home that night but, as I wouldn't want to be on Public Transport, unaccompanied, I stayed at Jonathan's flat.  It's all well and good trying to get us out of cars and onto Public Transport but our Transport System is creaking at the seams, is very expensive, and for a woman on her own at night - a no-go area.    I don't think twice about using buses and the Metro in Paris - they are clean, efficient and inexpensive.

So, again my apologies for sharing my Birthday with you but there's not a lot else going on.

After the Stevie Wonder Concert, I vowed I'd never go to the O2 again but I'm afraid I've been seduced - I loved Carl Orff's 'Carmina Burana' way back in the late sixties when everyone thought I was nuts to like this odd music.  Well, I've kind of been proven right haven't I?  Anyway, I've got tickets for Jonathan and myself - not the best in the house but at least I've got seats. I'm driving up to his flat and we will go in to O2 on the tube - it's a better option than driving and trying to park a car - even when you have booked parking it's a nightmare.

I absolutely loved the music and was very excited when I discovered Orff had written a sequel - Carmina Catulli.  Sadly it isn't a patch on Burana and that's probably why most of you will never have  heard of it.

Take care and I do hope everything begins to improve for you wherever you are.

 All good wishes,  Jan.

SOS - I had an Email from a friend in Zimbabwe and try as I might, I cannot get in touch.  I know from the analytics on my website that there is a visitor from Zim, so if he reads this Blog - I have tried to make contact but maybe the Broadband is misbehaving.  I know friends in Capetown still haven't received Birthday cards and Email greetings which I sent a month ago.  Nor did they receive my Texts at New Year.

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