2015 - 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.

NEW YEAR'S EVE - SYDNEY 2015

Date: 31st December 2015

I've just been fortunate enough to watch the Sydney Fireworks from what must be the best vantage point in the whole of the City. Words can't describe the beautiful panorama of the City spread out beneath us and the uninterrupted view of the city and the Bridge - the excitement as the assembled multitude... Read more...


KATOOMBA - Scenic World and Jenolan Caves

Date: 30th December 2015

My dear friend Michael Laurence - whom I met in Theatre in 1966 and who died earlier this year - lived in Leura and then in Katoomba. I suppose we never really explore what is on our doorstep and though I visited him several times we never did the Scenic World Experience or visited the Jenolan Caves. Today my... Read more...


PILGRIM SAILING

Date: 27th December 2015

Jonathan and his girlfriend Sarah kindly organised a Sailing Experience for a party of their friends. We met at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia and made our way to the 60ft Yacht 'Pilgrim'. She is owned and run by an English lady called Clare and her partner Paul. Clare used to play tennis to... Read more...


CHRISTMAS EVE in SYDNEY

Date: 24th December 2015

Christmas Eve - El Circo - Slide Lounge - Darlinghurst. Jonathan has taken me to El Circo twice before and it is always a great evening. Circus, cabaret, burlesque and entirely original, El' Circo captivates, the moment you enter the room. Created by French born Marc Kuzma, El' Circo features a plethora... Read more...


McLaren Vale - South Australia

Date: 22nd December 2015

McLaren Vale We set off with Jonathan's friends to do a Wine Tour of McLaren Vale and were to visit at least 5 Vineyards and then have lunch at the Currant Shed. (Just a thought but I wondered if the name of the restaurant was a play on words - grapes make wine and shrivelled grapes make Currants!!) I... Read more...


GLEN ELG - Southern Australia

Date: 21st December 2015

Glen Elg - South Australia Jonathan took me down to Adelaide for a few days. He wanted to meet up with a friend and also to do a Wine Tour of McLaren Vale. Friends in Sydney thought we would be scorched as Adelaide had been having a heatwave with temperatures over 40 degrees. We were decidedly chilly when we... Read more...


SYDNEY - The Rocks

Date: 20th December 2015

SYDNEY - THE ROCKS The Rocks in Sydney has always been a quaint area with many New Age shops selling crystals etc. But on Sundays - the Market is simply wonderful as I know to the detriment of my Credit Card! Jonathan suggested we paid a visit and having met him in Central Sydney we walked to this lovely corner... Read more...


SYDNEY - Botanical Gardens

Date: 19th December 2015

My first full day in Sydney and Jonathan and I met for a coffee and a wander. When I lived in Sydney, I don't remember ever walking around the Botanical Gardens - that's a shame because they are really beautiful and at almost every step of the way you get fabulous views of the Sydney Opera House and the... Read more...


DownUnder

Date: 18th December 2015

I'm aware of all the blogs I didn't manage to type and all the new experiencesI didn't write about so I've decided to concentrate on the new rather than dwell in the past. A great deal of what I wanted to write was my ire at the state of the world and England in particular where we are governed... Read more...


SOUVENIR FRANÇAIS

Date: 21st November 2015

I am a Patron of Souvenir Français.   Le Souvenir français is a French association for maintaining war memorials and war memory, comparable to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission but very much smaller. Today we gathered at Chatham in the de-commissioned and very impressive St. George's... Read more...


INDIA

Date: 21st November 2015

I am longing to tell you about the great adventure - 3 weeks filming in India for 3 One hour documentaries for  BBC 2.  We are bound to secrecy until Publicity is released but they are beginning to make noises about it so I'm hoping I can share with you soon.   I'm bursting to write about so... Read more...


APOLOGIES

Date: 20th November 2015

APOLOGIES FOR LACK OF BLOGS To those kind people who read – and sometimes look forward to my Blogs – I apologise for the lack of them recently. It has been a combination of feeling down over my little cat and also a feeling of uselessness over so much which is going on in the world today. I... Read more...


SHARING GRIEF

Date: 27th October 2015

I have been overwhelmed by the messages of comfort and sharing which have come in via my Website - generated by the article printed in the Daily Mail. One lovely lady sent me a message of condolence and shared with me a poem she wrote for her beloved cat Mickey.  I asked if I could reproduce it and she... Read more...


TAMBY - MAGIC?

Date: 27th October 2015

Yesterday I forced myself to go for a long walk on the Beach.  It was either that or lying on the sofa consumed by memories and grief. I haven't walked on the shingle beach for months.  About 3 years ago I found a large lump of Amber much to my astonishment.  I know that amber can sometimes... Read more...


THANK YOU

Date: 26th October 2015

I felt quite stupid when I discovered that the Daily Mail had printed my very poorly written Ode to Tamby.  I dashed it off in the first flood of my grief and wanted to share it with the regular readers of my Blog who will have followed Tamby's history - I didn't expect it to go National. However... Read more...


LOSS - A SAD YEAR

Date: 24th October 2015

This has been a very bad 12 months - I've lost my Father, Mother, a very dear friend in Australia, the love of my life and now my last companion. I kept dogs for most of my adult life - Standard poodles.  But when I moved into an apartment 12 years ago I only had my little stray cat left and felt that... Read more...


LONGING TO SHARE

Date: 19th October 2015

I am simply bursting to share with you the photos and experiences from my 3 weeks filming in a far flung place.   Not feeling too well yesterday, I spent the day sorting through the 1,500 photos I took during the filming.  Two hundred got binned for either being blurry or not good enough but that... Read more...


CAIRNS

Date: 19th October 2015

Recently I stayed with some friends at Kingsand in Devon.  They have a Cairn who is relatively mature and a young one who is only a year old and what a bundle of mischief she is.  Highly intelligent she sussed very quickly that I was a softie and would play ball with her except she didn't seem to... Read more...


CAIRN POEM

Date: 19th October 2015

My Cairn loving friends had posted this poem which I photographed.  Says it all doesn't... Read more...


TOM YENDELL - An inspirational gentleman

Date: 19th October 2015

TOM YENDELL – An inspirational gentleman I was giving a Talk recently at a Rotary Conference in Bristol and was introduced to Tom Yendell. Rotary undertake an enormous amount of good work supporting various Charities and Initiatives. One of these is the new Flatspace concept inspired by Tom. Tom is a... Read more...


WHO'S DOING THE DISHES

Date: 30th September 2015

First of all I want to apologize for not writing any blogs for ages but I have been away filming for three weeks in a rather exotic part of the world.  Sorry I cannot tell you anything about it but it is embargoed for the time being. I also couldn't tell you the date of the above mentioned programme.... Read more...


READER'S QUESTION ON THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN

Date: 13th July 2015

Every Monday I receive the statistics as to how many have viewed my website, from which countries, and sometimes there is a question. Today the question was asked as to whether any Americans took part in the Battle of Britain.  The answer is Yes.  The number differs between 9 and 11 according to... Read more...


BATTLE OF BRITAIN MEMORIAL DAY

Date: 12th July 2015

BATTLE OF BRITAIN MEMORIAL DAY Where does time go. Another year and here we were again commemorating Battle of Britain Memorial Day – this time the 75th Anniversary of that brief period in WW2 which changed the tide of the war to the Allies favour. It was quite chilly but the rain kept off other than... Read more...


OMAR SHARIF

Date: 10th July 2015

OMAR SHARIF It is always sad to hear of someone’s death but I was particularly upset to hear the news today that Omar Sharif had just died of a heart attack and at the relatively young age of 83. In the late 70’s when working as an interviewer on a BBC Magazine Programme called ‘Pebble... Read more...


VEHICLE TAX - WONDERS WILL NEVER CEASE

Date: 7th July 2015

When I purchased my little Ford Fiesta last year I was assured that because it is Eco friendly I would not have to pay Vehicle Tax. Being something of a Cynic I didn't really believe it.  Today I received a rather confusing form which reminded me that my Vehicle was due for its Vehicle Tax but all I... Read more...


MARGUERITE PATTEN

Date: 4th July 2015

MARGUERITE PATTEN The other day I read of the death of the Cookery Writer – Marguerite Patten. Why did this strike a chord with me? Her Cookery in Colour was the very first Cookery book I owned. It was given to me as a present by my lovely boss Dr. Archie Clow who was Head of the Science Unit at BBC... Read more...


DONNINGTON CASTLE

Date: 8th June 2015

DONNINGTON LODGE I attended a 50th Wedding Anniversary Celebration at Donnington Lodge. Setting  the postcode accurately , of course SatNav took me way past the Lodge to nearby Donnington Castle which is little more than a ruined turret but particularly interesting Although it was built after the death of... Read more...


MAGNA CARTA

Date: 7th June 2015

I attended a full day Conference on the subject of Magna Carta at Canterbury Christ Church University.  It was a very informative and interesting day - a few of the speakers were superb - enough said! Why, oh why do people not learn the basics of good presentation.  And these were not youngsters who... Read more...


BLACK PRINCE'S CHANTRY - HUGUENOT CHAPEL - French Protestant Church

Date: 5th June 2015

BLACK PRINCE’S CHANTRY – HUGUENOT CHAPEL – French Protestant Church Whatever you choose to call it, this little space is unique. Eldest son of Edward 111, the young Edward was born on 15th June 1330 at Woodstock. As the heir apparent he was invested with the title Prince of Wales. He died... Read more...


SAPPERTON - St. Kenelm's Church

Date: 4th June 2015

SAPPERTON- GLOUCESTERSHIRE Last week I attended a Memorial service for an old friend. Held at St. Kenelm’s Church, Sapperton, it was a joyous occasion and very much a celebration of a good life - some tears but much laughter and love. The Church itself is fascinating and one has stood on the site as... Read more...


THE MIDDLE CLASS - by Zebedee Helm

Date: 1st June 2015

THE MIDDLE CLASS It is said that every cloud has a silver lining and last weekend was no exception. I had to drive to Gloucester to attend the Memorial service to the husband of a very old friend. Least said about the nightmare drive on the M.25 it took me over 5 hours to do a journey which should have taken 3... Read more...


MEDIAEVAL STAINED GLASS - ANCESTORS EXHIBITION - CANTERBURY CATHEDRAL

Date: 25th May 2015

The stunning South Window of Canterbury Cathedral has been under wraps and scaffolding since 2009 and the Stained Glass has been taken out whilst the Masonry is rebuilt. Rather than let the Glass lie hidden from view, decisions were taken that some of this wonderful glass would be seen by the public - very up... Read more...


EARTHQUAKE IN KENT

Date: 22nd May 2015

I live in an apartment in a large house in Kent.  We are  used to the building vibrating because of a badly maintained road (KCC and Southern Water both more or less  deny responsibility for it):  the lack of a speed limit : and large vehicles travelling far too fast. At 2.58 this morning I... Read more...


THE ANCESTORS - Exhibition of Stained Glass - Canterbury Cathedral

Date: 14th May 2015

On Monday 18th May (incidentally my son's Birthday) an exhibition opens in The Chapter House of Canterbury Cathedral.  it is a unique opportunity to see Mediaeval Stained Glass 'up close'.  I can do no better than post the information which explains the Exhibition and why it has come... Read more...


PENSHURST PLACE

Date: 13th May 2015

Friends of Canterbury Cathedral organized a day trip to Penshurst Place - home of Viscount De L'isle and his family.  Viscount De L'isle is the Lord Lieutenant of Kent and I have had the pleasure of meeting him at one of the Battle of Britain Memorial Days. I am not going to attempt to try and... Read more...


ARDRES - FRANCE

Date: 12th May 2015

Made a day trip to France recently with friends.  We went to Ardres for lunch as the Francois Premier Restaurant had been recommended.  It certainly lived up to and exceeded expectation - the food was beautifully presented and tasted as good as it looked.  However we were a trifle surprised that all... Read more...


ELECTION 2015

Date: 9th May 2015

My friends and I opened  a bottle of champagne with relief that the Tories won the election and to toast Farage - whether you like the man or not, he had the courage to voice the worries/fears of so many of the population who daren't speak out/register their views for fear of being labelled... Read more...


POLITICS - THE ELECTION 2015

Date: 6th May 2015

POLITICS - THE ELECTION I have studiously avoided most of the political programmes because I am tired of politicians of all hues spouting the same dogmas, attacking one another and making ridiculously unachievable promises to the Electorate. They sound like a load of squabbling children and none, yes none, has... Read more...


HUGUENOT CHAPEL - French Pasteur

Date: 19th April 2015

Last year at a Huguenot event in Rochester, I met the French Pasteur from the French Church in Soho Square.  As we have no Pasteur at our little Chapel, I asked if he would consider coming down from time to time to take our service.  He kindly agreed and for the last two Sundays we've had the pleasure... Read more...


ROCHESTER CATHEDRAL

Date: 15th April 2015

Visiting Rochester today to have a sneak preview of the soon to be opened Huguenot Heritage Museum, I decided to have another look at Rochester Cathedral. On my last visit I didn't have time to take an Audio Guide. On this occasion I did so - and at the moment it is free because part of the Cathedral is... Read more...


HUGUENOT HERITAGE MUSEUM - ROCHESTER

Date: 15th April 2015

HUGUENOT HERITAGE MUSEUM - ROCHESTER Yesterday I had a sneak preview of this superb Museum which will have a ‘soft opening’ in May with the official opening on July 13th. I went to record a small piece about my involvement with the Huguenots and was given a look around. The whole exhibition has... Read more...


NATIONAL RAIL - Credit where credit is due

Date: 9th April 2015

Usually getting through to any website like the above would engender a large amount of waiting time and frustration.  Imagine my delight today when I was only given 3 options and needing to speak to an operative, was put through immediately. I had lost or mislaid my Senior Railcard.  I don't use... Read more...


BRITISH AIRWAYS

Date: 7th April 2015

Am I the only person to whom this continually happens or are there other poor souls out there with similar experiences.  I don't travel much these days but because of my loyalty to BA and the points accrued with Air Miles (nearly always unusable when I wished to fly!) and I really loathe having to do... Read more...


THE ITV LEADERS' DEBATE

Date: 4th April 2015

 THE ITV LEADERS’ DEBATE I steeled myself to watch the programme on ITV and managed an hour!!  After that time I'd had enough and couldn't take another second of Nicola Sturgeon - or the endless rounds of what we have all heard before.  Ms. Sturgeon only cares about the Scots and to... Read more...


THE WING - Battle of Britain Memorial - Capel le Ferne

Date: 28th March 2015

THE WING - Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel le Ferne Her Majesty the Queen officially opened The Wing on Thursday 26th March in company with the many generous donors (who made this mini miracle happen) and BOB Veterans. I was fortunate in being invited to the Open Day on Friday 27th. Of course,... Read more...


CAVEAT EMPTOR - RVTL

Date: 26th March 2015

Like most woman, I would love to discover the secrets of Eternal Youth! I’m not prepared to use Botox or go ‘under the knife’ but I do use products which I hope will do their best for my ‘fast fading youth’!!!! I have read much about the benefits of RVTL which I understand can be... Read more...


HUGUENOT CHAPEL - Service 29th March

Date: 24th March 2015

We are a very small congregation and working like mad to keep the little Chapel alive!  Huguenots have worshipped in the Canterbury Cathedral Crypt since the time of Edward V1 (son of Henry V111).   Over the centuries as their numbers diminished they moved from the whole of the Western Crypt to the... Read more...


MICHAEL LAURENCE - R.I.P.

Date: 23rd March 2015

R.I.P. Michael Laurence. My dear friend Michael has just died and sadly I couldn’t be there with him in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales. Good friends of his have kept me informed about  his condition and I was able to speak with him last week but I don’t know if he registered that it was... Read more...


LETTERS TO MY FATHER

Date: 11th March 2015

My father died in October 2014 just 4 months short of his 100th Birthday.   Daddy was in the Army - Royal Artillery - having come to the UK in 1937 from India the country of his birth.  He was sent on two tours of duty to Malaysia.  On the first he had a recurrence of Malaria and had to come home... Read more...


LETTERS TO MY FATHER

Date: 10th March 2015

Whilst he was in Singapore my father regularly sent me delightful presents - none of which have survived sadly.  I remember a lovely music box decorated with Mother of Pearl and he also sent me many pressed flowers which I kept in my bible.  I remember flowers like Hibiscus which are now commonplace in... Read more...


SALISBURY CATHEDRAL

Date: 20th February 2015

SALISBURY CATHEDRAL I would like to visit all the English Cathedrals over the next few years. Although I have been to the Salisbury Cathedral in the past, it was a very long time ago when I read the Eulogy for a wonderful man, a plastic surgeon called Mr. John Barron. He had studied under the famous Sir... Read more...


APOLOGIES YET AGAIN

Date: 8th January 2015

I am so sorry and apologize profusely to those of you who are kind enough to say you look forward to my blogs.  The end of last year was rather traumatic and I couldn't muster the energy or enthusiasm to write about anything.   My father died in October as I wrote on a blog and then my Mother died... Read more...