2016 - 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.

TO WALK INVISIBLE

Date: 31st December 2016

Although I thoroughly enjoyed this programme about the Bronte sisters, I had to watch it with Sub-titles so am joining the legions of folk who have officially complained to the BBC. It was the same with Jamaica Inn of which I only watched Part 1 - the combination of very heavy Cornish accents, mumbling actors,... Read more...


REAL MARIGOLD HOTEL - Spin Off - Florida Keys & Hemingway

Date: 31st December 2016

Dear Readers, I can't thank you all so much for your emails, emails to my Manager, Tweets etc with regard to my absence from the group's visits to Florida and Japan.  Your words were most kind and I treasure them. The production company didn't invite me to join the group, but having now... Read more...


TAUKKYAN WAR CEMETERY - War Graves

Date: 26th December 2016

I learned that one of our group was going to make a visit to the War Graves Commission Cemetery just North of Yangon immediately before our departure. With my interest in the Battle of Britain, being a Patron of Souvenir Francais and also having made a documentary on Rene Mouchotte, I asked if I could accompany... Read more...


MYANMAR - SHWEDAGON PAGODA

Date: 26th December 2016

We returned from Inle Lake to Yangon (Rangoon) for the last full day of our Burma Experience. Having made an incredibly slow coach tour of central Yangon in order to see the old Colonial Buildings (traffic is virtually at a standstill but isn't it in every big city worldwide) we finished our trip with a visit... Read more...


MYANMAR - Burma - Travel Article

Date: 26th December 2016

Much to my surprise the Sun newspaper wanted an article on my trip to Burma and printed it in full - again a surprise. Not only that but they used several of the photos I sent them.  It is not a bad read so if you are interested, this is the link... Read more...


Readers Questions answered

Date: 26th December 2016

I am always amused by the questions asked by readers which bring them to my Website. So I'll try to answer a few Yes I am still very much alive - (someone asked if I were alive or dead) and am currently in Paris spending Christmas with dear friends. No I didn't go back to India. I never intended to... Read more...


INLE LAKE - Myanmar

Date: 18th December 2016

I've given up trying to get the correct dates for when and where we saw everything - all the pagodas, temples, villages etc. have now merged and it is difficult to sort them out especially as I couldn't take notes of place names because I didn't stand a chance at trying to discern Burmese writing which... Read more...


CHRISTMAS WISHES

Date: 17th December 2016

Yet again apologies for not keeping up to date with my Blogs and I still have some interesting places in Burma about which to tell you but I've been busy writing my talk for the Telegraph Travel Show on 13th January.  Having to choose 100 photos out of 4,000 to cover Burma, India and Tuscany is no mean... Read more...


THE REAL MARIGOLD HOTEL - Repeats

Date: 15th December 2016

The series in which 8 of us 'Retirees' went to India to assess the viability of living there where the pound goes (or used to) five times further. Repeats are 19th, 20th and 21st December at 6.00 on BBC 2.  (Wish we got repeat fees but they are a thing of the past.  If you don't sign for... Read more...


MYANMAR (BURMA)

Date: 12th November 2016

For those of you kind people who read my Blogs regularly I must apologize for the lack of them whilst in Burma with http://www.justyou.co.uk  It wasn't so much a holiday as a Voyage of Discovery and I literally had no time to write.  We had four very early starts with wake up calls at 4 or 5 am -... Read more...


KALAW

Date: 6th November 2016

KALAW Today a short flight to Heho and then a coach ride up into the Mountain area and the hill town of Kalaw. After checking in to the Dream hotel we were off for a short coach trip and a walk around a Hill Village. It certainly wasn’t what I expected – I’d imagined rustic huts and... Read more...


BAGAN - Dinner on Sandbank on Irrawady river

Date: 5th November 2016

We made our way to the River and onto our boat via a hard mud slope with many cracks!  No jetties here but perfectly safe. The start was inauspicious as the 'outboard motor' if I can call it that (It's an outboard on a very long extention arm) got caught up with that of the neighbouring boat... Read more...


BAGAN

Date: 4th November 2016

Today we have a long five hour coach journey to Bagan stopping off en route.  Bagan  is known as the 'City of 4,000 Pagodas' housed in an area of 19 square miles.  Wow The first stop was at the Snake Pagoda at Paleik where we watched the daily ritual of the bathing of the resident... Read more...


MANDALAY - Day 2

Date: 3rd November 2016

The day began with a visit to the Morning Market where we purchased various items of food to offer the Buddhist nuns at whose 'convent' we were to take lunch.  It was all very confusing and dark being a covered market - and none of us knew what the others were buying as gifts.  I had a really... Read more...


MANDALAY

Date: 2nd November 2016

A very very early wake up call in order to be at the Airport for our 6.40am flight to Mandalay which is a Showcase for Art and 19th Century Architecture. We hit the ground running so to speak and were off to see the exceptional and revered Mahamuni Buddha covered in a thick layer of gold applied daily by male... Read more...


YANGON

Date: 1st November 2016

Yangon, formerly Rangoon, was Burma's capital and is still the country's largest city. After checking in to the Sedona Hotel early afternoon we were off to the Kyaukhtatgyi Pagoda to see a 70 metre long reclining Buddha which was very impressive indeed. On then to the Kandawgyi Park where we saw a... Read more...


MYANMAR - the journey - Malaysia Airlines

Date: 31st October 2016

Burma and the Road to Mandalay http://JustYouHolidays was the title of my recent Voyage of Discovery.  We flew Malaysia Airlines http://www.malaysiaairlines.com and I was fortunate enough to fly Business Class - Economy is OK for short haul and when I was young but nowadays it is Business Class... Read more...


What a difference a day (dog) makes

Date: 24th October 2016

Do you remember the song?  Well transpose day and dog and René certainly has made a difference in all sorts of ways.  I've had him just over 3 weeks and have lost 5 lbs (2 kgs) in weight with all the walking. I used to walk fairly regularly along the Beach and the Beach Walk but it got... Read more...


TAMBY - a cat in a million

Date: 24th October 2016

My Darling cat Tamby died a year ago today and I still miss him.   He was, in the words of the Vet 'a moggie', found in a country lane when he was about 8 weeks old.  I took him into my home, he integrated with the dogs - a boxer and a standard poodle - and gradually wound around my... Read more...


JUST YOU SINGLES HOLIDAYS - BURMA

Date: 4th October 2016

As Ambassadress for Just You Singles Holidays my next Assisgnment is a trip to Burma.  I'm getting very excited about it - just think - a visit to a staggeringly colourful and beautiful country and in the words of the Stevie Wonder song they've told me 'Don't you worry 'bout a... Read more...


WOBURN ABBEY - Childline Event

Date: 4th October 2016

To mark their 30th Anniversary the Bedforshire Branch of Childline are staging an Evening event comprising an Auction and a welcoming speech by yours truly. Having read through their impressive 30 year history, I am even more honoured that they should have invited me to host the event. Childline was... Read more...


MY PAPILLON

Date: 2nd October 2016

He's mine!  After exhaustive tests, there's no major health issue and I went to collect him on Friday. Again I cannot speak highly enough of the efficiency, thoroughness, attention to detail, kindness of all the staff with whom I came into contact, particularly Hannah and Sarah and Craig although I only... Read more...


NORTHERN BALLET - ROMEO AND JULIET

Date: 23rd September 2016

I suppose I should have done my research but when I saw that the Northern Ballet were performing Romeo and Juliet at the Marlow, I booked immediately.  I know they have a very good reputation which is totally justified. The dancers were superb - young and lithe and the Orchestra was excellent.... Read more...


ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ON JAN LEEMING

Date: 19th September 2016

Hi everyone, I get my Website analysis every Monday morning and it is always interesting to see what has brought people on to my Site - they come from all over the world (in small numbers) and obviously they don't know me from a bar of soap but something about which I've written must have registered in... Read more...


TURANDOT - Live from Sydney Harbour

Date: 15th September 2016

I've just had a highly interesting and thoroughly enjoyable evening at a tiny and very old fashioned cinema locally.   Arriving early in order to park I decided to have a drink in the 'lounge' - which a dear sweet soul was in the process of opening up (I don't think it gets an airing that often).  I asked for a... Read more...


RARE TRAITS - a real treat

Date: 15th September 2016

I recently visited a friend and came away clutching 3 books she'd lent me written by a friend of hers whom she met during her sojourn in Hong Kong. David George Clarke was a Forensic Scientist who took a break from one career and learned to paint.  In his first book - self published  - he has... Read more...


THE REAL MARIGOLD HOTEL

Date: 14th September 2016

Have just heard that  'The Real Marigold Hotel' won a Rose d'Or award in Berlin last night! It is one of the most coveted and prestigious awards in Europe - so it's a massive honour to take home the trophy. Over 400 programmes from more than 130 broadcasters and production companies in 33... Read more...


FAN MUSEUM

Date: 14th September 2016

Sometimes life gets hectic and I don't write the blogs I mean to do.  Was just looking back and realised that I didn't tell you about the fascinating Fan Museum in Greenwich. I make no secret of the fact that I'm a romantic and when I discovered that my Free French Pilot René... Read more...


FRIENDS and a 100th Birthday Celebration

Date: 14th September 2016

This month I celebrate 50 years of knowing my best friend Sue.  We met at Granada TV in 1966 when I was engaged as a Newsreader (newly returned from Australia) and Sue was a Production Assistant.  We were both staying in Mrs Hoey's B & B and decided that we'd like to rent together.  We... Read more...


CAMERON AND LIBYA

Date: 13th September 2016

I know it is said that you shouldn't 'kick a dog when he's down' but the recent slamming of Cameron over Libya is totally justified in my opinion. As with Blair who took us into the Gulf War - why do these people not have the modicom of common sense given to we mere mortals who long ago were... Read more...


My Little Dog

Date: 7th September 2016

You may wonder why I've not posted any photos of my little rescue dog - sadly I don't have him and may not have him at all.  I was due to pick him up on Monday but he had been unwell and staff at Battersea, Old Windsor told me they needed to keep him in for blood tests.  These have come back... Read more...


ALLIED AIR FORCES MEMORIAL DAY - Elvington

Date: 4th September 2016

I am proud to be a Vice President of the Allied Air Forces Museum at Elvington near York.  This came about because of my work on research and the making of a documentary about the Free French Squadron Leader René Mouchotte. René himself was never based at Elvington because it operated as a... Read more...


KNOWLE HOUSE

Date: 1st September 2016

Having been invited to a Half Century Birthday Celebration in Frant, a girlfriend suggested that I treat myself to an hotel for the night so that I could enjoy the party and not have to bother about the drive home.  I took her advice and booked into The Spa at Tunbridge Wells.  One of the reasons I booked... Read more...


PAUL O'GRADY - Thank you

Date: 24th August 2016

I have resisted watching these programmes because I knew they would pull at my heart strings.  My darling cat, Tamby, passed away last October and the gap he has left is enormous.  I have been wondering whether to home a rescue cat or a dog or both. I finally did catch the end of one of Paul's... Read more...


I BRUSHED MY TEETH WITH HAIR GEL

Date: 18th August 2016

Well I didn't actually though I have used Hair Spray instead of Deodorant. Through Twitter and admiring the wonderful photography of James Kitto I've become friends with him and his partner.  Al has just had his children's book published.  He is a teaching assistant and wants to be a... Read more...


French Mirage IV Bomber gifted to Yorkshire Air Museum

Date: 17th August 2016

  As a Vice President of the Yorkshire Air Museum and knowing how long ago the Mirage was gifted and how hard Ian Reed, the Museum Staff and the French Air Attaché have worked to get it to the UK, I just have to let you know that it is finally on its way. It was announced today that the French... Read more...


PERSEID METEOR SHOWER

Date: 12th August 2016

Got up and went to the beach at 1.00am.  Lay on the pebbles for a half hour watching the stars.  Was rewarded by seeing 16 shooting stars - 3 of which were incredibly bright and beautiful. Well worth getting up for.  Fabulous.  Only wish I'd had a camera strong enough to video the... Read more...


BURMA - Myanmar

Date: 11th August 2016

As part of my contract with Just You http://@justyou as their Ambassador, I have to take a short haul and long haul holiday - it's a tough assignment!!!!   My short haul was Highlights of Tuscany which was most enjoyable and superbly planned.  They've chosen, as my Long Haul experience,... Read more...


GRAMMAR SCHOOLS

Date: 4th August 2016

I do hope Theresa May reverses the ban on new Grammar Schools. I am not an academic - I'd call myself more of a plodder but a hard worker - and I passed my 11+ well enough to be offered a place at Christ's Hospital.  According to my father - (an ordinary working soldier who scraped together the... Read more...


BARNARD CASTLE - Bowes Museum

Date: 12th July 2016

My best friend and I met in 1966 when we were both working for Granada Television in Manchester.  I was a Newsreader - Yes - all those years ago and Sue was a Production Assistant.  We were staying in a B & B - Mrs. Hoey's establishment I seem to recall.  We decided we'd get a place to... Read more...


OLYMPIA - Over 50's show this Saturday 16th July

Date: 11th July 2016

Come and join us at the Just You  Stand at Olympia this Saturday - close to the Olympia Theatre where at 2.15 I will be giving a talk about my  Just You Singles Holiday - Highlights of Tuscany and also showing photos of recent  experiences in India and Australia - heavily illustrated.... Read more...


BREXIT

Date: 24th June 2016

Whichever way you voted, the vote was a democratic one and how often do we see a close run thing in General Elections, but the people adhere to the will of the majority. Now I've heard it all - talk about changing the goal posts mid game - there is talk of another Referendum which will only be upheld on a... Read more...


Flowers to friends and family

Date: 24th June 2016

Have you ever ordered flowers to be sent to friends and family both in the UK and abroad? I've not only received but have discovered that the order I sent was 'well below par'. Once I ordered flowers for Mother's Day not expecting to be making a visit.  As it was I did pay a call and... Read more...


Passwords & Call Centres - BT and Tesco Mobile

Date: 22nd June 2016

PASSWORDS and Customer Service. BT and Tesco Mobile Passwords – oh the dreaded passwords. I am totally sick and tired of the times I’m told my password is incorrect (despite having it written down) and it is very difficult to see if you’ve made an error in the typing because you just get... Read more...


TELEVISION PRESENTERS

Date: 20th June 2016

Having spent 50 years ( oh my Goodness!) working in television as an interviewer, presenter, news reader, I can't help but watch television in a critical manner but sometimes people are so good you simply have to give them accolades. Last week I watched  a Referendum debate chaired by Polly James.... Read more...


OLYMPIA - Over 50's Show - Just You Singles Holidays

Date: 20th June 2016

If you have ever thought about taking a solo holiday to some of the most amazing destinations around the world, but did not know who to ask, come along to the 50+ show at Olympia on 16th July and chat to the experts from Just You holidays. I will be at the Just You stand (located near the Travel Theatre at R5)... Read more...


Charles de Gaulle - Appel of 18th June 1940

Date: 18th June 2016

As a Patron of Souvenir Français; a Vice President of the Allied Air Forces Museum in York;and with French ancestry, I have the honour to attend many French functions throughout the year.  The next one will be the Cocktail Party at the French Ambassador's Residence in London in commemoration of Le... Read more...


MESSAGE TO MY REGULAR READERS

Date: 6th June 2016

Am now home after almost two months of gallivanting so am able to enter photos into my Blogs. Also able to put in paragraphs to my writings.  When away from home I write the blogs on my Ipad and though I do paragraph, when transcribed to the Internet, the writing comes out as one great unbroken passage.... Read more...


HIGHLIGHTS OF TUSCANY - Just you Singles Holidays

Date: 5th June 2016

HIGHLIGHTS OF TUSCANY - Just You Singles Holidays Not having been on a booked/organised holiday since the 70’s, I have nothing against which to compare my holiday in Tuscany. All I can say is that it was superb. The group was looked after from the moment we arrived at Gatwick to the time we left Pisa... Read more...


JUST YOU HOLIDAYS - BRAND AMBASSADOR

Date: 13th May 2016

Exciting news, I've just been signed up as Travel company's Just You Ambassador. More details soon, I'm heading off on a trip to Tuscany with them this weekend and really looking forward to revisiting Florence, Pisa, Sienna, San Gimigniano and taking a trip to the island of Elba. I'll obviously... Read more...


PARIS - LA CONCIERGERIE

Date: 3rd May 2016

Well we set out to go to the Musee de Cluny - but it was Fermé. I do wish the French would standardise their closing days! However it was a lovely day for walking around Paris and we ended up at the Conciergerie which I'd never bothered with previously because from the outside it doesn't look too... Read more...


LA FONTAINE DE VAUCLUSE

Date: 28th April 2016

I've lost count of the number of times I've visited Provence and I don't think there's ever been an occasion when I haven't made a pilgrimage to one of the most beautiful sites in the area - the Fontaine de Vaucluse. It is where the river Sorgue finally surfaces after a journey underground for... Read more...


AIGUES MORTES - Provence

Date: 27th April 2016

I've travelled to the Camargue many times. In fact the first time I visited in 1974 one could still cross it and I was lucky enough to see the three creatures for which the Camargue is famous - the White Horses, the Bulls and the Flamingoes. Never having gone past the Camargue and the church of the two St... Read more...


St. Remy de Provence - Van Gogh Asylum

Date: 26th April 2016

St Remy de Provence Staying with friends in Provence and I thought I'd visited all the well known places over the last 30 years of returning to this place I love, but there were some surprises in store. We went to the Convent/Asylum in which Vincent Van Gogh spent the last year of his life. It still houses... Read more...


THE MARGARET MITCHELL HOUSE - ATLANTA

Date: 10th April 2016

Margaret Mitchell was the author of 'Gone With the Wind' - an immensely successful book and even more successful film - an absolute blockbuster. She came from a relatively well to do Southern Family, was a bit of a Tomboy and was sent to be educated in the North because her mother thought she would receive... Read more...


BOOTH Western Art Museum - Cartersville, Georgia

Date: 10th April 2016

When my friends suggested a visit to this Museum, I had no idea what to expect. It was magnificent and is dedicated to the Civil War, the settlement of the United States, the Indian Tribes (and I was astonished to learn that there were over 1000 different ones) and a small section on the Western Movies and their... Read more...


DANCE WITH FIREFLIES

Date: 10th April 2016

DANCE WITH FIREFLIES A lovely lady who connected with me through Twitter sent me a copy of her novel 'Dance with Fireflies'. I've enjoyed it immensely and much of it resonated with me because of my own Father having been born and brought up in India. I won't spoil it for you but will give you a... Read more...


AZALEAS IN ATLANTA

Date: 10th April 2016

COLOUR IN ATLANTA I've never seen such a riot of colour created by the most glorious Azaleas. Arriving at the best time for them I took dozens of... Read more...


FANNY FANACKOPAN

Date: 24th March 2016

I was just interviewed on Talk Radio by Paul Ross - the subject was 'Laughter Yoga' as seen on the Real Marigold Hotel. I'm not sure how it came out but I said my father when I was little,  used to call me Fanny Fanackopan. and that I had no idea where it came from.  Of course I should... Read more...


IAN DUNCAN SMITH

Date: 20th March 2016

What a huge shame that Ian Duncan Smith has resigned.  I met him once during my newsreading days and felt that he and John Major were men of principle - somewhat of a rarity among politicians don't you think.  "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely'. Ian Duncan Smith got a... Read more...


Al-Thani - Bejewelled Treasures Exhibition at the V & A

Date: 19th March 2016

Attended this stunning exhibition just before Christmas.  Lovely Emma - who featured in the Real Marigold Hotel - is a jewellery designer with her busines in Jaipur.  She often comes back for exhibitons etc.  I really felt she would adore this exhibition so today I took her and she was duly... Read more...


KURTA HAVELLI - JAIPUR

Date: 19th March 2016

A neighbour of mine has just returned form a holiday in India and says 'Your fame goes before you, apparently your Haveli is fully booked for the foreseeable future!'   I think she means the fame of the programme but I am not at all surprised because it really was the most delightful place and the... Read more...


HAND-ITIS

Date: 12th March 2016

In the past I've mentioned the unnecessary hand and arm waving which seems to be the current trend among so many presenting on television. In my opinion, It is fast becoming an epidemic. In everyday life and up until last week, I've never experienced a speaker with such continuous hand and arm movement... Read more...


BREXIT

Date: 2nd March 2016

Whichever way you wish to vote is or should be your choice based on the facts as given to us. I think Politicians forget that they are supposed to be 'our servants' and they are in power to carry out the wishes of the majority. Personally I feel David Cameron is taking an 'unfair advantage'... Read more...


SPIN

Date: 1st March 2016

SPIN Oh I do so love the French - they are so non PC. I have really enjoyed some past French Crime/Political Drama Series and friends recently mentioned 'Spin' on More4 - a channel I don't usually watch. I gorged on the first series last night and watched the lot - just as well - not sure I could have... Read more...


RENÉ MOUCHOTTE

Date: 29th February 2016

If you are a regular reader of my Blogs, you will be well aware of my interest in and extensive research about Free French pilot - Squadron Leader (Commandant) René Mouchotte.  After years of trying, I did finally have a short documentary transmitted by BBC SE which was then syndicated to BBC South and... Read more...


INDIA & Retirement

Date: 28th February 2016

I've just received my Website Analytics for last week and yet again I have to say NO I am not retiring to India.  I did answer this question extensively in my Blog of 15th February - so please read that one. I would never have considered retiring full time to India for various reasons but it would... Read more...


BEAUTIFUL - the Musical

Date: 28th February 2016

I saw this lovely show a few weeks ago and had heard the run was ending.  I'm delighted to let you know that, far from ending, the show has extended booking until February 2017. I haven't enjoyed a night in the theatre so much for ages.  I didn't really know much about  Carole King... Read more...


KIPLING'S INDIAN ADVENTURE

Date: 23rd February 2016

Just caught up with this BBC 2 programme on Iplayer.   What an enjoyable documentary but I was left wanting more. And what a joy to watch a presenter, Patrick Hennessey, who wasn't frenetically waving his arms all over the place and speaking nineteen to the dozen because he had so much to cram in... Read more...


KEW GARDENS

Date: 22nd February 2016

Am almost ashamed to admit that I've never visited Kew Gardens -  my loss. Had an absolutely lovely day there last week. Despite the forecast for snow, the day was relatively mild and sunny and a good day for much walking. I wanted to go because they had an Orchid Exhibition and I love Orchids.... Read more...


V & A - More wonders

Date: 22nd February 2016

On my visit last week I discovered more wonders which I'd never seen before.  You simply cannot do the V & A in a day! I'd never visited the Cast Galleries - casts of many of the Historic/Architectural wonders of the world which one might not otherwise have a chance to visit. One thing did... Read more...


EMMA CHAPMAN JEWELLERY

Date: 22nd February 2016

I've mentioned the beautiful Al Thani Bejewelled Fantasies Exhibition at the V & A and thought I'd mention the lovely creations designed by Emma Chapman which might be more within the reach of we mere mortals. Those of you who watched The Real Marigold Hotel might remember Emma as the lovely lady I... Read more...


ENGLISH- Spelling and Grammar

Date: 22nd February 2016

I haven't had a blast for a long time but I'm seeing more and more incorrect spelling and stupid mistakes and the one which must take the 'biscuit' was this one I saw recently 'Pain staking lists' -  so are they buidling a fence!! Our language must be one of the richest in the... Read more...


THE V & A - A Jewel in our midst

Date: 20th February 2016

I have not often visited the V & A.  Living in Bucks during my newsreading days and sometimes working a 7 day week with conferences etc. the last thing I wanted to do on a day off was to return to London.  My Loss! Just before Christmas a friend agreed to accompany me to the Museum because I... Read more...


ELEPHANTS

Date: 15th February 2016

ELEPHANTS We have been taken to task over our Elephant ride. I am a life member of  the David Shepherd Conservation Foundation and Born Free. I am a massive animal lover and in an ideal world would like nothing better than to see them all living in their natural habitat free from the threat of Man... Read more...


INDIA - VISIT - RETIREMENT

Date: 15th February 2016

INDIA – RETIREMENT I have received so many questions with regard to whether or not I would retire to India that I feel I must resort to a general answer. Even if I wished to retire to India it would be well nigh impossible in terms of Restrictions. Buying - Bobby George discovered that if you wish... Read more...


TALKS AND HAIRPIECES! Queries answered

Date: 13th February 2016

Sorry - I'm having to resort to a round robin again. Yes I do give talks and I have a list of five  heavily illustrated subjects.  After I appeared on 'Celebrity .." (can't believe it was nearly a decade ago!!) P & O offered me several engagements on 'legs' of their World... Read more...


RESPONSE

Date: 13th February 2016

Even though I've not been able to individually reply to your hundreds of emails, I have now read them all.  It is interesting to see how much of what I write resonates with you - the older generation. One lovely lady in particular - with whom I did enter into correspondence because she asked my advice... Read more...


Using the Website

Date: 13th February 2016

Forgive me if I'm teaching 'Grandmother to suck eggs'  but even I get confused with my website from time to time.  If you wish to look back at past blogs you need to go to Archives - left hand side and click on the month - then you will get a few lines on the subject and if you wish to read... Read more...


KINDNESS

Date: 13th February 2016

There is much kindness in the world. I had a delightful photo taken at an Awards Ceremony a short while ago.  It wasn't posed and hasn't been airbrushed and I like it very much.  My hand-out photos are very out of date so I wrote to the Press Photographer for permission to use and duplicate... Read more...


INDIA - HOLIDAY TIPS

Date: 12th February 2016

I know I said I couldn't possibly deal with the hundreds of emails you've so kindly sent but one theme is recurring - that of asking advice with regard to having a holiday in India.  Many of you have said that it was on your 'Bucket List' but now it is on your 'Definite List'. VISA... Read more...


SEARCHING FOR RENÉ - Talk at The Wing - Capel le Ferne

Date: 12th February 2016

Marigold has taken over my life for the past week but I must mention the talk I'm giving on Saturday 20th at the Battle of Britain Memorial - Capel le Ferne. It is only open to Friends of the Few and their guests but if there were enough demand, perhaps it could be opened up to a wider audience at a later... Read more...


YOUR QUERIES

Date: 11th February 2016

Your kindness, concern, attention, and questions have got me beaten. I concede defeat. I am so sorry but I simply cannot continue replying individually to all of you lovely people. I got through about 200 but the last episode of Marigold  brought hundreds more gmails so will you forgive me if I try and address... Read more...


ROS EDWARDS

Date: 10th February 2016

Just a quickie. So many folk have commented on the good mix of people in Marigold. Well thanks are due to Ros Edwards the Talent Producer for Two Four Productions. It was she who sifted through and interviewed us all and made choices which then had to be sanctioned by the BBC. Many people have written to say... Read more...


MARIGOLD - the omissions

Date: 9th February 2016

Just seen third episode. What a shame that so much had to be left out - the fantastic 16th Century Karauli Palace and birthday dinner with the Maharajah and his family. The old palace is incredible with fabulous frescoes executed by Italian artists and they've hardly been touched by time. I will post some photos in... Read more...


CLOTHES, YOUTH ETC.

Date: 8th February 2016

I'm almost at the point of declaring myself beaten.  I can't keep up with all the gmails and my Website hits have just gone to 27,000.  Thank you, thank you. Forgive me if I give a generic answer to those who've asked about my clothes and how I keep fit. I hasten to say that I'm... Read more...


SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT

Date: 7th February 2016

First may I say that I am humbled and totally overwhelmed with the outpouring of affection you have displayed in writing to me.  I'm struggling to reply. I absolutely loved my 'Indian Adventure' and was very grateful to be chosen to take part. I am eternally grateful to the BBC and Two Four... Read more...


CURRENT UPDATE

Date: 6th February 2016

Well I thought I'd got to the end of answering all the emails but another lot have come in today - but I'm not complaining.  I've never had a response like this even when I did 'Come Dine with Me' (5 years ago!!) and which is till going round on an endless loop - wish we got repeat... Read more...


THE FACE OF INDIA

Date: 6th February 2016

I've brought back many beautiful and highly colourful memories of India but one of the most poignant was this photo I took on leaving the Airport to come home. I'd visited the Ladies and there was this incredibly beautiful young woman attendant who looked so sad.  We'd cleaned out most of our... Read more...


Linkedin - Unsubscribe

Date: 5th February 2016

I responded to a piece posted on my son's Facebook page - it was about the Lockdown laws in Sydney.  The article was far far far too long and one lost the plot in trying to comprehend.  I wrote a comment because my son had filled me in on some of the background. Heaven knows how but when I posted... Read more...


THANK YOU HUGELY

Date: 3rd February 2016

Dear All, Thank you. I've been overwhelmed with delightful emails and would like to reply to you all which I shall try to do. I always prided myself, when I worked at the BBC, with answering all the mail I received but I did have secretarial help. I am now my own secretary and I really will try hard to... Read more...


DEATH - When I am old I shall wear purple ...............

Date: 29th January 2016

In the last 14 months I have lost so many family members and friends as well as my beloved Cat, that I am more than ever determined to make the most of every single day left to me.  I am extremely fortunate in enjoying very good health.  That is one thing money cannot buy. I've always tried to... Read more...


WAR AND PEACE

Date: 29th January 2016

I'm watching the series on Television and am enjoying it up to a point.  I don't really think one can condense Tolstoy's epic into 6 episodes and it has been very 'Hollywoodised'. In Australia in 1966 I was fortunate enough to be part of the company of The Union Repertory Theatre in... Read more...


THE REAL MARIGOLD HOTEL - and my very dark glasses!

Date: 27th January 2016

Normally I would never wear sunglasses and certainly not dark dark ones when filming.  However a few days before the end of our sojourn in Jaipur, I got up to visit the bathroom in the middle of the night.  I think there must have been one of the many power cuts because my bedside light didn't... Read more...


THE REAL MARIGOLD HOTEL

Date: 26th January 2016

Busy preparing a curry for some friends who are coming round this evening to 'hold my hand' when the first episode transmits. My father (born in India) and his wife used to make the most delicious curries doing everything from scratch and it put me off going to Indian Restaurants.  Once you've... Read more...


BATTLE OF BRITAIN VOICES - Jonathan Reeve

Date: 23rd January 2016

I have just been sent a present by the Mouchotte family - Battle of Britain Voices by Jonathan Reeve. Jonathan Reeve must have put an enormous amount of research and 'sifting' to have compiled this book of over 400 pages. The front cover tells us that '37 Fighter Pilots tell their Extraodinary... Read more...


DAVID CAMERON - and Brexit

Date: 23rd January 2016

I may be naive but I find it unbelievable that David Cameron is promoting, so vociferously, our continued membership of the EU. Surely he should behave in a neutral fashion - after all it is meant to be a subject over which the people of this country will make a decision. I don't have nearly enough... Read more...


REAL MARIGOLD HOTEL - PHOTOS

Date: 19th January 2016

I've just made the time to post some of the 1,500 photos I took during our 3 weeks in India.  I can only put one photo in each blog but have entered around 40 in the Gallery.... Read more...


THE REAL MARIGOLD HOTEL

Date: 9th January 2016

THE REAL MARIGOLD HOTEL I was delighted when the lovely Ros Edwards (Talent Producer for Two Four Productions) chose me - with the blessing of BBC 2 - to be one of eight people to go to India filming for 3 weeks. The working title of the 3 Documentaries was to be 'The Real Marigold Hotel' and we... Read more...


THE TAJ MAHAL

Date: 8th January 2016

THE TAJ MAHAL When we realised our destination was Jaipur, I felt sure that meant we would not visit the Taj Mahal. Thank Goodness I was wrong. We'd travelled for a long time on good road and then it all stopped as if we'd come to a brick wall - the road into the City was potholed and rubbish strewn... Read more...


KARAULI - MAHARAJAH'S BIRTHDAY

Date: 8th January 2016

KARAULI - Birthday Dinner with the Maharajah India once teemed with Maharajah's and Palaces many of which are still extant and testament to affluence. We were told that we were to go to Karauli and to celebrate the Majarajah's Birthday. I don't know what the others expected but I thought we were... Read more...


TEA WITH THE MAHARAJAH OF JAIPUR

Date: 8th January 2016

TEA WITH THE MAHARAJAH OF JAIPUR -  Or rather Tea with the Maharajah's Uncle - the actual Maharajah is 14 years old and is at school in the UK. I understand that many of the palaces of the Maharajah's have been converted into 5 star hotels and the Jaipur Palace is no exception. It is absolutely... Read more...


BOLLYWOOD DANCE CLASS

Date: 8th January 2016

BOLLYWOOD CLASSES I was allocated Indian Cookery Classes but, at the last moment, the schedule was changed and off I went to Bollywood Dance Class with Patt, Roy and Bobby. What fun - and how I wished I could have had more than 2 lessons. I am told I have a natural dance rhythm but these days I'm a slow... Read more...


VARANASI

Date: 8th January 2016

  VARANASI Varanasi or Benares as it was called during the British Raj, is the Hindu Holy City where they cremate their dead on the steps leading down to the Ganges. I really do not see what a visit here had to do with retiring to India. I know we are all in the Autumn of our Years and the next... Read more...


MONKEY TEMPLE - JAIPUR

Date: 8th January 2016

The Monkey Temple I have a fascination with Eastern religion and India is rich in its diversity. There are so many Hindu Gods you can hardly count them - in fact there's a claim that there is one for every day of the year. Whether that is true or not, there are certainly many and predominant among them... Read more...


GANESH FESTIVAL

Date: 8th January 2016

One of the Hindu Gods which seemed most prominent in Jaipur was Ganesh - the Elephant God. Again, I have to say that it would be virtually impossible for me to accurately précis an explanation so I suggest you go to Wikipedia. We were fortunate enough to be in Jaipur at the time of the Ganesh Festival.... Read more...


ULURU/AYERS ROCK and KATA TJUTA

Date: 5th January 2016

ULURU- AYERS ROCK and KATA TJUTA For my Birthday Jonathan and I were going to make a trip to Tasmania but when we saw the weather forecast - rain, rain, and more rain of which I get more than enough in the UK - we changed plans and decided to go to Uluru for a couple of days. I'm so glad we made that... Read more...