Downunder

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.

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 by an elite living in a bubble of Cosmopolitanism which does not reflect the remainder of our 'Green and Pleasant Land'. But as I'm not going to change it and daren't say half the things I want to say, I might as well dwell on the positive.

My lovely son has treated me to a trip to Sydney for Christmas, New Year and my Birthday. I lived in Sydney in the 60's and adored it. Had it not been for the death of my fiancé - travelling from Sydney to Melbourne to see me on stage at the Union Rep - then I would never have returned to England. But fate plays strange hands. My ever generous Mother sent me the money to return to the UK and as I had neither a job nor a flat to which to return to in Sydney, I made the 'wrong' decision and returned. As soon as the Castel Felice landed in Southampton, I knew I'd made a mistake. I started saving to return to Sydney but met a chap - and as always in my life - that messed things up!!!

Anyway, I returned to Sydney many times over the intervening years but bit by bit the people I knew and loved over here are going on that journey from which there is no return. It is ironic that I lived here in the 60's and, on taking a rather late Gap Year, Jonathan my son didn't make it round the world - he arrived in Sydney and stayed and has now been here for 5 years. I loathe 'box ticking' and though I am very fortunate and have my health and am probably more healthy than many a young person half my age, the boxes are beginning to run out and soon I may not be able to get Insurance unless I pay an enormous amount. (Quite interesting - I was recently renewing my Car Insurance with John Lewis and got chatting to the very nice man at their Call Centre (Thank God it is in the UK and he spoke comprehensible English) - I said I would be willing to pay hundreds to submit myself to a Medical from an Insurance Company in order that I don't get lumped into 'the age group'. To my surprise he thought it a good idea and was going to put it forward to the bosses. It simply isn't fair that, if one has led a healthy life and is lucky enough to be in very good order you are just lumped in to an Age group). Moan over -  but I'd like to know if others feel the same. I had to have a Medical before being accepted for the INDIA documentaries - (still embargoed till January 10th - can't wait to share with you the experiences) - I am 8 stones, have shrunk from 5'5" to 5' 3" which I think it my only concession to growing older, have a BMI of 21 and, apart from a little arthritis in the fingers, I'm very healthy.

So here I am in lovely Sydney courtesy of my adored son. Sydney is still a vibrant, interesting and beautiful City but how it has changed with regard to the inhabitants - and just like London, there are a huge number of people who simply don't speak comprehensible English. The world is morphing into a Conglomerate where we are all losing cultural identity and becoming an amorphous mass. In the past, when I travelled, I loved experiencing the 'differences" wherever I went. And I did try to learn a few phrases so that I could convey thanks and gratitude in the language of the Country in which I was a Guest. In the UK we have a very specific Culture built over centuries of invasion by the Romans, Vikings, Danes, Norman French and it developed and moulded us but at least we all spoke a common language if somewhat heavily accented in various parts of the country!! Our language is extremely beautiful and most of us only use a tiny fraction of the words one finds in a dictionary but we are now seeing it eroded through various 'invasions' - texting and text speak being one example and foreigners who remain ghettoised and don't bother to learn the language - perhaps 3rd generation might be better but it is a long wait! Surely if you have chosen to move half way across the world and settle in a Country, you should be conversant with the language after 2 decades??

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