Setting The Record Straight

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: 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 Productions.   However a great deal of a programme is formulated in the editing suite.  I was at great pains to explain the difference between 'Aloneness' and being 'Lonely' but I feel now  as though I've come across as some 'Lonely old whatsit...'  Believe me I'm not and though I'm thrilled at all the invitations to lunch, coffee and Christmas which I've received, I'd need a private plane to visit you all.

I cerainly did not expect to be on my own at this time in my life.  The Love of my Life left me in 1995 and it was like a death.  They say there is rarely a case when a split in a relationship doesn't leave one of the parties devastated because they still love.  Death is clean and one is left with memories but a split when one still loves the other person is worse than death because you can't figure out why and you so much want to be part of that twosome again.  I grieved for years and though I'd not seen him for a very long time, his death in September was a terrible shock and I grieved again- he was only 67 and far too young to die.   There are wonderful memories of the Taj but the production team chose to show me holding back the tears.  Let me assure you the visit to the Taj Mahal was incredible and is one of my 'happiest memories' in a long time.  So grateful to have had that opportunity,

I actually remember when and where I just about couldn't get my breath for sheer happiness.  It was by the Pond in Penn where I used to live.  I remember thinking I couldn't ask for more - I had a son and a husband I adored, a lovely home and much loved pets, my health and a job I thoroughly enjoyed.  I caught my breath and thought 'This can't last' - and it didn't.' But I did have it and have had a great deal more happiness and love than many people.  I get very upset at the constant reference to my marriages but as a friend said - if you were young today you wouldn't marry you'd just have affairs.  Also another friend said 'Count yourself lucky to be asked - many women never have been'.  I can asssure you that I've never twisted a man's arm for marriage and in some cases I'd rather not have committed totally - and for reasons which I won't divulge here, I only count 3 marriages for love and it sounds much better??????  The first and last were horrendous mistakes for various reasons.

There are several reasons that I don't go on holiday.  The main one is that most of my friends are couples and the other is that the single supplement is ridiculously large.  One usually gets the worst room in the Hotel/B&B/Guest House and I've had my share of the view over the ventilation shaft or the air conditioning Unit ????  So if I do go away it is either to see my son in Australia or to stay with friends. I would go to France on my own but India would have been too much as a solo holiday.

I have had a peripatetic working life and my friends are scattered all round the country. We are all  aging and many are not now prepared to drive long distances so it is myself who does the travelling and I count myself blessed that I still enjoy excellent health and am able to travel.    Even my own sister has never visited the flat in which I've lived for nearly 13 years because she won't drive on motorways.  At Christmas she is usually working.  And last Christmas was spent with my adored son in Sydney - it couldn't have been bettered.  

I would love to be closer to my son.  Last year the Australian Government closed the loophole - the legitimate ruling whereby a person like myself could have been sponsored by my son on the family visa.  The Aussies are not fools - they want people who will work and pay taxes and breed and not be a burden on the Health Service.  Although, when the affirmative ruling was in place, I would have had to lodge £50,000 with the Government - I presume against future health needs.  They only want Rich Old People - so unless I win the Lottery that option is out of the window.

I'd love to live in France - yes I know they have problems, but get away from the main cities and the French are still French and allowed to be. They are incredibly nationalistic and I love it.  Love the Saints days - the Aioli Feasts and their great sense of Identity.   They are very - well - FRENCH.  We are losing our identity in this country and I don't like it one little bit.  I do not like what this country is becoming and that is why I'd like to live elsewhere. Friends are shocked and immediatley say 'But other countries have their problems too' - Yes of course they do but my attitude is that should you go to live elsewhere you are a guest in that country and therefore can't complain about their laws, customs, etc.  When in Rome do as Rome does - you have absolutely no right to change anything about the country you've adopted.

I would like to spend many months of our winter in India - but it is not as easy as it seems.  We were all sent off filming in different directions so it wasn't until I read an interview with Bobbie - the Darts Player - that I realised you can't just go and live there. If you wish to buy, you must have an Indian partner.  If you want to stay for a period you have to get a special visa - not easy.  Let's face it - they've got over a Billion people and even if you can afford to pay for your Health, I'm sure the Indian Middle Classes won't want to see their Private hospitals full of bed-blocking Brits!

On being alone - it is well documented that I have tried Internet Dating.  And that is a farce because most of the sites are interlinked - you join Classic Fm and get responses from people who haven't heard of Classic.  Specialist introduction Agencies in London are hugely expensive - many charging around £10,000 - I know because I was once commissioned to do a survey on them.  I did get responses from my various Internet forays - the chaps were either too old and looking for a nurse; too young and looking for a Sugar Mummy or someone who would be grateful; players or boring.  However, that said, I think it is a great way of meeting for the Young,  My son is tall, dark, handsome, intelligent, romantic, kind and he 'does Internet Dating'.  He spends so much time bent over a computer that he doesn't have too much time to socialize and find the right young lady so much of the sifting is done by the Internet profile.  People are working so hard these days and they never seem to be free of work - they are always on call through their phones, tablets etc.

I've been on a few dates but as one ages it really does become very difficult to find a kindred soul.  We all get set in our ways and trying to accommodate another is very difficult.  I did meet someone eighteen months ago and thought he might have been the answer.  I've never laughed so much and felt so comfortable with anyone for a decade.  Sadly like so many men, he had a double agenda - so that was that.  And I wouldn't try Internet Dating again.

So let me end this epistle  by saying a huge THANK YOU to all of you - male and female who have shown such an outpouring of affection it makes me feel I'm walking on a cloud of kindness.

I've no idea what is in the third and final episode - so fingers crossed.  The programme is in the editing!

And I do believe what I said that 'First Class Loneliness is preferable to second class company'. And another saying 'When you love someone totally you give them the power to hurt you totally' - tough but true,

Must get on - Bye for now.   Jan

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