Real Marigold Hotel Spin Off Florida Keys Hemingway

Jan Leeming

Shoreham 2007

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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.

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 watched both, I don't think I would have fitted in - rather like a fish out of water though I'd love to have visited Japan and a culture in which I have interest. They hardly touched on the Shinto Religion which would have fascinated me.  I believe in a power beyond us but long ago, sadly, lost my belief in Heaven and Hell though I would dearly love to see my loved ones again!  Regardless of my non-belief, other religions fascinate me - that and the way they keep their congregations in thrall by dogma.

I did once visit Florida Keys on a painting holiday - though why our Art Teacher chose that venue is beyond me.  It is attractive but almost predominantly 'flat' with the odd Palm Tree.  I didn't feel there was enough contrast to make for beautiful paintings.  Sunset on the Keys is supposedly superb but it was a cloudy evening and we didn't see the splendour.

What I do remember was visiting Key West and  the home of Ernest Hemingway filled with cats of which there are at any one time 40-50 polydactyl (six-toed) cats. Cats normally have five front toes and four back toes. About half of the cats at the museum have the physical polydactyl trait but they all carry the polydactyl gene in their DNA, which means that the ones that have 4 and 5 toes can still mother or father six-toed kittens. Most cats have extra toes on their front feet and sometimes on their back feet as well. Sometimes it looks as if they are wearing mittens because they appear to have a thumb on their paw.

Hemingway was given a white six-toed cat by a ship's captain and some of the cats who live on the museum grounds are descendants of that original cat, named Snow White. 

We also ate in several extremely good Fish restaurants - the fish was good, the portions riduculously large.  I left roughly two thirds of my meal and the waitress immediately asked what was wrong.  When I replied that there was just too much, she left with a puzzled expression.  And I still remember that, at the bar, there were huge Americans overflowing the bar stools for whom, I suppose, the portions would have been normal.

So, once again, many thanks for your support.  It was hugely appreciated.   Jan

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