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: 2nd November 2010


It’s interesting isn’t it how deeply religion affects us regardless of what happens in later life.

I always buy the Mail on Saturday because I think it has the best Television Mag. of the lot. There’s such a plethora of programmes that wading through the endless channels is actually almost an art and very often I just give up. (In fact as my friends and I say ‘There’s so much choice and virtually nothing to watch”) But I do like Weekend and the articles in it. Last Saturday’s the back page devoted to Me and My School Days had as the subject Paul O’Grady. I was very interested to read that though he’s a lapsed Catholic, he has a statue of the Virgin Mary and a bottle of Lourdes Water in his house. I don’t have the Water but I do have a statuette of the Virgin Mary and also an Icon I brought back from Siberia, and I’m not even a Catholic but I attended Convents throughout my schooling and old habits die hard.

Talking of religion, which we weren’t really, a very interesting subject came up when I attended the Preliminary Meeting with regard to becoming a Guide in Canterbury Cathedral – and that was charging a fee to pay a visit. I’m thoroughly in favour of it – throughout the Continent, one pays to visit Cathedrals and Churches, so why should we fight shy of charging. Most of the visitors are not coming on a religious pilgrimage but are visiting to admire the Architecture, the Stained Glass and the Splendour of the Place.
Apparently Canterbury Cathedral gets around a million visitors a year and when donations were voluntary they received around 12p (yes you read it correctly 12 pence per visitor) and now they raise £2,500,000 which is desperately needed to maintain the fabric of the building let alone anything else. They get no State help, no funding and don’t even get money from the Church Coffers!!!!! There are 30 paid employees and over 300 volunteers.

I feel very strongly that non-Uk visitors should pay to visit our Museums, Churches and Art Galleries. We indirectly pay through our taxes so we should be allowed to visit for free but, not only do the visitors come here and use our roads for nothing but they get in to an awful lot of places for nothing as well. On the continent, you pay to visit everything so why should we be any different. I was in Florence in May and the cost of entrance to all the sites was hefty.

So back to the Guiding. I nearly chickened out when I saw the Syllabus and read that one has an Assessment but eventually I thought ‘What have I got to lose except hurt pride’ so I went along. It would seem that many others had backed out so there are probably enough places for all of us who put our names down. It’s quite a commitment – several evenings a week throughout the winter to do the course. My only fear is remembering all the information. It does get so much more difficult as one gets older. However, I am very interested in the subject, so hopefully the information will take root in my rather fallow brain.

Bye for now. Jan


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