Marigolds On Tour Cuba Dec 11Th Bbc 1 900Pm

Jan Leeming

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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.

MARIGOLDS ON TOUR - CUBA Dec 11th BBC 1 9.00pm

Date: 7th December 2017

Marigolds on Tour

After the success of the Real Marigold Hotel in 2015, there was a spin off - Marigolds on Tour. I was not one of the ‘chosen ones’ last year but this year Rosemary Schrader was unable to take part in the Cuba filming due to other commitments.

I wasn’t too keen but then thought it was a chance to see another part of the world so I accepted and found it very interesting indeed.

Cuba is in a 50s time warp. For decades Cuba was propped up financially by the USSR but when that fell apart so did the backing. Despite the fact that Cuba boasts total literacy and a superb Health Service, the infrastructure is falling apart. The country is still ‘run’ by the military and we did see signs of poverty in this supposed Communist Nirvana.

My take on Communism is that it is a good idea basically and would work if it weren’t for Human Nature - look at the story of the talents of silver in the Bible. Three men were each given the same number of talents - one man dug a hole in the ground and ‘stashed it away’ - another spent it and the third doubled it - that’s human nature!

I digress - Cuba was very interesting and if you’ve an penchant for Old Cars you’d be in seventh heaven. Although there are some modest newer cars, the predominance is for the Gas Guzzling American monsters of the 50’s - some are held together with string and household paint whilst others are in pristine condition and kept for the tourists to travel in or be photographed by. I had to laugh when our driver complained about ‘Rush Hour’ - there were hardly any cars on the road.

For me one of the most fascinating revelations of the trip was that virtually no-one from the less well off to the better off would talk openly about the Revolution and there were many No-go areas where our camera crew could not obtain permission to film.

I had a great time at a Salsa evening and was amazed at the number of times I was asked to dance and found out that the invitations were not set up by the crew!

Anyway, as I’ve not seen the finished product, I shall be as interested as many in seeing the final edited version on Monday, 11th December on BBC 1 at 9.00 pm

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