The Blue Mountains Lilianfels For Christmas

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: 28th December 2010

THE BLUE MOUNTAINS - Lilianfells for Christmas Part of my indulgence in coming to Australia was to visit a very dear friend who lives in the Blue Mountains - Michael Laurence. When we were both in the Melbourne Repertory Company, he played Prince Andrei to my Natasha in War and Peace. It was Michael who took care of me after my fiancé's death. I had to finish the season and had it not been for my mother's generosity in sending me the money to return to England by ship, I doubt I'd ever have left Australia. I was very very happy here and was doing very well in my career and for an actress to rarely be out of work that's saying something. Michael and I have stayed in touch over all the intervening years and now that we aren't as young and fit as we used to be, I really wanted to see him again before it's too late. I also wanted to give my son a really special treat and so booked us into Lilianfells, the only 5 star hotel in the Blue Mountains, for a few days over Christmas.

We arrived late afternoon on a beautifully sunny and hot day and found the hotel absolutely delightful and looked forward to trips into the Mountains but it wasn't to be. I've been in the Mountains before and know that it can be chilly even in summer but have never experienced the awful mist which greeted us on Christmas Eve. You could hardly see your hand in front of your face - it really was miserable and there was nothing to do except explore Katoomba - not the most inviting of towns. Jonathan and I have always shared a love of geology and gem stones and we found an absolute treasure trove of fossils and semi-precious gems in a quaint shop in the town. In fact it proved to be the source of two of my Christmas presents from Jonathan. He bought me a lovely opalised ammonite and also a rough yellowish-white quartz pendant set in silver - absolutely lovely and this was in addition to other gifts he has picked up during his backpacking months.

Christmas Day was lovely - hot sunny and wonderfully blue skies which gave us an opportunity to visit Echo Point and see the famous Three Sisters. We had the most amazing six course lunch at Darleys costing an arm and a leg but sort-of worth it. The dishes were small but so beautifully served that Jonathan kept taking photos of the food. The next day was heavy mist all day so we couldn't sight see and on the day of our departure when we'd hoped to do the Fenicular Ride, again we could hardly see for the mist and rain.

Back in Sydney it was decidedly chilly - it seems the whole world is experiencing abnormal weather. Jonathan and I had coffee with Carla Zampatti in her stunning Itialianate house and she, being taken with my personable son, has offered to help him find a job in advertising if that is what he wants as he has a Visitor's Working Visa.. We'll see what transpires. At the moment, I think he is more taken with New Zealand. I've a feeling he won't ever come back to live in the UK and I don't blame him. If I had the means, I'd be back here like a shot but the Australians aren't silly. They don't encourage older folk to live in Oz unless they have a lot of money and the Government knows they will never be a burden on the state. Pity we aren't a bit more restrictive in the UK! So now I'm sitting on a plane heading for Perth and the meeting with my cousins whom I didn't know I had. We've also now discovered that Jonathan has distant cousins in Perth on his Father's side of the family - Isn't life strange! I do apologise that my blogs are coming up with no paragraphs but will remedy this I hope when I return to the UK. Au revoir for now, Jan


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