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 January 2011

PERTH Arriving in Perth, I don't know which was warmer, the weather or the greeting from my cousin and her daughters. I was totally embraced by the family and they've put themselves out enormously for me. My cousin Daphne and her husband John live south of Perth at Jarrahdale in a lovely house in a stunning position looking out over the valley and across, in the far distance, to Perth. I felt it was a little like living in the Blue Mountains except the weather is infinitely better.

Western Australia has a climate, hotter than, but similar to that of Cape Town - hot but with a cooling wind which they call the Freemantle Doctor. In CT it's the Cape Doctor. My cousins daughters and their husbands took me walkabout in Freemantle where there's some absolutely lovely old architecture - much Art Deco which I never used to like, preferring Art Nouveau but Deco has grown on me.

They took me on the Evening Tour - the Ghost Tour - of Fremantle Prison. It was a total eye opener - so basic and horrid - and only ceased functioning as a prison some nineteen years ago. The prison was built by the convicts in the mid 18 hundreds and the walls look as though nothing much has been done to them in the intervening years. I don't know whether Aussie prisons are far worse then British ones but you really wouldn't want to be in them - whereas I get the impression that British jails are relatively comfortable. What hit me the hardest was the total lack of personal dignity and respect endured by the prisoners. It is one thing to serve time for a crime but quite another to treat a human being like an animal. On arrival the prisoners were stripped of all possessions and clothing and had to stand naked and be subjected to the most appalling personal search. They were confined in tiny cells with a bed and a bucket.

We were told that, after the prison was vacated, it took two years for the stench to subside!!!! We saw the cells as they were in the eighteen hundreds - incredibly tiny with a hammock and a bucket - through to the present day when there were beds and still a bucket! A couple of the cells were fabulously decorated with paintings - the prisoners had been allowed to decorate their cells and what a shame they couldn't cut them off the walls and take them away with them. We saw the execution chamber but as there were some youngsters laughing and showing no respect, any sense of dignity and shame was lost. I have to admit that I do believe in capital punishment for premeditated murder and terrorism but not for a 'crime of passion ' as recognised by the French.

NEW YEAR   For New Year we went to friends of my cousin and had an absolutely superb meal and then went down to the river at Freemantle and saw a small but lovely fireworks display. Today my cousins daughters and husbands took me out on a fabulous boat trip up the river (or down - I'm not really sure which way is up any more). The day was great but overshadowed by coming back to the cars and some little 'b.......' had smashed her side window. They'd taken nothing - just mindless vandalism and my car is in the garage in England being repaired yet again because of vandalism. What is happening to the youth of today - they appear to have no sense of respect or shame. I am so glad I was young when I was. We had nothing and the only way was up. We were raised with a sense of shame, honesty, respect and a work ethic. Enough of preaching.

My website creator has just emailed to say that the website got 2,600 hits last week - so I don't know what I wrote that was so interesting but I'm happy to write about all sorts of things if you make a request. Sadly, at this time tomorrow I shall be on a plane back to the UK - don't want to go and certainly don't want to get back to the cold and the grey skies of England. Still, it's my birthday on the 5th and I'm going to dinner with two other folk who share the same Birthday so that's one thing to look forward to - that and picking up my Cat from the Cattery - sad individual aren't !!!! And of course it's not good that I shall be leaving my son behind here in Australia.



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