Sydney The First Emperor

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: 7th January 2011


I totally forgot to mention that my son and I went to the Exhibition at the Sydney Art Gallery – The First Emperor – China’s Entombed Warriors.

It was superb to have the opportunity to see this beautifully staged exhibition particularly the life size warriors and two horses. Over 700,000 conscripts worked on the Mausoleum and the Terracotta Warriors for over 38 years.  

There are thousands of warriors and it would appear they were all moulded to the same design but then were finished off individually so they all appear different.  They've only uncovered a fraction of what they know to be in the three pits - the fourth one is empty so they didn't have time to start work on that one - and one can only marvel at the work and the concept.  I'm staggered.

Do look up the Exhibition on the Internet - the story is fascinating.  And as for the First Emperor's search for Immortality which led him to take doses of mercury which, far from increasing his life span, hastened his death and led to madness.  (Reference to Mad Hatters  - Hat Makers used mercury in the process of shaping their hats and the mercury poisoning led to madness) 

I have wanted to see the Terracotta Army for some time but have no particular desire to go to China other than to view The Great Wall. I find it amazing that such a superb and advanced culture – educated when we were probably still wearing wode and animal skins – can now produce a people who are so backward or superstitious  as to believe in the potency of animal parts in sexual proficiency. The fact that so many condone the killing of a tiger and grinding up its bones and penis to be taken as a sexual aid,  or believing in the aphrodisiac qualities of ground-up  rhino horn astounds me. They appear also to have no compunction about the killing of an elephant for its ivory. I don’t like their attitude to animals nor their use of sweat shops so I have no desire to visit the country and will content myself with reading about their erstwhile fabulous culture and education. I know I’m making sweeping generalizations and I’m sure there are many Chinese who do respect animal life but for me there’s no burning desire to go there.

Have you read Wild Swans or Mao's Last Dancer ? - they give a  fascinating insight into life under Chairman Mao with his little Red Book - horrid.

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