Real Marigold Hotel India

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.



2021 - September (2)
2021 - July (2)
2021 - May (6)
2021 - April (4)
2021 - March (5)
2021 - February (4)
2021 - January (3)
2020 - October (1)
2020 - September (4)
2020 - August (5)
2020 - July (2)
2020 - June (1)

All - 2021 (26)
All - 2020 (17)
All - 2019 (7)
All - 2018 (17)
All - 2017 (65)
All - 2016 (107)
All - 2015 (52)
All - 2014 (112)
All - 2013 (143)
All - 2012 (109)
All - 2011 (119)
All - 2010 (85)
All - 2009 (85)
All - 2008 (49)
All - 2007 (2)
All - 2006 (3)


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: 23rd January 2021

Hallo and Welcome

My viewing figures increase every time there’s a Repeat programme on TV in which I’ve participated and a fortnight ago was no exception. I wondered why the figures had gone up and then realised there’s been a repeat of Part 1 The Real Marigold Hotel.

Last week it was superceeded by hours of Snooker but it is back again this evening at 6.00 pm and we attend the Ganesh Chathurti Festival. At the time I had no idea of the cruelty involved in training elephants. It was a very exciting event in which to take part and I was thrilled to bits when invited to ride a horse in the pageant. I don’t ride and never have done but as the horses were walking at a snail’s pace, I wasn’t going to miss this unique opportunity.

Don’t know if the crowds thought I was someone special because they were holding up babies and their hands to touch as though I had mystical powers.

Whilst we were waiting for the procession to approach a roar went up from the crowd ‘They’re coming - they’re coming’. I was so excited and jumped up and down like a teenager only to find what we thought were the huge elephants were grey helium balloons in the sky????

We all got swept up in the enthusiasm - some of us walked with the procession and the others sat on a roof terrace and observed. Writing about it, I can almost smell the crowds and hear the music.

I accepted the offer to join the team mainly because I wanted to visit India, the land of my Father’s birth. The Atkins family went to India at the time of Clive of India (maybe I shouldn’t be talking about it in these Woke times) around 1750 and my Father was the first member of the immediate family to return to the UK just before Partition. (Didn’t we Brits make an unholy mess of that causing strife which exists to this day between the Moslem Pakistan and the predominantly Hindu majority across the border)

I’ve always wanted to know more about the family. My father was thirteen when his Mother died and as he said to me ‘Fanny, as a young lad I wasn’t interested in Ancestry’. However after the Indian experience I joined FIBIS - Families in British India Society and also Ancestry.UK. The latter I found difficult to comprehend but a friend did much research for me and took our family back to 1800. Father didn’t know whether our family were part of the Military or the East India Company ( Oh dear!). From what I learned it would seem that our family were predominantly military. What also came to light was that I have a small proportion of Indian DNA and it didn’t surprise me to learn that we have Anglo Indian Ancestry.

What is strange is that, although I know very little about the culture and music of India, I’ve always been drawn to it. When I first returned from Australia in 1966, I got a job reading news for Grananda TV in Manchester and remember attending a Concert at the Free Trade Hall given by the World Famous Sitar player, the late Ravi Shankar. It was the first time he had performed outside India and definitely the first time in England.

In 2002 there was a musical in London ‘Bombay Dreams’ to which I took a friend and my son. It was a wonderful show which sadly didn’t run for long - I suppose it had a limited appeal. But I remember, as we stood to leave. the Tabla players on either side of the stage started a competition and we were right royally entertained to another 10 minutes of superb Table playing.

Well, as they used to say in ‘Looney Toons’ - That’s All Folks.

I used to write regular Blogs but these days refrain from doing because I get so incensed by so much going on in modern society and I’m not PC.

However, if you enjoyed this little piece, do let me know and I will attempt to write more often.

I tend to spend time on my Twitter account - mainly because I am restricted to 240 characters which prevents me from writing time consuming essays.

Nice to have you join me.  Stay safe.  Jan 

P.S.  If you would like to read and see more of my adventures in India - go to the left of the main Blog page - Archives -  click on  01/08/2016 and you will find 8 Blogs about Real Marigold Hotel 


What do you think? Send your feedback to