A Good Week

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: 19th August 2013


Some of the people whom I love most in the world are still in relatively good health and my son has now got a new job – so I am very very grateful.

On Monday visited my father and stepmother prior to his having a small operation on Tuesday. He is 98, has macular degenetation and is registered blind though he does have peripheral vision. Daddy insisted on cooking lunch and made a superb job of it. My stepmother is less mobile than she was but insists, very wisely, on still walking as much as she can. Their home is spotless and they don’t want to leave because they are used to the space and their garden where father still manages to grow vegetables and tend to the flowers although the mowing and hedge cutting has to be done by a gardener. I went to gather runner beans – Daddy obviously can’t see them very well hidden beneath the leaves, and Avis wouldn’t be able to reach them. I fell backwards trying to balance on a plank between the rows of runner beans. We both had a good laugh and father said – You’ve still got a good figure! So his peripheral vision is incredibly good n’est ce pas?

Then on Tuesday, my sister and I took our Mother for lunch at The Bells of Ouzeley in Old Windsor which used to be one of their regular haunts when Gilly was younger.
Very kindly, the Care Home delivered her to us so that she didn’t have to get in and out of her wheelchair which causes her pain and the staff at The Bells couldn’t have been nicer or more accommodating. The food was very good and very reasonably priced, the décor is delightful and we will take Mummy again even though she eats like a sparrow.
Mummy has been in the Manor Care Home since May and the improvement in her health and well being has been gratifying. She is now having her medication properly administered, she’s well fed and cared for and she’s given mental stimulation. We actually glimpsed a little of the kindly, funny Mother we used to know. She thinks she is in an hotel and told us how much she likes it there and how kind are the staff.

I wish we could have got past the intransigence of her husband and got her properly looked after some time ago but better late than never. We set up a Skype with her one and only grandchild in Australia and she and Jonathan communicated for quite some time. Gillian and I came away in much better spirits knowing that she is happy and well cared for.

Then another very dear friend, who has all her mental faculties but is getting frail in body, was trying out a nursing home and declared herself to be well pleased so she will probably sell her lovely flat and move in. There is always the fear, when one is older, that you could fall and no one would know. My sister and I face that even at our ages. If anything happened to me, it would be ages before anyone realised because I don’t have a regular habitual way of life and living in a house where most of the flat owners are weekenders, no one would know the difference. In the old days, if the milk bottles stood on the doorstep past a day, neighbours were alerted but there’s nothing like that now.

And to put the crowning glory on a happy week, my son has just got a new job about which he is very excited. His father and I were getting very concerned. His last job came to an end 3 months ago and he couldn’t just go and stack shelves to earn money because that would be depriving a native Australian of a job!!!!!!!! and is not allowed. And I applaud the Australian Government for having that attitude – pity we don’t have a bit of that over here. (It beats me how companies are allowed to pay appallingly low wages so that only immigrants will do the work because many of the unemployed are better off on benefits. Then the money earned is not sufficient on which to pay tax or they send the money back to their homelands. If firms had to pay a good liveable wage, surely it would make more sense to have our unemployed gainfully employed and paying taxes. At the end of the day, whichever way you look at it, it is the taxpayer who is funding the cheap-skate firms and unemployment benefit. It isn’t just about earning a wage but about self worth. I can still remember the total delight at my first pay packet from the BBC – as a secretary I earned £6.10s a week out of which I paid my stepmother £2 for my keep, £1 went on train fares!!!!, another £ went on my lunches and the remaining £2.10s went on clothing, make up and saving for a holiday. You simply cannot believe it can you – and we did not feel deprived. Mind you we had no telephone at home, no TV, no car, no internet – so life was fairly simple and rather enjoyable)

Mummy and me - she was a stunner when young and still pretty at 93.



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