Christian The Lion

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: 13th August 2008


A while ago I was sent an email attachment by a friend who knows of my love for animals and in particular 'Cats'.  When I watched the video on You tube, I couldn't believe that it was the same John Rendall that I know who, with a friend, had bought in Harrods a Lion Cub which eventually grew too big and through the auspices of Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers had the Christian the Cub, reintroduced into the wilds of Kenya.

I was trying to find the clip for a friend and googled 'Christian the Lion' - and to my surprise there were pages devoted to this lovely creature.  There's some very grainy footage but it's well worth watching, particularly the reunion, in Africa with the grown Lion and his London friends, John and Berg.  If you haven't seen it, do have a look - its' absolutely gorgeous.


Last year I wingwalked at the Shoreham Air Show Press Day and helped raise funds for the RAFA Charity.  This year I hope to be flying with the Blades - a four ship team of ex Red Arrow Pilots - on Friday to publicize the Shoreham Air Show to be held later this month on 29th - 31st August.  I say 'hope' because if the winds are anything like they were today, I doubt very much that the display will go ahead.  Apparently down here in Kent the winds were reaching 50 - 60 mph.  The trees were bent double and I almost did a Mary Poppins down Deal High Street.  Short of a tornado, I've never experienced winds like it nor the weirdest of weather where it would be brilliant sunshine one minute and then teeming with monsoonal rain the next.  You couldn't put up an umbrella or it would have blown inside out. I gave up with my hair and looked like a good companion for Worzel Gummidge.


Rene  is the French Pilot who flew with the RAF in World War 11 and whose inscription I sponsored on the Foxley Norris Wall at the Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel le Ferne.  I've just discovered that he was born on August 21st 1914 and sadly died on 27th August 1943. He was awarded the Legion d'Honneur and the Croix de Guerre and there are pages and pages devoted to him on the Internet.  I'm trying very hard to find out whether he has any living relatives. So if  you can thrown any light on the subject, I'd be very grateful.

Talking of the Battle of Britain, the Memorial Trust is staging a 'Glamorous Evening of Musical Nostalgia - Fly with the Stars (A Tribute to the Few).  It will be staged at The London Palladium on Sunday 7th September.  There will be a vast line up of stars including Roy Hudd, Millicent Martin, Su Pollard, Claire Sweeney and Robert Hardy just to mention a few.  I'm not part of the line up but have been persuaded to join them on stage to do 'The Lambeth Walk'.  So if you fancy a good evening out filled with Nostalgia where the Stars of Today recreate the Hits of 1940, either phone the London Palladium on 0844 412 4657 or book tickets through the Internet.


A while ago I joined a London Club which arranges Dinners, Outings and Holidays and my first foray is to go with some of the members on a short trip to Rome.  I've always wanted to go there and had planned to go with my son Jonathan but he's now been hit by Cupid's arrow and I'm sure would rather be with his beloved than his mother!  As I wouldn't entertain the idea of going to Rome on my own, I thought I'd grab the opportunity (Carpe Diem and all that)  to go with the club and I must say the organisers have put together a superb programme for the few days of our visit.  I'm really looking forward to the trip and Tamby my cat is going to be brassed off with me again as he goes into the Cattery.  Mind you Kate looks after him so well, I think he regards the place as his second, third, fourth or fifth home - the neighbours tell me he is always inviting himself into their sun-rooms, gazebos, gardens etc.

Will close for now and do have a look at the You-tube clip of Christian and think about an Evening of Nostalgia on Sunday 7th September.



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