2010 - Jan Leeming Blog

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: 28th December 2010

THE BLUE MOUNTAINS - Lilianfells for Christmas Part of my indulgence in coming to Australia was to visit a very dear friend who lives in the Blue Mountains - Michael Laurence. When we were both in the Melbourne Repertory Company, he played Prince Andrei to my Natasha in War and Peace. It was Michael who took care... Read more...

CARLA ZAMPATTI - The 'boys' and the Parkers

Date: 22nd December 2010

CARLA ZAMPATTI and Meeting with 'the boys'. Carla is a famous and well respected Australian Fashion Designer. I probably purchased one of her very first creations cut out on her kitchen table way back in the 60's. It was Carla who introduced me to my fiancé Hayo Niebor. She and her husband... Read more...


Date: 21st December 2010

LIZARD ISLAND - Paradise. - When I lived in Sydney in the 60's I always wanted to go to the Barrier Reef but being an impecunious actress, there was no way I could pay a visit. I was extremely happy in Australia and had no intention of ever going back to the UK and was doing very well with work in the Theatre... Read more...


Date: 20th December 2010

ODDS AND ENDS Forgot to say that on my flight from Melbourne to Cairns I met a delightful couple who happen to live in Jo'burg. We really clicked and I have an open invitation to stay with them - Jo'burg is not my place of preference but they were so lovely I'll probably take them up on the offer... Read more...

CAIRNS and Boulder Opals

Date: 19th December 2010

CAIRNS First I must apologise for the fact that my Blog is coming up in a solid block -it leaves me with paragraphs but doesn't seem to appear as I've typed it. I left my friends in Melbourne in the midst of a thunderstorm - flew to Cairns where I had an overnight stay before going to a place I've... Read more...


Date: 15th December 2010

AUSTRALIA, MELBOURNE & THE GREAT OCEAN ROAD Flight with Quantas was very pleasant - lovely crew but, oh my goodness, the uniform for the women is, in my opinion, hideous - I can't think that a top International model would look good in it. The dress is like a Paisley print except the print is of things... Read more...


Date: 1st December 2010

STICKING TO WHAT THEY DO BEST Why – oh why – don’t firms stick to the areas in which they are supposed to be experts. Why don’t they stick to the job in hand. Businesses appear to be fragmenting themselves in trying to be all things to all men/women. My Travel Insurance company has... Read more...


Date: 30th November 2010

APPLE MAC & Ipad I’ve been a Mac user for 25 years and wouldn’t dream of ever changing to a PC. However I do have a few issues - with all the wonderful things the Mac can do for it’s user, why oh why does it not have a Facility for listing items in Alphabetical Order. I indulged in an... Read more...


Date: 26th November 2010

FRANCE FOR LUNCH One of the benefits of living in East Kent is easy access to France. A few years ago, before the Euro strengthened, my friends and I used to pop across the channel on Eurotunnel (which I always said I’d never use because of slight claustrophobia but it beats choppy seas). What we... Read more...


Date: 24th November 2010

FIRST LIGHT - Geoffrey Wellum   I've just finished reading First Light - and what a gripping and superb read it was. I missed the BBC Programme because in September I was temporarily homeless due to my Living Room Ceiling having to be replaced and was travelling round the UK catching up with and... Read more...


Date: 22nd November 2010

I keep talking about coincidences - well one of the strangest happened the other day. I had managed to make contact with Australian actor, Peter Whitford (Strictly Ballroom apart from a huge list of achievements) with whom I was on tour in 1964 taking potted Shakespeare to the Bush in New South Wales.... Read more...


Date: 19th November 2010

ANDREW HEWKIN I met Andrew over 20 years ago – a very interesting artist and a lovely man. I always wondered why Andrew chose to go away for a few months each year to a different location in the world. Whilst away he would sketch, take photos etc. and then return to the UK around May and work like mad... Read more...


Date: 18th November 2010

TIPS FOR READING THE BLOGS Since my Website has been upgraded, it’s even easier to find your way through my blogs without having to read lengthy treatises which may not be of interest to you – especially those of you coming from far flung outposts of the world who probably aren’t interested in... Read more...


Date: 17th November 2010

SNOW LEOPARD I was going through some old photos in a vain attempt to get some order into years' worth of photos which should have been put into albums and never were. Through an artist friend Chris Christoforou, I was privileged to meet a lovely man, Peter James, who had a passion for 'Cats'... Read more...

DOVER HEIGHTS - and The National Trust

Date: 16th November 2010

DOVER HEIGHTS and The National Trust Ok so why do I go to Scotland by way of Cornwall – because I like a story. Ten years ago I went to Sydney to stay with a very old friend (not ancient but of long standing!). My visit happened to coincide with a show in Melbourne – a Restrospective on the work of... Read more...

I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here .......... 2010 - Comment

Date: 14th November 2010

I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here …………. 2010 For some reason I’ve never been able to see the beginning of the new year’s I’m a Celebrity. Tonight I’ve made a point of switching on. I have to say I really do take my hat off to the creative team and of... Read more...

I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here .......... 2010

Date: 14th November 2010

I’M A CELEBRITY GET ME OUT OF HERE ……. 2010 I have better things to do with my time but having read the article in the Mail (told you I buy the Saturday edition because it has the best run down of TV and Radio programmes) about the contestants in this year’s I’m a Celebrity... Read more...

DOVER CASTLE - the 'Wow' factor

Date: 13th November 2010

DOVER CASTLE – the ‘Wow’ Factor I cannot believe that I’ve lived down the road from Dover Castle for 12 years and have never paid it a visit (other than once as a Dinner Guest of the Constable – fabulous evening). I suppose part of my reluctance to visit is the hoards of... Read more...

SIR KEITH PARK - Bust unveiling by H.R.H. The Duchess of Cornwall

Date: 13th November 2010

SIR KEITH PARK –Unveiling at Capel-le-Ferne This should have been written a few weeks ago but I seem to have been busy over the last fortnight. I was very fortunate in being invited to the unveiling of the bust of Sir Keith Park at Capel-le-Ferne couple of weeks ago. The ceremony was performed by... Read more...


Date: 6th November 2010

AMANDA PLATELL – DAILY MAIL I was introduced to Amanda Platell at Tory Headquarters many years ago, actually on the eve of the election before last. She was very arrogant and couldn’t be bothered with me. However I have to admit that I love her column in The Mail. She is a natural successor to Lynda... Read more...


Date: 5th November 2010

LUNATICS RUNNING THE ASYLUM   There are so many occasions on which I would like to make comment on my Blog but I would be fearful of being so outspoken. I promised myself that I would stop getting worked up about matters over which I have no control and can do nothing, but I saw Red today –... Read more...


Date: 4th November 2010

ADVICE ON CREDIT RATING Just thought I might give my fellow Brits a little advice. I have had a Credit Card and a Bank Account with the same organization ever since I opened a Bank Account – a good few years ago. I pay my Credit Card off each month by Direct Debit so I do not pay interest. However... Read more...


Date: 4th November 2010

MOVEMBER Could I bring your attention to a Charity. My son is in New Zealand at the moment and they have a Charity drive to support Cancer Research. Five years ago, Jonathan had testicular cancer and please God they got it all out and that will be the end of that. He and I support ‘Orchid’ which is... Read more...


Date: 2nd November 2010

CATHOLICISM It’s interesting isn’t it how deeply religion affects us regardless of what happens in later life. I always buy the Mail on Saturday because I think it has the best Television Mag. of the lot. There’s such a plethora of programmes that wading through the endless channels is... Read more...


Date: 31st October 2010

‘GHOSTLY EXPERIENCE’ Some months ago my agent asked if I’d had any ‘ghostly’ experiences in my life. I’ve had many ‘odd’ experiences but I definitely had a ‘ghostly’ one in the 70’s in a 16th Century house owned by a friend. I was then asked... Read more...


Date: 30th October 2010

Well the Canterbury Festival has come and gone and like the Deal Festival, all the goodies were sandwiched into 2 weeks.  Well nigh impossible if not financially ruinous to go to everything one would have wished. Went again to Sir Willard White. Again an enjoyable show but I didn't get the feelings I... Read more...


Date: 21st October 2010

BATTLE OF BRITAIN – GALA DINNER I count myself very fortunate to have become involved with the Battle of Britain Memorial and the associated events which have been staged this year. A couple of weeks ago it was the ‘End of the Battle – Gala Dinner’ at the RAF Club in London in the... Read more...


Date: 20th October 2010

HOMICIDE - 1965 I've just had an email from a Peter Blight in Melbourne, Australia informing me that an episode of Homicide in which I appeared in 1965 has just been broadcast in Oz and offering to send me a DVD.  In the old days one rarely, if ever, got a copy of anything in which you'd performed... Read more...


Date: 16th October 2010

AIR CHIEF MARSHAL SIR CHRISTOPHER MORAN Memorial Service at St. Clement Dane's Church, London I had the pleasure of meeting Sir Christopher and his lovely wife Elizabeth at a Memorial Lunch at Capel a few years ago.  I also had the honour of being invited to dinner at their home when Chris was at... Read more...


Date: 14th October 2010

VICTORIA AND ALBERT - ART AND LOVE Mentioned that I went into London to see my friend Ro MacHardy - a friend from 'Severed Head' days in Sydney.  After lunch she suggested we go to the Queen's Gallery to see the Art and Love Exhibition.  It was an exhibition I wanted to see but loathing the journey... Read more...


Date: 13th October 2010

TURKEY ETC I'm back home to be greeted by a pristine living room - a filthy kitchen and loft and caught a lousy cold so have been having a Spring Clean in the Autumn and nursing the cough and cold.  I can only tell you a limited amount about our sojourn and exploits in Turkey but I loved every minute of the... Read more...


Date: 25th September 2010

Hallo Folks, Well in my homeless state, visiting friends up and down the length and breadth of the country, I've had a great time - been to Leeds, York, the Isle of Whithorn, Tetbury, Chipping Camden, Lower Slaughter,Woolminstone and have come to rest at the home of my friend and agent Simon.  Having turned his... Read more...


Date: 18th September 2010

ISLE OF WHITHORN - WIND TURBINES As those of you who read the blog regularly will know, I'm temporarily homeless whilst the living room ceiling is replaced so decided to go all over the country and visit friends many of whom I haven't seen for decades. Having contracted food poisoning just before I left home (which... Read more...


Date: 18th September 2010

GLASSERTON CHURCH Jeannie asked me to help with the Church flowers supplied by her friend and neighbour.  Whilst she was chatting to all the locals I set to and filled the two vases with what was on offer - really quite proud of the result set on the altar for the Harvest Festival. Funny thing really - I never... Read more...


Date: 8th September 2010

EARTHQUAKE AND IPAD So what have the two to do with each other. Well, believe it or not on 28th April 2007 we experienced an earthquake here in our little corner of Kent - 4.3 on the Richter Scale.  Folkestone was most affected but the shock waves spread here.  It was early morning and I happened to be... Read more...


Date: 27th August 2010

RENE MOUCHOTTE Today is the Anniversary of Rene's death and I made a visit to Capel-le-Ferne to pay my respects to the Few, to Rene, and the other Frenchmen who fought for us in World War 11.  There were only a few French but I felt they could have chosen the easy option.  Their country had been overrun and... Read more...


Date: 25th August 2010

AFRICAN SANCTUS - CANTERBURY CATHEDRAL - CELESTINE PROPHECY What an odd heading you are probably thinking. So I shall start at the end with the Celestine Prophecy, a book I was given in 1996 and read avidly.  I wasn't fully aware that it was a novel - it had elements of Dan Brown and the darker elements of... Read more...


Date: 18th August 2010

Hallo All, Haven't done anything exciting or worth talking about so I thought I might share with you an article I wrote a few years ago about a fantastic few days in Norwegian Lapland, husky sledding, snow-mobiling and spending a night in an Ice Hotel. After I came out of 'I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here' I had... Read more...


Date: 13th August 2010

SHOOTING STARS The number 13 is supposed to be my lucky number!  Well it proved to be so in the wee small hours of Friday 13th August.  I'd read about the Meteor shower which was going to be in evidence in the small hours of the morning. Each time in the past that I've wanted to see 'Shooting Stars' or a... Read more...


Date: 12th August 2010

RED ARROWS I was in Sandwich on Thursday when I heard a familiar and lovely sound overhead - on looking up I saw the Red Arrows flying in formation (only eight of them instead of nine so maybe one had gone ahead). In 1982 - whilst I was a Newsreader for the BBC - I was on duty one Sunday night in the Autumn. ... Read more...

UN PETIT CADEAU - a little present from me

Date: 10th August 2010

Hallo There everyone As a little present from me and to make it easier to access all my Back Blogs - and because my son (now swanning around in Los Angeles) also complained that he didn't want to have to go to a date and have a look-see at what was there - I've asked Stuart to add an ALL POSTS  to my... Read more...

MES CARNETS - Rene Mouchotte The Mouchotte Diaries 1940/43

Date: 3rd August 2010

MES CARNETS - RENE MOUCHOTTE     The Mouchotte Diaries 1940 - 43 The Daily Mail still haven't printed my story so here goes.  The one element for which I have to thank Andrew Morrod (Features Editor) is that the commission concentrated my mind on writing the piece.  It was difficult to... Read more...


Date: 1st August 2010

FEEDBACK Hallo All.  Well I ask for feedback and I got a very good suggestion from Phil who has written to me before.  This is the substance of what he suggested. I have an idea for your blog. What if you were to get your Stuart to set up a contents or index page?  Why?  Because your blogs... Read more...


Date: 23rd July 2010

WALMER CASTLE - THE LYDIAN STRING I don't often write my blog immediately after a great event but I've got a busy weekend and really do want to write this up whilst it's fresh in my mind. I'm ashamed to say that for seven years I've lived within easy walking distance of Walmer Castle and have never visited it. ... Read more...


Date: 22nd July 2010

I've been so busy over the last fortnight I simply haven't had time to keep my blogs up to date.  So, when I've got the time I'll continue the Florence trip, tell you about Rye in Sussex and also about my visit to the Musical 'Hair'. I must also catch up with photographs in the Gallery.  They have to be... Read more...


Date: 21st July 2010

CHANNEL FOUR -   PARALYMPICS 2012 I had to go to London yesterday for a meeting with a producer at Channel 4 and my friend/agent Simon asked if I would stay on to attend the Press Launch of the Ch. 4 Paralympics.  I was down to attend a Gala Night of the Sandwich Tech production of Les Miserables -... Read more...


Date: 18th July 2010

GENOA- SACLA - AND ITALIAN FOOD What a fabulous couple of days I've just had with the Sacla people in Liguria and I am a total convert to Italian food.  I don't think I've ever really had “Good and authentic” Italian food.  In the UK one expects the ubiquitous pizza and then there are the meat... Read more...


Date: 11th July 2010

  BATTLE OF BRITAIN - 70TH ANNIVERSARY Where does one begin?  This was my fourth year of attending the Battle of Britain Memorial Service and Lunch and, of course, this year was extra special it marking the 70th Anniversary of the commencement of the Battle which raged from 10th July through to 31st... Read more...


Date: 6th July 2010

UNSOLICITED PHONE CALLS I am getting heartily sick of unsolicited phone calls, particularly as my phone number is Ex-directory.  Today I received an automated call offering to sort out my Debt (I have none thank Goodness) and  then a real person  offering to sell me a hearing aid and yet another... Read more...


Date: 5th July 2010

GREAT BRITISH WASTE MANU BANQUET I was invited to attend this function which will be shown as a TV programme probably in the Autumn. The venue was the Great Hall at Lincoln's Inn - a staggeringly beautiful place.  The Hall was originally built in 1489 but has been extensively renovated in 1625, 1652, 1706 and... Read more...


Date: 4th July 2010

EDUCATION, ILLITERACY AND BAD TEACHERS. Sorry I've been off the radar for a while but had a small operation and have been hors de combat for over a week.  Anyway here goes - Catching up on the weekend papers (last weekend 26/27th June)  I was interested but not surprised to read that Sir Mike Rake,... Read more...


Date: 19th June 2010

MOTHERS AND SONS I just wanted to share a small moment with you.  My son Jonathan is leaving the UK and taking a sort of delayed Adult  Gap Year - visiting America, Fiji, New Zealand and Australia.  In one way I'm very happy for him but in another I shall miss him like crazy.  He lives in London... Read more...


Date: 17th June 2010

UNSOLICITED TELEPHONE CALLS (and they are getting much more frequent) I am absolutely sick and tired of unsolicited calls from people trying to sell me something especially as I have an Ex-Directory number with BT.  I have just received yet another offering me a Deaf Aid (what's that you say!!!) and when I... Read more...


Date: 16th June 2010

ECONOMY CAKE - FIRST WORLD WAR OK OK - I know I promised you the run down on Florence but I've been busy and it really does take me ages to write the blog. I've just downsized - for the umpteenth time - my books.  I've also been trying to put my remaining books in some kind of order.  I have a very old -... Read more...


Date: 3rd June 2010

Yesterday evening Jonathan and I attended what must rate as the best 'cocktail' party I've been to for decades.   It was Italy Day at the Italian Cultural Institute at Belgrave Square. How did I come to get invited.  Well, last year when I took part in Celebrity Masterchef, I was totally foxed by the... Read more...


Date: 31st May 2010

I sincerely apologize for not completing my FLORENCE TRIP but for one thing, I've had a lot of paperwork to attend to and then I get a bit downhearted as I rarely get any feedback with regard to my Blogs even though hundreds tune in from around the world.  To my amazement, this week the 'hits' were phenomenal... Read more...


Date: 20th May 2010

INTERFLORA Warning - Check your order A lady in Capetown has been extremely helpful to me over the last fortnight.  I've never met her but wanted to thank her for all her efforts on my behalf.  So I placed an order (not insignificant) for an arrangement to be delivered to her on Tuesday 18th May. 2010. As... Read more...

FLORENCE - To be continued

Date: 16th May 2010

Sorry not to have filled in the other 6 days but have had a lot of paperwork. Promise I will write fully within the next week.  Have to go to London on Tuesday to celebrate my son's 29th Birthday (seems like yesterday that he was a mere baby and now he's a strapping 6ft 3inches) I can still remember his birth... Read more...

FLORENCE - Day 2 - The Academia

Date: 2nd May 2010

FLORENCE - Day 2 - The Academia There are times when it really is worth the money to book a guided tour and I'd booked for both the Academia and the Uffizi. We were extremely lucky that we had the guide to ourselves - a very rare occurrence as one is usually tagging along in a group of at least 25 - 30.  We... Read more...


Date: 1st May 2010

FLORENCE - Day 1 General Walkaround and the only sunny day we had in a week. I had booked two guided tours for the Uffizi and the Academia so we decided to spend our first day just wandering and familiarizing  ourselves with the city and all the wonders on offer.  We weren't to know that it would rain... Read more...

FLORENCE - Introduction

Date: 30th April 2010

FLORENCE - General Overview I've just returned from an eight day trip to the wonderful city of Florence (and only just in time to miss the Airport closures due to Volcanic Ash). I made a brief visit about 25 years ago and a longer one in the 70's when I was studying with the Open University and a 5 day trip to... Read more...

PENSIONS - and the Highway Robber!

Date: 18th April 2010

PENSIONS - and the Highway Robber! I don't take a paper regularly - what I read almost daily about social injustice, dodgy politicians  and welfare spongers just upsets me and makes me angry.  I take The Week regularly and have done for years - it gives a balanced view of both home and world affairs... Read more...


Date: 18th April 2010

SPRING The one joyful event at the moment is our late Spring.  It's lovely to see so many of our Spring Flowers putting on their displays con-currently.  The Forsythia and the Ornamental Cherry Blossom are stunning.  Sadly I no longer have a garden but I derive joy from seeing all the fabulous... Read more...


Date: 16th April 2010

PRIME TIME DRAMA - THE FIRST ELECTION DEBATE Well what a DAMP SQUIB that turned out to be.  I actually nodded off for a few minutes at 9.00 pm - it was all so boring and predictable.  And Alastair Stewart was jumping up and down with the excitement one would associate with a £100,000000 winner in the... Read more...


Date: 12th April 2010

TO FLY OR NOT TO FLY -  PART 2 I'd had confirmation by Email of my Booked Business Class seat on the Virgin Atlantic Flight on Saturday 10th April leaving Cape Town at 8.45 pm. So my friend Janet drove me to the Airport, saw me to the check in desk (just to ensure the flight times hadn't changed yet again)... Read more...


Date: 10th April 2010

TO FLY OR NOT TO FLY - THAT IS THE QUESTION Have you ever had a bad dream where you are desperate to get to a destination but the train/plane/boat has just departed.  Well, for the first time in decades of flying, I arrived at Cape Town Airport at 21.15 on Thursday evening and immediately felt this rather... Read more...


Date: 26th March 2010

DURBAN THIEF I went up to Durban this week to see Kwezi - my friend of long standing whom I've not managed to visit for well over ten years. In fact it was Kwezi about whom I wrote a few weeks ago - she wrote an excellent book called Liar - which you can get off Amazon.  She's in the process of writing... Read more...


Date: 21st March 2010

!KHWA TTU Doreen and I had another lovely evening at Paternoster staying at the Dunes.  We also visited our friend George who runs the Blue Dolphin another lovely B & B in Paternoster.  The Noisy Oyster is a delightful restaurant and we partook of yet another super meal in the most lovely... Read more...


Date: 13th March 2010

COMPUTER CRASH - APOLOGIES Hallo there - having built up quite a following amongst you, I'm afraid I had a major Computer Crash and have been without the machine for  a fortnight so couldn't write my Blog. Thank Goodness Apple recognised the fault and extended the Warranty for the Graphic Card (whatever that... Read more...


Date: 13th March 2010

PATERNOSTER My friend Doreen has been here for months and arranged for us to spend a night at Paternoster.  Neither of us got any Crayfish (like a Lobster but without the big claw) at all last year so we treated ourselves to a Crayfish Dinner at the Noisy Oyster. We both love Paternoster and Doreen had a big... Read more...


Date: 13th March 2010

GREASE We always take advantage of the excellent Artistic fare which is always on offer at one or other of the many excellent theatrical establishments in and around Cape Town.  A few years ago we saw Phantom at the Artscape Theatre.  Phantom is one of the few Lloyd Webber Musicals I like and have seen it... Read more...

LIAR by Kwezi Fairfoot

Date: 16th February 2010

LIAR by Kwezi Fairfoot Kwezi is a friend of mine whom I met in the UK back in the early 80's. She was born and brought up in Kwa-Zulu Natal.  Kwezi is the Zulu name given to her by her Nanny - it means 'Morning Star'. She speaks Zulu and it was this ability which saved her life when she was attacked by... Read more...

CALL CENTRES - Saints preserve Us.

Date: 16th February 2010

CALL CENTRES - Saints Preserve Us How many of us absolutely 'loathe' Call Centres.  They are proliferating and getting worse. What beats me is that in the UK we have growing unemployment and yet Businesses and Employers are allowed to get rid of staff and take their Call Centres Abroad.  And Barclays... Read more...


Date: 14th February 2010

THE WALLACE COLLECTION and THE WEEK I've taken The Week for several years now and cannot recommend it highly enough. I don't buy a paper every day - too depressing and I get so angry and frustrated at what's going on both in the UK and abroad - so I take The Week which covers The Main Stories complete with... Read more...


Date: 7th February 2010

COMPUTER CRASH If you don't hear from me for a while, it will be because my Computer is 'in hospital'.  I had a major crash called a 'Kernel' (if I've spelled it correctly) and after reinstating all sorts of discs etc. Paul, the lovely chap who helps me with my computer, suggested it really does need to be... Read more...


Date: 7th February 2010

DISCRIMINATION AGAINST SINGLE PEOPLE AND THE ELDERLY Ok, I'm on a grumble roll.  I get absolutely furious at this 'Two for the price of One' or 'Buy one, get one half price'.  That maybe Ok for families who need a great deal of food but it's we singletons who are subsidising the 'cheaper!!' food. ... Read more...


Date: 7th February 2010

THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA Well before the Computer gives up on me and goes into dock I thought I'd add  a little piece to my Blog. I'd seen the film before and had no intention of watching it again but a look at the programme offerings for tonight - they were not at all enticing.  As so many people say... Read more...


Date: 6th February 2010

COME DINE WITH ME Well, I don't know what you thought of the programme but I was astounded to see that my Website received 5,545 hits on Sunday night.  I usually get around 300 in a week.  And, NO, they weren't all looking for the 'Nude' photo of Yours Truly.  As Tim Firth so beautifully puts it in... Read more...


Date: 25th January 2010

J.B. PRIESTLEY I forgot to mention that an Actor friend of mine came with his wife to see Calendar Girls and asked me if I'd read Barry Cryer's 'The Chronicles of Hernia'.  I hadn't but was absolutely amazed to find two references to the fact that JB was, apparently, a great fan.  How I wish he'd got in... Read more...


Date: 25th January 2010

THE GREAT RIFT - Africa's Wild Heart I don't watch much television - preferring to sit down to a good DVD of an evening.  At the weekend we are almost spoilt for choice when during the week there's hardly ever anything I want to see. Last night I wanted to watch 'Slum Dog Millionaire' and The Great Rift... Read more...


Date: 17th January 2010

ALTRINCHAM GRAMMAR SCHOOL CENTENARY CELEBRATION Weather permitting, next week I am going up to Altrincham Grammar School near Manchester.  They are celebrating their 100th Anniversary and wanted me to MC their Celebrations.  I feel quite honoured really as there are loads of people they could have asked.... Read more...


Date: 11th January 2010

COME DINE WITH ME Of course I can't let you know who were the other participants but I understand that the programme will be transmitted on 31st January - so not a long lead time. The four of us couldn't have been more different but I think we all enjoyed each other's company and got along extremely well.  Of... Read more...


Date: 9th January 2010

THE FINAL CURTAIN ON 'CALENDAR GIRLS' IN THE WEST END The final curtain of the West End Run came down on Calendar Girls on Saturday, 9th January. (The show is now going on tour for the remainder of this year.  It is one which will run and run and run)  I shall miss the company, the excitement of theatre... Read more...


Date: 8th January 2010

FROZEN FOUNTAINS IN TRAFALGAR SQUARE I had to do some filming for 'Come Dine with Me' on Friday 8th January.  In view of the inclement weather and the possibility that had I managed to get home to Kent, I might not make it back again, the CDWM team put me up for the night in an hotel close to the Theatre in... Read more...


Date: 3rd January 2010

The Horse Boy by Rupert Isaacson THE HORSE BOY  By Rupert Isaacson With all the travelling on trains I've had to do over the last few months, I've read endless books, but one I simply must tell you about was this one - The Horse Boy.  I started reading it on the train into town yesterday, continued... Read more...