Blue Mountains Katoomba

Jan Leeming

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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.

Blue Mountains - Katoomba

Date: 11th January 2014

Jonathan and his girlfriend accompanied me to the Mountains - again a very inexpensive and delightful journey.

I've known Michael Laurence since we played a season in the Union Repertory Theatre in Melbourne (now no more although it enjoyed a tremendous reputation back in the 60's). The season comprised four plays- The Representative by Hochhuth (about the apparent lack of help given to the Jews by the Pope during WW2): Royal Hunt of the Sun - the conquest of the Incas by the Spanish Conquistador Pisarro: The Young Wife - a Romeo and Juliet story about the Greek Community in Melbourne; and War and Peace in which I played Natasha and Michael was my Prince Andrei.

It was during the run that my fiance was killed in a car crash and Michael was a source of strength and a shoulder to cry on. I've never forgotten that kindness. (The Young Wife almost got staged in London and had it been I would have had the leading role of Anna yet again. Sadly it did not come off. If it had my life might have been very different. Though I have enjoyed my Television days, I would far rather my career had continued in the theatre.

Although he was a very good and very handsome actor, appearing in a long run of a series called 'The Godfather', Michael found his forte in writing and had many successes particularly with a series called 'Return to Eden' Michael is far from 'in the best of health' but it was very good to see him. We lunched in the restaurant of a pub in Leura along with some old friends of his whom I'd met on previous visits.

His friend Kerry (female) and I really clicked when she discovered my love of history and old cathedrals and I sensed that Michael was delighted that we enjoyed each other's company. At this stage in one's life, you never know when/if you will see friends again when you are separated by a world, so it was good to catch up.

I've read so many books since I've been here - all bought from the Charity shop for a few dollars. I don't understand it. Books here are ridiculously expensive being at least twice the price they are in the UK and yet the most expensive ones in the St. Vincent de Paul shop were 6 dollars. On my journey to see Jan I finished 'Me' by Katherine Hepburn - my goodness what a self centred woman and yet you couldn't help liking her. And the return journey to Katoomba enabled me to read 'Through the Jungle of Death' by Stephen Brookes - a tale of one family's horrendous trek from Burma to India during the war. Of the 50,000 refugees who set out on this terrible journey, over half perished from starvation, malaria and dysentery. It was a gruelling story but also an amazing one which demonstrated the indomitable spirit housed in the bodies of so many people. The book was published in 2000 and obviously written when Mr. Brookes was an old man, so I don't even know if he is still alive. If he were, I'd like him to know how much I admired his family and the way they coped with the journey.

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