• Upcoming trips

    May 2 to May 14 London vacation. We will be staying in the President Hotel, 56 - 60 Guildford Street, Russell Square, London, WC1N 1DB. Telephone : 020 7388 4443. Hope to see you all then.
  • theatre and Concerrts

    February 20. At Christine’s prompting, and, offer to go to the box office for Family Circle tickets, we went to see the Met’s production of Parsifal–from 6.00 to 11.30! It is a modern production for the new generation of opera-goers (the ones that hoot and holler at slightest excuse to the detriment of all others’ listening concentration). Modern dress  clashes horribly with the ancient myth of the story line, and state-of-the art lighting and staging effects  enlighten and intrigue the semi gloom in which the action(?) of  all three acts take  place. I was pleasantly impressed with the singing cast and  thought that it compared favorably with the greats of my younger days.

    The new conductor was enthusiastically welcomed (The Levine era is now forgotten completely) but I thought the sound he produced from the orchestra did not quite evoke the agonizing pathos that I remembered.

    February 21.  Saw “Amy and the Orphans” at The Roundabout Theatre. It is a story of parents’  tussle with the agony of caring for a child with Down syndrome and the adult siblings’ efforts to atone for their parents’ weakness. Wonderfully convincing acting all round and written with great humour to counter the guilt dialalogue of the characters.

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Earlston – Border town of hidden contrasts

Earlston is a border town about 35 miles south of Edinburgh.  The Border towns are steeped in the Lowland history and myth of Scotland going back to Roman times and earlier. While visiting, for Kim and Tom’s wedding, we stayed at ‘The Harbour’ guest house run by Gwen and George Hardie. Two more gracious hosts you will never find anywhere.

Apart from the serene countryside setting, the thing that struck me most  about the  area around Earlston was the state-of-the-art decor, plumbing and electronic equipment that was hidden behind the unassuming exteriors! My image of tough Scotsmen striding over the snow-covered hills with their kilts and weather beaten knees faded–It seems that they have opted for extreme comfort like we city dwellers.

Main Street

Side Street

We spent a very convivial evening in this old pub

Charming side of the town square

The edge of the town

The town pond. The abandoned venue for the wedding ceremony

Earlston Kirk

A local artist carved this work from a tree trunk. The theme is the 13th century myth of  Thomas of Ercildoune who is said to have spent some time with the Queen of  the Fairies. Tom is leaning on it and clearly showing his disgust that someone had painted over the carved wood.

Chisel strokes lost under the paint

Gwen, our hostess extraordinaire, is also a talented poet. Here is a picture of the lady herself and one of her poems expressing her love of Earlston. She writes with a flavour of Robbie Burns.


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