• Upcoming trips



    13-23 January, 2018 Cruise out of New York around the Caribbean on the Norwegian Gem. Note : this trip has been cancelled altogether because of the damage caused by the hurricanes to the Caribbean islands.

    October 31st - 11 November. Caribbean cruise to break up the winter. Note: The itinerary has not yet been determined owing to the havoc wreaked by the hurricanes.
  • theatre and Concerrts

    October 8 Went to BAM, for the first time since Ethel died, to hear a wonderful modern opera composed and written by Matthew Aucoin called “Crossing”. It is based on Walt Whitman’s experience and the libretto is largely taken from his poetry.

    The story is multi-themed, as modern plays tend to be; the first is a harrowing anti war depiction of the suffering wounded seen through Whitman’s eyes when he volunteered as a nurse during the American civil war; the second is Slavery and its effect upon a run-away slave who fights on the Union side; the third is treachery portrayed by a guilt-laden deserter who spies for the South. And forth, inevitably these days, is the (entirely fictional) homosexual one.

    The powerful music fits the story perfectly and the voices of the lead singers and the chorus is magnificent; Rod Gilfry, bass-baritone, sings the part of Walt Whitman, Alexander Lewis plays John Wormley, the deserter, and Davone Tines, whose baritone reminded me, distinctly, of the sound of the legendary Paul Robeson.  Both Christine and I were extremely moved by the work. We newly discovered Walt Whitman’s poetry, too.

    October 20. Thanks to the invitation of our friend Francia, who is a member, we went to the Diller-Quaile School of Music to listen to a chamber concert given by the Diller-Quaile String Quartet. The program was comprised of Haydn and Debussy quartets; played magnificently by very experienced and talented musicians in an intimate. and perfectly designed, music space. Chatting with the musicians after the concert added to a first class evening.

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Scottish Country wedding at Melrose

Here is my selection from the hundreds of professional and amateur photographs recording Kim and Tom’s nuptials. They took place in the Registry office at Melrose, a charming Border village with a strategically placed viaduct specifically for the backdrop of  after-ceremony wedding pictures. Melrose is also the site of the ruins of Melrose Abbey, and, somewhat out of context, I have included my picture of them at the end of this post. Anyone interested in its history can Google it.

I am sure the wedding breakfast menu will not surprise any Scotsman but Sassenachs and other foreigners would entertain a little doubt: Scotch(sic) Broth was followed by Chicken stuffed with Haggis, wrapped in bacon and served with roasted root crops.  I always vaguely understood that it was the Haggis that was ceremoniously stuffed, not the other way round! Seems a little bit of a let down somehow.

Anyhow, the meal was finished off with: Brandy-snap basket, fresh fruit and ice  cream,  and coffee and mints. All the courses were prepared and served gourmet style and the meal was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Charming wedding music was provided by a friend

I give the bride away!

The Official Briefing

The deed is done

Forever united

Signature required

By all parties to the deed

Includung Hugh, Tom's best man

Congratulations all round

Assembled guests

Blushing bride and father

Tom and his four sisters: Dorothy Ann, Kitty, Christine and Margaret (Lucky Tom)

Best Man, Hugh and Tom

 The wedding cakes were spectacular. They were made by Tom’s sister, Kitty

Top tier

Individual miniatures for everyone

Cutting it was fun too

Champagne and white chocolate cake to start with!

And the fun begins

And, finally Melrose Abbey:

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7 Responses

  1. Very charming! Congratulations to the bride and groom.

  2. Valerie. It was great to be there. Did you notice I had a walk-on part?

  3. Well done. Best wishes to everyone. looked like everyone was enjoying themselves and the cakes looked georgeous. congrats to all concerned. Pen n Den

  4. What a handsome couple – and still together, apparently!

  5. Looks like a perfect day. Great to see Kim looking so happy !!

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