• Upcoming trips

    Feb 3 - Feb 13 Caribbean cruise May 1 to May 14 London vacation. (Hotels and details later). Hope to see you all then.
  • theatre and Concerrts

    December 7. Went to the Met to see the abridged version of “The Magic Flute”. We have seen this production before and still the charm of the great puppet characters keeps the children in awe and their parents happy with their parenting. An amusing interlude.

    December 9. Saw the Manhattan School of Music’s production of “Cendrillon” by Nicolo Isouard at the Florence Gould Hall. The MSM is having both its concert halls renovated and is using outside premises like the Alliance Francaise’s hall. The School and its talented young students put everything they have into this production; Scenery, lighting, costumes and acting was superb. As was the directing and conducting. Refreshing also, was that the cast was of the age to be convincing in their parts.

    December 10. The first of the “Peoples Symphony Concerts” this season (Their 118th year!). “The Variation String Trio” did the honours accompanied by guest pianist: Orion Weiss. Their programme included a new work by Nina Young (b.1984) Very interesting, but not, I think, a world-beater.

    December 31 Went to the Kaye theatre at Hunter College  to see the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players’ production of “H.M.S. Pinafore”. Cast and orchestra captured the high spirits of the musical romp and the sets were surprisingly professional. Reminded me of the old Sadlers’ Wells days,

    January 2, 2018. Saw the Met’s “The Merry Widow”. During the first act, the acoustics left a lot to be desired and words were difficult to hear, even in English. But all went well in the second and third acts; the Russian style dancing was rousing and the sets were spectacular. There are usually only six ‘Grisettes’ (Can-can girls) on a regular stage, but the Met’s vast space seemed to be full of them; three, even, descending from the top of the proscenium arch! All with their frilly knickers a-shaking


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Fort Lauderdale

You may remember that before Ethel and I were to embark on the “Jewel” out of Miami, we were invited to stay with David and Amy in Boca Raton for five days. As it turned out, David was taken into hospital a week or so before we were due to arrive and Amy arranged with us to stay at her brother’s house in Ft. Lauderdale. Raymond and Janice Schuck were fabulous hosts: they not only provided us with the run of their house but gave us the use of a car and GPS so that we could visit David daily! (The hospital was about 15 miles from their house). And, Ramond delivered us to the ship on time. They made us feel absolutely like family members and we shall be forever grateful to them.

Florida living

View from Ray and Janice's garden


Ray took us out in the boat for a nighttime ride. Very romantic!

Ft. Lauderdale natives

Within a few hundred yards of  Ray’s house is a Mangrove swamp reserve. Here are some of the denizens I found there:


Florida duck

Mangrove swamp

Crab with one outsize claw. What purpose, I wonder?

Racoon saga. In daylight they were sporting in the water!

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Racoon scratching post

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Balancing act!

Fishing bird?


4 Responses

  1. great pics – what an eye – enjoyed your visit.

  2. Janice. Many thanks for your kind comment. Our travelling friend, Sandy Troy identified the birds for me. In order, they are a molting Sandhill Crane, a Muscovy duck (which you know quite well I imagine) and a Yellow Crown Night Heron. No one has identified the crab yet. Best wishes, Ben and Ethel

  3. Beautiful setting. Ethel and the swamp creatures look good! Hope David is feeling better.

  4. Thank you Valerie. I spoke to David who is home now and he sounds quite chipper. He is slill using a walking stick for support, but he thinks he will be free of that too after week or two more of therapy. Best wishes

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