• 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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Poetry by Elizabeth Burton

While we were in Scotland attending Kim and Tom’s wedding, our hostess was Gwen Hardie. Among her many talents she is a poetess. She is about to publish her second volume.  Here is her flattering, but very nice, tribute to Ethel and me:

To Ben and Ethel

Two kindred spirits roaming free,

In foreign lands they love to be.

The Caribbean, Pacific and Med. they cruise.

On Benjamin’s blog you can read their news.

Their travels recorded for family and friends,

Their zest for adventure never ends.

With vigour and passion they plan ahead,

While lesser mortals stay home instead.

Ben’s artistry has impressive flair,

His photography is beyond compare.

A moment captured through Ben’s viewer,

Allows us to share the joys of their tour.

To Egypt, with pyramids and Pharaohs of old,

There, tales of ancient wonder unfold.

The legendary sphinx, the river Nile.

Ethel dressed with impeccable style.

New York throughout the changing seasons,

Is caught on film for various reasons.

In spring or fall, each different scene,

We view from our computer screen.

We hope you will return to our distant shore,

Who knows, we may meet up once more.

But for now we will follow your travels on-line,

Happy to know that you are both doing fine.

You are an inspiration to all you meet,

An amazing couple with the world at your feet.

It was fate which brought you to our door,

You will stay in our hearts for ever more.

So may St. Christopher be by your side,

As you travel the globe let love be your guide.

Health and happiness without end,

In this little poem, to you both, I send.

Elizabeth Burton


6 Responses

  1. A lovely tribute to a very special couple.

    Sandy Troy

  2. Thank you Sandy. We do seem to meet the very best sort of human beings on our travels. Ben and Ethel

  3. Elizabeth, how lovely! Ethel and Ben, you are indeed inspirational and amazing. Love to you both! Bonnie.

  4. Surprised but delighted to see my poem to you and Ethel on your recent post. Thank you for the nice comments also. Elizabeth Burton

  5. Thank you all, so much. Now for the shopping–Ethel and I need bigger hats!

  6. Beautiful words and so true!

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