• 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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London–Hyde Park birds

Hyde Park is evolving. Part of the Serpentine Lake is now a reserve for water birds and many of the grass lawns are now uncut meadows. The change in the weather pattern has brought a surprise or two:

Would you believe that this meadow is in the heart of London and not in the countryside?

Great grey herons make themselves quite at home on the Serpentine:

One-legged grooming

Sunbathing and a paddle

The fishing stance

Preparing for the one meter dive

Hoping for a passing lunch

A visitor

And this was my surprise sighting, although londoners tell me that it is now common and that the smaller parakeets have become a nuisance in some South coast towns!

Cherry picker!

And here's a bird normally found on the farm--the magpie


5 Responses

  1. Boy! This is not the London I have ever seen. The meadow looks like a Constible painting. Amazing bird pictures.

  2. John and Ann. Nice to hear from you. London is full of surprises these days. Not least, the astronomical cost of seats in Covent Garden!

  3. Sandy. I replied to your kind words about the birds on your own e-mail but the Rutger’s postmaster was unable to deliver it. Ben

  4. Ben,

    Loved the pictures of the river from your table at the Thayer Hotel. We have great memories of out lunch there with you. Have you watched “Cash Cab”? Two guys won over $2000 on a ride to “Fish.” Ann loves the show because it is full of New Yorkers.

  5. John and Ann. Many thanks. While we were sitting at the table, Ethel and I were trying to recall all the friends we had eaten with (And lodged with) at Thayer
    hotel over the many years we had been going there. Our memories, needless to say, failed us and the list was only partial. But, unfailingly, our memories were all of joyful times. Ben and Ethel

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