• 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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York, AC, Central Park, round trip

Took the car out of its dusty winter inactivity to drive to daughter, Susan’s, house last weekend and, on Monday (April 5th)  put my new GPS to work to show me the complicated route from her place to Atlantic City. It worked a treat! It took the anxiety out of transversing the maze which is Philadelphia.

I did a little sketching while waiting for Susan  to return from an outing on “Playdough” who is looking very fit indeed. I have posted a picture of the paddock and fields and my sketch of the same view below. The temperature outside was a little too cold  to do other than a pencil outline. I painted it in when we got to AC. 

While I was at the stables a battered goose came to make friends and be petted. He had been knocked down by a car and left frozen to the roadway. He was rescued by local humans who poured warm water over him to get him unfrozen and on  his feet again. He had suffered a broken wing but was so bonded with  humans (who had saved him) that he approached every one and demanded, in a very loud and persistent screech,  to be stroked and petted. I have never experienced before, a bird who liked to have his neck massaged by a human, and, who stared with a seductive eye until the human obliged again and again. Here is the seducer:

Here is the view from the stable yard where ‘Playdough’ lives and my sketch of the same scene. I apologise to Mother Nature for having taken a few liberties:

(I have placed the goose back in the pond)


Atlantic City had not changed very much over the three or four weeks since we were last there, except that there are no longer any $5 blackjack tables and only one or two $10 ones. Ethel will be priced out of her market if this trend continues. It may be a  small sign of  the resuscitation of the casino business or, perhaps, just plain inflation?

Reconstruction of the boadwalk at the northern end is still proceeding but there is no movement on the museum pier:


. . . . . .  and back to New York. I walked over to The Ramble (Central Park’s tranquil nature reserve) to meditate (snooze) after the drive from AC. It was a cool, bright Spring day. Here are pictures of the trickling streams to sleep by:

 . . . . . and you can get clear views of Cleopatra’s Needle before the leaves come out:

Finally, here is an unusual shot of the Met museum–Fifth Avenue was closed to traffic for a parade.


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