• 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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QM2 Round trip

This is the way for we seriously senior citizens to travel–No airports to stagger around in, no cattle drivers to contend with, no painfully untying and retying shoes while attempting to stand in line and, best of all, just a short taxi ride to an elegant mode of travel and a luxurious lunch! We spent eight wonderful days in London sandwiched between thirteen days of luxury and  super entertainment at sea. We have now traveled on the QM2 five or six times and we will never tire of it.

I joined the watercolour class as usual but, on the transatlantic voyages, there is so much of interest going on at conflicting times that choices have to be made. For example, Giancarlo Impiglia was one of the keynote speakers and I dropped everything to hear his talks on art history. I was able to ask him what became of his murals which decorated Fortunoffs. He told me that he always painted on canvass and that he was sure the family was able to take them when the business closed. Other distractions were a string quartet from Juilliard and a talented group from RADA which acted comedies and read poetry and ghost stories.

Incidentally, owing to a cancellation, the watercolour classes were taught by Louise Parks with whom I had such a great time on our last Christmas voyage on the QM2. What a lovely surprise?

Leaving Red Hook, Brooklyn

Giancarlo Impiglia in front of one of his paintings aboard the QM2

Pastry table

Dinner companion, Bernie

Informal night

RADA group reading poetry with piano accompaniment

Ethel in the Wintergarden

Park bench on the QM2

Readying the Royal Court stage for a piano recital

Stage decoration

Casino habitue and consort

Louise is camera-shy. Here is a picture of her hand shielding a flower arrangement she was setting up for a painting exercise

Art class in the hold

Table companion, Margarita

Bobby, Margarita's husband

Ethel in Vietnamese yellow

Laid back?

Ethel's favourite hang-out

Ethel's friends at the table (gaming, that is)

Kendall and me

Table decoration


4 Responses

  1. You rascal!

  2. What a fabulous trip you had! Next time I hope you will take advantage of the songwriters workshops! Lovely meeting you and thanks for the picture!

  3. Kendall. There is so much of interest to do on these voyages that it did not even occur to me that, among them, I might learn to write a hit ballad! But you are encouraging, I will try next time out, or, perhaps join the RADA workshops and become another Gielgud? I, too very much enjoyed our brief encounter, best wishes, Ben.

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