• 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 and a Ruby Wedding Anniversary (Part 1)

Following the “best possible” outcome of my surgery, grandson Kiowa treated me to a whirlwind  5-day trip to London by way of celebration. He arranged it cover the period of a family reunion being organised by my niece Linda. Linda had sent me an invitation several months earlier but, with the prospect of serious surgery and its possible aftermath, I was sure at that time that I would not be in a condition  to make the journey.

As it turned out, Kiowa and I had a wonderful grandson/grandfather experience. He was able to meet up with many members of the Thompson family, some visiting from Australia, that he had never seen before, and I renewed family memories spanning more than seventy years!

There was an added bonus–Linda had arranged the reunion to celebrate the Ruby wedding anniversary of my nephew Allan (Brother Les’s oldest offspring) and wife Marie. They were the guests of honour from Australia. The  medical turmoil of the preceding months had completely driven this anniversary from my mind so, I’m afraid, we arrived without even a bottle for a gift.

The celebration was held in Upminster, a fair way out of London in Essex, where many of the Thompson Clan still have roots. Niece, Gillian, picked us up from the railway station and, after Alan’s speech and the cake-cutting, drove us further out to the home of my sister-in-law, Brenda. I reminisced with Brenda over a cup of tea, both of us happy to refresh memories of our late spouses. Kiowa chatted away happily with Brenda’s daughter, Stepanie, and her husband Bob. I would have liked to have seen Brenda’s other daughter, Leslie, but she was out of town.

In addition to all this, Kiowa and I got in two plays and Il Tritico at Covent Garden, several new pubs and a new fish restaurant where the sea food is fresh and on display as you walk in. A small disappoinment was that the only opportunity to see a performance at the Globe theatre happened to coincide with the reunion.

The photographs are intended to be viewed full-screen. Click on them.

Kiowa in Leicester Square

Kiowa at the Bar in Fleet street

St. Paul's from the river side

The 'Cheshire Cheese' just off Fleet Street

Fleet Street with all the newspaper offices moved elsewhere

The "Globe" theatre from the north bank

Tower bridge from the riverside walk

Gillian (centre) and her daughter, Debbie in the Portrit Gallery cafe. It was Debbie who had her flight home cancelled as a result of hurricane Irene and was forced to camp out on my sofa with her friend Nichola.

At Tower Hill on our way to Fenchurch Street railway satation

Tower Hill

From The Bloody Tower?

Refreshment in the railway station

New architecture

Harrods in Knightsbridge was a must

One of many lunches


5 Responses

  1. What a wonderful trip! You look healthy and happy, Ben. Love, Valerie

    • Valerie. It was very satisfying for me to have a grandson look to me as a travelling friend–even though I needed his help much of the way.Strange is the thought that roles reverse themselves over the passing years? Thanks for the message, Ben

  2. Hi Ben

    with was lovely to see you again last week, and looking so well ! I have sent you a couple of photos from the reunion but I am not sure if I have sent them to the correct address, let me know if you don’t receive them.

    • Margaret. Thank you for the photos. They nicely fill in some of the family I missed recording myself. Forgive my memory, but I think the young man on your right is Linda’s Paul and his new bride’s name escapes me altogether–Would you mind e-mailing me so that I don’t embarass myself when I post them? Love, Ben

      • Ben, I am so glad that you received the photos ok. The young man on my right is my son Ian and his 5 months pregnant partner Lorraine. Several people have commented that he looks like Paul, must be the Thompson genes. It is nice to have a photo of the six of us together, I will be sending some pictures over to Eileen and Les for her rogues gallery !
        love Margaret

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