• 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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London Reunion, 2012

Thanks, largely, to the organisational skills of  my niece, Gillian, the annual family get-togethers in London are becoming a tradition. May is a good month for us to travel trans-Atlantic because the Queen Mary 2 fares are cheaper and it happens to be the month in which my birthday occurs. This seems to encourage (given the elevated figures) participation, even from long distances, I am very happy to say! Here are some pictures of this year’s London visit and the reunion: (Don’t forget to click on the individual pictures for the best detail):

New York. Discovering the ways around the QM2 as it sets off

Parting view of Manhattan

Casualty before the mast! This Indigo Bunting must have hit a ship’s cable before falling to the deck.

Before one of the cocktail parties in the Queens Room

Note the surprised expression of the passenger on the right

Tea Dance with scones, cream and strawberry jam

Trafalgar Square with St. Martins-in-the-field in the background

Candlelight Concert in St. Martins-in the-field. (See widget on the right)

View from the South Bank

Two Londoners chatting outside The Festival Hall

One Newyorker battling the breeze–also in front of the Festival Hall.

A passing Londoner took this picture as we were leaving the National Theatre–Myself, Ethel, Ian and Pam

Mobile in the British Museum

Beautiful lady displaying her attributes in the BM. . . . . . .

. . . . . . the other side

Having a bit of a ding-dong?

Carvings on Bush House, Aldwich

Cartoon Network in Trafalgar Square

One of London’s legion of historical plaques

Scottish contingent in Russell Square. Rebecca and Kim with me and Ethel. Tom, who took the picture, inserted himself into it through the back door

Dining in Soho. Tom, Rebecca and Gillian with Ethel opposite

. . . . . . .Kim and Tom

Reunion Lunch

Denise and Alan

Jenny, John and Kim

Keith. Gillian and Margaret

Maureen (Penny), smiling as usual

Lower table

Our waitress



Gillian with Dennis and Ian

Holly, who is currently having a show of her photography work in a London gallery, with her friend hiding behind her

After the reunion, Ethel and I travelled by train to Orpington in Kent to see our old friend, Ted, who has been having a series of health problems but is now recovering nicely. He took us to one of his favourite country restaurants for lunch

Ethel and me with Emma and Ted

Ted and Emma

Dining room of a new-style pub near Russell Square

Southampton docks. The Cunard’s Queen Mary2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria will all be docked together here for the Queen’s Anniversary celebrations


One Response

  1. Fabulous pictures, Ben. I’m glad you and Ethel had such a wonderful trip! Love, Bonnie

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