• Upcoming trips

    May 2 to May 14 London vacation. We will be staying in the President Hotel, 56 - 60 Guildford Street, Russell Square, London, WC1N 1DB. Telephone : 020 7388 4443. Hope to see you all then.
  • theatre and Concerrts

    February 20. At Christine’s prompting, and, offer to go to the box office for Family Circle tickets, we went to see the Met’s production of Parsifal–from 6.00 to 11.30! It is a modern production for the new generation of opera-goers (the ones that hoot and holler at slightest excuse to the detriment of all others’ listening concentration). Modern dress  clashes horribly with the ancient myth of the story line, and state-of-the art lighting and staging effects  enlighten and intrigue the semi gloom in which the action(?) of  all three acts take  place. I was pleasantly impressed with the singing cast and  thought that it compared favorably with the greats of my younger days.

    The new conductor was enthusiastically welcomed (The Levine era is now forgotten completely) but I thought the sound he produced from the orchestra did not quite evoke the agonizing pathos that I remembered.

    February 21.  Saw “Amy and the Orphans” at The Roundabout Theatre. It is a story of parents’  tussle with the agony of caring for a child with Down syndrome and the adult siblings’ efforts to atone for their parents’ weakness. Wonderfully convincing acting all round and written with great humour to counter the guilt dialalogue of the characters.

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Seattle and Portland – Part one

We were invited to spend a week with each of  Ethel’s nieces and their families. Bonnie lives in Burien, just a few miles from Seattle, Washington and Valerie lives in Portland, Oregon and a right royal time they gave us! Their generosity was unbounded, even to the extent of giving us their beds for the visit!  We flew to Seattle and took Amtrak to Portland for the second week.

They arranged such full programmes of sightseeing for us that it will take three or four posts for me to do justice to the amount of material I gathered. I will post the pictures in chronological order.

The micro-climate in Seattle is dictated by the the Olympic range on one side and the Cascade Range on the other. Flowers and trees of all kinds prosper as they do in Britain except that the conifer trees are mighty in comparison. Washington state is called the Evergreen State and Portland is called the City of Roses. We were surprised by the temperature, however. It was up in the seventies to eighties Farenheit most of the time but the air was cool and, in the shade, Ethel was freezing and I sported an extra layer or two. The locals were unaware, however. They dressed lightly and kept the air-conditioning high just like the British.

Click on individual pictures for greatest detail.

Mt. Renier in the evening sun from afar

Cascade Range

Ethel settling in

Sammy, a family member. We became old friends on our daily walk

Children playing on the beach just five minutes from From Bonnie and Nancy’s house


Bonnie and Nancy

Quiet beach scene

Bonnie and Nancy took us on a bus tour to Mt. Ranier National Park to see the mountain at close range:

Nancy on the trail

Park Lodge


Exotic plant

On the way back from the park, we stopped off  at a quaint restaurant:

Wapiti wearing woolie

Want a lick?

Bonnie’s neighbour, Kathy took us on a car tour to see Seattle.

Seattle skyline with Space Needle

Closer view showing the ferris-wheel modelled on The London Eye

Driftwood on the beach

Wedding on the beach–The bridesmaids are trying to get him back!

Ethel and friend

Bonnie and Nancy invited neighbours and friends to a barbecue in their garden so that we could meet them

Table at the ready!

John from next door

Christina and Bonnie in party mood

Kirstyn and Wes

Kathy and John, and Chris

Nancy and Bonnie, Cathy and John

Kirstyn suprised!



To be continued


4 Responses

  1. Ben, thanks for the wonderful reminders of how much fun we had! Loved every minute of it! Much love, Bonnie

    • Bonnie, all due to you and Nancy! We can’t thank you enough for the new experiences and meeting your wonderful friends. There is much more to follow-keep an eye on this space! I will send you a disc of all the photos when I have finished the posts. Love, Ben and Ethel

  2. Beautiful photos filled with beautiful people!

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    certain to bookmark your blog and will come back
    from now on. I want to encourage that you continue
    your great posts, have a nice day!

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