• 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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Burmuda interlude

Together with our travel companions, John and Ann Pirtle, we took  taxis to the NCL “Star” and enjoyed an excellent lunch on deck 12, overlooking the Hudson river while the ship was preparing to transport us to leasurely climes–no more for us, the hastle of long flights with a choice of peanuts or pretzles!

From the dock at the old Naval Dockyard (now a museum) we travelled by ferryboats to St George and Hamilton but otherwise just relaxed and thought about work. John did hire a bicycle and cycled an ambitious 12 miles on a rough track, but he was entirely alone for this activity.

John and Anne are ‘Trivia” buffs. They played each day and won the trophy for the highest score at the end of the week. It came with two tee-shirts, a mug and a shopping bag!

A view from the ferrybooat. The tail-end of the “Star” is on the left

Cock among the pigeons!

Mary Anne and Jeff. Delightful new friends we met at one of the ship’s parties

Naval Dockyard fortress

Ann resting up in the park in Hamilton. The exuberant sculpture in front of her seems to suspended in space?

Exotic bird. What sort is it, Kathy?

View from the deck chair

St. George. Waiting for the return ferry.

Mary Anne and Ethel team up

Spot of rust?

Flamboyant bronzes for auction on the ship

Ann, John and Ethel at our dinner table in the ‘Versailles’ restaurant

Seadays are for quiet relaxing before retiring . . . . . . .

. . . . . . the steward adds atmosphere to the welcoming bed! Good night all!


12 Responses

  1. Beautiful pictures, Ben. I love the exuberant sculpture! The cruise must certainly have been a wonderfully relaxing follow-up to your cross country adventure! Love to you and Ethel. Bonnie

    • Bonnie. Thank you. The Seattle/Portland visit to you and Nancy and Valerie and Steve would be a hard act for anyone to follow! We needed to slow back down for a bit. The “Star’ cruise filled the bill. Love, Ethel and Ben

  2. Ben & Ethel,
    Glad you had a wonderful cruise. Lovely photos!

  3. Enjoyed seeing your pictures, especially the two of my daughter Mary Anne. Looks like it was a wonererful cruise.

    • Peggy. Making the acquaintance of your beautiful and charming daughter, Mary Anne, and her equally charming (but not quite so photogenic) husband, Jeff, was a great bonus for us.

  4. Looks wonderful – excellent photos, Ben. Ann resting in a park in Hamilton looks like a painitng.

  5. Claire and I have just returned from a 3 week cruise in the Med and then to the Canary islands. Had a good trip on the dutch ship Rhydam. Good sight see ing and very good weather. We finally also got to see Gibralter and travel all ar oung it on tour. Even saw the F a mous apes. Surprising ly tame. But dom’t touch.

    • John. Nice to hear from you –sounds like a wonderful cruise! I don’t think we would have the stamina. What line owns the “Rhydam”? Best wishes to you and Claire.

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