• 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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Sandy interferes with horses and dangles cranes!

The event started off well. Susan had entered the the New Jersy Horse Trails Association competition to be held in the New Jersy Pine barrens. After four hours dragging the horse-box through Philadelphia and every other town on the GBS route, we passed through picturesque cranberry bogs and strategically set up our tent under the picnic shelter. (The sandy soil gave little purchase for the tent pegs). Playdoh was corralled in an area next to the horse-box which we had contrived out of three metal fence panels Susan had hired for the purpose. The sandy soil, lacking grass, was not to her pet’s liking. We grilled some sausages and opened a can of baked beans for dinner.

Early Saturday, Susan and her two trail companions set off for the 15 mile ride. They completed the distance well within the allotted time. and received their completion certificates. Susan was satisfied–Completion is success enough for a high-stepping horse like Playdoh.

She had enrolled for the 10 mile competition to be held the next morning (Sunday). Other riders were to  complete their 50 and 100 mile trails. But. in the early evening, the Forest Authority announced the closing of the trails because of the impending storm. We hurriedly struck the tent, loaded the truck and coaxed Playdoh back into the horse-box and Susan drove back, in the dark, to York, arriving about 10.30 p.m. All pretty much exhausted. I returned to Manhattan early Sunday morning.

Click on the pictures for the best detail

Susan’s trail companions, mother and daughter on cute Icelandic mounts

Carriage-horse competitor

Playdoh, alert to everything

Stylish braids


Trail buddies

Accommodations for three

The Club which lent their premises for the Horse Trail event belongs to a hunting association. The shooting ranges in the grounds and the hundreds of shell-casings littering the sand was evidence enough. The skull of these remains is probably decorating a den somewhere.


On Sunday, Craig (Susan’s husband) who had a meeting in NY and I drove back to Manhattan where we filled buckets with water, relocated some flashlights and generally battened down to meet Sandy’s worst. Ethel elected to stay in my apartment for the duration. The Waterford shook a bit and strange noises eminated from the apartment walls, the swinging chandeliers made residents feel seasick. Our glass revolving door was broken and a tree fell into Ethel’s building but,  otherwise, we suffered little of the damage that others living south of us, did.

Sandy took a dislike to this tree

. . . . .she threw it into Ethel’s garden!

Sandy took a capricious delight in showing how puny our constructions really are!

Dangling crane!


4 Responses

  1. Enjoyed seeing the pictures and reading the story.

  2. Dear Ben and Ethel
    So nice to read that you are both well. We have been thinking about you and have been trying to catch you on-line for a Skype.
    We have been following Sandy’s path on TV here in Denmark, and some people have certainly suffered. But thankfully not you, although it must have been frightening. Hope to talk to you again soon. Take care. Love from Don and Inge.

    • Dear Don and Inge. What a wonderful surprise. We fared a great deal better than many living south of us–We even managed to get to the Met Opera last night! (Wednesday). I hope you both are in good shape? But Skype me so that I can see for myself. Love, Ben

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