• 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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New artwork for Kim

Daughter Kim and I keep close via Skype several days each week.  She sees what is in range of the camcorder behind me and has remarked upon the bowl of artificial flowers in the living room of my apartment.  The flower arrangement was made by my late wife , Dorothy, some twenty-five years ago but I still find it an attractive painting subject, and, although it is now beginning to resent any movement, I am reluctant to change it.

I have painted it several times as you will know. This treatment with the amusing egg-cup is especially for Kim. I  will pass it to her when I visit London in the Spring.



5 Responses

  1. What a lovely painting. I love it!

  2. Beautiful painting, Ben. The egg-cup is a great touch. As the very fortunate recipient of a similar painting, I happen to love the subject!

  3. Don’t forget Ben and Ethel that you are most welcome to stay chez nous at Theydon Bois when you come over. Hope you can manage some time with us. P&I

    • Pam and Ian. Thank you for your most gracious offer. We will certainly want to take in the delights of Theydon Bois when we visit the UK. Love, Ben and Ethel

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