• 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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Trail Ride at Fair Hill, Maryland

The weather caught us by suprise! The forecast was for mild camping temperatures and we equipped ouselves accordingly. In the event, ice formed on the water buckets over night and the thermometer registered 28 degrees at dawn. Although fully clothed and wrapped in a zero-degree rated sleeping bag, I froze, and found sleep impossible. The next night (Saturday, March 30) we made sure that we added plenty of padding underneath our sleeping bags to stop the cold from striking through and put extra covers on top. this cured the sleeping trouble but did not make up for the sleep I lost the night before.

Saturday was bright but still very cold. The horses enjoyed it, but it was far too cold to paint outdoors and I didn’t have the stamina for much photography.

Click on the pictures for details

Becky and Susan are riding companions. She joined us to observe the trail-ride procedures before committing her own horse to the fun. She also helped Susan take care of Lulu (Susan's young trainee.

Becky in the early sunlight .Becky and Susan are riding companions. She joined us to observe the trail-ride procedures before committing her own horse to the fun. She also helped Susan take care of Lulu (Susan’s young trainee).

Kay, who hails from Gloucester in England, is also a lay vet. Here, she is giving "playdough" advice.

Kay, who hails from Gloucester in England, is also a lay vet. Here, she is giving “playdough” advice.

Susan setting her GPS watch before the ride

Susan setting her GPS watch before the ride

Playdough setting out in high-stepping style . . . .

Playdough setting out in high-stepping style . . . .

Halfway round the course (12 1/2 miles in all).  Playdough is sweating but still stepping out and striving to keep up with the stronger horses! (Picture courtesy of Feather Hill Photography and Susan)

Halfway round the course (12 1/2 miles in all). Playdough is sweating but still stepping out and striving to keep up with the stronger horses! (Picture courtesy of Feather Hill Photography and Susan)

At the end of the ride, Playdough looks as though he has given his all. Susan had a hard time getting his hearst -rate back down to normal

At the end of the ride, Playdough looks as though he has given his all. Susan had a hard time getting his heart-rate back down to normal.

Notice the designer shoes shoes

Notice the designer shoes

Intrducing "Lulu". Susan says that Lulu is longer striding than Playdough and will be more suited to trail-ride competitions when she is a little older

Introducing “Lulu”. Susan says that Lulu is longer-striding than Playdough and will be more suited to trail-ride competitions when she is a little older

View from my sleeping bag . . . .

View from my sleeping bag . . . .Susan brought me hot coffee and a bagel to assauge the frozen bones

Awaiting the return of the competitors . . . .

Awaiting the return of the competitors . . . .

Cooling down . . . . .

Cooling down . . . . .

Finally, Susan excercising "Brixy" (I hope the spelling is somewhere near!)

Finally, Susan excercising “Brixy” (I hope the spelling is somewhere near!)

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