• 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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Ethel’s Birthday and Update


Today (July 21st) is Ethel’s birthday. I have no idea whether she has spent any previous ones in hospital but this one she will remember. Not only was she overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and get-well wishes in the form of cards, e-mails, Facebook comments and telephone calls from the US and abroad, but it broke the spell of complete and utter boredom from which she has been suffering–She says that every day in the hospital takes a year to pass! She asks me to thank everyone for caring about her and says that she will arrange to meet up with all of you as soon as she gets back home. Even Mt. Sinai gave Ethel a birthday bear!

I took my camera with me to the hospital but my photography wasn’t up to scratch–I think the residual chemicals left in my works after the surgery, somehow affected my eyesight?

Ethel holds a framed picture of Sammy, a rare canine friend!

Ethel holds a framed picture of Sammy, a rare canine friend!

Here she is holding the  card I sketched for the occasion--a reminder of our travel  adventures  . . . . .

Here she is holding the card I sketched for the occasion–a reminder of our travel adventures . . . . .

. . . . and the envelope I delivered it in.

. . . . and the envelope I delivered it in. (Can you see the hidden greeting?)


Jonathan and Emily (Ethel’s nephew and his wife) have completed their survey of the three sub-acute facilities which Mt. Sinai offers for extended rehabilitation therapy. On Monday they will transmit their selection to the Social Services department, who, in turn will have Ethel transferred as quickly as possible since the Rehab doctor is very anxious to reclaim the bed she is occupying.

               Ethel, of course wants to get back to her apartment as soon as she can but she does see the advantage of having therapy paid for by Medicare so long as she is making progress. She will be able to say “enough” whenever she wishes, however.






3 Responses

  1. Thanks for the photos, Ben. Sammy is indeed a rare find, but then again, so are you and Ethel! It was wonderful to chat with you, and we did reach Ethel to wish her a merry day. I love your drawing, and the message on the envelope was clever indeed. Wishing you both continued improvement and good health!

  2. As always, wonderful artwork, Ben. Ethel, I know there are better places to spend one’s birthday, but you look like you made the best of it! Much love to you both. Bonnie

  3. Claire and I are so pleased that Ethyl is making progress. We wish her a quick recovery and return to her good health and of course her apartment.

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