• 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.

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London’s changing skyline

London’s serene domes and spires are no longer the symbols of permanence which have captured the eye for lifetimes (mine included); its skyline changes with each visit. New monstrosities bludgeon the eye and there seems to be no end to the pursuit of architectural ugliness!

Fortunately, the building  is mostly confined to a small area of the north bank of the Thames but, disturbingly, the latest have sprung up from an area on the south bank. Happily, the newest ones are beginning to obscure the view of the earlier ones. Londoners regard their shapes with scornful amusement and label them with derisory names like: The Gherkin, The Shard and The Cheese Grater!

Click on the pictures for detail

Nostalgic view from the South Bank

Nostalgic view from the South Bank

 

The sublime  . . . . . .

The sublime . . . . . .

 

 . . . .  to the ugly!

. . . . to the ugly! (The cheese grater)

 

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Looking up-river from Charing Cross

Looking up-river from Charing Cross

 

Odd complex?

Odd complex?

 

The Eye is ever watchful

The Eye is ever watchful

 

Nostalgic view up-river from the South bank

Nostalgic view up-river from the South Bank

 

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