• 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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London Highlights 2015

The format of my birthday reunion in London was different this year. First off, it didn’t coincide with my birthday because of the arrangements made for the wedding of  Patrick (Craig’s son) in my apartment building in mid-May, and secondly, because the dates of our stay in London made it difficult to muster the usual family group at one time. As usual, Gillian did a great job of organizing.

However, we did have  a good time boozing and sharing family remberances with nearly everybody, in smaller groups. Sadly, my dear friend, Alan Rayburn, was taken to hospital for surgery on the day that we were scheduled to eat at his Club! The surgery was successful and he is back home recuperating.

Kim and Rebecca stayed with us for the last four days and we put in some profitable father, daughter and  grand-daughter time. For Rebecca’s sake as well as our nostalgic memories of Sadler’s Wells and the D’Oyly Carte era, we  bought seats in the balcony of the Coliseum for the ENO’s production of “The Pirates of Penzance”.  Rebecca came away humming the Modern Major-general’s theme!

Other than that, we saw two very good plays (“Golem” and “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time”) which I have mentioned on the home page and, as a result of Christine’s keen interest in things Churchillian, we visited the Churchill War Rooms. (I had seen them a number of times before).

She also took off by herself one day to visited Hampton Court and Windsor Castle. She was greatly pleased by her feat of returning by the Underground by herself!

On the day we arrived, tired and jet-lagged, we took a bus to Trafalgar Square and walked over to  Leicester Square to look for theatre tickets in the Tickets Booth, forgetting it was Sunday and that the booth would be closed in the afternoon. But all was far from wasted–A new film was opening and the leading actor, George Clooney, was among those hyping it. Christine muscled her way to the front of the crowd and was pleased to have him sign her makeshift autograph book–And was even more pleased when he addressed her as “Sweetie”!

As luck would have it, The LSO, lead by Valery Gergiev, was giving an open air concert in Trafalgar Square and we were able to sit in on that too.  Among our later activities, we had a wonderful afternoon tea in the courtyard of the Wallace Collection and revisited the “Rakes Progress” at the Sir John Soanes Museum. The latter was a little disappointing because the exhibit is very popular these days–visitors have to queue up outside the building and are allowed in a few at a time in order to see  Hogarth’s works; with no time for browsing.

London skyline--up-river from the south bank.

London skyline–Up-river from the south bank.

Emaciated horse in Trafalgar Square

Emaciated horse in Trafalgar Square

Standard London scene

Standard London scene

The painful part . . . ?

The painful part . . . ?

SONY DSC

. . .

The War Room

The War Room

Churchill on the phone to his friend Roosevelt with taped conversation played back

Churchill on the phone to his friend Roosevelt with taped conversation played back

Wartime operator and equipment. Listening to messages from behind enemy lines?

Wartime operator and equipment. Listening to messages from behind enemy lines?

Resident telephone operator

Resident telephone operator

..war room typist . .

War room typist . .

 . . .cramped quarters . . .

. . .cramped quarters . . .

 . . . . plotting . . .

. . . . plotting . . .

 . . . .  planning . . .

. . . . planning . . .

The essential lines . . .

The essential lines . . .

Naval planner . . .

Naval planner . . .

Transmitting orders?

Transmitting orders?

. . .  and receiving news?

. . . and receiving news?

Note the anti-bomb reinforcement

Note the anti-bomb reinforcement

Churchill, great leader that he was, was not easy to get on with!

Churchill, great leader that he was, was not easy to get on with!

Annual lunch with Ted--Christine and Anita

Annual lunch with Ted.   Christine and Anita . . . .

Listening to Ted's  tales  . . .

Listening to Ted’s tales . . .

 . . . .me with Anita  . . .

. . . .me with Anita . . .

 . . . lunch can be fun! . . .

. . . lunch can be fun! . . .

Ted in puckish mode.

Ted in puckish mode.

Rehearsal in the Actors' church at Covent Garden

Rehearsal in the Actors’ church at Covent Garden

Night scene from the middle of Charing Cross Bridge

Night scene from the middle of Charing Cross Bridge

Day scene from about the same spot . .

Day scene from about the same spot . .

Fish and Chip restaurant scene . .  Margaret,                              "Penny "  (Maurine),Gillian and Christine front row. Tony, Keith and Denis behind

Fish and Chip restaurant scene . . Margaret, “Penny ” (Maurine), Gillian and Christine, front row. Tony, Keith and Denis behind

Rebecca and Kim

Rebecca and Kim

The magnificent  Coliseum--from our seats at the ENO's 'Pirates of Penzance'

The magnificent Coliseum–from our seats at the ENO’s ‘Pirates of Penzance’

A sobering warning--life is not all fun!

A sobering warning–life is not all fun!

Youthful exuberance. Boys challenging the fountain in Russell Square . . . .

Youthful exuberance. Boys challenging the fountain in Russell Square . . . .

 . . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

 . . . . .

. . . . .

London sky

London sky

Ancient Fish and Chip shop sign. The fish is still wonderfully fresh but the prices are now outrageous!

Ancient Fish and Chip shop sign. The fish is still wonderfully fresh but the prices are now outrageous!

SONY DSC on the South Bank

Treat on the South Bank

Complicated sculpture at Marble Arch

Complicated sculpture at Marble Arch

My Kingdom for the rest of the horse!

My Kingdom for the rest of the horse!

Christine at Marble Arch

Christine at Marble Arch

THE END

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4 Responses

  1. LOoks like you had a great trip!

  2. Realized it was the horses head!

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