• 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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Bermuda bound on the “Breakaway”

NCL’s “Breakaway” is not our favourite ship: it’s 150,000 ton bulk is far too large for relaxed cruising. But, it suited us on this occasion because Christine  needed a quiet escape from her sales job at Fox’s and I wanted to be able to sketch  in reasonable seclusion, free from the hassle of crowds. The former  sounds contradictory, but big ships do have an advantage in that they offer deck after deck of balcony state rooms. So many, in fact, that they constitute a significant percentage of the total and cost little more than an outside room. The ship does not provide the quiet corners that the patrons of the smaller ships enjoy but, for a little extra, one can get a nook of one’s own for the duration.

We didn’t take the ferries to  spend time in  St. George’s or Hamilton or one of the big beaches en route as we usually do when we visit Bermuda, but stayed in The Royal Dockyard where the ship docked. We did take a party-boat on a reef-fishing trip; the boat ride was enjoyable but very few fish were around to be caught and released.  By far the best fish reaction was in the little bay by the side of the fort where the reef fish have learned that visiting bathers feed them for free! I begged a Thomas’s muffin from a sunbather and walked into the shallow warm Caribbean water and was quickly surrounded by shoals of frenzied fish;  jumping out of the water to catch  crumbs before any of their competitors could get to them! They often took pieces from my fingers before I dropped them and, while I was encouraging them to jump higher, one mistook my finger and buried it’s sharp little teeth into the finger-tip and drew blood!

Otherwise we stayed on our own small balcony, reading or sketching as was our wont, with a glass of wine etc., and contemplated the Caribbean sea and sky. The air was so warm that we could continue the latter activity into the starry night and watch the fluorescence sparkle in the light of the moon when it rose.

Click on the pictures for detail

 

First photo op as we boarded the Peter Max decorated "Breakaway" the Italian "Aida" is docked beside us.

First photo-op as we boarded the Peter Max decorated “Breakaway” the Italian “Aida” is docked beside us.

 

First sight of Bermuda

First sight of Bermuda

 

Grand entry for dinner!

Grand entry for dinner!

 

Reels ready for the big !one

Reels ready for the big one! . . . . . .

 

 . . . . all prepared . . .

. . . . all prepared . . .

 

The mate cuts bate and spins a fisherman's tale . . . .

The Mate cuts bate and spins a fisherman’s tale . . . .

 

 . . . . .

. . . . .

 

 . . . . more bait please! the mate said we were just feeding the fish!

. . . . more bait please! the Mate said we were just feeding the fish!

 

The Royal Dockyard

The Royal Dockyard . . . . . . .

 

 . . . . . .

. . . . . .

 

Caribbean clouds . . .

Caribbean clouds . . .

 

Royal Dockyard beach

Royal Dockyard beach

 

Royal Dockyard bathing- beauty

Royal Dockyard bathing- beauty

 

Me on my way to the fish

Me on my way to the fish

 

Christine's learning to use the camera

Christine is learning to use the camera

 

Cannon to the left of them . . . . . .

Cannon to the left of them . . . . . .

 

Another cloud - an evening one this time

Another cloud – an evening one this time

 

Tug waiting to help undocking of modern ships which have no need of it

Tug waiting to help undocking of modern ships which have no need of it

 

Dinner bound

Dinner bound

 

Caribbean sunset from our balcony chairs

Caribbean sunset from our balcony chairs

 

competition from the ship's Atrium chandelier

 . . . . . . competition from the ship’s Atrium chandelier

 

THE END of this post, but,  here are some results of my sketching time:

Christine's slippers (Computer enhanced)

Christine’s slippers (Computer enhanced)

 

Breakfast on the balcony

Breakfast on the balcony

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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