• 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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Tom Passes on!

Sadly, Tom Smith, husband to Kim, suffered a catastrophic illness last Saturday and died.

Since he lived so far away in Scotland, we had resorted to Skype for most of our conversations and, it so happened that I was awaiting a call from him that day to let me know the best version to download! Two years ago, though, he drove Kim and me around Scotland and the Isle of Skye for a marvelously interesting ten days or so, calling in on some of his relatives along the way, and we all found the accomplishment so gratifying that we determined to repeat the drive in Tom’s beloved Lowlands–postponed for ever, now, I’m afraid!

Here are a few favourite expressions of Tom:

Tom in his element — the Lowland countryside of Earlston . . .

 

Tom with one of his nieces . . . . .

 

Tom and Kim on their wedding day . . . .

 

He will be so sadly missed!

 

 

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4 Responses

  1. Know my thoughts and prayers go out to Kim and all her family at this sad time.

  2. Thank you for your support, Amy. I will pass your message on to Kim. LOve, Ben

  3. My condolences to Kim and her family.
    Thinking of you and Kim.
    Love, Chi & Florence

  4. Dear Ben Alan and I have been out of touch again (playing with our beloved boat) and now we’re home we were so sorry to hear the sad news of Tom – please pass on our condolences to Kim.   Hope you are keeping well.Take care,Love Denise & Alan xx

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