• 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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Not-so-White Cliffs of Dover and Ramsgate

While Christine was chatting with Tony at the birthday lunch, she mentioned that she had never seen the White Cliffs of Dover, or, Canterbury cathedral. Tony told her “I live there! Why don’t you come and visit us?”. We, of course, jumped at his kind offer and took a train out of St. Pancras Station to West Folkston on the south coast where Tony picked us up and drove us to his state -of-the-art home in Hythe. Tony is my cousin and his father, my uncle, was famous among we kids for his imitations of Charlie Chaplin at the family parties–he narrowly survived WWII.

Hosts, Tony and Jo were generous to the nth degree–They gave us a tour of southern Kent which included a visit to Ramsgate, a seaside town, nostalgic to me, as I mentioned in the prior post, because that was where I spent many happy holidays with my parents and, sometimes, cousins.

Christine gets her wish . . .

 

The Cliffs are best seen from the sea, of course. The headland corner seen here look a bit grubby . . . Interestingly, from this point, both Tony’s and my cell-phones began to act up. Only 21 miles away, the French telecoms emissions began to interfere–we both got messages which said: “Welcome to France”!

 

Tony, Jo and Christine toiled down one of the paths to get a closer look . . .

 

Memorials to the adventurous ones who got too near the edge . . .

 

toiling back up

 

Resting after the climb . . .

 

Jo sat nearby . . .

RAMSGATE- Memories of my childhood:  

Ramsgate beach–that paradise of sand-castles and little crabs skittering under the seaweed at low tide!

 

The old pier from which one could take 10 shilling day trips to France has gone–burnt down many years ago, I believe. And, with it, went the coconut shies , the pin-ball machines, the goldfish in bowls and everything that excited a little boy’s imagination! But, the Bed and breakfast places on the hill, where we stayed a lifetime ago, are still there, overlooking the harbour which used to be home to shoals of mullet which defied all attempts catch them . . .

 

. . . but, the High Street is much the same . . .

 

. . . . .

 

. . . and, thank heaven, so is the cockles and jellied-eels emporium!

 

End of this post – Canterbury cathedral visit will be the subject of the next post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 Responses

  1. I always feel as if I’ve been on vacation after viewing your pictures!
    Glad you had a successful holiday.

  2. Thanks for sharing… lucky Christine…happy for you both.

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