• Upcoming Trips

    Feb-March None booked as yet
  • theatre and Concerts

    February 26. Saw concert versions of two my favourite Puccini operas at the MSM: La Rondine (Act I) and Gianni Schicchi. Both made the very most of the small stage and were cleverly directed by Kenneth Merrill from the side of the auditorium. The young cast had an hilarious time putting on the show – and so did  we!

    March 2. Saw “Twelve Angry Women”, a play on the well-travelled jury deliberations theme, at the Producers Club. It is fast moving, ding-dong exchange of ideas with “whodunnit” detective analyses interspersed. Sadly, only one of the twelves actresses really could project; the others could not, for the most part, be heard clearly enough for our old ears to pick up the nuances of the dialogue, even in the  Club’ s intimate auditorium.

    March 3.  Carnegie Hall hosted Edith Monaco in a solo piano recital on Sunday evening. She played a nice, but not too exciting,  programme  ending with Moussorgsky’s “Pictures at an exhibition”. She seemed  totally concentrated on the accuracy of her playing and did not glance at, or turn the page of, the music in front of her.

    March 20. The MSM celebrated Pincus Zukerman’s 70th birthday and the 25th anniversary of his ‘Performance Program’. It was an extraordinary musical event: an awesome display of the incredible young talent that the Master and the MSM have nurtured.

    Of the solo violinists performing, the most exciting, for me, was  Jesus Reina who chose pieces by Paganini and played them in a manner reminiscent of Sarasate. But the highlight was Bach’s ‘Concerto for Two violins’; for the first movement, Mr. Zukerman led in his 12 year-old protégé, Nathan Gendler who played opposite the Master with the absolute confidence of an old hand who had begun his concerting at the age of six!

    For the second movement, Pincus Zukerman led in SoHyun Ko, a young lady of sixteen. She played her part with equal talent and confidence.

    The two youngsters played the third movement  by themselves (The Master staying off-stage while they wowed the sold-out audience!).

    The programme ended with Mr. Zukerman conducting the MSM Symphony Orchestra in Dvorak’s ‘Slavonic Dances’ and everybody (Orchestra and audience alike) singing him “Happy Birthday”!






  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 54 other followers

  • Follow Thompson's Travels on WordPress.com
  • Advertisements

Antigua and Christine’s New Gown

The Caribbean islands have still not recovered from the severe hurricane season. The cruise out of New York occupies more time at sea than that spent visiting the fewer ports which are able to accommodate the cruise ships. This is fortuitous for us because we get an extra day in the sun when the ship steams directly south, and one can even don shorts one day out from the wintery NYC!  However, the time allotted to each island is short and, in the case of St. John, the ship had to use its tendering boats to ferry passengers back and forth for lack of docking space.

I was not phased by this since I have toured most of the islands multiple times over the years and now prefer to stay on the ship and idle the shore time away with a good book and a tranquil glass in the sub-tropical sunshine. But, we did decide to take a photographic tour of Antigua organized by NCL and led by Mark Hubbard, a professional photographer living on the island. Mark had previously lived in London so he and I had more in  common to talk about than just photography.

As is usual in the Caribbean, the island had little to see that was really spectacular — the “sights” are generally exaggerated in order to  encourage the tourists — but Mark did his best to make them interesting and we took a few pictures. Upon our return to the ship, we had a little adventure–we ran into a police road block and when it was our turn to be passed through it was already way past the ship’s sailing time! Fortunately, one of the crew was also taking the same tour and he called ahead to report that we would be delayed. When we eventually arrived at the ship, The gangplank was up and the captain of the massive ship was waiting on the dock for us.

Part of our perks as Latitude members of NCL is a dinner with one of the ship’s officers. Christine decided that her fancy new gown would be the appropriate attire for the occasion. I have a feeling that she is practicing for a more formal Cunard cruise later on. Here we are with our dinner host, Staff Chief Engineer Stanko Jovicic (Picture taken by ship’s photographer and presented to each of us as a souvenir):

Our host and dinner companions . . .


Stanko and Christine

Like many of the Caribbean islands, Antigua’s economy used to be based entirely on sugar-cane production and processing. It is now a relic of the past and Tourism is king. The derelict sugar mills are now museums and are included in the “sights”:


Abandoned mill machinery . . .


. . . . . .


Peregrine Falcon uses the tower of an old windmill as his look-out post


Informal couple . . .


. . . . . formal couple

Myth has it that disgruntled sugar workers used the “Devil’s Bridge” to escape the island — Very unlikely, I would say:


Devil’s Bridge . . .


. . . . .


Christine. Happy in her element . . . .


. . and showing off her new gown.


. . . in ‘Half Moon’ bay


Beach carving


‘All that glistens on these islands . . . .




Not too many tourists visit this Caribbean island.











2 Responses

  1. Christine’s gown is beautiful, as is she!
    You? I guess a little bit of all right.

  2. Ben, you and Christine look marvalous! Handsome couple.

    Antigua was my first vacation back in 1984, I went with my cousin for one week. We had a ball! But like you said, due to the storms it is not as it was.

    Thank you for sharing.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.