• Upcomimg Trips

    October 14 to 21 Cruise - Bermuda
  • theatre and Concerrts

    November 3rd. Saw the much acclaimed “The Nap” by Brian Bean. By coincidence, Christine and I watched the world snooker championship on the BBC while we were in London last May; the play is about an elaborate con pulled on the championships. Billed as a comedy, it has, in the cast, a transvestite Mrs. Malaprop. The actor/actress playing the part did not have the timing to make the most of the mis-pronounced humour. There was a very clever coordination between the real table on which the contestants played (one of whom was a real snooker champion) and the screen above  it showing the action. The con included a somewhat unconvincing fake execution which scuttled the comedy in my view.

    October 3. Attended a beautiful memorial to the late Robert Mann at the Manhattan School of Music. The highlight was  sandwiched  between Mozart and Faure – Robert Mann’s setting of The Swedish Match Girl. The story was narrated By his 96 -year-old widow, Lucy. The piano quartet included Nicholas Mann, Robert’s son.

     Ocober 8. Susan and went to the 92nd Street Y to see a pre-screening of the film “The Oath” followed by a question and answer period by the author/director and a well-known television personality. Susan was,  I think, impressed–it is an obvious Liberal political piece–I was put off by the gratuitous violence and expletive-heavy dialogue.

    October 9. Susan, Christine and I saw a most-marvelous production of Chekov’s “Uncle Vanya” at The Kaye Playhouse. The action was brilliantly played out by the actors in the pit of the theatre with the audience rising in tiers all around them.

    All the actors were superb, but Jay O. Sanders in the title role gave a commanding performance and the audience was spell-bound from beginning to end.

     

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London Birthday Romp

Thank You everyone for your birthday cards and electronic greetings —  they warm the cockles of my heart!

Kim and Rebecca together with Kim’s friend, Sue, were already in London to greet us when we arrived. Kim’s first treat for me the day after the theatre (see sidebar) was a trip down the River Thames to Greenwich. For this, we were joined by Alan (Rebecca’s dad). The ferry’s captain gave the usual commentary on the journey down river; it was less pedestrian than usual and the foreign tourists aboard appreciated the historic information and romance, I imagine. For us, though, there was a brand new joke; the captain told us that he had gone to Brick Lane the previous Sunday to buy two goldfish for his aquarium and named them “One” and “Two”. “”One” died” he said, “but, I still have “Two”!

Upon arrival at Greenwich, Christine realized a long felt want by visiting the Maritime Museum and standing astride ‘Greenwich Mean Time’; one foot in today and the other in tomorrow. She was charged 10 pounds for the experience. But, she said, she felt so euphoric afterwards that it was well worth the money spent. Our primary target for the trip, though, was Goddards’ historic emporium which purveys traditional pie, eels and mash with liquor. I had some of each:

Christine contemplating the menu in the pie shop . . .

 

. . . Rebecca had made her choice . . .

 

. . . . so had her Dad, Alan

On the return trip we encountered a very rare hazard in Britain–the sky was clear and the strong sun was shining directly into our eyes. We had to squint all the way back. The light behind me, however, was perfect for photography and I was able to get some very nice pictures of the buildings and structures now lining the Thames. I will show them in the post following this one:

Unaccustomed sun . . .

 

Returning to Westminster Bridge.

For the annual gathering of the clan (notified by Gillian), Kim had booked room for 25 or so people in the small old pub just a few steps from our hotel. The food was home-cooked and the drinks were handy. Here we all are, greatly enjoying a convivial get-together with my Birthday as an excuse:

 

Jo, Ken, Gillian, Denis and Tony

 

Keith, Christine and Denise

 

Alan and Margaret

 

Jo

 

Tony

 

sampling the wine . . .

 

Gillian, Natalie  and her Dad, Dennis, just behind her

 

Sue

 

Kim with Rebecca

 

Ian

 

Keith and Denise

 

 

Pam

 

Natalie and Ian . . .

 

Finale from Kim. Candle ratio about eight to one!

On the day following we were treated to lunch at the same pub by our old friend, Ted, supported by his dear friend, Emma. He had braved his constant hospital appointments in order to make the journey. They toasted the birthday boy with Champagne!

 

Me, Ted, Christine and Emma.

Two days later we had lunch at The Portrait Gallery Café curtesy our friend Alan Reyburn  (See sidebar re Rothko). And two days after that, Gillian managed to return, bringing Jenny, who was unable to make the date of the gathering, with her on a short visit, which we spent in the gardens of Russel Square:

 

Jenny, me and Gillian

 

This balloon was not for me, but we celebrated with bottles of Prosecco anyway

Dennis’s younger daughter, Tracey, couldn’t make the gathering either but she came to meet up with me on the Friday before we were due to return. She and I spent happy hours in The British museum viewing the Rodin exhibit while Christine went shopping at Selfridges. Tracey is, inter alia an art teacher and we had a great time analyzing Rodin’s faults and suggesting what improvements we would have made to his monumental works! She discerned a spider’s web on the head of one! She sent me some pictures she took of the exhibit which I will post later on.

Christine, Tracey and me having a coffee in the gardens before going to the British Museum

Tracey was prompted to make another brief visit the following day, this time bringing her daughter Verity whom I had last seen when she was about two years old and was now a young lady of 14. we spent time together in the lounge of our hotel

Verity and me

THE END of this post. I will shortly follow this one with another covering the Thames shore line from Westminster to Greenwich.

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4 Responses

  1. Ben
    Are you still in London? I am in London too staying with Colin in Henley. Return to US on May29. Any chance of meeting up? Isobel

    • Isobel. What a great pity we didn’t communicate earlier! Sorry, I’m already back in the US battling the Jet-lag. Love, Ben

  2. Happy belated birthday. Lenore and Larry

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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