• Upcoming trips

    September 7 to 15 Tony and Jo will visit us from the UK

    13-23 January, 2018 Cruise out of New York around the Caribbean on the Norwegian Gem

  • theatre and Concerrts

    June 9 Christine  lined up for tickets to the Public’s production of “Julius Caesar” in Central Park. This politicized version sported a look-alike Trump as Caesar, hoards of frenetic protesters and a slight female (with no Shakespearian diction) as the wily Marc Antony. But where oh where was the Shakespeare? The highlight of the event was, for me, the sight of an impudent baby raccoon wandering around the apron of the stage!

    June 11 Saw “Cost of Living” at the Manhattan Theatre Club. Wonderfully acted by the four-member cast, the play concerns two couples; one, a caregiver and a double amputee and the other a caregiver and a paraplegic. The scene-changing  accommodates the two wheelchairs very well but the multiplicity of the changes required, makes the story line difficult to follow.
    June  Barbara managed to get 3 seats  in the 59e59th theatre to see “Invincible” by Torben Betts. It is a British story about two neighbouring couples meeting socially for the first time. One couple is  young, avant-garde and activist and the other is typically London east-end. The four actors are marvelous in their parts and the writing of the characters is supurb.

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The Queen’s transport

On our London trip, Christine and I made a special journey to the Queen’s gallery in Buckingham Palace to see the famous drawing collection. Unfortunately, the permanent collection has been replaced by an alternating one and the gallery was closed for the installation of a Canaletto exhibit. Not to be outdone, we visited the Royal Mews nearby to see the Queen’s carriages.  These pictures were taken on Christine’s pocket camera:

Plain . . . . .

 

. . . . . and fancy . . .

 

. . . detail . . .

 

. . . .  craftsmanship . . .

 

. . . . power train . . . .

END OF POST

 

 

Humming Bird refuels in flight

While I was staying at Luba’s house in Philadelphia, I relaxed for some time on her back patio keeping an eye out for the fauna which reputedly make use of the garden. She has a resident fox and  two resident wood chucks. Deer pass through from time to time too. Unluckily, none of these appeared while I was sitting in the comfortable patio chair, a-watching. However, I did see several visits from a humming bird sporting a plumage of grey and white feathers which I don’t think I’ve seen before. I managed with patience to take these shots of him refueling:

. . . approach . . . .

 

. . . alignment . . . .

 

. . . HOOK UP!   . . . . .

 

These proceedings were observed with a critical eye by a Cardinal from a nearby feeder:

 

. . . . Judge!

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Wedding In Philly

Christine’s nephew, Edward, married Isadore (Izzy) in Philadelphia. Here are some of the pictures: click on them for the best detail.

 

The stunning bride in all her glory!

 

Happy Dad (Roger) and daughter, on the way to the church

 

The handsome groom

 

The groom’s sister (Lauren) and Mother, Luba

 

Christine, (Groom’s aunt) reading to the gathered guests . . .

 

Luba’s grandson, Christopher 

 

Bride’s cousin . .

 

One of the bridesmaids

 

The bride’s sister, Maid of Honor . . .

 

Christopher helps Teddy (Lauren’s spouse)

 

Roger, bride and bride’s brother, Roger, pose for the photographer

 

. . .sealed with a kiss . . . .

 

The happy newly-weds!

 

The officiating reverend

 

. . . and. finally, the bride, serene and confident!

 

END OF POST

Canterbury Cathedral

Continuing from the last post, these are some of our impressions of the ancient cathedral. Chaucer’ Pilgrims made their way here in 1387–mainly to see Thomas a Becket’s shrine–It was destroyed by Henry VIII in 1536, however, and modern pilgrims can only see a symbolic candle which marks the spot where it was originally.

The cathedral is a massive structure. It took more than 500 years to build– The mind boggles at the craftsmanship and solid labour involved in its making!

 

. . it is undergoing extensive repair and a good deal of the exterior is obscured by scaffolding . . .

 

Those old craftsmen left not a piece of stone uncarved . . . .

 

Beautifully carved stone columns support the massive ceiling . . .

 

. . . . .

 

The cloisters . . .

 

. . . .

 

Stark symbol of the age . . .

 

. . .someone left their hat and coat behind–too late to retrieve them now, I should think? . . .

 

The gloves don’t look very comfortable? . . .

 

. . . .

 

. . . .

 

Guardian sculptures

 

. . .

 

. . .

 

The stained-glass windows are magnificent works of art . . .

 

. . .as is the ceiling . . .

 

Ceiling of the bell tower . . .

 

The choir begins to form . . .

 

. . . .

 

The song commences.

END OF POST

 

 

 

 

Canterbury, Chaucer and the Cathedral (Part 1)

We spent many hours in Canterbury before we had to catch our late afternoon train back to London. Christine was fascinated by the ancient Cathedral. Even after severe culling, we have far too many views of interest we would like to share for one post. I will put up the city pictures on this one and the Cathedral views on one following.

The old Butter Market . . .

 

A river runs through Canterbury. It’s now contained and supports sight-seeing boat trips . .

 

Chaucer’s monument –We pilgrims come to see him now! . . .

. . . The base . . . (Hot metal type which I used to set by hand when I was an apprentice). . .

 

Bustling Tudor street . . .

 

Jo and the West gate of the old walled city

 

. . . . . .

 

. . . . .

 

Outside a Burgate restaurant where we had a nice lunch . .

 

Historical interest galore in this ancient city which was originally a Roman settlement . . .

 

. . . .

 

First sight of the beautiful Bell Tower.

END OF THE CITY TOUR . .

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Birthday Lunch in Russell Square

Gillian arranged a meeting  of the Thompson clan in the lobby of the President Hotel in Russell Square where we were staying. Circumstances this year, kept the meeting short and the number of people able to come, much lower than previous years. So, after a drink in the hotel bar, we went to lunch  in an Italian restaurant nearby. The pictures came mainly from various smart-phones.

Men’s talk in the hotel bar . . . (Ian, myself and Tony)

 

Here am I being presented with a cake sporting just one candle–The full number would have burnt the place down! . . . .

 

. . . . Surrounded by my wonderfully caring family and friends . . . (Christine, Jo, Tony and Ian)  . . .

 

. . . . daughter Kim . . .

 

. . . . Pam . . . . .

 

. . . . jo .

 

Artwork in the restaurant mall–daytime . . .

 

Nighttime

END OF POST