Let this be a lesson to all you writers and photographers. Digital cameras are heavenly and they are horrible. You just keep clicking until you have 2,000 pictures from a four-week trek and now have to decide which ones to post. Erasing them seems an equally draconian option. If you were born indecisive (yes, that is possible), the problem becomes almost insurmountable. Stay with me, folks. I’m leaping back into Langtang and hope to finish the trek before spring. Considering the capriciousness of the weather, I may just succeed!
November 22nd arrived bright, sunny, and chilly. We knew we weren’t going to get near a turkey, so settled for exquisite pancakes for breakfast. That’s about as good as it would get, unless we plucked cabbages from one of the many high-altitude farms we passed.
Leaving our guest house early,
we said goodbye to our hostess, working next to her homemade greenhouse, and our friendly, ubiquitous bird.
Anyone for cabbages? High altitude gardens abound as do water-powered prayer wheels, but beware of the yak curd (above at wayside hut) if you have a dicey stomach….
as we go in and out of rocky fields and ever-steeper terrain. Here are more scenes along the way.
No matter how rocky the terrain, we can always find a rest stop decked with flowers. Ask Cary and Christy…
and a waterfall over a rushing stream. The beauty overwhelms….
And you guessed it! Christine and Erwin again!
Just one final note on the cultural agenda, which I know you, my readers, are eager to hear, but not as eager as I am to share: There have been two Plainfield Symphony concerts, the first featuring Prokofiev and the final composed of excerpts from Verdi’s operas. If any of you saw the movie, Quartet, you know how great that can be. I highly recommend it.
Speaking of opera, I enjoyed over four hours of Handel in the Metropolitan Opera’s great production of Giulio Cesare starring Natalie Dessay. You can’t get any better, even though I am not wild over countertenors. Handel sure knows how to write music for them. As for theater, I highly recommend the new musical Hands on a Hardbody with one of my favorites, Hunter Foster; Hit The Wall about the 1969 gay uprising at the Stonewall Bar (the theater was right across the street); and The Testament of Mary, superbly acted by Fiona Shaw. Rather disappointing was the revival of Clifford Odet’s The Big Knife, with Bobby Cannavale. I also was thrilled to spend an evening with the Wyman-Kelly family in West Hartford and go to a concert at the Bushnell Theater put on by 8th graders. It was outstanding! I remember the days when to go to a concert of elementary children necessitated earplugs. Not so this one. A band, orchestra and chorus of high quality. Leah Kelly was the lead trumpet.
My final musical adventure took place in Harlem last week, where my musician friend from England, Mike Fenton was putting the finishing touches on an article for an English Record Collecting magazine about Maxine Brown, one of the original soul divas of the 1960’s. Look her up online. She sang with many of the greats and had her own singles as well. She’s beautiful, talented, and still going strong with a new group. Next week she’ll be traveling with Ben E. King and others to Germany for the Baltic Soul Weekend.
The inimitable Mike Fenton and Maxine Brown