Hello All! I blog to you from just arriving in London and I must say, what a cosmopolitan city! We are staying right on the River Thames on the South bank adjacent to the National Theater.
Part 1 of this blog is about family. I begin by sending our thoughts to Brett and Teri back in Utah. If you remember from one of my first blogs, we will be spending most of our Italy trip with Brett and Teri. Brett has family in Ascoli Piceno just 15 miles or so from Amatrice, one of the towns devastated by the 6.2 earthquake. Fortunately, his loved ones are ok, but last I heard, 57 people had died in Ascoli Piceno due to the earthquake. We still plan to meet his family as part of our trip, albeit from roads that enter from the coast. We hope that AP recovers quickly, and we look forward to meeting them in late September.
The River Clyde empties into the ocean just beyond Glasgow. Liz’s second cousins, Bruce and Sheila Murray live in Gourock, about 40 minutes drive from Glasgow and along the Firth of Clyde which is the area where the river opens up toward the ocean. This is one of the most scenic spots in all Scotland. We visited Bruce and Sheila first in 2010 when I was guest artist at the Royal Conservatory in Glasgow and again when I was guest artist at Kings College in Aberdeen. Here is a photo of the view from their sun room:
And a pic of their town from the south:
The tide is out, but you can see the town just beyond the pier. Gourock has one of the only two outdoor seaside pools, salt water, and heated to about 85 degrees:
The first time we met Bruce and Sheila (2010) in Gourock, we noticed a painting that we instantly recognized as a painting done by Lesley Bohm (Liz’s Mom). I asked about the painting and learned that it had been painted when Lesley was about 16 or 17 years old. She had given it to Bruce’s Aunt Gena (which was Liz’s grandfather’s sister) while visiting in Aberdeen. We have 2 paintings (among many) of Liz’s Mom from her teenage years: both done in Venice. But this painting was much larger and quite beautiful. I said so, and joked that if the painting ever went missing, I would have no knowledge of it. Upon arrival this week, I asked of the painting and Sheila brought it out for me to see. They both said that we should have the painting, and take it with us. They had enjoyed it for years and believed that it would mean the most to Liz and I to have the painting now. We are bringing it home with us, in the original frame and matting, from some 60 years ago. This is an incredible act of kindness and we will forever be grateful. Here is a photo of the painting that Liz took yesterday:
Liz’s folks will be visiting this Xmas, and I am sure that it has been many years since they have seen it. Many thanks to Bruce and Sheila. We hope to see you again in the near future!
This pic was taken on a ferry boat to Dunoon, just across the Clyde from their home. They took us to the opening party of the Highland Games (dancing, piping and bands) on Friday evening. More on that in the next post!