258 posts

Plans are proceeding apace!

I promised to report updates and there is an update to report. The return to England is set. Rooms in B&Bs have been booked  and airfare secured and paid for. Mike and I will board a flight in Providence on September 3, 2023 to arrive in Orton, Cumbria, UK on the afternoon of September 4. The next morning we will set out for the slightly-less-sleepy town of Kirkby Stephen and, from there, set out across […]

It’s settled. We’re going back

A quick update here to let our followers and friends know that Mike and I have booked our return trip to England to complete the Coast-to-Coast walk.  The necessities of business and family require that we put this off until late summer next year but the wait will serve only to boost our enthusiasm. We will check into The George Hotel in Orton on September 4, 2023 and resume walking toward Kirkby Stephen the next […]

Post Script

Our faithful followers will know already that Mike and I quit the trek just shy of the half-way mark in Orton, Cumbria. We are safely home now taking care of our loved ones and ourselves (Mike: bruised rib; Dennis: left foot tendonitis).  But plans are well under way for our return to England to complete our Coast-to-Coast walk – probably in September 2023. This time we are being sponsored in the effort by our sister […]

Orton to Manchester Airport

Yes that’s right.  Mike and I favored discretion over valor and decided to wend our way home.  We were just shy of the half-way point of our planned journey, so plotting a return to finish the walk will be easy.  And we will return. I just need to be with my kids and grandkids right now. I’m sure they would have urged me to press on but the discretion portion of the discretion/valor balance warned […]

Shap to Orton

This was billed as the easiest day of the entire journey and it probably was – at least in terms of footsteps and walking.  We left the Brookfield Guest House at 9:20 and wandered across rolling hills and dales into the Yorkshire Dales.  There were no cliffs or swamps to navigate though there was a quantity of mud and animal dung to avoid. Horned sheep and cows were our companions for most of the journey. […]

Patterdale to Shap (Part Two)

Those who have paid attention know that the walk we are on was first outlined in the 1970’s by Arthur Wainwright. He was a legendary fells walker who has attained a somewhat mythical, almost deific status. It now turns out that Mike and I are removed from the great Wainwright by a single degree of separation. He was entertained in this very guest house by our own host Margaret during a visit in the late […]

Patterdale to Shap

My Apple watch informs that Mike and I logged 9.49 miles walking today with elevation gains of 225 feet.  The beauty of these miles was that each of them happened on a paved surface.  So, while we cannot be called slackers, we do not object to being called sensible septuagenarians. After yesterday’s near death experience it seemed prudent, to say the least, to have a recovery day. Beverly, out chatty and be-speckled host at Green […]

Grasmere to Patterdale

Ummm…. WOW! After yesterday’s outing, Mike and I were tempted to claim today as a restorative day off to nurse sore shoulders (well – one sore shoulder that would be Dennis’) and overall fatigue.  But this morning presented a different idea. We would walk today and take tomorrow as our rest day. After all, today’s course was a mere 9 1/2 miles with a single climb at the beginning. The day’s weather forecast called for  […]

Rosthwaite to Grasmere – Tolkien must have lived here

My description of today’s hike can be summed up thus: grueling; taxing; satisfying; awe-inspiring; aches; fatigue.  But WORTH EVERY BIT OF THAT! But the thing that I’ve fixated on today is the names of the places and geographical features of this landscape. After breakfast today we left the sleepy village of Rosthwaite that is nestled comfortably next to Longthwaite in the lush Borrowdale Valley.  Our path took us along the babbling cool waters of the […]

A special post for the kids

Olivia, Damian and Riley – I MISS YOU. But here’s a picture that you will like – especially Olivia.  I hope you’re getting up early and getting to school on time. This trip is great fun but I can’t wait to see you guys again! A real mushroom seen along the shores of Ennerdale Water (Someone look it up.)

Ennerdale Bridge to Rosthwaite (warning – a lot of boring detail)

This was a day of epic adventures by any standard! It started in a routine way when we sat down next to Haimish and Amanda for a full Cumbrian breakfast at the B&B. We departed at 8 :45 for what was billed as a 15 mile walk – the longest in the Lake District – with a single but rather short hard climb just after the halfway point. The ascent began as expected just beyond […]

St. Bees to Ennerdale Bridge

Today was a day of challenges.  Perhaps the biggest challenge on a day like this one that occurs at the beginning of any new adventure and that is the challenge of the unknown. Mike and I have both read the books and watched the videos. We’ve completed practice walks with backpacks and trekking poles. A personal trainer was enlisted to show us how to rehabilitate 70-year-old muscles at the end of an arduous day.  But […]

And so it begins!

I am sitting in my room at the Stonehouse Inn B&B in St. Bees, Cumbria, UK. For the past 20 hours or so I have forbidden myself to remark how smoothly this trip has gone so far. Every flight – three of them – was on time and without turbulence. Every connection went smoothly with sufficient time for trips to the loo or to grab a coffee or a bite to eat. The trains were […]

THE Day has arrived

So here it is – THE day. In a couple of hours Mike and I board the first flight which will take us on a paradoxically westerly direction – to Detroit. Then we board a KLM flight over the north friggin’ pole to Amsterdam. Finally, tomorrow morning, we’ll wing across the North Sea to Manchester UK where trains will cart us to the Cumbria coast at St. Bees. The preparations for this trip have been […]

Less than a week to go

Mike and I have done everything I can think of to prepare for our departure on Sunday. What remains is to log on tonight to finalize our planned train ride from Manchester to St. Bees. And I suppose we may also book a hotel for the return trip – we need to stay in Manchester for one night after we wend our way back from Robin Hood’s Bay. Clothing, medications, equipment are all assembled on […]

A Random Thought as we Prepare to Depart

Mike and I will depart on our 200-mile walking adventure in one week. An interesting thing happens to me when I am on the cusp of such an outsized challenge. The obituaries, which I read through every day, are suddenly printed in boldface type and the ages of the dead appear in a large font – 57, 64, 70! It is not that I worry that the trip will do me in at the age […]


This is the adventure story of two septuagenarian brothers Dennis and Michael. Dennis is 73 and a retired trial attorney who spent a rewarding if stressful career in the courtrooms of Rhode Island guiding medical professionals through the horrors of medical malpractice lawsuits. He abandoned that scene 15 years ago for the quieter realm of violin making and string instrument sales and repairs in Pawtucket. Michael is a bit younger at the tender age of […]


A few years ago, a friend introduced me to the wonders of Audible. After a lifetime during which undiagnosed dyslexia led me to shun reading as an unpleasant chore, I now revel in the wonders of literature.  I listen to all sort of books – fiction, history, biography, memoir – and have discovered that books are so much more than diversions from the turmoil of living.  Books provide peepholes through which I better understand myself […]

Mobile Music Makes way in Boston

Sunday, September 18th through Tuesday the 20th, a unique vehicle will bring music to the Greater Boston area.  The Music Haul, a 17-foot U-haul truck which mechanically converts into a fully functioning stage with the touch of a button, will be touring Boston with concerts scheduled in the South End, Dorchester, and Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park. Later stops include performances at Harvard Square and the State House. Writing for the Boston Globe, Malcom Gay reports […]

Local Brew Events’ 6th annual Fiddle ‘n Folk Fest!

On September 10 from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm, Local Brew Events’ 6th annual Fiddle n Folk Fest will take place in Haines Park, Barrington RI (near Cove Haven Marina). Featuring more than 10 acts such as: Cowboy and Lady, French Roast, Bay Spring Folk, Old Fiddlers Club of RI, as well as storytelling by Len Cabral, food trucks, craft vendors, dancing, and kids activities, it’s bound to be a rousing event. Join the all-levels fiddle […]

Does Music help you Concentrate?

  Music is wonderful. It can make us feel almost any emotion. It can make us dance, make us cry, and it can even help us stay focused, but what is it about music that keeps us focused on everyday tasks, like driving, reading, or writing? As a new article on by Dean Burnett explains, the brain has two attention systems: a conscious, and unconscious one. The conscious attention system focuses on our current […]

Scary Music Influences our Thoughts about Sharks

You know the song, it starts out slow, daa-na….daa-na, then increases in pace, da-na..da-na..da-na.  At this point you know what’s coming.  A great big shark is making it’s way straight towards you! What started as a background music to get your blood pumping for thriller movies like Jaws has jumped from the big screen to the small.  Scary, ominous music is more often than not featured alongside sharks in nature documentaries and according to a […]

Music Makes Beer Taste Better!

Looking for a new trick to make beer taste better? Good news! According to a new study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, music can actually influence the way an individual perceives the taste of beer. So, the next time you are getting a self serve beer, don’t be afraid to get a little more lost in the music than normal. A team of researchers from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and KU Leuven were […]

New Chamber Orchestra Opportunity for New Learners!

We have recently learned that the Moses Brown School in Providence RI is forming a community orchestra! The school is looking for adult players who are learning violin, viola, cello, or double bass at the beginner or intermediate levels. You can read more about this exciting opportunity, including the rehearsal schedule, contact information, and download the registration form by clicking the following link: HERE.

How our Culture Impacts our Music Taste

  What determines our taste in music?  Is it something predetermined, born within us?  Or does it have more to do with how we are raised?  This discussion of nature vs. nurture is not new among scientists, and past studies have found evidence suggesting that nature has some role to play. However, a new study published by the Nature Journal of Science suggests that the music we are exposed to in our culture while we […]

Rock ‘n’ Roll ‘n’ Politics

A new exhibit titled “Louder than Words: Rock, Power, and Politics” is on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland Ohio. The exhibit, “features bands and artifacts – everything from instruments and sheet music to clothing – that documents American history through the tunes we rock out to. The exhibit is free all week while approximately 40 events take place at the Hall across four days during the Republican National Convention.” According to […]

When Music Gives You Chills

  You’re sitting in a comfy chair, eyes closed, completely engulfed in listening to a favorite piece of music when it hits you, chills that run up your spine and across your skin.  This reaction, known as frisson, only occurs in about a half to two-thirds of the population according to an article published by Jason Daley on The Smithsonian website on June 20th. According to the article, past research has shown that dopamine “floods […]

The Best Part of Waking Up…

Is music in your ears! According to a new study by Spotify and Ipsos one of the best motivators to get out of bed on a Monday morning is the thought of listening to your favorite music. After polling 3,005 people across the globe, Ipsos found that Mondays are the mornings where people feel the least motivated to get up and out. While coffee unsurprisingly took first place as the biggest Monday no prescription needed […]

Music Therapy at Boston Children’s Hospital

What started as a volunteer program utilizing Berklee College Students in 1996 at the Boston Children’s Hospital has evolved into a program with four certified music professionals working 130 hours a week, all in the hopes of easing child patients anxieties and helping them cope with their illnesses. Melissa Bailey writing for the Boston Globe recently published an article focusing on the program and it’s impact on the hospital and its patients.  Bailey interviewed Joanna […]

BRT Summer Solstice Festival

Don’t miss out on the Blackstone River Theater’s Summer Solstice Festival next weekend at Diamond Hill Park in Cumberland! Stop by for a day of music, food, and celebration! Featuring performances by: Atwater-Donnelly prednisone alternatives allergies Trio • Barrule (from Isle of Man) • Mari Black Trio The John Doyle Band • Eastern Medicine Singers • Girsa The Gnomes • Low Lily • Pendragon • Tir Na Nog Irish Dance The Vox Hunters with Torrin […]

Trump is Not Queen’s Champion, My Friend

The Rolling Stone reports this week that Queen guitarist Brian May, “has issued a stern statement denouncing the usage” of the band’s famous anthem, “We Are the Champions” by Donald Trump.  The track played while Trump walked onstage after his final victory in the Republican Primaries Tuesday night. After receiving, “an avalanche of complaints,” May came forward on his website to denounce Trump’s use of the song and confirm that permission was never sought nor […]

Bernanza! The Bernie Sanders Music Festival

This summer in Omaha Nebraska, Bernie Sanders fans will gather at Sokol Park for a three day celebration of Bernie, music, art, and more!  Planned, and paid for out-of-pocket, by Kris Love and Keila Castillo, two “now broke” friends, 100% of the proceeds from the festival (up to 10,000 dollars, “the max allowed due to FEC regulations”) will go to the Bernie Sanders campaign. According to the festivals website: “There will be headliners as well […]

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Double Bass Player Dies Onstage

Jane Little, of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra died Sunday, May 15th, doing what she loved best, playing her double-bass and making music onstage. Little began playing with the Symphony in 1945 when she was just 16 years old.  In February she was awarded a Guinness World Record  after reaching her 71st anniversary with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.  She was 87 years old at the time of her death. You can read more of Little’s story […]