Sunday, May 20, 2012

Candle On The Water

View to Chantry Island
A Candle looses nothing by lighting another candle
.
We are guests at a cottage at Southampton, Ontario. The owners are absent.

Miles and Miles of sandy beach

Southampton  has a wide sandy beach and one can walk for about four miles along the shore, of Lake Huron accompanied by ducks and loons.  The picturesque town has beautiful homes and cottages and gardens which rival English gardens for flowers and colour.  It is early in the season and many of the cottage owners have yet to return.  (these being second homes for many) I found myself alone on the beach each day.


My favourite cottage - many sport historical signs
  A ten minute boat ride will take you to Chantry Island, which has a famous Lighthouse and caretaker's cottage.  Now an automated Lighthouse,  the only inhabitants on the Island are cormorants, ducks, Canada geese and seagulls.

Helen Tilston's easel set up and painting blissfully until !!!!


 "Candle on the Water, sung by Helen Reddy"

I set up my easel and there is not a human being in sight. I am happily painting when suddenly I hear  a trained male voice singing "Candle On The Water"

 It was as though an angel were singing.  Suddenly two very handsome men appear and I exclaim  "Oh my God, two professional singers", to which they replied "Oh my God a real artist"  We chatted.  James and Chris, founding members of Edwin James Festival Choir  from Littlehampton, England were visiting and the following day were performing with the Chantry Singers in Owen Sound.    I quickly got on the phone and secured two seats for the concert titled:  "The Music's Always There With You"   This we found out was an experience not to be missed. Several songs sung individually and collectively by both choirs  had a water theme"  "Ocean World, Creatures of the Coral, The Ship that Sails, Wood River and Bridge Over Troubled Water.

James is on Right gesturing and Chris is the 3rd. male from right, second row


The evening went all too quickly with the grand finale of "Hallelujah"




The Edwin Jame Festival Chorus and the Chantry Singers combined

Following the concert we chatted with our new best friends James and Chris and exchanged cards and phone numbers.  We look forward to seeing them in England when next we visit.


I have titled my painting "The Music's Always There With You"
Two days later I returned to the beach and completed my painting. The weather was infinitely warmer. I slipped off my shoes and the warm sand was heavenly and I hummed "Candle On The Water"

What treasures have you found on a beach lately?






71 comments:

  1. Hello Helen:
    What an absolutely blissful instance of serendipity!It is these moments in life which really do serve to make one feel truly blessed and that all is well in the world.

    What fun it will now be to track James and Chris with their choir singing and, of course, to meet up with them again on a future occasion.This was all, surely, just meant to be!!

    Your painting captures so beguilingly this special moment and the beauty of sea, sand and sky in this most enchanting of places. Perfect!

    Sadly, our most recent 'beach' experience, on the banks of the Danube, cannot compare with this idyllic moment of yours......1970s party worker weekend retreats....got the picture?!!!

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    1. Hello Jane and Lance
      The word serendipity describes the occasion just so beautifully. I do believe occasions such as this are meant to be. We loved their singing and the concert made the day very special. Yes, life can be good.

      Sorry your experience on the Danube did not live up to expectations. Was it a bit like Butlins Holiday Camps? Do those still exist?

      Wishing you a great week

      Helen xx

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  2. What a lovely post Helen! I never painted outdoors like this, except when I was in college and living in Rio de Janeiro. The outdoors is sure magical when you are by the sea... I should put in my list of dreams such a trip like this! Beautiful painting!

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    1. Hello Simony

      How romantic painting outdoor in Rio de Janeiro! We need to read about this in a post. I hope you manage to escape to the beach soon.
      Thank you for your compliment on my painting
      Wishing you a week full of fun
      Helen xx

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  3. Wow...what a wonderful place to be!!

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    1. It is a wonderful place and without the tourists it is even better (imao)

      Wishing you a week of joy
      Helen xx

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  4. A fantastic experience for you. To be creating your passion, and hear beautiful music for the soul. So happy.
    I think I need to research this lovely hideway for a mini vacation for my Hubby and I. It looks romantic.

    When we were in Aruba, my husband found a heart shaped shell, and presented it to me. I was all smiles.

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    1. It was indeed an added bonus to meet Chris and James and then to attend their concert. We had no idea there was such an event.
      What a treasure your husband found for you. No doubt it has pride of place. Aruba is a beautiful island.

      Helen xx

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  5. Dear Helen,

    Before I got to the part about your singers I was thinking that it sounds like the perfect vacation--I love quiet windswept beaches, and that cottage is darling. Then to have that experience of hearing the singers (and meeting them, etc)...it seems truly transcendent.

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    1. Hello Jen
      Southampton is a beautiful little town. Still unspoiled.There is a good bakery, which we visited daily.
      Hearing the choir sing was definitely a delight and a total surprise.

      My best

      Helen x

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  6. How wonderful to have access to an empty beach each day! That hasn't happened to me for way too long! Loved your story and your painting
    sharon
    xx

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    1. Hello Sharon

      Perhaps this summer you will find an excuse to escape to the coast. There is something healing about being by the water.
      Thank you for your compliment on my art.

      Wishing you a great week
      Helen xx

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  7. I wished I lived so close to a beach... unfortunately no sea here... at least your pics take me into this wonderful landscape. I hope that we will be able to go to the sea very soon... or at least to the beach to a lake nearby. Unfortunately they are never empty or lonely and so far I haven't heard anyone singing... maybe I should start doing that... Your painting looks beautiful! Christa

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    1. Hello Emilie

      Thank you for commenting on my pictures. With summer on its way perhaps you will find an excuse to escape to the beach.
      It is such a great feeling each day to be the first footsteps on the sand. I love shoulder season and less crowded beaches.

      Hope your week is extra special

      Helen xx

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  8. I think your open, smiley self ensures that good things happen to you, Helen, and that you find the beautiful places you deserve. Your painting is a delight to behold and I have particularly fallen for its wide, wide expanse.

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    1. Hello Mise

      Thank you for your visit and kind words. Now I shall have to live up to your opinion of me. When I weaken, I shall think of your gracious self and when in doubt I shall say "what would Mise do"

      Affectionately,

      Helen xx

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  9. Dear Helen - many of the most memorable things that happen in our lives are the things that are totally unexpected. You set off to do some painting alone on a beach, and ended up making new friends and with a lovely concert to attend.
    Your painting looks really lovely.

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    1. Hello Rosemary

      You are so right about memorable occasions happening when least expected. They were the only two people I met on the beach that day. I was there for about two hours. Thanks for your compliment on my painting
      Hope your week is joyful

      Helen xx

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  10. Helen,

    You are one lucky lady! You always share the greatest of life pleasures art, music, nature and people oh and food. This was such a great experience just reading this post felt like a chapter out of a novel.

    How wonderful!

    Bette

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    1. Hello Bette

      I am grateful for my life. I also love all of the above, including food. What did you think of our high calorie poutine dish? The first few mouth fulls were good but then they got cold and the cook added too much gravy this time.

      Hope your week is exceptional

      Helen xx

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  11. Hi Helen Dear, I'm lovin this post, I get the vibes. I just returned from a week of sand between my toes.My treasures at the beach was memories of old and making new ones with our grandson. Unlike you with the beach all to yourself we were just happy to have most of the spring breakers gone. It sounds like you've made two wonderful new friends! The concert sounds wonderful, it must have been glorious when they performed "Hallelujah"! Thanks for sharing your wonderful trip to the beach.

    ~Emily
    The French Hutch

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    1. Hello Emily

      Your week at the ocean sounds marvelous. The feeling of hot sand between the toes is truly blissful. Meeting James and Chris certainly made our day. Yes, the Hallelujah with everyone standing and singing was special.

      Hope your week is very special

      Helen xx

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  12. Hello Helen! What a lovely coincidence that is. Although not much of a beach person, I have a treasure trove of sea memories, the coast being a part of my growing up.
    Your painting in the last picture takes my breath away. The blue is blinding and the scene so very restful.

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    1. Hello Suman

      Thank you for your beautiful compliment on my painting.
      It was indeed such a coincidence meeting James and Chris. We had no idea about this concert. Your memories of living by the ocean must sustain you.

      Hope your week is wonderful
      Helen xx

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  13. What a lovely place to visit and to paint. I would love to go there someday.
    Sam

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    1. Hello Sam

      I am sure you would like Southampton. The sunset are spectacular and some great roadside vegetable stands later on in the season. We cannot have you have a break from cooking!

      Helen xx

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  14. oh Helen what a magical story. At first I was excited because that's my lake, but on the American side. I grew up down river from Lake Huron.

    Not only did you get to hear the beautiful choir music I hope you got to hear my favorite night music, foghorns.

    xo Jane

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    1. Hello Jane

      So you know about the beauty of Lake Huron. The choir were spectacular. There are Great Lakes fishing boats at Southampton but not as busy as once in history. I must have slept through the foghorns

      Have a great week. It is a holiday here today, Victoria Day

      Helen

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  15. What a beautiful place Helen and you seem to have it all to yourself. My first thought was .....what a haven for painting ..... and there was your easel all set up and ready to go !!
    ....and, you now have two new friends. The Edwin James Festival Choir must have sounded beautiful and, whenever I hear the Hallelujah chorus I get shivers down my spine. I sang the Messiah when I was at school ( many, many years ago now !!) ...... it is so moving.
    ....and, many thanks for your lovely comment today....a bit of mummy bragging !!
    Have a lovely week Helen. XXXX

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    1. Hello Jacqueline

      You are full of surprises. I am impressed at your singing abilities "The Messiah" is a favourite of mine. I sang with the Pro-Cathedral choir in Dublin as a teenager. It was an honour, our conductor was Leo Maguire. Now I am bragging. Hee Hee It was wonderful to meet and hear the Edwin James Choir.
      Hope your week is wonderful

      Helen xx

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  16. There is nothing better than being alone on the beach on a calm, still day.....sigh. What a great story! Great inspiration for the painting too.

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    1. It was indeed a wonderful day and being alone on a beach feels very special. I am heading back to paint some more
      Hope your week is great

      Helenxx

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  17. Helen, what a marvelous happenstance meeting...it was meant to be, and both parties were blessed immeasurably and your creative spirits were given just the gifts they most needed...I love when these kind of seredipitous happenings happen. I recall, you had one at the girls school too...you must have a very thoughtful, active, and aware angel with you at all times!
    xoxo J~

    Oh yes...your painting is spectacular...so peaceful to look at, and the title...a gift from above! ♥

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    1. Hello Jessica

      It was indeed a happenstance meeting. It is indeed magical when such events happen. Yes, your memory is very good, when I painted at the school there was a similar incident.
      I hope that thoughtful active angel remains with me always that is a beautiful wish

      Thanks fr your kind words and support Jessica

      Helen xx

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  18. Hi Helen! It looks like such an amazing place to holiday:) I would love to take off somewhere like that now!! Have a good week:)
    ~Anne

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    1. Hello Anne

      It is a beautiful little town and when the weather is good it is very special.

      Hope your week is wonderful too

      Helen xx

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  19. pretty shots!

    http://forallthatjas.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks Jas for visiting and for your kind words

      Helenxx

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  20. What a wonderful experience to have Helen!
    Southampton sure looks like a beautiful place to be.
    Have a wonderful time there.

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    1. Hello Lisa

      Thank you for your kind words and good wishes.

      Helen xx

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  21. Hello Lisa

    I think you would love Southampton. It has all the ingredients for a restful vacation.

    Hope your week is spectacular

    Helen xx

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  22. Oh Helen I long to visit the beach! For now I have pretty shells to remind me and also memories of living in San Diego.

    Thought you would enjoy...Interview with Leslie of Segreto Finishes and her fabulous Book Giveaway!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

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    1. Hello Karena

      San Diego is a beautiful place to hail from. It has been many years since we were there and I have very fond memories of it and Laguna Beach.

      I will be checking your blog, thanks
      Helen xx

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  23. The ocean always brings us back to our true self and heavenly moments follow heavenly people :)

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    1. How nice to hear from you and thank you these beautiful words.
      I am grateful to you. Best wishes for a delightful weekend
      Helen xx

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  24. Wow Helen what a surreal experience and a very novel way by James and Chris for advertising their concert! But seriously I love it when this kind of thing happens. Southampton looks like a gorgeous place, is there anything better than warm sand and bare feet?
    X

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    1. Hello Dash

      That is a good word to describe the meeting "surreal". It is indeed a wonderful surprise when such meetings happen.
      One can be alone with their thoughts here.
      Helen xx

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  25. Dear Helen,
    What an enchanting post. How wonderful to be seranaded too. The song is so beautiful.
    I left it playing over, whilst i made a cup of coffee. An uplifting post.
    Now you have two NBF..
    It looks like a delightful place that you are staying at. A perfect name for your painting.
    Happy days Helen
    val

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    1. Hello Valerie

      I love the song too and before singing it James explained that it was a tribute to the whales which get injured each year.

      You would love it too Val as the homeowners are avid gardeners.

      Helen xx

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  26. What an exciting story! Were you all alone in a beach house, were you not at all afraid being there?
    It´s been ages since I´ve been walking on a beach, too long.

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    1. Hello Mette

      My husband and dog were with me. He is a golfer and during the day loves to play the local courses and I paint. The dog sleeps!!!
      I would not fear being alone, if necessary, in the cottage.
      Helen xx

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  27. it’s really beautiful and wonderful place.

    Hawaiian Paintings

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    1. Hello Alesha

      Many thanks for your visit and following. I will be checking you blog.

      Helenxx

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  28. What a wonderful vacation and such a beautiful spot to paint...love the video!

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    1. Thanks for your comment. It is a beautiful unspoiled place.
      Glad you liked the music.

      Helen x

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  29. What a fantastic post - combines all the elements I love to read about! Delighted to "meet" you, and I will start following as soon as I've written this.

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    1. Hello Deborah

      A big warm welcome to my blog and thank you for following. I, too look forward to knowing you

      My best

      Helen xx

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  30. Hello Helen:
    What a perfect combination -- beach, wonderful music, new friends. A great inspiration for you judging the look of your painting. Hope it was a refreshing retreat for you!
    Sanda

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    1. Hello Sanda

      Thank you for your visit. It was blissful and on reflection a wonderful time and quite a beautiful coincidence

      Helenxx

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  31. Well our beaches are unlike the ones in the UK or Ireland. I live in Michigan. Thank you for visiting my blog. I look forwards to seeing some of your work. I will be following your blog too.
    Janice

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  32. Hello Janice

    A big warm welcome to my blog and thank you for following. I will be looking forward to knowing your blog. Michigan has some wonderful beaches and sunsets too.

    Helen x

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  33. What a lovely place. I know you must be so inspired by that beauty

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    1. It is a peaceful place and yes I am always delighted to get up to meet the day when here

      Helen xx

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  34. Helen,

    I am so glad that I didn't miss this entirely--just am a little late to the party! Such beauty and it takes such a special person as yourself not only to experience it to the fullest but to make newfriends as well!!
    Wishing you a lovely Sunday!
    Heather
    PS. I think that you well know how sentimental I am but as further proof: I can't bring myself to watch the "Candle on the Water" video because I know that it will make me cry big soppy tears!!

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    1. Hello Heather
      You are always welcome to the party and I know you travelled a long journey from Provence to here so I shall pour you a cappucino and welcome you. Meeting James and Chris on the beach was heartwarming.
      I do understand "soppy tears" and have shed my share and in particular where animals and wild life are involved.
      Wishing you a Happy Memorial Day - do you also celebrate the US holidays in France? Combined with the French holidays that would make for a year of good times!

      Helen xx

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  35. I have found a treasure on the beach - your blog!! Thanks for visiting my Mary's Graces team blog I have another here at www.marysholyheart.blogspot.com

    Your blog is beautiful, Donna

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    1. Hello Donna

      What a kind and complimentary comment. My sincere thanks.
      I wish you a warm welcome and look forward to knowing you through your blogs.
      Helen xx

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  36. What a beautiful work of art. You are so talented to be able to paint what you see and the ocean holds such special feelings for me. I love the house you stayed in, too! How nice to have the beach all to yourself! Enjoy your holiday weekend!

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    1. Hello Dianne

      Thank you for your visit and kindness. I know you and I feel the same love and fondness for the ocean and the shore.
      Yes our accommodation is perfect.
      Wishing you a happy Memorial day

      Helen xx

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  37. I wish I could of heard them singing. They most have amazing voices.

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  38. Hello Mike

    Like you said, they have the most amazing voices. It was a most memorable concert.

    Thanks for your comment

    Helen

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