Monday, May 28, 2012

The Music's Always There With you


Helen Tilston's Painting "The Afterglow"



*Ave Verum*

More treasures found on the beach.    I have returned today to Southampton Beach.  It is a blissful sunny day 24 celcius.  The seagulls are singing and a killdeer is trying to lure me away with his broken wing trick.  I must be close to his/her nest so I shall move a little.  There is room for everyone.

Killdeer nesting on beach

I have been playing the music from my concert of last week and "Ave Verum" is my default song.
A couple and their boat have taken rest on the shore



Two young girls "Pearl and Michelle" have stopped and chatted and  Michelle has asked numerous questions:  who am I, where am I from, how much money is a painting, where did I learn to speak English.  Michelle suggests that if I like I can put them in the painting but just to make sure that I show she is wearing a turquoise tee shirt and Pearl is wearning a pink shirt.  They inform me they are on their way to the shore to collect driftwood for their bonfire tonight. Marshmallows will be roasted.   Michelle is 7-3/4 years and Pearl is 4-1/2 yrs old.  Michelle is the boss.  
I become engrossed in my painting and I can hear Michelle's shrill voice "Pearl make sure the wood is dry- Pearl collect  some more-Pearl only 5 more minutes".  They ascend the dunes "Pearl keep going, just a little bit more"  They have collected two shopping bags of kindle and one huge limb from a tree.
As they pass Michelle says "Helen keep painting, you better finish this today as it is going to rain tomorrow".  I  ponder ...  Are leaders born?  Is leadership learned?

It is past lunchtime and I return to the village quite hungry. Mike and I head to the local cafe. We see the French Canadian specialty Poutine is on the menu. We share an order.
Poutine is made with french fries, cheese curds and gravy


Have you tried Poutine?


62 comments:

  1. This is astonishing (to me) Helen. I was born and grew up in Southampton England. I've lived (on and off) on Ontario Canada for the past 40 years - and I have never heard of Southampton Ontario!
    It's quite a drive to there from where we live, but I'm certainly putting it on my to-be-explored-very-soon list!
    Thanks for enlightening me!
    I think leaders are definitely born...I'll keep my ear out for Michelle in the future...and no have never eaten poutine, although I am told it is delicious.

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    1. Hello Jacqueline
      It is a well kept secret. I discovered the town about 20 year ago and what particularly appealed to me was the wide beach and there is a path which allows one to walk for miles along the shore (unlike Muskoka/Haliburton). I think you will enjoy discovering the town. How interesting you were born in Southampton, England.
      You must try poutine, I must say I prefer when the chef uses less gravy and more of the cheese curds as a topping.
      So you think Michelle is a one to watch? I tend to agree.
      Helen xx

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  2. Just returned from PleinAire where I raved about your beautiful girl on the beach. Thank you for stopping by today. I loved your concert!
    ~Lynne
    w/L.

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    1. Hello Lynne

      Thank you for visiting www.pleinairecottageartists.com (my second blog) where I have put a self portrait. The concert last week was very special and the music does stay with one
      Always a pleasure to visit you

      Helen xx

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  3. Hello Helen:
    We have been totally entranced through this post and throughout writing our comment to the glorious sound of the 'Ave Verum'. It is a piece which reaches to one's very soul, is hauntingly melodic and does, at least in our case, serve to confirm the existence of an Almighty.

    The life of a plein air painter cannot be an easy one with the vagaries of weather,the sun, sand, wind and rain. But, what delights abound in the forms of Michelle and Pearl and the sailing couple who all serve to add a lightness of being and a magic touch to the whole scene.

    Your painting 'The Afterglow' looks to have captured the sense of place in which you are painting so completely. One can almost feel the gentle breeze coming from the water and the warmth of the sand between one's toes.Lovely!

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    1. Hello Jane and Lance

      I can only imagine sitting in your company and listening to Ave Verum. You so beautifully capture it's effect "it reaches the soul" and also for me confirms the Almighty.

      Yes, there are days when I wonder what in the world am I doing out here painting on such a day. It can be very humbling and then somehow the magic always happens. The voices, sounds and perfumes seem to leave an imprint in the heart. Yes, the sand was blissfully warm and the dunes sheltered me.

      As always it is lovely to hear from you.

      Helen xx

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  4. Hi Helen,

    the photo of the couple at the beach, looks almost like a painting. to read about the dialogue of the two little girls, how endearing. Funny you ask about leadership, one day we were at the park and Beli was playing with a little girl a bit younger and I told her Mom, I'm sorry if Beli is being a bit bossy, and the Mom replied, oh I don't mind, it looks like Beli will be a great leader." I never thought about it that way, I just she was being bossy. LOL

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    1. What a delightful story about Beli and I can see that she has leadership abilities in her manner and poise.

      Yes the couple on the beach were the perfect models!!! You share my thoughts here on a painting. As for Michelle and Pearl they were so engrossed in their wood gathering and while Michelle carried the heavier load, little Pearl's shopping bag was a bit heavy for her. Learn they must.
      Thanks for stopping by

      Helen xx

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  5. Hello Helen... a lovely post... I love the beach... and the couple with a boat, an umbrella and then just water and sand... how romantic!

    In your last post you were asking if we had ever found anything special on a beach...

    Seeing that couple, has reminded me of many happy times in Italy and in Greece.

    On the Greek Islands, I always wished I could have found my own Zorba, and danced the Sirtaki with him, at night, under the stars, but all I found was dead seaweed, crabs under the rocks and, occasionally, a beer bottle top! Oh, well... that's how the cookie crumbles, Helen!

    I love your sandy beeches and I'm sure that, while you paint you can hear music inside you. Nature and happiness have that effect on the soul.

    On a mondane note: I have never poutine. Here, they call it chips and gravy, popular in Northern England. I try not to eat chips. English ones are very soggy, indeed. Your poutine looks nice, though...

    Ave Verum is very inspiring... I'm listening to it now... BEAUTIFUL!

    ANNA
    xxx

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    1. Hello Anna

      You always make me laugh. Ha Ha Ha. While we all dream of finding Zorba on the beach you are the only one who is brave enough to admit it!!! Now I am the one who is dancing around in my combo of Sirtaki and Riverdance.

      A day at the beach heals all that ails one.

      Poutine is one of those dishes that tastes good at the beach and perhaps twice a year. When the chef uses more cheese curds and less gravy, I prefer it. We share an order as by the time the chips get cold they are tasteless.

      I knew you would like Ave Verum.

      Wishing you a week of joy

      Helen xx

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  6. Your new painting looks beautiful Helen! Ave Verum Corpus is a beautiful piece of music. We sing it with our choir too. It always gives me goosebumps. It's so beautiful to sing together!

    Wish you a happy new week!

    Madelief x

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    1. Hello Madelief

      Thank you for your compliment on my painting.

      I would love to hear your choir sing one day and no doubt you are very professional. Ave Verum Corpus, as Jane and Lance so beautifully say, reaches the soul.

      Hope your garden is blooming

      Helen xx

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  7. I love Ave Verum Corpus too - reminds me of early darkness in an Oxford chapel rather than the sunshine though. But that's living here - all choral music reminds me of small churches and not enough light on the music :)

    I love your painting, and your word portrait of the girls - I can just imagine bossy Michelle sorting everyone out. I wonder what her future holds!

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    1. I agree that Ave Verum Corpus is best sung in a beautiful dark church. The melody lingered from a concert the previous week in such a church in Owen Sound. The church while beautiful was not as aged as an Oxford chapel.

      Yes Michelle is confident and a little leader. She played fairly and that makes her all the more promising.

      Helen xx

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  8. "Michelle is the boss" are the most perfectly paced words I have read today. A very diverting post.

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    1. Hi Mise, Noooooo, you don't have a boss among your two little beauties. I think I remember them trading chocolates, so likely there was a leader. Thanks for the cuairt

      Helenxx

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  9. Oh Helen, Michelle and Pearl sound absolutely delightful. Yes, it does seem leaders are born. The painting, the music everything is perfect. Thank you for sharing. I have never tried poutin...if it is french fires and gravy...oh my it must be yummy. I hope you continue to have sunny weather. Bonnie

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    1. Hello Bonnie.
      Michelle and Pearl contributed to the day and they were having so much joy and freedom. Their cottage, they told me was just up the way. Poutine tastes great by the sea and with the song of seagulls. The weather is still quite beautiful.

      Have a great week

      Helen xx

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  10. What a grand time you had!!! Wonderful picture of the nesting Killdeer! Wishing you will! Cathy

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    1. Hello Cathy

      The killdeer are so smart and I love their song. Life is fun.
      Hope your week is going great

      Helenxx

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  11. What a glorious trip you are having--that you for sharing it and allowing me a bit of armchair travel.

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    1. Hello Jen

      It is indeed turning out so well. It is quite simple here and feels like going back in time.

      Helen xxx

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  12. I find that broken wing trick so clever

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    1. You are right it is clever and so amusing. I wonder if other birds know this trick?

      Helen xx

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    1. Hello Stina

      Thanks for visitng and hugs back

      Helen xx

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  14. I returned from my apartment in the Algarve last night.
    On opening your blog this morning.. What a beautiful post Helen.
    What more could one ask for than to have coffee and listen to Mozart. I will be replaying it over and over today.
    The little cottage that you are staying at looks so so sweet and inviting.
    Living so close to the beach, nothing better.
    What a delight two little girls asking you questions at that age too.
    I believe leaders are born leaders and not made. Of course, that is just my opinion.
    Sweet innocence of youth. Happy painting and holiday time. The Poutine looks delicious.
    xx val

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    1. Hello Val
      It was indeed a very special day and Michelle and Pearl added to the whole atmosphere. It seems all homes and cottages at Southampton have fire pits (often the fire is contained in the re-cycled basket from top loading washing machines)and bonfires are common and the roasting of marshmallows. They are now making enormous marshmallows.
      Glad you like the music and welcome home from the Algarve.
      Helen xx

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  15. You've painted many delightful images with your words here.

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    1. Why thank you for that kind compliment

      Helen x

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  16. How much fun it must have been to hear the conversation between the two girls.
    Something so simple, yet so special.
    Never heard of Poutine, but it sure looks yummy.
    Sending you wishes for a beautiful day, Helen.
    xo.

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    1. Hello Lisa

      It felt special listing to the voices of Michelle and Pearl. Michelle, while demanding, was kind to Pearl.
      Poutine originated in Quebec and has spread to Ontario. It has a few extra calories, over the french fry.
      Thanks for your kind wishes which I return

      Helen xx

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  17. Ahhh! Looks like the perfect day! Beach, sun & poutine; what more could you want?

    x

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    1. Indeed, it is the simple things that seem to please us most.
      Thanks for stopping by

      Helen xx

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  18. Oh-What a delightful blog you have! Thank you so much for finding me-now I have "found you " back. I love that story about the kids- I do think there are natural born leaders. Our youngest granddaughter is boss of her two older sisters and she is very sweet about it but always accomplishes exactly what she has set out to do....and if asking doesn't work the crocodile tears fall like rain!;>) So.....DID you finish the painting? Have a wonderful day- xo Diana

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    1. Hi Diana and a warm welcome to my blog.
      That must be amusing watching the youngest as leader and I am chuckling at your comment on her tears. I have put a few final strokes on the painting and it is done.
      Have a glorious week
      Helen xx

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  19. Dear Helen,
    Thank you so much for your visit, and I am so happy to have "met"! I am from Quebec, and poutine is a must when I return home...I do hope you enjoyed it! I love your story of the girls, adorable! I shall be back to visit soon, have a wonderful week!
    Nathalie

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    1. Hello Natalie
      Thank you for following and a warm welcome. I also look forward to knowing your blog.
      You hail from a beautiful province and I am sure you miss some of the fabulous cuisine, including poutine.
      Wishing you a wonderful week.

      Helen xx

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  20. Dear Helen, this is an enchanting post....I think my younger sister Micki is Michelle!!! She has been directing me all my life ! I like Jacqueline have lived in Ontario all my life, except for the two years in Italy where I was born.....and do not know Southampton ? But I must find out as well....I have tasted Poutine, it is delicious, but decadent! So happy I discovered your lovely blog! M.xo

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    1. Hello Nella

      A big warm welcome to you and thank you for following my blog.
      How curious that your younger sister is the director. There is at least one in every family!! Hee hee.
      I found Southampton about 20 years ago and we visit a few times each summer. I love to paint in the area.
      My best

      Helen xx

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  21. WOW, I have never tried poultine, as it is a Canadian delicacy and I have never been there! Oooo, one day I should make a MONTREAL party!!!

    Helen dearest, yes, I just barely heard the news yesterday about the earthquake in Italy! That saddens me as well, for I have been there and it is such a beautiful place. To hear of the casualties is even worse.

    YOUR PAINTING IS GLORIOUS and that killdear is sooooooo cute, wearing STRIPES!!!

    Enjoy, Anita

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    1. Hello Anita

      What a novel idea to have a Montreal party. There are many dishes which originated in Quebec and also customs and traditions.
      Thank you for your compliment on my painting and yes that killdeer added to my joy.

      Hope your week is awesome

      Helen xx

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  22. Dear Helen,

    Just read your comment on my blog. It made me smile. You wrote it beautifully and I must say.....you are a very good detective :-)! I will say hello to our mutual friends from you!!

    It's only Wednesday in Holland yet, but I wish you a Happy weekend!

    Lieve groet,

    Madelief x

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    1. Hello Madelief

      I have been thinking about you all day yesterday, as I had an eight hour drive to the Adirondack Mountains and being alone gives time to reflect and think. I am so looking forward to your next post and to our dear friend's blog too.

      Hope you week is spectacular

      Helen xx

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  23. Hello and thank you for following my blog! It's a pleasure to meet you & I'm looking forward to getting a closer look at your paintings.

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    1. A big warm welcome to you and thank you for following.
      I will look forward to visiting and to your return visits too

      Helenxx

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  24. Oh my goodness, Afterglow is beautiful. I love how you are showing us the painting in it's place of origin. And thank you for posting the Ave Verum music. I am familiar with the piece and it stirs something so deep in one's heart and soul. All else stops in the world while listening to that piece of music.
    On a lighter note, I have only had poutine once when I was in Nova Scotia several years ago. Thank you again for showing Afterglow and Ave Verum clip.

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    1. I thank you for your kind words on my painting. I appreciate your thoughts on showing were I am painting from.
      Ave Verum I could listen to every day and like you said when listening all else stops. That is a beautiful way to word it.
      Poutine, once exclusive to Quebec, is gradually making its way to other provinces in Canada.

      Hope you have a very special week

      Helen xx

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  25. I'm so glad to be back online with my computer fixed...just discovering that you've gone abroad :) Thanks for the music!

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    1. Hell Becky

      I am happy you enjoyed the music and that you computer is once again mended. We like to travel during the summer and visit our friends who are scattered in various places

      Hope your week is extra special

      Helen xx

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  26. What a glorious setting to paint ! and no, i don't know what poutine is...was quite intrigued ! (i thought it was a fish dish :-)

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    1. There are some beautiful spots in Ontario - this particular area is one of my favourites. I can understand why you might think poutine was fish. Not as healthy as fish, I'm afraid!!! but good to indulge in once in a while

      Hope your week is very special

      helen

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  27. What a delightful way to start my day...beautiful music and beautiful art. I can almost hear the conversation between the precious girls...happy weekend!!

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    1. Thank you for this kind and generous compliment
      I wish you a week of joy
      Helen xx

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  28. poutine sounds really yummy and your day sounds wonderful - i often love listening to children - they have such a natural way of expressing themselves - it is very special - they just are who they are - have a very good weekend xx

    http://fashionandfrank.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. You are so right, children have no pretense and are just in the moment. You must try poutine but please don't give any to Frank, we don't want him to loose his shape!! hee hee

      May your week be the best
      Helen xx

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  29. Ahhh Helen.....

    Meet me on the aqua blue beach and let's just talk and laugh and paint!!! THANK YOU DEAREST for coming to visit!!!Have a delightful weekend, Anita

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    1. Hi Anita

      What a wonderful thought, perhaps some day we shall do just that!

      Wishing you a week of joy

      Helen xxx

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  30. I've never heard of Poutine...but now my mouth is watering, and would love to have some this very moment!
    Michele is a quite the pistol...working with children, I love seeing their natural personality traits, and it most definitely sounds like her natural trait 'is' leadership...I think Donald Trump needs to call her!
    Lovely music...and sweet bird story, it's wonderful how they protect their young.
    xoxo J~

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    1. Hello Jessica

      I warn you eat poutine sparingly!!! Of course you work with children and must hear the most delightful conversations. Ha haa, Donald Trump calling her, well she just might have something to say to him!!
      Birds are quite amazing and how vulnerable they are to predators, sometimes I want to just go and protect all of them.

      Hope your week is extra joyful

      Helenxx

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  31. A simply wonderful post! When I read your words and see the photos I can nearly hear the waves at the beach. A summer day which enlightens the soul for a very long time! Thank you, Helen! Christa PS. The colors on your painting are really glowing!

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    1. Hello Christa

      Thanks you for visiting and for your kindness and support.
      May your week be full of joy

      Helen xx

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