Saturday, June 7, 2014

Threading through life

Helen Tilston by the Arno River Firenze
Returning to Florence two weeks ago and meandering through her familiar streets, I am reminded of my last visit.

Helen Tilston and Violetta Chandler in Firenze on way to Medici Apartment


Plein Aire Cottage Artists:  Mary Rose Holmes, Helen Tilston and Violetta Chandler
In 2007, my art partners Mary Rose Holmes, Violetta and me represented the USA at the
invitational juried Florence Biennale.   800 artists from 73 nations assembled for one week at the Fortezza da Bassa in Firenze.     A party was organized among some twenty recently met American friends and Aida volunteered her apartment which still had the bake oven used by the notorious family at  the Medici Apartment

Always leave the door open for opportunity


Aida, an avid traveller informed me she used Villa Renters and had success.   On our next trip to Ireland I found The Old Monastery" in Youghal, Co Cork.

View from The Old Monastery In Youghal 
We loved this place so much we vacationed each year for the past five years and have many beautiful memories of joyful times.  A special thank you to owners William and Brenda Hughes.

The Blackwater River feeds into the Irish Sea at Youghal.

We love Youghal so much, and by now you have probably guessed, we have purchased a home here.
We very recently took possession of our 130 year old home.  

Aida I want to thank you for being the seed or needle that started this whole tapestry.


(I have received no compensation from Villa Renters, Italy Perfect nor the Irish Tourist Board)



50 comments:

  1. What thrilling news Helen - the tapestry of life weaves her magic - how lovely to now be the owners of a 130 year old Youghal cottage. May you have many, many happy days vacationing there in future years.

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    1. Hello Rosemary

      Many thanks for your kind wishes. We are enjoying being here and making the house into a home

      Helen xx

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  2. Lucky you; I wish you lots and lots of happy times in your new home ! xxx

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    1. Yes, we consider ourselves to be very fortunate to have found this great town and house. Lots of fun and exploring

      Helen xx

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  3. Congratulations and the fact that it's 130 years old adds to interest of the home I'm sure. Sharon x

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    1. Hello Sharon

      We love older houses and just love the location. Youghal has the longest beach in Ireland.

      Helen xx

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  4. Hello Helen,

    So lovely to see a new post from you and with such great news! Wow, your own 130 year old home in your beloved Youghal; how very exciting!! I can't wait to see photos of your new adventure in beautiful Ireland. Your trip to Florence sounds wonderful; how fitting that you should meet such an array of international artists, and congrats on being invited to represent the States!

    Wishing you a joyful weekend!

    xx
    Poppy

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    1. Hello Poppy

      It is lovely to see your smiling face here. We are having lots of fun and joy settling in and catching up with friends and family. Florence is always a joy to visit and I never seem to have enough time there.
      Hope your week is special

      Helen xx

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  5. Dear Helen - What wonderful news!!!! Congratulations! Wishing you many special moments in your new old home! I look forward to following along on this new adventure - cheers, loi

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    1. Dear Loi

      I think you started a trend!!! By buying a second home. Thanks for your good wishes. Lots of fun and plans are being drawn up.
      Have a glorius week
      Helenxx

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  6. Wow! Impressive about the bienniale! And how lovely you've finally purchased a home in the area you love so much. I hope you enjoy it and good to see you back.

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    1. Hello Jenny

      The Florence Biennale is a spectacular event, held every two years. It is likened to the Olympics of the art world. We are loving our new (old) house and settling in slowly

      Hope your week is special

      Helen xx

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  7. Dear Helen,

    It's good to see that you are enjoying yourself in Italy. Such a beautiful country! A lovely photo of you and your two friends. It must have been such an honour to represent the USA at the biennale!

    Happy weekend!

    Madelief x

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    1. Dear Madelief

      Italy is indeed beautiful in so many ways. I have always felt a great love for the people and country. I need only the slightest excuse to travel there. The Biennale was thrilling and some great connections were made.
      Hope you are settling back to life in Holland following your travels.
      Helen xx

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  8. Dear Helen,
    Congratulations!! Such exciting news about your new home, and the trip to Florence!! I hope you will post photos of your new home in Ireland.
    All the best,
    Louise

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    1. Hello Louise

      Thanks for your good wishes I will indeed post pictures once the dust settles here. Florence was a short visit but much enjoyed.

      Have a great week

      helen xx

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  9. Oh Helen! Such a wonderful post - your news is exquisite! I am smiling so broadly just waiting for the upcoming posts in which you introduce us to this new-to-you lovely old home!

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    1. Hello Joel and Jackie

      Thank you for visiting. I hope you are home safely following your Greek holiday. We are settling in and getting some work completed. It is fun and we are not rushing. Too many fun time to be had
      Helen xx

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  10. Helen--that's so exciting! I look forward to hearing (seeing) more and following along on this new adventure. Jen

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    1. Hello Jen

      Thanks for your good wishes and for taking an interest in our new home.
      Hope all is great in your life

      Helen xx

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  11. What exciting news Helen! This is wonderful to keep your heritage and to give new life to it! Hope you have fully enjoyed your stay in Florence, this is a magical city, I love Forence more than Venice, oh, I'm so jealous...
    Happy week end!
    Olympia

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    1. Hello Olympia
      I can sense and feel your passion for Firenze. It is a place that captures the heart. It is great being back in Ireland and owning our own little house. There is lots to do and friends to invite over. The sun is shining and the sea is blue today.
      Wishing you a week of joy

      Helenx

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  12. What a beautiful place for a home. It looks so peaceful. Ah Florence, it's been too long since I walked its lovely streets.

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    1. Hello Loree and I am sure Florence misses you Time to pack the bag and visit. It does the heart good
      Helen xx

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  13. That's wonderful, Helen! I wish you a great deal of happiness in your new cottage, and hope Ireland will now see more of you.

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    1. Dearest Mise

      Thank you for the warm words and welcome. I will look forward to seeing you again soon. We are long overdue a few cups of tea and some fairy cakes. Helen xx

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  14. Hi Helen .. fantastic trip .. and amazing you've bought a house in Youghal - it is picturesque ... I used it in my A-Zs this year .. and there's a blogger who lives in Youghal .. I can't remember her site at the moment - I'll have to come back to you!

    What excitement .. it is beautiful there .. cheers Hilary

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    1. Hello Hilary
      It sounds like you have been to Youghal. It is a picturesque town and we love it. I would be very happy to connect with the Youghal blogger. That would be exciting.

      Helen xx

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  15. It is great to see you dearest Helen...we have been off blogging for a while but need to get back into it...you are full of inspiration. Congratulations on the 130 yr old house...she has landed in very good hands. xx

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    1. Dear Mona

      I have missed your posts too and words of wisdom. I have thought of you often while here in Youghal. Our garden backs on to the historical town wall (over 1,000 yrs old) and there are many feral cats who perch on the wall and sun themselves each evening. They amuse us greatly and our dog Spice Girl is very tolent of them. Helen xx

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  16. Two beautiful places it is my heart's desire to visit Helen. It is wonderful to have bought a house in Ireland (my daughter-in-law to be is Irish, and a sweet lass). I am gazing at those lovely pictures of Florence; we were supposed to go there two weeks ago, but had to cancel for medical reasons. It is a gorgeous city, and maybe I'll get there later in the year. Thank you for showing us your travels. xx

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    1. Hello Patricia
      Sorry to hear you had to cancel your trip to Florence. I hope you get to go very soon. It is good for the soul and mind. We are delighted with our little house and have lots to keep us busy but all in good time.
      It is nice you have a wedding to look forward to and glad your daughter in law is sweet.
      Helen xx

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  17. Dear Helen,
    First of all congratulations on buying a house at Youghal. Some of AGA's family come from that part of Ireland.
    Florence is one of my favourite cities. I have been there many times on hols and once attended a conference there. One of my favourite places is the Church of Santa Croce. I expect you have been there too. I fell in love with the works of Giotto while visiting that place for the first time.
    Kirk

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    1. Dear Kirk
      Thanks for your good wishes

      If you are ever in the Youghal area, please contact us and let's meet.
      I did not go to the Church of Santa Croce this visit. It is spectacular and I promised I would visit next time.
      I am happy you have the opportunity to visit Florence.

      Helen x

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  18. Oh Helen, what a lovely piece of news, I'm sure you will have great happiness there. Sending all best wishes Jane xx

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    1. Hello Jane

      We are very happy to have a little home here and thank you for your good wishes. I hope you have having a wonderful summer

      Helen x

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  19. How exciting for you, Helen, to now be in the 130 year old home. It sounds like a storybook tale, and I know you are going to have so much FUN making the place your very own. Lovely pictures of three lovely women. Best wishes to you in all your endeavors, Helen!

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    1. Dear Sanda

      Your warm and special good wishes are most welcome. Thank you.
      We are having fun making it our place. All in good time and we are having fun discovering place to eat and picnic

      Helenx

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  20. How verrrrrryyyy exciting, Helen!

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    1. Hello Becky

      Yes indeed exciting pretty well describes it. Thank you for stopping in.
      Hope life is wonderful for you
      Helenx

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  21. WOW! Florence Biennale!! So thrilled to hear about it. I'm looking forward to hearing more about it!! Helen, you look really great in the first and second photos. Love the hat. It is lovely as always!

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    1. Hello Sapphire
      Florence is always wonderful. It was particularly exciting during the Biennale and felt like the Olympics. Exhibiting beside so many painters from all over the world was very special. Some good friendships were formed too. I wear a hat for protection from the sun but I also enjoy wearing hats.
      Hope life is wonderful with you
      Helenx

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  22. Thankyou Helen for the link. And how wonderful to have your own idyllic cottage in Ireland. May you have many happy times there.
    Firenze!!! also on my list since my mother went there fifty years ago and brought me back a guide book.
    Cheers for now
    Gillian

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    1. Hello Gillian
      You must go to Florence and I am sure the guide book presented to you by your dear mother some fifty years ago is still relevant.
      We are keeping busy, painting and dusting our new home.
      Have a glorious week
      Helen xx

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  23. Hello Helen,

    What a fabulous reason you had to return to Florence, such a magical city!

    And, what exciting news of your new house purchase. This looks to be a most beautiful part of the country in which to live and somewhere which will surely bring you great joy and peace. We wish you every happiness there.

    And, perhaps we shall see more of you and darling Mise on our screens as you enjoy frequent blogger meet ups over tea, scones and the Aga?!

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    1. Dearest Jane and Lance

      Like you, I need very little arm twisting when Florence or Tuscany is mentioned.
      We are enjoying our new to us house. There is some work to be done, primarily cosmetic. All is good time.
      I am looking forward to seeing Mise and her beautiful girls again soon. Tea, scones and the Aga remind me of Mise. I am sure she would bake an extra batch if she knew you were coming.

      Helen xx
      I

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  24. Florence and Ireland - oh how they make me dream! And nothing like having a little cottage of one's own in such enchanting places. Your pictures are a breath of fresh air, dear Helen, particularly when I'm caught in a tangled whirlpool of relocation and work.

    Have a lovely week.
    Suman

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    1. Hello Suman

      We share a love for similar places. We are looking forward to settling into our house and doing some decorating. Fortunately we do not have to do any renovations I have been thinking of you and look forward to hearing all about your new above and relocation. Fond wishes

      Helen xx

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  25. How wonderful to travel to these amazing places! It's my dream to spend time in Italy. I always thought if I went, I would want to spend a month or more. If I'm going to dream...I'll dream big! Love seeing your beautiful photos my friend! Sweet hugs, Diane

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  26. Helen, isn't life strange the way things turn out. I am thrilled for you that you have found a home in a part of Ireland that is special to you. I hope you will let us have a little peek when the time is ready. Enjoy the rest of your holiday, and good luck with your house plans. All my love, Linda xx

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