Friday, October 21, 2016

Coastal Living in Ireland

Helen Tilston and Katy foraging for seaweed. Photo John Crowley
Hope you all have had a wonderful summer and that Autumn is as beautiful where you are as  it is here in Ireland.


Helen's walk by Youghal Lighthouse. Photo Helen Tilston
This is part of my daily run/walk here in Youghal, County Cork. 

Photo Helen Tilston
The view returning from my walk.


Mackerel freshly caught by local fisherman and gifted to me
A gift of freshly caught mackerel from a generous fisherman.   


My friend Katy and I foraging for Rosehips  Photo Helen Tilston
Harvesting with my friend Katy for rose hips.   There are many recipes and we primarily use rose hip at the onslaught of a cold.  It always seems to work for us.


Photo by Katy - on shore enjoying the "meitheal" A must is a silver teapot
Foraging is hard work and our reward is tea on the shore.  Only from a silver tea pot and china cups.
Sometimes we have home made short bread biscuits from Ahernes Restaurant Youghalwww.ahernes.com

Art Show - at Aherne's Restaurant Youghal

Plein Aire Cottage Artists show continues at Aherne's in Youghal, Co. Cork.


Art show at Aherne's Youghal

Art Show Aherne's Restaurant Youghal

Our foraging of seaweed at low tide yesterday yielded pepper dulse, bladderwrack and serrated wrack. The latter as shown in photo at beginning is used for a seaweed bath, which is a luxury.

I am looking forward to catching up with all of you and your blogs shortly.



Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Old Head, Kinsale, Ireland

Painting in progress by Helen Tilston at Old Head Golf Course
Old Head Golf Course in Kinsale is unique.  It was ranked #1 by Links Magazine as the most beautiful golf course on earth.


Old Head is reached by a land bridge from the mainland.


We spent a most memorable weekend here. My husband, Mike golfed and enjoyed the challenge and was pleased to not lose any balls.  I took the opportunity to paint and I have received a commission.

View from space of Old Head which sticks out like a little finger

Daniel Tani astronaut from Illinois completed five space walks in his career with NASA. During his 130 days in space, Daniel said he often found his eyes and mind wandering to Kinsale, Co. Cork.  Daniel met his wife at Old Head Golf Course and is a regular guest.


Mike Tilston stands by Stone of Accord at Old Head Golf Course


The Stone of Accord was used in Ireland to seal important deals and make up arguments.  Wedding vows were for one year only and were renewed by joining hands through the hole in the stone.


Mike Tilston 18th hold - a birdie!

The service, food, scenery and atmosphere were exceptional.




Monday, March 21, 2016

The Hare With Amber Eyes



Ocean View by Helen Tilston


I belong to a newly formed book club.  Our founder brought ten friends together from various professions and we are all getting along very well.   Our first meeting was in November when we selected at my suggestion "The Hare with Amber Eyes" by Edmund de Waal.
I had read this book previously and the story lingered long after I closed the final page.   Our meeting to review the book was scheduled for January.

My daily routine is to fast walk/run 4-5 miles each morning on the beach.  To vary my route I will sometimes walk over Belleair Bridge which is a steep bridge that has incredible views.  One often meets the same walkers and Americans being both friendly and encouraging will greet and sometimes small talk ensues.  My painting and exhibitions stole much of my time in December and I was cramming to finish my required read.  I decided to listen to the book on tape.  
One morning my mind was miles away and on the home stretch of listening to "The Hare with Amber Eyes"  when  a regular walker, Madame X, a stunningly beautiful octogenarian waved and asked how I was.  I unplugged my headset and she asked what I was reading.   I told her and she asked what it was about.  I told her it was a memoir with the story woven around a collection of 264 netsukes.  I pronounced it net suke s.  She promptly corrected my pronounciation saying it is net skas.  I asked how she knew and she said she had a collection.   I was stunned beyond belief and she then asked me if I would like to visit her home.   I did not need much persuasion.   She is an art collector and had a rich and varied collection, including approximately 100 netsukes all purchased in Japan where she was based for many years.   She insisted on loaning me 10 pieces to our next book club meeting.

Here are some of the pieces
Netsuke:  Carved from wood or ivory and fit in the palm of the hand. Carving often takes more than a year to produce.  

Some may say coincidence or being aligned with the universe or the Holy Spirit being amongst us, I shall let you decide.
That a stranger would know what a netsuke was surprised me but to think she had a collection and I met her and she trusted me to loan me these valuable pieces for our book club meeting has me still tickled pink.  


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Flowers Bloom and The Rain Also Falls




Ibiza - photo by Helen Tilston
It has been a difficult and different year.    The death of my youngest brother in May left a hole in our day to day lives.   My childhood school friend, Mary, also left this world in November.   Upon reflection,  I am grateful that I was able to spend the summer visiting my friend Mary in hospital, reminiscing, laughing and singing.   Upon graduation Mary joined the Irish Times, where she worked her entire life.  She had a wonderful singing voice and loved Elvis Presley and an Irish rock star called Joe Dolan.  Like many in Ireland who have a song they sing when asked; Mary's party piece was:
"Saturday Night at the Movies"

Mary was very good looking and a natural blonde. She had a quick wit which often got us into hot water.  I recall one time when she visited me in Toronto and we took a bus to New York.  At the border between Canada and the USA, Canadian  Customs and Immigration boarded the bus, checked our passports and asked what did we acquire while in the USA.  Mary's response was:  "Ah just a few phone numbers Officer". Everyone on the bus laughed but we were ushered off the coach and searched.   The Parting Glass for my dearly departed friend Mary Fanning.



 

The Parting Glass

Good Night and Joy be with you all.