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Artists who paints in oil en plein aire. Member of the three member Plein Aire Cottage Artists. Members: Mary Rose Holmes, Violetta Chandler and Helen Tilston

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Singing, Dancing, Dining and Laughter

The paint box was forgotten for ten days.  British Airways transported the first guest from Palma Majorca.  Vancouver and Toronto flights descended to Tampa airport bearing precious merchandise.
The long time women friends had arrived. All cares were forgotten and all regressed to a time past,when we were in our early twenties, then working for a travel company.   I-pods were downloaded with the music of Abba, Boney M, Reggae, Calypso, Black eyed Peas and summer songs.

Dancing and more dancing

 Sandcastle building at Indian Rocks Beach

Lazing on the beach

Dining and more stories and "do you remember when?"

The week went all too quickly and souvenirs and memories were packed away as flights were called for boarding.   A promise to next meet in New York City  in 2014

I am taking a few days to indulge in the memories and stories.  I am very grateful to have such friends in my life.


  1. I'm so glad for you Helen , friendship is something precious and it's absolutely wonderful to join old beloved friends. You took a great brake I suppose ! Be always happy !

    1. Hello Olyimpia

      Thank you for that beautiful wish. Lots of joy and now back to work and the daily schedule.
      Hope your weekend is precious


  2. What a wonderful time you all had. To be together after so long, still be friends ..catch up , and dance the night away.
    love the sand castles.
    Am happy for you Helen.
    wishing you a happy week
    val x

    1. Hello Valerie

      It was a most memorable time - everyone arrived with only one thought and that was to have fun. As you know Norma came from Majorca and it was so great seeing her too.
      Hope your weekend is special


  3. Helen,
    Just to let you know, that my posts are not appearing on some of my blogging friends side bar...or readers list.
    on others they are.
    At the moment..its just taking the time to pass by by blog.
    i am trying to fix it.

  4. It looks like you had SUCH a fabulous, fun, and creative (love all that sand art) weekend - in spite of the paintboxes being set aside ;) :)

  5. Hi Helen!

    I had been wondering about the lack of posts from you! I will have to check, as this is the first one I have had on my reading list in a very long time!

    What a wonderful time you must have had, Helen! I wish I could met up with some of my school friends, in Italy, but... we really have lost touch. We could have a few laughs if we got together again!

    I'm so glad you had such a wonderful time! In July I will get all my family together, because my daughter Gabriella wishes to see and be with everyone. I can't wait! I am so excited about it! There will be a lot of dancing and singing... we are a loud lot. Shame our parents have left us... they would be so proud!

    Can I send you some hugs?


  6. I just realized that it was Val who had problems with her posts, not you! Though I was right: you didn't post for a few weeks, did you? I will now go and check Val's blog!



  7. Hello Helen,

    Your merriment is quite evident in your photos. How much fun you must have had with good friends who share the same memories to make even more happy memories!

    Poppy xx

  8. Helen,
    Isn't it wonderful to have girl friends whom you have known for a long time? Isn't it also great to know that no matter how far apart you are and how infrequent you talk to them, you all have a fabulous time whenever you get together? I have 4 of those myself. We met our first year of college. Now, one is in California, one in New Mexico, one in Illinois, one in New Jersey, and I am in Virginia. We only get together once every few years, but each time we were together, it felt as if we were never apart and we had so much fun together. Our next reunion is 2014; I can't wait!

  9. Helen: Lovely to see you..love the title of your post : )
    You ladies are artists without brush...love the sand sculpture and the beach...how incredibly beautiful xoxo

  10. Oh how lovely Helen,
    Nothing better than meeting up with good friends and having fun especially friends that you have history with.
    ..... you all looked as if you had a whale of a time.
    I love all of the photos. XXXX

  11. You all look like you're having a ball in those photos. How wonderful that you can all meet up like this. More memories to treasure.

  12. Dear Helen - it all sounds such fun - great girl times together.
    I love the ambience of the restaurant you were eating in towards the end of the post. It has a really interesting decor.

  13. Your photographs look so happy Helen! Glad to hear and see that you had a good time together.

    Have a lovely day!

    Madelief x

  14. What a wonderful reunion it looks like you had such fun!
    Sarah x

  15. You've had a great meeting! Happy Thursday!

  16. O, helen why am I not one of the lady friends in this group, music, dance and laughter is a fine combination to fun in the sun and sand. Love the art you were creating in the sand, art is all around us and you create it with soul. The music list sounds like music I would have on a playlist how much fun you had!

    Thank you dearest for taking the time to visit me, and leaving a comment that warms my heart.
    Beautiful weekend to you, so get back to painting see you soon.


  17. What fun. I love making memories with my girlfriends.

  18. Oh, you are a lucky girl, indeed, Helen!

  19. There's nothing that beats girlfriend-therapy. So nice you could get together and it looks like a fabulous time. The photos are great!

  20. What a wonderful circle of friends - it looks like you had so much fun and everyone looks so happy. Thanks for sharing all the lovely photos!

  21. Hello Helen,
    You have captured that special magic which happens when very good old friends get together. What a wonderful mixture of happy photographs! I'm so glad you had a lovely week. Jane xx

  22. A grand reunion! You are all fortunate to be able to keep on meeting up. I hope as many of you as possible can continue to do it all around your continent and perhaps even explore a meeting in a far away place. Secret ballots for a choice of, out of say, six great venues, to be achieved in five years time.
    Song sheets, photo posters, DVDs and a "Ten minute Show Spot" by each of you at the party.
    Great times ahead.
    Cheers Gillian

  23. Helen..I love reading stories like this. You all look like you had a wonderful time and even better that you get together on a regular basis. Another version of the travelling sisterhood and I love it!
    Best wishes for a wonderful weekend my friend.. xx

  24. It looks like you all had a wonderful time - there is nothing better than a group of special girlfriends. I treasure mine above just about anything. You look very stylish in your black/white stripe maxi skirt and white hat!

  25. Wonderful Helen!! I am not a bit surprised you have such lovely friends, you attract them with the depth of your big heart. There's really nothing like good old pals:~))

  26. What a blessing that you and all of your friends have stayed in touch and close all these years, you're truly blessed Helen, what a fun time!
    Love the sand art...I bet you all felt like kids creating those and that your cheeks started hurting with all the laughter and smiling!!
    I too have been away from blogging for a bit...my mom's coming up for a visit (she hasn't been here in over 10 years, so we've been ramping it up on the projects around 24C.
    Enjoy the wonderful memories...
    xoxo J~

  27. Oh how fantastic...friends are the jewelry of life!

    Shine on with memories,
    words to treasure through laughter and songs.
    Promises with meet-ups again and again
    both here on earth and in Heaven.

    Life is Good and Grand.

  28. Helen, how lovely that you could share such a fun time with your old friends, it sounds like heaven. It is great that you have managed to stay in touch all this time. I love your creativity in the sand.
    Many thanks for your lovely comments, I am looking forward to my new adventures, love Linda x

  29. Great photos, I love memorable trips like that! Love those party glasses too.

    oh and you can't go wrong going to NYC next year! Great choice.

  30. What a wonderful visit at one of my favorite beaches! I know you had fun...just look at those smiles! Nothing better than getting together with 'old' friends at the beach! You're making me feel like dancing now!

  31. Yes, Helen! You are lucky and your wonderful, humorous friends are lucky as well! It's already the title of your post that brings the cheer and lightens up my mood! I love to see you in your striped skirt (absolutely gorgeous) and that sandy lazy person in the sun - a great laugh and a proof of an artistic heart! Big hugs, Christa

  32. So much fun :) I love catching up with old friends - and it looks like you had a great time.

  33. Have you come down off cloud nine yet Helen? Many thanks for your visit. I think you would love Autentico paints,they are chalky and lovely and stick to the furniture very well, and don't need a primer. The colours are gorgeous too. Have a happy Thursday my dear friend, love Linda x

  34. My dearest Helen,

    What a wonderful time you must all have together. Sharing laughter, good food, warm sunshine and above all friendship which the writer George Eliot described as "the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words."

    Time flies when one is having fun. But, one has all the memories to safely store away in one's reservoir to reflect later and one becomes so close to one's friends in that way.

    With warm wishes, ASD x

  35. How wonderful.. you all look so beautiful and look like a brilliant time was had by all. Just look at those smiley faces!

    Hugs Jane

  36. This is just fabulous! Nothing beats the winter blues better then a great getaway with your best girlfriends! You all look happy and so relaxed! here is to next year!

  37. Bonjour Helen. Thank you for stopping by chez French Girl in Seattle today.

    What a special week you've just had with your favorite ladies. How much fun is that? It is so good - and so important - to stay in touch with friends from the past. They remind us of the good old days, while helping us measure our accomplishments. I am sure you all lead different lives now, but how special that you were able to get together again, and probably felt as if hardly any time had gone by...

    Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

  38. Helen, I somehow missed this delightful and joyous post. Yes, it's lovely to be part of a long standing group. I hope since this post you have done some other fun activities and will look forward to reading them.

  39. It looks like a wonderful time! Glad to see you are enjoying life and having fun,

  40. Oh my goodness- how glorious! What a blessing!

  41. Better late than never, I always say. Another one of your posts that I missed when first published, but what a treasure to have discovered it today. I am meeting my childhood best friend, or as she called me, 'my Oldest Friend' this coming Friday. We are both girlishly giddy at the thought. . .having read this, I am even more excited about our reunion rendezvous!