Sunday, September 4, 2011

Tea with Helen Tilston

"What a kind person that was," said Blue Daughter, lining up the chocolate bugs Helen Tilston had given her in a neat row ready for orderly consumption. "When can we have tea with her again?"  Good question, Blue Daughter. Helen is off on her travels round Ireland and then back home to Canada so it may be a while.

"What can we do about that?" asked Pink Daughter, as she negotiated the exchange of one chocolate shoe for two chocolate bugs. That's the spirit, Pink Daughter.  We don't just sit back and let companionable people go; we get in touch with the Ambassador.

[Helen Tilston and me, with thanks to Helen's husband for the photo]

OK, so Helen has her busy life across the ocean, her career as a well-known artist, her friends and her lovely house there. Nonetheless, in the formal application of the people of Ireland to the Canadian Ambassador to have a congenial fellow Galwaywoman returned to us, we counter any foreign claim to her by mentioning her obvious Irish background: the touch of a Galway accent, her thoughtfulness and lighthearted conversation, her versatile talents and her look of someone who has plenty of smiling done and more to do.  

[self-portrait by Helen Tilston, one of my favourites of her paintings]

We will send along ordnance survey maps in evidence that we too have a decent amount of Plein Air such as would be suitable for painting in. As is the way of the Irish, we will include with our application for her repatriation a small bribe, perhaps 12 dollars, in a plain envelope to show that our intent is serious.  The Ambassador will be able to buy about three packets of Mr Kipling Cakes with that.  We would recommend that he goes for the pink and yellow iced French Fancies, but that's up to him. He may prefer Cherry Bakewells. 


  1. (Lucille, please note the pink Avoca wraparound cardigan)

  2. ho Mise Helen Tiliston you are lucky indeed. Love her work.

    Personnally have thought for some time the UN and the globe generally would be in better health if key decisions were left up to the 8 year old girls.

  3. Mise, it's probably best if you become the Irish Ambassador then you'd just go and have a little chat with your Canadian counterpart and bob's your uncle. No bribing required. You might get transported to Australia for doing that. On second thoughts....:)

  4. What a lovely meeting, and what a gorgeous couple you two make in a photo. I only wish I was Irish enough to back your campaign. X

  5. I'm a Canadian of irish origin...can you petition for MY return?

  6. Hello Mise:
    Already we are making the highest possible representations to the Irish Embassy here in Budapest, the Court of St James as well as petitioning the government of the Republic of Hungary for Helen's immediate invitation to visit. Indeed, we feel that it should be a State occasion and are, as we write, furiously sewing bunting in all possible National colours.

    For all of this you can see how envious we are. But also how delighted for both you, dear Mise, and for Helen to have been able to meet up and have a clearly wonderful time which, we are certain, will not be the last.

  7. Helen sounds delightful, I love your description of her. And your daughters sound absolutely charming.

  8. lucky thing, what a great meeting! she is such a talented artist.

    sorry, but i think it might be more of a five packet job.

  9. What a lovely picture, so funny to see the 2 of you whom I feel like I kind of "know " in that -we have never met but conversed from afar across the internet waves- sort of a way. Wish I could have joined you for a good cup of tea and chat

  10. Oh look at you two lovelies. The painting seems quite apt.

  11. Charming photo of the two of you, and I love the painting. Plans are afoot for us to visit Galway next June for the International Quilt Show - it's 30 years and more since I was last in Galway, and I am already excited at the thought of going back!!

  12. I like your proactive nature, Mise, and how wonderful that you've passed it on to your Blue and Pink Daughters. If I was given a say, you and your bribe would win me over.

  13. Dear Mise,
    I have just read Helen's post about your meeting. How lovely to have met must have had so much to talk about and, I always think that a pink Avoca wraparound cardigan is a must when one is meeting a painter !! The photo of you is great. Helen has the full photo with pink and blue daughter sitting there as good as gold....must be the chocolate shoes and daughter seems to have great negotiating skills !
    I have yet to meet a fellow blogger so I think that I must make it my mission. If you are meeting bloggers than so must I. XXXX

  14. What a lovely story. I popped over to read Helen's recap on your rendezvous and hers was equally lovely. Meeting bloggers in person is something I seem to be doing more and more of these days and I am hoping to make it out to the Bullin Blasta now that the children are back in school and I have a bit of time on my hands. Helen's artwork is beautiful and I would sit for a lifetime staring out at that seascape...

  15. Mise, I'm so glad to find that you can do hard sums. I will be sending all homework your way.

    It looks like you had a lovely afternoon in the sun :)

  16. Didn't you have quite the connovial summer with fellow bloggers flocking to your side from far and wide.

    Yur very best friend is a bit put out.

    But it is a lovely picture and a lovely story.

    5 stars.

    xo jane

  17. Mind you - Galway is a difficult place to leave! Probably my favourite city in Ireland. And only surpassed by our own small corner of Count Down seaside!

  18. Of course, that should have read 'County' Down seaside

  19. Fascinating post. You are lucky :)

  20. I just come from Helen Tiston.

    What lovely comments from your *colourful* girls!

    Wish you a wonderful time FAR WEST.

    ♥ Franka

  21. Hello Mise
    Pink Girl, Blue Girl and Mise's negotiating skills are sure to win the heart of the Canadian Ambassador.
    (he will understand the universal language of the $12. in the blank envelope, this will speak volumes!).
    Mise, I propose that you get whatever signatures are required and that you run for the highest seat in the land, that of the President of Ireland, a seat which will be available next year when President Mrs. Mary McAleese steps down. You more than qualify for this post. Dr Mise you have the skills- bilingual,charm, elegance, style, negotiating skills, home economics, yogurt making, chocolate expert and much, much more
    There is one stipulation, that being, that you continue to blog and that all your followers be at your Inauguration Ball.

    Lady in Waiting Helen xx

  22. I've just read Helen's account of your meeting and think it the most glorious thing that she could possibly be back, officially, for just three packets of French Fancies...I know that would do it for me!
    Meeting other kindred, blog spirits is the most wonderful of experiences...and to think that Blue & Pink shared in it, with chocolate bugs even...what a special memory for all!
    xo J~

    (Helen, as you know, spilled the beans on you're not only a tastful & talented one, but a smart, tasteful & talented one at that...the secret is out (as if we didn't know)! ;)

  23. Me-oh-my what smart company you keep!

  24. I love your definition of blogtopia.......yes people are very cheery on blogs when ghastly things are going on in the real world!

  25. Well, if he's not swayed by a cherry bakewell then he can't be human.


You're looking particularly well.

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