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  • Jean Burman
FRIENDS lost and found along the way

Watercolour & Words | Jean Burman 2018

I know I’m not alone in saying I lost a dear friend last week. Although we never met we knew each other well. A paradox of our modern times. You see. We lived on opposite sides of the planet. Yet we shared a Scottish heritage (and a name as it turned out)  Melville was her middle name. It was once my last. It glued us together somehow.

I met Elinor Melville McCartney in 2001 on an artists platform called The ArtCafe Network. It was the early days of social media and looking back we were all incredibly unsophisticated. We knew (virtually) nothing of algorithms hashtags or SEO’s. We just had fun. We joked and talked. We challenged each other and ourselves with art related topics. Nothing was out of the question. Everything was discussed at length. Elinor painted in oils. I painted in watercolour. Everyone painted in something. We all loved art.

She told us she’d learned Esperanto after the war. I had never heard of it. I learned something new. She had worked as an illustrator too. It was a man’s world back then!

Elinor was feisty and fabulous. She spoke in a thick Glaswegian accent. She wrote in one too! I could always count on Elinor to confuse me ... in the funniest kindest way. But she also encouraged me... and challenged me. To get on with it. To do stuff she could no longer do. To go places she hadn’t yet been. To do it “for us”. For her. But not least of all “for me”

Elinor was like your mum, your great aunt and your best friend all rolled into one barely decipherable package. Rumour has it she was also Paul McCartney’s aunt at one time. He should have been so lucky! Smart. Witty. Strong. Tough. Kind. Elinor suffered no fools and rarely took prisoners.

She was one of the brightest sparks on the planet!

I know she was sad towards the end. I didn’t know what to say or do. She missed her Carson badly. But she and the butler are together again now and she can rest safe in his arms once more. I don’t know how someone you’ve never met can be so completely opaque in your life but there you have it. She was there. Large as life. As she will always be. Here in our hearts forever.

If you knew Elinor (and even if you didn’t) leave a note. Make it for Elinor. She was always the first to comment here on the blog. 

She sure did leave a ripple in my heart ...  

  • Jean Burman

Comments on this post ( 5 )

  • Jan 22, 2018

    Oh Jean, what a wonderful tribute to our friend in Scotland, Elinor McCartney. I am still having trouble believing that she is gone. I wish that I would have had the pleasure to meet her in. Person. I also had a fun time trying to figure out what she was saying in her e-mails. She wrote the same way she spoke. I knew her for so long and we met because we spelled our names the same way and we were artists. I chatted with her a few times on FB . I am not a fast Tylper but we made it work. You described her perfectly. You live in Australia and I live in California, USA and we have become friends too. Hugs to you for writing this xoxo ❤️

    — Elinor (Ellie) Sethman

  • Jan 22, 2018

    Thanks Ellie. It’s wonderful really, to think that the ripples we make go around the world and end up back here in our hearts. Hugs across the ocean to you too dear friend x

    — Jean

  • Feb 12, 2018

    Jean,you’ve got her to a T. Us earthlings sent a bright star to heaven. And I’m sure her Carson was waiting at the gate for her. I also only knew her from the other side of the world. But even then she was a beautiful,generous person. She loved her art and encouraged us other artists to work on and don’t get discouraged. Her warmth and generosity could always be felt on her Facebook page.

    — Pat Towne

  • Feb 15, 2018

    Hello Pat … welcome … it’s lovely to meet you! You are SO right. She was a very bright star. One we won’t forget so easily. She had so many friends from all around the world. It just goes to show how the ripples go out from the things that we say and do. How friends beget friends and the kindness radiates out to encompass the whole planet. Elinor was just one woman living in Scotland yet she reached out and reached into the hearts of so many. Her voice will be very much missed.

    Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I very much appreciate that… [and so would Miss E] x

    — Jean

  • Apr 19, 2018

    You speak so eloquently of the friend we have lost. I’m so glad she’s with her Carson again. Even though I never met her in person I could see that little twinkle in her eye disappear after he passed. And you really could hear her Scottish ‘brough’ in her writing. It was a fun puzzle to figure out. May your head rest softly,gently and easily on Carson’s shoulder💔

    — Pat Towne

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