Anna's Island Style

Utility wear for summer

Hooray, it's the weekend! Do you have to work weekends? I do sometimes, but yesterday Steve and I both had the day off and found time to go for a walk together rather than rush from chore to chore as we seem to have so far this summer. Talking of which, can you believe that we're more than half way through July? Oh my goodness!

Anyway, Steve's work shed is tucked away off the beaten track and it was here that I decided we might capture my weekend outfit. Utility wear is a big trend this summer and much as I always protest that I'm not a follower of trends, well if you shop on the high street then of course the trends are waiting to pounce on you whether you're aware of them or not. And so it happened to me. My foray into the Oxford Circus branch of Topshop was hot and hectic yes, but at least it was fruitful with this and my other gingham playsuit (see here if you missed that post).

Call it utility wear or just bog standard boiler suit, but whatever, I do love this nude cotton overall, especially for downtime. The cut is loose aka very cool and airy which is perfect for the hot summer we're having down on the Isles of Scilly currently. I do like the fact that the back has a elasticated waist giving a feminine shape to what could otherwise be a shapeless piece. Steve kindly added that I was suitably dressed to be hanging out at his workplace as I looked ready to fix chainsaws - the sawdust would hardly show at all he assured me!

Some you may wonder if I'm on commission here as I'm about to add that these chunky trainers were also from Topshop, in the sale. I seem to have fallen hard for the high street brands of late - what can I say? The temptation was too much for this island escapee!

The all-in-one has become my go-to wear for when Polly and I hang our exhibitions. It's ideal for climbing up and down ladders, stretching, lifting art and generally getting the job done. The roominess means it's comfortable without making me overheat. Perfect!

I've chosen rose gold jewellery to compliment this pale apricot outfit. My watch is by Michael Kors, from a couple of years ago, the knot bangle is by Kate Spade, the other was from the Barbican shop last year (forgotten the maker), the broad rose gold ring was a charity shop find and the knobbly ring was from a street market in Cape Town. Oh, last but by no means least, the new sunglasses are Quay Australia (my favourite brand).

I'll be wearing this again tomorrow night as it's time for our next exhibition to go up. How quickly these 10 day shows seem to come around! Next thought will be, what on earth am I going to wear to the Opening Night party? Do swing by to find out on Thursday!

                                                                                           Anna x


St Martin's is such a beautiful island!

High summer on the Isles of Scilly is all about messing about in boats and we recently took ourselves off to St Martin's for the day to meet up with friends for a day of walking, talking and a picnic lunch on one of the finest beaches of the islands. We were blessed with a beautifully calm day for a boat trip affording us some lovely views as we sped around the North End of the island towards St Martin's. 

These awaydays are a lovely treat in the middle of what is the busiest time of the year. We revel in the chance to potter about in our boat and this trip to St Martin's was a great opportunity to catch up with Steve's friend Pete who was key in his life when Steve was a young lad who wanted to learn about working on the land. This common bond cemented their lifelong friendship and golly when they get together, man can they talk!

St Martin's lies in the foreground with Tean island beyond on the left, St Helen's behind that and on the far right is Round Island Lighthouse.

I had requested that we go to have our picnic lunch on Great Bay as I've never visited the beach before. It's often voted as the best beach on the Isles of Scilly which is what Sasha had reported too after her visit there last year. It may have taken me a long time to get there, but rest assured I'll be pushing to return quite soon. 

The UK mainland lies some 28 miles ahead, but the shoreline was what I was focusing on. The turquoise water and pure white, silky soft sand are all that you could wish for. In fact it looks like the Caribbean, don't you think? And yes, of course I did have a swim here. It was deliciously warm as the tide gently flooded in across the hot sand. The day was indeed scorching and had us all retreating under hats to escape the blasting heat. After picnic and swim we were going to tick off another item on my wishlist - to walk out to the Day Mark which is the tiny white dot on the top of the hillside to the right of the shot.

This massive cruise ship is rounding the mainland near Land's End. You can just make out the land mass as the dark outline behind the vessel. Those 28 miles don't look that far away do they?

As the ship shimmers off into the distance we start our walk out towards the Day Mark. 

Sky and sea with the ghostly mainland sandwiched in between.

One final longing look back at Great Bay - it was great, really great!

Walking along the spine of St Martin's gave us some spectacular sights. To the right is St Mary's, the main island of the group, skirted by the uninhabited Eastern Islands.

As the chaps were discussing the names of these tiny islets and how to approach each one at differing states of the tide, I had caught sight of this wonderful heart shaped sandbar and some intrepid voyagers making their way to it.

And there we have yet another outing added to my wishlist for this summer. I too want to gad about on this fabulous white scrap of sand as it emerges on the low tide. I can even imagine which amazing outfit for this very unique photo opportunity - well, what self-respecting blogger wouldn't?

Nearing the Day Mark and I wish I'd thought about a better outfit for this striking backdrop.

Come on guys, more walking and less chatting!

And talking of self-respecting bloggers, how on earth did I manage to forget both lipstick and hairbrush on this day out? Anna au naturel is all I can say about this shot.

I love this end of the world image. I do in fact, have an artist friend who is planning to swim all the way from the mainland to the Isles of Scilly soon. It's only been done once before and took the lady about 17 hours which seems like an amazing feat. Mark is hoping to rival that figure. I take my hat off to him just for getting this far into his planning never mind the actual swim. Awesome stuff!

This headland settlement must have borne the brunt of the wild Atlantic gales.

The best kept chickens on the island live here.

Our St Martin's awayday was a super day out for us. We headed back to the beach to make our way home after a long day. There's so much to do on the island and we only scratched the surface. We must make the effort to return before the summer is over.

St Martin's is a gem in the crown that makes up the Isles of Scilly. If you get the chance to visit, I'd urge to you come!

                                                                                    Anna x


Summer Show 2

Hi, hello and here I am at the second summer exhibition last night with the artist of the evening, Saul Cathcart who managed to make it to Tresco for his opening night party. This is his first exhibition with us, and it's been worth the wait. Paul won't mind me telling you that he had contacted me many years ago, asking to show in the gallery. At that time I felt that he was very much work in progress and that he needed some time to develop his own voice. I'm glad that we both waited, as this collection is fresh and strong and shows a great emotional response to his residency here on the island last winter. 

Just unpacked, this was my first chance to see my personal favourite of Saul's, All That I Need - Pentle Beach, Tresco, which then went on to sell to the client who was viewing it. Thank goodness! It saved me that terrible inner battle of Can I, Can't I? See the full collection of the show here

The best time of the day - the show is open, the party was a success and Saul sold his first painting - all is well with the world. A huge thanks to Polly, Duffy and Jilly for running such a tight ship last night - we made a great team!

And so, on to the outfit. The boho maxi dress is actually called The Angel Dress and was from Zara when I was in London last month. I was at the grab-it-and-run stage, so didn't try it on in the shop. Oh my goodness, I'm gonna stop for a moment and have a moaning moment. Living on a tiny island means I'm not very savvy about the rules of department store shopping, but honestly I came across a crazy shopping rule in Zara that just astounded me. Picture this - a very hot summer's day on Oxford Street, the shops teaming with shoppers and the queues getting longer by the minute. I had a huge armful of shopping and had tried to skip the queue in Zara by taking the escalator up two flights to another changing room. After waiting my turn, I was asked how many items I had. I don't know was my reply. The assistant counted 15 pieces including belts, then told me I could only take 10 in. OK says I, I'll leave these belts and tops behind and swap them with you in a moment. You can't do that she said. Sorry? Well, we don't hold anything for you. If you don't want it, then we put it straight back into stock. But, if I can try it on I might buy it. Sorry, only 10 items and no hold-overs. At this stage, my own guardian angel decided to intervene, when the two young girls behind me both offered to take some of my things in with them and we'd swap as I worked my way through my stash. I thanked them profusely and we got on  with it, but honestly - what's that all about? 

The Angel Dress was a find on day two in London, by which time I'd given up all thoughts of changing rooms in Zara and had resorted to grabbing a size and hoping for the best. This floaty boho maxi was £49.99, but seems to be sold out already. I love it for the colour, pattern and shape - it's a great summer frock, dreamy and feminine and will now become an everyday piece for me to wear with white trainers or flat sandals. I think it's going to be a cool option for those hot summer days - I'll let you see the daytime version soon.

My turtle gemstone bag was from a small boutique in St Andrews in January, but it lacks a label I'm afraid. The colours of the stones are a super match for this outfit. It held a back-up pair of shoes (not needed, surprisingly) as well as my camera, hairbrush and make-up - it's a bit of a Tardis creature this one! The large ring on the left was a purchase at TK Maxx some time ago and the other gold coloured ring was a charity shop find.

These strappy gold sandals say Office inside. I think I bought them to take on a cruise a few years ago. They're not leather, but are soft enough not to rub even though I was on my feet for three hours.  We all need a pair of gold sandals surely? 

My shark's tooth necklace is adorned with Swarovski crystals and was made by Charlie Dodge. 

Best thing of all about my fabulous new dress has to be the Swoosh Factor!

Thanks so much for dropping by. As you can tell, my life has moved up a gear into summer mode, therefore apologies to all of my blogging buddies for not hanging out with you as I like to. With our summer shows opening every 10 days and my swimming training for my big swim becoming a reality rather than a plan, I'm juggling all of the plates frantically. I want to share as much of my daily life with you, my reader, as I can and am so pleased to have you visit. 

Until next time, have a super week!

Anna x

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