Jazzy new jacket

I love this jacket which was a recent purchase from eBay. It's got an art deco feel and the colours are so zingy, it's a real mood booster. The shoes are new too and are a great half-way house between my favourite brogues and sandals. I'm not normally a fan of white shoes, but sometimes rules are just made to be broken. The fab leather bag is making it's first appearance after lounging in the back of the wardrobe for too long. If I was a clever packer it could easily double as a weekend bag, but I'm not really known for travelling light. I think the idea of a capsule wardrobe is a great notion, but I can never tell what I want to wear in advance - there's too much choice!

Jacket : eBay. Top : M&S. Coloured jeans : charity shop. Shoes : eBay. Pendant : New Zealand. Hand of Fatima bracelet : Noel. Blue multi stone ring : Primark. Opaque white stone ring : New Look. Leather handbag : Accessorize.


Garden fun

The sun was shining and Polly and I were in high spirits when we had our photo shoot beside this, another of Anthony Garratt's outdoor paintings. This was a last minute dash to capture the moment before it was dispatched to the mainland after the year of of display on the island. The art trail comprised of four large pieces, three of which are now back with the artist and the fourth will remain here on permanent display. Each large painting was completed in just one day in situ in June 2014 and remained exposed to the elements for a full 12 months. Part of the exercise was to document the view and to see how the weather impacted on each piece. The fourth painting will feature in a session of mine in due course.

Knowing the riotous colours of the garden painting helped me to decided on a monochrome outfit which a touch of accessorising in metallics including the tights which are silver metallic and black. The fab gold bag was revived from years ago and is perfect with my favourite silver brogues. I certainly can't be accused of being understated today and as you can see that makes me very happy.

Dress : Gok Wan at Sainsbury. Top : M&S. Necklace : old. Gold bag : Primark. Silver brogues : Office. Tights : eBay. Hand of Fatima : Noel. Rose gold bangle : Kate Spade New York. Silver lily ring : charity shop. Russian 3 band ring : wedding band. Gold sapphire ring : engagement ring.


Biba dress

It's a perk of the job getting to dress up every day to go to work, but some days my wardrobe doesn't offer up an idea of who I want to be. Today was one of those days, so the least amount of co-ordinating seemed like a good idea. This Biba print dress is a real easycare item and yet looks very sleek. Jazzy tights are always a simple way to add personality to an ensemble and they led me to unearthing my huge purple patent bag - how had a I left this hidden away for so long? And finally to ring the changes I left the brogues at home and have gone with a more feminine kitten heel. 

Trench coat : Jessica Simpson. Dress : M&S (charity shop). Thermal top : M&S. Tights : old. Shoes : Office. Bag : TK Maxx.  Rose gold bangle : Kate Spade New York. Hand of Fatima : Noel. Necklace : charity shop. Garnet ring : gift. Russian ring : wedding band. Blue Topaz ring : gift.


Monochrome, a departure from the norm.

This is Appletree Bay, my beach of choice for my early morning swims and you can see why. Over the past year the scene has been even more beautiful thanks to this amazing painting by Anthony Garratt. My photo shoot took place the evening before it was to be taken down and sent off to it's new home on the mainland. 

As a big fan of colours I have to admit a monochrome palette is not a common departure for me. However, I have over the past couple of years come to understand why black and white basics can be strong essentials in a woman's wardrobe. I think I shy away from them as I have quite pale skin and both colours can be quite draining. At this time of year I have a slight tan so can take black against my face a bit easier. This wonderful retro top was a find last summer when I was scooping up armfuls of loot in my favourite charity shop in Truro. I have to bulk buy as my trips are so infrequent, and I am aware that I must look like someone who has just discovered the joys of charity shopping and simply can't stop!

Jacket : Zara. Trousers : H&M. Top : charity shop. Shoes : Office. Rings and bangle : all gifts. Necklace : old.


Opening night for our May show

Opening night at the gallery is a special evening for the artists and I like to dress up to honour the occasion. This dress is a real old favourite of mine. Every year, at least once a year, when I'm culling all the excess from my wardrobe I bring this out and try it on. On the hanger it looks really mumsy and the scoop neck is not the most flattering on me, but add a bit of jewellery and hey presto, it's a goer! It's also the perfect dress for when I'm feeling a bit bloaty and hides a multitude of sins (don't laugh, we all have those days).

Dress : Betty Jackson. Tights : Topshop. Shoes : Dune. Necklace : Debenhams. Cuff : charity shop. Rings : old. Hand of Fatima : Noel.

Yummy chocolate brown trousers

Those who know me will agree that I'm not usually understated in my style, but sometimes it's good to do something different. I fancied a more sophisticated look today and it's funny that these are the days that I seem to attract the most comments on my clothes.

The trousers are a gloriously soft suede which have been lovingly stored away for over 20 years. I bought them in Etam (ah Etam, I hear some of my peers say) and they were in a sale, but even then they cost me an outrageous £25. What is interesting is that at the time they were too small, but I bought them as a clothes carrot. There will be many readers out there who have done the same, I'm sure. And here's the joy, not only do they now fit, but it coincides with suede trending again, hurrah!

Cardi : Fenn Wright Manson. Trousers : Etam. Lace top : charity shop. Shoes : Hobbs (charity shop). Pendant : Noel.


Get the tux out

 I'm meeting up with some girlfriends for dinner on the mainland so am trying this old tux on to see if it's the right thing. I've had to move the button across as it's a bit big, but I think it still passes muster. The trousers are a very sleek fit and I think really compliment the jacket so it looks like my lovely friends will be seeing this outfit later.

Jacket : Whistles. Trousers : Karen Millen. Lace top : charity shop. Brogues : Office. Clutch bag : TK Maxx. Pendant : Vivienne Westwood. Opaque ring : New Look. Blue Topaz ring : gift.


Solitary swim

Sunday 14th June

Kate and I had planned another long swim together this Sunday, but an overnight stay on the mainland had been extended for her due to weather conditions. I'd spent most of the day watching things improve and then seeing the tide rise made me decide to go it alone today. I knew that having the safety kit in place would mean it was fine to be out in the boating channel alone, but it was the first time I'd ventured out over a long distance without company. The boys on the slipway gave me a few words of encouragement as I tested out my new goggles and then without further ado I was off.

The chill of the water is always a bit of a shock initially and really challenges my breathing. I can think of nothing else apart from gulping a mouthful of air every time I surface. Relax and breathe, relax and breathe, relax and breathe becomes my mantra. Gradually it doesn't feel quite as cold, the breath not so urgent. The new goggles are a bit steamed up as I didn't prep them, but am keen not to stop to adjust them. A couple of times I catch sight of a boat in the distance heading towards me. Don't panic, just veer slightly towards the shoreline in case it wants to cut through the neck on the high tide in which case I'll get a close encounter with a lot of wash. Both times, the boat alters it's course and moves back into the main channel away from me. Perhaps the safety kit is working, maybe I'm more visible than I think.

Passing through the neck across the long weed is a marker in my progress as is the buffering about as the current pushes and pulls me. I feel like a cork bobbing about without much control. Gradually this eases and I'm out in the main channel between the islands, alone. I can monitor my progress as the shoreline drifts past me, familiar rocks and bays receding as I swim steadily onwards. My breathing is settled, steady and strong. I no longer have to give it my concentration and my mind wanders. My gran once swam the English Channel - is that a memory or a dream? Whatever it is, it acts as encouragement as I round an outcrop of rocks, the final milestone before I turn into Appletree Bay, the home strait. I had hoped to continue further around to Carn Near but the early summer evening traffic is still steady and the line I would take is too busy for me to feel confident on my own. As I near the beach I'm pleased to arrive and happy to have achieved my first solitary swim. The walk home is a time for reflection and pleasure at my small success.

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