Michael Kors boots

Yet again TK Maxx has come up trumps with these Michael Kors boots.

The movement in this photo was a matter of click and run!

I had a quick visit to the mainland last month and managed to fit in a mini splurge in the shops. Confessional over. I normally share my shopping spoils with you, but have had to hold back as I'm waiting for something to come back from the Dry Cleaners before I do. However, I couldn't hold off showing you these any longer. From good old TK Maxx, these Michael Kors boots were reduced from £195 to £43! I've been on the hunt for some little booties (I've discovered that ankle boots are booties according to the blogging world which I think is really cute) ever since I saw these cream ones on Greetje's blog No Fear of Fashion as seen here. (Yes, I know I've spoken about them before, but I just can't get them out of my head.) These pay homage to hers although they are quite different, but equally stylish methinks.

The trick was to find an outfit that said upmarket,as these heels were hailed as hot stuff when I proffered them for inspection at the hairdressers in Truro the day I bought them. No flashes of skin was a good start. The next thing was to pull together this skirt and jacket combo. Now that looks good. And the patterned polo just gives a bit of personality and stops it all being a bit bland and too safe. The final flourish is to add my net underskirt to give volume and shape to what is actually a very heavy woollen skirt. Plain brown tights to lengthen the legs, a coral belt to emphasise the waist and some choice jewellery finishes the styling challenge - I'm really pleased. Now where am I going to wear this lot on a quiet Sunday afternoon on this little island of mine?

Booties: TK Maxx. Jacket: charity shop. Skirt: charity shop. Polo neck: eBay. Belt: vintage. Rings: charity shop.

Linking with
Not Dressed As Lamb
Not Dead Yet Style
Elegantly Dressed And Stylish Style
Kremb de la Kremb

And finally...

On Thursday evening this piece of an American rocket was washed up on the shores of the Isles of Scilly. There were many locals and coastguards involved in bringing the  piece of fuselage onto the beach at New Grimbsy (just 300m from my workplace) so I had a birds eye view. By Friday the environmental agency was present and soon local news reporters turned up to cover the find. The BBC and local radio gave details of the event during the course of the day. The exact identification of the rocket is still a matter of question and where the piece will end up is under discussion. We're used to flotsam washing up from time to time, but this beats the lot.


Ping pong post

Classic lavendar courts with pale blue tights and ?

Well, this biker love affair continues, but that's no surprise is it? What it's covering may be however...

...yes, nearly 60 and I'm wearing a mini.

Ping pong refers to the game I've been enjoying with my dear friend Samantha Blair from Fake Fabulous where we dare each other to test our style limits. It started when Samantha wore her over the knee boots (as seen here) and I suggested she try them with some shorts. She egged me on to wear some shorts too, not realising that I already have (as seen here). And recently Samantha has posted her shorts styled (see here) for the winter in a lovely autumn themed colourway. So, here I am with my next challenge from Samantha - to wear a mini with coloured tights. This is the outfit I wore for our end of season party, but Polly and I were too busy having fun to remember to take photos for the blog. Anyway, we had glorious weather on Sunday so I did a bit of photography for my blog and thought I'd showcase this. Ping...pong...ping...pong. Ball's in your court Samantha, what are we planning next?

The vintage mini dress was from my September shopping trip to Exeter. When I tried on all the clothes the changing room had no lights so I didn't notice that the hem of the dress had come down. After putting it in the wash, I hand stitched the hem back to it's original length and discovered that it wasn't knee length, but in fact a mini. Problem is, after all my sporting efforts during my youth, I have decidedly chunky thighs! Please don't try to tell me otherwise; them ol' thighs have done a whole lot of running, played volleyball, basketball, and hockey in their day building them up to perform all of the tasks required. And I'm happy, nay proud, of their achievements, but they're not these slim, lithesome legs that look fab in a mini dress. Having said all that, this is still wearable for me and is as short as I would chose to go.

The next bone of contention could be the photos showing mini dress, drapey neck and wrinkled face - do these things sit together in harmony? Well, and here's the rub, I'm happy with who I am, otherwise I wouldn't be here doing this. But somewhere out there, "those who sit in judgement" may well be shaking their heads. And to them I say, "So?" 
The beautiful fashion blogger Catherine Summers of Not Dressed as Lamb runs a campaign called # I Will Wear What I Want (as seen here)- and I wholeheartedly agree with her sentiments. As intelligent, thinking women we really ought to get over these "rules" and be our true selves. To quote the wise words of the Bard himself - 
"This above all: 
To thine own self be true, 
And it must follow, as the night the day, 
Thou canst not then be false to any man."

Jacket: TK Maxx. Dress: Vintage charity shop. Shoes: TK Maxx. Tights: charity shop. Necklace: Charlie Dodge. Blue ring: charity shop. Turquoise ring: old.

Thank you to all the ladies I'm linking up with (see the links on the right) 
Jess of Elegantly Dressed and Stylish
Catherine of Not Dressed as Lamb
Patti of Not Dead Yet Style
Ann of Kremb de la Kremb


Silver duvet jacket

Hurrah for a duvet coat that doesn't make me look like The Michelin Man!

Here on the islands we've been plunged into winter so it's time to bring out my arsenal of duvet coats (this being the first of three, although the second is a gunmetal grey and not so terribly different). I cycle or walk everywhere so a warm coat is vital at this time of year. I was really pleased to come across this one in TK Maxx a couple of years ago as I wanted something practical, but still a bit glamorous too. I think the slim cut with belted waist seals the deal there. It also means that I can wear a skirt with it as there's enough definition to carry that off too. Some duvet coats are just square and chunky and really only look good with skinny jeans.

My latest favourite pairing is tartan and leopard print. I came across this combo quite by chance when I was lining up shoe options and these just popped up begging to be matched up with some tartan trousers. The connection for that look was black and the theme has just expanded from there. Today's double dose of tartan and leopard print really pulls the look together. The fluffy sweater adds the necessary cosy element as well as giving a bit of interest - just in case it wasn't making the grade. It's great to have the chance to bring out my lovely vintage handbag again and leads me slickly in to the introduction of my beautiful sparkly Vivienne Westwood pendant.

At this time of year I work completely on my own as the gallery is closed and I'm based upstairs in my office all day. No visitors could mean I drift into a jeans and jumper mentality as I know no-one will see me, but I think that would bring me down quite quickly. All year round I honestly dress for myself, and now the bonus is that I can share the outfit of the day with my fellow bloggers and audience. I love getting your feedback so please do take a moment to send me a comment with your thoughts. And if you haven't done it before then do get in touch by email if you're confused by the comments options - it's easier than you think. (Isn't it Maggs?)

Coat: TK Maxx. Scarf: 49 Degrees. Skirt: TK Maxx. Blouse: H&M (charity shop). Sweater: TK Maxx. Shoes: eBay. Belt: Zara. Tights: Wolford. Pendant: Vivienne Westwood. Handbag: Vintage. Rings: charity shop. 

Linking with
Not dressed as Lamb
Not Dead Yet Style
Elegantly Dressed & Stylish

And just a little something extra this weekend...

I surprise myself at today's extra blog post, as I never thought I'd be one to write about food on my blog. You see, I eat very simply and am not a big foodie as such, but I've had such an exciting food discovery that I really want to share it. But wait, before I reveal the details of this scrumptious morsel, I just want to enlighten you as to the confines of my diet (or re-cap for those of you in the know), then at least you'll understand why this is such a big deal for me. For nearly 40 years now I've lived with bowel disease; Ulcerative Colitis, to be precise. My full story can be read here. Anyway, the deal is this - providing I adhere to a very strict diet I can not only control the symptoms, but I can avoid taking the standard medications (with their ensuing side effects). When I say strict diet, you may imagine all sorts of dull and dreadful things, but really it's not. It's a very healthy and nutritious array of foods which to me are delicious and satisfying. I eat no additives, or preservatives and therefore my palate is very clean and crisp; I have a great sense of taste and smell and thoroughly enjoy everything I eat, yes truly, everything. Sorry if I sound very goody-two-shoes, but for me it's simply a matter of eating well to stay well.

I was recently asked what can't I eat. Well, it's easier to tell you what I can. Hold up the fingers of one hand - that covers my food groups - eggs, chicken, fish, fruit, vegetables. That's it. Within the fruit and veg I do have restrictions and dislikes, such as oranges aren't good for me, but I can eat grapefruit; mushrooms make me very ill, as does sweetcorn and bean sprouts amongst other things. Anyway, since changing my eating habits to the SCD I have become 100% well. That's quite a statement when you consider that in my 20's I had a gastroenterologist predict I would need to have some of my bowel removed if my flare-ups continued; in fact it was pretty much inevitable he said. The flare-ups continued, but I still haven't had surgery.

Just two and a half years ago I discovered the SCD as a result of research on the Internet when I was very poorly indeed. At the time I was attending a week long yoga course and was struggling with severe abdominal pain for much of the time. I couldn't be more than a few hundred yards from a toilet and my day to day life was severely compromised. All in all, I felt pretty sorry for myself. Lucy, my yoga teacher encouraged me greatly when I told her I'd come across this radical diet. We both agreed with the theory of a strict elimination diet to remove all irritants from the system giving the body the best opportunity to rebalance and repair. The improvement was almost immediate.

As soon as I was able to leave the house again I started sea swimming. My research had uncovered a train of thought about cold water and the immune response which I was keen to try out. The stimulus of the immune system from the shock of the cold water acts like rebooting the central nervous system; the body's fight or flight mechanism is able to work in the appropriate manner again. Instead of the body being flooded with stress hormones at all the wrong times, the cold water hit induces an adrenalin rush which is immediately utilised by the body and burnt up doing what it's meant to. Not many of us would choose to sea swim anywhere in the UK all year round, but as they say, desperate times call for desperate measures! ( I must add that cold water showers/baths are noted to have a similarly beneficial effect, but swimming seemed like a more energising option.) My swimming took on a life of its own culminating in a challenge over the course of an entire day on the 5th September
 this year (read the account here). My yoga teacher was astounded and still likes to remind me of the time when I was too ill to leave the house, never mind spend a whole day swimming from island to island.

But, I have digressed for long enough. Back to my joyful food discovery. There are no treats within my diet; no chocolate praline balls of scrumptiousness, or finger-staining flavoured savoury snacks; no G&T's at the end of the day; no secret indulgences to be had as a reward for a particularly bad day. Not even a cup of tea, that ever so British cure-all for when life deals you a heavy blow. Good, clean eating is the price I have to pay for a healthy gut. Well, can you imagine my delight to come across a simple recipe needing only two ingredients that tastes like ambrosia? Take one very ripe banana (brown skin rather than yellow) and mash into a bowl. Add two raw eggs and beat together. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a small frying pan or better still a griddle, and drop in large spoonfuls of the mix. Cook until golden brown and flip over, cook on second side. The pancake with have a soft, custardy centre. Tip onto a plate and devour - no sugar, cream or icecream required. I found this recipe in a newspaper recently and have to add that the pancakes don't quite hold their shape for me which could be down to the fact that my pancake pan is a bit ancient and does stick. However, even though the pancakes were a bit of a cross between a sweet omlette and a soggy pancake, the taste was far more important than the final look of the dish. The first mouthful tasted sweet, syrupy and just like a banana fitter, the deep fried treat from my youth. And now I've discovered this version of the banana fritter, I just wanted to share the healthiest of puddings which tastes like the most sinful delight - enjoy!


A nip in the air (September flashback)

This is the end of my daily commute to work (only 200m from home) and upstairs from here is the view from my office window. I do think it might qualify for the best office view in the world; ever-changing with weather and tides - I never tire of it.

Just having a little rest to get over the strain of the commute.

The silver ring with gold etching is by Diana Porter and reads "in heaven on earth" - it's one of my favourite rings.

I have this Boden cardi in three different colourways - it's perfect with dresses too.

This post has been sitting in my draft box since September. Writing it up on a dark, cold November morning it's hard to recall the warmth of the days when silk trousers and tee shirt were the order of the day, and sandals were the default shoe wear, with the only question being wedges or flats. The mornings were often cool enough to warrant a little cashmere cardi, but after lunch as temperatures rose we were still comfortable in something sleeveless.

The star of the show has to be these beautiful silk trousers which were a joyful discovery in a charity shop. They were in immaculate condition, and a perfect length for my frame too. I'm a big fan of palazzo pants as you'll know so what a treat to find these. They have an interesting front overlay which ties at the waist giving them a little twist and extra appeal for me. I do like that something out of the ordinary or unexpected.

I've swapped orange bags today back to my old faithful. Purchased from TK Maxx some time ago I only recently found out it's actually ostrich hide. I like the structure and the shape plus the fact it's got four lovely little brass studs as feet to keep the leather off the ground, makes it pretty much my perfect handbag. I tied my scarf to the handle meaning to put it on for the shoot to showcase the fab windowpane check as well as the two tone effect. Oh well, maybe next time!

Trousers: charity shop. Cardi: Boden (customised with Mary Goldberg buttons). Vest top: charity shop. Handbag: TK Maxx. Scarf: charity shop. Necklace: charity shop. Green pearl bracelet: charity shop. Green round bead bracelet: Magpie & Butterfly. Yellow stone ring: Martin James. Silver and gold etched ring: Diana Porter.

Linking with 
Not Dressed as Lamb
Not Dead Yet Style
Elegantly Dressed and Stylish


Crazy librarian

Ooops, I noticed too late that my tights were wrinkled!

This bowling bag was a great charity shop find.

I love cable knit tights, but they do tend to go a bit Nora Batty on me.

The necklace is an Emily Nixon piece. It's smokey quartz and sterling silver; quite weighty, but it's nice to wear real jewellery sometimes.

I love this textured top. It was only £4 in the sale and already cost per wear is down to pennies!

OK, this may just be me, but I think I'm channelling a crazy librarian in this outfit. That's how it feels anyway, and I really love it (and what's not to love, if it means being surrounded by books, books and more books?) What's funny is how I commented in a recent post that I thought midi skirts don't suit me (see here) and suddenly today here I am wearing the same skirt and top and I'm feeling completely in the groove.

I'm spending a fair bit of time checking out other fashion blogs at the moment and really like that they're all so different. I think the adage of opposites attract means that I enjoy seeing the understated and elegant, yet don't believe I can quite carry that look off. Would you come back for a second view if I went all plain Jane? I think to work something simple you really have to be blessed with everything else being wow - you know, dazzling white teeth, fabulous hair, skin, nails, the lot. Sometimes I remember to do my nails, sometimes my hair shines, but I'm nearly 60 so I ain't gonna have youthful, glowing skin again and don't get me started on these teeth! 

I think there are times in our lives when we take stock of ourselves, regroup and redefine ourselves. I've done the working girl, young mum, ambitious juggler and now after a moment of thinking I was going suffer empty-nest syndrome, I'm an over 50's blogger who is stretching across the globe networking with others of my age. This has led me to find all kinds of women doing their own thing including - at the other end of the style spectrum - the likes of Mel of Bag and a Beret. This cool cat has the most wonderful collection of clothes. Mel's all-singing, all-dancing, zany posts are better than any fashion show and twice as funny. Mel is just one of many fashionistas who are inspirational to the likes of me, the novice blogger. It seems that in the world of fashion blogging I'm in middle ground, and that's comfortable, gratifying. Amidst this older set I'm holding my own; nestled in between the lurex and the leather I can speak my own voice through the medium of clothes. This is where you'll find me every Wednesday and Sunday proffering the latest version of myself, and maybe you'll join me.

Cardigan: Fenn Wright Manson. Skirt: River Island. Top: H&M. Shoes: Office. Tights: H&M. Handbag: charity shop. Necklace: Emily Nixon. Bangles: charity shop. Brown ring: East. Cream flower ring: charity shop.

Linking with
Not Dressed as Lamb # I will wear what I want
Not Dead Yet Style Visible Monday
Elegantly Dressed and Stylish


Welcome to my island home

View across Old Grimsby bay to Blockhouse Castle.

Blockhouse cottages are nestled below. I lived here with my husband when we were first married 34 years ago, and I have fond memories of those days.

This new development, the Sea Garden cottages, has replaced the Island Hotel at Old Grimsby.

Looking towards St Martin's from the vantage point of the Blockhouse Castle.

Same vantage point, but looking towards the Eastern Isles.

The cows were a favourite subject for my artist friend, Kathy Todd, when she lived here.

This little chap was keen to have a look at me looking at him.

I live here at the foot of the hill with this idyllic view across New Grimsby bay to Bryher.

Here comes the inter island freight launch delivering all the goods.

And this is the view from outside my house.

It's 6 months since I started my blog and I thought it might be nice to show you all some of the sights around my home. I travelled to the Scilly Isles in 1978 as a backpacker looking for a summer job, and never left. I love living on an island, and can't imagine not being within striking distance of the sea. We Brits seem to be obsessed with the weather, but that's nothing compared to what it's like if you live on an island. If it's foggy the planes might not fly or if it's blowing a gale then the ship might not sail. Conversely when the sun shines, we rave about how lucky we are, and seeing the sunset above, you can surely understand why. We have a boat instead of a car, and the rush hour comprises of a mix of tractors, bikes and golf buggies, with a jet boat bringing the children across from Bryher for the school run. 

The Isles of Scilly are a popular tourist resort drawing people from not only the West Country, but all over the UK and also from Europe and beyond. Our mild climate benefits from the warm waters of the Gulf stream, but as a hardened sea swimmer, I never seem to find that particular drift myself when I'm splashing about out there! The islands have very little pollution meaning that the quality of light here is extraordinarily clear, therefore is a real draw for artists and photographers alike. We also have a huge influx of bird watchers come here in the autumn to chase a rare specimen which has been blown off course from another country. 

These islands seem to weave their magic around our visitors with a very high percentage returning year after year. Accommodation gets booked up by regulars who re-book mostly before they've even left. Island life is community spirited, and we work for a common aim - to make our little islands thrive. It's a privilege to live and work here and a joy to have such a beautiful, healthy environment to raise a family in. My children are all grown up now, but they benefited from a close-knit upbringing, where their schooling was on the islands amongst life long friends. Island life is a blessing, and those of you who also live this kind of life will echo my sentiments, I'm sure.

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