Show and tell

It's over two weeks since I returned from my little jaunt to the mainland and I thought I'd better fess up - yes I did have a shopping spree while I was away. Mostly it was charity shopping, but a bit of running amok in TK Maxx may have taken place too.

You've no idea how delighted I was to find this orange mini skirt (in a charity shop in Truro). Polly has an orange leather mini skirt, my niece Kate has an orange woollen one and I must admit that I've coveted both of them for ages. So this little beauty by Pretty Little Things (brand new with labels intact) was a joyful discovery indeed, especially as it was only £2.50.

Knee high boots and very thick tights make this mini skirt acceptable despite my age. I can assure you that no-one is more critical of me than me, but I'm happy with this. Whatever you're thinking now about a 60 year old woman in a bright orange mini skirt, please jot it down in the comments box below because I'm all ears. 

Or maybe don't bother, cos at the end of the day you know that I always dress to please myself. My motto of "Let's bin the beige and have fun with colour" is never more true than with today's outfit. 

Pleased as Punch? Yes!

I missed a trick here - I should have had my orange nail polish on!

Anyway, that's the skirt, in faux suede, lined in orange silky whatever and this might be the only time you see it until next winter as spring is most definitely trying its best to make another appearance. The jacket is pre-loved too, by Next, polo neck is from Primark, boots are by Lotus and rings are pre-loved. So let's take a look at the loot, shall we?

This maxi dress is what I bought with my TK voucher for Mother's Day from my kids. It was wonderful to have a legitimate excuse to browse the racks, but of course I did spend much more than the value of the voucher.

I couldn't make up my mind as to which of these pretty mules to have, but at only £12.50 each I plumped for both. The grey ones are to go with the fabulous pyjama trousers below (also from TK).

I love the idea of slouchy summer dressing, pairing these with a simple white tee.

Diesel jeans reduced to a crazy price, well how could I resist?

Yellow and cotton make a perfect spring sweater.

A linen chambray shirt, another classic too good to miss (£3).

Red, pink and pleats make this M&S dress adorable and affordable (£8).

Another polka dot item to add to my collection - this time a halterneck jumpsuit, ideal for the summer season.

The kimono is authentic, vintage and was only £2!

These are trousers, fully lined and still with the brand labels on, all for £4.50.

A lightweight black jacket at this price has to be a no-brainer.

Another vintage find for only £3.

And this vintage top was from "Out of the Closet" the fabulous vintage shop I've been trying to storm the battlements of whenever I visit the dental surgery in Penryn. Success as last! Follow the link here to see the Instagram feed and you'll understand why I've been so desperate to get through the door.

That's it my lovelies until next time. I hope you have a great Easter weekend lined up and I'll be back on Sunday with another snapshot of my little island life.
Anna x


Style Not Age do polka dots

Hello again, and thanks for joining me today when I'm taking part in the monthly collaboration, Style Not Age. Jacqui has chosen polka dots as our style challenge, so let's get on with it!

I'll be honest with you and say that I don't wear polka dots very often meaning I was a tad panic-stricken when the challenge was revealed. As luck would have it though, I found this top when I was on the mainland recently. It's from F&F at Tesco and was reduced to £8 in the sale. Kerching! Problem solved.

It's Jacqui's challenge and she's looking as sleek as ever in this fresh combination of yellow, navy and mustard. Her fashion rule of take three colours works a treat here - see the full story of how she pulled this look together on her blog Mummabstylish.

Hilda has opted for her favourite dotty dress from Biba, topping it with a peplum sweater for a cosy yet trendy twist. Do pop over to her blog Over The Hilda to see more.

Emma from Style Splash is sporting micro mini dot trousers for this month's challenge along with a dotty trimmed top. Her jacket is just like a burst of spring, don't you think? Join Emma on her blog to read more about how she created her look.

When I bought the tunic I somehow imagined that I'd wear it with some black jeans and maybe my silver brogues, but when I started playing around, I thought these culottes (from Primark) were much more suited to my mood of the day - flamboyant, I suppose. I liked the idea of some pattern play with dots and checks in this palette of black, white and grey. 

Plus it also gave me a great excuse to bring out my favourite sockboots. You may be sick of seeing them, but I'm afraid they're here to stay. The brand is H&M, but I fancy they sold out long ago.

My collection of red toned jewellery is ever expanding thanks to all of these charity shop finds.

If you're a regular reader, you'll probably recognise the familiar backdrop, taken just a few steps from my workplace. The gallery is open once again and Polly is firmly ensconced as my  Gallery Assistant-cum-blog-photographer. Cue lots of hamming it up for the camera as Polly tells me off for too much chat and not enough action.

My antics have become so commonplace now that no-one gives me a second glance as I jig about for two minutes in the morning before we start work.

And there you have it, another monthly style challenge in the bag. I do hope you've taken some inspiration for the group and would love to hear from you if polka dots are your thing.

I'd like to take a moment to say hi to our two blogging friends who were part of our previous collaboration the 5 Over 50 challenge. Gail of Is This Mutton just so happens to be featuring polka dots on her blog today so you may want to pop over to see how she's done. Gail is still having fun blogging as well as preparing for a big walking challenge with her husband this year. 

Laurie from Vanity And Me is going from strength to strength with her fashion and beauty blog. Barely a week goes by without this lovely lady popping up in social media and the press. This doesn't surprise me as she is a great role model for the older woman who is refusing to be labelled as one of the invisible generation. Laurie truly has her finger on the pulse of everything that we want to know. Do take a moment to read the varied features about this busy woman's life. 

Linking with -
Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb
Jacqui of Mummabstylish

Anna x


A day of culture in London

The 14th of March will be forever remembered by me as my Day of Culture, when Steve and I took in the Picasso exhibition in the morning, the Super Troupers ABBA exhibition in the Southbank centre at lunchtime and then the Paloma Faith concert at the O2 in the evening.

I think this piece, Sleeping Woman, has to be my favourite of the exhibition. I love the tenderness conveyed through colour and pose. The body of work comprises of not only paintings, but sculptures, notebooks, sketches and installations. The show marks a significant period of Picasso's life, one of turmoil and change, and is well worth a visit. If I get back to London in the summer I will certainly view the exhibition again. 

Given my passion for ABBA, it's no surprise that I had to include this in our trip. The show took the form of a group tour throughout a collection of memorabilia that was staged in rooms recreating strategic events in their 10 years together. A recording studio with a microphone used by them, a hotel bedroom with a guitar from a performance, even a catsuit in green satin from the Mama Mia show - all made for an authentic and at times, interactive exhibition that had us singing and (for me) holding back the tears at the finale. I'm so pleased I had the opportunity to see it.

Last autumn I bought tickets for the Paloma Faith concert at the O2 as part of Steve's 60th birthday celebrations which also meant it could be part of mine too. We were all booked to fly out from the islands on Saturday the 10th, but the weather got a bit iffy resulting in us having to leave two days early. After a few days spent pottering about in Cornwall we took the train to London on Tuesday and on Wednesday had an entire culture vulture day. 

This shows where we sat, just above the stage with a fantastic view of the proceedings. Paloma came on stage at 8.30pm and sang for just over two hours. The arena was at full capacity, teaming with fans of all ages, and it don't think we were even the oldest there at all.

Paloma arose from the centre of the stage like a shining vision. The stage set mirrored her 3D silver space age jacket which she quickly dispensed with to reveal a shimmering cape and matching bodysuit.This tour is the first in two years since she had her baby and yet she looked like she's never been away and her voice was as strong and clear as ever. 

A sublime duet with Zac Abel, "I'll be gentle" went down a storm. See a full review of the show in the Independent here.

Paloma plunged into the audience to hi-five her fans.

Watching you, watching me.

Much of Paloma's appeal is her quirkiness and yet as she talked about her life we saw her as a very ordinary mum struggling with post-baby weight (I kept a little bit as a reminder, she said), sleepless nights and even her fears about the world sliding towards world war three. Her words about kindness particularly struck a chord with me after my recent Mindfulness retreat where this was a major talking point. Paloma gave a heartfelt plea to the audience that we all take part in instigating a global kindness epidemic through small daily acts, such as talking to a homeless person or checking up on a neighbour. She urged us to read more on her website here.

I'm left with a few paper reminders of our day of culture on the 14th March, but I also have a host of memories to play back. One might even say Thank you for the music...

Anna x

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