The gift of time

Dearest readers, thank you for joining me again today. 

Like the majority of the UK population I was furloughed this week. Up until the announcement on the TV, I'd never heard the word, but it shall remain one that will forever remind us of this historical time. I do hope that you are well, staying at home and coping with this new life of confines and restrictions. Never has there been such a drive to help us all do the right thing and by so doing we are supporting our NHS staff. I put a video up on my instagram feed the other day about how important it is for us to keep well, giving a wee tip on how to boost your immune system - please take a look if you haven't already.

Suddenly we've all been given the gift of free time. Surely this has to be the most wonderful silver lining of all times? I expect many of you would rather have the freedom to come and go as you please, visit family as normal and go about your working lives, but I'm all for silver linings. My to-do list at home is as long as my arm, a fact which overwhelms me most of the time given that I am a workaholic and am often at my work computer by 5am so that I can do a couple of hours before my morning swim. And now my world has shrunk into this place where my daily work is my home. I'm now pulling a schedule together of my short, medium and long-term plans for all of my projects, ranging from spring cleaning, dejunking the loft, finishing a long awaited sewing task on to starting a vegetable plot. Thank you Boris for giving me home time, and for paying me for it too.

I acknowledge the fact that I'm so incredibly lucky to live in this tiny island paradise, one where my daily exercise can be out in the fresh air on a beach that I have completely to myself. I always count my blessings, in fact, every morning as I emerge from my swim I stop and look out to sea, sending my thanks out to God or Mother Nature or the Universe, whichever you please. I never take my life here for granted. I'm humbled by the beauty I see in my daily swim and know how easily and quickly that could all change - this was always my thinking, even before the Coronavirus came along. 

Another joyful discovery for me is that I no longer have to rush to the beach on my bike, thrash along the bay and back at breakneck speed and dash home again so that I can get into work on time. No! I can take my daily exercise at any time, which now means I can have a walk on my way to the beach at my leisure. At My Leisure. That's my silver lining for sure!

Much as I'm giddy with excitement at this new departure in my life, I'm still feeling waves of anxiety about the global situation. As I strolled along the shoreline of Pentle Bay yesterday afternoon in the sunshine, I was suddenly gripped by the thought of those struck down by this disease. Last week I visited the pharmacy on St Mary's and was shocked to be served by someone wearing a full gas mask, the likes of which I've only seen on war movies. The enormity of the situation struck home then. This wasn't hysteria or scaremongering. Our tiny island health practice is very vulnerable (see another intsta-rant of mine here). I dread to think how we will cope if the virus infiltrates our island life. 

So, it's coming up to time for today's walk. I'll finish now with this shot of a rather large jellyfish I came across yesterday. Needless to say, I didn't stop to swim on that beach!

Take care and thanks for swinging by!

Anna x


Bright pink jacket and leopard trousers

My homage to Greetje

Hello my lovely readers! Today, I'm linking through to my blogging friend Greetje who posted her pink and leopard print outfit recently, inspiring this offering of mine. Greetje's blog No Fear of Fashion is a weekly highlight for me and many others, a round-up of her week, featuring fashion and friends amid her busy life. I've linked back to her ensemble to see what sparked me off. The blogging community has supported me from the start of Anna's Island Style and more than ever we are pulling together to help each other maintain this ray of light within these dark times. Do please swing by to read her posts - she is classy and stylish and has always been kind and generous as a friend.

This is another nothing new outfit today, something that sits well with me currently. As we're all staying at home, then it's a no-brainer to be searching through our closets to create new outfits from our existing clothes. This ties in with my wish to buy less and recycle more this year. I'll admit I have however bought a few new bits and pieces over the past months and will gradually feed them into the blog when I fancy.

Steve was my photographer of the day on this blustery corner of the island. We're using the Fire Engine shed as our backdrop which is also a bit out of the way from other people too - a new consideration for us. Steve meets me from work and we capture shots on the way home, complying with the new lock-down. Even in our tiny island community we are shutting up shop and keeping out of harm's way. 

And so, on to the outfit - the pink trench is from Topshop (pre-loved), jumper is by Primark, jeans are from Zara (last year), belt from H&M (old) as are the boots. 

I'm wearing my old and much loved chunky pearl necklace which was from Debenhams, adding a touch of glamour to the mix. And yes, another new pair of Radley sunglasses too. They still have a sale on so you could stock up ready for those sunny days when you're out taking that bit of daily exercise.

My rings are both old and pre-loved too. I'm a bit sorry to see the wear and tear showing on this belt now. I love the ornate buckle and will be sad to let it go, but I expect it's going to wear through at some stage.

Long live my sock boots - every single pair! The trend has been and gone, but I love how elegant they are and make me feel, so I'll be wearing them until they too fall to pieces.

A few days ago I had cause to stop and consider the value of posting my blog during this national crisis. I came to the conclusion that if we're all having a bleak, difficult time, then maybe showing my outfit of the day isn't so much as shallow as a lift for those needing a distraction from the reality of the moment. I do hope that you've enjoyed this feature today and would love to hear your thoughts.

Remember - stay home and save lives x

Anna x


Monochrome Monday

It's great to have you join me today, especially as we're all a bit preoccupied with other things. So let's just talk (briefly) about the elephant in the room. We're currently in the middle of a terrible piece of history and it's rather scary. The arrival of the Coronavirus has shaken us and we've only just begun. Depending on which country you're living in, we are either ahead of you or behind in the development of the disease, but we're all finding the reality quite worrying. My thoughts go out to the NHS workers who are going to see the worst of it. These everyday hero's will be stretched to the limit in the forthcoming weeks, if not months. I've suffered some anxiety attacks over the past few days, feeling vulnerable at times and then being annoyed when others don't feel the same. But today something that someone said made me stop and see things in quite a different light. A friend told me "I just want to get on with catching the virus so that I can recover and then volunteer at my local hospital, pushing beds around and helping to support the staff." What an amazingly selfless attitude! Her comment has helped me to see the current situation as less of a personal threat and more as something that we're all in together. 

This was Monday's outfit, and all the better for having a bit of sunshine when Lora and I popped out to take these shots. A new week, but nothing new in the outfit at all. I'm happy to be shopping my closet, mixing up high street and pre-loved items to create this homage to the 60's.

The two sizes hound's tooth skirt is pre-loved, as is the black roll neck sweater. I was pleased to unearth these matching tights to pair up with the skirt as it's the first time I've worn these together. 

My New Look ankle boots are a year old now, but still holding out well, considering they only cost me £5 in the sale.

My Michael Kors jacket was at the other end of the financial spectrum, but has been well worth the investment. It's a real showcase piece, weighty, thanks to all of these metal studs and a bit of genuine rock chic (or chick depending on your thoughts).

All of my accessories are old too, as are my favourite sunglasses from Quay Australia.

More than ever, I'd like to think that today's offering has acted as a cheery escape, even if it's only momentary. Please look after yourself and try not to worry too much.

                                                                                   Anna x


And breathe ...

Hello and welcome!

Yes, it's been a hectic few weeks which you may have noticed by the lack of posting on the blog of late, but I'm happy to say that I'm back. The Gallery re-opened for business yesterday and this was my OOTD. My workload prior to opening was particularly challenging this year as we've had an upgrade to our till system. Uploading every item of stock for this was all consuming, waking me early in the mornings as I would remember yet another oddity that didn't fall into a listed category. For the past few weeks I've been bumbling into work by torchlight at 5am, keen to get ahead of the day's chores aside from this. But, at last, it's done and we're open!

There's nothing new to share today, but that's not to say the outfit isn't worth showing. The python print dress was a Topshop purchase last year and draws compliments with every wear. At this time of year I'm sporting a long sleeved thermal top underneath as well as these cream tights to keep me cosy. The boots were gifted to me by JD Williams way back in 2016 before I'd become a JD Williams "I AM" twinkle in their eye. See them styled four years ago here

The dress drapes beautifully, making me feel very elegant and well put together. I've swapped out the self-fabric belt, replacing it with a white and gold stretch one I found in a charity shop for £1 - a personal touch that makes the outfit mine. 

Lots of spinning and swooshing!

Jewellery comprises of large ring from TK Maxx many moons ago and the other ring is from an airport concession. My handbag of the moment is still this heart-throb leather and animal print cowhide combination from Paul Costelloe bags. As we all know, animal print is to be treated as a neutral and therefore I can't see that any outfit would battle with this fabulous accessory.

Today's sunglasses are another pair by Radley - check them out now for a bargain!

I  hope you're enjoying some downtime this weekend, just as I am. I had a lovely swim on Pentle Bay on the high tide this morning and when the sun made a welcome appearance this afternoon, I took myself off for a long walk, finishing off on the beach where I collected some sea glass. Next up I'll be putting the roast on for tea. I'm currently listening to Johnnie Walker on radio 2 with his "Sounds of the 70'" programme and today his delightful wife, Tiggy is co-hosting the show. I for one, think this ought to become a regular feature!

                                                                                     Anna x


International Women's Day 2020

Yay, I'm back and so are you!

Thanks for joining me today on this, International Women's Day. I thought it quite fitting to include this feature from the April issue of Coast magazine where I've been chosen as the Coast Character of the month. As part of #IWD2020 we are prompted to celebrate women's achievements and challenge stereotypes, therefore here I am blowing my own trumpet. 

International Women's Day 2020 campaign theme is #EachforEqual

An equal world is an enabled world.
Individually, we're all responsible for our own thoughts and actions - all day, every day.
We can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women's achievements.
Collectively, each one of us can help create a gender equal world.
Let's all be #EachforEqual. 

                                                                                 Anna x


A bit of pattern play

Hurrah, it's March!

I nearly shouted Hurrah, it's spring, but I've been reading up on when spring officially starts and the dates are varied. According to the meteorological calendar it's the 1st of March; tradition states it's the 21st of March; astronomers state the 20th, but this year we welcome the first day of spring on Thursday the 19th of March. Anyway, I'm feeling rather perky thanks to the lull in the storms and this very welcome dose of sunshine.

My happy state is not only down to the weather, but this jolly outfit that is a playful mix of checks and spots with a brilliant burst of pink which always cheers me up. A woolly winter coat is still an essential at the moment and this vintage favourite is snug with its buttons all the way up to the neck and longer length - perfect for keeping the drafts out! I bought it in Palermo four years ago when we were on a cruise (see here). This is where the blog acts as a great reminder of these happy times; I'm so pleased to have this visual diary of my life to look back on.

The rest of the outfit is this - pink fluffy sweater and cosmic creepers are both from Enjoy Clothing in Truro; the spotty denim jeans are pre-loved; the brand is Cosmic jeans and my scarf was a charity shop find many moons ago.

Brothel creepers may not be the height of fashion, but these cosmic dazzlers stole my heart when I first clapped eyes on them and I love them still. I don't wear them if it's threatening to rain as they're only fabric, but they're holding up well.

My rings are quite contrasting in style today, but both chosen for their colours. The perspex one was a gift and the other from an airport concession.

I'm so excited to share my new sunglasses with you. A friend of my is a designer of eyewear and gave me a bundle of sunglasses when we met up recently. They're by Radley and you can see the brand new range here.  I'm delighted that I've got a whole new sunglasses collection to wear this year, so do keep your eyes peeled for the next pair...

Thanks for dropping by again today . 
Hope you have a lovely week ahead of you!

Anna x


Tartan and fur

Yay for fur coats in February!

I know it's great to have a bit of spring in the air, but I'm still happy to be wearing fur in February, particularly this one that's still feeling new. Sasha bought me this for my birthday last month and I've been wearing it a lot, although not on the blog. So here's my favourite combo so far - yellow fur coat with my two tone tartan jeans. Oh goodness, how I love this look!

The jacket is from H&M and is soft as a cuddly teddybear. My reflex as I stretch my hand into my wardrobe for a coat is to pull this out and that's mostly because it's so delicously soft. I'm not one for repeat wearing so I do have to force myself to skim past it and am limiting myself to once a week currently. However, I'm aware that it's about to be March and wonder if it's a fashion faux pas to wear one's faux fur then? Hahaha, did you like that?

The outfit reads like this today - Quay Australia sunglasses, H&M fur coat (I couldn't find this one but they have a lovely blue fur coat here), green ribbed polo neck sweater from Primark, ASOS tartan jeans, Steve Madden trainers and yellow leather gloves from TK Maxx.

As you can see spring has indeed sprung here on the Isles of Scilly with the jolly yellow daffodils popping up all ove the place. Over my shoulder you can see the white rollers breaking out by Golden Ball. The winter storms have created some wild displays at the North End of the island.

So, this weekend as the UK prepares to be hit by Storm Jorge (pronounced hor-hay) what are your plans? I hope to get out for a walk if the weather allows or even a swim if it's not too wild and then the rest of my weekend will be dedicated to the gradual de-junking that continues (if somewhat slowly).

I finished reading this lovely book last weekend and it's helped to reignite my desire to take control of my shopaholic tendancies as well as my hoarding habits too.  I'll be attacking a particularly messy corner this weekend with shredder to hand as I plan to reorganise my filing and loosely termed paperwork. Wish me luck!

                                                                                 Anna x

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