Spots and culottes


Hi, hello and welcome!

I've been wanting to showcase this spots and culottes outfit for weeks now. In fact, this is the third time I've had it on, ready for the blog. The first two times I spent most of the day waiting for my photographers to turn up and both times they forgot me. I suppose family can get away with that, can't they? We had a good laugh at the end of the day at least.




Even this photo shoot had it's problems with too much wind on one side of the island and then too much sunshine when Lora and I finally found a sheltered corner. Anyway, here we are with a double dose of spots; the mustard blouse is from Primark and the culottes are a hand-me-down from Sasha from a couple of years ago (purchased in Thailand when she was on her travels). She had a big clear out when she was moving house and I inherited a bundle of clothes which have trickled onto the blog ever since then. The culottes are pleated and swooshy as well as having a half elasticated waist at the back, making them comfy as well as rather lovely. My winter coat is by Covent Garden, from TK Maxx.




My sock boots from Zara are wearing well, as I'm sure this is the second winter I've worn them as well as throughout the spring and autumn too. I'm trying to ration myself as to how often I feature this Paul Costelloe bag in case you tire of it. In fact I'm using it as my winter handbag regardless of whether it goes with the outfit of the day, such is my love for this exquisite piece. I tend to leave it inadvertantly in the gallery window on display or at least on the front desk so that anyone passing during these bleak/wild days can share in my pleasure.




The gold jacket (H&M) was another gift, this time from my friend Ben who had seen it in a charity shop window and immediately thought of me. The colour is indeed very me and the fact that it's satin is another plus. The quilted sleeves and plain body are nice feature too.




I do love this spot with spot look but nearly discarded these photos because of the upwards angle. Lora was standing on some steps below me and really tried her best not to offend me with the wattle shots. We did a retake of the ensemble a few days later in a different location but without the mustard blouse but I felt it lacked that bit of punch.





The belt and rings are all pre-loved.



I'll be back again on Monday with the monthly style challenge from the Style Not Age Collective. This month we're all sporting a bit of Flower Power and we have a new member joining our group too, so please do swing by.

                                                                                    Anna x

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Plus two's anyone?


Hello and how are you today?

I hope you're well and having a good weekend. Today's post is quite a contrast to my previous one, but is more seasonal I have to admit. Steve and I managed to find a spot tucked out of the wind last weekend to capture this winter outfit combining old, pre-loved and new pieces. 




The fur coat is quite ancient, but the cut is elegant and classic and the faux suede and faux fur combination is so cosy. The look was built around these pre-loved plus twos. I've searched the net for info on the difference between these and plus fours -  

there is a slight difference between plus twos and plus fours. Plus twos offer a two inch fold just below the knee, whereas the plus fours are very baggy, with a four inch fold over the knee! Generally, however, shooting trousers are designed to offer additional protection against the elements. 




I bought mine in the British Red Cross shop in Truro for the grand sum of £4.50. Today is my first effort at styling these golf/shooting breeks and I'd appreciate your feedback. The coat, as I said, is very old from French Connection and the plus twos are by Pret. The high heeled brogues help to turn these masculine pants into something much more feminine. I picked the shoes up when I was visiting a girlfriend in Portugal a few years ago. The tights are by Wolford and seem to have lasted forever. 




I particularly like the wee front pockets on the trousers. Not exactly functional, but cute no less. The embroidered belt is second hand and the brand is Fatface. The mustard rib sweater is from Primark. 




The statement necklace is from Topshop, rings are pre-loved and sunglasses are from Quay Australia. 






As I was putting this outfit together I was suddenly aware that it was very much all earth tones, and dare I say it's verging on that brown look which challenges me somewhat. Hence the splash of blue in the Argyle tights. I think this acts as the perfect ploy, don't you?

                                                                                           Anna x

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Escape from storm Ciara


Hello and welcome!

If ever there was a day to escape from reality then surely it's today when the whole of the UK is being battered by Storm Ciara with winds forecast at 80 mph, huge waves pounding our coasts and power cuts threatening many. So let me lead you away from all of that and join my friends Kate and Fiona as we revisit a day last August for a post-work sea swim.




Our cycle route to Pentle Bay took us along the Abbey Drive through lush green vegetation under majestic trees. Excitement and anticipation added a frisson to our babble of chat about the state of the tide, wind direction and the potential for jellyfish. Because today was no ordinary day as we were being shadowed by a film crew and also professional photographer James Darling, who were collecting material for a marketing project for Tresco Island. Our daily dip was the final scene to be captured for use in the recruitment drive for the 2020 season.








The photo shoot had none of the luxuries of hair and make-up nor has James photoshopped these images. I want to talk about this first as vanity tripped me up when I first viewed the photos. I'm pretty much at ease with being seen in my swimsuit as it's what I wear at some point most days, but, somewhat naively, I hadn't really considered how I might be seen through the (professional) camera's eye. Well, it seems that the reality of my self-image needed some radical recalibration! In my head I suppose I must still think I have the figure of my 30 year old self. Aren't we all a bit like that? We remember ourselves in our prime, holding that impression in a handy copy and paste mode when the lumpy truth threatens our mental well being. Issues with body image can haunt us no matter what age it seems. I continue to speak out to shed light and help dispel shame. I'm not overweight nor claim to be, but still feel under pressure due to the imagery we're subjected to daily. 




I know that I often publish photos of myself in a swimsuit, but like most bloggers I choose to share the best, most flattering and certainly never back views! I was initially shocked then downhearted at the rear view of myself. Cellulite and drapey skin are ever present in these shots forcing a certain amount of coming to terms with my 62 year old body. But as my dear husband kindly - and I do mean kindly - pointed out, I write with honesty and try my best to show myself as I truly am. What is the use in me trying to inspire women of my generation when I'm still deluding myself as to who I am? To this end, I'm including photos that I would normally omit as after all, we don't want to scare the horses do we? But, joking aside, if you ever seek me out I don't want you to be shocked after seeing me in soft focus for so long. My fragile ego desires me to be perfect and the perfectionist in me would like that too, but this is the truth of the matter and it deserves or begs no pity from you. Here I am, warts cellulite an' all!
















After a certain amount of coming to terms, I decided to post this photo on my Instagram with this text - "We're all equal in the sea, our little heads bobbing above the water, laughter in the air and salt upon our tongues. Age, cellulite and wobbly bits all fade into insignificance as this common bond of wild swimming knits our friendship deeper." And really that's what this post is all about. For years I've been a solitary swimmer, seeing the time as one for meditation and reflection but, last summer was one of group swims which brought new dimensions and time to enrich friendships and forge new ones.








That post-swim energy has us all buzzing, talking about stray seaweed feeling as if it was tentacles of jellyfish. Fiona hates seaweed almost as much as jellyfish.









All cosied up, it's time for a hot drink as the discussion turns to the next swimming adventures for each of us. Kate wants to crack her freestyle stroke, Fiona had plans for the inter-island swim only a couple of weeks away and I was gearing towards my swim around Tresco. 








Previously I might have balked at showing you this necklace choker of wrinkles, but I'm biting the bullet and sharing what's normal for my age. (I'm working at removing perfect and replacing it with normal.) 






As storm Ciara rises in ferocity outside my window, I'm drawing on the feel-good factor of this little outing. It never ceases to amaze me that we can have this fun without spending a penny. Mother Nature has given us the most beautiful of playgrounds here on the idyllic island of Tresco and that's something we always voice when we stop to enjoy the view. 

We're so lucky to live here!

All photos by James Darling courtesy of Tresco Island



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My birthday fur


Hello there and how are you?

Today I thought I'd share my recent birthday present from Sasha - this fabulous fur coat from H&M. It's not only teddy bear soft, but also works as another dose of colour therapy during these winter months. I adore a fun fur and am thrilled to add this new shade to my wardrobe. 






Steve and I chose Carn Near quay as our backdrop for the photo shoot affording us this wonderful vista of islands and sea behind. The white sands are Bathing House beach on Tresco and the islands in the distance are the Eastern Isles.






As usual there's always something I forget and the accessory of the day was a pair of buttery soft leather gloves that match the jacket perfectly, but you'll have to wait until I style this up another time to see those!






The gold sweater is one that Sasha gave me as a hand-me-down a couple of years ago, also from H&M. It's been at the bottom of my cupboard for months and was only unearthed when I was trying to find the right top for this outfit. The Lee jeans were a recent purchase from TK Maxx






The necklace is from Topshop and my old faithful sunglasses are from Quay Australia.






My gorgeous belt is new, by Ted Baker and another birthday gift, this time from Fiona. Both rings are also gifts from other girlfriends previously.












I'm still in love with these fabulous blue snakeskin Chelsea boots from Office. The brand is Ego and they're in the winter sale here if you want to catch yourself a bargain!












I'm so grateful that the blog affords Steve and I the chance to spend some time out and about when we otherwise might just be bogged down by weekend chores. We poke fun at each other in our chosen roles of model and photographer, neither of us convinced that we are the real deal which of course, helps to keep it real. And here's the view that I was facing throughout today's brief session looking out towards St Agnes and the Western Rocks.




Thanks for dropping by and have a lovely week!

Anna x

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