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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Flower Power - February's style challenge


Welcome to our style challenge for February!

Hello and welcome to our monthly challenge with the Style Not Age Collective. As we hurtle towards March the promise of spring is in the air echoing this month's theme of Flower Power. As usual we've managed to come up with varied offerings, ranging from elegant through to playful as we showcase our very individual style. I do hope we're going to inspire you!




Style Spash Emma has created a chic look with this black and pale pink dress, topped with a stylish felt hat and fur scarf that looks soft and cosy. The big blowsy blooms of the frock are offset by the teeny dotty pattern play. Do please keep me in mind when you're ready to pass this one on Emma!




Jacqui from Mummabstylish looks lovely and also very summery in her offering this month. She carries off this pastel hued outfit with a girlish flair - adorable eh? 




It was Hilda's turn to choose a theme and how fab this choice turned out to be. We're seeing a fair bit of the 70's influence amongst us and Hilda's embracing the look perfectly. See more of her backstory on the her blog Over The Hilda.




This month we're welcoming back the familar face of Gail of Is This Mutton blog. If you're a regular reader you'll remember she was involved in our monthly style challenge called 5Over50, the last one of which is shown here. After spending some time away doing her own thing, Gail was keen to rejoin our monthly collaboration and we are very happy to have her back on board. Gail is featuring her favourite floral bomber jacket with an almost identical print top underneath. Do swing by her blog for a catch up when you get a moment.




Fiona and I had to take refuge indoors this week to capture these photos, out of the wild weather that storm Dennis brought to the island. Bright sunshine was at least a help to lift the atmosphere as we made use of the space within the Pavilion in the middle of its face-lift. 






Even though the wind was blasting across the sea, the view from here was still stunning.





With no musical backdrop, I hummed some inane tune to counter the echoing of my footsteps, dancing around creating fun as is my way. Fiona struggled with fluctuating light levels, blurry shots and backlighting slowing down the process as I sashayed around, oblivious. Point a camera at me and I'm in my element!














Flower Power to me stirs up thoughts of those teenage years when I was enjoying my first forrays into fashion, spending my hard earned pocket money on mini skirts and skinny rib tops, hot pants and suede long fringed waistcoats and tent dresses worn with knee high wet-look boots. This homage to those days was quick to pull together from my wardrobe; the dress was a second hand buy last year, the New Look ankle boots were in the sale last spring and the tights are from a huge cache I have of all sorts of colours and designs.




I've featured this floral tent dress (Zara) on the blog before (see here) and I must admit it is indeed a thing of joy to wear. I recall wearing a similar dress - white cotton in a light waffle fabric, with discs of pink, yellow, orange, purple and lime green with three quarter length sleeves and a ring pull zip up the front -  when I was only about 10 years old. We were going to a family wedding and the psychedelic dress was one of the first fashion buys that embedded itself into my memory bank. It captured my imagination and fired up a lifetime of passion for clothes.








All of today's accessories, including handbag and floral necklace and matching bracelet are second hand. 




The finishing touch for today's look was this ditzy print coat (pre-loved) by Kew. The 3/4 length sleeves and thigh high hemline make this a versatile jacket that looks equally good over jeans.




I'll leave you with this final shot of the view across to Bryher and Samson islands. White tops on the sea show how wild these sheltered waters have been lately. We must count our blessings however, that we're not suffering floods like so many regions of mainland UK are. Let's all hope for an improvement this week!

                                                                                     Anna x

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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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