New year, new challenge!

Hello and welcome to our first Style Not Age challenge for 2022!

January's challenge comes from Emma who has alighted on the Eye of the Tiger, relating to the Chinese New Year which starts on the 1st of February. 2022 is the Year of the Tiger and we fashionista friends are all interpreting this in our very own way. My choice of outfit was guided by the simple fact that I only have one item of clothes with a tiger and this sequined top is it!

Gail has opted for a red and black outfit to showcase her Tiger's Eye pendant. Catch up with her on the blog Is This Mutton?

Jacqui's tiger print blouse is from New Look, paired with faux leather trousers from F&F with slouch tan boots. See her back story over at Mummabstylish.

From top to toe Emma's outfit reads like this - hat from eBay, shirt from Topshop, trousers from Zara and tiger necklace is from Palava. See more from Emma on her blog Style Splash

Hilda's tiger print piece is this fabulous handbag, borrowed from a local boutique - way to go Hilda! Find out more on Over The Hilda blog.

My sequinned tiger tee was a sale find in H&M some time ago. I've not worn it very often so am delighted to bring it into play today. A bargain basement piece for only a fiver I have to mention! My shark's tooth necklace was from Charlie Dodge jewellery and my rings are  preloved, sunglasses from Radley London.

The rest of my outfit is all old, seen before, but still makes for a good show, don't you think? The orange sequin jacket is padded and therefore lovely and cosy. Steve says that it's so sparkly it can be seen from outer space! 

I deliberately chose to take myself off to a remote spot on the top of Tresco so that I wouldn't dazzle any passing traffic. I'd hoped to be pretty inconspicuous out at King Charles' Castle until I looked out to sea and there was the local gig crew thrashing on their way down the channel. I think I was a bit more exposed than I planned!

My faux leather jeans are from H&M (old) and as are my patent Chelsea boots (Topshop). My sequin jacket was from TK Maxx and is one of those pieces that stays in my wardrobe all year round. It manages to avoid the seasonal changeover as the sparkly orange vibe can work for any time of year. 

I'll leave you with this splendid view out towards Shipman's Head on Bryher with the wild Atlantic Ocean beyond. This is a terrific vantage point as well as a great spot to escape from whatever may trouble you. There's nothing like the big outdoors to help you get things back into perspective!

                                                                              Anna x


When I'm 64...

Hello lovelies and welcome to my birthday post!

The question as posed by The Beatles, "Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm 64?" comes to mind as I embrace my 64th birthday today. My dear hubby reached this milestone late last year and has given it a test run so I think I'm gonna be fine. Am I defined by my age? Well, of course not. As we all know, age is merely a number. An interesting thought though is that my mother at this age would have already been retired for four years and here I am with three more to go before I can rest on my laurels. 

So this is me, embracing life regardless of my age and loving the place I'm at. I can't see me ever wanting to give up on the shimmering sequins or silver high heeled boots. The thrill of dressing up is for me and me alone. I'm conversely not out to shock (no low necklines or high hemlines) or impress anyone. I really do this all for my own pleasure. I don't care a jot what onlookers think of my outlandish or over the top garb. Life really is too short to curb my enthusiasm for the joys of dressing up just for the hell of it! 

January isn't the best of month's to have a birthday if you live on a tiny island like mine. No big shopping malls for a day out with the girls, or even fancy restaurants for an evening of fine dining. Instead I got all dressed up in my favourite outfit of the day and took myself off to the oasis of calm that is the Abbey Garden. It was Saturday afternoon and I had the place completely to myself as I wondered around, seeking the best bit of light on the overcast day. 

A birthday gift to myself were the rather fabulous flares in a feminine mix of pink and orange hearts. Find them here in the Asos sale. I've had them lined up to wear with my mermaid coat for some time now and just adore them together. I have a party to attend in March and think this might be the perfect outfit for the birthday bash of a friend.

A bit of birthday bling by way of these preloved rings - what d'ya think? My necklace of jumbo pearls is an old favourite too.

I may not be defined by my age, but I definitely am by my sea swimming. My Wonder Woman swimsuit pretty much says it all. I do feel nigh on invincible when I emerge from the cold winter waters. At this time of year I'm one of the few who are still taking a regular dip in the icy Atlantic Ocean that pounds our shores on the Isles of Scilly. I'm proud to be part of a huge groundswell of women (and men) who have found this form of exercise to be life changing. You can read my backstory in the latest edition of the Tresco Times yearbook - see my piece on page 12. 

As the sunset stretches a bit later each and every day now, I'm delighted to find time to capture the last of the suns rays after work. My inner critic has deleted so many of these fun sea shots as they show a post Christmas softness to my figure or maybe simply the body of a 64 year old...

Perhaps this year will bring an easing of this harsh self-criticism that's blighted me for as long as I recall. Deep hurts from my teenage years still ring in my ears, leaving me struggle with self confidence and self doubts. Others may see me as fine while I'm still battling with not good enough syndrome. It's time for a coming to terms with me, all of me, at all times; the leaner summer body and the rounder winter shape that may be inevitable or simply the result of the passage of time. Your thoughts on this and anything else are very welcome! 

                                                                                     Anna x


More fun, in a gilet this week!

Hello lovelies! How has your week been? Are you working from home and if so, is it all about leisure wear again? For me it's another working outfit here this week, and yes, I'm still making the most of my fun furs. I've had this fur gilet for some years now and must admit I do find it a challenge to wear as it's so boxy. That said, I think it's simply impossible to wear a layer of fur of any sort without adding inches to the torso! So I need to get over it don't I?

The gilet (TK Maxx, old) wasn't what inspired this ensemble however, it was actually these rather fab checked trousers. They're hand-me-downs from my eldest sister - the brand is House of Bruar. Sandra is a big lover of charity shopping and found these stylish trousers some years ago, only recently passing them on to me. When they arrived in the middle of the Christmas festivities I couldn't quite squeeze into them, but after a week or two of restraint and sea swimming I've slipped into them a bit more easily. 

I do love the chance to create some different outfits when I've got a new addition to my wardrobe and this was a great bonus in the middle of Christmas. The tartan (M&S) boots called out to me immediately and I couldn't wait to get going, finding the right colours to compliment the look. The gilet was the next thing that came to mind and yes, I'm thrilled with this as an outfit. 

The tartan boots were from M&S a few years ago, but I still love them to bits. Could that be just because of my Scottish heritage? Goodness knows!

The simple ribbed roll neck sweater is old, a purchase from Primark a few years ago. I do wonder if our wardrobes/closets like so many other things will be defined as pre and post Covid19, in which case this is pre-covid. I bought a few of these in different colours and am impressed how they have retained their shape and colour despite much washing and wearing.

Nothing new jewellery-wise. The green pearls are real and are long term favourites of mine. The heart pendant is a good ploy for elongating the body, drawing the eyes downwards. Sunglasses are by Radley and rings are both quite old.

This (morning) shot shows the colours up a bit better. I spent the day at work, popping out from time to time in between passing traffic taking a few photos as the clouds dispersed then gathered, leaving me dodging in and out like one of those crazy old weather vanes. Do you know what I mean - that old lady and man who used to take turns popping out according to the weather? Anyway, this was a photo-shoot of two halves, ending with the glorious glimpses of sunset as it dropped behind the clouds. 

This is the view from my office and from the Gallery shop floor. I never tire of it. The endless light-shows from morning til night, the sunsets and shifting tides all go to make the most perfect of settings. I am a very lucky bunny indeed!

                                                                                         Anna x


My new fun fur!

Hello again! How's your week been? Back to work? Me too. It wasn't too bad. Sometimes the thought of returning to work is much worse than the reality, isn't it? The decorations may be packed away and the party food and chocs are all done, but that doesn't mean the fun is all over. And by fun, yes I'm talking fun fur. This orange bundle of delight was a pre-Christmas present to myself from TK Maxx and the brand is Maison Cinqcent.

Much as the closet cull and dejunking is still ongoing at mine, I'm also happy to be buying new pieces that define me at this time of my life. As my next birthday looms on the horizon I'm almost counting the number of paychecks until I reach retirement age. I mention this because once I do retire I'll not have the ability to spend on a whim or to follow the trends that take my eye. It's scary to think of living on a reduced income, but that's why I'm buying what I do so that I may enjoy wearing them for the next few years as a working woman with an excuse to dress up for the job. And thereafter, well I'll still be that eccentric old gal on Tresco, dressing up just to go to the local shop!

Glitz, glamour and fur seem to be in my DNA and I can't see that I'll be able to step away from that no matter what age I am. Steve always reminds me that this is a hobby that does no harm to anyone, so why not carry on as long as it makes me happy. It's good to have that reassurance, especially when I'm particularly done up to the nines!

Today's beautiful backdrop is the view from Fearless Cottage. The patio overlooks the channel between Tresco and Bryher looking north towards the wild Atlantic ocean. At this time of year part of my job is to check all of the artworks on display within the holiday properties which also affords me some fabulous photo opportunities. 

My two-piece is a vintage buy from way back in May when I was off-island in Cornwall. I came across a vintage shop in Penryn where I spent a lovely half hour browsing the stock of not just clothes but furniture too. The crimplene suit is by Diana Martin, a designer of the day; the day being late 50's. I think I bought it because it reminds me of my childhood when everyone's mum wore crimplene dresses and we all wore bri-nylon shirts to school and brushed nylon nightdresses. And wow, that's a blast from the past remembering those nightdresses! My two sisters and I wore those nighties, but as the brushed nylon was the cosy side, well we used to wear them inside out. What a scream to remember this from over 50 years ago!

Styling is everything when it comes to vintage outfits. I'm painfully aware of wearing clothes that are almost the same age as me and how they really depend on the right accessories to bring them up to date. I've added my studded stretch and leather belt in dark green to give the suit shape. The quirky Scottie dog necklace adds fun to the look, tonally matching rings brings the whole thing together. Today's sunglasses are by Radley.

My knee high wet look boots are another surefire way of adding punch to the outfit. See them on ASOS here

Thanks for dropping by again today. I'll be back again next week with more style inspiration and news from the idyll that is Tresco. Keep safe, keep well and enjoy yourself in whatever way you can!

                                                                                             Anna x


Look what I got for Christmas!

Happy New Year to you, my dear readers! I hope that you've had a lovely break and managed to stay well. We've had a super family time over the past couple of weeks and it's been one of our best Christmases ever I would say. My daughter's boyfriend came over from the mainland for the festive period, adding to our excitement as this was the first time we've met him. Suffice to say that he's an absolute gem, a real find and such a happy addition to our family.

So, this amazing vintage leather jacket is what Steve bought for my Christmas. Of course, I made sure that wishlists were passed on to everyone, and this is what I directed Steve to. Many moons ago I had a patchwork leather blazer that I passed on to a friend and this reminds me somewhat of that. The jacket was from eBay, bought at the end of November, leaving just the right amount of time for it to get here in the midst of the postal chaos.

I love the variety of skins used to create this very unusual jacket; the animal print, embossed hide, diamante studs, floral prints, tassel fringes and leather ruffles all go to make it quite unique. It's like wearing a piece of art. Oh my goodness, how I love it! 

I teamed the jacket with an old gold sweater (from H&M) and these funky new jeans (Primark). 

The gold leather Chelsea boots are very ancient (from River Island), but much loved.

I took myself off for a Boxing Day walk to burn up a few excess calories and also test drive the bomber jacket and see how it fitted. It's fab, passed the test with flying colours! 

I stopped to enjoy the view. I wasn't surprised to see lots of people out, stretching their legs after all of those Christmas Day calories. Family groups with dogs, couples out walking and driving past on golf buggies, all passed by below my hilltop perch in the half hour I sat there.

Today's jewellery features another Christmas present - the necklace (Zara) was from a girlfriend and is a perfect accessory for this look. The gold coloured flower ring was a Christmas pressie from her too, a couple of years ago. The other gold ring was a charity shop find. The sunglasses are by Quay Australia.

Apart from family meals together we had a pretty low key time over the holidays. We met up with our extended family for drinks one night which was another excuse to dress up, but no pics of that. I did manage to get some shots of the day that I dressed for work as my favourite Christmas movie, Elf.

This was very well received by all of my customers at the Gallery that day, resulting in lots of laughter and appropriate comments.

And this was my outfit for NYE at home, where I did have my very own kitchen disco while hubby snoozed in front of the TV.

I did full on glitz for that, wearing silver and gold sparkles, sequins and glitter. None if it was new, but all fulfilled the need for full on glamour on the home front!

And finally, here's some swimming shots from the festive period. The first was my last swim of 2021.

And below is the venue for my New Year's Day swim. Green Porth was tucked out of the westerly wind affording just enough protection to make it look nigh on perfect.

I was joined by two islanders, Rebecca and Emma for the swim which was in aid of Mental Health Swims. Photos from each of us earned donations from Speedo. Somehow a group swim always feels better, dare I say even warmer, as you have the lovely distraction of chat and laughter throughout.

Not drowning, just waving!

And that pretty much rounds up my past week or so. It's been great to have some time away from work and to relax in my pj's for a change. I do hope you've had a lovely break from the norm and that you managed to spend some time with your nearest and dearest. Sending you lots of love and good luck for 2022 from my island home.

                                                                                         Anna x

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