The dancing queens

Hello and welcome to this mega post covering my week off-island. Thanks for returning to catch up with the fun. So, this is Sasha and I sporting our post-concert glow following an evening of dancing all the way through ABBA Voyage! The whole experience, for any ABBA fan, is amazing and worth every penny. Photos and videos are banned during the show in order to keep the content a surprise for everyone planning to come along. Suffice to say, the website shows the stadium; the dance floor is most definitely the place to be; and you simply have to submit yourself to the ABBA avatars and let them mesmerize and hypnotise you. 

The most problematic part of the long weekend was the terrific spell of weather where we struggled with temperatures of 33 degrees.  Getting dressed for the concert was challenging despite us having cold showers beforehand.

My trousers were bought from Shein last winter with a view to wearing them over the festive period but somehow that didn't pan out. The sequinned vest was a charity shop find and required a fair bit of repair work, replacing and relocating beads and sequins that were virtually hanging off - this is my favourite type of repair. And the aqau cardi was bought in London many years ago when my friend Ben took me out charity shopping; I paid £7.50 for it and this was its debut!

I bought this tiny blush glitter bag from Vinted earlier on in the summer as I was planning my outfit. It was just big enough to house my phone, lipstick and hairbrush. I wanted an across the body bag to wear while dancing and this worked beautifully.

5pm on Saturday evening and we were still blasted by the extreme heat before we even set off. It took us an hour to cross London on the underground and Docklands Light Railway by which time it was all a bit hot and sticky. We checked in at the venue and sat outside in the early evening sunshine to enjoy the stream of fans arriving in their finery.

There was a great deal of mutual appreciation for all the efforts that the party-goers had made. These guys were greeted with cheers and applause as they entered and we all wanted photos of them! Without sounding too corny, the love flowed and compliments passed from stranger to stranger in a wonderfully uninhibited way. ABBA was our common bond and we were all amongst friends. I reveled in it and was completely in my element. After a few Mojitos, Sash was ready to immerse herself too.

An aside here - this was the photo that made us decide I needed a new phone - check out the blurry quality! I've since bought a Google Pixel 7 and hope to showcase the resulting photos soon. Earlier on that day Sasha had decided that she ought to capture all images for the evening, thank goodness!

And here we go, off into the arena. The screens are huge, the volume is LOUD and everyone, simply everyone loses themselves in the ABBA moment. It was blooming awesome!

All too soon it was over and we all, as one body, crossed to the tube station. One last photo opportunity for me to show off before my evening was over - Waterloo played in the background and I threw some shapes in my typical shameless manner.

They say every picture tells a story and these boots will be my forever memento of the evening. I wore them for six long hours, up and down the stairs on the Tube as well as being a #dancingqueen all night long. My sister urged me to keep them as they're part of my fashion history and pretty iconic too.

By Monday morning Sash was on the boat back to the islands and I had been delivered to my sisters awaiting me in Hayle. A quick shower, some breakfast and we were ready for some sightseeing.

On the left is Sandra the eldest of us and Dianne is the middle sister. I think it's five years since we've all been together. Sandra lives on Orkney and Dianne in St Andrews, so we're not exactly neighbours. But that makes it all the more special when we do manage have a meet up. My bucket list was to visit the Minnack after 45 years of sailing past the Cornish landmark on the Scillonian and never once setting foot in it. I don't drive therefore it's not an easy task.

For the record, Sandra isn't terribly keen on having her photo taken, but tolerated it to humour me. Sandra has recently started a course at Orkney College, part of the University of the Highlands and Islands, to complete a BA in Fine Art, a lifelong ambition for her. I hope that when I'm 72 I'll be starting on a new adventure too!

Second on my bucket list was to create this one for our family album. When we were children our parents took us to John O'Groats for one of these photos. Mine has gone astray but hopefully one of the others will send me a copy (nudge nudge Dianne :-)) Montrose is our home town.

This photo caused much debate later on that evening as to who's now the tallest, who's shrinking the fastest and finally how honest we were in our declared heights, and consequently positions, as young women. Who says you've gotta grow up just because you grow old?

I tried to capture this weird optical illusion where the two rocks in the far distance seem to be floating in mid air. Sandra says there's a proper name for this. Do tell if you know.

After a well earned cuppa we headed off to Penzance where Dianne wanted to visit my favourite boutique Number 36. I finally got a chance to introduce myself to the manager while my sisters browsed. No purchase for me this time, but Dianne bought some fabulous lime green trousers that have somehow managed to come home with me...

Day two and Sandra's request was to visit the Leach Pottery. None of us had ever been there and what a great immersive experience that proved to be. I'd love to spout some facts to you, but I've still not read my guide. See the link here to find out everything from the official website. 

The museum and shop are open to the public and at the rear runs the pottery which offers the opportunity to work alongside the Leach potters and learn their craft. My dear friend Fiona took herself off there last year for a week resulting in her pots evolving in form, finish and style, and selling out very quickly both with us and at our local Makers Market. We met potter and shop Manager Joanna Wason who was a mine of information about the history of the pottery as well as being author of Janet Leach : Potter.

A cuppa with a view of St Ives was next on our agenda lending itself to the perfect people watching vantage point. The dog to people ratio was quite high, although not apparent in either photo. 

The final quest of the day was to find the grave of renowned artist Alfred Wallis who died a pauper and was saved from a pauper's grave by the St Ives art community who paid for a fitting resting place for him, in the graveyard overlooking Porthmeor Beach. 

And that winds up my trip away. Ironically I picked up a bug on my way home and have spent the past week in haze of sweats and urgent trips to the loo.  Drinks and naps have aided my recovery as well as the mere passage of both time and dreaded bug through my system. Today, a week later, is my first day of getting dressed so I must be feeling better and this too, to write to you with my mega post, has to be a good sign!

Do please leave me a comment if you've enjoyed the post, the photos or just my rambling on. I'm always delighted to read your feedback.

Monday heralds the next installment of our Age Not Style feature so do please swing by if you get a moment and in the meantime, have a lovely weekend!

                                                                                      Anna x



  1. Welcome home, my friend! and what an adventure you've had! Your ABBA outfit is just stunning, and kudos for wearing all that synthetic plastic during a heatwave! You look amazing, and it sounds like it was a blast. How lovely to spend some time with your sisters - I admit to doing a double-take at your sister's age. 72?? not possible! You have some good genes there!

    1. What a week that was Sheila! I'm so happy to have this documented so that I may look back on it in years to come. And yes, doesn't she look great!

  2. You nailed the ABBA outfit, and look bloody amazing my friend. So glad you had a good time and the rest of your trip sounded super. Have a lovely week Anna. xx Jacqui

    1. What a blast that concert was Jacqui! I do hope you get a chance to go before it finishes - it's really amazing.


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