Show time once again!

Hellooooo! How are you? I may be a day or two late, but here they are, the dream team from our most recent exhibition opening night and don't these young ladies look fabulous? From left to right, Tash, Polly and Hannah did a wonderful job as well as sparkling amidst the heat of the evening on Tuesday when we opened the show for Stuart Kettle, Maggie O'Brien and David Thomas (see the paintings in full here). We sold a few pieces on the opening night and sales are continuing fine thank you.

My frock for the evening is an chiffon number (preloved) by LK Bennett which almost broke the bank at £15. Joking apart, it was in immaculate condition and fits like a dream. This lightweight fabric was perfect for the hot summer evening when we were almost becalmed at New Grimsby with not much of a breeze circulating around the building despite doors and skylights being open.

The finer details of the dress can be seen here where the pleating creates a gentle empire line and a deep v neck with a tiny modesty band behind. The lining is polyester which swishes nicely as you move. This cobalt blue isn't a colour I wear a lot of, and certainly not what I would wear in the winter when my Scottish pallor wouldn't be enhanced by this tone at all, but with a light tan I can just about get away with it.

Note this delicious floaty layer of chiffon - I fancy I didn't quite dance around enough to do it  justice however!

Here's a wee twirl for you.

Oh, and I can do this too!

These lime green satin sandals are by Steve Madden from TK Maxx and also cost £15. The kitten heel was a great height to wear after a long day at work, not too high, nor were the straps too snug either. I wish I'd had a some lime green accessories, but I got by as you can see below.

My oversized pearls (from Debenhams) you'll have seen before as well as the green amethyst bracelet which my dear hubby bought me in Morocco. The fab blue rings are charity shopped. I'm wearing my old favourite sunglasses from Quay.

The photo shoot was at the end of the evening when we were confident that things had gone well which I hope shows in our overall relaxed body language. It can be quite a stressful day, preparing the gallery for the evening's party as well as the conversation topic of the day being which outfit we will wear. So far this summer I've managed to choose mine well in advance and even stick to it rather than my usual last minute change of heart. I'm floundering a bit already about the upcoming one in August, so watch this space...

And finally, July on the Isles of Scilly has been nothing less than idyllic in the heatwave. Work days are peppered with end of the day picnics for Steve and I which makes for a welcome bit of downtime for us. We're off to another island tonight, but in the meantime I'll leave you with some picnic shots from the last couple of weeks.

Landing on the high tide at Samson, just a two minute boat trip from home. 

A quick hop from the boat into the little tender to take us ashore.

Picnic over, it's time to capture something for my Instagram feed - I gotta feature this amazing setting, surely! But first, a slight tweak here, a little adjustment there ...

What about placing another pop of colour here? This hat will do nicely!

Swatting a couple of flies away before I can settle down.

And this is it! The shadows created by the evening sun managed to make me look much more tanned than I really am, so no filters required. Tresco island lies in the backgroud with a sprinkling of yachts moored up in the channel.

This time last year I posted a bikini shot and said that I wasn't sure if at 60 I'd still be happy to wear one. Yay, I still am! 
Anna x



I've had a day off today, filled with lots of household chores, blah, blah, blah, but my reward was a jolly jaunt off-island for a picnic and photo shoot at the end of the day. Steve took me to Samson which was deserted and looking lovely as ever on the high tide.

A day off means dressing down for a change. The jeans are from Next, the top is from H&M but is very old, as are the sandals which are so old that I can't read the brand name on the sole (they came from TReds in Truro many moons ago). The bag was a charity shop find last summer.

Rolled up jeans are just right for jumping on and off the boat. I particularly like these as they're high waisted and seem to hold everything in place better than low rise jeans do on me of late. I seem to be suffering from not just muffin tops, but also there are real signs of that softening around the middle aka the dreaded middle aged spread. 

A strange thing seems to be happening to my figure which I suppose I could put down to the big 60. Much as my weight remains more or less the same, there's a definite slackening of skin tone which is not what I signed up for. I know I'm not fat, but I can gather bits of me up in rolls that I never used to have. Sorry, probably too much information!

The view from up here is fab. Rocks, sea and dazzling sunshine.

It's amazing what a little bit of sunshine does for our mood. Just a couple of days ago we had fog and yesterday it was bitterly cold with a strong north east wind ( I was in winter boots and a polo neck) and yet today it could pass for a summer's day. Hurrah!

The decorations on my sandals are cleverly wired so that no matter how long they're packed away every winter, I can easily tweak them back into shape again. The embroidered butterflies and ornamental flowers don't look a bit out of place in the bed of flowers underfoot.

I've lived on the Isles of Scilly for 40 years and this is the first time I've been right up on the top of Samson. The view is stunning and you can see all of the other islands from here.

And here's my photographer, boatman and picnic companion. Thanks Steve for making this happen!
Anna x


Joy is a jumpsuit

I hope that you've got the measure of me by now. I love my clothes, I gush, I enthuse, and I'd like to think that's why you keep coming back for more. Today's offering was from last week when the sun still was like me, making an effort to impress. The big sky during my lunch break was an amazing sight. See it at the end of the feature or scroll down now if you can't wait. Anyway, joy is indeed a jumpsuit and this one was from the H&M sale last summer. I wore it the first time around for an exhibition evening see here, and yes it's pretty much a repeat showing, but worth it none the less, I think.

I wafted about feeling rather lovely in my jumpsuit, while the sun shone, the sea sparkled and the islands looked idyllic. Giddy with the sheer excitement of being alive, I smiled at the wonder of how the weather could transform and uplift us all. These perfect days are to be locked away in our memory banks, fodder for the long winter ahead when the sky will turn the sea to gunmetal rather than the brilliant blue of today. 

But for the moment, all is bliss. We are becalmed, and I for one, am joyful in my jumpsuit. 

A note to any new readers. These beautiful islands where I live are the Isles of Scilly which are part of Cornwall in the UK, not to be confused with the island of Sicily which is, of course, part of Italy. On a day like this, the islands here could pass for somewhere much more exotic, but in fact they lie some 28 miles off the Southwest of England where they are bathed in the warm wash of the Gulf Stream. The five inhabited islands are part of a larger archipelago comprising of over 140 uninhabited islands which are a draw for tourists who want to experience a slower, more relaxed pace of life. For them the most important decision of the day is what boat to catch to which island. For all you need to know about coming to stay click here.

Outfit details are - jumpsuit H&M (old), shoes Dune, shrug thrifted, necklace and rings old, sunglasses are by Quay Australia (these are similar and are on offer too) and bracelet in green amethyst is from Morocco.

Anna x


The travelling yellow skirt arrives on the Isles of Scilly!

I'd like to have a backing track to this post but the one I'd choose is not very hip. I'll reveal it later, but have to first of all introduce you to definitely the coolest blogger I've ever come across, Melanie of Bag and a Beret (yes, you're right you probably did hear a drum roll, with cymbals too). Melanie is an extraordinary woman who is ridiculously beautiful, witty, cool (have I mentioned that already?), articulate, kind, generous and a very talented artist to boot. I'm one of the many women who will happily confess to having a bit of a girl crush on this fabulous, fearless creature. Melanie is the owner of the aforementioned Travelling Yellow skirt - the full story about this item can be read here. The skirt arrived with me last week. I opened the door to find a small brown cardboard box on the mat, with a customs label on the front, declaring the contents to be "Yellow Skirt". My heart did skip a beat. I've been waiting a while for it's arrival and finally it was here. The skirt, I must say, is not an it, but a she. She travels the world, sprinkling her magic wherever she goes. I marvelled at the colourful additions, the countries, names, dates and heart-warming messages of love embodied in the garment. How amazing that I was able to take part in this too. 

And so to set the scene. It was Sunday afternoon and I had spent the morning at church, helping out with hymn books, collection and the like. The service had been accompanied by a violinist who was on holiday here and added greatly to the proceedings. His playing was a worthy substitute for our normal prerecorded music, in particular the rendition of "The Lord of the dance" which he played beautifully as the congregation assembled. It brought back happy memories of school days when we all sang it in assembly. After the service, I gathered together a picnic, blanket and all the necessary paraphenalia including the Yellow Skirt, and then Steve rowed us out to our little motor boat moored in the bay outside our house. The day was glorious, so much so that there had been a veritable exodus of small craft leaving their moorings all with the same idea as us; to find an uninhabited island as the perfect getaway on this scorching summer's day. The Eastern Isles had been my first choice when imagining the Yellow Skirt whooshing across virgin white sands on a deserted island. Not a chance, my husband had told me. Too many locals, too many visitors, all with the same idea, was his view on this. And he was right, as we motored around the North End of the island we could see the small boats all bobbing about on the horizon near the cluster of these tiny idyllic islands. So plan B it was then. Northwethel is a teeny, tiny island with not so much in the way of stretching white sands, but what I wanted was for us to be marooned, alone with the Yellow Skirt as our guest. 

We dropped anchor, and made our way to the shore of our desert island. We ate a lazy lunch, some of us maybe had a beer or two, and we watched the boats buzzing about in the distance. As the sun cooled down, Steve was ready to don his photographers hat. The Yellow Skirt and I got our act together and so the magic of the Travelling Yellow Skirt began. On hitting the sand my soundtrack began. Yes, "Lord of the Dance" was still ringing in my ears and to that lively beat I sang, skipped and danced my way across the white sands of our uninhabited island paradise giving our guest an afternoon to remember. She whooshed, she swished, she tripped up and over rocks in the most joyful of manner. 

And then we rested. The day was still hot, the tide beginning to ebb. Steve took the last few shots - my dear friend Sacramento's pink crochet flower below my knees and my own little offering by my feet. And then we set off for home. 

It had been a pretty perfect day. We had captured something special, something of the magic of Scilly combined with the magic of this travelling token of friendship. I shall never forget singing, dancing and skipping across the sand with the Travelling Yellow Skirt.

But wait! I have a couple of postscripts. The first is about another friendship that was recently cemented and it too involved the Yellow Skirt. My blogging friend Kezzie (read her wonderful blog here) was on the island recently and we too had a joyful moment shared for you to see. In fact the entire day was pretty much a string of joyful moments which I'm still editing for you to read. Kezzie's mother, Ros, was promoted to the postion of blog photographer and rose to the challenge very well, don't you think?

I'll be featuring our day together in a future post, coming soon so please join me for that.

And finally, I longed to showcase the Yellow Skirt on a long sweep of deserted beach, so we headed off a few days later and captured these last few shots to round off what has been a very special event. As this skirt makes her travels across the globe, the hands of friendship are bonded through this mutual experience, like a magical, gossamer thread creating a cobweb of love and harmony wherever she goes. "Love can build a bridge" does indeed come to mind. I'm so privileged to have taken part. Thank you Melanie! x

I'll leave you with Melanie's words of advice:

Let's enjoy life!! 
Let's enjoy dressing up!!
It's just frickin' fabric!! (a really good piece though)
We surrender to the positivity!
Let's dance, baby!!

Anna x

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