Summer flashback (all dressed up with nowhere to go)

I sit here writing while hailstones are bouncing off the garden by my window, hitting the daffodils as if there's a point to be made, "Spring isn't quite here yet!" maybe? A fierce gale is blowing outside and I'm sitting waiting, hoping that I'll get a call to say the annual beach-clean event this morning is being cancelled until kinder weather blesses our island shores. in the meantime I've decided to plunge deep into my draft box and bring out a lovely reminder of last summer. The all-dressed-up-and-nowhere-to-go look came about rather organically as I'll explain...

I found this elegant shift dress by Reiss in a charity shop in the early summer and thought it would be perfect for those days at work when I felt the urge to look smart. Dark blue and navy always make me look a bit pale (check out my peely-wally pins), but I'm trying to expand my repertoire of colours, so thought I'd give this a whirl. In an effort to bring some light to my complexion I've added my favourite chunky peals and that does seem to soften the dark dress. The beaded sandals (Monsoon) and clutch (Accessorize) were finds from the same thrifting session and a great ploy to lift the colour scheme too.

As the day was a bit breezy I decided I needed to add a jacket to the ensemble and this one seemed perfect. It's by Jaeger and was an absolute snip at £8.95 in a charity shop in Truro.

By the end of the day, just as Polly and I were cashing up, I remembered that I'd found a hat during one of my earlier shopping sprees. I mentioned that this might be a great finishing touch to this rather posh ensemble and here's how we finished the day -

Perhaps it can be seen as a trial run for some invitation yet to come? At least I know I've go this stashed away in readiness. My necklace was from Debenhams many moons ago, the rings are old, my watch is by Michael Kors and sunglasses are by Quay Australia.

The good news is that the Spring Beach Clean has been cancelled. And when you see the view from my kitchen window you'll understand why.

Linking with 
Laurie of Vanity And Me
Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb

                                                 Anna x


Vintage Jaeger + Tu = my style

In case you didn't know, I'm a big lover of bright colours. Patterns too, and also a touch of glamour, so this outfit ticks lots of boxes for me today. And before you come back at me about these crazy shoes, let me jump in to defend them and tell you that I wore them all day long without a twinge of pain or discomfort. The straps were attached with elastic making them easy to walk in, also comfortably snug and the heel to platform ratio seemed perfect for my foot shape. They were brand new from a charity shop, made by good ol' M&S. 

What pleases me most about this outfit is the fact that I've married the fabulous shocking pink vintage Jaeger jacket with this dress from the Tu range at Sainsbury's. I love that juxtaposition of high end and supermarket fashion walking out in style together. The jacket was a bit worse for wear with stains down one arm when I discovered it in a charity shop in Truro this summer. I passed it by, not for that reason, but because I have a jacket of the same colour which I still haven't worn yet. Sasha suggested that I try it on anyway. As you can see, the fit was perfect. We dropped the jacket into the dry cleaners and hey presto, it's as good as new. I know it can be off-putting to go into some charity shops where the air is heavy with strange, musty or even slightly unpleasant smells, but for me that can often signal that the shop may be a haven for all sorts of undiscovered vintage finds. A couple of washes or dry cleaning can remedy the majority of smells. And the last reason I'm keen to visit these musty shops is because I know a lot of people won't, therefore I'm very likely to find a stonking good buy - like this beautiful Jaeger jacket! 

Have you managed to scoop up a great charity shop find recently? Tell me about it in the comments box below. I'd love to hear about it.

Shoes: M&S (charity shop), dress: Tu at Sainsbury's, jacket: Jaeger, handbag: charity shop, sunglasses: Tu at Sainsbury's, necklace: Debenhams, belt: ebay, rings and bangle: gifts.

Anna x


Weekend in Truro

I had a legitimate reason for hopping off the island over the weekend as it was time for my annual eye check (2 hours well spent here). Sasha and I made up for lost time however with a sprint to the finish line in what was another marathon shopping spree for me. The ladies in the Truro charity shops welcome me like a local celeb as they know I'll be spending more than 30p on a tea towel which does make Sasha laugh. She has been known to stand behind me at the desk explaining to waiting customers about island living, limited retail opportunities, and my infrequent visits culminating in these bulk shopping buys. So you know the drill. Here's the luggage before and after shots, and the rest will follow.

The large holdall belongs to my son, but it's great for taking on the ship where it will travel squashed into a container therefore needs to be sturdy. Notice that it's not quite full yet, and it does hide a Russian doll effect - a bag, within a bag, within a bag - ready for the spoils. 

And here they are on my return at Truro railway station where three bags have turned into five. Said holdall and spare bag (note only one, I still had another in reserve) are now both busting to the point that I can't actually lift the large bag, but it does have wheels for such eventualities. Only one more manoeuvre to make on and off the train and then it's helpful taxi driver round to the docks to get this home.

I travelled by Scillonian this time which takes about 2.5 hours and wasn't too rough on either journey. The ship sails in all weathers apart from the most severe gales and I do take precautions against sea-sickness as I'm not the best of sailors. Stugeron tablets and Seabands on my wrists work as a good combination in my case, along with staying up on deck and keeping my steely gaze on the horizon. While those around me may flounder and flail, I have to focus on my own well-being.

Leaving the islands behind as we head across the Atlantic to mainland Cornwall.

Land ahoy, and the very welcome sight of St Michael's Mount. A 40 minute train journey takes me up country to Truro where Sash and the shops await. Next morning, armed with empty bags, I was out at nine to see what I could find. Sasha joined me about lunchtime and we headed off to our favourite shoe shop, TK Maxx.

I love the jamboree that is TK Maxx's shoe department. All sorts of colourful footwear lie abandoned as if there had been a sudden call to arms and everyone had flee'd. We had a great time trying on, discarding, discovering and finally deliberating. I can reveal that Sasha is now the proud owner of the turquoise sandals and the (high heeled) beige suede boots in the centre. My shoe shaming comes later. 

We had lunch at the Lounge in Truro which had a fab atmosphere as well as a great range of delicious food. We ate in the restaurant downstairs but the seating area upstairs was quite funky too.

We hit the shops big time after refuelling and I think the term shop 'til you drop probably comes into play here. Eventually we admitted defeat when we couldn't carry any more. Our evening was spent comparing our finds, trying on and for me, a great deal of packing. On Sunday after my eye appointment we went out to Hubbox for lunch then mainly chilled for the rest of the day as I made ready for the journey home. 

All too soon it was time to head back home. The trip was on a full ship when I travelled back but I was happy to find my favourite spot on deck to hunker down. We passed the Minack theatre at Porthcurno (see it clinging to the rocks above the left of the cove) before leaving the mainland and all its retail temptations behind.

A bank of cloud sits heavily across the Cornish peninsula.

And finally the Isles of Scilly can be seen in the distance. St Martin's is the first to show.

The Firethorn is motoring towards St Mary's to collect the passengers from the Scillonian to take them to the off islands.

Home again and it's time to spread out the loot and take stock of everything. I have some repairs to do on the yellow maxi dress, the black lace dress and the olive and brown maxi skirt in the centre of the pic. The clothes tally reads like this - 1 wet gear coat, 1 sports top, 1 swimsuit, 2 handbags, 1 maxi skirt, 2 maxi dresses, 4 dresses, 2 pairs of culottes, 1 shirt, 4 pairs of trousers, 3 skirts, 2 pairs of shorts, 6 tops and the shoes...

My final count up of shoes was 20 pairs. Gasp if you will, but four were for Sasha, two for Polly and one wasn't quite glamorous enough to warrant inclusion in the photo (chunky plain brown sandals for wearing to the beach). Of these only two were full price from TK and 11 pairs were bargain basement prices from charity shops with the most expensive being £9. Who needs 14 pairs of shoes in one fell swoop, you may ask? Well clearly I do! Many of these were brand new and must have been a bad fit/gift/wrong choice for the owner, but are a great addition to my summer wardrobe. 

I've just remembered that I bought a fuchsia coloured silk jacket in a charity shop that's by Jaeger. It's currently at the dry cleaners, and I can't wait to feature it with my black hat. Seems I forgot to photograph my two new hats, one in black and the other white. My next shopping trip will be in September when I'll be updating my autumn/winter wardrobe. I hope you've enjoyed my lastest spree and would love to hear your thoughts. Have a great week!

Anna x

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