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


In the run up to Christmas...

Hello and Happy Christmas to you (in case you don't call by again this week)! I'm back to work for a wee while and that means work outfits are on my mind, particularly those with a festive feel. The eagle eyed among you might remember these rather racy wet-look trousers that I bought in May during my only trip off-island this year. The brand is Pull and Bear, but I found them in TK Maxx in Truro. Well, I tried them out the other day with a gold lurex cardigan (H&M) and pre-loved blouse and am now wondering if the pants are simply too racy for a Gallery Manager? Do leave me your thoughts...

I'm very keen to wear them, but sometimes living on this tiny island leaves me feeling a bit unsure of what's happening with fashion trends out in the big wide world. And dare I ask the question as to whether a woman of my age ought to be wearing wet-look pants full stop? 

One way around this might indeed by to close my eyes to avoid the looks of shock from those I encounter... Or maybe just laugh it off?

Or perhaps just gazing into the middle distance with a cool, confident air might be the answer?

As for accessories, I'm wearing a very old chain necklace from Primark, a gold flower ring, a present from a girlfriend and a large chunky ring from TK Maxx.

One thing that's for sure, is that I do love the pairing of my tartan M&S boots with the skinny pants! 

On the home front, I can report that the Christmas tree is up as are the decorations and the final batch of fudge has been made and packed, so progress is being made. The turkey is due to arrive on Tuesday as is the gammon joint along with the final order of Christmas supplies. Like most of you, we'll have enough food to feed a small army. As for my Christmas day outfit, well I really don't have anything lined up this year. I do hope that inspiration strikes by the time the big day arrives!

Finally, let me just take a moment to say thank you for dropping by today and any other time you've called. As the year draws to an end I'm feeling all sentimental about my readership and how lovely it is to have your comments and feedback. For those of you who have actually beaten a path to my door (aka the desk at Gallery Tresco) during the past 12 months - it's been great to see you and have a chat in person!

I hope you have a great Christmas, that you manage to see family and friends as planned and that our lives aren't too disrupted over the festive period. Take care!

                                                                                    Anna x


63 looks like this!

Yay, it's my birthday!

Yes, this is what 63 looks like on me, and man it feels fine. If this past year has taught me one thing, it's gotta be that we must be grateful to simply be alive. I'm happy to have got this far without contracting Covid19 and with any luck I can stay well until I'm vaccinated. 

If you're a regular reader of mine you'll know that I aim to inspire you, delight and entertain you but most of all pass on my very own version of love and joy. 
I did think about counting through all of my blog posts to see how often I mention the words joy and love, but decided that maybe my time would be better spent just creating today's happy feature.

Dressing up for fun surely has to be my forte and even though it's lockdown3 and I really don't have anywhere to go, well that's no reason for a gal not to don her birthday finery is it? Reusing and recycling at its best, this outfit also pays homage to clothes swapping through the joys of friendship. My friend Sheila (see her blog here) who also lives on an island, but on the other side of the world in Canada, sent me this two tone frock a few years ago which cemented our long distance friendship. I've jettisoned a couple of things in her direction too as we have similar wacky tastes in clothes.

Sporting my ol' favourite sunglasses by Quay Australia along with this toning tribal necklace from Topshop a couple of years ago. 

The mere act of putting on this red petticoat is an instant mood lifter for me which is another cause for celebration today. During the winter months I battle with Seasonal Affective Disorder and use all of the tools in my arsenal to keep myself buoyed up - these being mainly my sea swimming and winter walking, as well as dressing up of course. The big outdoors is a remedy for any kind of depression, acting as a diversion away from the inner self as the mind is drawn outwards to engage with the stunning sights and sounds of nature. Tresco offers a plethora of views and vantage points to stop and stare, to literally breath in the ozone and be amazed at the panorama.  

The only bit of birthday advice from this 63 year old is for you to embrace your own version of joy, be that dancing in the kitchen, completing a 1000 piece jigsaw, walking the dog, doing an on online yoga session or applying a full face of make-up just to go to the supermarket with your mask on - if it makes you happy, then do it! The realities of life can sit heavy on our shoulders if we let it and I for one battle daily to find or create my own little ray of sunshine. I'm so pleased that as I was tinkering with my camera and tripod for these photos that a couple of local girls called out to me from across the field, just to wave and shout hello. The acceptance that this is who I am and what I do and that it's nothing remarkable for me to be out on a Sunday morning dressed like this is a wonderful affirmation. Within a small community we all have a role to play and this, it seems, is mine. What a joy!

The fabulous red petticoat was an eBay find (a long time ago), the red tights are so old that I can't recall the details and the tartan boots were from M&S a couple of years ago.

Rings and elasticated belt are all pre-loved items. 

If this post encourages you to venture out in something wild and wacky, or equally cool and classy or to simply spend time leafing through your wardrobe to seek new inspiration from what lies within, then I'll be happy to have helped you on your way. To my dear friend Teddy who, like so many healthcare professionals, wears scubs to work, then I hope that my loungewear post coming up tomorrow may inspire your downtime too x

I'm linking with Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb !

                                                                    Anna x


This Christmas I'll be wearing...

Happy Christmas lovelies and thanks for swinging by at this busy time of year! Without you, my dear readers, it would be a very pointless hobby indeed to run a blog with no viewers, so my sincere thanks go to you for turning up - I'm sending a virtual hug to each and every one of you. For those of you who take the time to comment, I'm indebted to you for the ongoing dialogue that ensues, giving me an insight into your fashion likes and dislikes as well as snippets of your own lives. It's a joy.

A couple of months ago I was asked to take part in a fashion feature about Christmas Day outfits, the resulting effort being here. I was delighted to be approached (forgive my vanity) and am thrilled that the feature is now live in the Christmas edition of Yours magazine

Regular reader Phyllis responded to my call out for a copy of the magazine and here it is, just in time for Christmas! We've not had newspapers or magazines in our island shop since March, so can you imagine my frustration to be told I've got a wee claim to fame and yet not be able to buy a copy? 

My spin on a festive outfit is based around these rather fabulous embroidered trousers which I paid £20 for in the Truro branch of Oxfam. Red may be a huge cliche for Christmas day, but sometimes you just have to play it how it feels and this felt right. We normally go out for a glass of fizz at our local pub at lunchtime on Christmas day, but we've decided to give that a miss this year. The ritual of standing in a lovely friendly huddle around the bar as people mill around hugging and kissing as they pass on their Christmas wishes is sadly a step too far now. 

I'm particularly pleased with this look especially as it's mostly created from second hand and vintage pieces. The only thing I bought brand new were the M&S tartan boots which are now two years old. The red duster is a vintage Chinese jacket scattered with sprigs of embroidery, costing the grand sum of £3. The pleated men's shirt was another pre-loved bargain at £4.50. The Tommy Hilfiger belt was another charity shop trophy find showing no signs of wear to the leather at all. 

The cocktail rings are both pre-loved, worn with my much loved Vivienne Westwood pendant and Quay Australia sunglasses.

Do florals and tartan go together? Why of course they do!

I'm counting my blessings more than ever this Christmas that I have my children living nearby. Our Christmas day meal will be the same as ever for the four of us; we all acknowledged our fortune as we shared our Christmas Eve dinner together this evening. How lucky are we to all live within half a mile of each other? Not only that of course, but to be in Tier 1 is what's relevant. 

I must sneak off now to wrap up the last few presents. Do take care of yourselves and I hope to catch up with you again soon.

Here's wishing you all a very Happy Christmas!

Anna x


When it rains ...

Hello again! Today I'm working on the principle of When life gives you lemons, except I've applied that to rain. My outfit choice was led completely by the need to take some photos for the blog despite the rain, plus the fact that the only umbrella I could find was this tartan one.

So, apart from the addition of a brolly, I've been chomping at the bit to bring out some of my festive clothes. Much like the sudden crop of Christmas decorations appearing both indoors and outdoors across the land, I'm keen to have this dazzling distraction from the woes that plague us currently. Therefore, I shall be littering the blog for the next few weeks with lurex and glitter, tartan and fur, and even the odd very cheesy Christmas jumper! 

But let's start with today's offering. This feather trimmed tartan shift dress was a Zara purchase some years ago. It's a wonderful twist on what is a simple shape made glamorous by the addition of feathers. 

I've layered it up with an M&S long sleeved thermal top and thick thermal tights, finishing with these rather fabulous tartan ankle boots also by M&S.  I love a bit of tartan at the best of times and it warms my heart how much we associate these checks or plaid (depending on where in the world you live) with Christmas. As a Scottish exile, it's wonderful to wear my national cloth with pride at this time of year. I have a real McCoy tartan kilt lined up for you, brought up to speed with an unconventional partner - so please keep coming back to see that!

Do you remember when you were young being asked what you want to be when you grow up? Well, I've just discovered that I want to be the Instagram fashion icon Blair Eadie. I hope you'll take a moment to click on the link to see what a delight this woman is. It's not her model girl figure, nor her youth that I hanker after, but the absolute magic she conjures up with her style. She covers every trend, colour and fashion turning them into a confection of playfulness and joy; in fact most of the time she does look utterly edible! When she does understatement it's sleek and sublime and likewise when she goes big, then it's totally fabulous! I realise how unachievable this level of perfection is, but it's so good to have a dream. We all need a bit of style inspiration and golly, this girl is mine.

Accessories are: rings pre-loved and Tree of Life pendant was a boutique purchase, but is old. Umbrella was from our local chemist on St Mary's.

My thanks go again to Sasha for her time taking these soggy day shots. I'll leave you with this atmospheric scene looking towards Samson island. 

Thanks for joining me. See you again soon!

Anna x


Bold in gold!

How-de-do-dee! How is your day going? Ask me how I am and I'll tell you, much better! The version of myself in the last post really got me down. I felt dull and dowdy, dreary and uninspired. Today however, I feel much more like myself! 

Bold in gold, perky in patterns and generally in fine fettle, that's me! The teddy bear woollen coat (by Covent Garden) has huge snuggle appeal which is perfect for the gales that are sweeping across these islands at the moment. The big collar turns up against the strong winds making me feel as if I have super powers, or at least that I have an inner furnace glowing away against the weather. 

Now this is what I call pattern play! You may recall seeing this very outfit before, but by including the coat this time I've added yet another layer of luciousness. 

The harlequin cardi (by Country Casuals) and frilled blouse (by Matthew for JoEd Sophisticates) are both vintage pieces. The cardigan has large shoulder pads creating a great line. Low slung pockets give the perfect slouch appeal. 

My gorgeous tartan boots (M&S) are a no-brainer to go with this bright poster colour knit. Even on the most dull wintery day this outfit defies the blahs. It's an absolute mood enhancing rush of colours and golly it certainly worked miracles on me!

My cowhide animal print handbag injects another bit of fun to the ensemble. The leather backed Paul Costelloe arm candy was a wonderful find in TK Maxx last winter. I almost bought it for my daughter's Christmas, but the longer I looked at it, the more I realised that I would love it more than her. Sasha has got to that stage where she discourages me to buy her any surprise gifts as I may just end up wasting my money. She has her very own sense of style and it's not one that I can necessarily keep track of. Much better to give her a lovely voucher instead. I'm sure I'm not the only mum who has found this a happier outcome all round.

Today's rings are both second hand and the poppy brooch was from the British Legion website a few years ago. I found a similar one on their website here

Today is my last day at work for a whole month, but never fear, I'll be dressing up for my sanity and for the sake of the blog during that time. I've got a fabulous new addition to my winter wardrobe coming up in November - but rest assured, I've not broken my shopping ban to make that happen! And apart from that I plan to don my walking boots and scoop up my walking friends as part of my push for better fitness over the winter months. I'll be following the high tide around the clock throughout November for my daily swims which will be great fun and definitely a great challenge too if these high winds continue! So do please join me again on Monday when I'll show you my last work outfit for October.

                                                                                          Anna x

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