International Women's Day

Yes, today is International Women's Day. I applaud every women who is marching, protesting, promoting, supporting, educating, influencing, empowering and attending an event to celebrate this important day. I also want to say to every single woman, that being a part of this huge sisterhood is a celebration in itself. If you can't take part in a large gathering today, then perhaps like me, you can visit the website here to learn more and find out about everything that's going on globally to mark the occasion and also to find out what you can do to forge a change for the better. If you're posting on instagram today then please add the hashtag #BeBoldForChange.

Some of you may recognise the beach and castle behind me from a previous post. It's Blockhouse Castle and the lovely sweep of beach below is one of my favourite bays to have my morning swim. I'm here on the low tide to showcase my pattern play outfit, and will cross the bay to show you more.

I've featured this jacket a couple of times before and I thought I'd use the colour to start a new story of autumn colours. The jacket is was in the Benetton sale a couple of years ago and is a lovely weighty woollen fabric that holds its shape beautifully. The wide legged trousers are from H&M, again not from the current season, but a bargain in their winter sale for £5. They're made from viscose and have a lovely drape to them, but best of all have pockets. And this beautiful gold and floral leather handbag is on loan from my daughter, although I may have forgotten to tell her that.

I'm wearing an old faithful too, in the shape of this fairisle cardigan (H&M) along with a ruffle blouse that I found in a charity shop. The nutmeg boots (from Office last year) are making another appearance this week, but that's because they seem to work with so many pieces in my winter wardrobe. I've added some matching rings and my string of genuine green pearls as well as my favourite sunglasses by Quay Australia.

In my last post (see here), I portrayed the highly dressed up, elegant version of myself which always has me holding back a giggle as that's not the real me. Today, sitting on this rock I felt an urge to be a tad more boisterous and this playful notion is just brewing here...

Hooray for International Women's Day!

There! I just had to get that out of my system.

These little chaps weren't in the least bit perturbed by my antics.

As I said, this is one of my favourite beaches for an early morning swim. The tide is high, the sun just coming up and I've had a swim across the bay and back before I head off to work.

Anna x


Winter coat

Yes, it suddenly dawned on me that any minute now we're going to be embracing all that is spring and I've yet to show you my new winter coat. My daugther Sasha bought it for my Christmas and it's been a fine addition to my winter wardrobe. This slim fitting leopard print coat comes from Tesco of all places and was in the sale for about £15 I think. I pointed it out to her when we were shopping together et voila, there it was on Christmas day!

I've worn the coat today with these fabulous orange satin disco pants from the Conscious Collection at H&M from quite a few years ago adding this mohair sweater by Diesel which I've also had for years. It's got a tiny bit of itch to it, so I always pop a vest top underneath to make it more comfortable. The ginger and spice colours of the look were just calling out for my nutmeg suede boots from Office and I finished it all off with my heavy gauge gold necklace (another gift from Sasha) along with some old rings. Oh, and let's not forget my old faithfuls - sunglasses by Quay Australia.

The winter has evoporated once again and I'm aware that our season on the island is just beginning again. I'm pleased that I've managed to get out and about in between the winter storms to capture some new backdrops for you. This setting is in the woodlands just above the church, looking out across Old Grimsby and onwards to Men-a-Vaur rock. One of my blogging friends, Julia from When the girls rule blog (see here) has asked to see more of the island - well this little corner is mainly populated by holiday cottages, but also is where the church, community centre and primary school are all located. My son, Jamie lives in a tiny bungalow at Old Grimsby where a lot of the young members of staff are housed in flats and staff accomodation. Our winter population is about 150, but that almost doubles in the summer when the seasonal workers arrive. With no shopping malls, night clubs, fast food joints or other temptations, the island is the perfect location to work for a summer and save up. Some, like me, come for a summer and fall in love, not just with island life, but with an islander, and never leave.

When I arrived on the islands (in 1978) Round Island Lighthouse was permanantly manned but is now operated remotely. On a stormy day the waves crash onto the rocks below and can break over the buildings on the island, sometimes obliterating the lighthouse completely. The sight can be exhilirating and is a great reminder of how tiny and insignificant we are at the hands of nature.

Linking with -
Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb

Anna x


Velvet + embroidery = my perfect jacket

This gorgeous jacket was a Christmas present from my husband, albeit with a bit of guidance from me. I love embroidery on most things and on this velvet jacket it's a great addition. I have lots of bomber jackets, each different, but all so useful as that extra layer at work for when it's a bit chilly.

I bought this nude pleated skirt in Tesco in December, but have been waiting to find the right pieces to style it up. I also had another (Christmas jacket) in burgundy that would work just as well, so may redo this another time. The blouse was from Topshop (sold out but this is pretty), the vest is from River Island (charity shopped), and the jacket is by Glamorous from ASOS (it's in the sale here). The shoes are from my favourite supplier of brogues, Office, but currently they have nothing similar. And last, but by no means least are my silver glitter socks by ASOS.

I'll apologise in advance if these links don't work. I seem to be having a technology blip at the moment. Instagram decided not to work for the day on Tuesday. Then yesterday my camera went all huffy on me when I was out and about, supposedly to take some shots of the island. The blog links have been a challenge for the past week, meaning I've fought shy of posting a blog in case it keeps happening. Fingers crossed it'll be OK!

News on my staycation is that I'm having a lovely time, thank you. I've just ordered a new filing cabinet to set to with the dreaded task of sorting out my paperwork; filing, shredding and dealing with all the collected clutter along the way. Next week will herald the start of the big clothes cull. I'm going to group into jumble, which will go to the clothes bank on the islands, eBay for anything that's worth selling, and finally the keep pieces which will be checked for any mending or dry cleaning needed. 

Running parallel to all of the bigger jobs are the daily swimming, shopping, tidying etc as well as batch cooking for the freezer so that I don't have to cook at the end of the working day. Yesterday I also went to yoga and had a walk around the beaches as I tried to find the perfect spot for my swim - we've had some wild weather recently, and that means big ground seas leave the beaches awash with huge reams of seaweed (yuk) and also there is a big run of tide that sucks in and out of the beaches, sometimes a 15 foot drag that feels quite threatening when you get caught up in it. 

I've just read Leap In by Alexandra Heminsley which has been very inspirational. The story of her determination to crack open water swimming resonated with me, and best of all she shares so much of what she learnt. Alex traded up her strong breast stroke for a hard-earned front crawl which took her out into the sea as well as tackling river swimming and finally a crossing from Kefalonia to Ithaca. Inspired by Alex I too want to trade my strong breast stroke for the less labour intensive front crawl. My daily efforts at this streamline stroke are handicapped by a poor breathing technique which impacts on the smooth glide and rhythm. All of this is covered in the book and fills me with excitement that I too, may conquer this challenge. The book is a great read, not just for those who swim or want to, but it's more about her dogged determination that shows her true spirit. 

Anna x


Friday fun

Yay, it's Friday! And this was a rather lovely Friday with Polly as the autumn sun shone down on us. We had nothing in particular to laugh about, apart from the fact that I always speak and she always tried to shut me up - very good of her too, as my speaking face is not in the least photogenic! My dear assistant and brilliant photographer extraordinaire is currently packing for her trip to New Zealand, an event that is pretty much a bolt out of the blue for her. Within the space of a week, she's had an invite to join a friend on the South Island, has been to the travel agents, booked her flights, and is now frantically shopping, flapping and packing, ready for the off on Tuesday. I hope to goodness she comes back!

The brand new geometric print swing dress is from H&M (sim) but was a find from one of my favourite charity shops in Truro. Across the road and round the corner in TK Maxx was where I came across the fabulous stud encrusted jacket by Michael Kors (this one is equally fabulous). It weighs a ton, well maybe not a ton exactly, but you get what I mean. It was so heavy in fact, that I had to post it home to myself. It was February and I was on my way to London, en route to our cruise, and couldn't take it with me as I didn't have enough luggage allowance left to pack it. My leopard print brothel creepers from Office are a bit bashed up after a year of wear and tear, but I still love 'em. The brass bangle is by Almost Perfect, rings are old, and sunglasses are by Quay Australia.

Have a wonderful trip Polly!
Anna x


#Ping Pong Post no 9

Welcome again to our monthly style challenge where an item of clothing traverses the globe between my friends Samantha of Fake Fabulous who lives in Scotland and Ann of Kremb de la Kremb, a resident of Hong Kong. It's been nine months since we started Ping Pong Post and you can see how it all began back in March see here. This month it was the turn of Samantha to proffer up something - her pink dotty jacket was a fabulous challenge - let's see if we'd be foiled or if we'd flourish shall we?

The inclement weather didn't dampen Samantha's enthusiasm for her weekend spin on the pink jacket. Samantha's Scottish home is prey to chill winds and more rain than it deserves, but she works around this with a cosy pashmina and clever layering featuring shades of cream, navy and burgundy reflected in bag, boots and over shirt. I love the rosy pink glow created by her brolly which enhances her lovely, healthy complexion. Samantha is growing out her signature pixie cut in favour of a longer, shaggy style which suits her pretty features so well. Follow Samantha on Instagram here.

Shirt: Second Female
Poloneck: M&S
Jeans: Topshop
Shoes: Mini Boden
Bag: Charity shop
Ring: My daughters!

Ann too, has changed her hairstyle this month and is looking equally cute with this swept back look. She's added polka dots and snakeskin print to a black and white palette to showcase the pink jacket. The simple mini skirt paired with fantastic Stella McCartney patent, platform shoes almost steal the show were it not for those beautifully tanned legs of Ann's - the result of a recent beach holiday methinks! Metallic nailpolish and toning jewellery are her finishing touches. Follow Ann on Instagram here.

Shirt is Target
Top, Sams
The tie is Zara as is the snake bag--but from the girls department.
The suede mini is Forever 21
The shoes are Stella McCartney
Oh, the strings are from my buddy Ben from a market here in Hong Kong.
And the hair tie I found in a random jewellery shop in Kowloon. 

I must admit I thought the jacket was a fantastic offering this month. The fit was great, it had a little bit of stretch and the colour was a the ideal springboard for creativity. My initial thought was to add some jeans as I'm aware I don't dress down very often for the blog. I pulled out a couple of pairs, one black drainpipe and the other a dark blue cropped. Hmmm, not sure. The pink frothy blouse nearly leapt out of the wardrobe next and that really helped move things along. I remembered seeing these studded leggings of Sasha's when I was rooting around in a drawer the other week. Once I'd recovered them, the boots were a no brainer. The finishing touches of this tartan clutch and the belt were both trophies from my last charity shopping episode in September see here. Lots of silver jewellery was my final nod towards this rock chick look - at my age? - YES!

Thanks to Samantha and Ann for the Pink Pong Party this month (Ann's take on this) - it was great fun. Next month we'll be showing a bit of razzle dazzle thanks to Ann, right on the cusp of Christmas. Hope you'll find a moment to swing by for a look.

Jacket: Sam's
Trousers: borrowed from my daughter
Blouse: charity shop
Clutch: Ness 
Necklace and rings: charity shop
Watch: Michael Kors

Linking with
Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb
Cherie of Style Nudge

                                                   Anna x

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