When okay just isn't good enough

This is far from my best post, but I thought for the sake of honesty and realism I ought to share it with you anyway. Sometimes my outfits just hit middle ground or middling to okay, but even this wasn't quite good enough in my eyes.

Today I really ought to have shown a bit more patience and this shoot perhaps would have turned out better. I wanted to take some photos of this new dress and decided to do a tour of the island to find a good backdrop. The wind had shifted, leading me to this sheltered spot at the Ruin Beach Cafe which is closed for the winter. 

But really the problem started even before I left home. I was guilty of trying to fit too much into my Sunday off; I wanted to have an afternoon swim too. In the rush I didn't really do a good job to the styling of this dress and ought to have spent more time trying other options of tights, jacket and shoes.

Even now, when I look at this I know the tights are wrong (black or brown would have been better) and I wonder if my long velvet trench might have been an improvement too. And boots, why didn't I try on some boots? But no, I charged about grabbing the first thing that came to hand!

On top of the photo shoot and the swim, I was also cooking a family meal for this evening to celebrate my daughter's 29th birthday so I had quite a lot on my plate. But this is just typical of me; I'm greedy for life, always wanting to do as much as I can.

The beach I normally go to (Appletree Bay) is having some repairs done to the nearby wall, meaning I have to consider tides and winds every day as I try to find another place to swim. The stormy weather we've been having has brought reams and reams of seaweed onto our shores and I really don't like sharing my swim with all the maggots and flies it harbours. So all in all, it's quite a palaver - just to get a swim.

I have a green corset belt that may improve the outline of the dress enormously. It looks pretty shapeless, although that may just be the style. I bought this in the Zara sale and when I tried it on, I absolutely loved it. Seeing it now, I think I'll have to work a bit harder for the next time I wear it.

Can you see the shirred waistline? I think that corset belt would be ideal. Next time eh? I also have brown knee high vintage boots that could work too... 
Outfit details read like this, dress: Zara, jacket: Next, shoes: from Portugal, tights: old, necklace: Sasha's, camisole: Primark, rings: old, sunglasses: Quay Australia.

Anyway, now that I've got all that moaning done, I have to tell you that within half an hour I was back here, swimming on this very beach. The wind direction was perfect and there was hardly any seaweed and what there was, was high and dry at the top of the beach. 

As I stood on the water's edge rinsing my goggles preparing to get in, I could see a man strolling down the quay, and I could almost hear his disbelief at the sight of me in my cossie - he, all wrapped up in winter coat, scarf and hat. His pace slowed as he kept turning towards me to see if I dared... Yes, clearly the local madwoman!

This was a little family returning to St Martin's with a tiny child wedged between mum and dad. It was such a lovely day to be out on the water having an island adventure - very Swallows and Amazons, eh?

Appletree Bay - the road and footpath as well as the supporting wall were all washed away as a result of storm Eleanor. Luckily we had no other damage to the fabric of the island nor was anyone hurt, so I suppose you could say we got off lightly compared to some places in Europe.

Those of you who know the island will understand the impact this has on our beach. The upper wall has been undermined too. However, the good news is that work is already being done and hopefully will be all put to rights in time for our season opening in March.

I forgot to mention that there's a webcam located above the decking where I did my shoot today. I've no idea if anyone was watching as I got out of the sea, but I gave a wave just in case my friend Angela was checking the view, as I know she often does. Hello!!! And didn't I look pink?

Anna x


Throwback to summer

It may be January outside, but in blogland it can be any month I choose and today I pick 6 months ago when the sun shone and we were revelling in the glory of summer. My daughter Sasha had come home for a long weekend and we had lunch out, followed by a walk to the Abbey Garden. 

This view from the Ruin Beach Cafe is one of my favourites on the whole island. When I first arrived here (some 38 years ago) for a summer season, I worked at the Island Hotel which was situated just behind this building. I was employed as a chambermaid in those days, and spent far too much time gawping at the views from every bedroom window - I truly thought I'd died and gone to heaven! The jetty to the right is where I met the young royals last autumn see here. Beyond that is a tiny row of cottages where my husband grew up and on the top of the hill is The Old Blockhouse castle - read about its history here. The view across the bay takes in St Martin's on the left and beckoning in the distance directly ahead are the Eastern Isles, an outcrop of uninhabited islands that are the perfect escape for for a day out with a picnic and swimsuit.

Sasha loves coming home to wind down and let the island work its magic. 

A day off work in the summertime means chilling in something comfortable which these casual trousers certainly are. I found them in a charity shop in New Zealand a couple of years ago. The handbag is also from New Zealand, a gift from my friend Suzie who used to live here but has moved to that much larger (South) island now. The sandals are old, the tee shirt was from a charity shop last summer and the sunglasses are by Quay Australia. My jewellery is an assortment of gifts and thrifted pieces and my rose gold Darci watch is by Michael Kors.

The Abbey Garden draws thousands of visitors to the island every year and this small montage gives you a taster of what's on offer. Gardener Emma is in charge of all of the floral displays within the Abbey itself. I love this photo. It shows not just the idyllic surroundings, but captures a natural, joyful moment in time. For more details about my island home, holiday offers and where to stay click here

Anna x

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