An evening swim from New Grimsby to Samson

Hello and how are you doing? Have you been enjoying this brilliant sunny weather? The Isles of Scilly are looking resplendent under the brilliant summer sunshine at the moment. I'm including this map today to show you a wee swim I undertook last evening after work. The view from my office at New Grimsby looks directly down the channel towards Samson which is one of my favourite desert islands. Steve and I often take our boat there after work, he to sit on the beach and have a beer and me to swim off the beautiful white corner of sand where all the boats land and depart from. By the end of the day all the tripper boats have gone, taking the visitors back to their island of choice leaving Samson deserted once again. This is our time.

I'd spent most of day yesterday, staring into the distance, longing to be basking in the sunshine on Samson beach (see it in the centre of the photo - that slip of white sand on the island ahead), but work kept dragging me back to reality. We were almost at the close of business when I finally shared my idea with Polly - I wanted to swim to Samson. It's not far, maybe about a mile and half at the most, but that's far enough when I haven't done any open water swimming for a while. My shoreline swimming is a daily routine, but swimming along the beaches doesn't necessarily stretch me out of my comfort zone. 

I messaged Steve with the idea of a beer on Samson at the end of the day and he said yes, then I added that I was going to swim there. Fine was his response. At home I flurried about finding my wetsuit that hadn't seen the light of day for about two years. Earplugs was the next problem, as I'd dropped one of those into the sea the previous evening. A quick scrabble around in my swimming drawer and found my back up pair along with a new pair of goggles in case I needed them.

I squeezed into my wetsuit (heck, I was a bit slimmer last time I wore this!), slipped on my wetsuit boots and followed Steve down to the shore below our house. My heart was racing, panic sending adrenalin to surge through my system at the prospect of this long swim. Not just a long swim, but more the prospect of crossing the open water akin to crossing a busy road on the mainland. Not something you would do without due care and attention. The idea of Steve coming alongside me in this boat offers protection from any traffic. As it was, we encountered a couple of jet boats which tore past at speed leaving me bobbing about in their wash. 

Leaving the shoreline behind meant leaving the warmer eddies of water that linger across the sun-warmed sand and as I crossed the open water I felt the chill of the Atlantic sea. I thought about Ross Edgely as I was in the deeper water and the thing that came to mind was that he always had a song buzzing around his head by way of distraction from the long swim ahead. What came to mind for me was the little ditty of "Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream ..." and that helped to take my mind off the icy water coursing across the back of my neck. The slow beat of the song was the same rhythm as my rolling stroke and did indeed act as a fine accompaniment to the final push towards Samson.  

Steve had a great view from his vantage point.

Nearly there ...

Yay, I made it!

Anna x


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


YAY! My three years of blogging.

Thanks for joining me today as I celebrate three years of blogging. It's been great, made all the more special by your participation, be it with your comments, emails or silent readership - it's all been very welcome, so thank-you!

What finer place is there for me to spend my anniversary than on one of my favourite beaches here on Samson. Everyone loves to get away from it all and this is where Steve and I like to chill.

To be perfectly honest, I wasn't really sure if I'd make it to three years. Blogging is a funny old game, quite lonely at times as you sit facing the screen, wondering what to write that might keep your audience engaged. Sometimes the words flow, especially if there's been something exciting to share, but at other times I really do feel I'm scraping the bottom of the creative barrel.

At those times, I think of my dear friend Carole who lives in Oxford and who used to holiday here on the island for many years. We became friends during that time and still are now. When I get stuck with what to say I think of her and how pleased she is to still have contact with me through the blog; seeing my swimming antics, my colourful outfits and of course, the beautiful island I live on. So this one is for you Carole. As you no doubt know, I've just returned from a dental appointment on the mainland and have had no time to put together a fancy shmansy anniversary post, but I do know you'll be delighted to see this glorious backdrop and the happy memories it evokes of your and Nick's time spent here.

Carole used to holiday with her best friend Teddy and therefore I can't mention one without the other. Teddy laughs that her job entails her wearing scrubs all day and yet how coming home to see the latest from Tresco's fashion scene has her captivated. Not one for dressing up, Teddy still loves to share in the often over the top, flamboyant ensembles that I wear. I think maybe that could be one of the strengths of my blog - we all need a bit of a escapism. 

And if I'm doing name checks today, then I must mention Angela, another long term friend who visits and keeps abreast of things thanks to the blog. Her entire year is a countdown to the next trip for her week's timeshare. These islands have a lure, a heartfelt attraction that keeps her and those like her in this state of addiction. Worry ye not Angela, all is well here and I'm looking forward to seeing you in September!

The outfit seems to have become a secondary feature today - the top was from New Look last summer and the skirt is another ancient piece that has no label to ID it. 

More and more I see the blog as an avenue to build relationships, and all because of my wish to share this island life. Sometimes my life is too hectic and draws me away from the blog, but the way I look at it, is that I'll have something more to talk about when I return. And talking of returning, I have returned from Truro with some new clothes which I'll share with you in due course. Primark came up trumps with a rather fab pair of striped culottes for the summer in a nautical theme. And yes, I did a quick scour of my favourite charity shops too resulting in some fabulous bargains. Be patient my lovelies - you'll see these all soon.

In the meantime, I'll be found (in reality, not on the blog) at our local "Fun Day" on Sunday where I'll be hosting the Cheap Chic stall as I recycle lots of my clothes as well as those from many others on the island. And on Monday it'll be time for the monthly challenge from the Style Not Age collective. I've still to get my offering photographed, so on that note I must leave you.

Thanks again to everyone who reads this and for making my three years of blogging worthwhile.

Anna x


Paradise and a U turn

Today I was whisked off to paradise by my doting husband. We took a couple of hours off work and tootled off in our little boat to Samson, one of the uninhabited islands that make up the archipelago of the Isles of Scilly. Summer has been skirting round us for some time now, interspersed with gales and fog, but by late afternoon we truly felt like it had arrived. 

That's our boat on the left and the yacht in the centre was conveniently moored up in front of us just to add an exotic touch to our view. This shot was after our picnic tea. Steve had indeed sung for his supper by first of all taking some shots for the blog. So without further ado, here's what we achieved.

We spent a leisurely few hours catching up, discussing local news and generally making time for each other. It was good to step out of our normal routine and take a moment to enjoy the life we have here on these beautiful islands. We never take our lives for granted, but we know that we don't get out and about as much as we ought to. So this summer hopefully you'll see more of our picnics and boat trips too.

My own news included the fact that I've been approached to feature some jewellery on my blog. If you're a regular reader you'll know that I've been unwilling to go the way of sponsored posts and collaborations in the past. Well, it seems I'm about to make a U turn. As I'm heading towards my 60th birthday I've come to the conclusion that I can in fact change my mind without loosing my job as blogger extraordinaire! I have to be realistic about my blogging life span and would hate to get to the end of the road and regret not making the most of the opportunities that come along. I'm aware that I'm crossing a line in the sand and that some readers and fellow bloggers may not approve, but this is something that I feel happy about and the time feels right too. I'm sorry if I lose respect or readers as a consequence, but Steve and I chatted today and this really isn't such a big deal in the grand scheme of things is it? I'll still be choosing what I feature and how, so things ought not to look much different.

And finally apologies to those of you who were expecting to see the third episode of my black trouser challenge. It'll be along very soon, I promise!

And suddenly it's midnight and time for me to get off to bed. Thanks for joining me and I do hope you'll keep coming back in the future.

PS Everything I'm wearing today is charity shopped, and I love it all!
Anna x

Created by bo design