My trip of a lifetime - part one

In case you're not up to speed with my news, I've been off the radar for most of January, away on the most amazing trip of a lifetime. On Friday the 4th January I boarded a Twin Otter plane flying out from St Mary's to Land's End. As I sat next to my dear friend Kate, I chattered on, bubbling with excitement at the prospect of three weeks off the islands. The purpose of my trip was to travel to South Africa, Cape Town to be precise, with the JD Williams production team to attend a photo shoot for the spring fashion campaign. The three weeks covered a visit to Manchester for the wardrobe fitting primarily and then a trip to Scotland to visit my family until we flew out to South Africa. This was yet another #pinchme moment in my life - I could hardly believe my luck that I was one of only five models being flown out for this event (two models from Cape Town joined us on location).

I felt like a kid let out of school. Excitement mixed with disbelief at my luck!

I left the islands behind, flying in to Land's End on a chilly winter morning. My first two nights were spent at Keigwin House in Penzance owned by friends and ex-Tresco residents Stuart and Fran Brint. They're very well suited to this way of life and are warm and welcoming. The premises are clean and comfortable, as well as being ideally placed for a walk along the promenade and the nearby shops. As you know, I'm not averse to a bit of retail therapy and managed to while a couple of hours away in the town before I dropped in to catch up with a friend who has relocated to Cornwall. Penzance is part of a thriving artistic community which was apparent even within the shopping centre. 

This was in a florist's window - isn't is beautiful?

What a great showcase for the creativity of these youngsters.

I don't drive, and we don't have cars on the island where I live, but if I did, then this baby pink motor would be my dream car. Oh, and doesn't it go really well with my coat?

Have food, will travel. The biggest feature of my everyday life is my food. Clean eating, without any additives, preservatives or nasty surprises is not just important, but is vital to my well being. My health story is featured here in case you think I'm just being faddy. Therefore, when I travel I take what I need to eat on the go. Airports and railway stations can't be relied on for my supplies so I always travel with a plan of where I'll be and what I'll need en route. This little cache is for Sunday the 6th when I was leaving Penzance by train to Truro and then out to St Mawgan where I was spending the night near Newquay airport. Lunch, dinner, breakfast and another lunch are all here which means no stress for me as I book into a guest house to find that they don't have the simple fare that I need. By lunchtime next day I'd be crossing London, food to hand for my meal on the hoof.

Penzance railway stations marks the end of the line in Cornwall for most travellers, but for me this was the first of many train journeys over the next three weeks. 

Ensconced on the train and time to try to get a selfie that captures the grinning excitement of the next stage of my journey. So far, I've travelled by jet boat, Twin Otter plane, minibus, train and next it's a taxi to tonight's destination. My flight from Newquay is at 7.25am with a 6am check in time. My evening comprised of dinner, TV movie and an early night. I wish I could say that I slept well, but the excitement had my mind racing the minute my head touched the pillow. At 5am I was up and dressed, waiting for my taxi to the airport.

What a lovely, joyful meeting this was. This is an Instagram friend, Laura Evans aka St Ives Mermaid and this was our first face to face meeting. Laura and I had tried to meet up in St Ives on the previous day, but she was working and I was short of time, so we decided that the fates were against us. Imagine my surprise when she breezed into the airport lounge, wearing a fabulous flower crown and oozing star quality! Oh, that girl is a living wonder. Neither of us had mentioned our forthcoming flights, so it was a brilliant surprise and boy, how we talked! We're very similar, outgoing types, but our back story is also similar too. During the summer months, Laura attends all sorts of water based events, dressed in her mermaid's tail, swimming up to the beaches and harbours in her corner of Cornwall to the absolute delight of children and adults alike. We chatted about our travel plans - she was on her way to Austria to stay with a friend and was looking forward to frolicking in the snow (snerrr as she called it). I followed her photos with delight as she did indeed have great fun in the flurries of white stuff. Laura and I hope to organise a swim together on the islands this summer - I'll keep you informed when that shapes into a definite plan.

Arriving into Gatwick at dawn was the next stage of my journey. But more of that next time ...

Anna x

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