Fighting the good fight

Welcome to Friday's feature!

Hello again and how are you? Today's title refers to my winter battle with S. A. D. and how I've been using colourful clothes to lift my mood. The grey days have been a battle that's for sure, so I brought out this bright pink trench again the other day to help cheer me up. It's not exactly warm and woolly, in fact I was a bit chilly for most of the day and more than once I remembered my late mother-in-laws comment when she used to chide me when I complained that I was cold. " You need to wear wool!" is what she always said and how very right she is. The next day I donned a huge woolly pullover and felt mighty cosy.

Anyway, here I am suffering for my art as they say wearing this pre-loved pink and checkered trench coat that cost me all of £4 a couple of years ago. Cost per wear must have dropped down to pennies by now. 

Pink with black and white is both a cheerful and smart combination in my eyes. It was a chance to showcase this black all in one by Spense that I've had for ages too. I have mixed feelings about it, as sometimes I feel okay in it and others it makes me feel rather chunky. The cropped and wide legs could have something to do with that perhaps? I bought it in TK Maxx last summer but haven't worn it a lot. Like many of us, I'm still carrying a few post-festive pounds and did wonder if this was a wise choice of outfit accordingly. 

As this was an out and about day of practical chores (moving paintings to and from cottages) I opted for these comfy and practical boots by Marco Tozzi. They're well worn by now as I've found them so useful over the winter months. They add a funky edge to this or any outfit (see another styling here.) The white ribbed polo neck sweater is from Primark and my beloved sunglasses are by Quay Australia.

My favourite bag of the moment is this leather and leopard print delight by Paul Costelloe, my Christmas present from Steve. As we all know, leopard print is to be treated as a neutral shade and therefore goes with anything. The pink leather gloves are all the cuter for those teeny buttons don't you think? I found those while charity shopping in London.

My thanks to Lora for being not only the photographer of the day, but a great assistant to me over the winter months. We have ploughed through a huge workload together and she has indeed been a cheerful addition to my daily life. Working alone during the winter months over these past years has perhaps played a bigger part in my S.A.D. situation than I realised. I'm a big believer in working and hard and playing hard as is Lora and we've made a pretty dynamic duo I can assure you!

                                                                                            Anna x


My antidote to the midweek blahs - colour therapy and beach walks

Hello again! Today sees me walking the walk as far as colour therapy goes. I bought this pink trench a couple of years ago (pre-loved from Topshop) and after the initial flurry of excitement, I put it away in the wardrobe in my daughter's bedroom and promptly forgot it. How easily done that is. Anyway, I found it again the other day and introduced it to my matching pink sock boots and oh my, didn't they get along well!

My much loved Lee jeans and a simple black sweater (Primark) are all that's needed for this pared down look. 

The perspex rings are all charity shopped, the pink perspex and silver bangle was a gift, the tree of life pendant came from a small boutique in Truro and the black leather belt is from H&M.

Jamie gave me the sock boots (from H&M) for my Christmas last year. He's raised the bar quite high - what on earth will he manage to conjure up this year I wonder?

Another part of my mood-lifting therapy is to get out for more walks this winter. The next day I did a small circuit of Old Grimsby and took some shots to share with you.

The frothy sea is being washed in from the big rollers at the North End of the island.

I'd forgotten how therapeutic it can be out get out, away from the chores and do-to lists. I was absorbed by nature; the crashing waves and rhythm of the sea. I walked the beaches and didn't meet a soul. The island is in winter mode and is as beautiful as ever.

                                                                                            Anna x


Happy Mother's Day!

Hello and Happy Mother's Day to all of you lovely mums out there. Are you having a great day? Jamie and Sasha treated the family to lunch at the Ruin beach Cafe today, and how fortunate we were with the lovely spring weather. We sat outside in the sun and congratulated ourselves on our luck. I suppose I ought to have done that whole raft of images to show you what we ate, but we were far too hungry to shilly-shally about with that nonsense! Suffice to say, it was delicious and very filling - so filling in fact that one of us had to take the remains of theirs home in a doggie-bag.

The cafe sits on the beach at Old Grimsby affording a beautiful view across the bay to the Old Blockhouse and on towards the Eastern Isles in the distance. I love coming to this side of the island - it's my favourite spot, reminding me of when I used to work at the Island Hotel which was located in these grounds. I could never have imagined that 41 years on I would be standing here with my very own family, happily ensconced on this beautiful island.

The vista from our table shows the spit of sand called Blockhouse Point which always looks so inviting - it's the stuff of daydreams for me. In fact, that's exactly what I used to do when I was meant to be dusting in room 2, I would actually be hypnotised by this view, thinking how wonderful it would be to live here. 

After lunch Sasha and I took a detour home via this field of oxalis flowers, far too pretty to be classed as a weed surely? Anyway, they made the perfect backdrop for our photo shoot.

My kitten heels kept sinking into the soft soil.

I built the whole outfit around this fabulous tee shirt (new, from Primark) which will be my go-to top for the summer. I already wish that I bought a couple of these as I worry that the colour will fade. Hand washing may well preserve the dye so that's what I'll do. 

You'll probably remember the pink (pre-loved) Topshop trench from here. After my recent abstinence from bright colours I have reverted to my default setting of colour, colour and more colour for my Mother's Day celebrations. I feel so much more me when I'm swamped in brights. This is the third outing for the coat bringing down the cost per wear to under £1.50 already. 

The trousers are new from Boden (still some left in the sale here), the result of a severe longing I've had for a pink suit. The matching jacket was sold out, but this trench pretty much fits the bill. I'll confess now that I am in the midst of a trouser suit moment - so you have been warned! The blog will be awash with suits very soon in all sorts of colours and patterns, some second hand, some new, all of them filling me with excitement and utter joy at the prospect of a suited summer ahead.

The white kitten heel boots were from New Look, in the sale for £7.

Just rings to finish the look. Pink one was a gift from my friend Maggie, silver and gold one by Emily Nixon.

My pink handbag was new from a charity shop last year/year before? Oh dear, time is whizzing by so fast!

My Quay Australia sunglasses add the final flourish to this springtime outfit. 

I know my homage to neutrals may have been short-lived, but I will make another stab at these sombre shades again, I promise. The addition of the JD Williams snakeskin jacket has already given me some new ideas along those lines, so do please bear with me if that's more your thing. In the meantime, I hope that you're enjoying a bit of a lazy day and that someone is out in the kitchen getting the evening meal together while you put your feet up. Hope your Mother's Day has been as lovely as mine. I have a new magazine waiting for me amidst a pile of cushions on the sofa. Steve, what's for tea?

                                                                                           Anna x


Ready for spring!

I don't know about you, but I'm more than ready for spring. The weather today was totally rubbish for my photo shoot meaning that I had to have another indoor session in the kitchen instead. At least a bit of Zoe Ball on radio 2 gave me plenty to bop about to. I'm sure we mums do our best dancing in the kitchen, don't we?

I came back from my little mainland jaunt yesterday and have had a lovely time away. The weekend was a mix of business (meeting up with my framer) and pleasure (meeting an artist friend for lunch) as well as a tad of retail therapy. Add to that a chance to see the extravaganza aka Bohemian Rhapsody and it was a pretty perfect mini-break. These fabulous orange trousers were a last minute find in Primark (£13) as I was beetling through on my way to the homewares department. I ended up buying five pairs of trousers in all plus two blouses. I'll photograph them soon to show you. I also did a small shop at TK Maxx and found a few bargains in my favourite charity shops.

The paper bag trouser trend is very evident in the shops at the moment which is great for me as I love this style. High waisted trousers suit my shape and help to elongate the leg too. Shoot me for giving in to fast fashion once in a while, but I know that these won't be turfed out of my wardrobe at the end of the season. I might buy into a trend, but if it's something that suits me then I'll be wearing it long after the mood has changed. And orange, for goodness sake - you know you'll see these again and again as I reach for my very own dose of sunshine!

I love the clean lines of the trouser with not a pocket in sight to spoil the sleek look. I wouldn't have been upset to find a pocket or two, but can see how they benefit from this simple cut.

This outfit has super-charged my smile.

My only jewellery is a couple of pre-loved rings in zingy citrus shades.

My tee shirt is by RED or DEAD and was part of a fun raising event at a charity shop last year. I'm pleased to raise awareness through fashion and help to add money to the coffers too.

Last night was the first episode of the second series of The Great British Bake Off for Stand Up 2 Cancer and I, like the majority of the UK viewing population, was glued to my telly for the duration. I won't spoil it for you, but suffice to say that Russell Brand brought his own brand of humour to the show stopper challenge of 3 D biscuits! Follow the link above to catch up on the fun.

Bubblegum pink and bright orange seemed like the best way to welcome spring into my working week, but that was before I'd seen the grey old weather waiting outside. Too late! I was sold on this for my post today and it did give me a great lift as I danced and posed my way around the kitchen. The trench coat was a crazy charity shop bargain (£4) from last year despite being from Topshop. Jamie bought me the sockboots for my Christmas from H&M and golly aren't they just dreamy together?

At the end of the day I had to visit one of the holiday properties (Barn Flat) to check on some artworks. The weather had been that typical mix of spring weather of sunshine and showers, improving towards late afternoon. I was happy to have the excuse to get out and stretch my legs as well as take in this fabulous view. 

Thanks for dropping by, and please do leave me a comment if you've enjoyed today's post!

                                                                                   Anna x

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