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


It's my birthday!

Yes, today is my birthday. January is not the best of months to have a birthday, but hey, what can you do? I'm at work today, but as a nod to my birthday I decided on Sunday to have a walk to one of the local beaches, taking some time to enjoy the sunshine while I reflected on being a year older.

But before we go any further, I want to apologise to my regular readers for my sporadic posts of late. The irony of my position has been lack of inspiration - this from the woman who professes to having a desire to inspire others - very funny, I know! Yes, I may have lots of clothes to choose from, but good daylight for photo opportunities during the winter does really become a challenge for me over time. I was given a very useful bit of advice when I first started blogging, and that was to be consistent with my content. I've had to make a choice between regular posts of a mediocre standard or decent posts as and when they occur. I hope you understand and that this decision will keep you coming back.

Unbeknownst to me, I had lost the stone from my ring somewhere between leaving home and getting to the beach. It was only when I came to edit the photos that I noticed. It's only a costume piece, so of no monetary value, but it was a lovely sparkly blue stone that matched my jeans perfectly. Ho hum!

This is Toby who belongs to some friends of mine. He had been enjoying the sea, but was well behaved enough to sit nicely for his photo shoot.

And talking of the sea, this was how I started my day on Sunday (and every other day of the year).

The swim had been one of the coldest of the year so far. My skin was ruddy in response to the temperature, matching the pink and lilac hues of the clouds behind, which were bathed in the rosy glow of the rising sun. This truly is the best time of the day for me. The swim gives me with a wonderful rush of endorphins which set me up for the day ahead. 

Turning 59 feels like a dress rehearsal for 60, and that's not really as big a deal as I thought it might be. I know I'm not there yet, but I was delighted to hear on radio 4 that Barack Obama, at 55, is a young and vital man with so much to give. Heck, this moving of the goalposts has come in the nick of time for me! Instead of having to write a woe is me piece I can rejoice that I too, am still young. Have you noticed that there's a lot of this going on for my generation? 50 is the new 40, and now 55 is young! I'm feeling a bit like Benjamin Button.

But seriously, I have to admit that I'm very happy with my lot and know I have a great deal to be grateful for. I'm lucky to be in a strong marriage where we are equal partners and have different interests to bring into the mix. Lucky too, that my son lives here on the island and that my daughter visits often - my family means everything to me. I'm so lucky to work in a job that I enjoy which leads me to meet and work with so many interesting and talented people. I'm incredibly fortunate to live here on this tiny island where life is lived at a slow pace in the most beautiful of surroundings.

I'm grateful too, for good health, but that hasn't always been the case. Click here to read about the battle to find my own pathway to healthy eating and consequently a healthy body. And click here to read about sea swimming because without it I don't think I'd have the healthy immune system I benefit from now. 

And finally, the icing on the cake has to be my blog. Much as it's been a bit wobbly of late, I do love having an opportunity to share my outfits of the day with you. It's opened up an avenue for making new friendships and consolidating old ones. Blogging brings to mind one of my favourite quotes from Oscar Wilde. He said,  "Be yourself, everyone else is taken." That little prompt allows me the freedom to be me, without fear of judgement. That's not to say that some may, and probably do, judge me, but I have no time to waste worrying about that. And that brings me nicely onto the subject of time. I'm aware that you may like to have a routine of days to tune in for the next feature, and I understand that. I'm sure once Polly is back on board I'll become more reliable, but in the meantime, may I ask that you hang on in there. I can only promise to give you my best, and if it's not forthcoming, then you may have to wait a little longer. Likewise if you're one of my fellow bloggers, then do take this as an apology to you too. I've struggled to visit all of my favourite blogs in the dark months, but do hope to catch up with you all as I emerge from the winter blues.

And as it's my birthday, I have a request. One of my favourite features on the blog is "As suggested by..."  (last seen here) and I ask that you would consider sending me your ideas. Take a look through my posts over the months and let me know if there's something you'd like to see again. Pop them in an email if you don't want to publish a comment, but please do let me have some feedback - otherwise it's a bit like a one handed applause. 

Outfit details - gold sweater: H&M (purloined from my daughter), jeans: charity shopped, boots: ASOS, shirt: H&M, bag: charity shopped, sunglasses: Quay Australia, rings: charity shopped.

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

I'll finish with some of the views that give me daily pleasure in my life on the Isles of Scilly.

Thanks for joining me!
Anna x


The travelling yellow skirt arrives on the Isles of Scilly!

I'd like to have a backing track to this post but the one I'd choose is not very hip. I'll reveal it later, but have to first of all introduce you to definitely the coolest blogger I've ever come across, Melanie of Bag and a Beret (yes, you're right you probably did hear a drum roll, with cymbals too). Melanie is an extraordinary woman who is ridiculously beautiful, witty, cool (have I mentioned that already?), articulate, kind, generous and a very talented artist to boot. I'm one of the many women who will happily confess to having a bit of a girl crush on this fabulous, fearless creature. Melanie is the owner of the aforementioned Travelling Yellow skirt - the full story about this item can be read here. The skirt arrived with me last week. I opened the door to find a small brown cardboard box on the mat, with a customs label on the front, declaring the contents to be "Yellow Skirt". My heart did skip a beat. I've been waiting a while for it's arrival and finally it was here. The skirt, I must say, is not an it, but a she. She travels the world, sprinkling her magic wherever she goes. I marvelled at the colourful additions, the countries, names, dates and heart-warming messages of love embodied in the garment. How amazing that I was able to take part in this too. 

And so to set the scene. It was Sunday afternoon and I had spent the morning at church, helping out with hymn books, collection and the like. The service had been accompanied by a violinist who was on holiday here and added greatly to the proceedings. His playing was a worthy substitute for our normal prerecorded music, in particular the rendition of "The Lord of the dance" which he played beautifully as the congregation assembled. It brought back happy memories of school days when we all sang it in assembly. After the service, I gathered together a picnic, blanket and all the necessary paraphenalia including the Yellow Skirt, and then Steve rowed us out to our little motor boat moored in the bay outside our house. The day was glorious, so much so that there had been a veritable exodus of small craft leaving their moorings all with the same idea as us; to find an uninhabited island as the perfect getaway on this scorching summer's day. The Eastern Isles had been my first choice when imagining the Yellow Skirt whooshing across virgin white sands on a deserted island. Not a chance, my husband had told me. Too many locals, too many visitors, all with the same idea, was his view on this. And he was right, as we motored around the North End of the island we could see the small boats all bobbing about on the horizon near the cluster of these tiny idyllic islands. So plan B it was then. Northwethel is a teeny, tiny island with not so much in the way of stretching white sands, but what I wanted was for us to be marooned, alone with the Yellow Skirt as our guest. 

We dropped anchor, and made our way to the shore of our desert island. We ate a lazy lunch, some of us maybe had a beer or two, and we watched the boats buzzing about in the distance. As the sun cooled down, Steve was ready to don his photographers hat. The Yellow Skirt and I got our act together and so the magic of the Travelling Yellow Skirt began. On hitting the sand my soundtrack began. Yes, "Lord of the Dance" was still ringing in my ears and to that lively beat I sang, skipped and danced my way across the white sands of our uninhabited island paradise giving our guest an afternoon to remember. She whooshed, she swished, she tripped up and over rocks in the most joyful of manner. 

And then we rested. The day was still hot, the tide beginning to ebb. Steve took the last few shots - my dear friend Sacramento's pink crochet flower below my knees and my own little offering by my feet. And then we set off for home. 

It had been a pretty perfect day. We had captured something special, something of the magic of Scilly combined with the magic of this travelling token of friendship. I shall never forget singing, dancing and skipping across the sand with the Travelling Yellow Skirt.

But wait! I have a couple of postscripts. The first is about another friendship that was recently cemented and it too involved the Yellow Skirt. My blogging friend Kezzie (read her wonderful blog here) was on the island recently and we too had a joyful moment shared for you to see. In fact the entire day was pretty much a string of joyful moments which I'm still editing for you to read. Kezzie's mother, Ros, was promoted to the postion of blog photographer and rose to the challenge very well, don't you think?

I'll be featuring our day together in a future post, coming soon so please join me for that.

And finally, I longed to showcase the Yellow Skirt on a long sweep of deserted beach, so we headed off a few days later and captured these last few shots to round off what has been a very special event. As this skirt makes her travels across the globe, the hands of friendship are bonded through this mutual experience, like a magical, gossamer thread creating a cobweb of love and harmony wherever she goes. "Love can build a bridge" does indeed come to mind. I'm so privileged to have taken part. Thank you Melanie! x

I'll leave you with Melanie's words of advice:

Let's enjoy life!! 
Let's enjoy dressing up!!
It's just frickin' fabric!! (a really good piece though)
We surrender to the positivity!
Let's dance, baby!!

Anna x

Created by bo design