September razzle dazzle

Summer wouldn't be complete without a post featuring this fabulous shimmering coat on the beach. I may be totally bonkers in this need of mine, but there's nothing finer than swishing about on the sand in this glorious sequinned duster. My ever tolerant husband did the honours when I pulled it out of my backpack (not unlike a magician with his white rabbit), during our recent picnic on the uninhabited island of Northwethel. Two outfits for a beach picnic? Why ever not?

The rustling, shell-sounding coat was made for swishing and swooping and generally showing off. I was in my element, gadding about in the sunshine believing my own hype of how totally fabulous I was! (Well at least for 5 minutes anyway).

The coat is many years old now, but came from Topshop when new. It was a Christmas present and yet has been worn mostly in the summer rather than during the festive party season.

If I could get away with it, I'd swoosh about in this at least once a week. But realistically, I'd look like a bit of a loony if I did. (Please feel free to send me wake-up message if I ever drift that way.)

The coat holds magical powers over me - behold how beautiful I feel, and therefore I am! Be dazzled by my shining presence! Oh what fun!

The stark reality of my pot belly and cellulite thighs all melt away as I muse over my marvellousness!

My glittering necklace is by Charlie Dodge, a jeweller we represent at Gallery Tresco. 

Rings are preloved, but still rather lovely. And note how the pattern on my swimsuit echoes the shapes of the sequins...

One final, glamorous swoosh and I'm gone!

Anna x


Summertime picnic

Hello lovelies!

Yes, this was our Friday escape. Steve and I had an awayday motoring off in our little boat to the Eastern Isles for a day of eating, drinking and splashing about in the sea. We've both been working hard, putting in long hours to keep up with things and this was our reward.

This is our favourite uninhabited island giving a Robinson Crusoe feel to our day. As we landed on the tiny spit of sand the flock of gulls took flight leaving us to set up camp on the white brow of the island. Our needs were simply to sit down and enjoy the view. Taking time away from home was long overdue and we talked and talked and talked. We've both been on a loop of eat, work, sleep for weeks and this was such a treat.

The pale turquoise strip of sand is where a beautiful sandbar reveals itself on the low tide. I was hoping we could get onto the sandbar before we went home and kept my eye on things as the day progressed.

And I wasn't the only one to be drawn to the lure of Ganilly sandbar.

Kayaks and boats arrived spilling the beach lovers onto the silky smooth sand as it revealed itself more and more. Steve and I bided our time, waiting until the last visitor left before we headed across.

The water was deliciously warm around the edges of the sandbar, ideal for wee paddle.

Messing about in boats, a picnic and splashing about in the water - that's my idea of a fun way to spend a day off!

Here's an update for you late readers -
I sent this photo into BBC Breakfast programme last Sunday just as I was writing this blog post. They had asked for viewers to send in photos of how they were managing to keep cool in the heatwave. Much to my amazement, and only 5 minutes later this appeared on my screen.

Some of my Instagram followers saw it on TV and sent me messages too! 



September beach day

Apologies if you're waiting to see the next summer jacket installment as promised, but I just wanted to share this beach day before it seemed out of context. September has been a great month for picnics - Steve and I have managed to get off in our boat most weekends to escape to another island for a change of scenery. Last weekend we went to Great Bay on St Martin's. 

We plonked ourselves in the middle of Great Bay Beach and drank in the glorious view which included the ghostly outline of mainland Cornwall in the far distance.

I'd taken three beach outfits with me, not knowing which would be the one to wear depending on the weather. This ornate Ganesha top was a gift from a blogging friend many years ago and yes, surprise, surprise I've never worn it before. I wonder why on earth not as it's orange with sequins and beads and it's lovely and bright and colourful and fabulous and summery and goodness, what's wrong with me sometimes?

Anyway, this seems to be the year for showcasing all of these unseen gems so this is another one for the blog. Underneath is a bikini of sorts. Top from one, bottom from another, but they somehow seem to work. The different colours of trim are the only thing to give it away that they're not a pair.

I do wonder if you'd have noticed that this wasn't all one and the same bikini? I've no idea what make these are as I've had them for years. Every summer I check in with myself as to whether I'll brave the belly-exposing bikini scene again and then I get over it. When I visited my friend Bo in Portugal where she lives I was greatly heartened at the sight of every woman on the beach, regardless of shape, size or age, wearing a bikini. The beach culture there is all about catching some rays and the best way to do that is in a bikini. Lots of suncream and skimpy bikinis was the norm - I like that mindset.

The final variation on my beachwear outfits is this pair of pyjama trousers that I bought in New Zealand. In fact the whole ensemble is very southern hemisphere as the top is from Hong Kong. I totally love these trousers, both for the beach and for slouching around at home over the weekends. They tie at the front, are loose and cool - perfect easy summer wear.

Could this be my favourite beach outfit of all time? I do think so. All I need is a frisbee and  we're talking a perfect day on the beach.

This will be one of those heckling from the sidelines shots. Good old Steve for keeping me in line when I was talking too much, generally bossing him about and being gobby!

And this is the boating outfit - not in the least bit glamorous, but very practical for slipping my sandals off and jumping into the dingy. Well, I say practical, when in fact the shirt tails did end up trailing behind me in the sea at one stage. I suffered damp derriere for most of the day! The gorgeous shirt is heavy cheesecloth, a fabulous vintage find destined for Steve who refused to wear such an outrageous colour. It's now my go-to boating shirt, hurrah!

Bidding farewell to St Martin's. We'll be back again, but maybe not until next year! By next month Steve will be bringing our boat up before the winter storms arrive. 

The shots below are from the previous day, Saturday last weekend, when Fiona and I had done a wetsuit swim, the first one for both of us in a whole year. We swam from the beach below the Ruin Beach Cafe at Raven's Porth along the shoreline past the Blockhouse and Cook's Porth, Cradle Porth, along Rushy Porth finishing at the far end of Pentle Bay. If we were serious wild swimmers one of us would surely have a fancy gadget to measure how far our swim actually was. Sufficient for us was the fact that we swam for 55 minutes and still felt full of energy by the end.

This is us, two joyful, happy bunnies full of gratitude for being able to swim in such beautiful clear water. These are always pinch me moments - how very lucky we feel to live here!

                                                                                          Anna x


St Martin's is such a beautiful island!

High summer on the Isles of Scilly is all about messing about in boats and we recently took ourselves off to St Martin's for the day to meet up with friends for a day of walking, talking and a picnic lunch on one of the finest beaches of the islands. We were blessed with a beautifully calm day for a boat trip affording us some lovely views as we sped around the North End of the island towards St Martin's. 

These awaydays are a lovely treat in the middle of what is the busiest time of the year. We revel in the chance to potter about in our boat and this trip to St Martin's was a great opportunity to catch up with Steve's friend Pete who was key in his life when Steve was a young lad who wanted to learn about working on the land. This common bond cemented their lifelong friendship and golly when they get together, man can they talk!

St Martin's lies in the foreground with Tean island beyond on the left, St Helen's behind that and on the far right is Round Island Lighthouse.

I had requested that we go to have our picnic lunch on Great Bay as I've never visited the beach before. It's often voted as the best beach on the Isles of Scilly which is what Sasha had reported too after her visit there last year. It may have taken me a long time to get there, but rest assured I'll be pushing to return quite soon. 

The UK mainland lies some 28 miles ahead, but the shoreline was what I was focusing on. The turquoise water and pure white, silky soft sand are all that you could wish for. In fact it looks like the Caribbean, don't you think? And yes, of course I did have a swim here. It was deliciously warm as the tide gently flooded in across the hot sand. The day was indeed scorching and had us all retreating under hats to escape the blasting heat. After picnic and swim we were going to tick off another item on my wishlist - to walk out to the Day Mark which is the tiny white dot on the top of the hillside to the right of the shot.

This massive cruise ship is rounding the mainland near Land's End. You can just make out the land mass as the dark outline behind the vessel. Those 28 miles don't look that far away do they?

As the ship shimmers off into the distance we start our walk out towards the Day Mark. 

Sky and sea with the ghostly mainland sandwiched in between.

One final longing look back at Great Bay - it was great, really great!

Walking along the spine of St Martin's gave us some spectacular sights. To the right is St Mary's, the main island of the group, skirted by the uninhabited Eastern Islands.

As the chaps were discussing the names of these tiny islets and how to approach each one at differing states of the tide, I had caught sight of this wonderful heart shaped sandbar and some intrepid voyagers making their way to it.

And there we have yet another outing added to my wishlist for this summer. I too want to gad about on this fabulous white scrap of sand as it emerges on the low tide. I can even imagine which amazing outfit for this very unique photo opportunity - well, what self-respecting blogger wouldn't?

Nearing the Day Mark and I wish I'd thought about a better outfit for this striking backdrop.

Come on guys, more walking and less chatting!

And talking of self-respecting bloggers, how on earth did I manage to forget both lipstick and hairbrush on this day out? Anna au naturel is all I can say about this shot.

I love this end of the world image. I do in fact, have an artist friend who is planning to swim all the way from the mainland to the Isles of Scilly soon. It's only been done once before and took the lady about 17 hours which seems like an amazing feat. Mark is hoping to rival that figure. I take my hat off to him just for getting this far into his planning never mind the actual swim. Awesome stuff!

This headland settlement must have borne the brunt of the wild Atlantic gales.

The best kept chickens on the island live here.

Our St Martin's awayday was a super day out for us. We headed back to the beach to make our way home after a long day. There's so much to do on the island and we only scratched the surface. We must make the effort to return before the summer is over.

St Martin's is a gem in the crown that makes up the Isles of Scilly. If you get the chance to visit, I'd urge to you come!

                                                                                    Anna x

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