If I Were a Handbag, our Style Not Age challenge for February

Hello and welcome our monthly style challenge! I'll 'fess up straight away - yes the subject was my choice this month. For those who know me, you'll agree that my featured handbag is a good reflection of my character - fluffy on one side and smooth on the other, and exceedingly bright and colourful. I have a scatty fun side away from work, but also a smooth, glossy business side which is how I see myself at work. So how do my fashionista friends see themselves...?

Jacqui's offering for the challenge is this compact satchel bag with ornate front. Not sure what this says about her, but it's a super practical bag. See more from Jacqui on Mummabstylish.

Gail is showcasing a red bowling bag which was a Christmas present. The compact, sleek style ties in with her elegant outfit. Find all of the details on her blog Is This Mutton? 

Hilda's choice is a bright green tote borrowed from a local boutique. The bag is big enough to carry a laptop, in a burst of colour from a local designer. See her back story on Over the Hilda blog. 

Emma's handbag is a funky colourful piece by Angel Jackson which has inspired a lovely mix of colours in her outfit. Read all about it on The Style Splash.

My dear friend Ben found this fabulous multicoloured bag in a market on his travels and immediately thought of me - wild and colourful! I was thrilled to receive such an individual piece to add to my handbag collection. It's been my go-to bag for the past month, inspiring various colourful outfits for my working day. 

The fringed side of the bag is a glorious fuzzy, tufted aspect of this oversized handbag. 

As for the outfit of the day - the leather coat is by Next, a charity shop purchase for £20, trousers are from Topshop (ah, the good ol' days!), turtle neck from Primark, shoes and glitter socks from TK Maxx - none of this is new. 

The ring gold coloured ring is pre-loved and the chunky silver and gold etched In Heaven on Earth ring is by Diana Porter. The mustard gloves are from TK Maxx.

The mustard hues continue with my Quay Australia sunglasses.

So how did we all fare with this month's challenge? I do hope you enjoyed it. I loved the opportunity to show you this glorious bag again and would like to think there may be some inspiration within today's feature for everyone. 

Sending love to you all and I do hope that you're safe. Take care!

                                                                                                Anna x


It had to happen...

Hello lovelies, how are you? I hope you're well and coping with the lockdown in England if that's where you are. This was me on Friday morning, emerging from my daily swim on Appletree Bay, smiling broadly and so pleased with having met the challenge once again. 

I regard my sea swimming as my health insurance, my personal policy for keeping well, warding off colds and general day to day illnesses. However, I'm guilty of ignoring my own warnings of "running on low" that I've been talking about on the blog recently. Some 24 hours after this was taken I was hit by a tummy bug which felled me and is still taking its toll now. Instead of the planned fitness regime for my month off, I'm laid low, sipping re-hydration drinks in between trips to the bathroom. No longer fit, healthy and robust, I'm weak as a kitten and sweating like no lady should. I just wanted to touch base with my loyal readers so that you don't think I've forgotten you. I'll be back when I've recovered. In the meantime, here's a round up of the daily walking that Fiona and I have been doing of late - this scenic circle of the island is a wonderful dose of sights and sounds to aid our mental well-being. 

Thanks for joining me. I'll be back soon. Lots of love to you!

Anna x


When okay just isn't good enough

This is far from my best post, but I thought for the sake of honesty and realism I ought to share it with you anyway. Sometimes my outfits just hit middle ground or middling to okay, but even this wasn't quite good enough in my eyes.

Today I really ought to have shown a bit more patience and this shoot perhaps would have turned out better. I wanted to take some photos of this new dress and decided to do a tour of the island to find a good backdrop. The wind had shifted, leading me to this sheltered spot at the Ruin Beach Cafe which is closed for the winter. 

But really the problem started even before I left home. I was guilty of trying to fit too much into my Sunday off; I wanted to have an afternoon swim too. In the rush I didn't really do a good job to the styling of this dress and ought to have spent more time trying other options of tights, jacket and shoes.

Even now, when I look at this I know the tights are wrong (black or brown would have been better) and I wonder if my long velvet trench might have been an improvement too. And boots, why didn't I try on some boots? But no, I charged about grabbing the first thing that came to hand!

On top of the photo shoot and the swim, I was also cooking a family meal for this evening to celebrate my daughter's 29th birthday so I had quite a lot on my plate. But this is just typical of me; I'm greedy for life, always wanting to do as much as I can.

The beach I normally go to (Appletree Bay) is having some repairs done to the nearby wall, meaning I have to consider tides and winds every day as I try to find another place to swim. The stormy weather we've been having has brought reams and reams of seaweed onto our shores and I really don't like sharing my swim with all the maggots and flies it harbours. So all in all, it's quite a palaver - just to get a swim.

I have a green corset belt that may improve the outline of the dress enormously. It looks pretty shapeless, although that may just be the style. I bought this in the Zara sale and when I tried it on, I absolutely loved it. Seeing it now, I think I'll have to work a bit harder for the next time I wear it.

Can you see the shirred waistline? I think that corset belt would be ideal. Next time eh? I also have brown knee high vintage boots that could work too... 
Outfit details read like this, dress: Zara, jacket: Next, shoes: from Portugal, tights: old, necklace: Sasha's, camisole: Primark, rings: old, sunglasses: Quay Australia.

Anyway, now that I've got all that moaning done, I have to tell you that within half an hour I was back here, swimming on this very beach. The wind direction was perfect and there was hardly any seaweed and what there was, was high and dry at the top of the beach. 

As I stood on the water's edge rinsing my goggles preparing to get in, I could see a man strolling down the quay, and I could almost hear his disbelief at the sight of me in my cossie - he, all wrapped up in winter coat, scarf and hat. His pace slowed as he kept turning towards me to see if I dared... Yes, clearly the local madwoman!

This was a little family returning to St Martin's with a tiny child wedged between mum and dad. It was such a lovely day to be out on the water having an island adventure - very Swallows and Amazons, eh?

Appletree Bay - the road and footpath as well as the supporting wall were all washed away as a result of storm Eleanor. Luckily we had no other damage to the fabric of the island nor was anyone hurt, so I suppose you could say we got off lightly compared to some places in Europe.

Those of you who know the island will understand the impact this has on our beach. The upper wall has been undermined too. However, the good news is that work is already being done and hopefully will be all put to rights in time for our season opening in March.

I forgot to mention that there's a webcam located above the decking where I did my shoot today. I've no idea if anyone was watching as I got out of the sea, but I gave a wave just in case my friend Angela was checking the view, as I know she often does. Hello!!! And didn't I look pink?

Anna x

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