Winter coat

Yes, it suddenly dawned on me that any minute now we're going to be embracing all that is spring and I've yet to show you my new winter coat. My daugther Sasha bought it for my Christmas and it's been a fine addition to my winter wardrobe. This slim fitting leopard print coat comes from Tesco of all places and was in the sale for about £15 I think. I pointed it out to her when we were shopping together et voila, there it was on Christmas day!

I've worn the coat today with these fabulous orange satin disco pants from the Conscious Collection at H&M from quite a few years ago adding this mohair sweater by Diesel which I've also had for years. It's got a tiny bit of itch to it, so I always pop a vest top underneath to make it more comfortable. The ginger and spice colours of the look were just calling out for my nutmeg suede boots from Office and I finished it all off with my heavy gauge gold necklace (another gift from Sasha) along with some old rings. Oh, and let's not forget my old faithfuls - sunglasses by Quay Australia.

The winter has evoporated once again and I'm aware that our season on the island is just beginning again. I'm pleased that I've managed to get out and about in between the winter storms to capture some new backdrops for you. This setting is in the woodlands just above the church, looking out across Old Grimsby and onwards to Men-a-Vaur rock. One of my blogging friends, Julia from When the girls rule blog (see here) has asked to see more of the island - well this little corner is mainly populated by holiday cottages, but also is where the church, community centre and primary school are all located. My son, Jamie lives in a tiny bungalow at Old Grimsby where a lot of the young members of staff are housed in flats and staff accomodation. Our winter population is about 150, but that almost doubles in the summer when the seasonal workers arrive. With no shopping malls, night clubs, fast food joints or other temptations, the island is the perfect location to work for a summer and save up. Some, like me, come for a summer and fall in love, not just with island life, but with an islander, and never leave.

When I arrived on the islands (in 1978) Round Island Lighthouse was permanantly manned but is now operated remotely. On a stormy day the waves crash onto the rocks below and can break over the buildings on the island, sometimes obliterating the lighthouse completely. The sight can be exhilirating and is a great reminder of how tiny and insignificant we are at the hands of nature.

Linking with -
Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb

Anna x


Velvet + embroidery = my perfect jacket

This gorgeous jacket was a Christmas present from my husband, albeit with a bit of guidance from me. I love embroidery on most things and on this velvet jacket it's a great addition. I have lots of bomber jackets, each different, but all so useful as that extra layer at work for when it's a bit chilly.

I bought this nude pleated skirt in Tesco in December, but have been waiting to find the right pieces to style it up. I also had another (Christmas jacket) in burgundy that would work just as well, so may redo this another time. The blouse was from Topshop (sold out but this is pretty), the vest is from River Island (charity shopped), and the jacket is by Glamorous from ASOS (it's in the sale here). The shoes are from my favourite supplier of brogues, Office, but currently they have nothing similar. And last, but by no means least are my silver glitter socks by ASOS.

I'll apologise in advance if these links don't work. I seem to be having a technology blip at the moment. Instagram decided not to work for the day on Tuesday. Then yesterday my camera went all huffy on me when I was out and about, supposedly to take some shots of the island. The blog links have been a challenge for the past week, meaning I've fought shy of posting a blog in case it keeps happening. Fingers crossed it'll be OK!

News on my staycation is that I'm having a lovely time, thank you. I've just ordered a new filing cabinet to set to with the dreaded task of sorting out my paperwork; filing, shredding and dealing with all the collected clutter along the way. Next week will herald the start of the big clothes cull. I'm going to group into jumble, which will go to the clothes bank on the islands, eBay for anything that's worth selling, and finally the keep pieces which will be checked for any mending or dry cleaning needed. 

Running parallel to all of the bigger jobs are the daily swimming, shopping, tidying etc as well as batch cooking for the freezer so that I don't have to cook at the end of the working day. Yesterday I also went to yoga and had a walk around the beaches as I tried to find the perfect spot for my swim - we've had some wild weather recently, and that means big ground seas leave the beaches awash with huge reams of seaweed (yuk) and also there is a big run of tide that sucks in and out of the beaches, sometimes a 15 foot drag that feels quite threatening when you get caught up in it. 

I've just read Leap In by Alexandra Heminsley which has been very inspirational. The story of her determination to crack open water swimming resonated with me, and best of all she shares so much of what she learnt. Alex traded up her strong breast stroke for a hard-earned front crawl which took her out into the sea as well as tackling river swimming and finally a crossing from Kefalonia to Ithaca. Inspired by Alex I too want to trade my strong breast stroke for the less labour intensive front crawl. My daily efforts at this streamline stroke are handicapped by a poor breathing technique which impacts on the smooth glide and rhythm. All of this is covered in the book and fills me with excitement that I too, may conquer this challenge. The book is a great read, not just for those who swim or want to, but it's more about her dogged determination that shows her true spirit. 

Anna x



At this time of year my husband and I would normally be heading off on holiday somewhere, but this year I've opted to take the whole of February off to catch up at home. Steve is currently visiting friends on the mainland and at the end of the month will be helping our daughter move into a new flat in Truro. My month off will be filled with chores and downtime in what hopefully will be a restorative balance.

You may recognise my photographer's style today - Polly works nearby and I managed to hijack her on her lunch break. She's due to return to the gallery once again at the start of March, but in the meantime I'll be hoping to sidetrack her as often as I can.

Today's outfit was mostly found in charity shops at the latter end of last year. The dress, tights, boots and bag were all from those in Penzance or Truro which are my local stamping grounds while I'm away. The bag was brand new and is Italian made. The jacket was from Tesco in the pre-Christmas sale and my necklace was a Christmas present. My sunglasses are by Quay Australia and my rings are old.

I hope to get out and about this month, provided the weather permits, and showcase some island views. The boat service is still limited at this time of year, so I've no plans to island hop quite yet. In the meantime here's a couple of shots from the past week. 

This shot from my office window is untouched, without a filter, showing an eerie lilac light at the end of the day. As I walked to the shop it was like being on a film set. Awesome.

And this was just two days later, where common sense prevailed and I decided not to have my daily sea swim!

On the 2nd February plans were passed to reinstate the helicopter service between the UK mainland and the Isles of Scilly. For those of us living on the islands and for all the businesses and holiday makers this will greatly enhance our lives. This reinstatement of the helicopters will help to ensure a comprehensive travel service in and out of the islands. The windsock flies over the heliport once again with a real sense of purpose. 
Anna x

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