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


Day off, down time.

I'm aware that I may come across as spending my every waking minute dolled up, but that's so not the case. At the end of a working day I love to kick off my heels and get into something comfy. My alter ego is slouchy, snuggly, duvet-loving and the exact opposite to the hard working, sea swimming, dressed up self you normally see. On my day off, it's good to dress down and show that I'm not at work which is important when you live and work only 50m apart. My favourite item to chill out in has to be these flowy, floaty trousers with a cute tie front. I bought them in New Zealand, in Russell, on the Bay of Islands on the North Island in what I think they call an "op shop" - our version of a charity shop. I wore them endlessly on that holiday as the loose, unstructured fit was perfect for our camper van lifestyle. They look great over a swimsuit too.

Even though it's my day off, I still like to inject a bit of colour and fun into my outfit. The pattern clash is divine with these separates too, made all the more perfect by the addition of these playful rings and nail polish. Even my espadrilles add another dimension to the pattern play, yet the colours all are in total harmony to me. The top is new and has been sitting on the sidelines since I bought it in Sicily when we were on our cruise in Feb see here. It's a vintage piece that was part of a huge find from an eccentric lady who had collected clothes over decades, but never wore them, just had them housed in her dressing room, waiting. When she died, her sister took boxes and boxes of beautiful pieces,still in tissue to the store. The shop owner thinks this came from the swinging 60's. Needless to say, I love it.

Trousers and top (see above). Shoes are from TK Maxx (brand is Giamo these are similar). Rings and pink bangle are gifts, silver bangle is charity shopped. My summer favourite nail polish is Rita Ora by Rimmel in Tangerine Tent.

Linking with
Dawn Lucy of Fashion Should Be Fun

As I publish this today I'll be getting ready for my first ever bloggers meet up. Kezzie of KezzieAG is coming to the islands on a cruise. We hope to meet up and tour the Abbey Garden, whereupon she would like to join me for a sea swim (note to Suzanne: this was Kezzie's suggestion not mine). With any luck I'll have some photos to show you on Sunday. Until then, have a great weekend!

Anna x


May show time!

Yes, it's that time of year again - time for another exhibition at the gallery with the best excuse ever to bring out my finery. This outfit went with me on our cruise in February (see here), but didn't make the final cut when I swanned around the cabin to get Steve's opinion. In fact, we both liked it, but not as much as some of the frocks I had taken along which rivalled this shirt and skirt combo. 

On Thursday we were hosting a mixed show from a group of seven artists. I managed to hijack a couple of the artists before the preview evening began. Nicola Hancox and Paul Lewin both went on to have a great opening night party. Check out their work here.  The Isles of Scilly attract thousands of tourists every year amongst them hundreds of artists, professional, amateur and aspiring, hoping to capture the essence of this beautiful archipelago. The five inhabited islands offer an insight into life where weather and tides influence our every day, where boats are our main mode of transport, where there will be more birds on the beach than humans, and where it's possible to spend a day playing Robinson Crusoe on an uninhabited island if that's your dream. To learn more about these beautiful isles see here.

As you can no doubt tell, the wind was blowing as Polly and I tried to maintain our smiles and ignore our windswept tresses. Our photo shoot was a bit of a rushed affair thanks to the weather, but at least you get an idea of the evening and our ensembles. Polly wears a black lace dress and black sandals both from H&M. My black blouse is from Uniqlo, the skirt is by Anthropologie (I succumbed to it at sale time which helped make it less painful), shoes are my well worn favourites from Primark, clutch is Accessorize (charity shop) and doesn't it match these shoes perfectly? My belt was from eBay, necklace from Dorothy Perkins and rings are from a charity shop.

Linking with
Catherine of Not Dressed as Lamb
Anna x


The road to nowhere?

I'd spent all day at work, more than a bit envious of everyone having Sunday off while the weather was glorious. Later in the afternoon it was so hot I pinned the gallery doors open, and that's when I decided I needed to get out to capture this wonderful day on film. At the end of business I dodged home, grabbed my kit, jumped on my bike and headed south to the far end of the island. What may look like the road to nowhere is in fact Carn Near quay, the most southerly point of the island, and the nearest to St Mary's (the main island of the Isles of Scilly). This quay is where the boats dock when the tide is too low to arrive at the other quays on the island. All the day-trippers had gone home and the high tide was washing over the top of the quay giving it a surreal look. Great - something different for my photo shoot.

This is the view of the far end of Appletree Bay - the beach where I often have my early morning swim. I start off at the other end, where the road runs along the edge of the beach and I swim along the shoreline in this direction. In the height of the summer I can stay in the water long enough to swim the entire length and all the way back again. In the midst of winter it's only a matter of some 50 or so strokes and I'm frozen to the core. Currently I'm working things up and this morning swam half way along and back. I could swim much further if I donned my wetsuit, but that's not the point. The challenge is to brave the waters no matter what the temperature with only my swimsuit to keep me warm.

I was cycling on my way home when I came across these little kiddies boots marooned on this roadside bench. Surely someone must have noticed their barefooted toddler was missing something? I'll drop them in to the "Lost and found" at the island office tomorrow. The next photo shows that this little girl must have been a budding fashionista and really ought not to have been separated from these cute little boots.

Aren't they fab little boots? I do hope they've been reunited with their owner by now. Anyway, back to the outfit. I just want to add one final photo to show the pitfalls of doing your own photo shoot. I know it's unavoidable for us a lot of the time, but I think if Polly had been with me she definitely would have told me off for over-posing! I thought I looked like an aspiring 1950's model.

Notice that over extended front leg as I try to take on the look of a long-limbed beauty. Hahaha! Thank goodness I don't take myself too seriously. This one really had to be shared. Today's outfit is a mix of new and new-to-me items. The cardi is from H&M (sadly already sold out), the shoes were from TK Maxx, and the trousers are M&S from a charity shop. The trousers fit really well, but are a strange cut - not exactly harem pants, but loose fitting with a drapey crossover front which really didn't photograph as I would have liked. Some well chosen poses and my strategically placed handbag seemed to get round this quite well though. Feedback on today's offering, or anything else featured on the blog, is as always very welcome. It's good to know that I'm not just twittering away for my own entertainment here.

Cardigan: H&M. Trousers: M&S (charity shop). Shoes: SixtySeven (TK Maxx). Necklace: Debenhams. Handbag: Accesorize. Watch: Michael Kors. Bangle: Kate Spade New York. Flower ring: charity shop. Sunglasses: Quay Australia.

Linking with 
Cherie at Style Nudge
Jess at Elegantly Dressed And Stylish 
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