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

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The joy of friendship



Meet my lovely friends Bo and Dave who recently travelled from Portugal to visit us for a long weekend. That's surely the sign of a great friendship when your mates travel for 24 hours just to see you for three nights. We had a busy few days, eating, drinking and generally making merry and yes, we had a lot of laughs too. 


The weather was cool but bright and calm enough for a boat trip. Bo was keen to visit one of the Eastern Isles so that's what we did. It was dead low water as we chugged across St Martin's flats resulting in our fine boatman having to pull the engine up and use a paddle to punt us across the stretch of water that was at times just inches deep. It all added to the sense of adventure, especially when Steve declared that we might not be able to land on Nornour as the low tide had revealed a lot of rocks. We hatched a back-up plan that we would land instead on the nearby stretch of white sandbar and set up our picnic there if necessary.  


But rocks, seaweed and low tide weren't going to scupper our plans! We skimmed around the sandbar and Steve manoeuvred the boat slowly into the shallows of the Eastern Isles. We encountered lots of seals along the way as we pootled slowly through the long fronds of seaweed, picking our way into the shore. They are hugely inquisitive mammals, but are also quick to duck out of the way in response to a camera being pointed their way.




Hurrah, Nornour was ours!


After a couple of beers to wash down our picnic we climbed to the top of the island to admire the view. The autumn sunshine was dazzling and the company wasn't half bad either.


The views are stunning no matter which direction you look.




The Scillonian steams off into the distance, heading back to Penzance.


Bo's photography tip of the day - get down low to find a new perspective. Yep, that works!


So good to capture these special moments.





Time to go home. 



Here's to friendship!
Anna x

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Show time once again!


Hellooooo! How are you? I may be a day or two late, but here they are, the dream team from our most recent exhibition opening night and don't these young ladies look fabulous? From left to right, Tash, Polly and Hannah did a wonderful job as well as sparkling amidst the heat of the evening on Tuesday when we opened the show for Stuart Kettle, Maggie O'Brien and David Thomas (see the paintings in full here). We sold a few pieces on the opening night and sales are continuing fine thank you.


My frock for the evening is an chiffon number (preloved) by LK Bennett which almost broke the bank at £15. Joking apart, it was in immaculate condition and fits like a dream. This lightweight fabric was perfect for the hot summer evening when we were almost becalmed at New Grimsby with not much of a breeze circulating around the building despite doors and skylights being open.


The finer details of the dress can be seen here where the pleating creates a gentle empire line and a deep v neck with a tiny modesty band behind. The lining is polyester which swishes nicely as you move. This cobalt blue isn't a colour I wear a lot of, and certainly not what I would wear in the winter when my Scottish pallor wouldn't be enhanced by this tone at all, but with a light tan I can just about get away with it.


Note this delicious floaty layer of chiffon - I fancy I didn't quite dance around enough to do it  justice however!


Here's a wee twirl for you.


Oh, and I can do this too!


These lime green satin sandals are by Steve Madden from TK Maxx and also cost £15. The kitten heel was a great height to wear after a long day at work, not too high, nor were the straps too snug either. I wish I'd had a some lime green accessories, but I got by as you can see below.


My oversized pearls (from Debenhams) you'll have seen before as well as the green amethyst bracelet which my dear hubby bought me in Morocco. The fab blue rings are charity shopped. I'm wearing my old favourite sunglasses from Quay.


The photo shoot was at the end of the evening when we were confident that things had gone well which I hope shows in our overall relaxed body language. It can be quite a stressful day, preparing the gallery for the evening's party as well as the conversation topic of the day being which outfit we will wear. So far this summer I've managed to choose mine well in advance and even stick to it rather than my usual last minute change of heart. I'm floundering a bit already about the upcoming one in August, so watch this space...

And finally, July on the Isles of Scilly has been nothing less than idyllic in the heatwave. Work days are peppered with end of the day picnics for Steve and I which makes for a welcome bit of downtime for us. We're off to another island tonight, but in the meantime I'll leave you with some picnic shots from the last couple of weeks.


Landing on the high tide at Samson, just a two minute boat trip from home. 


A quick hop from the boat into the little tender to take us ashore.


Picnic over, it's time to capture something for my Instagram feed - I gotta feature this amazing setting, surely! But first, a slight tweak here, a little adjustment there ...


What about placing another pop of colour here? This hat will do nicely!


Swatting a couple of flies away before I can settle down.


And this is it! The shadows created by the evening sun managed to make me look much more tanned than I really am, so no filters required. Tresco island lies in the backgroud with a sprinkling of yachts moored up in the channel.


This time last year I posted a bikini shot and said that I wasn't sure if at 60 I'd still be happy to wear one. Yay, I still am! 
Anna x

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