Girls just wanna have fun!

Cindi Lauper had the right idea. Girls do just wanna have fun. Sometimes it feels good to shake off the confines of the roles of mother, wife, boss, employee etc and roll back the years to when you thought of nothing but having fun. I took a break this afternoon and found a moment to have a bit of a play in the local playground. Some of the toys seemed a bit on the small side, but I did enjoy larking about in the sun with only myself to entertain.

An empty playground and lots of tiny toys willing me on to channel my inner child.

I know this is designed for four, but if I could just catch my balance...

A quick whizz around the pole...

It's not so easy to steer like this.

And this is when the school teacher was passing by with the children - just actin' natural.

Your chariot awaits madam, was what I thought, but I nearly got wedged in the teeny, tiny seat!

One final whizz around the pole before I go.

My new Michael Kors jacket is having it's first outing. 

Sunshine and blue sky. Why it's enough to make you believe that spring has sprung.

The MK jacket was a find in the Truro branch of TK Maxx last month. It's so heavy thanks to all of these studs that I had to post it home in case it pushed my luggage allowance over the limit. The leather look skirt was from the same shopping session, but I didn't really buy them as an outfit at the time. I thought they would be too rock an' roll to be worn at the same time, but when I pulled out this baby pink cashmere sweater the whole thing came together like a dream. Seemingly the look I stumbled across by chance is called Soft Rock as I've just seen in the SS16 edition of Vogue. As I've said before, I'm not a huge follower of trends, but I do like to treat myself to a women's magazine from time to time to see what's afoot fashion wise. I can see I might have more fun playing about with this new style clash. Leather jeans with a bit of lace or a ruffled shirt perhaps...

Jacket: Michael Kors (TK Maxx). Skirt: Green Envelope Los Angeles (TK Maxx). Sweater: M&S (charity shop). Brogues: H&M. Tights: Primark. Bag: Primark. Sunglasses: Quay Australia. Necklace: Noel. Watch: Michael Kors. Bangle: Kate Spade New York. Rings: charity shop.

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Did I mention I went shopping?

Well, what self-respecting fashionista could miss the chance of shopping in London? Not me, that's for sure! My favourite haunt is Kensington High Street, in particular TK Maxx. Steve had taken himself off for a walk along the Embankment while I did some last minute rushing around to gather up some bargains. And this beauty of a jacket has to be the find of the day, if not the entire holiday!
The brand is DSQUARED2 (sorry if this logo isn't quite right) and as you'll see from the price tag below it was a mighty bargain. Apologies for being so crass as to mention these figures, but a saving like this surely has to be flagged up. My regular readers may be a bit surprised at my extravagence here, but my frugal shopping in charity shops 95% of the time leaves me free to splash out from time to time on something really special, and I only wish you could see how very special this little jacket is.

I have a friend who knows one of the buyers for TK Maxx and they had a very interesting chat about brands, designers and these kind of deals. The top and bottom is this - when you buy designer brands from an outlet village the products are made especially for these outlets and are consequently made to a lesser standard and quality ie cheaper fabrics, linings, even zips or soles on shoes. The pieces which turn up in TK are direct from the designer and are end of line, or odd sizes which the main retailer couldn't house and therefore were made available to the TK Maxx buyers. My husband used to try to tell me that the price tag was just inflated to make it look like a bargain, but this in fact is not the case.

Early morning photo shoot before I head off to work.

The camera is propped on my garden wall while I dodge across the road to do a bit of posing. Quite funny as the morning rush hour (well eight bikes and two buggies) was in full flow.

Trying to look nonchalant whilst a truck goes past.

OK, and smile!

The leather is butter soft, the fit is perfect - it would have been a sin not to buy this.

Yet another of Sasha's handbags. Although I did buy this one for her. Does that make it any better?

Featuring my new Italian shoes here too.

I obviously love this jacket, but will have to make sure I don't gain another pound as it won't fit if I do. It's not a bad idea for me to have a snug jacket on board as I've been a bit lax with things since we got back from our holidays. Sea swimming has been a bit lacking due to one thing or another, but hopefully once this weekend is over, my routine early morning swim can be reinstated. Regular exercise is a bit like that don't you think? Once you've dropped out off the routine, you can find a dozen reasons as to why you can't get back into the groove. In my defence I can say that health issues have gotten in the way rather than outright laziness. Normal service will be resumed soon I promise! Oh, and on that final point I must mention the latest news from the Government here in the UK trying to ban the use of exclamation marks. Old fashioned grammar is increasingly becoming outmoded with the latest victim being my favourite. How will I add a bit of indignation, surprise, delight, anger, joy or plain sock-it-to-you punch without my exclamation marks?!!! Oh, I know. By just carrying on the same as usual.

Jacket: Dsquared2. Trousers: TK Maxx. Polo neck: eBay. Shoes: Italy. Handbag: Accessorize. Watch: Michael Kors. Bangle: Kate Spade New York. Perspex ring: gift. Silver ring: charity shop.

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The big outdoors

It's so easy on a Sunday afternoon to veg out or drift around the house looking at tasks waiting to be done, and not feeling inspired to do any of them. Today I had a huge to-do list. All of it seemed to leave me feeling a bit blah. Particularly as the sun kept breaking through the clouds, tempting me to peek out of the kitchen window at the big outdoors. The beach lies just 15 feet from my kitchen which is great, but is also a great temptation when you have other things to do. So I made a bargain with myself to catch up with chores until 2pm and then get out. I decided to combine a walk with some blog photography. I needed a new backdrop and headed to the North end of the island and on towards King Charles' castle, a ruin with an amazing view right across the whole of the Isles of Scilly.

And this is me, after a fifteen minute walk from home, enjoying the most spectacular 360 degree view across the entire Isles of Scilly. It's breathtaking stuff.

This is the genuine wind-swept look, no fans or props required.

A great spot to sit and stare, to wonder at life.

Confession time - I left my rose gold brogues at home and this wasn't the top I wanted to wear (it was still in the wash). But, I'm here, out in the fresh air and so pleased I broke away from the chores.

The sunshine is at last showing these new trousers off better. These are the ones I recently bought in Palermo as seen here. They're navy and turquoise, pure new wool, quite weighty and yes, would look great with brogues.

Jacket: TK Maxx. Trousers: Maggazini Anita. Trainers: Salomon. Top: charity shop. Rings: charity shop. Sunglasses: Quay Australia.

I'll finish off today with a look around the islands from this wonderful vantage point. One of the best things about having been away on holiday is coming back to views like these. I think we all need a change of scenery every so often so that we appreciate what we have at home. It helps us return refreshed and able to see things in their true perspective. I'm so lucky to live on this idyllic little island out here in the middle of the Atlantic. 

This is Bishop Rock Lighthouse some seven miles away. 

Can you see it in the far distance? The island across the water is Bryher.

In the distance to the right is the island of St Agnes and the bigger one to the left is St Mary's, the main island of the group.

The wooden jetty ahead on Bryher is called Anneka's quay after Anneka Rice who built it in the era of the Challenge Anneka programmes. Do you think I gave her a big enough name check there?

Straight ahead are the ruins of Blockhouse castle and beyond are the Eastern Islands with St Martin's to the left. For those of you who may wish to learn more about the islands or even plan a visit see here. If you hanker after the big outdoors in a very manageable size these islands offer the perfect holiday escape. Favoured by walkers, bird watchers, sailors, divers, beach lovers and those who like to cycle, swim, windsurf, kayak, fish, island-hop and watch gig racing  - even take part in a triathlon - you can find all of this and more here on the beautiful Isles of Scilly.


Palermo's finest winter coat

The cruising pics are over and we're back home again. You may however, recognise the coat that I bought in Palermo see here. I do think this is the finest coat I could have found in the whole of Sicily never mind just Palermo. Ooh how I love it! It feels like a proper grown up coat and all the better for being in this gorgeous mix of pink, red and black. It's taken my daughter and her wise words to convince me how important a good coat is, be it for winter or any season we might need one. She pointed out that it's what's on show all the time, the first thing people see and therefore massively important to get it right. I've always fallen into the way of thinking that we take our coat off to reveal the main event, but if Sasha is right then the coat is the main event. Well, hurrah that I've finally caught up and have a coat to be proud of. 

Sunshine and a new winter coat, how very lovely!

Do you remember those spot the difference pictures from your childhood? Well we have some in today's blog. I won't reveal them until the end, but see how many you can spot.

Excuse me for looking so smug, but this coat is making me smile.

Oops Sasha, I forgot to ask if I could borrow this clutch again.

I've decided not to showcase the new Palermo trousers in the same post as they really need a short jacket to allow you to see the cut and shape of them best. Instead I've put this together with my new faux leather biker jeans. Faux leather is forever in fashion, and I've been worn down by that fact. Don't get me wrong, I love faux leather, just not on me. I've looked at leggings/jeggings and decided that to carry these off you need to have reed thin legs that go on and on. These biker jeans are much better for the short-legged (like me) as they have padded knees and zips to lend a bit of distraction. Also they are much thicker than leggings therefore have a bit more structure to them, helpful again for those with thighs that curve rather than go straight up and down.

I like the fluffy jumper to soften the biker jeans, but wish I'd worn a different necklace. That sudden rush to get out to catch the sun when it finally appeared this afternoon meant there wasn't much time to think through the accessories.

Silver does seem to be working as another neutral in my wardrobe. I could wear these brogues with so many outfits and they'd all look sensational thanks to them.

Check out these bees loving this bit of early spring sunshine. And for the sharp-eyed amongst you, the rings are different as is the colour of nail polish. A bit bizarre, I know, but these are two different photo shoots meshed together. Award yourself 3 points if you noticed them all x

Coat: Magazzini Anita. Sweater: H&M. Jeans: H&M. Shoes: Office. Necklace and silver rings: charity shop. Clutch: Sasha's. Belt: H&M. Sunglasses: Quay Australia.

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