My TV debut - JD Williams "I AM" campaign

Hello my lovely readers and welcome to this extra post which brings you my 15 seconds of TV fame. This is the culmination of a roller coaster ride which started months ago when I attended a casting session in London. There had been a call out on Instagram for bold, colourful women who refuse to go quietly - surely this had my name on it? I applied, was shortlisted, later I sent a video of who "I AM" and was shortlisted again and invited to attend the London session. 

Annie, Rachel, me, Savi and Paulina - the five stars of the I AM campaign.

This is my first attempt to be taken on by a major fashion brand and so the casting was a nerve wracking event. In fact, when I arrived at the venue I took one look through the open doorway and walked right on by. I'd seen too many beautiful and colourful women inside that it freaked me out. I stopped further along the street and called my best friend Bo. And she did what everyone's best friend does, she talked some sense into me. Yes, of course I could travel all the way from the Scillies to London to just take a peek through a door, but maybe that would be a bit too crazy, even for me! "Go girl!" she urged, and off I went.

The audition itself is a total blur as I think I was awash with adrenalin. I stood under a bank of lights and talked, nay, jabbered on like an idiot, although a very passionate one and at one point was asked to dance. "Will it be Abba?" I asked. " I'm afraid not." came the reply from one of dimly lit casting couches. The soundtrack started, something new to my ears, not a beat I recognised and yet in front of me, cameraman and producer were urging me on to show my moves. After a slow start, I got into the rhythm and then everyone in the room blended away until it was just me and the music. 

I love to dance, and have no idea of it's mum dancing I do, but I don't care. I somehow don't think it was my dancing that got me through the audition though, but it doesn't matter, cos hey, some 10 days later I got the call to say they wanted me for the campaign. 

My summer has been a very different one to any I could have imagined, with me somehow keeping all the plates spinning - summer exhibitions, wardrobe fitting, swimming, blogging, filming, artists visiting and me finally becoming au fait with the timetable for flights between Newquay and Manchester along with the small corner of the city that has now become familiar to me.

I'll just let vanity have her say here. These are the very first professional shots I've ever had taken and it's quite a surprise to see what I look like at 60. My own diplomatic blog photographers (and the restrictions of my amateur kit) all manage to avoid revealing the honest truth of a face that has lived, loved, swum and embraced the big outdoors without much in the way of sunscreen for these past 60 years. I somehow also think that exercise helps to feed that illusion, as a trim figure, a youthful stride and a young at heart attitude is deceptive, but what it all comes down to is - This is what 60 looks like! My bubble may have been deflated a little here, but in the nicest possible way; after hours in hair and make-up I've been turned into a star for a day. 

The final line up from the TV advert here - Annie, Kath, Paulina, Katie, Andrea and yours truly. I've not tried to post a video link before, so if it doesn't work then please click here to see the full length version on the website along with more about the campaign.

Today's post features some of the images sent to me by JD Williams and is just a taster of what I'll be featuring later next week as I've got lots more to share with you from behind the scenes. I'm obviously very biased, but I think this campaign showing real women of ages 45 and over, of all shapes and sizes is a great stride forward for fashion. Hurrah therefore to JD Williams for breaking ground here!

I'll be back on Monday with the monthly post from our Style Not Age collective - see you then!

Anna x


Hey Poll!

Hey Poll! Look this way, over here girl!

Pint sized, cute as a button and worth her weight in gold, here she is, the blog photographer without whom my life would be a shambles. (Yes, we know I have other back-up, but let the girl have her moment in the spotlight eh?) Not only does she take great shots, but her banter enlivens me and always makes me laugh; if there's a blog or Instagram photo of me laughing my socks off then invariably that's down to this humorous young lady. 

She's currently away on holiday playing the part of rent-a-bridesmaid to two of her old school friends and in her absence I've been reminded of just how much she supports me in her primary role as Gallery Assistant. As she gads about on the mainland, eating out, meeting up friends and maybe partaking in a little retail therapy, I can sing her praise and post some shots of her too without her censoring. Polly is an absolute gem; hard working and reliable, a skilled trouble shooter with all of my computer problems, sharp as a knife - a graduate in Forensic Science no less, and has better customer skills than I could rival with the best smile ever to greet our customers day in, day out. She embraces island life, revels in her job and hopefully a little local love interest may well keep her here long term too. Anyway, thanks Polly for all that you do, and have a lovely break!

And here I am responding to the veritable ray of sunshine who feeds me jokes and compliments. So let's talk outfits now, shall we? Or more to the point, this totally over-the-top jacket. This biker jacket in a bronze/red metallic finish is about three sizes too small for me (yes, it's actually a size 4!) and was a recent find in (small drum roll please) TK Maxx! Not only that, but it cost me £9.99. The brand is Missguided which is more a Polly brand than mine (targeting the 16-35 market allegedly), but by finding it in TK Maxx it becomes a bit of a free for all. I love to see other mature women rifle amongst the racks labelled MOD BOX - we know there's all sorts of treasures to be found there. I had every intention of keeping the jacket for a party, but, and my friend Sheila will understand this, the very newness of it begged a quick outing. What if I had kept it for months, and then discovered that it pinched or squeezed or just didn't deliver the wow factor I had envisaged?

Well, rest assured that all is well, wow factor duly delivered. And now I want you all to forget that you've seen this as I may well have to wear it to my next birthday bash. "Rocking the 60's" is one idea for the theme so far, but as it's not until January I have plenty time to improve on that. 

Cue lots of gregarious flouncing about in response to the quip of the moment. Polly brings out the show-off in me. Strike that. I bring out the show-off in me. I'm human Marmite - love me or hate me, you just can't ignore me.

Rings are preloved, trousers are from TK Maxx by Costume Nemutso.

Bronze and black mesh sock boots were from Zara last year. I raved about these kinda boots recently, so enough said.

Razzle dazzle in my Quay Australia sunglasses.

Life is fun.

This is me.

60 rocks!

Anna x


Sizzling sock boots

Hello and how is your Sunday going my dear readers?

Well, it's taken me a couple of weeks, but I'm happy to say that I've finally gotten my head around this new season. All thoughts of white linen trousers making a last minute appearance have evaporated along with the scorching summer sun, but these sizzling sock boots are spreading a little bit of joy instead.

You may remember these from last winter when I chased them from H&M where they were all sold out by the time their brochure was published, until I managed to locate them on eBay. I paid double the price, but haven't regretted it as they've not been packed away since I bought them. Dresses, trousers and culottes all have been pepped up by these red hot lovelies over the past 12 months. As the temperature drops I'll be adding tights in all sorts of colours with eye catching effect - I think I have a pink psychedelic pair just waiting for their moment!

For those of you who haven't succumbed to the pleasure of the sock boot yet, I'd urge you to try a pair. They tick the style and comfort box in one fell swoop, never give you that worry that they might slip off, but sit snuggly around the ankle without gripping or rubbing. At the last count I have four pairs, but recently saw a black neoprene pair that I'm about to trawl the Internet for later. Fashion trends may come and go, but personal style is what I aim for and that probably comes with age and the ability to know what suits me.

Enough about the boots! Let's move on to the delightful shirt dress which I think may be my go-to autumn frock. I love the romance of a long dress, but have struggled to find one that doesn't swamp me. This type of dress has been around for a while now and many of them have a wider, looser fit that makes me look like a shapeless short-ass. Like many women, I long for that tall willowy frame we see in magazines and on shopping sites. By choosing a fitted button up dress it creates an illusion of height (I'm a tad under 5ft 5in). I came across this ditsy floral delight in the H&M summer sale way back in July. It was reduced to £15 and was the only one on the rack, just the right size too.

A red belt helps to highlight the sprigs of red flowers on the dress to which I added some Perspex rings for a retro vibe. All accessories are either preloved or gifts (thanks Wendy).

I fancy that our daily seaside backdrop will become increasingly blustery from here on. Anna's Windswept Style may be a more accurate title for the blog over the winter months. As the weeks progress another change to my regular spot will be the lack of boats as they are all brought in before the seasonal storms hit us. The harbour boat and a couple of jet boats are all that populate our Westerly exposed bay during the winter months. I have some friends coming to visit at the end of this month and can only hope that we haven't descended into full on gales by that time. Very soon I suppose I'll have to be thinking about the big wardrobe changeover. 

And finally... I spent a evening of pure escapism at the cinema in Truro the other night (en route from another filming session, but that's for another time) watching the long awaited sequel to Mama Mia. It certainly lived up to the hype and fulfilled my expectations, delivering all of the familiar faces and soundtracks that made the first movie the resounding success it was. I sat alone, far enough removed from the rest of the audience to be able to join in with the songs I so love. Seemingly, there's a sing-along version about to be released into the cinemas this week, so why not take some girlfriends along for a life affirming night out.

Wishing you a super week ahead!

Anna x


And so it begins...

Happy Wednesday to you my lovely readers!

When I say and so it begins, I mean the transitional period which leads me to say goodbye to my favourite season and oh hello, to autumn. Stepping out today in silver boots is a good way to get started. There has to be some joy in every outfit and these metallic beauties are most definitely it. 

Yes, the heels are precariously high and the angle is steep, but heck they are outrageously wild and so much fun. In Sunday's post I talked about sometimes using a conservative outfit to fire me up to wear something so diametrically opposed the next day and this is it. I love the 60's feel to this ensemble which reminds me of Twiggy or Mary Quant - all I need is some white eyeshadow and pale pink lipstick! 

The Peter Pan collar and white cuffs of the tunic are what attracted me to this heart adorned top when I saw it in a charity shop last month. The brand is Boohoo and it cost me £3.50; I've already worn it twice bringing the cost per wear down to very reasonable £1.75. I wear a little vest top under this chiffony fabric along with these eyelet crop trousers which were from Zara last year. 

I do love this outfit and have to acknowledge that this has to be one of the upsides of autumn; the ankle boot does come into its own at this time of year. My sock boots stand at the ready and yes, it won't be long until you see my signature pair of red ones back in harness too.

The look needed minimal styling today with simply two (preloved) rings along with my favourite/ever-so-useful sunglasses by Quay. 

Much as it saddens me to see the change in daylight as the brightness of the sun fades into a softer glow, I know I will adapt and come to terms with the inevitable autumn gloom. What I can say however, is that these next few months usually bring the most stunning sunsets to these islands. Huge cloud formations allow the sun to dip behind them and diffuse the beams of sunlight spectacularly. Of course, I'll feature some of those for you both here and on my Instagram feed in due course. And that pretty much wraps it up for another day. I do hope that you're enjoying some fine September weather and maybe even picking up some new items for the forthcoming/current season too.

Enjoy your week!

Anna x

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