Island cowgirl!

Yee-ha! This island girl is striding out in vintage cowgirl style. 

Yep, I hold my hands up, I've been seduced by the lure of high street fashion of late, but today I decided to redress the balance by bringing out some of my vintage favourites. The petticoat and cowboy/girl boots are both vintage buys, the petticoat from some time ago and the boots from last year. The fringed waistcoat was a hand-me-down from Sasha, originally from H&M. The dress is minus its label, but was a charity shop find I think. All the jewellery is preloved too and the sunglasses are from my favourite brand, Quay Australia.

It's totally impossible to be glum when you're dressed like this.

The boots were made in Spain, are real leather and the brand is either Moruss or Morusso (the name is partly rubbed off). The experts amongst you can get back to me on that. Regardless of the brand, I'm loving them and seem to have fallen in step with this A/W trend. I like it when a trip to the charity shop last year can ricochet me bang into fashion now. Oh, and they only cost £12!

Steve and I don't see much of each other in the mornings. He's out before it's light and by the time he comes back for breakfast I've gone to work. Lunchtime is our first time to see each other and for Steve is the opportunity to give me his opinion on the outfit of the day. "Wow, that's pretty out there!" was his comment, raising his eyebrows and swallowing down something more than just a bite of his pork pie, something less diplomatic I fancy. I shrugged, carried on making my lunch and flashed him a grin while responding "I'm owning it!" We both had a good laugh at that.

I have to tell you another funny story about this ensemble. I was just loading the dishwasher before I had to dash off to work when the plumber arrived to do some work on our heating system. I was suddenly aware of how I must look, all dolled up like this in the middle of my domestic chores. The next thought that popped into my head was of the Queen video with Freddy Mercury dressed up in drag with black wig, ample bosom, mini skirt, fishnets and heels as he was vacuuming, singing "I want to break free..." Can one ever be over-dressed while doing the housework? Surely not!

The snakeskin effect, elasticated belt is preloved too, so no surprise there then.

My passion for fashion, old or new is ever present in my daily life and for that I'm truly grateful. When I'm on the mainland I often see the beige brigade and they remind me that I would be a much lesser version of myself without colour and frills and the flamboyance they lend to my outfits. That's not to say that I think the beige ladies are unhappy with themselves. On the contrary I expect they aren't shallow like me, and are able to find happiness in much more important things. I know that beige in all its many hues can look terribly stylish on the likes of Victoria Beckham, but at my age it seems to be the fast track to becoming invisible. When I say to my readers to "Let's bin the beige and have fun with colour" I do so because I live by that mantra and it works for me - it might just work for you too!
Anna x


Floral jumpsuit

Happy Sunday and hurrah for some beautiful autumn sunshine!

I'm pleased to have a chance to show you the rather fabulous floral jumpsuit I purchased from H&M in Manchester the last time I was there in September. The two shops I always managed to visit during these trips were H&M and TK Maxx, both providing me with some new inspiration and joyful finds. Polly tells me that there are lots of vintage and charity shops in the city, but they're in a different quarter to where I was located. I did find one, near to Piccadilly railway station, and yes was successful there too with those striped Boohoo culottes you may have already seen (here).

This jumpsuit is from the collaboration between these two brands and if you love it as much as I do you can find it still for sale here

I had to make a small adjustment to the jumpsuit as it had an open back with only a button at the top of the scoop neck. I bought an orange zip and unearthed my sewing machine - et viola! A camisole or vest top would have worked equally well, but I fancied not having to make that extra decision every time I wore it. 

The fabric of the jumpsuit is a blend of viscose and lyocell which feels silky smooth and light. I think I've just managed to sneak this in below the wire before cooler weather descends for the rest of the year. I tied the sash around twice to give a lovely snug fit and also cover the elasticated waist. The other noteworthy point is, of course, the large roomy pockets - yay!

With so many different colours to choose from it would be easy to accessorise this with pretty much any colour from my jewellery box. I finally chose this collection of orange pieces all of which are preloved. I added my gold chain necklace and Quay Australia sunglasses too.

Now, the jury may well be out as to whether these Zara sock boots are the right thing to wear with this floral (and therefore summery looking) ensemble. Because it's autumn I couldn't really bring myself to wear sandals, despite having orange strappy ones that would work a treat. I somehow wanted to anchor the whole look with a solid and autumnal colour, hence the olive green. The sheer comfort of sock boots plus these funky silver heels were the other deciding factors. Do pitch in here and give me your thoughts, especially if you think I've got better footwear for this.

As I look at this last photo I feel a pang of sadness at the thought that I'm going to lose dear Polly to her winter job in less than three weeks. Her input into these daily sessions is what sparks joy in me, producing these happy shots for all to see. In the meantime, let's enjoy Polly's flair and ability to bring out the fun in me.

Until next time, have a lovely week!

Anna x


The Meghan trouser from JD Williams

Early October on the islands and we've had some fabulous autumn sunshine. I've been holding out for a sunny day to showcase my fab new trews from JD Williams, not gifted I may add, but bought after wearing them in the advert (see here). The Meghan trouser is the perfect crop length for my height (5'5") and the proportions are just right for my hour glass shape. I love the high waist which fits snugly at the right place too. 

The secret of the great fit of these trousers is the amount of stretch, including the Magisculpt panel around the tummy plus the secret stretch waistband (read more on the website here). These are classed as everyday wear and I have to say that yes, I could wear these every day as comfort-wise they deliver a 10. Sorry if this is sounding like a huge sales pitch, but if you'd seen me waltzing around in them, you'd understand how great they made me feel.

The sleek silhouette of the trouser acted as a plain canvas for me to play dress-up with this vintage frothy blouse. The shocking pink worked in harmony with the cobalt of the trouser which led me to finishing the style story with my pop art shoes, preloved and last seen here.

Johnny, the choreographer on the JD Williams set, had a phrase that he bandied about to prompt the right moves on the day - "super-sassy" - and that's how this outfit makes me feel. 

The slanted hip pockets are real, not imitation, and yet don't spoil the smooth outline of the trouser. Golly, I do sound like a marketing guru here, don't I! My silver buckled belt is by H&M, blue ring is preloved and pink ring was a gift, old faithful sunglasses are by Quay Australia.

Frills and froth are also falling into the remit of super-sassy. I love this vintage blouse, but tend not to wear it too often as I like to keep it as a special piece. The metallic necklace is another charity shop find costing the outrageous sum of £1.

I bought these pop art courts by Chockers in Harrogate in April, a happy find in a charity shop and only worn twice so far. Their story may well end here though, as after the photo shoot, during the course of my everyday work, the heel came off. I've seen this happen as a comedy feature in a movie, but didn't quite appreciate it the same when it happened to me. Luckily I always have several pairs of shoes at work so at least I didn't have to wobble about for long. Next time I go to the mainland I plan to take these to the cobblers to see if he can fix them.

Super-sassy me.

My footnote has to be that I promise you, my lovely readers, that I'm not on commission here. I'm about to order my next pair of these fabulous trousers and can't decide if it's to be the red or the green...

Have a great week!

Anna x


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


Just call me jazzy

Hi folks, just call me jazzy!

I decided to jazz up what was a fickle Friday by adding all the bells and whistles or maybe that ought to be stripes and fringes. Almost everything in this outfit will be familiar to you, I'm sure. Boots from H&M, palazzo pants by Boohoo, jacket is preloved (no label) and sunglasses by Quay Australia. The top is preloved and cost under £3. The necklace is old, maybe from M&S...

The rings too are second hand, and seen previously.

It's been a funny couple of days weather wise here as the warm temperatures have done nothing but produce fog and more fog. The tide and fog have both drifted in and out, although not in harmony, creating travel havoc with those who were trying to fly in and out of the islands. The Scillonian has been bulging to the gunnel's with passengers eager to move one way or the other and was even supplemented by smaller boats being hired to get folks home in time for commitments. 

Somewhere out there is a jet boat coming in to the quay to collect passengers travelling to the mainland some two hours away. Thank goodness that's not me as I dislike being out on a boat in the fog. I know that they're equipped with all the right technology like Sat Nav and radios but honestly it spooks me. I'll just say a quick Hi to my dear friend Angela who left today on the ferry after two weeks on the island - I hope your journey back to Cornwall was uneventful!

My hectic social whirl has passed, friends have been and gone, were wined and dined and life may settle back into something resembling a routine hopefully with the blog becoming less erratic too. We managed to fit in a boat trip to the Eastern Isles for a picnic which I will be sharing with you soon - the weather wasn't warm, but at least it was good enough to make the trip possible and we all had a super day out.

As I shimmy off towards the weekend I'll wish you all a lovely time - family time, party time, shopping time, DIY time or just time to chill - have a super weekend and I'll be back soon!

Anna x


37 wonderful years!

I'm playing hooky today folks! It's our 37th wedding anniversary and I'm taking the day off, catching up on chores on the home front as well as trying to carve out some me/us time too. Anyway, I'll be back soon, but I just wanted to share this photo from our wedding day, 37 years ago today. Steve and I have been through our fair share of ups and downs in that time, but throughout it all we've had a sense of partnership, equals in a supporting role, buoying each other up when the other needed it. Our shared experiences draw us closer and closer together as the years pass and we still laugh at each other as well as together every day. I'm not sure what I did to deserve this wonderful man, but I bless the day that fate brought us together.
Anna x

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