Party, what party?

In case you missed my last post, I was due to go to the annual staff party on Saturday night, but I got cold feet and decided to stay home and watch a movie instead (The Shape of Water, which was fabulous). Steve was very happy to settle back and relax too as he'd been out working since crazy o'clock in the early morning. Anyway, I'd already photographed my outfit, so I thought I'd be as well to share it with you. What do you think?

I hope to get the chance to wear this another time as I love the combination of tough biker jacket and fluffy tulle skirt. The Zara boots have been featured on the blog a few times previously and I fancy they will pop up again.

The Ted Baker skirt was featured on the blog once before over my birthday weekend in January see here, but since then has languished in my wardrobe for no other reason than I seemed to forget about it. Shame on me! It's such a luxurious piece that deserves an occasion to let it take centre stage and yet I've let it down again! 

You'll have seen the metallic Missguided jacket a little while ago on the blog here. I wore it with the same boots too as tonally I think they're perfect and perfection is what I seem to aspire to. The heavily beaded and sequined top (Topshop) was a charity shop find in October and which cost me £3. 

You'll probably have guessed by now that these shots were all taken with my tripod and timer meaning they're not the best/most finely focused etc. However, my thoughts are that as Christmas approaches at breakneck speed you may all be slightly distracted with other things and won't a) have time to visit me anyway or if you do b) you'll be skimming through while feeling guilty that you ought to be doing something much more important. And talking of more important things ...

Channel 4

I'm addicted to Kirsty's Handmade Christmas which is on daily on Channel 4 in the run-up to Christmas. Kirsty Allsop's tips to creating our best ever Christmas urge us to get crafting, making and cooking and leave me full of enthusiasm for the features of the day. Steve is very keen for me to stencil a snow scene on the kitchen windows, but thank goodness I've managed to poo-poo that idea as we get terrrrrible condensation on them. (Lack of stencils, fake snow and places to buy such things at this late juncture also come into it.) Next year I propose that Kirsty actually hosts the entire series in my home so that I benefit from all of these lovely homemade goodies without actually having to toil over them myself! 

In the meantime, thanks for making the time to visit at this most hectic time of year. I do hope that Kristy has sent some little elves round to yours to help you achieve your most perfect Christmas. If not, then like me, you're sure to cope with a slightly dry turkey and singed roast spuds due to spending too long in the pub at lunchtime. I'll be back on Sunday though if you can make it!

Anna x


Fur and sequins

Hello to you on this very fine Sunday!

As the countdown to Christmas continues I'm striding out in fur and sequins today. The super soft fur bomber jacket (from New Look) is a hand-me-down from Sasha which she gave me last winter. It's the first time I've worn it and now I can't imagine why I've waited so long! 

I decided to up the fur factor by adding this grey cuddly scarf that Polly gave me for my Christmas last year. Much as the day was bright it was actually very stormy and cold warranting this bundled up weekend outfit. Steve and I had to search for a spot out of the wind to capture these shots. The view behind me is called Penzance Road and I suppose if the road did continue off the island it would eventually reach the mainland.

The snuggle factor continues with this turquoise cashmere sweater (very old from M&S). I have this sweater in three colourways and really, you can't beat cashmere for the perfect combination of warmth and comfort. I'm always on the lookout for cashmere when I visit charity shops as you can find them at any time of year. I have a turquoise V neck cashmere sweater that somehow I managed to shrink in the wash and yet I still can't bear to get rid of it. The turquoise rings are both pre-loved and I actually had on a matching necklace which I forgot to reveal. Ho hum.

As ever, I'm sporting my much loved sunglasses from Quay Australia, and why not?

I'm most definitely a jeans at the weekend kinda girl and these embroidered (Next) ones with beads and sequins were a happy find in a charity shop months and months ago. I think it's the first time I've worn them though as they're quite long and needed some high heels. I like to wear my jeans with trainers, hence why it's taken so long to find the right outfit. By adding my metallic silver Buffalo ankle boots I feel this has taken on a lovely wintery look.

This weekend has been a busy one with a trip to St Mary's yesterday to buy a few Christmas presents and have my fringe cut. I spent the afternoon wrapping all my Christmas presents while I watched "It's a Wonderful Life" - that was my idea of a perfect afternoon. 

Last night was the island Christmas party and I'm afraid we ducked out of that this year. Being a non-drinker sometimes stops me wanting to socialise. Being totally sober as everyone gets more and more merry can be a bit of a downer, leaving you on the outside looking in. I don't drink out of choice and for health reasons, so this year I decided to sit it out. However, I did take some shots of what was going to be my outfit and will show you those on Wednesday. What I would have worn seems a bit of a crazy post, but some of you may still be interested ... In the meantime, I do hope that all of your Christmas arrangements are coming along. I'm off to make a few batches of fudge today. I seem to be quite popular at this time of year with those who have a sweet tooth!

Anna x


Mail shot surprise

It's a funny feeling to open the mail and see your own face smiling back at you.This mailshot landed on my doormat yesterday which was a lovely surprise. The product launch was a few weeks ago and I've already run a feature about the products (see here). Anyway, seeing this reminded me that I've not shared the behind the scenes shots from the day I spent working on the campaign. Would you like to see them? 

The photo shoot took place in a house in a London suburb. Don't ask me where exactly, as I haven't a clue. I spent the night with my dear friend Ann who lives near Borough Market and the next day I took a taxi, a train and then walked the last half mile to the house down a quiet avenue in a residential area. This is the entrance hall which was a taster of what was to come. The house is a large family home full of both classical features and quirky objects d'art. I must admit that in between shots I did a fair bit of snooping about, taking lots of photos of this extraordinary home.

I was barely over the threshold when this message carved into the mantelpiece struck joy in my heart. Had I just entered my dream home?

Directly opposite the front door this central area joining all of the downstairs rooms leads through to the garden with lawn and sitting areas. A couple of models are being prepped here ready for their shoot as I continued to nosey around.

Flamingos are a fabulous passion that crop up again and again. 

Yup, the obligatory selfie.

The kitchen island is build around a real olive tree. I gawped and tried not to gasp out loud at each quirky aspect of the house and its decor.

And the other end of the kitchen ...

... leads into the garden.

On the veranda is Annee being lined up for her shot.

She's worked for the brand for a while now and looks very much at home in front of the camera.

Yet more flamingos in the undergrowth.

And perched just around the corner was fellow blogger Laurie of Vanity and Me Style. It was lovely to meet up with her again and have a catch up on each others news. We had lunch together and sat out in the sun as we waited for our shoot.

What a great way to protect your outdoor furniture from the weather - cover it in AstroTurf!

We were both in agreement that this was a most unusual and stunning house. We enjoyed the privilege of spending the day in these luxurious surroundings, as the stylists worked their magic and pampered us with the products.

Annee and Amanda, one of the make-up and hair stylists, are loitering outside a bedroom - there was a lot of loitering to be done.

I joined in as I'm not averse to a bit of loitering myself.

The natural light in this bathroom was perfect for the photo shoots.

At every turn and from every angle there was something artistic to see. Someones imagination had run wild in the creation of this home.

The editing suite was located in the playroom which doubled as the changing room, meaning I got the chance to snoop at the proceedings. This is Ruth, the oldest model on the day at 83 - doesn't she look amazing? The brand, Look Fabulous Forever, has truly encompassed all mature women in this campaign.

Next day I was on the train back on my way to the West Country, enjoying the view across the Tamar bridge as we passed from Devon to Cornwall. I spent the night in Truro, although, shock, horror, I had little time to shop in my favourite city.

These motor bikes parked up on Lemon Quay were too colourful to walk past - I'll have one of each please!

Early morning light over St Michael's Mount as captured from the train at the end of my journey.

And there she is, The Scillonian loading up with freight and passengers as she makes ready to leave for the day trip to the islands. My adventure may be over, but the memories remain. It's been a funny old year. If someone had told me in January on my 60th birthday that I'd be featured in three advertising campaigns this year, two of which would show me on TV - well, I'd have laughed in their face. I'm still slightly bemused at how I've pulled this off, but I suppose it just goes to show that anything is possible.

Anna x

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