Summer Show 2

Hi, hello and here I am at the second summer exhibition last night with the artist of the evening, Saul Cathcart who managed to make it to Tresco for his opening night party. This is his first exhibition with us, and it's been worth the wait. Paul won't mind me telling you that he had contacted me many years ago, asking to show in the gallery. At that time I felt that he was very much work in progress and that he needed some time to develop his own voice. I'm glad that we both waited, as this collection is fresh and strong and shows a great emotional response to his residency here on the island last winter. 

Just unpacked, this was my first chance to see my personal favourite of Saul's, All That I Need - Pentle Beach, Tresco, which then went on to sell to the client who was viewing it. Thank goodness! It saved me that terrible inner battle of Can I, Can't I? See the full collection of the show here

The best time of the day - the show is open, the party was a success and Saul sold his first painting - all is well with the world. A huge thanks to Polly, Duffy and Jilly for running such a tight ship last night - we made a great team!

And so, on to the outfit. The boho maxi dress is actually called The Angel Dress and was from Zara when I was in London last month. I was at the grab-it-and-run stage, so didn't try it on in the shop. Oh my goodness, I'm gonna stop for a moment and have a moaning moment. Living on a tiny island means I'm not very savvy about the rules of department store shopping, but honestly I came across a crazy shopping rule in Zara that just astounded me. Picture this - a very hot summer's day on Oxford Street, the shops teaming with shoppers and the queues getting longer by the minute. I had a huge armful of shopping and had tried to skip the queue in Zara by taking the escalator up two flights to another changing room. After waiting my turn, I was asked how many items I had. I don't know was my reply. The assistant counted 15 pieces including belts, then told me I could only take 10 in. OK says I, I'll leave these belts and tops behind and swap them with you in a moment. You can't do that she said. Sorry? Well, we don't hold anything for you. If you don't want it, then we put it straight back into stock. But, if I can try it on I might buy it. Sorry, only 10 items and no hold-overs. At this stage, my own guardian angel decided to intervene, when the two young girls behind me both offered to take some of my things in with them and we'd swap as I worked my way through my stash. I thanked them profusely and we got on  with it, but honestly - what's that all about? 

The Angel Dress was a find on day two in London, by which time I'd given up all thoughts of changing rooms in Zara and had resorted to grabbing a size and hoping for the best. This floaty boho maxi was £49.99, but seems to be sold out already. I love it for the colour, pattern and shape - it's a great summer frock, dreamy and feminine and will now become an everyday piece for me to wear with white trainers or flat sandals. I think it's going to be a cool option for those hot summer days - I'll let you see the daytime version soon.

My turtle gemstone bag was from a small boutique in St Andrews in January, but it lacks a label I'm afraid. The colours of the stones are a super match for this outfit. It held a back-up pair of shoes (not needed, surprisingly) as well as my camera, hairbrush and make-up - it's a bit of a Tardis creature this one! The large ring on the left was a purchase at TK Maxx some time ago and the other gold coloured ring was a charity shop find.

These strappy gold sandals say Office inside. I think I bought them to take on a cruise a few years ago. They're not leather, but are soft enough not to rub even though I was on my feet for three hours.  We all need a pair of gold sandals surely? 

My shark's tooth necklace is adorned with Swarovski crystals and was made by Charlie Dodge. 

Best thing of all about my fabulous new dress has to be the Swoosh Factor!

Thanks so much for dropping by. As you can tell, my life has moved up a gear into summer mode, therefore apologies to all of my blogging buddies for not hanging out with you as I like to. With our summer shows opening every 10 days and my swimming training for my big swim becoming a reality rather than a plan, I'm juggling all of the plates frantically. I want to share as much of my daily life with you, my reader, as I can and am so pleased to have you visit. 

Until next time, have a super week!

Anna x


Midweek fun

Welcome to my midweek burst of fun! After the other evening of glitz and glam (see here), I really couldn't top that look and have gone all playful and practical with this everyday work outfit. 

Polly and I refer to these as our Children's TV Presenter looks for very obvious reasons. Playful suits me fine on a summer's day when life is fabulous and work is a joy. I can nip up and down ladders without flashing anything I oughtn't and the all-in-one is lightweight and airy too which is perfect as the mercury rises. These Birkenstock type sandals (the brand is Autenti by Penta) are comfy and cool for the scorching temperatures. I bought my sandals in TK Maxx when I was in London recently and they're perfect as a flat runabout pair of sandals that still look stylish thanks to the pop of orange.

The seersucker gingham dungarees were also a purchase from my London trip (see here if you missed that little adventure) and were in the Topshop sale. I found these along with a nude coloured boiler suit in the racks downstairs. I'll let you see those in another post soon. The white long sleeved tee is by M&S, second hand via Oxfam. 

Polly was impressed that my shadow managed to keep up with my antics this morning!

Orange had to be the colour for my accessories don't you agree? The bangle and rings are all pre-loved and the resin necklace is very old indeed. My sunglasses tie in with the black and white theme too and are by my favourite brand Quay Australia

How's your summer unfolding? Are you jumping for joy or dancing in the streets? Do drop me a line - I'd love to hear what you're getting up to. I'll be back on Sunday with my next offering at the second summer exhibition. Do swing by if you have a moment!

                                                                                                  Anna x


An evening swim from New Grimsby to Samson

Hello and how are you doing? Have you been enjoying this brilliant sunny weather? The Isles of Scilly are looking resplendent under the brilliant summer sunshine at the moment. I'm including this map today to show you a wee swim I undertook last evening after work. The view from my office at New Grimsby looks directly down the channel towards Samson which is one of my favourite desert islands. Steve and I often take our boat there after work, he to sit on the beach and have a beer and me to swim off the beautiful white corner of sand where all the boats land and depart from. By the end of the day all the tripper boats have gone, taking the visitors back to their island of choice leaving Samson deserted once again. This is our time.

I'd spent most of day yesterday, staring into the distance, longing to be basking in the sunshine on Samson beach (see it in the centre of the photo - that slip of white sand on the island ahead), but work kept dragging me back to reality. We were almost at the close of business when I finally shared my idea with Polly - I wanted to swim to Samson. It's not far, maybe about a mile and half at the most, but that's far enough when I haven't done any open water swimming for a while. My shoreline swimming is a daily routine, but swimming along the beaches doesn't necessarily stretch me out of my comfort zone. 

I messaged Steve with the idea of a beer on Samson at the end of the day and he said yes, then I added that I was going to swim there. Fine was his response. At home I flurried about finding my wetsuit that hadn't seen the light of day for about two years. Earplugs was the next problem, as I'd dropped one of those into the sea the previous evening. A quick scrabble around in my swimming drawer and found my back up pair along with a new pair of goggles in case I needed them.

I squeezed into my wetsuit (heck, I was a bit slimmer last time I wore this!), slipped on my wetsuit boots and followed Steve down to the shore below our house. My heart was racing, panic sending adrenalin to surge through my system at the prospect of this long swim. Not just a long swim, but more the prospect of crossing the open water akin to crossing a busy road on the mainland. Not something you would do without due care and attention. The idea of Steve coming alongside me in this boat offers protection from any traffic. As it was, we encountered a couple of jet boats which tore past at speed leaving me bobbing about in their wash. 

Leaving the shoreline behind meant leaving the warmer eddies of water that linger across the sun-warmed sand and as I crossed the open water I felt the chill of the Atlantic sea. I thought about Ross Edgely as I was in the deeper water and the thing that came to mind was that he always had a song buzzing around his head by way of distraction from the long swim ahead. What came to mind for me was the little ditty of "Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream ..." and that helped to take my mind off the icy water coursing across the back of my neck. The slow beat of the song was the same rhythm as my rolling stroke and did indeed act as a fine accompaniment to the final push towards Samson.  

Steve had a great view from his vantage point.

Nearly there ...

Yay, I made it!

Anna x


Summer show 1

Hello and welcome our first summer exhibition evening at the gallery. Last night our artist in attendance was Flynn O'Reilly who basked in the glorious weather and revelled in his opening night party. To say that the gallery was busy is an understatement and we all worked hard like the ubiquitous swan, graceful on the surface and pedalling like billy-oh under the surface.

Before the masses descended. Flynn's artwork hangs proudly on the back wall and drew him lots of interest over the course of the evening. He spent a couple of hours chatting to clients, discussing the work which was produced as a result of his winter residency on the island. His reward was to sell his first piece on the night, setting him up for a good show. See the full collection of the July shows here.

The first show in the bag, we stepped outside for a few snapshots of the event.

I'll admit it: I've already peaked outfit-wise! I wish I could be of the mindset to save the best 'til last, but the glorious summer weather plus the siren's call of my mermaid coat clinched it. All I can say is that you'll surely see this fabulous coat on another exhibition evening. 

The evening sunshine bounced off the iridescent scales/sequins of the coat, causing it to shimmer and dazzle. It garnered lots of compliments too as I explained that Steve had given me it for Christmas - on land as in the water, I'm forever a mermaid I joked. The coat was from Topshop, but no longer available I'm afraid. I've slipped a beaded vest top underneath - a charity shop find (£2.50) again the brand is Topshop and the satin trousers were a gift from my daughter. I love to put a look together that looks unique but that hasn't cost the earth. Recycling clothes is one of my pet loves as you know.

My thanks to Harriet, a visiting friend who kindly donated these fantastic rosy-hued mirrored sunglasses to me. They're by my favourite brand Quay Australia  who have a 25% offer on at the moment, so hurry and grab yourself a bargain. (I link through to them because I love them, no other reason.)

Yet another outfit that delivers the wonderful swoosh factor! Not only that, but when I walk, the coat rustles making a noise like the sea receding across shells on the shore.

Both rings are pre-loved and ridiculous bargains from a Truro charity shop.

I've had these satin kitten heels for years. They were from Wallis. I love the pale mint green lozenge gemstones adding a bit of bling to what might have been too much classic understatement otherwise.

I'm so fortunate to have an excuse to dress up to the nines like this. With one exhibition every 10 days over July and August, Polly and I are constantly planning the next outfit. I'm, needless to say, in my element bringing out all of my sparkly over-the-top ensembles, but I also have a couple of new dresses that are much more the floaty look than awash with bling. You know me, ever the chameleon! 

So that's it, one exhibition down and five to go. I do hope you've enjoyed the first round up of our summer shows and that you'll join me for the next one. In the meantime I hope to see you again at the weekend!

Enjoy the rest of the week!

                                                                                      Anna x

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