A seaside stroll in the sunshine

Hello from sunny Tresco!

Today is all about the beautiful island of Tresco and specifically this beach, called Appletree Bay. Steve and I took ourselves out for an early morning stroll along the shoreline to capture some pretty outdoors shots away from the village. This beach is only a five minute cycle or a 20 minute walk from home. On a very big spring tide, this beach dries out completely, joining up with a central sandbar which stretches all the way to the island of Bryher behind me. This is where the Low Tide event is staged - see my post from last year about this here.

My weekend outfit is a mix of pre-loved and newish pieces. My sister Dianne kindly sent me these cropped trousers last year and this is the first time I've worn them. I have posh shoes and a smart jacket that would also look great together, but opted for this relaxed look instead. When I get back to work I'll feature the other option.

The sheer striped top was a second hand buy (brand is M&S) and underneath is a vest top from Topshop (again pre-loved). My mind wandered off then, to consider my preference for pre-loved clothes which supports my passion for recycling and reducing waste. I wonder if UK clothes retailers will rein in their production over the forthcoming months? Or will the hunger for all things new still be present in our consumers? Will these long weeks at home have shaped the consumerism of the future? The big question of "Do I really need this?" might be easier to answer now that we've managed without so much recently. 

My wedge sandals are by Guess and came from TK Maxx last year. Both of my rings are pre-loved. 

The sunglasses of the day are my old faithfuls by Quay Australia.

The turquoise and silver anklet was from Accessorize last year.

A sense of peace is probably the most obvious thing we locals have all noticed over the past weeks of lock-down. With no vapour trails overhead and scarcely a boat to break the silence, we have all been gifted this time to bask in the idyll of island life. We've been blessed with beautiful weather too, enabling us to make the most of our surroundings without seeing a soul. We seem far removed from the reality of Covid-19 and yet we know how fragile and vulnerable our island communities are to the very real threat of the invisible warrior. Social distancing is practiced here as everywhere and our shop operates as those on the mainland do with ours only allowing 4 shoppers at a time. Once freedom of movement resumes we're all aware that our stress levels will rise as we have visitors and workers return from the mainland and we too will experience the kind of anxieties that have become the norm elsewhere. For the moment we are savouring the calm before the storm.

I'll be back on Friday with my latest feature of Dress Up Friday - do pop by if you've got a minute!

                                                                           Anna x


VE Day and Dress Up Friday

Happy VE day to you all!

Hello and welcome to this Dress Up Friday feature which gives the slightest of nods to VE Day. My washing line is currently sporting everything of mine that is red, white and blue leaving me with only this tiny purse by Lulu Guiness to tie in with the celebrations. Street parties acorss the country have been cancelled (like ours) or scaled down due to restrictions, but coverage on TV and the radio is comprehensive and is an insight for us into a war where the enemy was visible and impacted massively on the world at that time too.

You may enjoy the irony of the fact that I hung everything out dry this morning and since then it's rained long and hard! The forecast is for an improvement for later so it may all be dry again by dinner time.

I embraced the two tone nature of this stylish M&S dress by adding one pink and one red sock boot (H&M) for a quirky touch today.

The round sunglasses (Radley) and long chain add a 60's vibe to the outfit. Bangle and red ring are pre-loved, the pink ring was a gift.

The mesh tights are a good soloution to the changeling period between spring and summer when legs may still be a rather whiter shade of pale.

Sorry to dash, but I've got some baking to do for our little family get together later. A rich chocolate cake is in the oven currently and I'll be making a tray bake of roast new potatoes, chicken pieces, chorizo, onions and peppers for dinner. We'll be toasting the celebrations with some Prosecco and finishing with cheese and crackers. I hope you're managing to hook up with family even if it's only virtually!

Until next time, take care!

Anna x


Keep on keeping on!

Hello again!

Thanks for joining me today. It was only 24 hours ago in the spring sunshine that Steve and I took these shots in the green heartland of Tresco. I was feeling bright and bouncy in this colourful outfit and delighted to have something to share with you for my next feature. And then I woke up this morning with a real dose of the blues, brought on, I think, by disturbed sleep. Since I was a child I've been a poor sleeper with the slightest of worry impacting on my ability to drop off to sleep. I'm often still awake at two or three in the morning, reading as I try to wear myself or rather my brain out. The lack of mental stimulus currently is what seems to be showing with me now. Much as I can be physically tired, my brain is churning away the moment I switch the light out.

Anyway, I thought I'd follow my own, and often used, advice of Keep on, keeping on. We're all suffering ups and downs during lockdown and a dose of the blues is probably the least of our worries. Loneliness, financial hardship and worse of all, loss of friends or family members all overshadow my down in the mouth days, and yet we ought to be able to reach out to others in similar situations eh? My moods aren't consistent at the moment, but who can honestly claim to be coping all of the time? Lean forward and give me a virtual hug right now and I'll return it with gusto!

When I look at this shot the first thing I notice is how much I need a haircut. It's almost two months since I was last at the hairdresser and wonder how long it will be until I get back again. I'm already toying with the idea of scarves and hairbands as I see so many other woman resorting to currently. 

I need my colours done too!

I decided to add a pair of earrings to my look today as a distraction from the lack of hair style. These are a vintage pair of yellow and white beaded earrings bought from a friend who sells vintage clothes and jewellery online. See her Instagram feed here Madamefifipresents. Annie and I first met in London when we were both attending the casting audition for JD Williams a couple of years ago and have been friends ever since. I'm also sporting another new pair of Radlely sunglasses featuring sweet two tone frames.

As for the rest of the outfit, well you may have seen it all before, but not together. The Levi's denim jacket is most definitely vintage as I stole it from Steve when we first got together over 40 years ago. It definitely has improved with age - a bit like him I have to say! The bright pink chinos are by Boden (a couple of years ago) and the trainers were from TK Maxx last year.

The embroidered runners are by Replay and were a joyful find when I was at the Harrogate branch of TK Maxx. 

I found this fabulous Frida Kahlo tee shirt in Primark last spring and went on to buy five more for friends as well as my daughter. I fancy I was threatening to showcase us all wearing it together but never got around to that. We could maybe try again later this summer if things pan out well?

The glorious handbag was a purchase when I ran riot in London charity shopping with my dear friend Ben. We had a great weekend together, but I must admit his energy outlasted mine and I had to retreat to the welcome comforts of a bath long before the shops closed, but not before we had filled my shopping bags with ample loot. See the spoils strewn across my bed as his house here. The yellow bangle was from the same time and the rings are both pre-loved too.

I'll leave you with this lush and verdant backdrop of Pool Road on Tresco. A month of sunshine and showers has the island looking as beautiful as ever. I'm enjoying my daily jaunts outdoors and took a lovely little video from the beach on Pentle Bay last week - click here to see and hear the theraputic sounds of the sea. 

I'll be back again on Friday with another offering for the Dress Up Friday feature. Please do swing by again - I'd love to hear from you!

                                                                                        Anna x


Dress up Friday, again

Happy Friday!

Hello my lovely readers and thank you for coming back. As promised, here's my second offering of Dress Up Friday. I'll be honest with you - it's great to have the chance to dress up again. After 4 weeks on furlough, I'm chomping at the bit to put on my finery and this is the best reason I could find. The trend is gathering momentum on Instagram for this feature, so why not check it out when you get a minute.

I'm missing the routine of work. The daily dressing up is always a joy, rarely a headache for me. I like nothing better than to rummage around in my colourful clothes collection finding the pieces that reflect my mood of the day: sometimes playful, sometimes arty or bohemian, others I'll strive for a sleek professional look with a quirky touch making it all mine, but never is it a chore. 

The flower strewn top and silver ankle boots are from TK Maxx, but aren't recent purchases. Delving deep into my closet revealed this fabulous pleated skirt (from Tu at Sainsbury's and also old) that has pale golden tones that shimmer to silver depending on the light. The waistband is elasticated making for an easy to wear fit. 

The leather boots are by Buffalo and cost me £50 a couple of years ago. I still love them as much as ever, probably because they defy the expectations of what a woman ought to wear when she's classed as "older". I do wonder if the rebel in me will eventually fade away or if it's just part of my character.

This fluffy feathered handbag is almost vintage by now. I bought it in a boutique on Ghandy Street in Exeter many moons ago. I only bring it out every couple of years and yet it gets me lots of compliments whenever I do. The handles are suede, the lining is satin and has a popper to close it. If I were a handbag, then this would be it - totally over-the-top and attention seeking! The rings are both pre-loved. The rose gold knot bangle is by Kate Spade and the other one I bought at the Barbican Centre a couple of years ago.

Radley sunglasses.

Today's outfit surely has twirl appeal!

I'm happy to say that my focus has been better this week meaning that I've managed to get lots done on the spring cleaning front. I've finished the entire upstairs of the house and am now based in the kitchen. I bit the bullet, attacking the oven first of all. I couldn't bear to show you how bad (filthy) it was with baked on grease on the racks and glass door making it a two day marathon clean. I don't like those heavy chemical cleaners that tell you not to get it on your skin and have lots of fresh air so that you don't inhale the fumes - yuk! 

First of all I soaked as much as I could in the bath for two days (racks, side bars and glass facing), refreshing the water every 12 hours. I used Biotex as my pre-soak. Yes, I know it's meant for clothes, but it  also works like a dream on this most tricky of jobs. After soaking, it really didn't need too much elbow grease to bring them back like new. I dread to think how long it's been since I cleaned my oven, but I would like to try to make it a weekly habit now. The only problem will be when I return to work and become that crazy over-run creature again. Will I be able to sustain that routine? The alternative is not to allow anyone to use the oven ever again!

The highlight of our week here in the UK has been the celebrations for Captain Tom Moore, fund-raiser extraodinaire who has prompted us to dontate over 32 million pounds for the NHS through his walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday on Thursday. Captain Tom embodies all that is great about Britain, proving his grit and determination despite his frail stature. He has stolen our hearts, lifted our spirits and shared his gentle philosophy, that the sun will shine again and we will all be okay. We have taken this humble hero to our hearts and are all the richer for his presence in our lives. Hurrah for Captain Tom!

                                                                                       Anna x

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