It had to happen...

Hello lovelies, how are you? I hope you're well and coping with the lockdown in England if that's where you are. This was me on Friday morning, emerging from my daily swim on Appletree Bay, smiling broadly and so pleased with having met the challenge once again. 

I regard my sea swimming as my health insurance, my personal policy for keeping well, warding off colds and general day to day illnesses. However, I'm guilty of ignoring my own warnings of "running on low" that I've been talking about on the blog recently. Some 24 hours after this was taken I was hit by a tummy bug which felled me and is still taking its toll now. Instead of the planned fitness regime for my month off, I'm laid low, sipping re-hydration drinks in between trips to the bathroom. No longer fit, healthy and robust, I'm weak as a kitten and sweating like no lady should. I just wanted to touch base with my loyal readers so that you don't think I've forgotten you. I'll be back when I've recovered. In the meantime, here's a round up of the daily walking that Fiona and I have been doing of late - this scenic circle of the island is a wonderful dose of sights and sounds to aid our mental well-being. 

Thanks for joining me. I'll be back soon. Lots of love to you!

Anna x


It's all in the detail

Hello lovelies, how are you doing this first Friday of lockdown 2? It feels less worrying for me this time, probably because Tresco in the winter has a lockdown look to it anyway. There are so few of us as winter residents that you can walk around the whole island without seeing a soul sometimes. The other thing that makes it feel different is that we've got a finish date this time. Of course, that may change nearer the time, but somehow a month seems less ominous than the open ended nature of the first lockdown. 

When I say, It's all in the detail, I mean about the double breasted fastening on the jacket with those iconic buttons and the contrasting stitching as an accent colour on the jumpsuit and belt. These are such a simple features and yet are often the reason why I'll opt to buy one piece over another. This fabulous peach coloured jacket by Dsquared was a prize purchase from TK Maxx some years ago and has become like a faithful friend now. The buttery soft leather has moulded itself to my shape and feels like a second skin when I put it on. The pale colour has the downside of showing up ever knock or mark, but I'm learning to live with these signs of age, much like I am with my own!

The belt is preloved and the jumpsuit is by Tu at Sainsbury's and was my final purchase before I started my 12 month shopping ban. I'm on month 9 now and haven't faltered yet. Having said that, my Christmas wish list is very specific with details of longed for pieces being sent to each member of the family. This project has been wonderful for sharpening my focus on what's lacking in my wardrobe or what's in dire need of replacing. It's quite a relief for both my husband and son to be pointed in the right direction this year I can tell you! And with my birthday coming up in January I'll be dropping some more hints too.

I'm sporting Radley sunglasses again today, along with a jewel encrusted shark's tooth necklace in rose gold (purchased from Charlie Dodge jewellery). My gold ring was a gift from a friend as was the peach perspex one.

It's a joy to bring out these ASOS brocade boots again. I've lost track if they are two or three years old now, but I store them boxed up between wears to help preserve their shape and keep them pristine. I wore them a couple of times with dresses in the autumn and they always had a few admirers. Brocade is a great example of detail too. The ornate stitchwork is what they're all about.

The winning feature of a jumpsuit surely has to be the one piece nature of it, but that's also the downside when nature calls - advance planning is what's required to allow enough time to undo all of those buttons! I have a similar all-in-one which has a zip and therefore it gets more Brownie points.

I'd love to report that I've had great week away from work, but the plan and reality were quite a distance apart. Some winter works have cropped up and therefore I've spent most of my holiday so far beetling away packing up artwork. I think that by the end of today I'll have completed that and my time off can commence. In the meantime, I've still managed to make time for my daily swim and also Fiona and I have started up our winter walking regime over lunchtime. The island is blessed with lots of hills and sharp inclines which are ideal for bursts of speed as we both declare "Bums and thighs!" in the hope that our energies are directed to the right spot. If intention and results work in correlation we'll be toned up and perky by Christmas. One can but live in hope!

                                                                                           Anna x


I'm loving these autumn hues

Hello again! How was your weekend? First of all, let's get the lockdown subject out of the way, shall we? Are you fed up at the prospect of weeks at home again or is the rise in the number of COVID cases starting to worry you too? Personally, I don't think there was ever going to be an easy way to get through this winter and if the predictions are accurate then this could be worse than the first wave of the virus. Last night's radio news reported that there were 132 new deaths from the virus in the UK within the past 24 hours. The very next report was to say that the police in Bristol were still trying to break up an illegal rave in a warehouse in Yate involving 400-500 people! This element of the population don't watch or listen to the news (social media is their source of information), nor do they want to accept any involvement or responsibility in the spread of the virus. I call them the "It's not me" movement. Will they adhere to the lockdown restrictions? I wonder ...

Anyway, moving swiftly on. I've gone all autumn colours with this my last work outfit of the season; rust, orange, brown and chestnut shades make an unusually subdued palette of colours for me. Sometimes I surprise myself at the marriage of items which make up an ensemble, but it's good to expand my repertoire. 
My friend Jilly loved this - classy and elegant, stylish and understated - was her wonderfully gushing appraisal. Thanks my dear, I'll take that!

Despite Jilly's comments, it was almost impossible to look anything but windblown when Fiona and I stepped outside to capture these shots. The latest storm was about to batter the islands and so we ventured no further than a few steps from the Gallery door.

And so, on to the details. The sharp wool jacket was a hand me down from my sister - it's by Jones New York and oozes style indeed. One day, when I too retire, I'll probably pass it on to someone who can do it justice within the work place. The polo neck sweater came from H&M, I think. The beautiful skirt is a vintage piece bought from Oxfam in Truro last year. The brand is Mondi, made from wool and polyester which gives it a lovely drape, and of course the winning feature has to be the pockets!

The overstitched boots are by Riva and were charity shopped quite a few years ago. I don't wear them often and yet looking at them now, I do wonder why? I added these argyle tights to tie in with the sweater tones and to stop this descending into a predominantly brown outfit.

I swear I must have had this suede tassel belt for over 20 years, but it's still a joy to wear when the right outfit comes along. Today, this surely has to be the right outfit!

Rings are: orange one pre-loved: gold one was a gift from a girlfriend. Watch is by Michael Kors and the beetle brooch was purchased from the Gallery a good few years ago.

Somewhere under that mess of hair are a pair of co-ordinating sunglasses by Radley London.

And just in case you didn't catch this on Instagram the other day, I was surprised and delighted to find that I'd been featured in the new online magazine Forty and Beyond Mag UK. Not only is it great to find a new publication for the over 40's, but to be considered worthy of being included is very flattering. Hurrah for them in recognising the value in this often overlooked demographic to the point that they were inspired enough to create a new magazine. Of particular interest to me was the timely article on lockdown anxiety. Click on the link above to take a look inside.

                                                                                             Anna x


Bold in gold!

How-de-do-dee! How is your day going? Ask me how I am and I'll tell you, much better! The version of myself in the last post really got me down. I felt dull and dowdy, dreary and uninspired. Today however, I feel much more like myself! 

Bold in gold, perky in patterns and generally in fine fettle, that's me! The teddy bear woollen coat (by Covent Garden) has huge snuggle appeal which is perfect for the gales that are sweeping across these islands at the moment. The big collar turns up against the strong winds making me feel as if I have super powers, or at least that I have an inner furnace glowing away against the weather. 

Now this is what I call pattern play! You may recall seeing this very outfit before, but by including the coat this time I've added yet another layer of luciousness. 

The harlequin cardi (by Country Casuals) and frilled blouse (by Matthew for JoEd Sophisticates) are both vintage pieces. The cardigan has large shoulder pads creating a great line. Low slung pockets give the perfect slouch appeal. 

My gorgeous tartan boots (M&S) are a no-brainer to go with this bright poster colour knit. Even on the most dull wintery day this outfit defies the blahs. It's an absolute mood enhancing rush of colours and golly it certainly worked miracles on me!

My cowhide animal print handbag injects another bit of fun to the ensemble. The leather backed Paul Costelloe arm candy was a wonderful find in TK Maxx last winter. I almost bought it for my daughter's Christmas, but the longer I looked at it, the more I realised that I would love it more than her. Sasha has got to that stage where she discourages me to buy her any surprise gifts as I may just end up wasting my money. She has her very own sense of style and it's not one that I can necessarily keep track of. Much better to give her a lovely voucher instead. I'm sure I'm not the only mum who has found this a happier outcome all round.

Today's rings are both second hand and the poppy brooch was from the British Legion website a few years ago. I found a similar one on their website here

Today is my last day at work for a whole month, but never fear, I'll be dressing up for my sanity and for the sake of the blog during that time. I've got a fabulous new addition to my winter wardrobe coming up in November - but rest assured, I've not broken my shopping ban to make that happen! And apart from that I plan to don my walking boots and scoop up my walking friends as part of my push for better fitness over the winter months. I'll be following the high tide around the clock throughout November for my daily swims which will be great fun and definitely a great challenge too if these high winds continue! So do please join me again on Monday when I'll show you my last work outfit for October.

                                                                                          Anna x

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