Well there’s lots to tell you about this week and the eagle-eyed Instagrammers amongst you will know why: yesterday I was working with the BBC Breakfast show – not as Midlifechic but in a professional capacity. They’ve been travelling around the UK talking to businesses that have had an interesting journey out of the recession, so yesterday they came to Cumbria to talk to us and I thought you might like to know a bit about how it all goes behind the scenes. The producers came up on Wednesday and I spent the afternoon showing them around the factory so that they could work out the most interesting places to film and who to interview. They were focussing on employment so it made sense for them to talk to some of our colleagues with long service who were all a bit nervous but they quickly put them at their ease.

It was a 4am start for me and the BBC truck rolled in at 5am with the film crew who started linking up the satellite feeds and offloading all the camera and mike equipment. Steph McGovern, the presenter, arrived at 5.20am wearing full make-up and looking incredibly fresh – unlike the rest of us as you can see (actually this was taken at the end but I was still pale and puffy eyed from lack of sleep).

Midlifechic with Steph McGovern

(wearing Whistles dress; J Crew necklace)

Given that they were going live on air at 6am, it’s an incredibly efficient set up. The producers briefed Steph and checked she was happy with the spots they’d chosen. She then had a chat to a few of the workers on the production line to find out what they were doing and before we knew it the cameras were rolling…but sadly not for long as there were a few technical issues with the sound not working so they had one of those quick “back to the studio” moments. Actually the cameras were still filming as Steph was being told via her earpiece that she was being cut and so her ‘frustrated reaction’ was seen live on air. Within minutes it was doing the rounds of Twitter but luckily she saw the funny side of it! You can see the concentration here as they all focused on sorting everything out for the next live slot.


Steph obviously has a huge fan club – if you don’t know her she’s a very clever woman who was awarded ‘Young Engineer for Britain’ when she saved Black & Decker £150k a year at the tender age of 19 by improving their production techniques. She’s now the business reporter for BBC Breakfast and is an utterly lovely, warm, down to earth Northern lass with the whitest teeth I have ever seen. The concentration required is intense – they have a live slot every 30 minutes and have to think of different angles and get the best out of a wide range of people. Steph manages to be very relaxed though and was chatting away to us as she waited.


There was a huge buzz throughout the whole company and when they weren’t being filmed, everyone was glued to the screens cheering their colleagues on:


It was such a great morning for us all, and particularly for me as the very new head of marketing and creative. Whilst we were in the factory the sales started pouring in by phone, email and web purely because people were so keen to support a British manufacturer. Broadcasting finished at 9am and Steph and the team joined us all for bacon sandwiches in the canteen.

So, that was yesterday’s excitement and I was very ready to leave the office at 5pm after a 12 hour day. Thankfully the company had put me up in a hotel near to the office the night before and I had a lovely dinner with the MD and our PR agency at The Swan at Newby Bridge. It’s a beautiful hotel in my favourite part of the Lake District, I was trying to take a discreet selfie before I went in when a kind chap took pity on me as I was contorting myself and took this for me:


Boden dress; RachelWears cardigan; Boden necklace; Whistles Fleet Tote

I know the bag doesn’t go with the outfit but I didn’t know until an hour before that I’d be going out to dinner – I had planned to relax in the hotel in my pyjamas and write a blog post so I’m wearing my work clothes! I love eating out with Northern women, there’s none of the poached fish and salad nonsense, we tucked into burgers and chips and even had pudding – look – ginger creme brûlée with a gingerbread man!


Whizzing back to last weekend you’ll remember that I was planning a bike ride and a picnic with the boys. We actually had fish and chips instead of a picnic and an emergency when the middle one had a puncture and I realised I’d set off without anything practical like a bicycle pump or a puncture repair kit. Poor old Mr MC had to leave work and come to our rescue with a spare bike!

Nikki Garnett

Barbour jacket; Next relaxed skinny jeans (custom dyed); Next long sleeve white t-shirt; Superga Cotu Classic 2750s; Whistles sunglasses; Scarf rescued from the boys’ old cowboy dressing up box. I buy a few of these great value Next long sleeved t-shirts on their multi-buy offer every Spring so that they’re always a dazzling white (but not as dazzling as Steph’s teeth).

Here’s another shot from the weekend, this is one of the things in the Boden Spring collection that I really loved as soon as I saw it, so when it was reduced and then further reduced in the sale I invested. I know I’ll have it for years.

Boden cashmere review

Boden dip dyed cashmere jumper; Next relaxed skinny jeans; Boden boho boots; J Crew necklace

On Monday I had a meeting with a super premium British car manufacturer to discuss a range we are producing for them – sadly they didn’t offer me a car, I might have been excited by one of theirs! Anyway, it was a day for a conservative suit and flat shoes because I didn’t want to take them round the factory wearing my ugly safety boots!


Jigsaw Jacket; Jigsaw Paris fit trousers; Next long sleeved t-shirt; WhiteCompany necklace; Boden pointed flats

And finally today, I’m ridiculously pleased to be in my jeans again after a week of dressing formally:


Boden jumper; Next relaxed skinny jeans; Zara ballet flats.

So, that was my week and I have another busy one coming up which will be starting on a high with a trip to London but ending on a low with the funeral. Thank you for the emails, comments, tweets and Instagram chat this week – I’ll be on the case tomorrow chatting back to you. Keep in touch.