It’s a happy day in our house today – it’s our wedding anniversary. I have more reason to celebrate than most because my life now is my very own happy ending. As with all good fairytales though, I had to go through a struggle to reach it…

…Shall I tell you the story?

Are You sitting comfortably?

Then I’ll begin…

Once upon a time there was a girl who left university with her whole life ahead of her. Even though she was a country girl at heart, she decided to follow the bright lights to the city of London where, she’d heard, the streets were paved with gold and all kinds of wonderful things happen. However when she got there she found she was frightened and alone.

Soon a tall, dark, handsome prince came along and swept her off her feet. With promises of a glittering life ahead, everyone admired the perfect couple as they set out on their life together. But before too long it turned out that the prince wasn’t really a prince, in fact he was a monster in disguise. He never let anybody other than the girl see the monster which was an aggressive, alcoholic creature. For 8 years it hurt her often, in lots of different ways. This went on and on until one night, as she cried herself to sleep for the zillionth time, a tiny voice in her head told her that she really didn’t deserve to be treated that way. And from that small ray of self belief she started to look for a way to escape.

Little did she realise that her knight in shining armour had been in sight all along, disguised as the bolshy Geordie colleague who she thought she didn’t like. In fact in those days, if pushed, she might even have described him as a frog. She would probably never even have started a conversation with him if it hadn’t been for the launch of a new Selfridges store in a glittering temple of retail called The Trafford Centre.

After working hard all day with the rest of the team polishing floors and painting walls to hit the opening deadline, she found herself sitting opposite the man at dinner (to her slight annoyance). He too felt equally uncomfortable facing the woman that he thought behaved a little like a princess.

Bravely he decided to chance a conversation and asked “what is it like to live your life?” And it turned out that this was the magic question that she had been waiting so long for somebody to ask. So she told him and, as the terrible tale unfolded, he began to sharpen his spurs deciding that she was in fact his princess and that whatever it took he would rescue her. And he did. He stuck by her side as her friend and supporter until she was free and then one day she kissed him and he turned out to be neither a frog nor a bolshy Geordie but in fact the true prince.

Nikki Garnett

And they lived happily every after….


So all’s well that ends well.

Mr MC, now that you’ve started reading my blog, this one is for you. There is never a day that goes by when I am not grateful for everything that you did and continue to do. Thank you for helping me to rebuild myself from the shadow that you rescued, this blog is a testament to how far I’ve come.

We celebrated on Saturday night by going out for a lovely dinner with a bottle of wine and then another bottle of wine in a tapas bar (and then a bad head all day on Sunday). I wore an old favourite that I’d forgotten about, a White Company dress from the days when they did lovely fitted clothing, they seem to design everything loose and baggy these days. Here’s a pic:


White Company dress (past season); Boden Jackie heels (A/W 14); Boden necklace (past season)


The detail at the waist


Worn with Hobbs coat (A/W13); Selfridges snakeskin clutch (past season)

Today we had chocolate for breakfast…


…and opened our cards which included this one from our 11 year old who styled me in a rather nice breton dress although Mr MC is rather concerned about his Hobbit feet!


Later we’re popping out for a quick lunch because I have a presentation tomorrow that I must get on with.

Nikki Garnett, midlifechic

Betty Barclay white shirt; Next relaxed skinny jeans (custom dyed); Boden Jackie heels (A/W14); Whistles jersey blazer; Boden silver belt (past season); Swarovski crystal heart pendant


I’m dressed for a day that must be spent mostly at my desk. Just a quick note about white shirts. As you know I wear the M&S corset shirts for casual but if you’re aiming for a smarter look you need to invest. I discovered these Betty Barclay shirts years ago, German tailoring, ‘vorsprung durch technik’, they’re beautifully cut, stay crisp all day and have lovely details like deep cuffs that make them look special. I know it’s a bit of an old lady brand but they’re the best smart white shirts I’ve ever found.

So, it’s a special day for me…and I hope you’re all living your own versions of happy ever after too.


It’s taken quite a lot of courage to write this piece. I’m only going to talk about this once because it isn’t what my blog is really about and I hope it hasn’t spoiled it for anybody. Domestic abuse is still a taboo subject, especially amongst the demographic of women who are profiled as being educated and middle class. It is therefore important for people like me to speak out in the hope that we can help anyone else who is in a similar situation.

Obama’s #ItsOnUs campaign is obviously working hard to raise awareness in the US, we need to do this in the UK too. Although I’ve made a fairytale out of my story, I know that living with domestic abuse is not a fairytale in any way.

If a little voice in your head is telling you that you are living with behaviour that you don’t deserve, do get help. Also if you have noticed that a friend or family member has withdrawn from you this could be what they are going through; your first reaction is to isolate yourself – you do it because you feel ashamed. If the internet had been in existence when I was going through what I did, I would have had the courage to help myself far earlier – this is a good place to start. Just tell yourself – the sooner you do something about it, the sooner you will be able to find your own happy ending.