Hello, hope you’re all having a lovely weekend, especially everyone in the UK as it’s the last Bank Holiday for a while. Lots to tell you about this week so I’m going to dive straight in – I’ve reluctantly promised to do some planting today so the garden centre is calling. I always thought that I would find my gardening mojo when I was grown up and had a big garden. Well I have the big garden but the mojo still hasn’t arrived so I guess that just means I haven’t grown up yet…even though the big news about this week was that I had another birthday. I haven’t had to go to work on my birthday for years so it was a very different one. I needed to do something to make it feel a bit different so I decided to test out the Boden Superskinny jeans to see if they really are suitable for workwear as I’ve kept saying. This is how they looked:

Boden super skinny jeans

Boden superskinny jeans; Whistles blazer; Betty Barclay shirt; Jigsaw Milly shoes (other colours here); Zara necklace; Selfridges pearl earrings

I felt absolutely fine in them and nobody commented so I think this now gives me a whole new avenue for dressing for work which is a relief. Despite the fact that I had to work, I had a really interesting morning because I went to visit a neighbouring company to see how we could collaborate. Cumbria Crystal is an absolute gem, it’s one of the last places in the UK to make hand blown and hand cut lead crystal. They make crystal for the Royal Family and their glasses are used on the Downton Abbey and Poldark TV series. The MD took me round the factory and explained that the method has barely changed since the Roman days. I found it so fascinating that I asked if I could take some pictures with all of you in mind so here you have a behind the scenes tour:

This is how the raw ingredients arrive. I vaguely remember learning at school about glass being discovered by early man making a fire on sand, so this substrate completely makes sense.


Secret ingredients are added to the raw mix and it is then heated…


…until it is in a form that can be worked…


…and blown…


…and blasted in the furnace again…


…and dipped…


…it can then be handed over to the master craftsman…


…who shapes and perfects it…


…a hot iron indents the base…


…it is taken back to the furnace and you can see that the man at the back is beginning the process again…


…it is then blasted in the furnace for hours (30 I think they said).


This amazing lady has every pattern in her head. She draws the lines onto the pieces ready for the cutters, I could have watched her all day.


The glasses are dipped in acid to assist in the polishing process but the outline remains…


…the edges are planed by hand…


…and then the pattern is cut but sadly the cutter was off sick so I couldn’t see that bit.

Here is the finished product – these are the actual glasses that were made for the Queen. They are gilded with real gold and cost £600 each!  IMG_3481

So you can usually only buy the glasses in Harrods or on their website BUT if you happen to come to Ulverston in Cumbria there is a factory shop. Their standards are so high that any piece with the tiniest flaw is rejected and sold though here at a very reduced price. Because it was my birthday I decided that it was only right to treat myself to a couple of champagne glasses. Having seen the intricacy of the production process I went completely against my usual minimalist style and chose the Grasmere style that is used on Downton Abbey.


So, that was my birthday. Too many people bought me cake – which I ate and I had a lovely tea with Mr MC and the boys along with presents which included the timely delivery of my new car complete with the sporty red interior that Mr MC hates. It doesn’t really matter because as a result of his speeding points it is too expensive to insure him on it anyway!

What else shall I tell you about? On Thursday evening we went down to Cheshire for an awards dinner. We were narrowly pipped to the post of Manufacturer of the year by Jaguar Landrover – I guess you could say they were a worthy opponent. We were also runners up for Environmental Manufacturer of the year and for Exporter of the year, hopefully next year, with some good marketing behind, us we’ll win! I wore my Boden luxurious lace dress which I snapped up in the Winter sale – there are still some of these left on the clearance site and they are so lovely to wear. I haven’t mastered the blogger’s art of the selfie in the mirror photo but here’s a couple of very rushed attempts as the rest of the team were hammering on my hotel room door ready to go down to the bar.

Boden luxurious lace dress

Boden luxurious lace dress worn with navy Whistles suede shoes


I had a very late night because I thought it was important to stay in the bar and do some bonding with my new colleagues. For some reason I also decided to drink Cointreau after the red wine we had with dinner – it seemed like a good idea at the time!

Yesterday we went for a relaxed birthday lunch and the sun finally made an appearance – for one day only it seems. It was so lovely to sit outside and I even have a ‘t-shirt tan’. With it being a Bank Holiday weekend, the Lake District is of course full of tourists. It simply isn’t at it’s best when it’s crowded so it’s good to know the places that are off the beaten track. We very rarely go to the central Lake District, it’s far better to stick to the West which is known as the Lake District Peninsula, this way you avoid the hoards and the queues of traffic but enjoy the same spectacular scenery. The lunch that Mr MC had booked for us was at The Punch Bowl Inn at Crossthwaite.


It used to be a sister pub of the very well known Drunken Duck which is lovely but often full of flashy city types who are weekending in faux country style. It’s far nicer to be low key although the Punch Bowl is increasingly winning awards so it’s going to get busier. It is at the end of the stunning Lythe Valley which is famous for its damson crops and, of course, damson gin. As with many pubs in these remote rural communities, it also acts as the village post office and shop. It has been beautifully and sensitively refurbished – there are rooms and I really want to stay there soon. The chef is widely tipped as a Michelin potential and the food was lovely. This is probably a better shot for you to see the valley views than what I was wearing.


I’m finding that jumpsuits are a great addition to my wardrobe for this time of year, especially because I’m not a great lover of fake tan – they cover the white skin that isn’t ready to be exposed. They can also be dressed up and down very easily. This one is a new discovery from Next.

Punch Bowl Inn review

Next Jumpsuit; Jigsaw Milly shoes; Mango clutch; Zara necklace; Jigsaw Isabella sunglasses

There were only three of us for lunch, the middle one is in Barcelona with school and the eldest was in a hotel room recovering from his Leavers’ Ball. In fact we will be down to three for most of the week because the eldest son must now move into serious A Level revision mode (she says, knowing that procrastination has even seen him reading his mum’s blog recently). The elder two are growing up and away from us so quickly that I am determined to make the most of my little one – I have most of this week off and we have a few fun things planned.


He’s loving every second of the undivided attention.


However before we go into serious Mum and Dad mode, we’re having a bit of a wild night out tonight. The prison at Lancaster Castle was closed 2 years ago and one of the wings has been turned into a ‘venue’ known as ‘A-Wing’. Tonight, much to the delight of my ageing ex-clubber of a husband, Pete Tong is the DJ! We did ‘do’ Pete Tong at Pacha in Ibiza 4 years ago for Mr MC’s 40th so I know what to expect – it starts at 10pm and goes on until the morning. We have negotiated with the eldest that we are going and he is not although his friends are – so he is dreading the Snapchats of his dad dancing surrounded by the young and cool (not that Mr MC isn’t cool). What to wear is the question that has been going round and round my head since we booked it weeks ago. I still haven’t answered it. In the meantime this is what I’m wearing to go to the garden centre…life is full of extremes!

joules breton

Whistles blazer, Boden super skinny jeans; Joules breton; Eternal Collection necklace; M&S Autograph Chelsea Boots

Have a lovely Bank Holiday…wish me luck (and stamina) for tonight and…keep in touch. XXX