Well that took us all by surprise didn’t it – one day we were feeling complacent about the Indian summer and the next day the North wind blew in with Autumn. So as you can see from today’s pictures, in the space of a few days I’ve gone from blazers and slingbacks to coats and boots.

Suddenly in our house we’re discussing what to do for Hallow’een and bonfire night and the subject of Christmas has been raised more than once. I smiled this morning as each of the boys said ‘dragon breath’ as they hit the cold air when I waved them off to school. There are loads of berries on the holly bushes which my mum always said was the sign of a cold, hard winter to come. The heating is on, we haven’t had our first log fire yet but it won’t be long! From your comments and emails it seems that we’re all quite looking forward to winter this year after such a good run of sunny days…I’ll be reminding you of this in January…

Thursday chic

Last Thursday was Mr MC’s 44th birthday (yes the more numerate amongst you will have calculated that he is indeed my toyboy so I cash in fully on the theory that you’re only as young as the man you feel). He never tires of reminding me of how much older I am than him and as I think I’ve mentioned before, he loves films so, when I spotted that there was an 11 am pensioners’ screening of Pride in Kendal, it seemed only right to plan a trip for his birthday surprise. I was a little concerned that we would arrive and find we couldn’t get in but then alarmed in equal measure when we could! Thankfully they did tell us that we weren’t eligible for the OAP’s 20% discount on a cup of tea and a bag of popcorn!

If you haven’t seen Pride you must, it’s just brilliant, a real feelgood film. We emerged into bright sunshine with a spring on our step (unlike the rest of the audience) and went for a lovely lunch followed by a bit of a mooch around the shops. On the way home, we stopped at a farm cafe for cake and I suddenly remembered I hadn’t done a photo for the blog so here you are:

autumn outfits

  • Whistles Blazer S/S 14
  • Boden Spotty Shirt
  • Next relaxed skinny jeans (dyed indigo)
  • Zara necklace (out of stock online but still available in store)
  • Boden sixties slingbacks (if you’re thinking of these for next summer buy them this season, I’ve seen the S/S 15 preview and they’ve changed the shape)

If I’m looking a little disconcerted it’s because a coachload of Japanese tourists appeared while Mr MC was snapping away and proceeded to surround us and take photos of their own. I’m not sure who they thought we were but they then followed us and sat round us in the cafe smiling and nodding. As you can see in this newsreader pose I was wondering whether to laugh or worry! Yes those are cows being milked behind me and fortunately they distracted the tourists.

Nikki Garnett

Anyway it was a lovely simple day that ticked off all of Mr MC’s favourite things, we had more cake with the boys after school and then friends came round and brought him copious bottles of boutique cider so he went to sleep a happy man!

Saturday chic

Saturday was the day the weather changed. Our bedroom is in the roof and we’d been kept awake half the night by howling winds and torrential rain. When I got up, I had to think really hard about what to wear on a rainy day which is ridiculous for someone who lives in this part of the country. Anyway, it was an early start for Manchester because Mr MC and the smallest boy had found a karate club they could go to while the eldest and I toured the uni. All well and good but it meant we had to be there by 11am and also I knew my shopping trip was going to be impacted upon!

The uni was good (I thought) but not high enough in the league tables (the eldest thought) so we finished early and went into town. I’ve been on the hunt for some long flat boots. I want a pair that are comfortable but stylish that I can wear on grey days like these but it’s really hard to find something that doesn’t look a bit 2007 if you know what I mean. Anyway as I said on Friday, my son is a really good shopping companion who is ultimately planning a career in retail brand management (no idea where that comes from :)) and he encouraged me to look at things I would normally ignore. So I have found another great core chic item which I hope to reveal to you on Friday, I had to order a different size to be delivered so I’m just waiting for them to come. Mission accomplished we met up with the other two and walked over to Chinatown (the middle son aka posh boy was uninspired by universities, shopping and karate so had stayed at home). Here’s an oufit pic:


I’m really enjoying wearing black and navy together at the moment, something I haven’t done since the nineties.

Sunday chic

Sunday ended up being a relaxing day for me. Mr MC went off to Leeds for his GB squad karate training (yes more karate, it’s becoming as bad as rugby) which left me free to spend the day planning next year’s holiday. We had to get through homework hell first, I’m happy with arts and humanities but when it gets to science and maths I’m metaphorically back in the classroom staring at the walls wondering what the point of suffering so much brain pain is. I really try not to convey that to the boys but I think they see the panic at the back of my eyes as I force my brain to focus on gravitational mass. Anyway we survived it and I’m now feeling quietly anxious about them getting the marks back – you see, I truly am back in the classroom.

Back in my happy zone I trawled through Owners Direct looking at Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Croatia, Greece…costing up various options (you see I don’t mind maths when there’s a point to it). The process wasn’t helped by the eldest who is still dithering about whether to go on the rugby tour to South Africa, the geography trip to Iceland, the economics trip to New York or the Philosophy trip to Amsterdam (I’m going to be intrigued to see how the teacher is spinning that one) – many of his friends are going on every trip and don’t even have to choose! It all impacts on whether he comes away with us and ultimately meant two sets of costings for each option. Anyway irritating though it is, I realise these are very nice problems to have. So, this is what I was wearing for a relaxing day on the sofa:

autumn outfits

  • White Company knitted swing dress (old but similar here)
  • Ines de la Fressange @ Uniqlo shirt
  • Boden suede boots old but similar here in non-suede (be quick, they’ve nearly sold out)
  • White Company necklace (old)

Monday chic

Finally yesterday my work hours were hijacked again by the eldest and another trip to orthopaedics to see how his snapped thumb is healing which, with all the waiting involved, took most of the day. All is going well although it was rather gruesome when they removed the cast and we could see the wires sticking out of the bone. We got soaked on the way there so it was a bad hair day for me as you can see from the photos we took when we returned:

autumn outfits

Now I’ve had this pink Boden coat for years, in fact I think it was one of my first ever purchases and I was thrilled to see that they are doing it again this year although I think it might be slightly shorter.   Wraparound coats are really popular this season but I know some people worry about how to wear them so I’ve shot it two ways to show you that it’s as easy to wear open as closed if you tie the belt at the back. I have it in chocolate brown too and I think this style looks quite ‘luxe’ on a cold winter’s day when you can snuggle into its folds like a soft blanket.

autumn outfits

autumn outfits

I’m really enjoying the stories you’re sending me of the life changes you’ve made since hitting 40. Large and small they’re all inspiring and I’m pondering about what we could do with them to make a statement for 40-something woman. I know some of you prefer to send emails rather than comment but others find it really encouraging to read about what other women have done so if you can bear it, please do leave a comment below and tell us how you’re finding life over 40. Back on Friday.