I’m taking you on the road with me again because I haven’t yet had a chance to sit at my desk and draw breath. Behind the scenes I’m busy talking to retailers with both my consultant and my blogger heads on so I’m very well prepped for AW22… but I don’t think any of us want to go there just yet do we? This is going to be my last post for a little while because we’re about to head away at last. I’ll tell you about that before I sign off but first let me take you along with me for a week of everyday life before closing off summer chez Midlifechic because it’s goodbye for a while.
A week of summer chez Midlifechic
Tuesday – retail meeting
We’re starting with last Tuesday and a retail strategy meeting with a client whose HQ is close to the A1 so when we’d finished, we kept on driving to Newcastle. Now that we’re back into very regular face to face meetings I’m noticing that dress codes are smartening up quite quickly and I really like it. It’s a shortcut to making sure your head’s in the right place before you set off. This simple Zara trouser suit isn’t new, you’ve seen it before but not for a while. It’s always worth bearing in mind that Zara designs for a smaller Spanish frame so I’m wearing a size L in the jacket to fit my shoulders and a size M in the trousers.
Shoes too are a bit of a shock but when we drive to places I don’t really have an excuse to wear trainers and I’m pleased to be dusting off low heels again. Of course it’s easier in summer when you don’t have to think about tights. Everything wardrobe related is easier in summer in my opinion.
Zara Trouser suit SS19; Boden shoes SS19; Boden cotton tee SS18
Wednesday – retail meeting
The following day I had a working lunch in Newcastle with one of our retail favourites. You don’t see me in black very often but this is a very special dress – when I was at Selfridges it was my editor’s dress, the fallback I wore for any of my editor’s shots. I bought it in New York in 1998 and this is the first time I’ve worn it since about 2001 but it felt just as good. It’s one of those things I kept purely for sentimental reasons – it has so many memories attached to it but now that 90s nostalgia is fully back it feels just right again.
Dress bought in New York in 1998
I stood in the wrong spot at first and ended up looking like a she-devil in the photos with purple flares coming out of my ears (much to Mr MC’s delight – he’d obviously had a slow day while I was busy!)
Thursday – wfh
This was Thursday and we’d worked in the flat all day so we headed out to the cinema in the evening to see ‘Where The Crawdads Sing.’ It was good – but not a patch on the book. I think the written version was just so bewitching that it was always going to be impossible to capture its essence on screen.
Friday – working from a cafe
And now Friday, another working from home day when it poured and poured – we’re not used to that kind of weather in the North East.
I was struggling for inspiration with some brand work I had to do so we decided to base ourselves somewhere other than the flat. I feel for the people who had to work from small spaces during lockdown, you very quickly get cabin fever. Here we are in August – huddled by the fire… and I know you’ve had heatwaves in the South. We haven’t – until now. It’s been rather warm over the last few days and it reminds me of the heatwaves in London in 2001 and 2003 when I was heavily pregnant with my 9lb+ August babies. After experiencing that I’ll never complain about heat again and I send strength to anyone who’s in their final month of pregnancy right now.
Now this blouse is one I bought in 2019 but it’s still available and it’s a really good price for organic cotton. It’s one I wear again and again because I love the idea of a white blouse but when they’re made from solid cotton they wash me out. The broderie here one is geometric so not too fussy, it breaks up the white and adds some texture. It’s hidden away deep in the site but if you use the usual code MLC15 you’ll get 15% off which makes it even better.
Blouse (15% off with MLC15); Claudia Bradby bracelet SS16
Saturday – afternoon tea
And this was Saturday. The youngest arrived with his girlfriend who’s another contender for my favourite Roald Dahl quote, “if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” I thought our stripes and gingham combo was very 2022 so we took this photo.
Dress (in the sale in green);
We’d booked afternoon tea at the classic old Grand Hotel in Tynemouth to celebrate mum-in-law’s forthcoming 80th birthday and the middle one’s 21st. It isn’t MIL’s actual birthday yet but when the time comes she’s being treated to a little break away so we brought our plans forward. She was on good form and really tucked in. And introducing the youngest’s girlfriend to her felt like another of those turns in the generations; it seems like only yesterday that I was meeting the Geordie family for the first time and yet now we have a new generation of grown ups coming through.
Of course afternoon tea was never going to fill the boys so we took them out again for pizza later – as we were going to be sitting outside we had to wrap up first.
Sunday – a 21st birthday
Here’s Sunday and the newly turned 21 year old was over early. He had plans to spend the evening with the new young lady in his life when she finished work (it’s early days so we haven’t met her yet). A slap-up Sunday lunch was his request and I forgot to take photos but we went to The Town Wall in the city centre which is our favourite spot for a good roast. And my eyes did widen at one point when I overheard this conversation between our younger two, discussing the increase in food prices…
Youngest: “Yeah it’s great being at home, you can just raid the fridge and freezer and it’s all free.”
Middle one: “I know – and then when it’s empty it just fills up again – like magic!”
On the way back the younger three wanted to pop into the vintage store so I made a quick segue into my beloved Fenwick’s. You just can’t beat the Newcastle store, it has to be one of the best shops in the country. “What’s in the bag?” someone will ask. It was the new Chanel bronzer that I’ve read so much about, I’ve been using it for a few days now and it’s really lovely.
There was a Colin moment when we got back – one of the sacrifices of not being home for his big day was a shop-bought cake.
And we ended the afternoon with a tour of his new student house, it’s hard to believe he’ll be starting his final year at uni soon. I told you at Christmas that Crocs were coming back didn’t I? They’re all wearing them along with their head to toe vintage shop outfits. I had a flashback to my mum’s reaction when she used to visit me at uni and see me in my charity store finds – although she used to refuse to have a photo taken with me if I was wearing them!
Closing off summer chez Midlifechic
So that was last week, I’ve been head down at my desk ever since, trying to get things wrapped up before we go away. However I have one thing to ask you. I’ve noticed over the last year that a lot of the new readers who have joined us here are younger – in the 25-40 age bracket. One of my retailers has asked me to find out if you, along with any grandparents reading would be interested in occasional news about baby/nursery furniture or childrenswear. I’m not sure so I promised I’d ask you. Please could you give me a quick yes or no in the poll below – I think I can foresee the result but you never know.
I need to pack tomorrow and we have a 19th birthday to celebrate too. Then on Sunday our Ted-loving friends will arrive to look after everything here while we’re away. We’re managing to squeeze in one more family holiday in our beloved Kalkan although it will be a little different this time because the eldest and youngest’s girlfriends are joining us for the second week and it’s going to be great to spend some relaxed time with them both. I’m planning to make the most of every minute for all kinds of reasons, not least because the winter ahead is, of course, looking even more challenging than usual for everyone. As the middle one would say though, that’s a ‘future us problem.’ For now I’m going to enjoy the simplicity of (hopefully) not having to work too much in the sunshine along with the rest, the laughs, the sea, the food and the company of my favourite people all under one roof.
I’ll be back on Friday 2nd September and I’m pleased to say that the subscription form has been fixed if you’d like to sign up to receive a reminder that I’ve posted by email. If you’re one of the readers who’s been trying repeatedly while it was broken, please can you try refreshing the page – that should clear things out for you. I’ll be over on Instagram while we’re away if you’d like to stay in touch – don’t forget to mention that you’re a reader if you comment so that I can follow you back and fill my feed with friendly faces.
Before I sign off, I want to say a special big thank you to all of my friends and family who’ve agreed to appear on here over the summer – they’ve really helped me to keep on having something to talk about while retail sleeps. And of course thank you to you too – for carrying on reading and commenting. As I always say, without you there would be no point in sitting down every week to write. We may have yet more strange times ahead of us but it gives me great comfort that we’ll live through some of them together here, I hope you feel the same. Enjoy the last two weeks of August – don’t forget to make them count. Over and out or “Gule Gule” as they say in Turkey.
Disclosure: ‘Closing off summer chez Midlifechic – it’s goodbye for a while’ is not a sponsored post
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