Well here we are, back in the land of broadband – my mother-in-law doesn’t see the point in the internet, not even dial-up, so we all literally switch off when we go to Newcastle.

So, starting from where I left you last Wednesday night, you’ll remember that we had to delay our trip because Mr MC still hadn’t hit the deadline for the ad campaign he was working on. This meant that Thursday saw us at the cinema again trying to fill time on a cold windy day. He was obviously feeling pretty bad about the (very) many hours he’s been putting in recently because before heading off to the office, he presented me with a lovely new necklace that I’d been hinting to the boys about for my birthday next month and some gorgeous flowers. The necklace is from Jane Akester Designs and I’m sure you’ll be seeing lots of it over the next few months. Jane is one of my lovely Twitter followers and has been really encouraging since I started the blog. As luck would have it, a Boden delivery also arrived before we left with a couple of the things I’d decided to try the £15 voucher on. As you know I’m joining the growing number of women who are buying Johnnie B’s clothes for 16 year-olds. They’re a great buy if you’re looking for something casual (quite rightly, as they’re aimed at girls, they’re cut straight up and down rather than being fitted).  So here’s Thursday’s chilly day outfit:

Easter wrap up

  • Breton: Johnnie B £16
  • Relaxed Skinny Jeans: Next
  • Boho Boots: Boden
  • Silver link necklace: Jane Akester Designs
  • Bracelet watch: Gucci

And here it is worn with my trusty Whistles Lena blazer and a scarf to break up the navy a bit (and because it really was cold):

Easter wrap up

Oh and by the way, here are the flowers – he’d ordered Grand Prix roses because I had them in my wedding bouquet – top marks Mr MC!


On Friday it began to feel as if our weekend was doomed because the smallest boy had developed a strange sickness bug on Thursday night so we’d resigned ourselves to our trip being off. However he woke up bouncing around as usual on Friday morning – as they do – which meant madly throwing things into a bag and jumping into the car so that we could still fit in the things we’d planned.

First stop was Newcastle’s Town Moor – a busman’s holiday because Mr MC has been asked to put together ideas for some graphics for the new park they’re developing so he was busy assessing things – big sigh!!!!! Now I have to say to you urban dwellers I envy you your shops and your vibrant cultural life but not your parks, however pretty they try to make them. I’m definitely grateful for the rolling hills that we have on our doorstep. Anyway, here’s the second Johnnie B top (yes I’m afraid I kept them both).

Easter Wrap Up

  •  Colourblock breton: Johnnie B
  • Jeans (old): Zara
  • Pumps (old): Boden
  • Blazer: Whistles
  • Bag: Cath Kidston
  • Sunglasses: Chanel

Next up was a quick trip round the Baltic – fabulous gallery if you haven’t been there – and the first glass of rose of the summer, sitting in the sunshine in their fantastic restaurant. At last it felt like a holiday – we relaxed whilst the 2 smaller boys let off ‘art gallery steam’ by running a circuit over the Winking Eye Bridge several times.

That night, of course, was my brother-in-law’s birthday party. I always approach these events with a little trepidation. Mr MC is the youngest of many brothers and they always see their Southern sister-in-law as great sport for their evening. (I know, I know – we live in the Lakes – but that’s South to them you see). This time they decided to introduce me to Jagerbombs – you probably know what they are but I hadn’t experienced them before – and won’t again in a hurry! Still I managed to hold my own much to their disappointment!

In the big rush to pack I’d thrown in the same outfit as I wore to my nephew’s a few weeks ago – but with different shoes and bag.

Nikki Garnett

  • Lace shell top: Oasis (out of stock online but may still be in store)
  • Necklace: Zara
  • Earrings: Majorica
  • Coated Jeans: M&S (you can’t see in the pic but these have biker styling on the seam and feel really flattering – I love them)
  • Snakeskin shoes (past season): John Lewis
  • Snakeskin bag (old): Selfridges

On Saturday we made our first visit to the Barbour factory store in Jarrow near South Shields. I can’t believe we’ve never been before – it’s definitely worth a visit. It’s huge, half of it is a normal Barbour store with a full range of their current season stock merchandised beautifully (full price though). The other half is a typical outlet set up. There were rails and rails of waxed international jackets in sizes 6 & 8 for £29; lots of quilted jackets in all sizes but some rather vivid colourways also for £29 and nicer ones for £49. Tweed jackets were £49; waxed hats £5; and lots of rails of shirts and sweaters. There was even more choice for men, I’d say the split was 60% men’s clothing, 30% women’s and 10% children’s. The best thing was that they had lots of stock from some of their collaborations with people like Pantone and Bella Freud, as well as the Heritage range which I really love. Here are some snapshots to give you an idea:


Barbour outlet

Main store

Barbour outlet

Outlet section

Barbour outlet

I was quite restrained with my purchases because a lot of the stock was for winter – I’ll save them to show you over the next few days because I really cannot buy anything more for a while. My purse is closed. Quick pic of the outfit of the day – still pale and wearing dark glasses thanks to the Jagerbombs:

Easter Saturday

  • Sweatshirt: Warehouse (out of stock)
  • Denim shirt: Gap
  • Relaxed Skinny Jeans: Next
  • Pumps (old): Boden

Easter Sunday is a big day in our village so we had to be back early. Everybody comes to dress the Easter cross with daffodils and then all of the children are given Easter eggs. I was a bit tired of being dressed down after my fortnight of jeans so thought I’d try out the ‘new trouser shape‘ that I blogged about a couple of weeks ago. In the end, the pair that I’ve gone for are from Next and they are just so great to wear – soft, silky and with an elasticated waist – woohoo! I should add that Mr MC is very nonplussed and is calling it ‘shellsuit chic’.

The observant ones amongst you will notice a new Whistles Lena Jacket, this time in cream. I love these jackets so much that I’ll even buy one in grey if it goes into the sale. It isn’t a great shot but it was very early – I’ll probably be wearing this again later in the week so I’ll try to give you a better idea then.

Easter pic

  •  Jacket: Whistles
  • Long sleeved t-shirt: Gap
  • Sports Luxe Trousers: Next
  • Shoes: John Lewis
  • Bag: Autograph, M&S
  • Necklace: Majorica

And finally for lunch at a country pub followed by relaxing with Easter eggs and a lazy afternoon with one of my oldest school friends, I changed into my new favourite bargain Barbour heritage sweatshirt (£29).

Easter Sunday

  • Sweatshirt: Barbour
  • Jeans: Next
  • Shoes: Boden

So that’s it – the end of the Easter holidays and back to normal today. Hopefully I’ll be able to get back to shorter and more regular posts although this week’s a bit of a busy one – I’m off to London on Thursday to give a lecture – more about that (and what on earth I’m going to wear – don’t know, don’t know) later. As always, do say hello – I feel like I’m making new friends with my new regulars. Thank you all so much for your support.