So finally we’ve made it – our long awaited holiday is in sight. I can’t tell you how excited I am at the thought of having all of my boys to myself for two whole weeks, I’m going to treasure every minute. The housesitters are briefed and Gary is on his way to Northumberland to stay on a cousin’s farm.

It’s been a hectic week. A while ago, thinking that this would be a quiet time at work, I scheduled lots of entertaining in which wasn’t a good idea on either the time or the calorie front. Plus we’ve been celebrating the boys’ birthdays in advance with a paintball session for ten followed by a barbecue and birthday cake.

so long...farewell

(The middle son is wincing because I made everyone sing as I came out with my wares… I wanted to make pretty birthday cakes but they requested salty, nutty crunch and Malteser cake)

It leaves me with a day to pack(!) and get organised. However none of that will matter on Sunday when we head off to the airport. We have a rather circuitous journey because as I suspected might happen, a few months ago Mr MC exchanged our family car for one that had caught his eye… which doesn’t seat five people and luggage. So, rather than pay for two sets of airport parking, three of us will be travelling by train and two will follow by car. How we’re going to manage the eldest’s return journey to university I don’t know… many trips with two cars I suppose… still, on the midlife upside, at least he went for a car and not a motorbike!

I won’t be back at my desk for a long time because the day after our return, I’m heading down to London again. However there will be two posts while we’re away, one from the boys – I thought I may as well put them to good use during the six weeks off! I’d be very grateful if you could encourage them with a comment or two when they pop up… they’ll no doubt be keeping a hopeful eye on their official début.

I just want to say…

And on that note I just want to say thank you for the incredible tide of support that I’ve felt from you again this year. A blog is only ever as successful as the community that gathers round it so, on so many levels, you are the beating heart of everything that happens here.

The fact that you keep on interacting with the brand posts by leaving insightful comments helps me to keep on driving them to cater for us as a demographic that deserves their attention. As a group we’re becoming well known as the place to get intelligent feedback on collections and I feel really proud of that. I know that sometimes it can take me a week or so to reply but in the meantime the brands are reading and evaluating what you say. I often feel guilty about not getting back to you sooner but comfort myself with the knowledge that we are a generation who grew up with letters so I hope you don’t mind waiting until I have the time to give you a thought-through reply.

In addition to your brainpower, I’m also ever grateful for your warmth. I love hearing your updates and seeing your photos when you send them. I’ve had quite a few shots of weddings and graduations in particular this summer and it’s so lovely to hear that you’ve found outfit inspiration here. You give me such a vicarious sense of pleasure when you say that you felt good about how you looked.

Not everyone’s had the best year though and to those of you who have written to me about difficult journeys with menopause, troublesome teens, ageing parents and of course bereavements, I’m always touched that you feel able to talk to me. I’m glad it helps when I write about the inevitable downsides of midlife that we all face as well as the ups. As I so often say to the boys, life’s a game of snakes and ladders and you never know which one you’re going to hit when you roll the dice and turn a corner.

Anyway that’s enough kitchen table philosophy from me. Enjoy the break because I’ll be back with a vengeance at the end of the month. I have some really exciting things lined up to show you from some of our favourite retailers. I don’t usually like the arrival of autumn but this year is looking promising with new colours, new styles and some of the best new collections I’ve seen for ages. And you know what? I think some of the credit should go to us and our vociferous demands for style over fashion… from one or two retailers in particular…

So – make the most of the sunshine while it lasts because when I come back we’ll be focusing on everything new and I have so many ideas to share with you. If you want to get ahead, have a look at the preview for the new Inès de La Fressange at Uniqlo collection. We have the exclusive on this again at Midlifechic and so I’ll be bringing you my edit and guide to fit when it launches on 30th August.

In the meantime, don’t forget to keep one eye open for a post each week and if you’re wondering what I’m up to while I’m away, I’ll be popping up on Instagram @Midlifechic. See you on the other side of summer.

Disclosure: ‘so long…farewell’ is not a sponsored post