And hello – as promised a Wednesday post which throws things out a bit but life has been going at a gallop and it’s the only time I can find to fit one in. Today all I have for you are snaps of what I’ve been wearing and doing this week – pre-Christmas outfits. Photos are never very good at this time of year when it barely seems to be light before it gets dark again, we’ve had miserable grey weather too but there’s nothing I can do about that.

So, for the sake of record and anyone who happens upon this post at a future date, having thought we were heading into a future that was less dominated by Covid, in the space of only three weeks a new variant, Omicron, has arrived. Everyone is having to work out how to navigate it but I’m finding that most people have already defined their attitude to risk and it ranges from ultra-cautious to ‘don’t care’. It seems to vary regionally too and so it’s a case of feeling your way with every person you meet.

I’m very glad that we had our third jabs last month before all this began because from the perspective of running a small business, if events go ahead, after 18 months of not being able to raise our profile we ideally need to be there. Of course they’re very civilised affairs, not big parties and most people wear masks unless they’re eating. Fortunately the virus levels still appear to be low here so we’ve been to a few different ones. In fact I think I’ve had more varied conversations in the last two weeks than I have over the whole of the last two years and as an outgoing introvert I desperately need to recharge now. I should add that we’ve been doing lateral flow tests every day and the main events are all over now so it’s just family time ahead. Before that begins I’ll run through photos from the last couple of weeks. I’ve lost track of time so they’re not in chronological order but that doesn’t matter much.

What I’ve been wearing and doing this week – pre-Christmas outfits

This was a Sunday trip out to the ice cream farm. I’ve been trying to stock up with all of the boys’ favourite things and the youngest loves the blue banana ice cream from here but they told us that, perhaps not surprisingly, it isn’t one of their most popular flavours so they’ve stopped selling it by the tub. It all turned out well a few days later though when I spotted it on the menu at the gym’s cafe and persuaded them to sell me what they had left.

What I've been wearing and doing this week - pre-Christmas outfits

Jaeger coat (AW17); M&S scarf (AW18); Jeans; Boots (gifted AW21)

Down in London now. The order to work from home came out the day before I left and within a couple of hours nearly all of the meetings I had planned had been cancelled. It was too late to get a refund for my hotel so Mr MC suggested he move things around and come with me. This dress is my pre-Christmas present to self, it’s so easy and it’s all I want to wear but I’m trying to save it now for Christmas Day.

Thankfully my hair appointment was still on and Premlee suggested we cut it very short, just in case there’s another lockdown. And no, I can’t believe we’re back to planning for things like that again either.

Midlifechic Christmas red dress outfit

Dress; Hush boots (AW17)

The other person I managed to catch up with was Claudia Bradby. We spent a fantastic couple of hours talking non-stop at the Brasserie of Light in Selfridges and it was the kind of electric conversation that I’ve missed, moving rapidly over all kinds of subjects. There’s nothing better than spending time with someone who’s on the same wavelength as you and the proof for me is when Mr MC asks what I’ve been talking about with someone and I don’t have a clue where to begin.

Dress; Hush boots (AW17)

Neither of us was particularly hungry so we decided to have a dessert and a glass of fizz. This was the most amazing orange parfait, it was like a cross between an ice cream and a sorbet but the best thing was that the greenery and the toadstools were all made from chocolate – I could (almost) tell myself it counted as one of my five a day.

By the way Claudia has extended her 20% discount for Midlifechic readers (code midlifegift20) until midday on 22nd December which is the cut-off for Christmas posting. They’re upgrading all deliveries to next day from 18th December too, free of charge to make sure there are no disappointments. You can find all of her jewellery here.

Later, when Mr MC had finished what he was doing, we met up by the atrium in our alma mater. Just this space holds so many memories for us… of the escalators arriving early on a Sunday morning on a series of trucks that were so long that central London had to be closed for a few hours as they made their way to the store. Of the banners that used to hang down the length of the space, it was often my job to brief them and his to create them and in the early days, before we were even friends, they caused a few sharp exchanges between us. So whenever we stand here the air around us thrums with times past…

London was looking stunning, it feels as though the city’s pulled out all the stops this year and it’s such a shame that Omicron has landed. Here are some quick peeks at the lights for you and I think they’re the best I’ve ever seen.

Bond Street…

…Regent Street…

… but Carnaby Street takes the crown.

The day after we got back we had a big lunch event. Although things are changing daily Omicron isn’t yet hitting us hard as it is in London so it was still well attended. I would usually have dressed more festively but at the moment for business it doesn’t feel quit right so I opted for navy instead. This skirt is finally back in stock by the way for anyone who missed it first time around.

Boden silk blouse (SS21); Ruffled skirt (BACK IN STOCK – gifted AW21); Hush boots (AW18)

Heading out to a small business lunch – see what I mean about there being no light in the days? Won’t it be good to reach 21st December and know that we’re heading in a brighter direction?

Boden dress (gifted AW20); Hush boots (AW17)

This was a quick snap when we met up in a pub after a day’s work before going on to an evening launch to celebrate a new building – business again. They were serving English sparkling wine (Hambledon) which I concluded was even nicer than champagne.

Boden red velvet suit (gifted AW19); Boden silk blouse (gifted SS21) Hush boots (AW 17)

And this was before a relaxed evening at a friend’s house. I said I’d show you my face done with the Look Fabulous Forever make-up so here it is. As I said when I wrote about it, you can see that it’s more subtle than my usual evening look; it enhances rather than emphasises. I used the following products:

Next sweatshirt (AW19)

Sequins again for another night with two friends and their husbands, a lovely dinner where we prepared a course each. It was my first time cooking for vegans so I was glad I just had the starter to do.

Warehouse sequin top (AW18); Coated straight jeans; Hush boots (AW19)

And this was on Monday this week, one of the days that I was particularly looking forward to. I started by spending a few hours with Lynn, a reader and regular commenter on here. We met in a boujie Cumbrian garden centre and spent all our time chatting over coffee and scones. I’m so annoyed that I forgot to get a photo, yet again (you’re probably breathing a sigh of relief Lynn!). Anyway I was just about to suggest a mooch around the shop when I looked at my watch and saw that I had to dash to meet the youngest at the station. You realise just how much you’ve missed them when you get your hands on them again. And within an hour his dad was shaking his head as there were trainers strewn around, he’d munched his way through most of the cake I’d made and smashed one of the large glass baubles I’d hung from the bannisters as he galumphed his way up to his bedroom!

At least his hair has grown. Shortly after his last visit home he and his flatmates were at a loose end and so for some reason they came up with a plan to dye his hair pink and then shave his head. For the last few FaceTime conversations we’ve been watching his scalp glow fluoro pink but there’s blonde fuzz coming through now. My eye hasn’t adjusted to his jacket and the whole 80s retro look yet… it might take a while.

I must add a proud mum moment though, we’ve just heard that he’s been awarded his school’s prize for Art for his A Level work; sadly Speech Day is cancelled so we won’t have a moment of applause and splendour. He’s typically laidback about the whole thing though. I know I’m biased but I think he deserves his prize, especially as he had to pull the whole project off during lockdown when he couldn’t go out anywhere to find inspiration and so instead had to dig deep for ideas.

Hush leather jacket (AW17); Hope satin skirt (AW18); Duffy cashmere jumper (AW20); Navy suede boots

Now that we’re heading into a quieter time my head is spinning like a top with snippets of the conversations I’ve had. What has particularly struck me is just how many people have had truly terrible times over the last two years. I’ve already mentioned friends of ours who are seriously ill; this week has been more about the conversations at business events that would usually focus on business-y things. Instead quite a few have been about painful divorces and mental health issues as well as severe business losses – all things that have most likely been triggered or impacted by Covid and lockdown. I’ve found that people have been unusually open, I guess because they’ve felt so isolated which must have made it all so much harder to bear.

At the moment I can’t quite bring myself to look beyond Christmas so for the next two weeks I’m going to live very much in the now, at home with the people I love. And I’ll try not to read the news. It could be that I’ll look at the headlines on 2nd January and find that Omicron was all just a storm in a teacup. I’ll be back with one last post next Wednesday before I log off for a Christmas break. I hope you have a good week in the meantime… we’ll all get through this time you know… we will.

Disclosure: ‘What I’ve been wearing and doing this week – pre-Christmas outfits’ is not a sponsored post

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