Well what a week we’ve had in the aftermath of Storm Desmond. We were stranded at home until Wednesday (much to the delight of the boys) as the schools and the roads were closed. We finally switched over from the emergency generators to the mains supply last night so life is just starting to get back to normal. It has been a strange, dark time, dark because everybody has had to conserve the little bit of power we had, so not only were the Christmas lights all off but most people have been trying to manage by using as little electricity as possible.

I went into Lancaster on Friday for a dentist’s appointment and the town is still flooded in places. Many businesses are closed and are saying that they are unlikely to reopen. The traffic lights are not working but it was heartening to see most of the drivers acting with ultimate courtesy at crossings and junctions, stopping to let others through. Mr MC and the smallest had a karate lesson in the dark last night such is their dedication. However the impact in Lancaster is not as bad as Kendal.

I drive past the edge of Kendal on my way to work every day and the two miles of dual carriageway that are bordered with fields feel like an isthmus, there is nothing but water in the fields where the sheep usually graze. What has happened to the sheep I can only imagine and I’m glad that it is dark when I pass through. At work everybody knows someone with a terrible story. One colleague has a friend who was away competing in the iron woman contest in Mexico so she went on her behalf to see how her house had fared. When she got there it was completely under water, as was the business park where her husband has his offices and their horses had drowned. So there is a midlife woman just like us with a horrible shock to come back to. We are just one degree of separation from so many stories like that and so we are very aware and very grateful for just how lucky we are.

Knowing I wouldn’t have the headspace (or the broadband) to come up with a new idea for this week’s post I’ve been trying to take winter outfit photos. It’s ages since I’ve done an ‘outfits of the week’ post and the added bonus is that nearly everything I’m wearing seems to be in the sales (I’ve added ‘reduced’ next to the items that are). I’ve been lucky to be gifted a few items this season so in the interests of transparency, I’ve asterisked the things that I haven’t paid for myself. This is what I’ve been wearing since we stopped living by candlelight.

Workday Wednesday Winter Outfit

This was after my first day back in the office, when I arrived to find 9 meetings in my diary!

Nikki Garnett Midlifechic

Jack Wills sparkle lurex jumper (reduced); Boden Cambridge skirt (reduced); Clarks ankle boots; Cos necklace

Here’s a close up of the Jack Wills jumper so you can see the silver running through the knit.

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Desk to Dinner Thursday

As you know, when I was contacted by Great Plains about the gilet, I noticed this sequin top on the website and ordered it. Because I was going out straight after work, I decided to wear it for the office – I felt I could get away with it because I had a meeting with the PR agency to discuss 2016 followed by lunch. In the afternoon I had to present all of the new 2016 ranges to the sales force.  The light from projector caught the sequins and so the whole room twinkled which probably made my presentation much more sparkly! (Update, Monday 14th December, this top is now half price on the GP website).

winter outifts

Great Plains top; Whistles blazer; Boden high rise super skinny jeans; Clarks ankle boots; Claudia Bradby necklace*(20% off Claudia Bradby at the moment)

I dashed home to drop off my bag and laptop, it would have looked more elegant if I had changed into heels as I’d planned but I’m afraid I wimped out, it was just too cold outside. I love this top, the shades of blue and silver are a really nice change from the usual Christmas colours. I was a bit disappointed that the sleeves are not elbow length as they are shown on the website but in the end I liked it too much to return it. By the way, Great Plains are kindly offering free delivery to readers of Midlifechic until Wednesday 16th December, just use MIDLIFE at the checkout.


I spent the evening with old friends from the primary school playground. It’s always interesting to catch up with people that you connect to a particular phase of your life. Our conversation was primarily around our shock at how fast the years have flown as our children are all moving on, we talked about the new opportunities that this brings for us and some talked about the menopause whilst others (me included) stuck their fingers in their ears in the inane hope that it won’t happen to us. I guess it’s a subject that we will introduce to Midlifechic at some point.

Christmas shopping Friday

My day included a trip to the dentist who is a friend of ours which lessens the anxiety somewhat although he has a very unusual sense of humour which can be alarming when he is armed with his drill. Afterwards I did my bit to support the local economy by buying as many presents as I could from the shops that had reopened.  The ankle boots that I am wearing are slightly different to the Clarks pair, they have a block heel and are stain resistant which is proving a godsend in this weather. They’re supremely comfortable but are currently sold out in black, they’re still available in navy which I’m very tempted by. The Clarks pair are smarter with a kitten heel so better for a more dressed up look.

winter outifts

Ines de la Fressange @ Uniqlo heat-tech raincoat; Boden cashmere jumper (reduced); White Company shirt; Next relaxed skinny jeans; M&S stain resist suede ankle boots; Claudia Bradby necklace*

winter outifts

Out for coffee Saturday

We woke up to snow on the hills all around us. A lazy morning ….

winter outifts

Rachelwears poncho*; Top Shop faux leather jeans (reduced); M&S ribbed polo neck (reduced); Cos necklace; M&S boots

…followed by popping out for a coffee and the purchase of our final Christmas tree. It struck me that faux leather trousers are a good idea for the lashing rain, although the faux fur gilet was not a very practical choice. The middle son was in charge of taking these pictures, I’ve no idea how he managed to over expose them on an iPhone…

winter outifts

Great Plains faux fur gilet*

…but he always ends up making me laugh! (Update, Monday 14th December, this gilet is now half price on the GP website).

Nikki Garnett

Blogging Sunday

Here I am today, late with my blog post this week. As I type, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the youngest who is off doing his brown belt grading in karate.


Hush Nina cardigan; Ines de la Fressange @ Uniqlo merino jumper; Next relaxed skinny jeans; Boden loafers; Tulip Russian rings pendant*

I’ve been spending all my spare time catching up with the eldest who, as you know, ended up coming home a week early as the uni had to close. It’s been a bonus for me because had he come home on schedule this weekend, he would have had to start straight back at the restaurant where he works so we wouldn’t have had time for the long chats we’ve enjoyed about his new life.

He’s changed over the 10 weeks that he’s been away but in a good way. As his mum I’ve always thought he’s a wonderful person, I now realise that he was ready to go away, I think he was effervescing with life and ideas that he needed to express outside the family home. He’s the same lovely boy as ever but he’s a bit calmer and more patient with his younger brothers – although this has the potential to wear off as they enjoy goading each other over the next five weeks! He’s also incredibly appreciative of food (any food) that I cook and has been seen kissing the dishwasher which, along with the washing machine, he has suddenly learned to love (he’s still ploughing through the 20 festering rugby kits that he brought home with him).

So, before I go, I’m going to leave you with a few pictures of the progress I’ve made on Christmas so far. I hope you’re managing to feel a little bit of Christmas spirit. We finally switched our Christmas lights back on last night, I just need to dress the last room before Santa travels through the village tonight on his sleigh with oranges for the children, still an exciting moment for us all.

Midlifechic Midlifechic Midlifechic Midlifechic Midlifechic IMG_7796 Midlifechic Midlifechic

This is the moment last week when the radio announced that the schools were going to be closed as a result of the power cuts – look at the joy on those faces, you’d think it was Christmas Eve. (And for those of you who are wondering, it was Lady Scarlet in the library with the lead pipe)!


I’m leaving you with a picture of the cake that the middle son baked yesterday. He’s signed himself up for the Silver Duke of Edinburgh award scheme which has slightly thrown us all – this is the boy who, as you saw last week, feels physical pain when detached from anything digital. Anyway, for his skills section he has decided to do a bake off which will include creating a recipe book and making a different cake each week for 6 months. We have quite a way to go. Somehow he managed to bake this one at 300 degrees celsius and it was only rescued when I smelt the burning (again). However cutting the edges off and smothering it with buttercream has helped a little. There will be many adventures for us all on this journey I suspect (and that’s just with the cake baking), we still have the physical section to sort out but he has signed up to help with the local Beavers group for a year from January – now that will make a man of him!


(Actually it tastes delicious)

Have a great week everyone and enjoy it – before we know it we’ll be hitting the January blues!

Other Christmas posts

Relaxed Christmas party outfits 

Christmas party dresses

The best Christmas jumpers on the high street

Christmas gifts for teenagers

Christmas gift ideas for women over 40