Are you: Aged between 40 and 55? Acutely conscious that life hasn't panned out quite the way you imagined it? A lot happier after a couple of glasses of wine? Getting divorced? Or consoling divorced friends? Having, or considering having, an affair? Tired and emotional and generally depressed? If you've answered 'yes' to more than half of these questions, then congratulations, you are officially experiencing 'midlife'. That is, middle age - the autumn years - the beginning of the end. The question is, are you surviving it? Getting the meagre most out of it? Probably not. Embracing everything from blogging and Boden to wine and worry lines, Rye bread, infidelity and Ikea, The Midlife Manual is your very own guide to getting through the middle years more gracefully. Its aim is to make you feel less alone during this testing time. It will make you laugh. It may at times even be genuinely helpful.
Jessica Cargill Thompson is a freelance writer and editor. In 2007, a mini mid-life crisis prompted her to leave a great job as Deputy Editor of Time Out London in order to freelance, try new things, and be a better parent. Thanks to the recession, this proved to be a bad idea - in October 2009 she started the blog How to be Unemployed the White Collar Way. She has edited several books for Time Out, and lives in South London with her husband and two children. John O'Connell worked for years - far, far too long - at the London listings magazine Time Out, where he was Books Editor. Since being made redundant on the grounds that 'no-one really reads books anymore', he has been writing, mostly about books, for The Times, The Guardian, New Statesman and The National. He is the author of I Told You I Was Ill: Adventures in Hypochondria (Short Books, 2005). He is 37 and lives in south London with his wife and two children.