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Following the ‘Less furniture, more tailoring’ motto espoused by the New Woman of the vibrant 1920s, I ransacked my wardrobe, threw out anything worn, baggy or over two years old and bought designer clothes instead.

I changed my look from a jumble of bargain basement sale items to a few expensive contemporary pieces.

And these women, instead of seeing the menopause as some sort of dead end, are celebrating their new liberation.

But I had a great feeling of something about to start - with me in the middle of it. Terry Apter, psychologist at Newnham College, Cambridge University, says, ‘Mid life women are aware there are several good decades ahead – but they also know these years are limited.‘They spent their twenties and thirties juggling work and family and, in their forties, they start to want a break from it.’Today’s women are truly re-inventing themselves, putting themselves first for the first time in their lives.

‘I couldn’t wait to play the wifely role,’ she remembers.

‘And I did enjoy life in the Somerset countryside with my family.

Suddenly my interest in curtains and sofas vanished.

I scrapped my carefully collected Victorian furniture and went scrubbed and minimal.

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