Jools Oliver's blog: Nostalgic look
Christmas was exhausting – both physically and emotionally, but far more the latter: watching the girls sing their little hearts out at their school Christmas concert never fails to make the hairs stand up on my arms.
I can't resist belting out a "Hark the Herald Angels" much to the embarrassment of Pops, but I wait all year for that moment so I tend to go for it regardless, and it was extra special this year as Jamie managed to surprise us all by coming although arriving a little late.
I could see how happy the girls were when they saw he had arrived - precious moments all around! Earlier that week I went to watch Petal's Nativity play where the little shining star (literally) sang, daydreamed and smiled her way through the cutest school Nativity ever.
Our next stop was Petal and Buddy's end of term ballet show. This may have sent me slightly over the edge! I had the privilege of watching right in the studio, as opposed to my weekly craning of the neck to peek through the tiny glass porthole window. It was I admit a bit of a cute overload watching them both giggle, dance and pirouette to "Let It Go", it really was quite a pleasure.
Phew! We were all so ready to break up by then and just all be together after a pretty hectic few months, during which time saw me turn the fabulous 40 woohoo! I did as promised dance the night away well until 3.30am: pretty good for me, especially as I found Jamie tucked up in bed fast asleep when I finally got back to my room!
With the theme being "a mid-winter's night dream" I did leave a little trail of juniper berries, twigs and ivy leaves up the stairs which had fallen off from my crown. I was still picking tiny little stick-on diamonds from my hair the next morning (got to be the sign of a brilliant night!) I wasn't sure that I was quite ready for the lovely whirl of emotions to stop just yet and quite hope to keep this feeling right up to Christmas which wasn't hard with all that we had planned!
The girls, Buds and actually myself were excited to choose our Christmas tree. We normally buy it late as it's down in Essex where we decorate the house for Christmas so by the time we go to the forest to chop it down the children are in excitement overload!
It really is such a beautiful and magical time of the year, with the smells, the colours, the twinkling lights and the infectious happiness of nearly everyone we meet. I was just hoping that the magic would stretch just a fraction more and we would get a gorgeous snowy Christmas... we can but dream!
Thinking of snow, the almost opposite was happening at the Little Bird headquarters: the new spring collection is out now. It was such a joy to shoot the catalogue, our models are so gorgeous and so full of character and pretty hardy, modelling in our green house at home, in temperatures not really very spring-like! With no complaints at all!
Much love, the 'Oliver gang' xxxxx