Jools Oliver's blog: Summer trips
The Oliver's are looking forward to their French family holiday and Jools talks about kids school trips, 'little gremlins' and taking a weekend away with Jamie and no kids...
I think it's almost safe for me to say that we are actually in the middle of spring... yeah! I am being cautious, but not so cautious that I wore my trusted coral neon ASOS classic sandals last Thursday on 'officially THE hottest day of the year so far'! Obviously the top half of me was still emulating a bit of autumn with my pre-winter woolly just in case! So with the beautiful evening sun streaming through my window after an afternoon of ridiculously heavy showers, I suppose we are back to the inclement weather that we are all used to.
I always find these in-between seasons so hard when it comes to the kids. I sent the girls back to school in their little summer dresses but with thick woolly tights and the same with Petal as she returned to nursery. She is obsessed with the Little Bird yellow dress with appliqué toadstools and Peter Pan collar, which has only been worn with tights since we bought it but is keeping her very happy!
I'm very excited, as we have booked our first proper family holiday in France in July. We have never taken the children abroad all together since Pop and Dais were 3 and 4 years old, preferring to holiday in Norfolk and Cornwall. We're all so excited, the girls and I haven't stopped talking about the beach and the prospect of some real sunshine. They have only ever sat on the beach with a cagoule or a hoody or swum in freezing sea being thrashed about with our surf boards desperately trying to imagine we are in Malibu and even more importantly trying to look cool (that's just me by the way)!
So it's not too much of a shock to see that I have already organised all the children's summer stuff in their wardrobes stacked up ready to be put in the suitcase! It really is such a joy to see that Petal and Buds pile is mostly all Little Bird. I still get such a kick seeing our little clothes hanging up or better still on the kids themselves. Buds is itching to get the red towelling shorts on and don't mention the towelling sky blue all in one he is obsessed with! Meanwhile I have had to allow Petal to wear her Little Bird swimming costume in the bath, because she is so desperate to road test it and even wants to wear it under her clothes!
It's also that time of year where Poppy goes on her school camp trips. Last year it was only for three days but I still managed to cry saying farewell at the coach - not before I had checked all the tyres to see they were road worthy (I bring embarrassing mum to new heights - a tradition my mum has passed down to me!) This time it's a double whammy; Pop goes for a week and Daisy goes for the first time for three days. They are both a little worried about being home sick but I’m sure they will have the time of their lives. I on the other hand will be happy to have the distraction that the little two give me to take my mind off the older two being away. We often call the little two 'little gremlins' - I swear they can walk in to an empty room and still turn it upside down and make it totally unrecognisable! Buds has got into a cute little club called Little Kickers and it seems he has quite a good little football kick.... I love all these firsts!
I certainly can't complain as Jamie and I managed to get away for two nights to the New Forest. It was an incredible two nights of unbroken sleep and the blissful sound of silence, especially between the hours of 3am to 7am (think most new parents can relate to those hours!) It's amazing how much I had to organise just for those two days. List after list was written, food was frozen and menus laid out. The school kit was packed in advance (knowing Pops’ memory), pick up and drop offs from school planned with military precision and love notes to all the kids under their pillows. Frankly I asked myself many times whether it was all worth it but as I hardly leave the children I think it's really important for them to see me getting excited and doing something with their dad which will be fun. I also think it's really important that they spend good quality time with their granny - I remember fondly when I did the same at their age. Well they coped, I worried, they called me every hour and in-between all that we had lovely meals together, talked, walked in the woods and read copies of trashy mags. Perfect!
So, with the break over it’s time to get back to normality. The next big Little Bird operation is shooting for the autumn catalogue; I love choosing the cutest little models and planning the locations and my favourite is putting all the outfits together.
I’m looking forward to revealing the finished pictures soon but it just leaves me to say our little gang at Mothercare Little Bird are so beyond elated to hear that we have been shortlisted for the Junior Design Award 2013 for our boys collection and our Little Bird interior range. We will definitely keep you posted. It’s such an honour to be up there so early on in Little Bird’s journey so please keep all your toes fingers and thumbs crossed!!