Wednesday, 8 November 2017


What better, on a mild October weekend, than to up sticks from the city and congregate with a wonderful bunch of ladies in the heart of the beautiful Surrey Hills. We descended on Surrey Hill Yurts, set on the edge of the woodland with views over the valley, to celebrate the hen do of our lovely friend Anneke. We filled two large 30 foot yurts and had a fabulous weekend filled with fresh air, campfires, welly boots, gems, glitter and flower crowns, girly chats, spiced drinks, home cooked food and long hikes. Fabulous stuff!

The beautiful setting for our adventure. The yurts felt a little bit like hobbit houses, just for normal sized people! I love how they blend so easily into the landscape and the morning mist. Once inside they are spacious but snug, beautifully decked out with wooden furniture and a log burner each!

On the inside of the yurt, you can see the craftsmanship that has gone into their creation. So so beautiful! Over the weekend we deliberated long and hard how we could acquire one of our own as a weekend retreat...

LOVED the size of this ginormous handmade bed, isn't it fantastic?! And doesn't it make the girls look teensy tiny, almost hobbit sized tucked up all cosily in there? And yes, that might be a bed pan tucked under the left corner...well you know...when it's dark and cold outside...

As well as being a spot for weekend retreats, Surrey Hills Yurts is also a working farm. There were at least two separate litters of piglets squeaking and squealing away in their pens. I  fell in love with them all and spent faaaar too long sitting with them and snapping away with my camera. Lucky for you I've whittled them down to these two favourite snaps (I figured a whole post of piglets might be a little more than most people's tolerance levels!). And lucky for them then get to munch on such yummy green looking grass and with plenty of space to run and play.

Certainly made the bacon butties at breakfast a little harder to swallow, I'll be honest.

The chickens roamed the field and seemed most content to huddle up against the compost loos! I'm guessing there was a certain natural warmth emanating from in there somewhere!

These are the compost loos, if you can imagine?! They were fabulous - made almost entirely of raw sawn wood panels and with lots of vintage finishing touches such as this huge old basin, stained glass windows and vintage mirrors. Not quite the sort of camping I'm used to in the French municipal camping sites of my childhood - those dreaded holes in the floor!!

So, there we are. How far we've come! So it only remains for me to say the biggest thank you to Surrey Hills Yurts for having us and all the lovely hens for making it such a treat of a weekend. I'll share a follow-up post with a few of the antics we got up to in the next couple of days, so check back!

Monday, 16 October 2017

Fields of Lavender

On my goal list for this year I had 'return to work gracefully'. And I'm not exactly convinced about the graceful bit, but I am firmly back at work. My year of maternity leave with GG has been truly magical, but this feels like a return to normal life. Our 'new' normal. And with it, a return to knicker elastic fantastic too! 

These photos are from a visit to a Lavender farm a little earlier this year. As the end of my maternity leave drew near, I was determined to make the most of every last minute. Eek out as much fun and games as possible and make every minute count! Top of my hit list of 'must-dos' was this little outing - a trip to the Mayfield lavender fields. It's so lovely to get out of the city proper, even if just for a few hours of greenery, fresh air and flowers! 

Hard to imagine we're in South London and not the South of France! It felt like we had been teleported all the way over the channel and landed straight in Provence. Magic! 

We brought along our absolute favourite person for our afternoon out and together we spent HOURS in the lavender field, hehe! We spent it exploring and crawling down the rows, filling our lungs with their heady scent, dodgy the gazillion buzzing critters, playing with out cameras, picking at the grass, tasting the flowers (!), singing and dancing. What could be more relaxing? 

And as a bonus, we came away with a sim card full of purple pictures. Get in! These are my absolute favourites, I know it's a long post - but I don't mind telling you that even whittling them down to this big bunch was agonising! Anyway, here we go...

A fragrant al fresco meal amidst the blossom. Now that GG is fully weaned, these are pictures I shall treasure forever. 

This wasn't the peak of lavender season, it was the tail end of the season, the blooms were just over their best. But just look at those colours! Amazing! 

Her royal wave. That's all for now folks. Byeee!

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Baby GG Loves Murals

Over the last four months, GG and I have been on many an adventure. We've explored neighbourhoods near and far, hopping on and off buses, taking the back streets whenever we can and most importantly searching out our local gems and finding beauty in the streets, doors, walls, gardens and floors we see. I started documenting some of the best bits we found and like all adventures it has evolved over time. So what started out as a simple snap of GG in front of a local wall (above) eventually became a mural hunt all over London Town! 

I've shared a few snaps along the way on Instagram (@knickerelasticfantastic), but I wanted to round up all my favourites into a little post here. This cute little carrycot was an old Oyster Max Vogue collaboration that we were lucky to score secondhand on eBay. But alas, GG has moved up from the carrycot to her new big girl buggy. So, this post is to commemorate the last five months of adventures with her!

I LOVED this carrycot for it's tiny size, cute shape and fun monochrome spots and stripes! Little GG also loved it - she's spent so many hours staring at the little spots inside the hood. She'd even crane her neck to stare at a particularly hard to see spot right behind the back of her head (like it's different from all the others?!). Now that is commitment to spot staring. What's more, it's also rather photogenic...particularly against a mural with the same spots and stripes!! 

Rather than my daily train commute each day (erugh - not at all reluctant to take a break from those), walking is our new modus operandi. We have powered around the parks, up and down the hills, meandered, sauntered, sidled, sashayed, hopped, hovered, shuffled, jogged (for buses!) and all of it has been so refreshing. It's a total shift in pace, to walk for a walk's sake, rather than to get somewhere (in a hurry!). It's opened up our eyes to our surroundings, connected us wth other locals and meant we've experience the weather first hand. 

Some have been old favourite walls and walks we have visited before. Others have been new discoveries just hiding around each corner.

Not strictly a mural, but a lovely brick wall weighed down with magnificent orange berries in Greenwich. This was from our first proper day-out as a family and this wall here just screamed 'Autumn' so we had to stop for a snap (and don't I look happy about it). 

One of my favourite things about this one is the Christmas wrapping paper under the pram. Busted! This little buggy became an epic workhorse, often piled high to the rafters with groceries and shopping while little GG remained tucked up fast asleep inside!

Some of the less salubrious parts of our neighbourhood also make for fun backdrops - like these doors on their side used to create a makeshift fence. Love it.

Dwarfed by the Old London in the Wast End. Doesn't she look teensy tiny here?!

This sunshine yellow wall makes me happy (can you tell?!). Especially in the depths of a London winter. As an antidote to the dreary Britih greyness, all Londoners should make a weekly pilgrimage to this happy wall in East Dulwich to up their daily dose of vitamin D!

Not strictly a mural this one either, but I loved this hedge of red in the autumn that we found in South Norwood. The leaves were already dropping by this point, so past its best really, but still gorgeous! 

So, adieu to the carrycot, but hello to our growing baby girl. There are still sooo many more areas to explore so we shall not stop here but continue our adventures on foot around South East London, racking up the step count as we go! And I can only hope that the two of us will have just as much fun over the next five months as have had over the last five together.