Coombe Mill Makes It Into The Daily Mail

August 23, 2015 at 9:30 PMCoombeMill

So many times I have tried to have a family photo of as all at Coombe Mill.  It shouldn't be so hard we go out as a family enjoy a family meal times and are often all at home together, however teens are notorious for shying away from a camera in the world of social media, unless it is them taking the selfie!  An inappropriate gesture or a sour face has scuppered many an attempt of mine.  Yet thanks to a tip off from Tanya of Mummy Barrow I ended up with a phone call from an editor for the Daily Mail last week requesting a phone interview and arranging a photographer to be sent out all in one day.  Huzzah, an opportunity for my family photo!


Coombe Mill Makes the Daily Mail


Sadie Nicholas the Editor was lovely on the phone and made me feel very relaxed, I couldn't believe I had chatted away to her for over an hour answering all manner of questions about family life and running Coombe Mill. She were especially interested in our family as we have so many children, apparently this is becoming a bit of a trend, I've never seen myself as a trend setter before but there's a first time for everything!

Having put the phone down I then had the task of rounding up the family to have them suitably dressed ready for a photographer who was due at 5.00 PM.  It would be the day my second son had gone out for the day with his new girlfriend.  I managed to intervene their cinema trip with reluctant permission and bring them both back to Coombe Mill just in time, not as easy as it sounds here in Cornwall as it is an hour round trip but possibly the most unusual way to meet a new girlfriend!  I thrust a camera into her hands with the very basic instructions to grab a few photos on my DSLR, there was no time for anyone to quibble as the photographer scoured Coombe Mill for his chosen backdrops, I was glad of a lovely sunny afternoon to have the photos outside.  We did have one attempt all piled on a sofa in the living room but it really was too much of a squeeze!

Family Photos Around the Farm

I was really impressed with the whole process and I was even able to read the script the following day before it went live and make a couple of alterations, I've never had this opportunity with the press before and it was very refreshing.  The story really does reflect our family here at Coombe Mill and some other things we chatted through over the phone.  It is of course a press article and therefore designed with an angle to elect a response from readers which it has achieved with many a controversial comment added to the on line paper, but it is counterbalanced with some supportive comments too.


Mail Online Comments


Whatever your own views are, I am so very proud of my large family. The upbringing the children have enjoyed here on our holiday farm with the freedom and safety of our 30 acres and new play mates arriving every week, I can't imagine a more idyllic childhood myself and I hope in years to come they will look back and agree. Now they are growing up they are an invaluable help to Nick and I in the running of the business and have a strong sense of family values. I wonder how long I will have to wait for a new family photo though.  


       photo 4d06e438-4e6a-4f3b-88b2-0c1093350397_zps361ad0e9.jpg         Twinkly Tuesday    

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Weekly Farm Photo

August 22, 2015 at 11:40 PMCoombeMill

The Coombe Mill Train runs every evening. It is a wonderful way for all the children staying to meet up at the end of a busy day. They take it in turns to ride on the carriages behind driver Guy and someone has the chance to man the signals half way round the track and wave the train off from the platform tower as this young man is doing. 


 Waving off the Coombe Mill Train at Coombe Halt


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays CornwallOneDad3Girls     TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky     

Country Kids from Coombe Mill

August 21, 2015 at 11:40 PMCoombeMill

Annual Nature Raft Race

It has become a bit of a tradition at Coombe Mill to run a recycling raft race at Easter time and a natural raft race from nature in August.  This is the third year for the Nature raft race originally inspired on a summer's day at the farm with The Boy and Me and Mummy Mishaps.  Several of the guests with us this year have actually been staying for all three years, hence it has become a bit of a tradition on this week.


Annual Nature Raft Race


I began the afternoon with a quick demonstration of a raft I had made earlier in the day and tested for buoyancy.  This gave those who were new an idea of how to go about making their raft.  The rules were very clear: if it was found in nature it could be used and if not I confiscated it.  I did a quick circuit around the different groups as they began to build taking away baler twine and the like to make sure everyone had to think creatively for a string substitute.  Reeds and ivy were perfect and one or the other bound each of the rafts that were made.  Most people worked in family groups; it was lovely to see the parents fully involved and really quite competitive over their designs and ideas.


Making the Natural Rafts


When the allotted half an hour was up we began to make our way upstream to the Coombe Mill footbridge. I have just discovered Periscope and recorded from here on my iPhone  


Excitement was building and I had a job to gather all the children together for a photograph ahead of the big launch.


natural raft racing


Counting down on previous years with a '3, 2, 1' caused some confusion for the children, so this year we agreed on a 'ready steady go'.  There was no cheating at all and the children all found a space over the bridge and waited for the command before releasing their rafts from the top of the bridge into the water.


Dropping the Rafts into the River


The excitement was immediate as the children rushed down from the bridge to follow their rafts downstream.  There was much shouting and cheering as they raced along the river bank and down to the finish line to wait for the rafts to appear.  Thanks to a little help from Guy and @DadneedsDecaf wading through the river behind the rafts every one of them survived the journey to be cheered under the finishing bridge.

Rafts Racing Down the River

By this stage there were many more children and grownups venturing into the river, from paddling to body boarding, re-racing rafts to just daring each other to take a dip.  I love to see people taking advantage of nature's playground here at Coombe Mill.


Kids having fun splashing in the River


Guy treated us to one of his famous jumps from the bridge.  


Guy Jumping from the Bridge




Joining in with Country Kids 

If you have been outside enjoying the summer weather then please come and join me on the linky. All outdoor fun from playing in the garden to days out are welcome but please make sure they are predominantly outdoor based. Country Kids is all about promoting fresh air and time away from sofas and screens. I would be very grateful if you would take my badge or link back to me and please remember to check out the other posts here, you may just find the inspiration for your next post.  

Country Kids is around in these communities, I'd love you to join me: 

Pin on the Pinterest Board Just ask for an invite to pin and include Country Kids on your pins for me to stop by on your boards too (no need for a hash tag in Pinterest)


Follow Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays's board Country Kids  from Coombe Mill on Pinterest. 



Join the Google Plus community page  for Country Kids and add #CountryKids to your tag elsewhere for a +1 from me 

Share your posts on  Instagram and Twitter with #CountryKids for a like or a re-tweet


A few of my favourites from last week:

I love this version of a pondoscope from Baby Routes, such a fun and easy way to study pond life.

Plenty of frolicking around in the countryside for Jack's Paper Moon and a trip down memory lane with older kids for ClaireJustine and a nature immersion from Growing Family

A fascinating insight into the ghost towns of Salisbury Plain now used by the military from A Family Day Out.

Camp Bestival looks such fun for families, Chelsea Mamma always manages an interesting angle on the events.  

I can see why Storyland is a family favourite day out for Mum Turned Mom.


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall




Outdoor Minibeast Tic Tac Toe Tutorial

August 16, 2015 at 9:30 PMCoombeMill

Trash 2 Treasure - August

For my lead "Trash 2 Treasure" August post I detailed how of Farmer Nick made some amazing Woodland Mushroom Stools.  He also used the base of the tree to make a table to place the mushrooms around.  These have become the central focus of the fairy gardens in the largest clearing.  It felt like an ideal opportunity to create a fairy themed tick tack toe board.  On the lower levels of the fairy garden we have our bug hotel, so to continue the bug theme we made our counters into ladybirds and bees using pebbles from the beach.


Minibeast Tic Tac Toe


It took the tractor and trailer together with the children to manoeuvre the huge slice of tree trunk into the fairy gardens and another into the end play area.


Moving the Tree Stumps


Once in place we made a wooden stencil template to create the criss cross boards then sprayed black wood paint on to the stencil. You could do it Free Hand but the stencil helped to keep the lines straight.


Painting the Tree Stumps

For the ladybirds and bees I painted beach pebbles with stone masonry white paint.  When this was dry I went over the white with red or yellow then painting the black detailing on top to form the bugs.  For the coloured paint I used outdoor gloss. I had painted extra pebbles up to add to the bug hotel.  For here I also used some long thin pebbles to make centipedes and some round ones for spiders.


Making Stone Insects

It took a couple of days for the gloss to dry before moving the pebbles to the tick tack toe table. I have reused the idea with the children staying for activity hour by handing out the pebbles with just white masonry paint on them allowing the children to make their own minibeasts with ordinary poster paint and adding googly eyes; great fun with no damage to clothes or skin.


Painting our bug rocks


In reality I'm not sure how much tic tack toe has been played, but the children holidaying here have loved seeing the lady birds and bees and making their own games up in the fairy garden.  Our large painted pebbles,  butterflies and other homemade trinkets have been endlessly moved collected and rearranged between the bug hotel mushroom stools and  tic tac toe table in many an hour of imaginative play .


fairy garden

If you fancy having a go at your own tick tack toe table and pebbles and don't have access to a large tree trunk as we did you could always make a criss cross board out of twigs as Karen from Let Kids be Kids  shared on #Trash2Treasure in August.

A Vlog Tutorial : Minibeast Tic Tac Toe


For more creative ideas on upcycling from things you would throw away or nature please join in with my Trash2Treasure linky which opens on the first Monday of each month and stays open till the end of the month. We also have three roles of colourful duck tape to be won each month from our partners at Duck Tape Colours


Trash 2 Treasure  clairejustine          Twinkly Tuesday    Post Comment Love




Weekly Farm Photo

August 15, 2015 at 11:30 PMCoombeMill

I love this photo, it is Guy giving a fishing lesson out on the Coombe Mill carp lake to one of the young holiday makers. Apparently the young lad had been wanting to fish every year he has visited us but neither of his parents knew how. After my brother spent time teaching Guy he is now happy to pass on his knowledge to others and has set up his own little business, I will leave him to share the full story on a future post. 


Guy giving a fishing lesson on the Coombe Mill Carp Lake

  Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays CornwallOneDad3Girls     TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky     

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Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Coombe Mill

"Tales from the farmers wife" shares the funny and interesting happenings on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. A behind the scenes look on balancing family, farming, the holiday business and cooking for all.

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