Country Kids from Coombe Mill

July 4, 2014 at 11:00 PMCoombeMill

Time with my big kids


A very different Country Kids from me this week. Ally, our eldest child has just finished his GCSE's and we wanted to do something special to mark the occasion. Ever since our honeymoon in 1995 we have been returning to our favourite hotel in Devon and dreaming that one day we might take our children when they were old enough to appreciate all that is on offer. This felt like the perfect time and we gave Ally a free choice of who to take with him. We fully expected him to choose a school friend but in fact he chose his brother Felix which both surprised and delighted us. Neither of the boys have ever been to a smart hotel before and had no idea what to expect. The innocence of their reaction to everything was both endearing and funny to Nick and me from the disbelief of not being allowed in the restaurant without a jacket to the novelty of an outdoor pool with heated water. As parents it was truly special to share our memories of nineteen years with our boys.


The sports facilities at the hotel were something we knew the boys would love. They both showed promise in golf and were easily a match for me if not Nick. I am always too preoccupied with the stunning views out to sea and not my golf swing and revelling in the competitive banter we shared throughout!

 

Golf at Thurlestone


We were there for the last of the glorious June heat wave and the outdoor pool was most welcome. With heated water jumping in was a pleasure. The boys challenged us to numerous swimming races which they won hands down. 

 

 Outdoor Pool At Thurlestone


Watching the boys dressed up in their jackets and enjoying a shandy before dinner was a real highlight for Nick and I, we felt so proud of them both and despite finding dressing for dinner a strange concept they both admitted after that they enjoyed the "theatre" of the occasion as they called it and the interesting mix of meals they tried which forced them away from the traditional steaks and burgers at the local pub and my family meal repertoire.

 

 Dressed for Dinner on holiday

 

Living in a valley at Coombe Mill we benefit from a beautiful mild micro climate but do lose the sun early in the evening and miss it setting. Here we had the beach just yards away and with the long light evenings and clear skies I was keen to enjoy an after dinner beach walk. The boys and I ended up with our shoes off and paddling out as the light fell away. To me this was a magical moment to share and even the water felt warm.

Sunset at Thurlestone Beach

 

 

 

Sunset at Thurlestone Beach


We played hours of badminton and squash together and after dinner snooker. My legs and arms ached for my efforts but it was all so worth it. I'd like to think this will become a tradition now for all the children when they finish their exams. It was a great way to spend time with just the two of them, a perfect opportunity to put their best table manners to the test and for them to experience something totally different to life on the farm for a couple of nights.

Joining in with Country Kids

If you have been enjoying some fresh air with the children please come and share with me here. Country Kids is for all outdoor fun whether crafting, learning playing or an adventure from the garden to the park or even an urban day, as long as it is outdoors with at least one photo it qualifies for the linky. Do please grab the badge code to make it easy to follow the linky and comment on some of the other entries. There are always some great ideas to gain from someone else's post.  

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

Pin on the Pinterest Board

Join the Google Plus community page  for Country Kids

Share your posts on  Instagram and Twitter with #CountryKids 

 

A few of my favourite posts from last week:

Chocolate is not the only fruit has been staying down with us at Coombe Mill and shares her first impressions here on the farm

Madhouse Family Reviews stumbles on an unexpected village fate out Geocaching

What Elsa Wears shares a first glamping experience

Adventures of Adam shares an amazing Mud Kitchen that was so cheap to create.

Chelsea Mamma goes fossil hunting & more with the family down at the beach

 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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The Rabbit and the Squirrel

June 29, 2014 at 8:59 PMCoombeMill

By Guy Cambouropoulos

It's a while since I did a post but I had a story I wanted to share. It is all about setting out to catch a rabbit and ending up with a squirrel! Okay so I need to explain this a bit.

 Guy

We had lots of older children staying on the farm over half term which was great for me as they were more my age and had the freedom to explore the farm without their parents. They had a great time and are coming back again next year. Anyway while they were here there were a few problems. First of all one evening someone called 999 from our red phone box and the police came over. It wasn't any of us and Dad was very cross, he had stern words with everyone on the tractor ride the next morning. I must say me and my brothers were rather disappointed with the police car, it was very ordinary looking inside but the police man had a taser which was pretty awesome and exciting. Anyway, that was only one incident, the other one was that Dad bought a new rabbit. The children playing up at the rabbits thought it was being bullied by the others and decided to let it out. Dad thinks it was actually the boy rabbit doing....well you know, what boy rabbits do to girl rabbits, but it was all too late the rabbit was out. We managed to catch it again and made a home for it in Dad's shed as it had to be separated from the others in case of myxomatosis; this is a nasty disease wild rabbits can catch. We looked up the incubation period and saw that if we kept the rabbit separate for 7 days and there were no signs of sight loss and confusion she could return. However she escaped from Dad's shed!

Dad made a trap which he set near the lake where she had gone and we all tried to catch her with a fishing net too but failed!

 

Ready to catch a rabbit

Not a total fail though as we caught a squirrel in our trap. I took it back to the house and Dad wanted to shoot it as there are so many on the farm and they eat all the animals' food. It looked so pretty and harmless though Mum warned us not to get our fingers near or it would bite. Jed wanted to keep it as a pet but Mum was having none of it but we did agree to take it up to the woods behind our house and let it free before Dad came back with his gun!

 Squirrel in the rabbit trap

 

Up through the pony field to our camp in the woods we went. We opened the trap door and he darted out quicker than anything. I think he had a lucky escape, Jed was still cross Mum wouldn't let us keep him, but we were soon distracted by remaking our tree swing while we were there.

Tree Swing at Coombe Mill Woods

 

The rabbit was loose on the farm for over a week and managed to dodge the fox and all our attempts to catch her with a fishing net. She would peep out at us each day near the lake but run away so fast when we came too close.

 

Chasing our escapped rabbit

 

Finally our missing rabbit fell for Dad's trap with tempting food inside and was rescued on the morning tractor ride. She went back in Dad's shed in a stronger house made from an old wooden cot dong her 7 days all over again. We were delighted to have her back and popped some fresh grass in whenever we passed.

 

 isolation for an escaped rabbit

 

Sadly on day 6 she died. Mum says it was probably all the stress of being moved, escaping being captured again, Dad thinks she probably caught something nasty while she was out. I'm not sure which is right but I will be making sure none of my friends are tempted to let any of the rabbits out over the summer holidays which are nearly here now. Rest in peace little baby rabbit, I will miss you.

I hope our squirrel has found himself a new home up in the woods and hasn't been frightened by his capture too.   

 

Thanks for reading xxx

I'm linking up Guy's post to Magic Moments  What's The Story and Point and Shoot 

Silent Sunday / Project 52

June 28, 2014 at 11:40 PMCoombeMill

3 goats for 3 girls

  TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky   OneDad3Girls   Love All Blogs Better Photos Project

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Country Kids from Coombe Mill

June 27, 2014 at 11:39 PMCoombeMill

Water free nature fishing

For Activity Hour at Coombe Mill this week I wanted to try something linked to nature and the seasons. My age group averaged at two so I was conscious that whatever we did would need to be easy for little ones to understand and enjoy. It was whilst walking round the farm for inspiration that I found myself faced with sticky weed on the bottom of my leggings. That was where the idea began. I picked up a long stick and wrapped some sticky weed around the end and then I tried to see if it would have enough stickiness to collect a leaf from the ground. If they were textured leaves it worked. From there everything fell into place.

On the afternoon with help from Farmer Kym and Amber our new Coombe Mill apprentice we set up a rug under the shade of the trees and I handed out some activity sheets to the parents so they knew what we were trying to achieve. 

 

 Sticky weed Fishing Game instruction sheet

 

To help the children with the notion of imagination we brought out the dressing up boxes and invited them to choose an outfit, I even found a tutu to go round me! Sitting under the trees we read a lovely story about colour and things we might find on the farm from our Parragon Books collection. 

 

 Dressing up clothes and story time

 

Then we set off on a nature hunt to find sticky weed in the hedges, some ferns which were the perfect texture and shape to be our fish and the essential ingredient: a good long stick for everyone. 

 

 Finding nature for a fishing game

 

Back at our activity centre under the trees the rug became our blue lake and we made our fishing lines and set out the fish & flowers. It was such a simple activity but one that kept everyone happy. A few triumphant faces on catching a fish and even the parents couldn't resist a turn.

 

Fishing for Leaves and Flowers in a pretend lake

 

With time to spare and the sun losing its heat we played ring a ring a roses in the sunshine.

 

 

Ring a ring a Roses

A lovely end to a holiday at Coombe Mill.

 

 

This was a perfect activity for tots, just enough to create the pretend, but not too fiddly that they couldn't do it themselves with a little help attaching the sticky weed.

Joining in with Country Kids 

Country Kids is all about enjoying the outdoors. Whether you are playing in the park, out on an adventure, enjoying a family day at the beach or the woods or learning and crafting as we were here please do come and join me. There are only a few restrictions namely to please include at least one photo of your activity and that it should be outside. From there anything goes, the more ideas we share for enjoying screen free fresh air time the better. Please do take time to comment on others linked up, there are always some wonderful ideas which might just inspire your next adventure.  

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

Pin on the Pinterest Board

Join the Google Plus community page  for Country Kids

Share your posts on  Instagram and Twitter with #CountryKids 

 

A few of my favourite posts from last week:

Would like to be shares Rosie's love of scooting with some adorable photos

Time to Craft shows how to make a fantastic Teepee. I really want to try this in our Coombe Mill Fairy Garden

Mommy Loves plays an educational Tree Game that could be done anywhere from the woods to a park

I love this biking challenge from A Family Day Out and the cakes at the end look well deserved.

 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

 

This is the last weekend for voting in the Loved By Parents Awards. I am up for Best Family Friendly Travel Destination and Best Family Friendly Accommodation and would love your vote. This is the form,  I'm under special awards but it is not easy to navigate. If you are happy to email me your name at mail@coombemill.com or DM me your email and name on Twitter I can pop a vote in for you and I would be so grateful of your support.

Coombe Mill is Loved by Parents

Reflections on Brit Mums Live

June 23, 2014 at 8:00 AMCoombeMill

I'm back in Cornwall after an amazing two days. It is wonderful to be home, to see my family and our beautiful farm with fresh eyes. This has to be the best way to appreciate what you have. Anyway the long drive has given me plenty of time to reflect on the event and what I have taken from it. For me there were some real wins and a few less than perfect moments too. While they are all fresh and in no particular order here are my highs and lows:

My Brit Mums 'Foax Pas' 

I had 200 brand new business cards designed and printed to make my website makeover but sadly came home with 198 of them. If anyone wants one I have a few going spare!

Coombe Mill Business Cards

 

I attended an interesting session on photography with Julia Boggio and learned how to stand for photos by turning sideways and pushing your chin out and then looking slightly down, yet I managed to totally forget in my photo after with the stunning Katy Hill who of course is looking gorgeous and was doing it all right. Grrr, I can't be cross though as she is such a delight to be around and welcoming person to everyone there. 

Katy Hill at Brit Mums live with Coombe Mill

 

I felt wearing my Coombe Mill badge was a great way to be recognised but discovered I had spend half the day with it flipped round the wrong way! Despite this I felt I managed to see more people than last year thanks to one on my bag and a few who actually knew me as more than a logo. 

I proved myself to be a total country bumpkin and couldn't find my way from the Premier Inn to The Brewery even once on my own. Thank you to Alfa Wilmore who walked all the way there and back with me to check in on Friday.

I didn't win in my BIBs category of social media but I am delighted for Darren Coleshill who did. All the finalists were amazing candidates and I was thrilled to be one of them.

 

Successes 

Coca Cola and Coombe Mill 

The machine broke before I could have my bespoke Coke bottle made last year so I was careful to make over to the coke stand early this time. I was ridiculously proud of my Coombe Mill Bottle. 

 

Diet Coke and Coombe Mill

Pinterest 

Visit Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays's profile on Pinterest.

 

 

There is no such thing as too many boards or too many pins. Keep adding and repin to more than one board if relevant.

Title boards with keywords, that means I need to remove Coombe Mill from titles and make them more generic

Don't use hashtags; they are not relevant on Pinterest.

Focus on aspirations and make boards as desirable as possible don't just pin your own posts.

Education is a big area. I have a whole section for education on my site and am relaunching this together with Twinkl and will be talking to them about a joint board for all our wonderful ideas.

"Rich Pins" are the way forward, there are five areas of product, place, article, recipe and movie, use them to add more information on your pin with more search opportunities. These are available for business accounts; another reason to have one. 

Pinterest is a form of social media, take time to repin, comment and follow just as you would on any other platform. Obvious but something I don't do enough.

 

Watch me become a Pinterest Queen over the coming months! 

 

Google plus 

Google Plus

There were some great insights from this session too. Here are my main pointers:

Remember Google Plus is a part of Google and it can influence your blog ranking too. Having more active followers here is one way in which Google will rank you.

Google personalizes search information for you if you are in someone's G+ circle you are more likely to appear in their searches too

Large photos need to be at least 510 pixels in size. It was mentioned that 710 by 915 is ideal for Pinterest and this also works well for G+

If you are a business as I am it is worth having 5 reviews as this will get you a gold star on Google Local. I only have two reviews so if anyone is feeling generous who knows me this is the link to write a review for Coombe Mill and I would be most grateful.

More text is good so don't restrict yourself. A paragraph or two of good copy to draw your reader in is a good idea

Use the link box to link to your blog post as this will help your blog SEO. However you will need to publish again with the link in the text box to enable a decent size photo. Try and make the description different if you are duplicating your post in this way.

Add a "rel=publisher" tag in the header of your website to connect your blog to your G+ page or profile.

 

 Bloggers at Brit Mums

The learning was a bonus and I felt the sessions were more helpful than last year. However as far as I am concerned I bought my ticket and travelled to Brit Mums to meet the online friends I feel I have made over the years all in one place. From excited hugs to drunken conversations I really delighted in every person who spoke to me after recognised me or my logo (when it was facing the right way). I may have gone a little overboard on the photos but if I saw you I probably snapped you too, not my best pictures but indoor spot lights and coloured lighting were kind to skin but not ideal for photography. Never the less I delighted in capturing the smiles and silly faces of the moment. I award myself a BIBs in portrait quantity over the two days if not quality! 

 

 

Brit Mums Bloggers 1

 

 

Brit Mums Live Bloggers

 

 

 Brit Mums 2014

 

 

 Brit Mums Live Bloggers

 

Brit Mums Live Bloggers

A huge thank you to all who obliged me in the silly and sane photos and took time to talk to me, you made the two days so worthwhile. 

Me at Brit Mums Live

 

 

Please share our family farm holidays, I'd be so proud

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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