Silent Sunday / Project 52

April 5, 2014 at 11:30 PMCoombeMill

Twin new born Kid goats


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Country Kids from Coombe Mill

April 4, 2014 at 11:55 PMCoombeMill

Logs of Fun

Back in the storms of winter I mentioned that we lost several trees. Nick has been gradually chain sawing these into manageable chunks ready to be dried and chopped for firewood. However I was keen to divert a few to the play area after seeing a Country Kids post from Misplaced Brit a few weeks ago and thinking how perfect this would be for Coombe Mill.


 Farmer Nick Making Logs

The older boys loaded Dad's chopped logs into the trailer and drove them to the far play area while I supervised. I was very glad of their help as they were way too heavy for me.  Farmer Nick looked on in dismay as his future log store supplies disappeared before his eyes!


Logs to play area

Once at the play area we decided on a stepping stone path around the perimeter of the chippings. The teens made it look so easy throwing them out of the trailer.

Teens making stepping stones for the play area


The heavy work done it was time for big kids to be small kids as they tested out their work. Ally had a wobble and when they challenged me I fell right over much to their amusement.

Our little play demonstrated the logs were spaced perfectly for lanky agile teens but too far apart, too tall and too unstable for our younger guests and so Theo and I began operation stabilise. We dug each one down to a stable base and trod the chippings back around, which I was much happier about.


 Toddler Friendly Stepping Logs



The triplets during this time had been at the village football match. I collected them with the usual crushing defeat from the away team but Guy was happy being crowned Man of the Match for saving one of their opponents nine goals!

 Guy as Man of the Match

When I told them about the stepping stones they were quick to give it a try. They added planks from the builder's leftovers at Tree Roots cottage and made a course to race around.


Kids with initiative

Theo led the way on the stepping stones before the triplets added their planks and created their own timed races. Then their imaginations were away; Clio practiced her gymnastics using a plank as a beam replacement, they swivelled a plank on a beam to create a see saw and Guy made a catapult for his foot ball kit by jumping on one end of the beam and sending his kit flying high in the sky.


Watching children make their own entertainment from something so simple is always a delight.  There is imagination in every child, give them the opportunity to use it and you will be surprised what they come up with.


Joining in with Country Kids 

Country Kids is open to everyone. There is a new linky every Saturday which remains open till Thursday. It is all about leaving technology and sofas behind and finding a little time for some family fun outdoors. Everyone feels better for a breath of fresh air and the freedom offered from outdoor spaces. The linky is all about sharing that fun and being inspired by the activities of others. Whether it is a family day trip, a crafting activity, learning, exploring or playing please grab the badge and share your love of outdoor fun here on the linky. 

There is a Pinterest Board and Google Plus community too to share your posts as well as here. Every week I gain inspiration from all the wonderful posts I read, here are just a few of my favourites from last week:

The Reading Residence who stayed with us here at Coombe Mill

Dairy of the Evans Crittens and Chelsea Mamma both spent a perfect Mother's Day on the beach with family 

Over here to there for the most exciting looking night time Salamander hunt

I would love to be able to see the frozen waterfall The Usual Mayhem shares

The simple things in life are often best as Keep up Jones Family show on their day in the woods.

Charlie Moos joins an inspiring Sea School day.

The Mummy Diary had a double trip of weekend fun making the most of some great local attractions.


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Heartbreak & Happiness in Lambing

March 31, 2014 at 9:16 AMCoombeMill

Spring Joy

Our lambing has been going beautifully this year. twins, and singleton and then last week two more twins with the other pregnant mothers looking in tip top condition.

 Coombe Mill lambs MArch 2014

Not an Everyday Event

The last set of twins arrived during the feed run to the delight of our guests. One had just been born before we arrived so Farmer Nick decided to move Mum and lamb straight away into the nursery but leave tagging till the following day as she was clearly just minutes old. The guests duly followed as Nick tucked the lamb under his arm and began to lead Mum towards the gate. There followed an anxious *stop" from the guests as she popped a little boy out mid journey! You don't witness that every day and Nick decided best to leave them after all and move them later in the day. 

We kept a careful eye on them over the next few hours and watched as both fed and appeared to be fine. They had claimed a field shelter to themselves and all looked well.

A watchful eye on new born twins



We moved them to the nursery that evening so as to be with the other Mums and lambs and clear of any fox danger, however by morning Nick was beginning to worry. This was the same sheep that had given birth and walked away last year without so much as cleaning her lamb. The little girl was bleating outside the shelter while the boy was safe with Mum. Nick continued the feed run keeping an eye out but by the end it was clear that Mum had left her little girl deliberately. When the lamb tried to nuzzle up to her Mum she was harshly shoved away. There was nothing for it but to scoop her up and bring her indoors. Shivering and frightened we made her a bed by the boiler and gave her a first colosterum which she guzzled enthusiastically having no trouble mastering the bottle.


Lamb toastie and warm inside


A Surrogate Family

By the time the children came home from school she was warm and fed and delighted to play. She enjoyed an evening being cuddled, playing on the lawn and finally put to bed by the boiler with a final feed before my night shift began.


Kids in charge


The children were up early to tend to her before school. I'm sure they smelt of lamb all day long! Our little bundle of joy came out on the feed run to the delight of the guests who were thrilled to see her doing well and excited to help feed her.


Feeding the lamb on the moring tractor ride

Heartbreak Again

While we fed the other animals we popped her back in the nursery. She headed straight for Mum who still wouldn't let her close, the other Mums equally shunned her and only her brother responded to her plaintive bleating and came over for a reassuring word.

 A lost lamb

Adored by Us

One day she will be out in the field with them all, but for now while she is still tiny and without a Mother's love she will just visit on the feed run and remain inside with us at night and play in our greenhouse with the children by day. I knew I was late planting it again for a good reason!  


Loved by all at Coombe Mill


Since she has become a part of the family we have named her too. Thank you to all on facebook for the wonderful suggestions. Farmer Nick and the children have chosen Ebony as she is black all over except for the tip of her head and tail.


Named Eblony by Facebook




Silent Sunday / Project 52

March 29, 2014 at 9:19 PMCoombeMill


Clio & Ebony the bottle fed lamb



Country Kids from Coombe Mill

March 28, 2014 at 10:23 PMCoombeMill

Hunting for Frogspawn & finding so much more

I had been taken with a post from Time to Craft a few weeks back who had been night hunting for toads. I realised we must be behind on our annual tour of the farm for frogspawn. It was a sunny day and I suggested to the children that we go exploring. Theo piped up that he had already seen lots across Coombe Bridge close to their new *secret den*. I asked if we could all look and he was more than happy, but there was to be no sharing of the den location. Agreeing not to 'pry' on their den whereabouts we donned our wellies and set off. The floods from the winter had made the going much easier on the far river bank than I remember in previous years and I could see why the children had chosen to play over here. They each grabbed a stick en route; the essential aid to any woodland walk!


Hunting with sticks


Soon we were in some still marshy waters close to the river bank and there were massive clumps of frogspawn. Clio reached down to touch it but was not keen on the jelly like texture.

Finding Frogspawn

We waded across the bog careful not to disturb the frogspawn and I could sense we were close to the boys den. I didn't have to look too far before I found a tell tale sign by way of an old spade head and a bamboo cane from our greenhouse embedded into the ground.


Kids den uncovered


This had to be the entrance. It opened up inside to a sheltered natural den beneath the leaves with some lovely low branches which the kids all claimed as their seats and had engraved their names on a previous visit. They now proudly showed me round since I had rumbled their special place. 

Kids in their den


Having shown off their den we decided to continue our forest walk. This side of the river is not on Coombe Mill land and usually quite inaccessible, but post the storms, floods and before the summer growth had really taken off we found it quite easy to walk. We headed towards a clearing and saw a caravan and old cars in the distance. "I wonder who lives there?" asked the children. They hid behind trees and crept slowly closer. I was quite unaware what we would find but knew that years ago a bee keeper had his bee hives near here and we used to sell his honey in our shop.


Finding Adventure


When we came close it was obviously deserted but the children were fascinated. I think they thought they were like the famous five and stumbling over some hidden bars of gold. Guy knocked carefully on the caravan door, then opened it and peeped inside. Curiosity got the better of them and they all had a timid poke around the rotting caravan and surrounding vehicles taking in all they saw with wide eyes.

 Exploring the abandoned vehicles

Then the wooden padlocked shed caught their attention, the only place they hadn't been able to look inside. Guy found some rotting panels on one side and they all squinted to see inside.

Explorers at an old shed


Then he noticed the door only looked locked with a padlock but was in fact open, they were amazed by the old lights, left sleeping bags and old books. I skimmed the titles quickly to ensure there was nothing unsuitable!


Inside the mystery shed


They noticed an old ladder, a washing line and a small fire clearing for cooking and began to imagine themselves as explorers staying here before replacing the padlock on the door to leave everything as they found it and head homeward leaving their mystery world behind.


Examining all signs of occupancy


We glanced back from Coombe Bridge but there was no sign from here of the secret life we had uncovered.


Coombe Bridge

It clearly inspired the children as they then decided to get the tent out and pitch up on the trampoline for the night. I left the outside light on and door unlocked for them in case they changed their minds but they stayed the night and Nick found them bouncing on the trampoline early in the morning in their onesies. I wonder what adventure stories they told each other over night?

Camping on the Trampoline


Joining in with Country Kids

Country Kids is all about fun in the outdoors, escaping technology, screens and sofas and enjoying some family time in the fresh air. Posts on days out to the beach, woods, park or even just enjoying the garden are welcome and urban trips too. Whether it is play, crafting, learning or exploring I'd love you to get out there, have some fun, grab the badge and come and share those smiling faces and rosy cheeks here on the linky. There is a wonderful community of support for outdoor ideas building here each week and I urge you to join in by checking out the other posts too. 

A few of my favourite posts from last week

An educational school trip from Rollercoaster Mum & Nature walk from The Tiger Chronicle

I shall miss the Team Honk Adventures on Country Kids, this one brought from Brinabird & Son

I would love to visit the Maritime Forest that Mothering with Mindfulness came across. It looks so peaceful 

An evening at the beach from Mum of 3 boys & fun during the day from Us three by the sea makes me yearn for a visit too

There is some great advice from Circus Queen on making a first campfire with a toddler.

Daisy Broomfield explores the benefits of gross motor skills 


And finally I was thrilled to see so many Country Kids supporters as finalists in the MAD Blog Awards. If you haven't already voted please do, it only takes a minute and there are so many familiar names there who would love your vote, me included.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


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