Every year I try to take the children fruit picking, there is always a big debate between strawberries and raspberries, but this year it was left to the weather to decide. I had watched in envy as more and more posts joined Country Kids with juicy looking strawberries and happy children in fruit laden fields, however Sunday was our only free day until the schools broke up and for the past month it has rained without fail every Sunday. Finally our chance arrived, despite a wet forecast the sun was actually winning through. The older boys had gone with their Dad to the annual Wheels Car Festival; Clio was surfing with a friend after a sleepover which left Theo, Guy, Jed and me for fruit picking.
In just 20 minutes we were parked up, punnets in hand and setting off for the fruit fields. Theo being the oldest won and it was raspberries first. Rows and rows lay before us and the kids were quite engrossed wondering up and down the rows of bushes picking away, yet when I looked round their punnets were almost empty, it turns out that eating rather than collecting was their priority!
We combined our efforts into one punnet and I carried on into the strawberry fields, which to be fair were showing a distinct end of season look so we moved onto the redcurrants, blackcurrants and gooseberries where I filled my punnet.
Having stuffed their faces with raspberries the boys had lost interest in the fruit; I caught up with them looking at the wallabies which were twice the size of ours!
Then an underground Play phone caught their imagination. I must show this one to Farmer Nick, it would be great for Coombe Mill, the two phone boxes were places across a field connected by an underground pipe and the message spoken through one end could be heard loud and clear at the other. I’m sure there is a sensible wave frequency explanation but it tickled the kids who kept running back and forth exchanging messages to each other.
There was plenty of play equipment for youngsters and many families enjoying their roast dinner on the outside benches, even though they are really too old my boys had a quick go on the swings and balance beam before the huge over eight’s zip wire caught their attention. Here they were in their element remembering the fun they had last year. It looks tame enough but swings out so far at the end it is truly hard to cling on especially when there or four pile on for one turn, inevitably someone came flying off, thankfully no one was hurt though I wonder how looking back at the photos now!
I sat and watched as they bundled down the tunnel slide one after another, racing back around for another go. I do enjoy these rare moments when they still enjoy a little childlike fun.
There is always one who has to be a dare devil, this time it was Theo who decided to climb up the outside of the tunnel before sliding back down. I was delighted he made it safely with just his shorts as the casualty which ripped on the bum as he climbed over the top. Just as well it was time for us to leave!
We had a lovely afternoon in the sun, though no one was impressed with our fruit picking back home. Never mind, there is always another day now the holidays are here!
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“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.