After a successful summer season and either side of the Christmas festivities we allow ourselves a 6 week window of closure at Coombe Mill. This is an opportunity to take stock of our year, tackle maintenance work and begin larger projects. So far we have installed cattle grids to work the fields leading to the Scandinavian lodges, bitten off rather more than we should have refitting the play barn and installed new wood burners for Honeysuckle and Willow cottages. More on all these projects over the coming weeks, ahead of the start of the new season from February half term.
However life is not all work and our close down periods ether side of Christmas allows us some much needed family time. For the first time since last winter we have been enjoying two day weekends, no changeover, no emergency problems to sort or duties to perform past feeding and caring for the animals; the fact that it is only for a few weeks makes us appreciate it all the more. It is lovely to have the farm to ourselves, to turn the music up in the gym or pop over for a late night hot tub at Tree Roots Cottage; however it is also a chance for us to have a mini break away. We now have Amber to take care of the farm while we are away and took advantage of this taking the kids away for the weekend to our honeymoon hotel in Devon. Nick and I try to return a couple of times each year for a short adult break, yet after taking the children with us this time last year, they have spent all year asking if we would be able to do it again and were super excited when we said we had booked.
The weather was pretty awful which was no surprise at this time of year but we still managed to enjoy some golf on the little 9 hole hotel course and some windy and wild coastal walks.
When the rain came the kids headed for the indoor pool or the squash and Badminton courts. So many matches and rematches took place and Nick and I were delighted to hold our own against our very competitive children, well some of the time anyway!
Perhaps the best part for me was not having to think about cooking meals. It was a pleasure to have all my family dressed up for dinner with me, this year they were all old enough to join us in the restaurant, grown up enough to sample and enjoy strange foods and be trusted to sit there long enough without being bored and making excuses to visit the toilet. The introduction of charades by Jed between courses really did help to keep everyone going.
Breakfast was enough to set us up for a full day of outdoor pursuits, although I did find all my full English ended up vegetarian as the boys swapped all their tomatoes for my sausage and bacon! Fortunately I’m the only one who likes black pudding so I managed to keep that.
It was only 2 nights away but it felt like longer and I was still excited and feeling rejuvenated driving back over a windswept Tamar bridge into Cornwall, after an almost a perfect break.
I say almost perfect as we then spent half an hour with me flicking through the owner’s manual and Nick cursing beneath the car on the side of the dual carriageway trying to free rusted bolts from the spare wheel thanks to a huge blow out.
Thankfully after only one ruined set of clothes, and much cursing, we were finally back on course for Coombe Mill, refreshed and ready to finish the projects we set ourselves with renewed energy.
Joining in with Country Kids
I’d love you to come and share your outdoor fun with me here on the linky. All posts are welcome from playing in the garden to days out. All I ask is that the post is predominantly outside, away from screens and enjoying some fresh air. I’d be delighted if you would take my badge or link back here and please remember to check out some of the other posts, it might just be the inspiration for your next adventure.
Country Kids is around in these communities, I’d love you to join me:
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A few of my favourites from last week:
I love these wild winter fun beach pictures from Would Like to be on a day out from her Coombe Mill Holiday
for many snow was a feature last week. I love this post from the woods by Over 40 Mum to One and this one from Little Steps who lives close to us where there was no snow but went off to Dartmoor for the day and were rewarded with plenty of snow fun
Walking with children is always more fun with something for them to look out for or do. Diary of the Evans Crittens took scooters along a path to the beach to keep the kids enjoying the fresh air.
Thank you Muddy Puddles
I'd like to extend a huge thank you to Muddy Puddles who have been our Country Kids sponsors for the past 4 months generously giving a pair of free wellies to a lucky country Kids winner each month. I really love their kids clothing and feel privileged to have been working together. We have a new sponsor for February who I will introduce next week, but we are already talking to Muddy Puddles about plans for later in the year so it is and case of 'au revoir' rather than 'goodbye' and watch this space!
My January winner is Karen J Whitlock with her heartfelt post of her Christmas spent with us at Coombe Mill. Congratulations to Karen please email me your choice of Puddle flex wellies and size.
“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.