Here at Coombe Mill we know just how popular anything related to machines is to children. Our morning Tractor rides couldn’t be more popular, bursting with little ones keen to help Farmer Nick drive and to ride in the trailer. During the afternoon there is a ways a waiting queue for a train ride with Guy and if Farmer Nick is spotted out with his digger in the day it always causes a stir.
The clever folk at Nickelodeon studios put their universal success down to putting kids’ needs first. Like us they soon recognised the fascination with all machines and turned this in to a hit children’s series based on a set of rather extraordinary machines. By creating machine characters, giving them some superpowers and making them both male and female Nickelodeon have developed a series that appeals widely to all youngsters.
Grab yourself a comfy chair and be prepared for an hour of monster machine fun as Blaze, the fastest machine in town, and his driver AJ prepare for the Monster Dome’s Championship Race.
Of course things are never straight forward and Blaze will need to use his special turbo powers and extraordinary scientific knowledge to stay one step ahead of Crusher’s dirty tricks. Will blaze be able to use his cunning stunts, superior science know how and new found friends to keep his reputation as Axle City’s greatest hero?
This is the DVD to inspire youngsters about science from an early age. All the other machines look up to Blaze as the one who knows everything about science, maths, technology and engineering. He is the truck everyone turns to for help as he can do things no other truck can. When Starla the cowgirl truck loses a piston, it is Blaze who has to be quick of the mark using all his force and skill to get to it before Crusher gets his greedy tires on it!
Blaze and his driver AJ are best friends and make an awesome team. Together they believe they can take on any machine, bring on the championship race and prepare for the ride.
Blaze And The Monster Machines: Blaze Of Glory
64 mins (1 disc)
This pre-school interactive adventure returns as the audience at home must help Blaze on his quest, by exploring the physics of how things move, tackling problems and discovering the component parts needed to make every day technologies work. Enjoy the race and be prepared to learn some interesting facts along the way.
The lovely folk at Nickelodeon have 2 copies of Blaze and the Monster Machines: Blaze Of Glory to giveaway here on the Coombe Mill blog. To be in with a chance of winning just follow the instructions below. Good luck to all taking part.
I was sent a copy of the DVD for the purpose of this review and to keep for our holiday guests to borrow.
After the success of our play barn make over with a whole new soft play centre for under 5’s, we were keen to create a wet weather day equivalent for older children too. This is something we had wanted to do for a long time but the perfect location has only just been realised. Last year we gained planning permission to turn all our remaining riverside lodges in to the contemporary Scandinavian style of Trevarno, so popular with our holiday guests. One by one the old riverside lodges are being converted, Camel became our reception and shop, Ottery the Gym and now having sold the contents of the remaining lodges at our charity sale in aid of the village Playground, we had Deer and DeLank offering a large space that would be perfect as a games room.
Deer and DeLank were semi detached, and whilst they were tiny as 2 bedroom lodges, when stripped of their internal walls the space began to transform. I must say as partition walls came down scattering debris around and leaving wiring and sockets dangling, I wondered if we had bitten off more than we could chew with this project.
Having teenage boys comes into its own on projects like this and they worked after school and weekends to help their Dad make everything safe with a huge bonfire for all the old timbers they had knocked down. Finally we had a blank canvas to work on, well almost since the carpet had gaps and a ghastly multicolour effect from room and property divides and the wiring needed some serious attention.
We had a deadline in our minds to make the room safe by and that was Nick’s birthday. I had invited 18 friends, more than we could sensibly sit in our kitchen, and the new games room was beginning to look like the obvious answer. We restored one of the cookers to the kitchen area and laid new carpet on the morning of the party. With twinkle lights tacked round the edge of the room from the Christmas decoration store and garden tables cleaned up, we pulled off a wonderful Greek Taverna night.
After a huge clean up from the party it was onward with the games room plan. We bought a pool table which was ridiculously heavy to lift and manoeuvre through the little lodge doors, brought the table tennis across from the craft tent and still had room for table football. All was complete just in time for half term.
With the tent now missing the ping pong table, which doubled up as a craft table, it seemed only sensible to move activity hour into the games room too. We enjoyed our first session in here making Valentine’s crafts and heading out on to the farm for a treasure hunt. I have now moved all my craft supplies into the locked kitchen area and kept the cooker in there too which is going to be really handy for cooking and baking.
Finally I had been after a chalk board but it just wasn’t practical in the tent, here I had the perfect space and Nick made me one which I’m thrilled with. I’ll share how to do this in April’s Trash2Treasure. I’m so excited about the possibilities ahead for activity hour for the summer season.
Now I feel we have something to offer all ages here on the farm in all weather, if you are looking to come and stay please take a look at our availability as we would love to welcome you for a family holiday. We hope to start work on one of the new lodges this autumn which will be next door, but not too close to the new games room and available to rent from next spring. In the mean time I have a large empty tent and I’m looking for inspiration on how best to use it; any ideas?
Finally this was the week that saw those long awaited first lambs born. We had boy and girl twins followed by a single girl and feel confident now for those to follow. We have learned our lesson from last year and added more secure fencing to the nursery field to protect our new born lambs from foxes. Fingers crossed all is working and we have no orphans either. Who knows I may even managed to plant crops rather than grow animals in my garden greenhouse this year!
I have so many lamb photos I could share but this first one of the twins is still my favourite of the week.
Lambs weren’t our only success, our incubated eggs hatched with 5 healthy baby chicks who all enjoy a cuddle with the guests on the morning feed runs.
I promised to give an update on the bunnies each week so here they are a week on. I am a little worried they are still reluctant to leave the nest and only appear to be opening one eye each.
On the plus side the older rabbits are treating the kits well and they are clearly still being fed by one or more of them. When the adults are not on baby patrol they are fair games for the guests to come and cuddle them, this photo depicts the joy the children derive from our bunny world.
4 of our piglets went off to market this week, they were sectioned from those remaining and this young lady was keen to peek out and wave her friends off.
To complete my animal themed Easter week I thought I’d share our thrifty craft from activity hour this week. All this ahead of our Annual Easter Day Egg Hunt which I may well be running while you read this post.
Good Friday had to be the best day of the week, we enjoyed Activity Hour outdoors, and while we lost the sun down in the valley during the last train ride of the week, I did capture a beautiful sunset from the top of our lane.
I love the way kids get a bee in their bonnet about something and just have to follow it through no matter now impractical it may be. If I’m honest, it was only seeing them all embroiled in this particular crocodile adventure that made me realise that these activities are becoming less frequent in my children as they grow up. I want to hold back time and prolong this stage, it is a lovely childish zest and enthusiasm that wanes with age, and I know I am on the cusp of even my youngest moving on.
The adventure began late afternoon when Guy and his friend on holiday here decided they should go in search of the disappearing crocodile. As a little background, the crocodile for years was the highlight of a journey round the lake with his large fibre glass jaw coming up through the water. One day he simply wasn’t there and has been missing a good year now. The logical explanation is that he broke free from his concrete pad and toppled into the lake. Why anyone would decide to embark on a rescue mission as the light fell on a cold February day, only the kids can tell you! With wetsuits and torches they launched HMS Bath Tub and began to explore. It didn’t take long to realise, with murky water stirred up from jumping in and night falling, they were going to have to abort their mission.
Clearly this idea was not going to die easily and they were back the following morning with great optimism and another on board.
Before long Clio came running to join them and her friend rode the boat back to the launch pad to collect her
The girls, not in wetsuits, had only planned to assist from the boat but, with Guy claiming to have found the crocodile umpteen times only to haul in the anchor, they became inpatient and one by one ventured in fully clothed! Clio’s squeals gave away how cold it must have been, but excitement and adrenaline took hold and they spent the best part of an hour in and out of the boat, soaking wet but alas no crocodile.
Having moored the boat with hearts a little low having not found the missing crocodile, and by now very cold and wet, I cheered them up by suggesting they could hop in the hot tub after a shower. This soon brought them back to life and the squeals continued as they soaked up the warmth of the hot tub together, limbs coming back to life.
Just as well Tree Roots Cottage wasn’t occupied that day!
I do hope I will have another summer of childlike adventures; I hate to think they are growing too old for some good outdoor farm fun like this.
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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I am delighted to announce that Rockfish have joined with Coombe Mill to sponsor the Country Kids link up. Rockfish are a local Cornish company specializing in stylish Wellingtons for all the family. We have been offering their country wellies in our borrow room here on the farm for over a year and they are always popular for their style, comfort and durability.
Each week my favourite #CountryKids posts, which include my badge or a link back here, will be considered for a free pair of Rockfish Wellies at the end of the month; the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors whatever the weather throws your way. The wellies we offer may change each month but are always high quality, comfy and stylish so keep an eye out here on Country Kids to see which designs are up each month. My March winner will be able to choose any welly form the online range. For more more information on the Rockfish Wellies on offer with us and terms and conditions to win see here
Plenty to descover for the girls at Little Hearts Big Love down by the Canal
Tin box Traveller enjoyed a family day at a charity run farm for disadvantaged kids
The National Trust properties are great for a day out as Him, Me, Three discovered with their new membership
A Roman villa captures the imagination of Bubba Blue and Me
On top of the monthly free wellies, Rockfish has kindly offered everyone who enters #CountryKids this week a chance to win 25% off at their online store, a little extra incentive for some affordable outdoor fun
Who doesn’t love good wine and the soft lighting of a candle? They conjure up an image of relaxation, a little oasis of time out of the hustle and bustle of everyday chores, romantic evenings and more. I was rather excited to discover a local company combining both these favourite elements of life into a single product. Move over vanilla and caramel scented candles, hello Gin and Tonic and Merlot candles!
Operating from our local town of Wadebridge, Vineyard candles have a really novel business repurposing wine bottles into stylish scented candles. My regular readers will know how much I love all upcycling and eco projects, from nature crafts to big DIY jobs, as shared through my monthly linky #Trash2Treasure. I was excited to discover the same ethos behind Vineyard Candles, who have turned their hobby for being green and environmentally friendly into a business offering unique candles.
Owners Glenn and Jo brought the concept back from Africa in 2002, the same year we bought Coombe Mill, after working on environmental projects out there. They wanted a way to recreate the simple glassware they saw and turn it into a living back in the UK, whilst bringing up their family by the sea. From humble beginnings in the garden shed with recycled wine bottles, they how have a factory and employ a team of experts. The wine bottles are currently imported from Canada as demand has grown beyond the upcycled origins; however Jo and Glynn are keen to change the way we think recycling and explore incentives for local businesses to supply their needs. We might just set up a special recycled bin for them here at Coombe Mill alongside our regular glass recycling. After all we are not short of trips to Wadebridge with school runs and clubs.
The candles come in beautiful, yet minimalist looking packaging. Stylish enough to make a perfect gift, yet have an eco appeal. These candles would look great in any home setting from traditional to modern.
While the fragrance resembles it’s namesake, the candle is a more perfumed version. Therefore the Gin and Tonic candle smells of lemon and juniper rather than the local pub, more desirable all round, yet there is definitely a hint of your favourite drink in there too!
The company are proud to have just won ‘ Gift of the Year’ for the best gift made in the UK with their Prosecco candle. We agree with the gift Association, it’s a worthy winner!
These scented candles can be bought from Vineyard Candles for £19.99 each plus post and packaging, or why not enter and see if you can win yourself any two candles from their extensive range. Perfect for a gift, a relaxing night in or just a minimalist decoration on a mantelpiece. To be in with a chance of winning follow the instructions below. Good luck to all taking part.
I was given my candles by Vineyard Candles for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.