Country Kids is the original outdoor family fun linky designed to:
Welcome back if you are a regular to Country Kids and if you are new please join in. You will find plenty of inspiration for enjoying outdoor space and please do share your own adventures. We support the National Trust 100 things to do before you are 11¾ along with all other ideas for family fun outside.
Here at Coombe Mill the little holiday train has been the highlight of the day for the preschoolers staying with us. There has been a different driver from my children each day as they juggle after school clubs but the children staying are happy so long as someone is there with a “toot- toot” at 6pm.
1st Merlinda from Glimmer of Hope who commented on 30 posts this week.
2nd Cheryl from Time to Craft who commented on 28 posts this week.
3rd Hiedi from Him Me Three who commented on 25 posts this week.
Fantastic work ladies, thank you so much. Do check out their posts linked above too.
My top commented post will automatically qualify for a chance at the Rockfish wellies below provided other giveaway criteria are met.
‘link dump and run’ culprits was down to an amazing 1 if this was you do pop back over and share some blog love.
I am delighted to introduce Rockfish as the sponsor for Country Kids. 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.
For more more information on the Rockfish Wellies on offer with us and terms and conditions to win see here.
Merlinda is the Country Kids top commenter for this week with a fab 30 post comments last week.
Catching the Magic is over in the UK and packing in heaps of fun in North Wales
Chelsea Mamma goes behind the scenes at Moors Valley Railway
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For the third in my series of posts from our holiday in France I’m sharing our Tree Top Adventure. We last tried this back in 2013. Back them, we had never been on, or seen anything like this before but it was so popular with everyone bar farmer Nick, we have been campaigning to return ever since.
3 years ago the triplets were just nine years old and too young to complete all the adult runs. This time at twelve they were just able to do the full set including the famous black run with its scary wire bridge across the canyon.
It was an hour’s drive from our cousin’s house in Uzes and so arriving at lunchtime, the first thing on the kid’s minds was food. We found a beautiful shady bench overlooking the river Gardon for our picnic.
Next to the picnic benches were some tightrope challenges. They just had to be tested and proved the perfect way to limber up and practice balance before our tree top adventure.
Replenished and loosened up after our drive we checked in with the guides. I was pleased to see the safety harnesses had improved since our last visit. Back then a forgotten clip could be serious; now the clips and harnesses had a safely feature to ensure while off the ground, you always had at least one of your safety ropes attached to an overhead wire. I was glad of the detailed explanation in English on how to use the equipment before we began.
Even after our briefing there was a trainer trail to complete before we could be let loose on the serious course. A chance for plenty of family banter for anyone finding themselves in a muddle!
Finally with our training complete we were ready to begin. The kids all put me last so I didn’t hold them up, cheeky I thought, but in fact they were quite right, I was the most nervous and scared of all and just thrilled to be joining them and not welching out to take the photos. Though it did mean balancing my phone precariously in my bum bag and trying not to shake as I risked letting go (harness attached) to grab the odd snap from up high. I was kicking myself for forgetting to charge the Go Pro after kayaking on the river the previous day.
The Red Run began at ground level so I was able to video a clip of the boys receiving their briefing and setting off.
By the time we finished I couldn’t have been more proud of my athletic kids and their tree top adventure. However my real star was Clio who hung back to encourage me not to quit when I really thought I couldn’t cling on. Together we completed the black run and wobbled over the final terrifying canyon to meet up with the boys.
All in all this was a huge success and a real highlight of our holiday, although it did leave some of us quite exhausted.
Our Tree Top Adventure on Video
If you are looking for the perfect present for a quirky teenager, work colleague or friend around Halloween time then the Tidy Skull could be just the thing. A statement piece, almost shocking in its life like looks, it will transform a messy desk or shelf. Not only does it grab your attention as an unusual ornament, it is actually practical offering somewhere to house pens, keys and bits and bobs. You can even dress the tidy skull himself and give him his own personality.
When I opened our Tidy Skull I knew just who it would be for. My photo shy 14 year old suddenly forgot his camera phobia in his desire to lay claim to this new addition to the house. I have to admit it suits his room perfectly and was soon dressed in some colourful sunglasses and stashed with things formally cluttering up his desk. The gift box it comes in is so stylish he wanted to keep this too and has mounted the skull on top of the box so it really grabs your attention on entering his room. It looks perfect for this time of year, but will suit his style all year round.
Key Features of the Tidy Skull:
If you know someone who this would appeal to just follow the instructions below. Warning, it is not for the fainthearted, but perfect for the prankster!
We were sent our Tidy Dry for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are my own and that of my 14 year old son who loves his new desk companion.
I thought I was done with the emotional roller coaster of the first day of school. At age twelve to eighteen my children are all growing up and finding their independence. Their need for me and their Dad is reducing all the time and this independence is something I’ve always encouraged. However I failed to factor in just how emotional taking the first to University would be. Suddenly I felt like a parent taking my child to his first day at primary all over again; except worse, I wouldn’t be returning to collect him with a big hug in a few hours.
When Alistair secured his place at Cardiff University I was so happy for him, it was an exciting new world opening up. The days closed in and as we drove up I could feel the apprehension in the car. A cocktail of nervous excitement from Alistair and a quiet dread of saying goodbye from me. Thankfully it was a beautiful day and the bridge into Wales felt very welcoming.
Nick had driven up separately as Alistair was keeping his car with him. As we met at his new halls of residence it felt like time had stood still from 30 years ago and my own first day. That same smell, a cross between school and a hospital, the old fire doors, bike lock up and small rooms. However a friendly group of early arriving girls keenly welcomed Ally to the group on his floor and I felt things were going to work out at university. He even had a cracking view over the city and Cardiff bay from his 5th floor window.
We were blessed with the most amazing September weather and took Ally for brunch in Cardiff bay. I’m already looking forward to return trips and Nick is exploring the idea of hiring a boat to blast across from Padstow to Cardiff which he thinks would only take an hour.
With a big supermarket shop done there was no more need for us to be there. It was time for us to bid him Goodbye and let him find his feet alone. I was determined not to cry but as Nick pointed out the family photos he had secretly packed and pinned up on his notice board I almost cracked. I walked out with a huge lump in my throat, but reassured this little cuckoo was well set up for his new university life.
I had to wait a full 36 hours before I had my first Facebook message. He had been out to his first freshers party and it was “awesome” relief flooded through me. He is hopeless at staying in contact so I treasure the occasional message and I’m trying not to keep asking how he is. I don’t want to be an annoying parent, but it is so hard to just let go and not wonder how he is doing. I remember all too clearly blaming vandalised payphones when I forgot to ring home, though I guess the modern day equivalent would be ‘my phone was out of charge or credit’!
Ally has left a big gap in our family life but we are learning to adjust, it is every bit as hard as I feared and I think about him all the time. Whoever is on dinner time table laying duty is still setting out eight places instead of seven. I can’t believe I may have to do this 5 more times over the coming years. If you have a little one just started primary, watch out, the heartache at leaving them certainly doesn’t get easier as they get older. Once a parent, always a parent, even when they fly the nest.
Usually we have our piglets at around the time we return from visiting family in France over the summer. Sally, our breading sow, has a regular date with her boyfriend up on a pretty farm on the moor. Despite being reluctant to enter the trailer in spring, she jumps out to greet her new companion and spends a happy vacation there for a round a month. This year however things didn’t go to plan, Pasty the boar had gone off the boil and a new boyfriend was summonsed.
It was with some relief that we received the call to say that Sally had definitely been serviced and was ready to return home. The net result is that the much awaited piglets are later than ever this year, resulting in many questions from our regular guests. That said there is no doubting now that Sally is most definitely in the family way, and we suspect due next week.
I have been keeping a close eye on Sally on my morning farm checks ahead of the feed run. Instead of rushing to the gate to greet me she has now taken to lying in bed and sleeping in, a sure sign the piglets are growing and zapping her energy.
You can really see her belly protruding as it houses the piglets. I wonder how many she will have this year; last year she had a whopping 14.
I have noticed I am not the only one keeping an eye on our Sally. A friendly little robin sits all puffed up on her fence looking in each day too.
If only I could communicate with the Robin and ask her to come and tell me when Sally goes into labour, it would save me a lot of checking each day! However the fantasy notion is soon broken as the cynic in me realises the robin is actually loitering in the knowledge it will soon breakfast time and an opportune moment to pinch a little of Sally’s treats!