Welcome back to the Coombe Mill blog for a new year of farm fun and holiday activities. I’m starting the year with a traditional review of the plans I set out this time last year. As always there are some great achievements and some things that fell off the radar, however it is a good way to see the year that was 2018 in review and use this to plan ahead for 2019.
How did we do against our 2018 Targets?
Last year these were the things on our to do list:
This has been a popular activity for all the family
Playroom and link bedroom for Pencarrow
FAIL. the popular Heligan format is going to be carried over again for next year.
Nature Trail along the orchard
Became a fun Kindness Trail for reflective time
Re-plan the Welly Walk
FAIL. I wanted to make more of this and it just didn’t happen in 2018.
Update the Fairy gardens with new decorated stones, trinkets and regular new chippings
This ever popular area is constantly being updated
Keep on top of SEO
This is a harder one to call a pass or fail. I feel I’m slowly moving forward in my understanding yet slipping back in an ever crowded market place where SEO logarithms are moving faster than my knowledge.
FAIL. These are currently used as storage awaiting more exciting plans.
In summary a mix of success with some outstanding projects to carryover. However we did bring in some left field initiatives that sapped up our time too.
Additional Achievements for the farm and business in 2018
Updated wifi directly into all properties
Enjoy free wi fi inside all 11 properties
New Kitchen for Honeysuckle
Farmer Nick shows his new carpentry skills
New kitchen doors fitted in Millers House
New Door panels and modern handles
Introduction of guinea Pigs
5 Guinea Pigs and 3 babies take us into 2019
Introduction of miniature Shetland ponies
Shaggy and Scooby Doo are as cute as can be
New marketing initiatives such as our ‘refer a friend’ scheme and branded mugs.
Refer a friend and save money for them and you. #CoombeMillHolidays and if I share your post you take home one of these lovely mugs. Perfect for our morning feed run.
The Coombe Mill Blog
I began to pull back a little on the blog even giving up hosting the Country Kids Linky after 7 years of weekly posts. Sadly with children aged 14 – 20 outdoor play posts are a little too tricky. Three of my favourite outdoor bloggers, who have supported Country Kids each week, have collectively taken over and doing a great job. I still join in with activities we do here with the guests as outdoor fun and back to nature are still something I’m passionate about for children. Do join Louise at Little Hearts Big Love, Lucy at Kids of the Wild and Helena at Queen of Collage if you can where the link up still runs each Saturday to Wednesday.
I backed out of blogging awards in 2018 and didn’t put myself forward for any. I feel the blogging community has been more than generous to my little blog over the years. On the back of this I was pleasantly surprised and delighted to find myself with a new award.
On a Personal Note
We had a big year of exams for 2 of our boys.
Felix achieved ABB in his A levels and secured his first choice university place studying Marketing management with psychology at Sussex University. At the end of the first term he has won the business school challenge, made some great friends, partied hard and consumed far too much alcohol. I’m thrilled about most of this!
Theo scrapped 6 GCSE passes including the all important Maths and English and began a level 3 diploma in Creative Media at a newly opened local collage. At the end of the first term he loves his course, tutors and friends. His end of term report and parents evening has him heading for a distinction. This is certainly a change for the better from his school reports.
Ally, the eldest continues to thrive on his carpentry while the triplets (Guy, Jed and Clio) are preparing for GCSE mocks back at school this week. They are only year 10 so I think this is to give them an idea of how much they still need to do.
Farmer Nick and I have started taking more short breaks as the kids are now more than capable of running the business for us for a couple of days. Each has their area of expertise and it’s wonderful to be able to leave the farm and holiday makers in safe hands.
Business Plans for 2019
Willow Kitchen makeover to bring it up to date like Honeysuckle.
Welly walk theme. I need to crack this one and bring the trail to life this year.
Replace Farm fencing this may not sound exciting but the fence posts have rotted through on so many of our fences thanks to stringent EU rules on tanalized wood. Replacing many has now become an expensive priority.
Website: I am toying with a website revamp next year primarily to make booking via a mobile more viable.
Advertising I need to expand my reach for our holidays beyond social media and my blog which has been the focus for the past 7 years. I will still post here weekly, but also look at how else I can bring our educational farm holidays to the attention of families with young children.
As always I’m sure there will be many more opportunities that present themselves during the year and new projects that we will undertake. I am excited to meet the challenge and hope that you might visit us on holiday and see how we are progressing.
“Tales from the farmers wife” shares life on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. Step into our beautiful 30 acres and experience nature close up with farming and educational crafts in stunning North Cornwall. Family, fun and adventure start here.