Posted on March 18th, 2017 - Fiona
So, I send Farmer Nick off to buy more animal feed and he comes home with 3 goats and a bag of feed all for free! He may forget our children’s names on a daily basis, but clearly his old negotiation skills from his Tesco buying days are still with him. I was quite taken aback with how he managed this one. Apparently as he was waiting for our regular feed delivery to be loaded he spotted a “Free to good home” Advert on the shop notice board and followed it up. 2 nanny goats and a castrated Billy in a neighbouring village to us all sounded too good to be true, but as it was so close he popped back to hook up the trailer and go and see. Before I could ask what they were like he was back here complete with 3 gorgeous looking goats in the back of the trailer. “They even gave me the bag of food they had just bought” he exclaimed.
We let them out into the field adjacent to our existing goats for a day before opening the joining gate to let them familiarise themselves together. The newbies did look a little overwhelmed with their new spacious field and boisterous companions.
Even though little Queenie did her best jumping tricks to impress the new goats.
We have no idea on the age of the new goats but I’m rather hoping Billy will show a keen interest in the nanny goats for some late season kids. Farmer Nick on the other hand is suspecting we have been sold a set of oldies, as the boy is looking a little arthritic. Either way I’m sure they are going to be happy with us.
Speaking of kids, I’m sure “Hairy” is beginning to gain a bit of a tummy. Fingers crossed this means kids in a month or two here on the farm.
If you fancy a spring break and meeting the ‘new kids on the block’ we still have spaces for the Easter holidays and some great prices either side of these.
Posted on March 17th, 2017 - Fiona
Welcome to Country Kids from Coombe Mill
Country Kids is the original outdoor family fun linky designed to:
“Encourage family fun outdoors, in an age where technology and screens are such a draw to a sedentary indoor life”
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.
Rediscover the garden this Spring.
The weather is finally warming up and we have had the lawn mower out for the first time this week. It’s a great time to rediscover areas of the garden, the local parks and garden toys. Here on the farm the children are enjoying the outdoor play areas again. Our mud kitchen is always a draw where culinary delights are created. I hope you have enjoyed some garden or park time this week and felt the sun on your face. Please come and share on the link up below.
Guidelines for Joining in:
- Post must be predominantly outdoors such as in the garden, the park, the woods or the beach with crafting, learning, exploring or playing.
- Despite the title, both countryside and urban outdoor adventures are welcome.
- Unheated covered areas like a barn or tent count as outdoors.
- Please comment on my host post and a minimum of 3 others of your choice.
- If you use #CountryKids when commenting the post owner will know where your found them and hopefully come back to visit your post.
- Please take my badge, without it you won’t be considered for winning the lovely Rockfish Wellies.
- Linked posts should be written and made live within the last 2 months.
- I understand sometimes you need to do catch up posts and write about something from a couple of months ago but the publish date should be within 2 months.
- By joining in with Country Kids you’re giving me permission to email you weekly as a reminder.
- There is no restriction on the number of posts that can be linked up, however please be sensible, if you have more than 3 consider linking over a few weeks.
My top commenters from 11th March:
- Sonia from Mamma’s School who commented on 19 posts.
- Helen from The Princess and the Pickle who commented on 17 posts.
- Louise from Little Hearts Big Love who commented on 13 posts.
Again we had no one guilty of link dumping, so thank you to everyone joining in last week.
Rockfish kindly sponsor Country Kids
Win a pair of wellies from Rockfish Monthly
I am delighted to have Rockfish as the sponsor for Country Kids. Rockfish are a local Cornish company specializing in stylish quality 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. Keep your posts coming, it could be you winning next!
For more more information on the Rockfish Wellies on offer with us and terms and conditions to win see here.
Favourite posts from last week added to the shortlist for winning the March Rockfish Wellies:
Top Commenter : Sonia from Mammas School
I’ve always fancied a visit to Cheddar Gorge, Digital Motherhood makes it look like my geography books come to life
A Mum’s blind love reminds me that just getting out into the park or garden in spring can be a great use of outdoor time.
Country Kids Communities
I’d love you to join me:
Pin on the Pinterest Board Just ask for an invite to pin and include Country Kids on your pins for me to stop by on your boards too.
Follow Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays’s board Country Kids from Coombe Mill on Pinterest.
Join the growing Country Kids Instagram Community with #CountryKidsFun.
I'll like and comment on all and share my favourites from the week with a tag on a Friday on Instagram and Twitter. With over 2200 posts this community is flourishing with outdoors photos.
My favourite photos from the week came from @_i3eckie @larabeeuk @claire_nowmynameismummy @susiehawes. Please do check out these lovely folk on Instagram if you are not already following
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Posted on March 17th, 2017 - Fiona
Down on the south coast and commanding a great position overlooking the sea and town, Fort Newhaven is a must visit for anyone with an interest in our war time history. Built originally through fear of French Invasion in Napoleonic times, the Fort has undergone a number of war roles and is now listed as part of our English heritage.
We arrived on a cloudy and cold February day, despite this the views from the car park were rather impressive. We took in the surroundings, read the information boards and made our way to the entrance. I thought £25 for 6 of us to go in was very fair.
No sooner had we entered into the fort than the children were given quiz sheets to work though and met by a local volunteer with a table full of war memorabilia for the children to examine.
The poor volunteer looked rather taken back that Guy knew just how to operate the air rifle, I felt obliged to explain that we lived on a farm in Cornwall.
We joined one of the cinema viewings of the history of the Fort which was excellent and kept the kids enthralled.
There are a number of rooms leading off the main square each kitted out with different war time functions. The children are all enjoying history at school and studying world war one so the visit felt like perfect timing.
Interesting as the history was, it didn’t take the kids long to spot the playground. This was new since we came with our older children a few years ago and a welcome break from the educational aspect of the day and a perfect way to warm us up too.
No visit to Fort Newhaven can be complete without a visit to the big guns. There are a number of paths, steps and tunnels that all interlink to the top. The kids took great pleasure in running up and down them, jumping in and out of the bunkers and around the guns.
Despite the murky day, the views from the top stretched for miles out to sea and inland.
The sea looked a long way down. Yet there was a secret passage with more steps than I care to count to take you right down to the beach. Exploring down here was one of the highlights as the children were sure if they looked around hard enough they would find a door or window without padlocks where they could climb out onto the beach.
The secret entrance eluded them but they did discover a great spy game I may have to try and replicate at Coombe Mill. Coloured string was criss-crossed in a tunnel to represent electric wire and the challenge was to pass over and under the string without rattling the bells attached at either end. Fluorescent lighting added to the fun and kept them entertained for quite some time.
For 3 almost teens who were quite indifferent to the prospect of a fort as a day out, they all reluctantly admitted that it was actually really rather fun and worthy of abandoning snap chat for a few hours!
Tips for visiting Fort Newhaven
- Fort Newhaven is well signed on brown tourist signs as you enter the town
- There is a height restriction to the car park, but our 9 seater mini bus just snuck under.
- Family tickets work out best value and OAP rates are available too. I thought £25 for 6 of us was very fair.
- It is worth checking the official website for any special event days.
- There are toilets and a very adequate if not modern or glamorous cafe.
- The steps make it unsuitable for wheelchairs and difficult with a buggy, though there are ramped alternatives to many of the key areas.
- It is windy and exposed on the cliff top so dress accordingly even in summer.
- I would say the Fort is most appreciated from age 8 upwards.
- It is an educational day out but highly visual and a fun way to a little about our past.
Posted on March 13th, 2017 - Fiona
We all love a bit of Disney fantasy; a story that ends happily ever after and provides good clean family entertainment. The Disney hit movie Moana was nominated for numerous awards including a BAFTA this season for its motion pictures, sound and more. Now you can let the animation unfold in your own living room with an afternoon of family entertainment as Moana comes out on digital download on 27th March and on Blu Ray and DVD on 3rd April.
Moana the Story
Moana is a teenage girl from Oceania with a mind of her own and a taste for adventurous. She sets sail on a voyage across the ocean in search of a mythical island full of hope and determined to save her people. Along the way Moana meets Maui, her hero, who also happens to be a demi-god. Together, the two take on an epic adventure, encountering enormous fiery creatures and impossible odds. As well as seeking to save her people the journey becomes one of self-discovery for Moana, empowering her to find her own identity. There is beautiful and powerful message for audiences of all ages and genders making this action packed adventure perfect for all the family.
The Animation stars
Moana’s father, Chief Tui
Moana’s Gramma Tala
The inspiration behind the Disney Moana Animation
According to directors, “Moana” was inspired by the great explorers who first navigated the Pacific, discovering the islands of Oceania. “Voyaging is a real source of pride for many Pacific Islanders, a part of their identity,” says Roy Clements. Many experts believe that about 3,000 years ago, those deep-sea exploratory voyages halted for about a millennium before resuming. This rebirth of exploration sparked the filmmakers’ imaginations and the heroine at the heart of the story. “The idea of a teenage girl who dreamed of becoming a navigator—considering the abilities of her ancestors—was so appealing,” explains Musker.
Set sail with your own adventure like Moana
Here at Coombe Mill we are all for bringing fantasy to life. Why not have a go at making your own mini sail boat and then set your very own character off on an exploration to new lands. All you need is a farm egg, old milk bottles, a little imagination and a spirit for adventure.
Disney Moana Disk Need to Know Tips
Digital Download / Blu Ray / DVD
Varies by format to include
- Theatrical Short Film: “Inner Workings,”.
- Music Video: “How Far I’ll Go”.
- Audio Commentary.
Run time DVD
1h 40 – 1h 47
RSP on DVD
PG (Bonus material not rated)
Win your copy of Disney’s Moana on DVD with Coombe Mill
If you fancy a little Disney animation family fun to watch at home, why not enter to win the Moana DVD with us. Simply follow the instructions below.
We will be receiving a complimentary Disney DVD in return for this post. This can be borrowed by our holiday guests from the Coombe Mill Games Room.
Posted on March 12th, 2017 - Fiona
If you have been following my Greece series on the blog, this is the 5th post recounting some of the places we visited last summer taking our older boys on a post GCSE and A level trip. We began in Athens, Explored the Acropolis, headed down the the Peloponnese staying at Kantia where we visited Nafplion before heading out on a historic journey to Epidavros. It is the the power of the Gods in Greek mythology and the healing powers of Asklepios that brought Epidavros to our attention.
Ancient Greek civilisation and their belief in the power of the gods are responsible for so much of how Greece was developed. Between chilling out on the beaches of the Peloponnese it was a golden opportunity for us to explore some of the impressive history of the area. Epidavros is right up there as a top cultural destination being home to one of the most impressive ancient Greek theatres remaining today and it was only a 40 minute car journey for from our base at Kandia.
I arrived at Epidavros with very little prior knowledge, but a helpful leaflet and signs all around the site soon bring a lay person like me up to speed. The Epidavrians founded the site as a centre for healing based on its fresh water springs and influence of the gods. The healing powers of the gods at Epidavros actually dates back to the Myceanean period when the sanctuary was first established. However having been overthrown twice it is Asklepios who really developed the healing qualities and reputation for the sanctuary into a vast community by the 6th century BC; the ruins of which can still be seen today.
Visits to the sanctuary became big business with a whole welfare program for the ill who paid to stay. Healing rooms and recovery rooms can still be seen. Myth has it that the gods would visit patients in the night and they would wake either healed or knowing the treatment they needed. Snake venom was a common ingredient in medicine and the snake became a sacred symbol depicted with Asklepios. Having a beard was also seen as a mark of power and intelligence. From the number of olive trees I’m sure olive oil had to be involved too.
Typical treatments were carved into stone so that they could be followed by healers. Instruments recovered from the site suggest that the healing moved from myths and belief to basic surgery over time.
Wellness of mind was considered an important part of the healing process and a whole running track and seating can still be seen. Major athletic events were hosted here.
Without doubt the highlight of the ancient sanctuary is the well preserved theatre. This is still in use today and a play had been shown the evening prior to our arrival. There was clearly a hanging involved as the props for this were still there. I would love to have seen the theatre all lit up at night. It is said that if you drop a penny on the central stage you will hear it at the top of the theatre thanks to the amazing natural acoustics of the arena. To be fair we failed that test but could hear a basic hand clap with ease.
Despite being THE centre for healing, the site pays little regard to catering for disabled visitors with steps everywhere. Even in the theatre, there are some token wheelchair seating marked up to the 5th row. Quite how those in needs might access this is far from clear; a little lie down in the healing room to wait for divine inspiration first maybe?
Tips for visiting Epidavros
- Avoid the middle of the day in summer as it is very hot. We set off early retreating back to the beach for lunch time.
- Entry prices: 6 euro for Adults 3 euro for children.
- Do visit the museum before you go round the ruins to make sense of what you are seeing and see the reconstructions of how life was in the sanctuary.
- Only take a small bottle of water, there is a fresh water tap to refill there and we had no trouble all week drinking tap water where ever we visited.
- Wear sensible shoes, as the surface is rough and in places slippery around the ruins.
- Do brave the steps to the top of the theatre, looking down is the most amazing sight and you are rewarded with a good breeze at the top.
- Parking is easy and free.
- Toilets are well serviced.
- Wheelchairs and prams are not practical.
- A visit is a half day excursion at best.
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