Captains coming, all aboard!

Posted on April 10th, 2012 -

New land with a plan!

Back in the winter we purchased and cleared a strip of land between our cottages and the river Camel. It has opened up the whole of the cottage lawn. In the process we found this lovely old stone wall. I blogged back in Novemeber about the suspected world war  2 origins and said then that Farmer Nick had grand ambitions for the site.

Old World war 2 wall


Ship Ahoy

This has been quite a project, from clearing the land to building the ship. Originally bought on ebay for just short of £1000, Farmer Nick drove all the way to Birmingham to collect it. I did wonder if it was worth the effort, but he had a plan! If you have been watching facebook you will have seen the building process. It did come with instructions, but in true farmer style, when taking the equipment out of his shed to install the plans were missing! A real jigsaw it became with all the children and friends helping out on the build. Here are some of the highlights:

I have to confess the finished ship is really rather special and fits perfectly into our walled garden. Even the newly seeded grass is now beginning to take and all the children staying are really making the most of the area.

Playing in the shipPlaying in the shipPlaying in the ship

Playing in the ship


We moved the little tikes climbing frame across to another play area and a new trampoline has now accompanied the ship.

Play equipment on the movePlay equipment Ship and Trampoline

Anyone remember this surprise purchase? well it is now coming into its own out from the shed and next to the ship for some imaginative pirate play

Cannon in Nick's shed waiting.... Jed testing the new Cannon with the shipCannon ready for play

Next to be converted is this little treasure: 

World war 2 bunker

I can just see it with some camo paint and a ladder and platorm and some safely rail turrets around the top. It will make an awesome look out post for pirates! I love the view from the river looking back at the new land with the ship and the old bunker and can’t wait to get it all complete. 

A beatiful view

play ship from the river

And Next…..

As always we still have further ideas brewing for this side of the farm, so do keep following as hopefully some of them will come to fruition and I will be sure to update all on the blog!


Silent Sunday / Project 52

Posted on April 8th, 2012 -

Sshhh, it’s Sunday…..

New Runner Duckling


TheBoyandMe's 366 Linky Silent Sunday 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill

Posted on April 7th, 2012 -

The Easter Holidays

After last week’s gorgeous warm sunshine this week felt like a bit of a letdown with the weather. Or at least it did to me;however the children are far less demanding of the British weather and carry on regardless. With school holidays upon us mine have been only too keen to come out and meet all the guests staying and show them all their favourite corners of the farm! This and an eventful week with new animals being born and needing tending has kept my children and those of our guests enjoying the great out doors. 

Theo sharing his rabittsTheo holds a runner duck for all the guests to have a strokeOur orphan lambs are so popular!

Rolo the donkeyHappy with a ducklingAll aboard the farm tractor and trailer


Hats galore!

Check out all the lovely “Little Helpers Hats” This new addition is proving popular this season. I am also posting one to Ali for this post  as my chosen Country Kids post for March. There were some really inspiring outdoor activities and plenty of children clearly having fun; I spent a happy hour revisiting them all, which made it very hard to choose! In the end it was Ali’s perseverance to get the children out for the day with no car which did it for me.

Please keep them coming, new linky every Saturday, I love to share what we have all been upto outside, whatever the weather! 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


Just Another Day on the Farm?

Posted on April 4th, 2012 -

When everything happens at once….


A kid goat is born

We have had an eventful couple of days on the farm to say the least. It started with a lovely kid goat being born on April the first. Mum and Kid are doing just fine together. They are now in the “Lamb Nursery” while the 3 orphan lambs have been moved to the old goat meadow.

Farmer Nick checks over the new born goatKid Goat resting in the field with his new ear tagAll the children gather round to stroke the kid goat


Runner ducklings Hatch

All this has coincided with the hatching of our lovely apricot runner ducks. They have progressed over the past 2 days from  incubator in my laundry room to their own special house where they are now under a heat lamp. At a few days old they are beginning much enjoyed by the guests as they come out to say Hello each morning.

Baby ducklings 1 day oldcute in a little helpers hatEveryone crowds round the duck house for a peep

A disaster for our Guy

We are strong believers in the children helping out on the farm and earning pocket money. Making kindling bundles for the guests is one of their tasks. They are only allowed the small axe and have been shown repeatedly how to use it safely, but as soon as Farmer Nick turned his back yesterday Guy managed to chop his hand! It was nothing too dramatic but a nasty gash that meant he had to go straight to casualty. Kids timing is always spot on; I was just finishing off the BBQ for dinner!

Another baby Lamb

With Guy on his way to hospital with Nick, the remaining children and I continued to have our supper when the guests came round to say they were worried about a newly born lamb in the field who had no mother nearby. Abandoning our fated supper the kids came with me to the field. Sure enough I could see who mother was, her bottom gave the game away, but she could not be persuaded to go and attend to her bleating new born lamb. On feeling the lamb he was cold and clammy where Mum hadn’t cleaned him up at all. I scooped him up and warned the guests that the mothers usually abandon them for a good reason, but that we would let them know the news in the morning. The kids then rallied round opening up Farmer Nick’s shed and bringing our make shift lamb house and bedding into the kitchen.

The lamb house back in my kitchen!Thankful for the warmth of the houseMy poorly soldiers

Felix sat warming up the lamb as Nick came home. We then caught mother and milked her to give the lamb his (I had time now to check the basics) first all important colostrum 50ml which he guzzled. I now had two poorly soldiers in my kitchen! To be fair, Guy got away with glue and a bandage, but as he didn’t feel that was impressive enough they gave him a sling too. Now he feels much better!

A new day dawns

 I am pleased to report that the lamb is thriving today. I am feeling rather the worse for wear after the night feeds, but it was all worth it to see his perky face in the morning. We decided to give him another go with Mum and put them together in their own quarters. The little lamb was shown the basics of feeding and happy to go to Mum.

 Mum and lamb back togetherShowing Mum and lamb the basicsWe were holding onto Mum to keep here here!

Sadly after an hour of trying we had to rescue little lamb back out as Mum was not having any of it and began head butting her own lamb with her horns and the poor little chap was desperate to escape.

Jed was only too pleased to have him back in the garden with us! Now we have 4 orpan lambs to the delight of all our guests! 

Jed and the lambfeeding the orphansorphan lambs are so tame

It is certainly proving an eventful Easter holidays and it is only Tuesday!

A day with Theo Paphitis

Posted on April 2nd, 2012 -

Small Business Sunday #SBS Winners Inaugural Meet

It is 3 days since I made the trek from Cornwall to Birmingham with of Just Bunting for a chance of a few hours with some fellow small business twitter friends and to hear from our mentor in common Theo Paphitis.  

Expectations for the day

To be honest, I have been so busy with the holiday season coming into full swing for Easter, our new lodge being built, domestic life as Mummy to our 6 children and supporting Nick on the farm with all the spring births I hadn’t given it any thought beyond the logistics of getting there for the day.

So how was it: #SBS Meet?

I was totally blown away by the day as it unfolded. From the ease of parking and registering with   to leaving with  a quick photo by “The Car” .  

Registration Desk at Edgbaston Stadium"The Car"An obvious number plate!

What made SBS so amazing?

Theo of cause!

I think I expected him to make a quick guest appearance on the day and go again. In reality he spent the full 5 hours with us. I shook his hand as he came in; well I could have gone home at that point and still thought the day was great!

Theo Paphitis arriving and meeting us individually Theo Paphis with Sarah from Silver Birch CraftsHaving a laugh with us!

Inspiring us

To then go on and hear his engaging and funny speeches, inspiring us with his passion and dedication to business from his own beginnings, challenging us to shout about our businesses, support each other and not shy away from publicity, I felt I was ready to take on the world after that!

One large room to seat up all!Delivering his magicChris Wheeler from Metal Frog,  Kypros Kyprianou from Rymans and Theo Paphitis

A dedicated website

But there was more! Theo had invested time, passion and support with a deserving #SBS winner from to develop a #SBS web site Why? For us to have an opportunity to share, develop and grow our business “A website for winners, by winners” and an endorsement from Theo.

New #SBS website explained

Now it was beginning to sink in just how privileged I was on 9.10.11 to receive this little Re tweet: 

Theo Paphitis Twitter Feed with Coombe Mill

Suddenly I felt part of something big, something real and something with so much passion and energy that I truly believe we will as #SBS winners make our new web site work for us and our individual businesses.

Questions and Answers

Asking a question to Theo Paphitis

An electric two way session had me with my hand up in the air like a school girl, not once but twice I stood up to ask a question. If you had asked me before would I have done this I would have laughed in your face, that is how wrapped up in the essence of the day I had become. 


That Photo

Talk about the icing on the cake, a photo and a certificate, I was as excited as the children leaving Coombe Mill with their farm hat and certificate! Thank you Theo, we all loved that one! 

Theo Paphitis awarding my #SBS certificate

Fired up by my fellow winners

I have never thought of myself as a networker or as having much confidence, but when I look back at my pictures and notes I think I may be more of a closet networker than I feel. Thrilled to be able to meet so many I tweet as I “speed dated” my way round the room. I have become known as the camera and notebook lady of the day thanks to  . I think the two tally and I have those I managed to stop and chat to correctly matched to photos, but please let me know if not! (Hover over the photo for information)

Jane and Neil from Kidz OutdoorsHeather from A Little Furniture ShopRachel from Kool Sun Kids

 Nicola Cunningham From Wood and WillowsSarah from Tiny GemsKim from welsh Royal Crystal

Tia Lush from Who Ate My CrayonsDebbie and Gavin from Eco BagsHelen Botrill from Kindred Rose & Ali from My Gorgeous Gifts

Robert & Sue from Bodlondeb Holiday CottageJan Jack from Perfect Verse & Jo Smedley from Red Herring GamesMelanie from LollyLoops

Julia Onslow from Absolutely FlawlessNeil Jackman from Whites and SmallsSarah Smith from Silver Birch Crafts

Daddy NatalMelanie Brooks from Milk Chick BreastfeedingKate from Little big Sports

Farmer Phil from Wiggley WigglersThe Bedside Company and Village Green SoapsBaby Duck Shop

All Ironed Out, Danny from Baby's 1st Photo and Brett Symes Photo

To those I now realised I missed on the day, I will be on your case next time!

Behind the scenes

Huge thanks to Theo’s company for hosting, organising and picking up the tab for the day. A massive effort in every respect, much appreciated. I am still perusing the catelog and enjoying my goody bag. “Did I mention ?”!

Going Forward

Are you feeling as excited about your business ability as me by Edgbaston? If you plan to blog your highlights, please link up below and I will add this post with the links to the new web site for us all to share. Any format is good, use my headings or your own or simply add a comment to this post.  

Looking forward to keeping the #SBS buzz alive!

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