Family farm holidays in Cornwall magical for children, toddlers and babies.
Coombe Mill Blog
"Tales from the farmers wife" shares the funny and interesting happenings on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. A behind the scenes look on balancing family, farming, the holiday business and cooking for all.
Blackberry Biscuits and Stick Pencil Writing
From Blackberry picking to blackberry biscuits. Leftover blackberries make ink to use with decorated and whittled stick pencils.... Read More
The Bear, the Piano, the Dog and the Fiddle
The Bear, the Piano, the Dog and the Fiddle by David Litchfield published by Quarto Books is a charming tale for children of friendship that... Read More
Creating Illusion and exploring perspective at the beach
Building a rock stack at the beach and creating the illusion of climbing it using perspective and distance in photography.... Read More
Creative Nature Boards in Stick Frames
Creative nature boards in stick frames. Something kids will love. Easy to make from nature for ages 4 - 12. Educational Fun outdoors.... Read More
Piglets for September on the farm
Piglets for autumn. Sally our sow has given birth to 7 healthy piglets who are ready to meet out holiday makers. Come and stay this autumn a... Read More
Remember a few weeks ago we had our sheep sheared? It was just before the heat wave took hold and perfect timing for our lovely Jacobs. I mentioned then that the fleece all went off to a local crafter who washed and spun the wool to make all manner of wonderful items to sell at local craft fairs. Last week I received a stylish Jacob wool shoulder bag as a gift for donating our fleece.
Jacob Wool Shoulder Bag from Coombe Mill sheep fleece.
I’m absolutely thrilled with my wool shoulder bag. It is just perfect for taking this out in any season and the natural neutral colours of the Jacob wool will go with any outfit.
My lovely bag with photo credit to my daughter Clio.
The bag is all handmade on a tiny peg loom from our own sheep’s wool and then hand stitched together. The strap is made on an inkle loom. The Lady behind this genius creation is local Cornish crafter Kay Walker. If you fancy one too I’ve asked Kay and she can make one and post it to you. They cost £20 plus P&P and will take about 2 weeks to make. Just email me or message me on Facebook. I have already put a notice up on my Facebook page and taken a couple of orders from there. I’m so pleased to see our very own Coombe Mill sheep fleece put to such good use.
Meanwhile our Jacob sheep are equally delighted to be enjoying their light weight summer coat as the heat wave shows no sign of ending. You can really see the difference in their once lush field when they were just sheared compared to now. Much as I don’t want the rain these fields now need it.
Jacob Sheep with their new fleece just beginning to show.
You can see some of the other lovely crafts Kay makes over on her Facebook page. Next up will be our Alpaca wool. I can’t wait to see what Kay makes from the soft fleece of our lovely boy Caramel.
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 #50 things along with all other ideas for family fun outside.
Country Kids moves on from Coombe Mill!
I am handing over Country Kids this week after nearly 7 years. It has been a wonderful journey and while I am still passionate about outdoor fun, my own children are barely children anymore. Please do come and join me for the last link up at Coombe Mill. From next week I’m thrilled to say Louise from Little Hearts Big Love will take over initially sharing with Helena from Queen of Collage and Lucy from Kids of the Wild over the coming weeks. I will still be posting up all the fun of the farm here on the blog and linking to Country Kids with the new team. I am sad to hand my baby over, but with growing kids and farm demands I need to bow out from hosting.
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.
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.
Thanks to all of you who joined in last week and for the comments you took time to leave, we had a week with just 1 link dumper.
Rockfish kindly sponsor Country Kids
I am delighted to have had 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, have been 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. I want to say a huge heartfelt thanks to Rockfish for supporting CoutnryKids and Coombe Mill Holidays over the years.
For more more information on the Rockfish Wellies on offer with us and terms and conditions to win see here.
Posts in with a chance of winning the July Rockfish Wellies
I love the look of Drucillias, a childhood favourite place for my own children from Autumn’s Mummy
I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Red Arrows in real life, but they look spectacular over Weston Super Mare as seen by Pixie Dusk
I will keep #countrykidsfun running for now linking into the new team so please keep your tags coming.
I’ll like and comment on all and share my favourites from the week with a tag on a Friday on Instagram and Twitter. We now have more than 10,500 posts with outdoor fun in this community which I find really exciting. Thank you to all who join in.
We had visited the acropolis with our older boys in 2016 and were keen to return with the triplets on our 2018 holiday to Greece. Staying in Vouliagmeni, in our cousin’s holiday apartment, for the week was a perfect opportunity. May half term was very hot by English standards and the triplets at 14 were not best pleased with the suggestion of a sweaty bus ride followed by hiking up some ancient ruins. However part of the deal was that the holiday would be more than just sitting on a beach plugged into WiFi and so we had a truce. To all our delight we found a tourist bus service with open top buses running across the coast road where we were staying and up to Athens.
Our bus line terminated at the acropolis and covered a very pleasant 40 minutes with the wind in our hair on the top deck . There were free personal headsets for everyone with Greek music and a tour guide in 7 languages. We tuned into the English and found the journey very informative. We realised the stretch of coast we were staying in was developed as an upmarket holiday resort from the 1960s which explains the hotels, apartments, tavernas, shops and harbours with magnificent boats.
We also passed a ww2 cemetery beautifully maintained with foreign, unnamed graves, many of whom are believed to have been English. This may help explain why the Greeks are welcoming to the English.
The final stretch inland to the centre of Athens is busy with traffic, horns, heat and typical city scenes of shops and cafes.
Finally we reach our destination and prepare for a trek up the acropolis. I have been many times but the sight never fails to impress. Even in the heat of the day it is worth every step. We noticed the queues to pay for tickets were much less than in July, when we last visited, but May is early summer season Greece. Kids go free which is always a bonus with triplets. Students are also free with a valid student card and OAPs have a reduced rate but again you need ID, even my 82 year old Mother in Law needed to prove she was over 65! As we climbed, the kids took in their surroundings and began to take photos and selfies, a sure sign they were secretly impressed.
Even though virtually everything has been or is being restored, it still gives a huge sense of history. Replicas of the Elgan Marbles were in place, the originals were pinched by the Brits and our in our National History Museum! Hopefully one day we might return them. The size and scale is immense and how it was originally constructed is still a mystery with the lack of machinery available. We enjoyed a good hour looking round from every angle and out at the vast sprawl of Athens below.
By the time we reached the bottom we were all in need of a drink and a rest and sort out a pretty relaxing lunch spot.
Re-fulled, we headed back towards our tour bus, but not before Clio and I were taken in by a lovely Greek making named jewellery in Greek letters. Clio and I couldn’t resist a necklace each. This is her name in Greek.
The streets up to the acropolis are beautiful bordered with tall buildings, trees and flowers.
We sunk into our open top seats to enjoy the return journey and a late visit to the beach. Apparently site seeing isn’t so bad after all!
I can’t end this post without a mention for those effected by the tragedy there earlier this week. The fires were round the coast from where we were staying and my heart goes out to all affected. Our own family are safe but so many are not, a disaster this wonderful country should never have experienced.
You know a children’s book has credibility when the character has lasted for generations. For me the mischievous monkey that is Curious George is one of these characters. He delighted my children when they were growing up being a favourite bed time story. My only complaint was that the hilarious stories had the kids bouncing round and not necessary ready to sleep! That said I couldn’t resist the opportunity to share with you this latest compilation of his adventures from Carlton Kids books. It contains all the original colour illustrations from husband and wife team Hans and Margaret Rey. Read on to discover more and for your chance to Win a copy.
Seven delightful stories
The book is a collection of seven well known stories of the lovable Monkey. Each one is simple to follow, full of adventure, the remarkable, the unbelievable and yet somehow just possible, at least in the minds of little ones. With happy endings to each adventure the reader is left inspired and wanting more.
We were sent our copy of The Complete Adventures of Curious George for the purpose of this review, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Our copy is available to borrow by Coombe Mill Guests on holiday from the Library in the Games Room.
I always associate colours with times of the year as dictated by nature. In my mind winter is muted tones and grey, spring is green and yellow and autumn burnt orange and red. That leaves 50 shades of the colour purple for summer, from pink tones through to blue. Of course there are plenty of exceptions, if you look hard enough you can find most colours somewhere in nature all year, however in my mind these are the prevalent colours of the seasons.
My photos this week are a few close ups of the most common purples on the farm. Each one shouting summer vibes, holiday mode and happy days, well if you like summer of course!
From mid June to mid July the foxgloves spring up all around the wild areas of the farm. Round the lakes and in the animal fields especially but also waving high in the hedgerows. They may be poisonous to eat but they are stunning to observe and clearly a good source of nectar for our local bees.
Prickly and quite unpleasant in many respects, the thistle does grace us with the prettiest of purple flowers in July. We keep these out of the cottage gardens and formal gardens of Coombe Mill where our guests like to relax and play, however in the wild meadows and along the river bank they quietly soak up the sun and sway in the breeze. Up close I admire their sturdy structure which is almost like a cactus.
By contrast to the thistle the delicate petals of these wallflowers hide on the sunny face of Miller’s House. Far from robust, they look like they would disintegrate with a puff of wind, yet somehow survive the summer adding a ‘chocolate box’ cottage look to our 16th Century old Cornish longhouse.
A butterfly haven, the Buddleia bushes on the farm not only smell devine, but attract an amazing amount of wildlife.
Possibly my favourite summer flower, we have hydrangea bushes blooming across the cottage and lodge gardens as well as around the lakes. They are just beginning to develop from white into their summer shades and will continue to flower in deepening shades of purple well into autumn.
The one I am missing is Lavender; I love to see photos from others from the lavender fields of England. I wonder if perhaps Lavender doesn’t grow too well in Cornwall as I never see it here. For a giggle check out the colour purple in this curious Mediterranean orchid, the name gives away what to look out for “Hanging Naked Man”
“Tales from the farmers wife” shares the funny and interesting happenings on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. A behind the scenes look on balancing family, farming, the holiday business and cooking for all.