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.
Recently I have been helping Dad out with a few bits and bobs around the farm and in return he teaches me how to drive the tractor. This week for example I was helping Dad spread new bark chippings in the play areas. My driving is gradually improving and sometimes I am allowed to drive the tractor on my own and sometimes with Dad.
It was Sunday and I decided as I was awake in time that I would join the feed run. The children were all very young but they usually love to help Dad drive and I thought I would not get a turn. It was no surprise when Dad asked and a little boy put his hand up to drive. They weren’t very experienced so we doughnuted around the car park to the amusement of the parents before eventually Dad steered us towards the farm.
Clio was busy having fun in the chickens with the guests while Dad sent me back for a large screwdriver from his shed to make the boy piglets water go into a bigger trough as they were too stupid to work it out once Sally and her daughters had moved next door.
Then it was back to the tractor and Dad asked for a new volunteer to drive, Clio and I both said yes and rushed there, Dad said “it’s rare that Clio gets to drive, so she can have a go” I was very irritated because I had been helping Dad with his errands and missing the fun while she was catching chickens.
Clio looked very smug and drove the tractor all the way round the lake with Dad. I was unaware that Dad had something planned for me. I strolled off for a little doze in my favourite tree in protest.
Clio carried on with the guests feeding the other animals.
In my protest, I climbed down from my tree and headed over to the tractor, thinking that someone would volunteer to drive home and reserved a spot in the trailer but Dad asked if I wanted to drive. I thought this meant just on his knee as usual but he chucked me the keys, I slipped the gears into neutral, turned the engine on, moved into forward just as Dad had taught me and off I went! Mum was amazed and eager to capture me on video.
Dad asked me to stop by my bicycle so he could take over, but Clio ran ahead and took my bike home. I took this as the OK to follow with the tractor and trailer. You can just see Clio racing ahead in Mums video.
Mum was amazed at how I knew how to take the corners wide with the trailer on the back and how to start it up. I don’t think she knows how much I have been learning with Dad out on the farm.
The guests seemed very happy with my driving and came with Clio and me up to see the rabbits (I forgave Clio by now)
I hope Dad will let me drive the feed run trailer again. In fact may be one day I can run the entire feed run, though I will need to go into negotiation with Dad over my wages first!
I love the beach and our weekly visit for the children’s surf lessons and feel quite sad that half term has arrived and we have now finished surf lesson until the spring. Guy and Jed have loved their surfing this year, the group is made up of all their school friends and they have a real giggle in the water as well as learning to surf. I really hand it to the Surf’s Up instructors who let them all stay together in one group and have to manage their noise levels in the sea. For my boys it is the highlight of the week. For the penultimate week I had been running the coast path with Clio and Theo and came back in time to grab my camera in order to take a few shots towards the end of their lesson. It was one of those evenings where the waves were fair and the sun just falling low in a clear blue sky. The wind had dropped and it could have been midsummer rather than late October. The serious surfing had finished and the children were all having a bit of fun together in the water, even after nearly two hours in the water they were still full of energy and enjoying the mild weather and gentle waves. Watching them as the light faded made me so appreciative of our life here in Cornwall.
Watching the sun drop low in the sky
Still smiling as the heavy boards are carried back up the beach
What a difference a week makes; we returned for what should have been their last lesson this week to find the wind so strong it had been cancelled. I have been taking my children to surf’s up over 6 years and this is the first time I can remember the children being offered to watch a video instead. Back at Coombe Mill in it’s rich green valley I had no idea of the winds out on the coast which were the remains from hurricane Gonzalo. My boys were already suited and ready and so a long with a few others were given the option of bodyboards if they wanted to go in. After a big lecture from me about not going in deeper than their legs today I followed them towards the sea and didn’t take my eye off them for a minute. It was really scary and I was delighted when they came back out after just 10 minutes claiming it was too hard to catch the waves. I’m glad I let them go and taste how dangerous the sea can be but delighted to have them towelled down and in the car. The video clips are very shaky which shows just how hard I fought to stand still against the wind to watch them.
I adore the beach and hope that without the discipline of surf club we still find the time to go. I will be selecting the calmer days only of my own accord though!
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“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.