Posted on November 18th, 2017 - Fiona
It is very rare I manage to put my kids in front of a camera these days, photos for the blog or my social media are totally embarrassing and frowned upon. Their own posts on their own channels, well that’s different of course, not cringe worthy at all! Don’t get me wrong, having 6 teenagers is amazing in lots of ways, I’m just not allowed to talk about them or photograph them and that’s OK, I respect their desire for space away from my blog and the public face of Coombe Mill. Then a men’s fashion brand offering a choice of clothes from their website to model came along and I suddenly knew I’d have a queue wanting their photo taken. Wisely I avoided an argument and just asked the eldest currently still living at home. All embarrassment gone and happy to be seen in his choice of Timberland Jumper and Union Blues jeans we set off into the grounds of Coombe Mill for photos. I only used a few of the snaps I took for the official review, but I was so pleased to have a stack of photos without him turning away from the camera or frowning, I’m sharing some here too. My kids all say I wear “Mum Goggles” where they are concerned, and they may be right, but to me my teenage fashion conscious boy looks quite the man here and the backdrop of Coombe Mill in autumn only adds to the effect. He is busy applying to University this year and will be my second to leave the nest next September. I am so proud of him in so many ways and thrilled he has given the OK to share these photos.
Stepping out in style with understated teenage fashion.
Coombe Mill in autumn makes a wonderful photo backdrop.
So proud of this Boy of mine.
Posted on November 17th, 2017 - Fiona
Last year, when the chicken flu scare came along, Farmer Nick spent his Christmas Holidays building an indoor chicken coop to comply with the government ban on free range chickens. It actually worked out really well and the chickens thrived in their winter quarters with luxury laying boxes and plenty of space. As he had built the coop so well we decided we might actually take them in this year by choice. The entrance path up to their field was starting to get boggy being trodden over through wet autumn feed runs which makes it easy to slide over. We chose a busy Sunday morning with lots of eager helpers for operation chicken move.
Practicing on the chicks.
We visited the chicks first for chicken catching lessons. The chicks are in a smaller coop already and easier to pick up than the adults, not to mention being smaller and less intimidating to the children. They mastered the art of chick capturing with ease which filled us with confidence.
Moving the chickens
Next stop the adult chicken field. Farmer Nick let the children run around first feeding the ducks and chickens in the field to build confidence in everyone.
Then they collected the eggs, enough for everyone to be rewarded for their help.
Finally the kids tried their new found chick capturing skills on the chickens. Huzzah, a captured chicken ready to move.
Most of the children preferred to cuddle the chickens into them holding their wings down so they didn’t flap. Farmer Nick did show them how to hold them by their legs and wait for them to stop flapping and hang still which is the easier way, but most were happy to just watch this.
Each with their own style the chickens were carefully moved from the field to their winter chicken coop.
Chicken entertainment and nutrition
We caught the last of the chickens the following morning and were greeted with our first eggs from those who had already spent the night there. The children added branches to their indoor toy. This will need refilling as part of our morning rounds throughout winter but it adds a little fun chore for the kids to the regular animal feeding and nutrition boost for the chickens while they are indoors.
It really is a ‘hands on’ experience holidaying here on the farm. Of course we could have moved the chickens on our own, but it is much more fun to allow the children staying to help out with our working farm activities.
Posted on November 11th, 2017 - Fiona
We have been enjoying some ridiculously mild weather and nature is all confused. Here we are coming up to mid November and you would swear on some days it was still summer. Our early afternoon temperatures have topped out at 16 degrees in our lovely sheltered valley and I am still in shorts and T shirts. Okay it chills down at night and the heating has just gone on in our house but I’d say that was pretty remarkable for late autumn. I am refusing to call it winter yet. Winter is my least favourite season and I’m determined to minimise it, so far it’s working a treat; November in Cornwall is keeping winter at bay for 2017.
Who knows if global warming has a part to play? I can say that 12 years ago we were snowed in this week and Farmer Nick had to come and rescue me and the kids from playgroup. The snow fell so fast that morning that we literally couldn’t get home without a four wheel drive. We haven’t seen snow like it since and my younger children barely know what it looks like as they were only babies then. Fast forward 12 years and the bees are still out on the summer flowers, no wonder we talk about the weather in Britain.
My photos this week reflect some of the mild temperatures of November in Cornwall 2017.
Red Campion so common in the Cornish Hedgerows still in full flower on our riverbank in November.
Summer Hydrangea with the last of the petals and rich colours forming.
The bees hard at work in the November Sun.
Delicate Fuschia flowers proof that the frost is yet to strike.
Posted on November 10th, 2017 - Fiona
Last week I shared the first half of our legendary Halloween Fun Day from Half term, there was just too much to capture in one post so here I’m picking up after a quick 15 minutes break following the amazing Activity Trail with real life characters.
We all reassembled at the Games Room ready for some traditional Halloween games and of course a few fun new additions from previous years.
First up a double game that all our regulars were looking forward too, apple bobbing followed by picking the sweets out of a bowl of flour. This was one game that was guaranteed to ruin the Halloween make up but great for the giggles and laughs.
While the children were waiting their turn at Apple bobbing we had two further games on the go, Pin the arm on the Skeleton and throw the rice bags into the pumpkin with sweets for all who managed it. This way no one was left queuing for anything for long.
Once everyone had taken part and dried their faces we headed over to the lawn for some broom races. It always makes me smile to see how competitive the children can be. We split the teams as fairly as we could with older and younger members in each team to give a sporting chance to all over several rounds.
Still going strong the children came into the games room for musical statues and musical bumps to happy Halloween dance tracks. It took our observation and the parents helping to catch some of the older ones out, they were just too good!
We had to stop our games at 6pm as we heard the toot of the little train signifying it was time for a spooky ride. The children found their glow stick wrist bands from the Activity trail earlier in the day and handed these to the driver ready for the ride of their lives.
Trick or Treat
I may have been exhausted organising a full day of events but the kids were more than happy to keep going and as night fell the climax of the day approached for the children; the organised Trick or Treat parade. We made our way from house to house knocking on all the Coombe Mill properties with a welcome pumpkin or lantern outside. I was delighted to discover most families had made a huge effort with their pumpkins and displays outside the properties.
It was a wonderful Halloween fun day that surpassed even my own expectations thanks to perfect dry and warm weather, supportive parents and children up for a good time. We will be doing it all again next year at the end of the half term week (we think this is w/c 22nd October). If you fancy joining us just pop on over to our booking page, there are no extra charges, it is all included as part of staying the week with us.
Halloween Fun Day 2017: Part 2
Posted on November 4th, 2017 - Fiona
After a packed October half term with an amazing Halloween Fun Day the farm resumed a quieter pace last week. We still had a few families enjoying a late half term and they were blessed with mild temperatures and sunshine. November holidays here in our sheltered valley are always filled with wonderful autumnal colours, but to have temperatures up to 17 degrees to enjoy them has been an unexpected bonus. Out and about the beaches are quiet, the roads clear and the pace of life feels calm and relaxed. We are open all year and welcome short breaks at our lowest prices throughout November if you fancy a weekend away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Snap shots in the morning sun
My photos this week draw on the rich colours in the trees here catching the morning sun. If you are out and about this week take a moment to look up and see the wonder of nature in November.
One of many views out from Tree Roots Cottage Window.
Water Mill Cottage nestled deep in the valley and surrounded by beautiful November colours.
Looking at the last leaves clinging on to the branches near the river.
A trained eye will spot a little autumn fairy spreading magic dust over the fairy gardens.
For our guests the mild weather and full week of sunshine has dried all the fallen leaves. Who can resist a little jumping and tossing where they all pile up with the wind. This next photo is technically the worst as a simple i phone snap, but it is still my favourite as it captures the wonderful time these children were having with a pile of leaves down by the river. Their parents had given up trying to take them out for the day, they were having just too much fun on the farm.
Jumping in leaves
Have you ever enjoyed a holiday in November?
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