University of Sussex for one Fresher

Posted on September 22nd, 2018 - Fiona

Last weekend saw many 18 year olds head off for their first term at University. For us it was Felix who was about to sample university life for the very first time. The excitement, the anticipation, the 2 years of A level studies all building up for a new life with so many hopes and fears. Sussex was his first choice, not an easy journey from Cornwall, but helpfully just 4 miles from his Grandmother. This was certainly a benefit for Nick and me as we had somewhere local to spend the night and make sure Felix had all he needed for the term.

Apologies for the average photo quality, they are all phone snaps.  I never intended to make the post, but how could I not record such a significant event.

 

Sussex University Campus

Halls of Residence at Sussex University

A good feeling

Right from the prospectus and the open day Felix was sold on Sussex. It has a lovely campus feel to it with everything on one site from bars to lecture rooms and even a bank and a shop.  Arrival was made very simple and we had Felix’s room key in minutes. With 12 students to a floor in his halls of residence sharing just 1 kitchen, 2 showers, 2 loos and a bath they were all going to need to be very sociable very quickly.  This was no problem and the kitchen soon became the meeting hub as everyone arrived.

Felix’s Halls of Residence

Halls of Residence at Sussex University

 

Lets Party

We left Felix there for his first night, the girls on his floor already filling him in on the wrist bands he needed for the evening party at the Student Union.

Home for the next year

Felix in halls of residence at Sussex University

 

Thankfully we had plenty of extended family in Sussex to take our mind of things that first night over a balmy autumn garden BBQ.

 

Drinks in the September Sun

And so 8 becomes 7

A week on and life is sweet for Felix who is making the most of Fresher’s fortnight. Of course I’m missing him already; his siblings not so much, we came home to room chaos back in Cornwall as Theo called “shotgun” on his bedroom and the ripple effect of this filtered down to the smallest room now being redecorated for Felix in the holidays.

Reflections

Two years ago it was our Eldest going off to Cardiff for University. Early in his second year he decided it wasn’t for him and came home. He is now happy here perusing a career in carpentry (he was studying economics), we have learned so much from his experience and hope that Felix has made the choices that will see him through a happy 3 or 4 years at Sussex. He is studying Marketing management with psychology, but I’ve encouraged him to gate crash a couple of other lectures in the first week to be sure he has made the right choice.  

 


Exam Results 2018 A Level and GCSE

Posted on August 25th, 2018 - Fiona

Usually my blog posts are restricted to activities on the farm and our personal news kept to a minimum. This wasn’t always the case, but since the teenage years have crept up on us, sharing our kids’ antics has dwindled as a natural course of events. However some things are meant for sharing and this past fortnight certainly qualifies. Felix has been hanging on all summer for his A Level Grades and Theo his GCSE grades.  The exam results for both are now out and I am thrilled for them both.

A level exam results for Felix

Felix needed ABB to study Marketing Management with Psychology at Sussex University. He did just that and we have spent a busy week sorting student accommodation and finance  ready for his big move out of Cornwall on 15th September.   University life on campus is going to feel so different to family life at Coombe Mill but he is really looking forward to it and Nick and I are thrilled for him. He is a very capable lad both socially and academically and I hope he will do himself proud in University life.

Felix has been busy working with a local building company all summer to put some beer study money aside but still managing to join us on a few family outings.

Felix looking the part ready for life at Uni

Felix past exam results

 

GCSE exam Results for Theo

Theo is very different to Felix. He is sharp and witty but was diagnosed as dyslectic at primary school and always struggled with academic written work accordingly. Despite his dyslexia he didn’t qualify for any extra time in exams. We were left hoping he had ‘a good day’ when he needed it and would pull the 4 grade 4’s (old GCSE level C) including English and Maths to take the Creative Media level 3 Diploma that he wants to peruse at Collage.  This week we headed to school to discover he passed 6 GCSE’s including the both English subjects  and Maths and is all set to start on 6th September.  We are now trying to sort bus passes and bus stops to tie in with our triplets school travel. Of course they are in opposite directions! Our mornings will be as hectic as ever ahead of the 9am Tractor Feed Run here at Coombe Mill.

Theo has had a busy summer undertaking the National Citizen Service which occupied 4 weeks of his summer holidays. That said he has a wonderful time, gains an extra qualification and a great life experience. At just £40, including 2 weeks away from home, it is a bargain and he would totally recommend it to any teen offered the chance to participate.  

Theo helping out on a little veranda demolition project on a disused building.  

Theo helping out after exam results

We are thrilled both our boys are moving on to do the things they wanted.   

If you have children receiving exam results this past couple of weeks, I hope they have what they need to carry them through to the next step in life. If it is all years away for you, watch out, it creeps up faster than you might imagine!  

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Celebrating New Year with younger children

Posted on January 12th, 2018 - Fiona

Traditional New Year’s Eve celebrations may revolve around fizz at midnight but when you have younger children we think it’s great to do something fun as a family at a time they are able to enjoy. I remember as a child myself fighting to stay awake with my parents till midnight to see in the new year, then finding it all a bit of an anticlimax on orange squash and being grumpy and tired the next day. For this reason here on the farm we run from the afternoon New Year crafts into a family party as the night sky settles in. This has the added benefit of leaving the traditional party hours free for adult time celebrating New Year while worn out little ones sleep.

 

Celebrating New Year with Younger Children.

A Versatile Games Room

My own children helped me turn the games room from craft centre to party room with twinkle lights, music, drinks and a table of party food straight from the oven. We even rigged up a heater to make it warm enough to take off coats and really enjoy the atmosphere.

 

Games Room New Year's Eve Party at Coombe Mill Holidays

 

As the guests arrived the children played games and danced while the adults enjoyed a drink and a chat in comfort without the usual wellies from the farm duties.   

Fireworks to Impress

Farmer Nick snuck away from the party to prepare the fireworks for us and I prayed the rain would hold off for us to enjoy them. We had sparklers for the children to start and their little faces were a picture as Guy and Jed lit them and handed them out along the path.

Sparklers on New Years Eve at Coombe Mill Holidays

 

Then we followed the beam of the tractor lights along the path to stand and watch the display.

 

Ready to watch fireworks New Year's Eve at Coombe Mill Holidays

 

With Rockets and a giant mixed display box we were kept entertained for a good 5 minutes. Not quite central London but enjoyed just as much.

 

 

As Nick and I cleared up and prepared to return home for our own family celebrations for New Year we knew we had left some happy little ones excited for 2018.

Celebrating New Year with Younger children on the farm

Country Kids


Because birthday parties are not just for kids

Posted on November 25th, 2017 - Fiona

Last week I mentioned how difficult it can be having my teenage children in my photos these days. This week I am proud to share not just one teenager but all of them and Farmer Nick too. The occasion was my 50th Birthday party. I was determined to mark my half century in style with a fun filled party and not a oldies style sit down event and be surrounded by all my family. While I can take no credit for the photos as I am in them all, I am very grateful to all who took over my camera on the night for the official and unofficial photos.  The theme was James Bond which resulted in some great themed and smart outfits. I enjoyed every minute of the evening with 4 generations present as well as friends. We gambled (fake money) and danced the night away and while it took a lot of organising, it was a wonderful memorable evening. As an added bonus I finally have a photo to replace the now rather dated picture of The Family Team on my website. Nick and I may look much the same, but a couple of years make a huge difference with children.  

 

New updated photo from my birthday party last Saturday

Birthday parties are the best with all the family team   

 Farmer Nick and me looking very un-farmer like

 

Farmer Nick and me at my 50th Birthday party

 

The unofficial snaps make me smile. I had gathered all the kids around me while I said a few words, the contents of which I can’t quite remember, but something must have made them smile judging by the photo. Even better is noticing the casual arms draped around one another, there is nothing more wonderful to see as a parent than your kids like this.  

Looking very much a family

Family gathered for speech at Fiona's 50th Birthday Party

 

Not to be left out Jed grabbed the microphone from me and added his own words, I love this photo of him looking as though he is mid karaoke! 

Jed taking centre stage

Jed takes the microphone: birthday parties to remember

 

I can now safely say organising an adult birthday party is at least as much work as a children’s party, but twice the fun. If you have a significant birthday approaching, do consider a good party, it really is such a memorable way to embrace a new decade, bring family and friends together and keep the inner kid in you alive.   


Happy New Year from the Farm

Posted on December 31st, 2016 - Fiona

Where did 2016 go? I feel this year has flown by so fast and my feet have hardly touched the ground. I’m planning to touch down and share some of my highlights from the year in the coming weeks when all the festivities are behind us and I have time to gather myself and think. For today I’d just like to share a few festive photos from the past week and wish everyone a Happy New Year.

The Coombe Mill Santa Express on Christmas Eve

Train with Guy on Xmas Eve

Christmas has been a whirlwind as ever here. We have been full with holiday guests which has been wonderful. We’ve had a magical time with our famous Santa train, Christmas farm activities and a whole host of fun entertainments, not to mention our own family Christmas.

Christmas Day Feed Run

Christmas day feed run by Tractor & Trailer

Family Beach trip on Christmas Day

Family beach walk on Christmas Day

 

We waved our Christmas guests off; cars loaded with happy memories and presents, and welcomed our New Year holiday makers. With plenty of farm fun to enjoy and quality time to spend outdoors exploring the local beaches, Christmas excess is soon worn off here. 

Jed at the end of another glorious day on the beach

Beach time

 

The wise put aside the diets for another week as we have plenty of opportunity to indulge again with our New Year’s Eve party here on the farm and some of the best local village pubs and seaside restaurants around.  

New Year’s Eve Party for all staying at Coombe Mill

Happy New Year Message from Coombe Mill at the New Year's Eve Party

Fireworks to end the Coombe Mill New Year’s Eve Party

Fireworks ? for our New Year guests tonight.

A video posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on

 

On a personal level I have been in my element with all my family around me for the festive period. Having my great nieces and nephews and my Mum has brought 4 generations here to the farm.  I never could have imagined when we bought the farm back in 2002 what a great investment it would be, not only for the delight of seeing our own children grow up enjoying an idyllic lifestyle, but also as a draw for future family generations too.  

A reflective moment heading back from the local pub to Coombe Mill

Clio and Jed in Sunset walking from St Breward

 

Happy New Year

Wherever you are I hope you have loved ones around to toast the New Year and plenty to look forward to in 2017.

Remember we are open all year round and hope to be part of your holiday plans. 

Fiona, Nick and the Children

 


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