Posted on November 14th, 2011 - Anya

My First Listography entry

From Kate Takes 5 – Top 5 Random Things I like. Following this one word of warning – “random is not ‘I like chocolate’ – that’s just not going to cut it round here. However ‘I like chocolate sauce with my chips’ is getting a bit warmer.”

  1. Watching our duck who behaves like a chicken! He has been brought up with them, funny as!
  2. Planning my day and blog posts whilst running. Best plans formed this way.
  3. Ice cream and custard.  A wonderful fusion of hot and cold!
  4. Flip flops in winter. They are just quick to put on!
  5. Carrying a large handbag, with very little inside.  No rummaging to find things and somewhere to store the “Mum please look after this” things’.


Mummy is shouting again!

Posted on November 12th, 2011 - Anya

Are my Kids typical?

With 6 children in 6 years I suppose I have to expect a little banter, the odd fall out and a bit of possessiveness over toys. But when I signed up to 6 (OK not quite the right phrase) I really didn’t know what I was letting myself in for. As babies and toddlers the squabbles were mischievous and even endearing at times but underneath 

6 little monkeys and Grandpa

it all there was no doubt they adored one another. Tears and howls of “mummy” one minute were laughter and play again the next.  Some days were a joy and I can happily recount them playing for hours imaginary games, with soldiers and army teams, in dressing up clothes together or with friends. Happy days! Equally I remember feeling exasperated, permanently mediating and apologising to other parents for my children as they laid into one another with a thump, punch, scratch or bite. Disgraceful behaviour with much shouting and time out on the naughty step imposed from me, or a real talking to from Daddy (worse). 

I believed at the time that they would grow through this stage, that the playful squabbles would reduce and sensible polite young people would emerge. Either I was mad to imagine this or Nick and I have gone horribly wrong along the way somewhere with our parenting style!

Am I the Original Shouty Mummy?Shouty Mummy

I still have days when I feel I am endlessly nagging and shouting at one or another. Days when they just seem to team up and decide whose turn it is to goad me next. I can’t tell you how many times I wake up and say to myself, today I am going to be really patient with my children and understand and encourage them more. Then it all goes wrong even before they are even dressed for school!

Whose fault is it anyway?

If I am honest, when things kick off there is usually a reason.  Addressing the problem is always better than just shouting, but I am human too and it doesn’t always happen.  

Thank goodness for space!

Having the farm is my salvation. To me, the children are just like puppies. When they all become unreasonable or start play fighting in the house they all find themselves marched outside. A healthy run around and calm is restored. I have space to think and they have space to run off some pent up adrenalin. If I didn’t have the farm I would definitely make a point of taking them to a park or something for at least half an hour a day.  They often do this after school as well. Once everyone has calmed down I can assess what is behind the behaviour. Invariably it is one of the following, all of which are easy enough to sort but not always easy to identify at the time!A quick run around outside with a rugby ball

Top causes of sibling fighting in our home

  1. Tired children – Too many late nights from after school activities etc leaving them prone to pick at one another.
  2. Hungry – It is close to dinner time and Mummy is running late for any number of reasons! This seams to affect children so much more than adults.
  3. Lack of exercise or change of scene– I find indoor play at school on wet days the top culprit here.
  4. Finally me being tired! If I am tired then a playful squabble which is nothing serious can be blown out of proportion by me. Then I find myself shouting at them when it is really me who needs the time out!


How do you cope?

I would love to hear your thoughts, is it just my kids? How do you diffuse fractious fighting?


Play Fighting


Meme 10 Questions

Posted on November 10th, 2011 - Anya

I’ve been tagged by the lovely @welshmumwales in this meme of 10 Questions.

10 Questions

The rules are as follows:

1) Answer the 10 questions
2) Tag someone to do the same
3) Go and leave a comment on the original blog post over at Super Amazing Mum and comment that you have done so in order for us to find out who has been tagged and therefore find out more about our fellow bloggers!

So here goes….

1. Describe yourself in seven words

Married working Mummy, living life to full. 

2. What keeps you awake at night?

Remembering things I forgot to do. I keep a pen and paper by the bed to try and write and forget. Oh and a “can’t put down” book will stop me turning out the light till my eyes refuse to focus!

3. If you could be anyone for day, who would you be and why?

Father Christmas, I’d get to make so many children’s day at Christmas and pig out on mince pies and brandy ‘hic’!

4. What are you wearing now?

Jeans, black boots, purple top 

5. What scares you?

The thought of my 5 boys driving like loons around our country lanes in a few years time. Now that will keep me awake at night! 

6. What is the best and the worst thing about blogging?

Best thing: I find it therapeutic and all absorbing

Worse thing: The spell check on my blog is temperamental and oh boy do I need ti, sorry it!

7. What was the last website you looked at?

Goggle analytics to see what people are searching to find our farm holidays 

8. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

Loose the “mummy tummy”

9. Slankets – Yes or no?

I had to Google this one, never heard of them before, a definite no from me. I might frighten our guests off answering the door in one of those!! 

10. Tell us something about the person who tagged you?

I was tagged by the fab @welshmumwales. Married and working with 2 lovely children. Welsh born and bread, loving blogging and beginning to love cooking.  A great twitter friend who always replies to comments.

My Meme: 10 Questions all complete

For the next Meme: 10 Questions And now I tag the following





Halloween Magic

Posted on November 1st, 2011 - Anya

A Great Build Up

What is the magic of Halloween? My children are so excited for a month beforehand planning costumes, making accessories and practicing dressing up. I am never quiet sure if it is the dark, the dressing up or the sheer number of sweets they are allowed all at one time which is the most exciting part. There are some lovely ideas on the web too to help inspire them. Here is one for making a broomstick from sticks in the woods which captured our children’s imagination  

 Preparing Pumpkins

On the Day

Halloween has evoled at Coombe Mill over the years into a tried and tested format for our young guests. On the morning tractor rides we give plenty of warning to be prepared with pumpkins on the garden gate and dressing up clothes to impress. We go for an early 5.30 start to accomodate our tiny tots which leaves us parents racing to prepare dinner for them before the sweet eating begins!

The Witching Hour

At 5.30 an amazing array of dressed ghosts, witches and all round scary beings with torches and glow sticks crowd excitedly round our reception in anticpation of the fun ahead.Ready to go at Reception

Who’s afraid of the rain? 

The hevens really did open this year but out intrepid young trick or treaters were quite unphased and merrily processed from cottages to lodges welcomed by shining pumkins along the way. Then who wouldn’t given the delights that awaited them at every property!

Did it live up to the Hype?

My children would certainly say that this year, despite the rain was the best yet. A huge thanks to all the parents for making such an effort with bags of goodies, dressing up outfits and amazing decorations and to all Farmer Nick’s little helpers / turn spooky characters for being so well behaved and brave with all those frightening masks around! 

Highlights of a Fun Evening Captured

Pumpkin Soup all Round

If you are wondering what to do with last night’s pumpkin, then here is a great recipe I have just conjured up for ours. It was warmly received by my children with chunks of homemade bread as an instant meal after school and surfing at the beach today. (Yes surfing in November!)

Pumpkin Soup Ingredients


Pumpkin chunks (skin off), potatoes chopped, an onion, a couple of teaspoons each of cumin, paprika and cinnamon (a chilli and a pinch of cayenne pepper for the brave!) salt and pepper.


Boil all ingredients gently for about an hour and liquidizeCooking Pot of Pumpkin Soup

Serve with fresh coriander and a swirl of cream and dunk with crusty bread. Yum!


 Pumpkin Soup

Don’t forget Dotty!

If you are staying with us don’t forget that any of the pumpkin you leave Dotty the Pig and her piglets will be glad to receive!




Time Out from being Mummy

Posted on October 25th, 2011 - Anya

Busy lives

Anyone with children has a busy life. Weather you have 1 or in my case 6, they are demanding and time consuming. We cherish and adore them and want to do everything we can to make their lives the best they can be. Sometimes that can leave little time for being ourselves.

Making time for myself

Not everyone will agree with this and not everyone may feel the need, but much as I love my children I need time away from them too. A night away with my husband or a day out with girl friends, even my working time is important to me. I know I need the break when I get snappy at small things and want them in bed before they are really ready to go. It’s not that I love them any less than ever it’s just that I need some time as Fiona and not Mummy.

My treat

This Sunday I spent a night away with friends on a girls SPA break. The Bay Hotel is Just half an hour away in Newquay. This has become an annual treat for us and is bliss. Not too far away, this hotel specialises in wonderful treatments and yummy food right on the famous Fistral beach. Never thought I could pack in so much exercise, chat, pampering, food and alcohol into 24 hours! A great place for a girls retreat and 24 hours is just perfect to recharge the batteries and leaving me ready for some more “mummy please can we……” and “mummy what’s for dinner?”

 Our treat captured on video


Anyone for the kids?

Next time your partner, the grandparents, a friend, nanny or anyone you trust offers to have the children for a day or a night, try and take them up on their offer. Coming home to hugs all rounds is as wonderful as being away for a few hours. If your children are very young and you don’t feel ready to do this, just park the thought because as they grow older and more independent the time will one day feel right.