Team Honk Relay Has Begun

Posted on January 12th, 2014 - Fiona

3 amazing bloggersTeam Honk Relay

Team Honk is the brainchild of three amazing bloggers Annie of Mammasaurus , Penny of Aresidence and T of Mummy Barrow. Together they have travelled and blogged their socks off for Comic Relief and achieved the most amazing amounts of money and publicity all in a great cause. Their work to date is all detailed on the Team Honk website.

Team Honk for 2014

This year begins possibly the biggest blogging challenge yet. Team Honk are mobilising 150 or so bloggers across the UK  for Sports Relief, to move in whatever form from Lands End to John O Groats. All over the country bloggers have been facebooking, tweeting and instagramming plans under the well organised Team Honk leaders. This all takes place from today to March. You can donate here and even help name the travelling batton and give all at once for your chance to win some Hi Tech Trainers.

Team Honk Cornwall

Today was kick off with the wonderful Pippa from Story of a Mum.  Her route was fun filled and varied with lots of fun all the way to Jackie Murray who stepped in, thanks to Zoe Corkhill to hand to Farmer Nick, me and the Boys and from us to Lara Trewin from Trails of the Unexpected for a windswept and soggy bike ride and run to meet Jenny Paulin of Mummy Mishaps.


Team Honk Relay for Cornwall 

Pippa and Jackie handing over to us. 

Handovers of Relay Baton

Coombe Mill

Our involvement began back at Coombe Mill as Pippa was on route from Lands End. Farmer Nick hitched up the trailer with the quad bike inside for the boys; and I organised the dressing up with Jed and I as farm animals, Farmer Nick as himself in his farm finest and Guy as our chief Train Driver, a role he is very proud of.



Coombemill preparing for Team Honk Relay


From Coombe Mill we were off to Fraddon to meet Jackie Murray and collect our baton. We just had our order in at Mcdonalds as Jackie spotted the unlikely crew that had to be Coombe Mill in Fancy Dress! Time for a quick hello and photo as they boys gobbled their lunch.


Fuelling up for a Quad Bike Roar


The rain came down as the boys zoomed their quad bike from the trailer and joyfully tore around the car park with their baton flying high and Nick and I in hot pursuit!

Back on the road and tweeting away with the all important hashtag #TeamHonkRelay. OK I screwed up and forgot my specs, I think there were a few versions of the hashtag from me as we speed as fast as we dare with the quad bike in tow. In the end we were 25 minutes late to meet Lara Trewin at Camelford. 

On the Road


Zoe Corkhill and her family were there to greet us too.  More quad bike action and photos followed in the now growing drizzle, but we were all in high spirits for a great cause. A soggy baton, t-shirts and the wonderful Lands End Sign from Pippa passed between us and our leg was over bar the journey home. Lara and her team set off north by bike racing against time and the weather.

Handing over the Baton at Camelford

I am thrilled to have been a small part of such a wonderful event. Go Team Honk and all who are taking part over the next 3 months. Such amazing support for a great event.

Want to help?

The first ever Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games take place from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd March 2014. The public can join the fun and games by running, swimming or cycling their way to raising cash at over a thousand venues around the country, including the landmark events at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

As one of the biggest fundraising events, Sport Relief brings the entire nation together to get active raise cash and change lives. The money raised by the public is spent by Comic Relief to help transform the lives of some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people both at home in the UK and across the world.

An offer from Nick and I

We are offering you a £25 discount for EVERY new booking from fellow Honkers made on line for Coombe Mill Farm Holidays. We will also match our discount to you with a further £25 for Sports Relief. Simply add #TeamHonkRelay to your booking.

This offer applies to bookings made between now and the end of the relay in March for holidays taken from now until 20th September 2014.



Merry Christmas from Coombe Mill

Posted on December 23rd, 2013 - Fiona

Sending festive cheer to you and yours

That Christmas brings your heart’s desire

Hoping you have loved ones close,Christmas Wishes

at this special time of year.

Farm tractor


Raise a glass to absent family and friends

Toast all that is good in life,

Spare a thought for those without

at this special time of year.

Farm logo


Wishing you health and Happiness

Laughter and Joy

Making memories with those you love

at this special time of year.

Farm Logo

From us all on the farm

Farmer Nick, the kids and I,

We wish you a Very Merry Christmas

and a Happy New Year. 


#SBS with Theo Paphitis 2013

Posted on December 2nd, 2013 - Fiona

What is #SBS?#sbs Winner's Badge

 Back in 2011 I was one of the lucky six chosen by Theo Paphitis as his favoured small business of the week. This placed me in the Small Business Sunday club which Theo heads and is designed to give friendly boost from a man respected in the business world. There is a web site for members packed with helpful advice and information and a family of members who are a great support.

Photo from 2012 Conference 

Posing with Theo Paphitis Last year for my #SBS Winning Photo 

Annual Conference for #SBS

Last week I made the journey from Cornwall to the ICC in Birmingham for the 2nd ever #sbs conference. I knew it was one I had to attend after I came home from the first eighteen months ago full of ideas and enthusiasm for Coombe Mill. This time was bigger and better, not only were there more people who have joined the #sbs family, but the planning and delivery of the day had stepped up a gear too. Theo Paphitis is the most inspirational speaker who can inspire with a message straight from the heart and talk with authority from first hand experience. There were opportunities oozing for all us small business owners within the scheme, a huge question and answer session and a raft of new #sbs sponsors to make the whole day possible. I managed to wave my arm high enough and ask a question to see what we could expect from Theo on TV now that he is no longer part of Dragons Den. It sounds like watch this space as he could be popping up shortly though he wasn’t giving away when or where!


sbs conference ICC Birmingham

To anyone with a fledgling business, a small family business or a business who just feels they need a little spark and helping hand to lift them a peg or two, then I can’t recommend enough trying to enter for #sbs accreditation. It costs nothing to enter and there is everything to gain. Details are all here on the sbs website. The moment when my tweet came back is one I will never forget.


Theo Paphitis Twitter tag from #sbs


Networking: Friends old and new 

Small businesses covering services and products were represented by the hundreds present on the day. The networking sessions were a great chance to find out more about other people’s businesses, challenges, struggles and successes and learn from one another.

Catching up with friends I met last time like Sarah from Silver Birch Crafts, John from The, Kim from Welsh Royal Crystal, Katie from Little Big Sports and Red Herring Games was wonderful; a chance to exchange news and business updates. 

 Meeting up with old #sbs friends

Meeting people who I have been tweeting with for ages is always a delight, especially Aycin from B Organic Skin, Joanne from Charlie Moos, Mon and Maria from Sincerity Gifts and Mystic Moon.


#sbs winners I tweet with

For me it was a real bonus to discover people with businesses alighted to my blog who I hope to work with in the future like Aly from The Rainy Day Box Company and Jennifer from Skribbies, both of whom have great products for children.

#sbs winners I'm looking forward to working with

I discovered a whole crowd from Cornwall: Karen from Just Bunting and Helen from Fenteroon cottages my travelling companions, Cassie from Cake Top Characters, Sian from The One Stop Bug Shop and Joy from A P Bassett Solicitors. Great to spend time with them all and a follow up Coombe Mill cake and coffee business meeting is in the pipeline.

Cornish #sbs Winners

Others Who I met included Katherine from My wonderful Little Designs, Liz from Allergy Aware Kitchen but there are always so many with these events who you really want to find but somehow miss on the day. Georgina from Gem Writing, Allison from Allison Franks d/m I was so sorry to miss you and so many others I am now tweeting with.

Just for fun

Travelling to Birmingham and back in a day is just too much from Cornwall so I travelled with Karen from Just Bunting and Helen from Fenteroon Cottages the day before. Meeting up with Aycin from B-organic Skin we took advantage of a little shopping in Birmingham and a night out on the town. It really is a beautiful City and thank you ladies for some excellent company, next year I will have you ice skating not just watching and admiring!


In Birmingham before the #sbs event

The whole trip was quite exhausting but thoroughly enjoyable and I hope to be able to do it all again next year. A huge thanks Theo, his team and the sponsor companies for setting up the day, providing a lovely buffet and all without charging anyone to attend. This level of generosity is really special and so appreciated. My Final thanks goes to Boden Clothing who sponsored my lovely dress for the day, beats my farm gear any day!

I have set this post up as a blog hop in case anyone one else has a post from the day. Just add your post and grab the code this way we can all read each others take on the day and I can see just how many lovely people I managed to miss!


Harvest Festival

Posted on September 30th, 2013 - Fiona

Village Life

My children go to a very small village school. Many things about the school are far from ideal, there is no school hall, no playground or playing field, no reception or corridors, class 1, which is made up of children from reception and year 1 work in a corridor as a classroom. The old Victorian building has steps that lead straight onto the main village road and children are in constant danger of being hit by cars entering and leaving the school building. In so many ways this school fails our children and the long awaited new school budget was withdrawn 2 years ago thanks to the recession. Never the less what St Tudy C of E primary school does have are teachers who care, pupils with respect and a school which is at the heart of a beautiful village community. It is when I come to attend events such as the Harvest festival Service in the Church next door to school that I remember why I love this school so much.


Jed between St Tudy School and Church


Proud Triplets

The Triplets are now in year 5 and I know I only have one more year at this quaint village school before all my children are in secondary education. This makes any school event very important to me. When they thrust a letter in my hand after school last week to ask me if I would come to Harvest Festival as they all had poems and verses to say, nothing was going to keep me away. I was that embarrassing mother who was hovering ready to see them emerge from school and enter the Church.

Children going to St Tudy Church

I was then to be found creeping along the aisle right to the front of the church, video camera at the ready! It was worth every scowl I may have received to capture their little faces proudly reading their part.

In true quirky village style the lighting failed, the electric was off so no loud speaker and the vicar was late, but hey ho our head teacher carried the service perfectly and the children did so well with no microphone over the sound of babies crying. The younger children were armed with props to show as the older ones spoke and were delightful parading round the church waving at their parents as they passed.  


In St Tudy Church for Harvest Festival

Time is running out

Once they go to secondary school there will be no more school plays, no more Church services on special occasions and no more wanting Mum and Dad to watch. These last years are ones for me to treasure. If you have children at primary school, I urge you to do all you can to attend these events and support your children, their school and the wider community.  I know it is not every parent who can go when it is in the working day, but if someone who cares can be there to watch it really makes a difference. It was for times like these that Nick and I gave up corporate life to run Coombe Mill, a decision so right for us. 


Triplets happy I watched them read in Church



I’m Joining in with some lovely linkys by other bloggers. Click the badges for more family stories.

Ethans Escapades

Motivational MondayPost Comment Love

Cheat for Back to School

Posted on August 8th, 2013 - Fiona

Picture the scenario:

The new school term is looming and you have battled the crowds to claim the shirts and skirts in the size and colour you need. The victory is however short lived when you realise all your new purchases now need naming. The thought of hand sewing in all those names tags is about as fulfilling as watching paint dry so you opt for the cheat’s option – a waterproof marker pen.

A mistake?

The pen is wonderful for the start of term, and you scoff at all that sewing as your happy school starter skips off for their first day of term. However a few weeks later when a piece of gym kit is missing you search the contents of the school lost property bin. Spotting the garment you then find yourself trying to justify to the teacher that the faint ink blob really does say your child’s name. Feeling like a naughty schoolgirl yourself you promise “Miss” all their clothes will be relabelled.


Faded Ink on school jumper name tag

Introducing Stamptastic

If this sounds all too real don’t despair, the lovely people at Stamptastic have the answer. A way to cheat at name tags and look every bit as professional as the woven labels with no effort at all! Order them pre-printed with your child’s name, or in our case I opted for “Coombe Mill” thinking it would do all the school uniforms and many of our items to borrow from here too.


Stamptastic Kit


This is just the kit for me as it is intuitive and almost foolproof. Simply place the stamp on the ink pad then press it on your garment. You can look through the clear stamp to check which way up you are printing, I realised this after printing the first one upside down! It works on most fabrics. I was so impressed I had to give it the ultimate test of a run through our industrial washing machine before raving about it here; it passed with flying colours, no mess and no fade! 

Before and After using Stamptastic

Before and After using Stamptastic


Inspired by the results on the school uniforms I set to work on the reception overalls and wellies which are free for our holiday guests to borrow.


Labelling Reception Items at Coombe Mill


You can order these great sets on line from the Stamptastic website. The Ink pads cost £10 and the stamps £8 printed with your choice of name. My ink is still going strong, but good to know I can reorder without replacing the whole kit.

Win a Stamptastic Set

The lovely people at Stamptastic have kindly given us a set to give away to one lucky winner. To be in with a chance simply leave a comment below saying what you would like on your stamp.

To increase your chance of winning:

Follow Stamptastic and Coombemill on Twitter and leave ONE separate comment here to say you have done so with your twitter name.

For another entry like Coombemill and Stamptastic on Facebook and leave ONE extra comment here with your Facebook name.

For one final entry, please tweet the following sentence and leave another comment to say you have done so

I’ve entered to WIN a new and easy @StamptasticLtd name it set for back to school with @coombemill Why don’t you? Pls RT: 

The competition is open to UK residents and will close on Tuesday 27th August. The winner will be selected by and announced the following morning. Good luck to all taking part.

Congratulations to Karen Hunter Lancaster who won this competition. Thank you to all who took part. 

Disclosure: I was given my Stamptastic set to review for this competition and keep for use at Coombe Mill. The views and opinions expressed are entirely my own.