Friday, 20 July 2018

End of an Era - Primary School is done

It doesn't seem like nearly 7 years ago when my son started in Reception at school. He does look oh so young on the obligatory first day at school photo:


He has mostly loved being at school (apart from Year 3) and coped very well with a change in primary for Year 4. Today was his leavers' assembly so I armed myself with a few tissues:


He obligingly posed for his last day at primary photo:

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Reasons to be Cheerful: Be More Wit Wit Woo #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

The blogging community is currently reeling from the sudden and unexpected death of one of the most optimistic and vivacious members Kate Sutton. Back in the early days of Twitter when I was a newly single parent she kept me sane with conversations online. She was an inspiration for me to embrace life and not care what anyone else might think! Rest in peace Kate.

Here are my reasons to be cheerful which I am sure she would have appreciated:

1) Insects

Its wonderful to see busy bees and butterflies making the most of the flower bonanza brought on by the unusually warm weather:


I am glad to have done my bit for them with the wild flowers in my front garden:


2) Clearing Out

We did another car boot sale on Sunday and got rid of some more bits and made a few more pounds for the holiday kitty! It was also a good social occasion:


3) A Trip Down Memory Lane

I went through lots of boxes in the garage for the car boot and found loads of treasures. This included the children's christening gifts, some missing Denby and this rather bizarre guinea pig I made in art at high school:

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Front Garden update

I thought it was time to do a follow up post to my gardening post from April! Things have definitely come a long way since I dug out the borders for bulbs and seeds:


Here was a my video update from last week when I incorrectly identified cyclamen as geraniums:


Here are some of my favourite wild flowers that grew from seed:

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Puy du Fou Historical Theme Park

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Before we went to France I had seen some Instagram photos of Puy du Fou historical theme park. So we booked some advance tickets to go for a day. It was an hour and a half drive from our campsite so an early start but it was definitely worth it!

On arrival we had to pass through a bag check and security scanner but it gave us time to check on the day's timetable. We only managed to acquire a Spanish version (and later discovered we could have installed an app!) but it was enough to realise that the Dance of the Phantom Birds was the first thing to go see. It was raining as we crossed the park, typical it was on the furthest point, and joined the huge crowd in the arena. I could understand enough of the French to get the gist of the show, not sure what my son understood! But we could all appreciate being close up to such an amazing variety of birds:


Next up it was the Knights of the Round Table. This was when we first discovered how the sets for the big pieces could actually move so much. Again the words went over my son's head but there was enough action with sword fighting etc for him to enjoy the show:


We then had to queue for a while to get into the Vikings show. It was worth it to be right at the front. This show had a bit of everything from fighting, longships and trained animals:

Friday, 13 July 2018

Wild Swimming in the River Kent

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

After our enjoyable swim in Rydal Water my daughter and I wanted to go wild swimming again. This time in the River Kent nearer to home. So we headed down to Sedgwick where there are some good pools for swimming. The water levels there are very low at the moment so it reveals the way the river has carved a passage through the rocks:


Although this looks stunning its not a safe place to swim as its tricky to get in and out of the water. So we walked along the river bed to find a more suitable spot:



We had to walk a long way on what would normally be under the water:

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Reasons to be Cheerful: Proud Mum #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

I am joining in once again with Michelle for Reasons to be Cheerful this week. Its great to have things to make us happy and to share each other's pleasures. I look forward to reading everyone else's. Here are mine for this week:

1) Proud Mum #1

My daughter performed at her school's musical recital. She sang a beautiful song (maybe she will let me share it on here!). Meanwhile here she is with me in the River Kent:


2) Proud Mum #2

Here is my son on his way to 1st place in the junior school wrestling at Langdale at the weekend. He brought his SATs results home this week and passed with flying colours. He even got the maximum score for his maths!



3) Furry Mum

I have to include our furry family in this week. How could the sight of a guinea pig in a tunnel not raise a smile:



4) Blooming lovely

My wild flower seeds are now flowering in the front garden. When I walk down the path I pass the poppies with bees buzzing in and out gathering pollen:



That's it for me! I will now pop over and read all those on the link:

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Langdale Gala 2018

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
On the first Sunday of July its the Langdale Gala at Chapel Stile which is a traditional Cumbrian event. The weather wasn't typical when we arrived:


After signing in for the fell race the first event my son took part in was the school's Cumberland & Westmorland wrestling. There was a little mix up when he wasn't in the draw for the juniors but after I'd pointed this out he ended up winning and getting £5! This was a friend's son in his first ever bout as an under 15:


The flat races then started with traditional events such as sack, sprint and egg & spoon races. My son was in the sack race:



 and then I had to head up onto the fell side for the fell races:


Due to the heat all the juniors took the lower level route. There were some disappointed teenagers that they had to only do the under 13 route:

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Rydal Water Swim

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

On Wednesday my daughter and I headed up to Rydal Water for an open water swim. It was such a beautiful day and so peaceful:


We parked in the LDNP car park (note it only accepts cash at the moment) and took a short walk to a secluded little beach. Then we went out into the blissfully warm water:


It was so calm and still with just the current from the river causing any commotion:

Friday, 6 July 2018

Reasons to be Cheerful: Family Fun #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

A slightly belated reasons to be cheerful so its just as well its Michelle being host this month! Its just been such a full on week that I hadn't had time to blog really. Any way here are some of the things that have made us smile and kept me busy:

1) Summer Fete

For once I made it to the school fete, for some reason my son's school always does them straight after school. Not only that but I was early enough to actually win on the bottle stall. Not a bad haul for £2:


My son had fun on the water bomb throwing game and eating cakes!

2) Fell Race

On the final race of the junior championship my son had his best finish yet beating people who have beaten him in all the other races. Not sure on his final finish position yet but hopefully close to the middle of the table.


3) Langdale Gala

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Review: Saal Photobook

Sponsored Post

I was offered a voucher so that I could try out and review a Saal Photobook. Regular readers will know that I take loads of photographs but hardly ever get them off the digital version and into a hard copy... So this was a golden opportunity for me to rectify that.

To start with I had to download and install the software to my laptop. This was a trouble free process. Then I had to decide which of the many photobooks to choose from. In the end I chose the 15 x 21 glossy book with 26 pages for £24.95. 

The hard bit was choosing which photos to put in it! At least getting them in was pretty straightforward with a little bit of trying things out. I sometimes used the auto features and at others adjusted the photos to fit myself. I was able to save the progress and come back to it and didn't have to create it all in one go.

Once completed I processed the order which again was very simple. Then I just had to wait a few days for the photobook to arrive. I am certainly impressed with the quality and feel of the book (I should probably have come up with a better title!):


The pictures that have spanned over a double spread still look amazing:



Friday, 29 June 2018

Coniston Triathlon

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


On Saturday night my son and I camped out in our car at Coniston so that we were able to be in place for volunteering at 6 AM! We went to sleep with the Old Man watching over us:



I was up at 5 and made myself a coffee before waking my son and heading down to the event organised by Epic Events. It was so peaceful and tranquil in the early morning light:



Our first job was car parking and we made a great team ensuring that everyone could park safely and get their bikes off their cars:

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Reasons to be Cheerful: Summer time #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

A slightly delayed reasons to be cheerful as with the heat I've been too shattered to blog after work and after school activities! I am writing this sitting in the garden whilst there is still some shade and letting the paddling pool warm up a bit for a dip later... Hopefully the warm weather is a reason for everyone to have something cheerful to share with us all this week.  Any how here are my reasons to be cheerful this week:

1) Last Primary Sports' Day

It was my son's last ever Primary Sports' Day so I made sure I was there having not been to one since he was in Year 2! I was right on the front row to watch him in action. He came away with one 2nd place for the team obstacle relay and his house was 2nd overall so it was a good result:


2) Sunrise over Coniston Water

We were on the shores of Coniston Water at 5:45 AM on Sunday and the reward was such a beautiful tail end of the sun rise:


3) Volunteering

We were there because we were volunteers at the Triathlon. First of all we did car parking and then my son gave out medals whilst I helped with tags and marshalled at the last gate:

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Reasons to be Cheerful: Blooming Lovely #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

A slightly later than normal Reasons to be Cheerful but at least its on the right day! Plenty of reasons for me to be cheerful and I hope that you have plenty to join in with too. Please link in and share the linky love.

1) Going greener

I am trying to be more eco friendly so I have bought some Soap Nut Shells for the laundry. They definitely take the smell out of our clothes and they seem to be clean. So that's one little bit to reduce my plastic usage and the amount of chemicals I put into the environment:


2) Blooming lovely

My roses are at their peak at the moment and looking stunning:


Having family help to trim the hedge and give the grass a proper cutting has improved the rest of the garden too:


3) Lunch with my girl


Monday, 18 June 2018

FRA Juniors Clougha Pike and Quernmore Sports

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


This Saturday saw the penultimate fell race of the FRA Junior Championships at Clougha Pike as part of Quernmore Sports. This wasn't too far from Lancaster in the Trough of Bowland so relatively local to us. 



The first group to tackle their course were the under 9's who had to complete one lap of the field:


Then it was the under 11's who had to do a bigger lap of the next field as well as the first climb:




For the under 13's, such as my son, had a longer course than normal with 3 km. This meant two big laps at the top which was tough on the younger ones:

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Reasons to be Cheerful: Cumbrian Edition #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

I am writing this on the coldest day we have had for weeks in Cumbria! A brief hiatus in our hot spell that seems to have lasted for ages... Hoping that the warm weather has made many more reasons to be cheerful and that lots of you will join in this week... Here are my Cumbrian reasons to be cheerful:

1) Proud Mum

My son did his last school fun run as he is in year 6. Luckily I was there to support the event and could capture him on his way to 20 laps which equated to 10 km in 1 hour!


2) Keswick Mountain Festival

I got to spend my weekend soaking up the festival whilst volunteering in this stunning setting. Two blogposts about it already with more to come!


3) Record Breakers

Whilst in Keswick I was able to witness and record teams from Helm Hill completing the Billy Bland challenge of running the Bob Graham round in a pairs relay. Both the men's and mixed teams beat the existing records and the ladies weren't too far off:

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Keswick Mountain Festival Junior 5 km

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


On the weekend 9th and 10th June I attended Keswick Mountain Festival as a volunteer. Before I had any tasks I watched the Junior 5 km trail run as they raced from Crow Park. Here are my photographs:



This was before the fabulous music concert I blogged about from the Saturday night.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Keswick Mountain Festival Music on Saturday

I was volunteering at Keswick Mountain Festival this weekend and one of the perks was access into the music. This gives you a taste of The Farm and Melanie C plus the atmosphere and stunning location. Can you spot the man on his stag do?:




Friday, 8 June 2018

Chateau and Velo Rail at Commequiers

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall



One of days out was to the Velo Rail at Commequiers. We first discovered the joys of the Cycle Trains when staying in Seine et Marne in 2013 and so were keen to have another go now that my son was tall enough to pedal! 

We allowed time to picnic on the way having pre-booked for 2 pm (be warned its very popular so you have to reserve...). So we hunted down the Chateau Commequiers:


Unfortunately due its state of disrepair the castle has been closed for access since 2014 and they are raising funds to rescue it. They still use the grounds for a medieval spectacular in August:


Hidden in the woods we discovered a children's play area: