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….. Making pretty things
….. Simple living
….. Growing a family

Three children (17, 15, 13)*** Two parents *** one dog *** Country loving *** Cottage dwelling in the South-West of the UK. That’s us!

We’ve been blogging since January 2010, about everyday happenings that bring us joy.

Just a thought….

“A moment spent in wonder is worth a lifetime spent in awe.”


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unplugged childhood

For the love of the sea

When I look back to my childhood, among my happiest and strongest memories are time on the beach. Most importantly, in the sea. Long after everyone else had got out and headed home, hungry for their fish and chip dinners, I’d still be there. Every time. Playing. Jumping waves. The sun heading into the horizon. My increasingly despairing parents, holding towels by the water’s edge, pleading for me to come out and dry. Yes, I was that child.

I was lucky, my grandparents lived by the sea. When we stayed with them, I could enjoy the sea morning, noon and night. Walking the dogs first thing on the beach is something I still love doing. I love the emptiness and room to think. Sometimes dodging the tractor dragging the sand back into place. Before the beach towels and bucket-n-spade invasion.

I like the alone time.

We moved house a lot. I can only remember one house, where we lived close to the sea. I was a teen by then. I still loved it. I could swim for hours, given half a chance. We had a pool, too. I learnt to dive there. Later I discovered the fun of surfing  and windsurfing. First time I’d encountered wet suits, which stretched my swimming year out by a few more precious months. Then when boards made room for children, in the car, I fell back to hunting fossils and sea glass. Paddling or body surfing. Never one to sit and sunbathe.

The sea is my happy place. In particular, where the sea meets land.

I really want the children to have fond memories of the sea, with us.This holiday, we found a couple of beaches which were perfect. Coves all to ourselves. I could feel my body slipping back into the familiar. Being by the sea again. I forgot my swimming costume. It didn’t matter. I could paddle and walk through the waves. I’d soon dry. Hero followed us into the water. Unphased, for the most, by the waves. Less forgiving of being submerging every now and again.

The children loved it.

I’m working on them to try surf lessons. Next time, I’m sure they’ll let me book them in.

In the meantime, they enjoyed the welsh coastline.

Oh, and I got a taste of my own medicine. I have my very own “that child” now. I’m sure my parents would chuckle. Calling in Youngest when it was time to go. A deaf ear. Slipping back to the water, just as his towel was wet and he was dry. One last splash, or sea-surrounded rock to climb.

I don’t mind. I understand. There is mer-people blood in our veins. This time was inevitable.

Camping and Seals

family walk at start pointHere’s an admission. Two of my children have never gone camping. Never slept under canvas in a field. They’ve reached the grand ages of 9 and 11 and not woken up in a place miles from anywhere. I’m not sure how this has happened.

Before you feel too sorry for them and declare me the worst parent ever, they have been away in our caravan, when we had it, to isolated farm sites. They have camped in the tent in our garden many times. They have made a wigwam and slept several nights in it. Again in our garden. (They’ve also been on lots of other holidays, too)

The lack of further flung camping in a tent does seem an oversight. Before children, we used to take our 2 man tent out on a regular basis. We upgraded to a family tent when Eldest arrived. She’s been camping. In fact the last time we went camping in a tent, I was 6 months pregnant with Middle child, so technically I’m sure we can call that a camping trip for her too.

OK. Maybe not. She would indeed agree with you.


(my view while drinking the first coffee of the day)

Last week, we put it right and took them camping in Devon. Wild camping. No electrics. No flushing loos. Water from a stand pipe. Canvas above their heads. More stars to see than they have ever seen in their lives.

They were a little concerned by the concept of compost loos before we arrived at the site. I soothed their concerns by telling them how one of my first camping trips, we were supplied with a trowel and pointed in the direction of the woods. This didn’t seem to comfort the children much.  It seems that sometimes only reality can help. By the end of our holiday, they had no problem with the idea. Trowel jokes were greeted by groans.

camp site(collecting water)

They soon got into the rhythm of camping. They enjoyed collecting water, walking up to the small farm shop and taking the dogs for a walk. By themselves. There was a tyre swing in a tree which proved the perfect fun and a great way to meet other children. We watched a barn owl swoop around the field in a hunting pattern at night. We admired the Milky Way and a sky filled with stars. We flew kites in the day. Simple (non-screen) fun.

start point

We took them for a walk to one of our favourite places – Start Point. Partly to see Cirl Buntings which can be spotted flying in small flocks along this part of the coast line.

The view of the sea is irresistible. As we sat, looking out at the sea, I realised that there were seals bobbing up and down below us. Diving for food. Blue at Start PointKicking myself for not bringing my longer lens, but I just managed to capture one head of a seal in the photo above.

What, you can’t tell?

If you look past the dog, who was thoroughly unimpressed by spotting wild seals, and look to the far right, half way down. Yes, the black speck, that you probably mistook for a spot of dirt on my lens, is in fact a seal. Small, I know, but you’ll have to take my word for it.

Hmm. Unconvincing I admit. Next time, I promise to carry my long lens, whenever we go on a walk.

Linking up with Fiona’s inspirational #CountryKids linky.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Fyne Court

walking along fallen trunk at Fyne CourtI’ve finally figured it out. A path in woods is but a suggestion, to children. It may lead somewhere interesting, but so might a path made by a deer through the undergrowth. The chance to walk along a fallen tree trunk, will always be preferable to a well marked track.

pond at Fyne Court

Last week, we headed down to Fyne Court, which is owned by the National Trust. No house to see, but the grounds more than made up for it.

exploring at Fynes CourtNot that the children totally ignored the paths. They did join us as we followed the trails. It was restful to take time and explore the different areas. We enjoyed walking around the ponds and streams, through the woods.

I envied the remains of their walled kitchen garden. Bare now and lacking its greenhouses, but in its hey day, I should imagine it produced enough food, for the big house, to last all year. Oh, it must have been busy and so full of life. We speculated about how many gardeners they would have needed. Continue reading


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