What do these two things have in common you may wonder...well last month we had a delightful holiday to Cornwall and it was all thanks to Cuddledry (BIG thank you to Cuddledry!).
They ran a "Happy baby photo competition" earlier this year to win a £500 voucher towards a Farm & Cottage Holidays stay (so thank you so much to Farm & Cottage holidays too!). We heard that a photo we had submitted of Trinity had made it to their shortlist, which was then judged by a panel of judges who were all fabulous photographers (you'll find their details at the bottom of this post in case you want to take a look at some of their work). So also a HUGE thank you to the judges who picked Trin's photo as the winner.
When I submitted the photo, I can honestly say that I did not for one second think that we would win. Taking photos is certainly not one of our strong points in this family and taking photos that are actually any good is a definite weakness of ours. We usually end up with the kids looking anywhere but the camera, with plenty of whinging and moaning rather than smiles for the camera - but on this one occasion we must have done good.
We had never been to Cornwall before and with the kids being home-schooled, we found that taking our holiday in September once the schools had gone back, the £500 stretched a lot further than during peak season. I searched on the Farm & Cottage holidays website and found a working farm, which even had a games room (always handy in case of bad weather) and an outdoor heated pool! Well that was the decision made then as Josh is just like a fish and we knew that even if we didn't find anything else to do, he would be in the pool come rain or shine. Keeping Josh busy on holiday is usually the main priority as with his ASD, if his brain is not occupied with doing something, we find that his brain decides to occupy itself with causing mischief!
We had a very warm welcome with some Cornish fairings and Cornish Apple Juice being left in the cottage for us, along with a pint of milk in the fridge. I had somehow managed to be organised enough to do an online shop before we went to arrive the following morning so we didn't need to worry about heading straight out to the shops to get food.
Our first day wasn't that pleasant for me (but I will only tell you why if you absolutely promise NOT to laugh). Promise? okay...me and Josh got stuck in some mud in a field to the extent that we lost our shoes in the mud and then once recovering them having a very squelchy and unpleasant journey back to the cottage.
Josh's shoes dried out in front of the gorgeous red rayburn but my white and fairly new trainers (I know, I know I should have worn wellies but it really didn't look that muddy), were no longer white and putting them through the wash got all the mud out, but they also shrank and fell apart!
Not having taken any other shoes to wear, we headed straight to Launceston the following morning and after firstly getting lost and getting the car stuck up an extremely narrow road, gave the local postman a good laugh when I explained that I was trying to find somewhere to buy shoes after I (whispered under my breath) "lost my shoes in the mud". He burst out laughing and couldn't quite believe that would happen to an adult. In my defence I did tell him it was me AND Josh that had got stuck, but he just couldn't stop himself laughing. After pointing us in the right direction of the sports shop, he called out in his strong Cornish accent "muddy fields eh...welcome to Cornwall". At least our misfortune ended up making someone's day very happy.
Thankfully the rest of the week went a LOT better and we enjoyed some lovely visits to the beautiful Cornish beaches (including Widemouth Bay and Bude), saw the ruins of Tintagel castle, visited the Eden Project and National Trust's Lanhydrock. I was amazed at how many National Trust places there were in Cornwall and for those who have annual membership, there are easily enough National Trust properties to keep you busy for at least a full week.
As well as enjoying the pool at the farm, we also discovered (to my surprise and to daddy's surprise) that mummy is actually quite good at playing pool despite only having ever played about twice and that was well over 10 years ago.
The farm owners went out of their way to make us feel welcome and were happy to show the kids around the farm and also had a treasure hunt set up for children.
We had a lovely week away and are extremely grateful to Cuddledry, Farm & Cottage Holidays, and the following photographers who judged Cuddledry's competition: Charlie Goggs Photography, Camelot Photographic Ltd (Graham & Trixie Hiscock Photography), vittyrobinson photography and Adrian Thomas Photography
So thank you to everyone who was involved in helping us have this lovely week in Cornwall.
P.S. Well done Cuddledry for having a properly judged competition without any of the ill feeling that often arises out of silly voting comps. Cuddledry were also lovely enough to send runner-up prizes to the other runners-up.
P.P.S I also owe the lovely Helen at Cuddledry a big thank you because I am only writing this blog now as she mentioned that she had spotted my old blog I set up several years ago and then never got around to blogging, and after everything she has acheived with the Cuddledry story, I felt so embarrassed having to confess that I never quite got around to doing anything with my blog. So that was the kick up the backside I needed to get started on this one! So thank you Helen. Hope your kids will enjoy our Moshi section on this blog too.