So that’s June, over and out. How was it for you? Good, I hope. Here’s what I’ve been up to…


Last year I wrote about gardening in my June round up but described it as, ‘sort of gardening. Actually more like just potting up some plants for the patio and hoping for the best’. This year, I’ve progressed to growing lettuce and tomato from seed and nurturing a patch of wild flowers. I’m happy to say the lillies survived being fed, wrapped and stuck in the shed all winter and are now in full bloom and making my heart happy.

I’m now getting outrageously ambitious and looking into applying for an allotment if we end up staying here next year. I’m also hooked on watching Vivi over at What Vivi Did Next on You Tube. Fun, frugal gardening inspiration and fuel for my crazy garden goals.

Rescuing Tadpoles

I wasn’t actually responsible for this one, it was all Mr THLs idea. I just joined in. And then loved it because it felt like real life Spring Watch. Just call me Michaela Strachan.

This is what happened: Mr THL went on a dog walk and found a load of tadpoles in a fast disappearing puddle. This happens every year in these parts. Tank tracks and rough land floods in Spring, frogs & toads lay their spawn and then Summer weather dries it all out. Sad ending.

But not this time! Suitably equipped- well, we found a clean bucket- a rescue mission was staged. We kept the tadpoles at home for a week or so but let me tell you, keeping them alive is actually quite a lot of work. They’ve been safely released into a local nature reserve where they’ll hopefully find their happy-ever-after.

I did find them strangely relaxing to watch. I’m definitely thinking that I’ll have a water feature in the garden of my forever home. I’ve been thinking about that lately because I am…

Becoming Property Obsessed.

When I’m not wafting about the garden with ideas of being Michaela Strachan or Charlie Dimmock, I’m poring over Right Move and Pinterest whilst channelling my inner Kirsty Allsop. Or Sarah Beeny. Poor Mr THL is working ridiculous hours at the minute and comes home to me waving my phone at him and saying, ‘ Would you fancy this one? what about that one? Wood burner and a little vineyard with this one!’. It’s quite often something like this:

Mr THL and I have decided it’s time to look towards what we’ll do and where we’ll do it post-army. It’s exciting and daunting in equal measure. All the possibilities are possible. It’s very difficult to choose where you’ll live when you could go literally anywhere and you’ve had years of not having to think about it.

We have a few options in mind and I believe that if we keep moving forward with a positive outlook, things will work themselves out. In the meantime I’m mad for details. I have plans for stair rods, staircase finials, door knockers, bed canopies… just need the house to put it all in. And when I do, it’ll have a gorgeous woodland inspired door knocker. Just like the one above, spotted in Langport, Somerset.


If you’ve been around for a little while, you’ll know I love a good church. I’m happy to say I live right next to a lovely little historic church in the form of St Marys. I’m less thrilled to say it’s been vandalised lately, both inside and out. Not nice.

Inside St Marys Church, Tidworth. Why would anyone want to damage this?

Horrible as the vandalism is, moaning about it won’t help. Action will. So I’m volunteering with the Churches Conservation Trust and a group of other lovely local volunteers to get the place cleaned up, back into use and watched over by the community. I love how many people locally have come forward to support a gorgeous bit of local history. Doing something feels good.

Loving Long Walks in the English Countryside

The countryside puts on a beautiful show at this time of year, and I love it. Best enjoyed on long walks with a four legged friend, I think.

Going to Iceland ( Via Netflix)

Iceland is known for it’s dramatic landscape, but maybe not so much for T.V drama. Netflix has been introducing me to Icelandic viewing in the form of Katla.

Set one year after the eruption of a sub-glacial volcano, Katla is one to watch if you like your T.V a little bit eerie, full of sweeping landscape shots and with a good knotty mystery at the heart of it. Volcanic eruption has shattered the peace and fractured the community in the small Icelandic town of Vik. Now, as a small number of residents hold on to daily life in the shadow of the volcano, secrets are emerging from both the past and the ice. I still have a couple of episodes to go, but I’ve really enjoyed it. Highly recommend.

Also brilliant for knitwear inspiration and Iceland inspired travel lust.

That was my month, I’d love to hear about yours.

Helen x

16 thoughts

  1. An inspiring post and I’m sure you’ll find a project to work on (a house in need of some TLC and an overgrown field as a garden) and settle down to its restoration. There’s nothing quite like it (says I, who did just that many years ago with my husband). It was a wrench when I had to downsize but I bought a flat with a small side patchl of stones and nothing else and now I’ve got a plot full of blazing colour, masses of roses, raspberries, strawberries, cucumbers, tomatoes and even potatoes. I’ll never be a great gardener but it’s enjoyable just trying. Good luck with yours.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Thanks Mari, that sounds like exactly what I have in mind. I think spending all of my husbands career moving into ready made, fairly short term homes has made me hungry for a project. Covid and Brexit have complicated things a bit and we are up for a military move next year, but I think it will all work itself out one way or another.

  2. I love watching tadpoles! It’s fun to keep at least one to watch all the way through metamorphosis 🙂 Also, these are beautiful countryside photos! Looks like a great location for a walk.

  3. How amazing that you both managed to save those tadpoles from the soon to be dried up puddle.s. I also love lilies and we have some of a similar colour. We have an under garage store so we heave the tubs into there for winter protection. In the Edwardian days the space was designed for vehicle maintenance as an inspection pit and still has a removable hatch onto our garage floor. We just use it to store logs and over winter plant pots though! Marion

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      That sounds amazing, how lovely to have these touches from days gone by in your home. And keeping it but adapting it to your own use. Love it!

      1. Thanks Helen. Old houses do have their downsides though as although we love having fireplaces in most rooms, they can be very draughty!

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      The vandalism made me feel so sad, had to do something! Heartening how many people have come forward to help though.

  4. Good luck with finding the ‘forever home’. Or even just long enough to grow a few spuds 🙂 🙂

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Thank you. I’m sure things will work out one way or another. Lots of patio pots and practice in the meantime!

  5. Sounds like you’ve had a busy month. With you on the househunting, it’s hard work and a little stressful isn’t it? Trying to find the right place at the right cost? Not easy, you just need to be patient.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      It’s a process, that’s for sure! Right now we only seem to know what we don’t want. I think we’ll only know what we really do when we find it and get the lightening bolt moment. In the meantime, I’m enjoying exploring possibilities.

  6. You’ve certainly had a busy and varied June! The highlight of mine was spending a few days on Cornwall, with our young Wolf! I also spend a lot of time looking at property websites, particularly in the Brighton & Hove area. I have ‘a thing’ about interesting doors and door knockers, so I love the photo of the fox one.

  7. Those Lillie’s are something. And well done on rescuing the tadpoles. I hope you get your door knocker ( and house ) soon, I think I would like a woodland inspired one now. 🙂

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