It has been a minute since I’ve written one of these round up posts. The month of June marks the halfway point of the year so it seems like a good month to jump back in. At the midpoint of 2023, here’s what I’ve been loving.


June viewing took me back to one of my favourite things: a German language movie.

I started the month with Lore. Set in the aftermath of WW2, the plot follows the journey of 14-year-old Hannelore (Lore) and her four younger siblings who are forced to cross Germany alone after the arrest of their parents.

Many of the scenes are rural and rustic, but this is no fairytale. The movie is packed with hard hitting moments. Watching Lore come to terms with the unravelling of all a Nazi centred upbringing has taught her is fascinating. A worthwhile watch.

Listening To…

The Last Passenger by Will Dean.

When Caz steps aboard Β RMS Atlantica, she’s expecting a romantic cruise with partner Pete. The first night passes in a whirlwind of drinking and dancing. When Caz awakens on the second day, Pete has disappeared. Almost all the other passengers and crew are gone.

Caz finds a few other passengers who have mysteriously remained onboard, and the fight for survival begins. The story is intriguing, the characters endearing. However the ending left me thinking, ‘oh…that’s it? really?’

No spoilers from me but if you’ve read/listened to this one, drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts.


Gardens and graveyards. As per. Kicked off the month by discovering the gardens tucked away behind Mompesson House right in the heart of Salisbury. My whimsical imagination and I love anything that plays into the idea of big old houses and Secret Garden type places so this was a delightful find for me.

Graveyards galore as I’ve been diving into the WW1 history of Australian and Kiwi soldiers in Wiltshire. That led me off into a more general search for Commonwealth War Graves in the rural churchyards around me, of which there are many.

I’ve never found a churchyard I didn’t enjoy mooching about in, so that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. Because, why not?


Armed Forces Day. Unfortunately celebrated without my own soldier as he was off army-ing.

I went along anyway with some dear friends and a good day was had by all. Living in a garrison town, the event was well celebrated. A fun fair, working dog displays, food and drink galore and the most fabulous displays of vintage kit. Right up my street.


Early and late to beat to the heat, when the weather is too much for The Wolf. Walking to find the next thing coming into season on the foraging front, and to enjoy the wildflowers that have been blooming in abundance. Walking canal side and walking through woodlands just to find a nice spot for a cup of tea outdoors. Simple pleasures.


A day in Southampton at the lovely Harbour Hotel for a spa-in-the-city experience. Started with drinks at the rooftop bar and enjoyed views across the private marina and out to the sea beyond.

Post drinks, it was down to the spa to let the pampering commence. A range of treatments, a heated pool, sauna & steam room and space to relax, this is a place to escape the everyday.

There’s also a fully equipped gym if you’re that way inclined. Mr THL went in for a full workout, weights and everything. Me? long enough on the rowing machine to feel slightly virtuous and then disappeared into the spa. I wasn’t there to workout.

This was my second visit to a hotel in the Harbour family and both times I’ve enjoyed a fabulous experience. Definitely adding them to the list of Things Helen Loves.

And Finally…

I do like an ‘and finally‘ so here’s one for you. Can we just take a moment to appreciate this old school, sailor tattoos inspired wall paper I spotted in Southampton. It fits right in to a city with such a strong maritime history, doesn’t it?

I absolutely love it.

Whatever you have planned for July, I hope it makes you as happy as a sailor on shore leave with a freshly inked tattoo on one arm and a beautiful woman on the other. Wishing everyone a great month ahead.

Helen x

18 thoughts

  1. Impossible not to smile at that final paragraph, Helen. Hope your soldier comes home soon.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Thanks Jo, makes me happy to think I raised a smile! He’s been and gone, as is often the way. Summer leave on the horizon, then he’ll be home enough to annoy me haha.

      1. Isn’t that what they’re for? I don’t have an encampment to send mine off to πŸ€”β€οΈ

  2. The Armed Forces Day festival looked just my sort of event as did the Harbour Hotel spa experience – a little bit of pampering is just what we all need occasionally

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Definitely, we all need a change of pace from time to time and the Harbour Southampton was the perfect place for it.

  3. I love a Secret Garden vibe too (one of my favourite books as a child – no, STILL one of my favourite!) The wild flowers are gorgeous and I really like the sound of Lore – one to look out for, thanks 😊

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      There’s a few childhood classics that I like to revisit, but The Secret Garden is definitely a favourite!

  4. Enjoyed reading your monthly roundup and looking at the pictures, Helen. The wallpaper pattern was indeed arresting and so much to look out for in the TV and book world. Thank you.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Thank you!

  5. Lots to enjoy about this post, especially your walking and garden moments. I’ll look out for Lore too. Your wallpaper find is very jolly. Presumably in a pub?

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      In a hotel lobby, a cheerful nod to the history of the city!

  6. I watched Lore too and totally loved it. It was so well done. And the wallpaper made me smile 😊 Hope your soldier is home soon x

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Thanks Han, he popped home for a weeks leave and is now back to it! You’re good with the German stuff, any recommendations? I was a terribly late adopter with Lore- 20212!

  7. I enjoyed your June round-up … that wallpaper is spectacular! πŸ™‚

  8. I love the photo of The Wolf, absolutely glorious. Your weekend away sounds wonderful. We love a wander around a graveyard especially an international one in another country, conjures up all sorts of stories. Have a happy July 😊

  9. I always enjoy a review or round-up of the month, and have packed a lot into June! Like you and the Wolf, I’ve been walking Zeph early in the morning or late in the evening and, preferably, where he can access water. You’ve got to love that wallpaper!

  10. it seems you’ve had a lovely month. great spa experience too. hope your soldier comes home to you soon!

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Thanks Tanja.

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