So that was October, been and gone. How was yours? A happy-busy month for me involving lots of time outdoors, some Uni open days, an overseas trip and my annual over indulgence in all things pumpkin.

Pumpkins aside, here’s what I loved this month.


The Nesting by C.J Cooke

Another physical, not-an-audiobook from the library. I picked it up based on the cover alone and took it home when I read that it was set in Norway. Something about this time of year just lends itself to a bit of Scandi Noir.

The Nesting is an atmospheric thriller embroidered with Nordic fairy tales. The Norwegian landscape creates a dramatic backdrop with the fjords and mountains becoming silent characters in their own right.

A good read, and one that made me seek out other books by the same author. That’s always a good sign, isn’t it?

Exploring in Surrey

With twin daughters heading off to uni next year, we’ve been exploring the options.

We haven’t met a campus we didn’t like yet, but if there was an award for a beautiful and historic campus in an impressive location then it would surely go to Royal Holloway.

So much history, so many lovely details and that gorgeous aged red brick. Oh, and not too far from one of my most enjoyed walks along the way at Runnymede. Fabulous.

And in Folkestone.

Took a little overseas trip this month and last minute changes left us with some time to kill. In the spirit of making the best of things, we decided to have a little explore of Folkestone.

It’s a place we’ve often passed through, but never paused in. Turns out we were missing a trick. There’s the Battle of Britain memorial where you’ll find a warm welcome, lots of history and some lovely coastal views. The Creative Quarter is full of colour, places to eat and drink and interesting independent shops.

We did brave a quick walk round the Harbour, but a stormy Autumn evening wasn’t the one for a seaside promenade. Next time!

What a stormy evening is good for is trying out one of Folkestone’s most recommended fish and chip shops and then taking shelter in Wetherspoons.

Good old Spoons are known for taking on historic buildings and architectural landmarks and I love it. Folkestone no exception; The Samuel Peto is a former chapel largely funded by one Lord Samuel Morton Peto.

Peto made his money in the railways but didn’t stop there. His company also built Nelson’s Column in London, he served as an MP. The things you find out just by going for a pint, eh?

I’ll raise a glass to that. Cheers!

Signing off with a seasonal shot of the Wolfy one, can’t do one of these posts without getting him in somewhere. Happy Halloween to all that celebrate it and wishing everyone a wonderful November.

Helen x

31 thoughts

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Thanks Sheree, he’s a good little pal

  1. What an interesting month. I’ve not seen Royal Holloway University but it definitely looks very attractive. London is a great place to be a student, one of my sons studied at Imperial.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      They are both looking at SW or London for the next step, it’s an exciting time. Where ever they end up, exploring the options had been enjoyable.

  2. What an exciting month of continued learning, entertainment, and growing Helen! Bravo! 🥰🥂😘

  3. Now, you’ve said you over-indulge in pumpkins, but what do you actually cook with them? I think you can’t beat a pumpkin soup, or a curry, but almost any pumpkin is tastier than a Jack O’Lantern. I’m fascinated that you say you’ve been abroad, but as far as I can see, unless I’m not reading straight, you dumped us in Folkestone. Which looks an interesting place to be dumped. Good luck to your daughters as they plan their next steps!

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Ah, the abroad post are coming. The trip needs a post of its own. Pumpkins I don’t do much with to be honest. Any that are still usable after being on display, rearranged and endlessly investigated by the dog might get souped. It’s a terrible waste really!

      1. Ah, you’d better not tell Guy Singh-Watson (Riverford) that. He’s recently been on the rampage about all the land given over to grow pumpkins that nourish almost nobody at a time when food security is a live and growing issue in the farming community.

  4. Like Margaret, I wondered where abroad you’d been and guessed it must have been to Calais or thereabouts. Exciting times for your girls. They’re sticking together, right? Happy Halloween! Any trick or treating round your way?

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Well, they tell us they’re going their separate ways but I don’t see it. And they have the same top three choices just in different order.

      Lots of trick or treating, which is good because I have no self control and would eat all remaining sweets if not handed out. Trick or Treaters of the night went to my neighbour who dressed her twin daughters as Dalmatian pups and herself as Cruella. A good night all round!

      1. That does sound fun. ?m seriously boring in that respect, but my daughter makes up for it.

  5. Geoff Le Pard says:

    Wasn’t it the chap who set up Saga who used the money to rescue folkestone from terminal decline? As I recall from a few years back its rather splendid

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Oh that’s interesting, not heard that. Will have to do a bit of digging before I head that way again. There’s been a great job done of giving life to the harbour and historic town centre.

  6. Did you know that every ‘Spoons has its unique, bespoke carpet designed around the building and area’s history? Look down as well as up – cheers.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      I’ve heard this and will definitely be checking it out next time I find myself in one. I do think they’ve done a great job of repurposing some historic gems.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Thanks Ananbel, Folkestone was a pleasant if stormy surprise! I think most people shoot through for the tunnel or ferry. Wolf scrubs up alright, doesn’t he?

  7. Love your atmospheric shot of the boats in a stormy Folkestone.
    I once read that Wetherspoon pubs are carpeted throughout with carpet illustrated with something from the pub buildings history. Not sure if that’s true or not.
    Happy Birthday to the Wolfie. X

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Oh I’ve never thought to look down in a Wetherspoons, that’s intriguing though. Will be looking next time. The Wolf had a fabulous day, extra belly rubs and venison for dinner.

  8. I’ve heard nothing but praise for CJ Cooke’s books, but I’m a bit of a scaredy cat so not sure if they’d be too horror for me. That Weatherspoons building is gorgeous. X

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Think I’m late to the party, I’ve only just discovered this writer! She writes in a slow burn sort of way that really does create tension. I think she’d write a great gothic/ horror tv series. I do love a good historic old pub and that was a good one!

  9. Thank you for the reminder to read a book.. i buy/borrow books with the desire to read but somehow cannot find the time… 🫣

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      I stopped reading for a while and was using audio books a lot but I’ve lately rediscovered a love of getting cosy with a proper book. Definitely more appealing as the nights get darker and colder. I hope you find some time and a really good book.

  10. C. J. Cooke’s books are not for the faint of heart! I started reading The Lighthouse Witches. A book about two sisters who go missing on a remote Scottish island. Twenty years later, one is found—but she’s still the same age as when she disappeared. This chilling gothic thriller is the type of book you’ll want to read by the fireplace with a blanket pulled over you. Thanks for sharing, and happy November! May this month bring you moments of reflection, gratitude, and the joy of life’s simple pleasures. Cheers, Aiva 🙂 xx

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      I’ve just ordered that book from the library. The opening few pages were published at the end of ‘ The Nesting’ and I was intrigued. I do like a good gothic read so I’ll look forward to that one.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Thanks Tanja, it was busy but in a good way!

  11. I’ve also read The Nesting and loved it too. Wolf looks happy with being in charge of the pumpkins!

  12. I love the Royal Holloway buildings! I used to drive past the front entrance twice a day on my commute to work (this was about 20 years, back when I used to drive!) and always, always looked through the gates. So beautiful to look at, especially on a sunny day.

    Your dog is also very lovely to look at. 🙂

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