A blog from Army&You’s winter 2022 edition by Helen Reedman @My_Military_Quarter

In the nine years of being a military spouse we have moved six times, with posting number seven scheduled for February. That’s an awful lot of packing boxes and tape!

Our quarters like so many others share the flamboyant ill-fitting curtains, fifty shades of beige paint and don’t even get me started on the en-sinks (I have a top tip for those on my Instagram). Despite all of this, I’m forever grateful to be able to live with my husband in a supportive community wherever his career takes us.

Having a place that feels like home for even the shortest of postings can alleviate some of the worries of everyday life. A sanctuary away from the stress of work is something really close to my heart. The muted magnolia walls act as a blank canvas which seem to fade into insignificance and showcase any interior design.

Adding a personal touch doesn’t need to break the bank either, in my experience the biggest investment is my time. My personal mantra is to always leave the quarter better than when you marched in. Cleaning comes first, followed by hanging curtains and blinds. Most of our furniture is either second-hand or home-made. The best example is our dining table; made from reclaimed scaffolding boards with pin legs sourced from an online marketplace.

Moving so frequently I purchase or create items that are versatile and complement even the most humble interior. My husband on the other hand, loves to bring home keepsakes from deployments which I struggle to find a home for. One particular Kenyan sandstone ‘Thinking Man’ does more miles around our house than my husband on PT!

Seasonal styling is another way I regularly update the look, it seems to breathe a new lease of life into our home. My husband often teases me by asking “which ‘occasion’ box do I need to get in from the garage next?”. I think he secretly enjoys it.

We try to cherish special moments where and when we can. We never know where his career will take him next and for that reason, we’re thankful for the time we have together and try not to get too upset when our plans have to change.

For us home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling and it’s whom you share it with that matters.

Helen is our Best Blogger for this edition – she wins a bundle from Tactical Coffee, created by former Royal Artilleryman Darren Gray. He began his journey after being introduced to his first ‘proper’ coffee during a tour of Kosovo in 1999: “I’ve always had a passion for good coffee and after completing my first course in 2015 I decided to study its history and origins. I’ve had many a cup in the guardroom and drank too much compo coffee on operations and exercise to know what bad coffee is!”

Tactical Coffee sources the best sustainable coffee from around the world, designing unique blends with its partner roaster. The company uses the finest, specially selected, washed and polished beans – all its coffees are traceable, Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade certified.

Look out for Tactical Coffee at events or go to tacticalcoffee.co.uk for more.

Helen’s prize includes four 250g packs from a choice of 14 blends, a Tactical Coffee mug, dripper, 100 x filters, travel mug, stickers and badge.

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