Editors Note

We have so much to be grateful for

Not long after the government roadmap was announced, I took a stroll around my local shops and was excited to see the obvious signs of stocking up. It’s lovely to know that our shops will once again be open. The anticipation is palpable particularly with regard to those offering personal services such as haircuts and beauty appointments; although I have resigned myself to another month of untended locks and grey eyebrows as others, equally desperate for expert help after months of trying to DIY, were far more canny than me and booked their appointments as soon as 12th April was announced!

As we move forwards, I hope we will reflect on what this last year has shown us about our strength when we pull together as a community. We have seen many people volunteer their help for a myriad of things ranging from delivering medicines to cooking meals. Our local independent businesses have adapted to provide online shopping and home delivery in order to support customers. We’ve also had the chance to connect with neighbours who we were barely on nodding terms with previously and accepted help without questioning why it’s been offered.

Overall my takeaway has been “life is precious and we must not take the things we dearly love for granted.”

Be kind to each other – and until next time keep safe!


PS: In case of interest the week of 3rd to 9th May 2021 has been designated International Screen Free Week. During this time both parents and children are encouraged to unplug from their devices for a day, or a week, or just for a few hours daily and use the opportunity to do something else – read, go for a walk, bake a cake – whatever it takes to enjoy the analogue world for a change! More details and resources are available at screenfree.org.



Editors Note

Is it safe to come out yet?

My family has been unfortunate to be hit with Covid and it’s been really rather grim. Whilst we’ve had varying degrees of severity it was the mothership that got hit hardest. My husband said that in 20 years of knowing each other he had never seen me keel over the way I did. Whilst I’m over the worst I have been left with a terrible fatigue as well as no discernible taste or smell.   

But however bad it’s been, there’s no doubt we’ve been lucky. I have read so many sad accounts from people whose friends and relatives died without the chance to hold their hand or say goodbye. There is hope however on the horizon with numerous vaccines approved for use. However, whilst it’s wonderful to see the vaccines being rolled out, it’s not a “Get out of Jail” card and we owe it to ourselves and everyone around us to continue to be careful.

It’s a minefield but the eventual freedom will be worth all the effort we put into it now. In the meantime, let’s keep supporting each other and for a reminder about the positivity that has endured throughout this pandemic, do read our article “What has Covid-19 done for our community spirit?”

Until next the next issue, keep safe and well.

Art Displays

Art Displays

Last month you may have noticed some home windows near you filled with art. The month from 14 November to 14 December 2020 was Artists Walk, a project set up by two Muswell Hill locals to help bring some visibility to artists and creatives who were missing out on the usual opportunities available to them due to Covid-19.          

Artist Rosha Nutt and Art Marketing Consultant Holly Collier set up Artists Walk to provide a simple way for artists and art lovers to make connections and new discoveries in their area. It was also a way for the local community to support artists at a difficult time and for everyone to benefit from the joy art can bring. “It’s been pretty depressing having shows and events cancelled, many artists have moved to home studios and social interactions for artists are down to a minimum. We wanted to do something positive, something the art community could do together safely.”, explained Rosha Nutt.

Their Instagram account @artistswalk documented work by participating artists, who ranged from fine artists, printers and photographers, to sculptors, ceramicists and filmmakers. Over 140 artists and creatives took part in Artists Walk and Alexandra Palace joined the trail too, with a number of artists displaying work in some of the palace’s historic windows. Everyone who registered with Artists Walk was placed on an interactive map, for their local community and wider audience to find.

Holly tells us, “We planned Artists Walk before going into the second UK lockdown but as it happened the event resonated even more with people, who loved the idea of still being able to show and see art in an easy, accessible way when the usual locations to see art were all closed.

The event was a big success and was featured in The Guardian newspaper, as well as in some international press. It was also a success for those taking part as Rosha told us, “Not everyone goes to galleries to buy art and it’s great to engage with a different audience. Visibility for artists locally definitely increased and there was a surprising number of works sold.”.

The feedback on the event was so positive throughout and it was a great initiative to support local and to support the arts. Holly said, ” Artists have given such positive feedback from Artists Walk, telling us it has given them a purpose at a challenging time and that it has started new conversations and connections in their immediate community”.

You can see all the artists and creatives who took part listed on the Artists Walk website: www.artistswalk.org and their Instagram shows all the wonderful creative window displays that were enjoyed over the month @artistswalk.


art display
art display
art display
art display
art display
fundraising stephens gardens

fundraising stephens gardens

Much-loved Community Asset Urgently in Need of your Support

Stephens House & Gardens in Finchley provides ten acres of stunning landscaped gardens for the community to use, with a pond, woodland area, plenty of benches to sit on and enjoy the surroundings, as well as a large playground and a café on site. It’s a peaceful, calm oasis in North London. Unlike many public parks however, it is not run or regularly funded by the council, but instead is run by a charitable trust. All upkeep to the venue is therefore reliant upon the income it generates from hiring the facilities for functions and events, and from the visitor café.

Due to the lockdown earlier this year and again now, the usual streams of income to the house and gardens have been significantly affected. Furthermore, there have been a relatively high number of incidents in the grounds recently, such as thefts and fires, causing damage and further expense.

Stephens House & Gardens is aiming to stay open but it needs your help to do so. There is a fundraising campaign running currently and any donation really makes a difference. With your help we can support the vital staff to keep the gardens open throughout the lockdown, so that the community can continue to enjoy the benefits of this much-loved green space.

Please consider a donation:




“Ollie Meadows and the DreamSpinners”.

“Ollie Meadows and the DreamSpinners”.

Local author Val Girling has two thrilling children’s books out now.

“Ollie Meadows and the Defiants” is a funny and exciting adventure story, set on Earth but out of this world! It features Ollie, an ordinary eight year old, and his extraordinary friend, Flipp, an alien marooned on Earth. The bond between the pair develops as they work together to return Flipp to his family.
Nothing is straight forward when the evil shape-changing Defiants get involved. The sense of peril deepens when the friends don’t know who to trust.
The imaginative plot draws the reader into the well- paced story that explores themes of courage, resourcefulness and friendship. The central characters are engaging and readers will warm to the kind hearted Ollie and inquisitive Flipp. It is an excellent read with beautifully executed illustrations interspersed amidst the text.



Children who enjoy fantasy and adventure will be cheering Ollie on and can read the second instalment of the pair’s adventures in “Ollie Meadows and the DreamSpinners”.

Ollie and Flipp, whilst on their way to Flipp’s home world, are lured to an unexplored planet to save the inhabitants from dreadful evil, but can they really help?



Both books are available online from Waterstones and Amazon.

The next two adventures will be out in the Spring.