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o mmunity C F I N C H L E Y





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Summer Sunshine

Celebrating what we have on our doorstep

LOCAL INSPIRATION Finchley vs Hollywood by GARY SINYOR GOOD MOOD FOOD by Thalia Pellegrini COMMUNITY KINDNESS The Flower Bank





WOMEN! DO YOU WANT MORE THAN ICING ON YOUR CAKE? Why not join the Women’s Institute? It is the UK’s largest women’s membership organisation. The WI offers all women over the age of 18 the chance to connect with their local community in a friendly and inclusive space.

Meet new people, make new friends, and enjoy a variety of activities. We have inspirational speakers, crafting, books, walking, garden, theatre and cinema visits to name a few! Do you want to campaign on issues, locally or nationally or learn new skills and revise old ones? Finchley WI is here to inspire you! We meet on the second Wednesday of every month except August, in Stephens House & Gardens (17 East End Road, N3 3QE) at 8pm. Come along and take a look; in the meantime, you can find more information on

www.wifinchley.wixsite.com/finchley www.facebook.com/pages/WI-Finchley/125463154187973 www.twitter.com/wifinchley

editors letter

H Community FI N C H L E Y





CREATIVE EDITOR Nicola Harrison SUB-EDITOR Diane Langleben DESIGNER Richard Cooke


Special thanks to: My Rich for being totally and unwaveringly awesome in his support and creativity My wonderfully kind volunteer sub-editor Diane My fabulous friend and business coach Zuzana

ello friends!

A very warm and sunshine-filled welcome to the second issue of Finchley Community Magazine. Firstly, I want to say a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who supported us with our first issue. As with anything that you create from scratch, we were a little nervous to see if we had hit the right note with everyone, but it seems we did. We really have had a tremendous amount of readers who have contacted us with such kind, thoughtful and uplifting comments! We have an inspiring selection of articles for you to read this month, THANK YOU to all the contributors for sharing their knowledge. Our magazine is free, and our wonderful articles make up most of the content. In order to grow and flourish, we rely upon advertising, please do tell your family, friends, work colleagues and local community about us. This is my favourite time of year — the simple joy of being barefoot outside in the warmth is such a positive boost for mind, body and soul. Let’s celebrate what we have on our doorstep!

My Dad for knowing I would love creating this


My Mum for just always believing in me


My Rosa for inspiring me Marika and Jon for kindly sharing their expertise


facebook.com/fcm.nicola twitter.com/@NicolaFCmag @instagram.com/finchleycommunitymagazine


Co-operating in the community Local Co-op member pioneer, Neill Reed, explains how your local Co-op is a big player in the community Did you know that the Co-op supports many charities, both local and national, in various ways via its local community fund? For example: •D  onating £1.5m worth of food to FareShare, which is the UK’s largest hunger-fighting charity. If you are a community group and are in need of food donations please contact www. fareshare.org.uk/fareshare-go •S  upporting over 4,500 local causes across the UK •Developing a Community Shopping Card. The Co-op has joined forces with local community groups, nationwide such as Parkrun and Goodgym, as well as local authorities, whose volunteers can use the card securely for those they are helping. To find out more please look at the Cooperate web site (https://cooperate.coop.co.uk/) At a local level, the Co-op has donated to: • Friend in Need, East Barnet • Chipping Barnet Day Centre • Barnet Bereavement Service • Barnet Borough Sight Impaired Group

As well as shopping at the Co-op, why don’t you become a member? Life membership only costs £1 and you can benefit from 5% of what you spend going on your card. You can also select a local Co-op cause, and 1% of what you spend on own-brand products and services will help raise money for that cause. It is a win-win situation for everyone. Details can be found at www.membership.coop. co.uk/register. Hope to see you in the community soon! n Neill Reed is the local Co-op member pioneer for Barnet and Cockfosters. To keep up to date with what is happening at your Co-op, you can follow him on Twitter or Instagram: @neillcooppioneer


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30 Contents Finchley vs Hollywood

Summer Inspiration

Stephens House & Gardens

Good Mood Food

Street Life

House party!

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Community Kindness

Art as Therapy

Work-life balance

How does your garden grow?

Finchley Fairies

6 Film writer, Gary Sinyor 12 The ink collection

16 Teenage artist, Daisy Underwood 18 Finchley in the 40’s, Gloria Stoner 21 Finchley in the 50’s, Barry Davison 26 Art therapist, Lucy Meredith 30 Our sub-editor, Diane Langleben

34 Pre-school teacher, Nicky Reynolds 38 Nutritionist, Thalia Pellegrini 42 La Di Dah, Jenna Pantelides 46 The Flower Bank 48 Sewing for our NHS

50 Business coach, Zuzana Taylor 52 Spreading Magic, Stephanie Romig-Orr

Finchley Community 5

Gary chats with Renee Zellweger and Chris O’Donnell on set of The Bachelor (1999)

gary sinyor

Finchley vs Hollywood Gary Sinyor, writer and director for film and television, waxes lyrical on the joys of Finchley living


confess I had a sheltered upbringing. Manchester born and bred, I didn’t set foot in the capital until I was 22. Four of us rented a house at the bottom of Muswell Hill and I used to drive to the National Film and TV School every morning, up East End Road (before the new road system) to the roundabout where a swift left turn took me onto the ‘North Circular’ which in those days was a nasty single lane of chaos before hitting the open road at Henlys Corner. Then, cheerfully going against the traffic coming into London, I would bomb along the A40 to Beaconsfield. After leaving film school, I made my first foray into the heart of Finchley and lived alone in a flat opposite Victoria Park for a year, before deciding it wasn’t right for me at all and moving all the way to the flat next door the following year. This was where Leon the Pig Farmer was written. In my late 20s and 30s I strayed, first to Brondesbury Park (where some of Leon was filmed) and then ultimately to Beverly Hills. Beverly Hills has its perks over Finchley: loads of palm trees, sunshine Finchley Community 7

writer & director and sushi galore but you’d be shocked to find out there isn’t a single good Indian restaurant. Having made my one big studio film, The Bachelor with Chris O’Donnell and Renee Zellweger, I hung around, still pining for a decent Madras. There were four years of LA life before moving back to Blighty, and more specifically, to Finchley: first a house (burnt down, long story), then another house, followed by a flat and then two more houses all in N3. What is it about Finchley that draws me in? Well, there are whole areas of London where, as a Jewish Mancunian I wouldn’t feel comfortable. South London is just too far away from the M1 and the trip ‘home’, so that’s out. I couldn’t live in any area with stucco-fronted terraced houses because my natural Mancunian personality couldn’t hack it, so Notting Hill, Camden and St Johns Wood are all non-starters. It’s a straight no to anywhere where you can’t change the shape of your hedge without written permission from some bureaucratic quango — you know where I mean. As for Hampstead itself? Well, there was a huge fight some decades ago over whether opening a McDonalds would ‘lower the tone’ of the High Street. Crazy — not for me. So here’s the thing — Finchley is inherently anti-snobbery. Its shops, whether that’s the local Turkish grocer or one of its many barbers, cafés or restaurants are welcoming. Stephens House is a perfectly formed down-to-earth park for young families, old couples and singles alike. 8 Finchley Community

Gary with Brooke Shields

Tim Downie as Paul in The Jewish Enquirer

gary sinyor

The Jewish Enquirer – shot in Finchley

More than anywhere I’ve ever been in London, people here share their neighbourhood. Call me a cheapskate, but there’s an annual group of us who gather on East End Road to watch, from across the road, the private firework display held on Wilf Slack Playing Fields, tomato soup in flask, burger in hand. It’s not that we couldn’t buy tickets to the display up the road at Finchley Cricket Club if we wanted to, but we’ve found our own way of doing things, that’s outside the norm and no-one cares. And that is the essence of Finchley. Religiously, the area is well served by Orthodox synagogues that I frequent infrequently and less Orthodox Synagogues that I frequent even less frequently. All faiths and ethnicities seem to hang out here. For worshippers of the body beautiful, the David Lloyd Club beckons but behind it, and so easy to miss, lies a wonderful indoor bowling club, Glebelands, for the body slightly less beautiful but equally competitive. I see more human variety in the few square miles of this area than I did in the whole of Hollywood, and you’re far more likely to have a genuine searching conversation about things that matter with a total stranger here than you are with your next-door neighbour out there. Of course, anyone who lives in N3 has had to become a good sleeper as the police sirens echo up and down Regents Park Road every night without fail. You get less of that in Beverly Hills where crime isn’t allowed. Finchley Community 9

writer & director I love this Finchley — no, stop: I here were actually willing to change don’t love Finchley. Not like I might the party they voted for. There’s love a remote Greek Island. It has something in this suburban air that no great views, no sparkling sea, no says ‘don’t take us for granted’. Maybe breathtaking buildings. I don’t love it. that’s because although we live in I am at ease in Finchley, so much so London, we’re aware that a vast area that I wrote an entire TV series, The called Not London is only 10 minutes Jewish Enquirer, set here and shot it all up the road. on location entirely in the area. I admit In lockdown, I have been busy that there’s a particular joy in getting writing series 2 of The Jewish up in the morning and not having to Enquirer. Determined once again to travel for miles to start filming — but shoot here, I wrote an entire episode more than that as a crew we were based around a funfair in Victoria Park welcomed everywhere we went. If — and only after writing the first draft you think it’s usual for a director to be I realised that it may be some while able to walk into a before any funfair shop, or a school or comes back. So that “I am at ease in a restaurant and be one has had to move greeted with a smile to series 3 in the hope Finchley, so much you’re mistaken. that by then the new so that I wrote an And yet that is what normal will resemble entire TV series set the old normal. At happened. Of course, not here and shot it all on some point I must everything worked incorporate College location entirely smoothly. Try Farm — I’ve got used in the area.” finding a house in to it and even admire Finchley that hasn’t it but have no idea had the three-metre extension with why or how it ended up there. It’s a sliding glass doors opening onto a strange anomaly, neither fighting for patio. I was genuinely worried that the attention nor rejecting it, but somehow audience would think all the characters typical of an area that stubbornly lived in the same house because so refuses to be pigeon-holed. n many houses have a similar feel. The Jewish Enquirer has been seen In the meantime, the series is as a British Curb Your Enthusiasm on Vimeo where all six episodes and that makes sense to me. As Brits can be rented for a pittance we can all now choose to be enquirers if you live in Finchley: www. about the state of our society. This was thejewishenquirerseries1.vhx.tv. borne out at the General Election. We It’s also on Amazon for those in have a long-serving Tory MP but there HGS who insist on paying that was a real sense that it could swing, not bit extra: www.amazon.co.uk/dp/ just on numbers, but because people B083TCQZSQ 10 Finchley Community

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“The Treaty of Versailles, officially ending hostilities of World War One, was signed with Stephens Ink” Henry Charles ‘Inky’ Stephens

stephens house

Exploring the Stephens Collection Melanie Wynyard tells us about her favourite items in the museum


he Stephens Collection was established by the Finchley Society. It records and interprets the work and life of Henry Charles ‘Inky’ Stephens and the history of his Finchley home. Housed in the former coach house of the estate, this eclectic collection holds over 1,000 items ranging from deeds to Henry’s factories to Mrs Stephens’ hairbrush. Inky’s notebook Melanie’s work at Stephens House & Gardens includes curating the Collection. One of her favourite exhibits is Henry Stephens’s notebook. She says: ‘It tells us so much of his story and gives an insight into the man, his work and his passions. Many who know him as “Inky” the man who made ink, fail to realise that he was a highly skilled chemist with a broad range of scientific interests’.

On the flyleaf of this fascinating book is written in Henry’s hand: “Written as specimens of evidences of the colour of the inks shortly after manufacture”. It is dated March 1859 shortly after his 18th birthday, showing Henry’s early involvement in the company and the science. The notebook contains ink samples both in handwriting and colour wash which remain intensely vibrant to this day. By the second inscription of October 1864, Henry is using the notebook to record lecture notes, the first page of these notes is entitled ‘Lectures on chemistry by Dr Hoffmann’. These lectures run to 18 March 1865. There is little doubt that these notes refer to Henry’s attendance of lectures by August Wilhelm von Hoffmann the first director of the Royal College of Chemistry which opened in 1845. By 1853, the Royal College of Chemistry Finchley Community 13

became part of the governmental Department of Science and Art, under the School of Mines. The Ink Empire 1864 was a year that would change Henry’s life forever. Overnight Henry, still in his early twenties, became manager of an ‘Ink Empire’ with the sudden death of his father, a role he filled until his death in 1918. Until the end of his life he continued to experiment not only with the manufacture of colour, but also with antiseptic and disinfectants, the transference of germs and water purity. This he largely did in his purpose-built laboratory at Avenue House (sadly destroyed in an arson attack in 1989). Henry also found the time from 1887 to 1900 to be MP for the Hornsey division of Middlesex, which included Finchley. In a world before the advent 14 Finchley Community

of the World Wide Web or email, where hand or type-written paper correspondence was the norm, ‘Inky’ grew the Stephens Ink brand into a worldwide phenomenon. The collection houses the registration of the brand at most points of the globe, Asia and the Far East, the Americas, the African continent, and nearer to home, around Europe. What made this possible? Well ultimately, the quality of the product was to a standard not previously available anywhere, an ink that could write at any temperature and be indelible (could not be removed); these facts alone made it special and hugely attractive to countries around the globe not enjoying the temperate British climate. The attraction of an indelible ink made it the go-to product for all official documents worldwide. It was standard Stationery Office issue to all Government

departments. The Treaty of Versailles, officially ending hostilities of World War One, was signed with Stephens Ink. Stephens proved that even in the late Victorian era a strong brand is everything. The famous ‘Ink Blot’ logo and the stove enamel signs and particularly the thermometers, once a common site on every railway station and high street stationer’s store, remain to this day as a legacy of what made Stephens Ink a worldwide success. Of course, you can see many examples in the Collection and in the house.

Exciting times ahead The collection is about to move into the 21st century proper, thanks to a collaboration with some local tech wizards who are helping to digitise artefacts from the collection. This will enable showing them on the Stephens House website as 3D objects that can be viewed from all angles. Initial test runs of this amazing educational tool are proving exciting and it should go live in the nottoo-distant future. Melanie advises looking for updates shortly via social media. She hopes that your interest has been sparked in this fascinating man and that she can welcome you to the museum as soon as regulations allow. She adds that you can join the team as a volunteer to help spread that interest to Stephens House and Gardens visitors. n Melanie Wynward is visitor services manager at Stephens House www.stephenshouseandgardens.com/ about/the-stephens-collection Finchley Community 15


S T R E E T life Daisy Underwood tells Finchley Community Magazine how her hobby became a business opportunity


aisy Underwood is a 15-year-old schoolgirl and lives in Muswell Hill. She started painting road signs about five years ago. She comments: ‘We’d recently left West Hampstead and I wanted to remember where I’d grown up. I thought it would be fun to paint a copy of the road sign.’ Soon she did another for a friend and then had the idea to paint some local roads. Daisy went around Muswell Hill with her dad to see if she could find somewhere to display them. ‘If I loved having a painting to remind me of a special place then I thought other people might feel the same way!’, she says.

‘We noticed a new café, North and Ten, which had just opened next to the Everyman, and it had blank walls. There we met Oliver who said that he loved the paintings and that we were to bring some more the next day.’ Following this meeting, 16 Finchley Community

Daisy put up six paintings, set up an Instagram page and began to spread the word about her work. The mini exhibition stayed on the café wall for 10 months. Up to present, Daisy has been commissioned by people who love their road or who wish to buy one as a gift. One customer was Jodie Whittaker (the first female Dr Who) who bought a painting of her road: ‘It was amazing to deliver it to her and hear her say that she’s a fan of my work!’. As well as sharing her work on Instagram, Daisy has also sold at various fairs and markets including the Women’s Institute Frost Fair at Stephens House, East Finchley Summer Festival, Muswell Hill, Crouch End, Hampstead, and Winchmore Hill. ‘I never expected my little hobby to be going strong after five years and have people liking my work. It’s been great to have a creative activity during the recent lockdown period,’ adds Daisy. n If you would like to commission Daisy, or have an exhibition space, then please do contact her via Instagram: UrbanArtGirl or on Etsy: UrbanArtGirlShop.

urban art girl


M E M O RY L A N E Gloria Stoner and Barry Davison share their memories of growing up in post-war Finchley


Finchley in the 1940s by Gloria Stoner



was born in Blenheim House, Woodhouse Road, North Finchley at the beginning of World War II. Blenheim House was, and still is, Victorian in style built in the early 1900s, hence my recollections as a child were of a primitive nature. It had high ceilings, large rooms, fireplaces or oil stoves for heating, no bathroom nor kitchen, a stone-floored scullery with large sink, gas stove and a larder for food. The toilet was an outside privy attached to the house, complete with wooden bench seat and flush pull chain. Chamber pots at night were not good for people with bad knees! Bathing

was a tin bath by the fireplace, where we also toasted crumpets and suffered with chilblains from warming bare feet. My first memories are of waving goodbye to my uniformed father marching up Woodhouse Road in 1940. I didn’t see my father again until 1946 and didn’t know him when he came home. During the war years, my mother and siblings worked at the Highgate Golf Club. Lots of memories for me — falling into the stinging nettles, watching them jitterbug at night while hiding behind an armchair, laughter when an aunt sat in a bowl of cooling custard in the ladies’ cloak room, hiding under the huge kitchen table when sirens sounded. I attended Summerside School, Crescent Way, at the age of four. The air raid shelters were built on site and many lessons were held in them during the war.

Gloria with her school friends (back row with a bow) Left: A dip in the Finchley Lido, 1950’s

Finchley Community 19

A typical Anderson shelter

“It smelled earthy and was dark and dank. My grandmother refused to go in either shelter; instead, she sat under the stairs” For children, the war years were the norm. Ration book coupons were donated for birthday parties with iced-marzipan cake, jellies and blancmange. My Gran’s house parties in Summers Lane were fun — singing and dancing while someone played the piano or wind-up gramophone. Rag carpets were taken up, chairs set around the room, sandwiches of salmon and cucumber. I had frequent nightmares. You could hear the bombs and guns from miles away. Huge searchlights roamed the skies for enemy planes. The drone of those planes was terrifying. Worse were doodle bugs that were unmanned flying missiles. You heard the long whine from the bomb, held your breath for ten seconds and if you were still alive, then it had missed you. Sirens warned of air raids, and there were many nights of air raids and bombings. Many people took shelter along the platforms of underground stations but there were no such stations in Finchley. We had two airraid shelters. An inside, rectangular 20 Finchley Community

Morrison shelter like a steel cage about thirty inches high into which a family could crawl. In the garden, under our coal shed, was the Anderson shelter which was a corrugated steel cave in which you could build bunk beds, seating etc. It smelled earthy and was dark and dank. My grandmother refused to go in either shelter; instead, she sat under the stairs. Every house had blackout curtains. Gas masks were the worst. They smelled of rubber and I felt suffocated putting it over my face and still can’t have my face covered. In 1945, I had my first glimpse of the sea at Southend. I can still see the sun glistening like diamond droplets on the water. And with diamonds is how I shall finish because my husband and I will be celebrating our diamond wedding anniversary this year. n Gloria lived in the area for nearly 25 years before marrying, and then moving to Canada in 1963. She leads an active life in British Columbia, enjoying art, music and athletics and especially swimming.


Finchley in the 1950s by Barry Davison


was born in 1943 and my family moved to 63, Etchingham Park Road in 1947. I can remember the circus coming to Victoria Park, which was right opposite our house, and the whole company including animals (elephants and lions in particular) being in a colourful procession from Ballards Lane into the park. It was so exciting for a four-year old. I also remember one of the last full circuses there a few years later with a boxing booth where the resident pugilist would take on anybody for money. I was with my Dad, standing about three rows back so he had me up on his shoulders and when one of the local heroes gave the guy a decent whack on the hooter we got covered in snot and blood. Dad dragged me back home pretty quickly for a clean-up before Mum found out. The bandstand

We ‘won’ a black cat from that last circus (it was left behind, perhaps because my Mum had been feeding it!) so it became part of the family for the rest of its life. Cat had a very shiny coat so its name was Slinky. When I was a nipper, there was a bandstand in the park, also right opposite, and a really stinky pond a little further down the road, which we all fell in regularly when trying to skate on ice that was far too thin. I can still smell the mud, and for that matter I can still smell the elephant’s poo! What a wealth of happy memories I have of playing in that park from dawn to dusk. The bandstand can be seen in both postcard photographs, it was demolished around the time we arrived. The giant, majestic and unclimbable oak tree remained during our first residence there until 1955 but was gone 10 years later when we returned. The ‘Really Stinky Pond’ went in the mid-50s — not before time! Victoria Park was not fenced when we got there so ‘The bushes’ were fair game for all sorts of adventures! I think the railings must have been The ‘Really Stinky Pond’ The bandstand

Finchley Community 21

a trip down memory lane

taken for the war effort, but they were back again by 1965. Then there were ‘The Rough Lots’ which were, I think, also known as the Glebe. Down Squires Lane to the Great North Road, across the main road . . . and into trouble usually. ‘The Rough Lots’ were regarded as having a reputation for being ‘disreputable’ by most parents and enjoyed a long history of dastardly deeds going right back to Tudor times when some of the area was used to bury the dead from the Black Plague. The rumours were varied and exciting: highwaymen, mayhem, a hanging, more perverts per yard than Hampstead Heath, a murder, all sorts, but apart from one spectacular pennybanger fight I never saw any action 22 Finchley Community

there; we preferred the Lido up the Great North Way. The Lido was a massive open-air pool with high diving boards and a freezing cold fountain, but most of our swimming was done at Squires Lane indoor baths where everyone I knew learned to swim. I can still smell the chlorine and taste the steaming hot Bovril we drank in the miniscule café area afterwards; we also availed ourselves of the Brylcreem machine, a penny a dollop, in the entrance area. The New Bohemia Cinema on the ‘other side’ of Finchley Central station, was where we watched with open mouths as Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tensing climbed Everest for the first time in May 1953 — in colour! And then a month or so later, having


Trolleybus 613 making its way through Finchley

history enjoyed the coronation of our Queen in black and white on a wonderful new TV with a screen the size of a packet of fags, we were completely overwhelmed with the rich colours, sounds and pomp of the ceremony on the big screen. My sister and I went to the wonderful Manorside School, a happy place which set us up well for subsequent life, and my three children went there later on. Trolleybuses ran along Ballards Lane; the 660 and 645 took me to ‘big school’ in Cricklewood. The ticket was a ‘fourpenny-halfpenny half’ and I swear the bus leaned over at Henley’s Corner as all the lads crushed into the side of the upstairs nearest to the Naked Lady statue.

In the very early ‘50s there were still a few horse-drawn tradesman’s carts: rag and bone men, coal deliveries, and I remember our open fire burning the wooden tar blocks taken from the roads where the tram lines had been torn up — another unforgettable smell. I could write a book — In fact, I might well do that. n Barry built up a design and manufacture business, in Hendon. It outgrew his premises so he moved to Buckinghamshire in 1979. He is still actively involved with the design and motor-racing world, all of which initiated from his happy years in Finchley.

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Archie is 80!


The East Finchley Archer — or ‘Archie’ as locals christened him — was unveiled by sculptor Eric Aumonier on 22 July 1940. “It is more than a decorative device — it is powerful symbolism,” wrote London Transport’s staff journal, Pennyfare. Archie was a metaphor for the speed with which the new Northern line trains shot down into central London and beyond. – Londonist

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Art as



s an artist I understand the therapeutic benefits of what art brings; I see daily how children benefit from this expression through my classes and it always brings me joy. My art classes for children aged 18 months to four years are an introduction to colour, experimenting with different media and textures, generally exploring and having fun. Providing after-school art classes for five- to 11-year-olds has been an amazing and eye-opening experience. My classes are child-led, so I bring the ideas, the choice of medium and then I let them run with it. I love how different children approach the art; some children just want to scribble in different colours, some work in detail, each piece an individual expression.

26 Finchley Community

Children’s mental health has always been important to me. I believe that if children have good mental health, everything else, the grades, the attitude, will follow. A few years ago, I came across a therapy called Drawing and Talking. This therapy resonated with me as it is child-centred, just like my classes, so I decided to study the course. Drawing and Talking is a gentle and indirect approach allowing a child/young person to deal with any emotional issues or traumas through the subconscious. Children are impacted emotionally by many different events, struggles or traumas. Sometimes they are unable to make sense of how they are feeling and how those feelings are impacting on their happiness and ability to navigate the world. Children often find it hard to verbalise their feelings. They can


Lucy Meredith explains how creating art can gently help children to deal with emotional issues or traumas

abstract art


be externalised through adverse behaviours or retreat and internalise. Good mental health and emotional wellbeing of both children and parents is vital. Often, when we are overwhelmed, we feel afraid to admit we need help. Whether a child or young person, adult or grandparent, at times we all feel as if we are struggling. It is especially poignant, in these times, which are uncertain, unexpected and basically scary because of Covid-19. Lucy says: ‘You are not alone and help is out there’. The beauty of Drawing and Talking therapy is that there is no requirement to be artistic; the child leads the pace. The therapy is taken once a week, for

half an hour over a 12-week period. The sessions are confidential between the child and the practitioner; there is no direct questioning or interpretation of the pictures the child draws. Children can draw whatever they choose and over time, this powerful, yet simple method will help them work through any underlying emotions, not yet processed. They are encouraged to talk about ‘feelings’ using storytelling language to help them make sense of their internal world. Drawing and Talking is not intended to be used as a tool to ‘find out’ what is wrong or why the child behaves the way they do. It is not behaviour modification or used to ‘fix a problem’ that a child has or is experiencing. The technique is designed to give someone a safe space to make sense of their feelings and express them in a symbolic form. It should not be used to replace other specialist services, such as the NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, psychotherapy, art or play therapy. Drawing and Talking can be used as an interim tool while waiting to be seen by other professionals and can also be

Having previously lived in nine London boroughs, Barnet, and particularly Finchley, is definitely my favourite! I am a mother of two little girls aged eight and nine years and after having children I became interested in child development, especially the importance of good mental health. As an artist I love to paint as well as create art through other media paint, and a few years ago set up my company called Colour My World Arts. The company allows me to provide art classes for children from 18 months to 11 years, private one-to-one lessons, and take commissions for canvases and wall murals for nurseries, homes and businesses. 28 Finchley Community

art therapy used after referral has been completed to complement external agencies. As one of the many Drawing and Talking practitioners across the country, it is a privilege to be able to offer this service to people within our borough. I am passionate about Drawing and Talking because basically, it works. This intervention gives me the opportunity to help children who need it. The therapy is inclusive; it is not just a therapy for children showing negative behaviours, it is beneficial for anyone who feels constrained by the pressures of their life. Whether you are a gifted sports player and have been signed to a club, an academic heading for ‘Oxbridge’, someone shy and susceptible to bullying, someone who

has experienced loss or bereavement, or are angry and scared, the impact of these pressures are real for you and your child. We all have our own versions at some time or another, but these feelings can be processed, and life can, and will, get better. n Lucy Meredith can be contacted for a chat if you have any concerns. Lucy_claire@hotmail.com https://m.facebook.com/ colourmyworldarts/?ref=bookmarks www.drawingandtalking.com

East Finchley new opening times: Tuesday – Saturday 10am-6pm Sunday 11am-6pm Closed Mondays We are keen to buy books and can collect

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How does your garden grow? Diane Langleben shares her experiences of opening for the National Garden Scheme

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erhaps some of you are not ‘Yellow Book‘. This is published in familiar with the National January and is always a best seller. Garden Scheme. Neither was The entry described our ‘ . . . sculpture, I until I moved to my present the Bletchley Eagle, by William house over 30 years ago. The Mitchell and small orchard’. Bob spent vendors, Gilbert and Bob, still lived his career as an eminent architect next door and had opened the gardens and had commissioned the Eagle to both properties for the Scheme for to adorn a new branch of Barclays many years before we came on the Bank. However, the board of directors scene. Although I was no rejected the sculpture for gardener, I thought it was being too avant-garde a pity not to continue to “They could first and Bob found a home open what was a lovely wander around for it in the garden. The if somewhat neglected gardens really did lend the ornamental themselves to opening garden. Gilbert and Bob assured me that people vegetable garden for charity. Visitors were just wanted to pick up able to look around nextand small ideas for planting and door’s immaculate lawn, orchard before unusual shrubs with a were not interested in the odd weed. With relaxing over tea fine collection of hostas, my mind put at rest, on the terrace” before coming over to and with their help and my side of the fence. support, our garden was They could first wander inspected by the regional organiser around the ornamental vegetable to make sure that visitors would find garden and small orchard before enough to interest them for a visit relaxing over tea on the terrace, with of at least 20 minutes. She was most music provided. complimentary, and we were given Gilbert and Bob had always opened permission to join the Scheme. And so, on the third Sunday of May when the in 1987, our garden first had an entry in gardens are at their best and so we Gardens of England and Wales Open continued the tradition. I spent every for Charity, more fondly known as the available minute making my garden

stephens house

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The Bletchley Eagle by William Mitchell

as presentable as possible, with its profusion of geraniums and aquilegias in every hue. In that first year, the gardens were to open at 2pm on a lovely, late spring day. When I popped my head round the door at 1pm a queue was already forming, which was quite disconcerting. There was no turning back! The cakes and scones were baked, and a small band of musicians assembled to welcome several hundred visitors. It was quite exhausting, and it would not have been possible without help from some amazing friends. Even my children helped serve our ‘Finchley Cream Tea’ and were thrilled to be given tips by their customers. As tired as we were, it was wonderful to realise that we had raised a considerable amount that day for the Scheme, which passed on the proceeds to such beneficiaries as Marie Curie Cancer 32 Finchley Community

Care, Macmillan Cancer Relief and the Gardeners’ Royal Benevolent Society. The money we raised included the gate money, sale of young plants and the wonderful watercolours that Bob spent the winter painting.

Funny memories

We continued to open the garden for 12 years in all and I have lovely memories, some of which are quite funny. How can I forget the couple we found wandering round our house after closing time, who thought that the entrance fee included a tour of the house? Or the Japanese group who requested a private tour? Or the couple who wanted to hire our garden for their wedding nuptials? They had obviously never visited the garden because although about a quarter of an acre in size there are no large seating areas — even the lawn is pocket-sized.

national garden scheme

15 minutes of fame

It was Andy Warhol who said ‘“In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes’. Well, I didn’t become world famous, but I was featured in the Mail on Sunday colour supplement in 1997 and a television programme was made about the garden, where I guided Anne Swithinbank around the plot. Photographs were also taken for a book by Anna Pavord, gardening correspondent for The Independent. I thoroughly enjoyed my time opening the garden even though it was hard work knowing that I had to get the garden looking its best for that one day of the year. We stopped when it was becoming too much for Gilbert

to carry on, on his side of the fence, and I changed career from being a hospital pharmacist to editing a professional journal. All good things eventually come to an end, but I have the good memories — and my garden. In total, we raised upwards of £25k. Looking round private gardens is a lovely thing to do. In the past, there have been several Finchley gardens that have appeared in the ‘Yellow Book’. Sadly, most gardens will not open this year because of Covid-19. For an update, visit www.ngs.org.uk n Diane Langleben is now enjoying retirement after a long professional life. She is subeditor of Finchley Community Magazine.

DIANE’S THREE TIPS FOR GARDENING THIS MONTH Why not involve the children too? They will love having responsibility for:


1. Growing vegetables or herbs. If you do not have outside space, use a windowsill. Lettuce, parsley, radishes grow quickly from seed 2. Watering each day if there has been no rain 3. Deadheading roses so that they keep on flowering. Just twist the old flower heads off Finchley Community 00


Summer inspiration Nicky Reynolds talks about her favourite places to discover by yourself or as a family

Finchley contains many beautiful green spaces ideal for spending family days in the summer. Some are tucked away, their treasures hidden and waiting to be discovered. Dollis Valley Greenwalk

This beautiful walk follows the route of Dollis Brook with lots to explore along the way. Much of the route is flat, making it an easy walk for small children and most of it is suitable for cycling. It is also a lovely dog-walking route. The total walk is 10 miles long, beginning in Mill Hill and ending at Hampstead Heath. The mid-section runs right through Finchley and is easily accessed either from Dollis Road or Argyle Road. There are many opportunities for spontaneous play, such as climbing trees or paddling in the river, but if you’d like to add in some extra things to do, you could: 34 Finchley Community

Make leaf and bark rubbings Take paper and crayons with you, look at the different patterns of bark on the trees, choose some interesting-looking leaves and rub away! Play Pooh sticks There are a couple of points on the walk where a bridge crosses the brook — ideal for a game of Pooh sticks! Have a family competition, time your sticks from point to point and see how far up the brook they go! Maps of the full route can be found at: www. barnet.gov.uk/parks-sport-and-leisure/ walks-and-trails/dollis-valley-greenwalk



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It’s surprising to find a wild meadow tucked right in the heart of Finchley, but here it is! The area extends over 2.6 acres and has been developed by the Long Lane Pasture Trust. It is now a stunning venue in which to spend some leisurely family time meandering through the grassy footpaths admiring the amazing array of wildflowers and wildlife, perhaps stopping to have a picnic. While there you could also: Use sky scanners This is a really simple concept to encourage children to focus on things they can see. Before you set off, take a piece of paper, fold in four and cut off a corner. When you open it up, you’ll have a (more or less) circular hole in 35 Finchley Community

the middle of the paper. During the walk, hold your paper up and look through the hole. What can you see? When you move across, up or down, how does your view change? Do bird spotting The pasture attracts many different species of birds, including chaffinches, song thrushes and robins. If you don’t know anything about birds there are many birdwatching apps suitable for beginners. How many different species did you see? Remember to keep quiet . . . Birdwatching apps: www.gadgets.ndtv.com/apps/features/ bird-watching-apps-five-useful-appsto-get-started-with-birding-1640679


Long Lane Pasture


Golders Hill Park and Zoo

Although not strictly in Finchley, this park is well worth the short bus or car ride to get there. As well as usual park facilities, the park boasts a (free) zoo, a butterfly house and a café. During lockdown, the butterfly house and café were closed but the café has recently reopened for takeaway ice creams and drinks. The zoo contains a collection of rare and exotic birds and mammals which can still be seen. The park is spacious and there are ponds and woodlands to explore as well as being an ideal place for a picnic.

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GRAPHIC DESIGN websites logos flyers brochures stationery business cards photography & much more Richard Cooke 0773 632 4895 rtcooke74@gmail.com behance.net/rtcookecccf

While there you could also: Collect to make natural art Bring a bag to collect fallen leaves, petals and sticks to make a collage Remember not to pick wild flowers! Don’t worry if the children go off the idea of actually putting them together when you get home as collecting is at least half the fun! Roll down a hill This is another activity most people will remember from their childhood! There are a couple of hills in the park just right for doing this — have races, see who can roll the furthest — great fun!! n


Good mood food Thalia Pellegrini explains how what we eat can make a big difference to our mood


he summer holidays this year may feel a little different. Or, perhaps, exactly like the last few months . . . Either way, managing everyone’s mood through the summer break can be challenging. Keeping the family happy and entertained is one thing — but with long summer days also comes the (endless) requests for food, snacks and drinks. What we eat can make a big difference to our mood and our energy levels, kids and adults alike. I’m the ‘knackered mums’ nutritionist’. As a mum of two, I understand the challenges of feeding everyone quickly and well. Here are my top five tips for keeping the kids and you, nourished.

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thalia pellegrini

1 . B LO O D S U G A R R U L E S When our blood sugar levels drop, we can feel more prone to anxiety, quicker to anger and more tired — whatever our age. Cue sibling squabbles and parents with a little less patience. The best way to keep energy levels up is to aim to eat three meals a day that include the following: • Some protein (e.g. lentils, beans, chicken, fish or eggs) • Some healthy fat (e.g. nuts, seeds, olive oil, oily fish, avocado) • A complex unrefined or starchy carbohydrate (e.g. whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, sweet potatoes)


Protein helps fill us up for longer, healthy fats slow down the metabolism of protein, and complex carbohydrates deliver a slow release of energy. A winning trio!

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nutrition 2 . M A K E B R E A K FAS T C O U N T Breakfast doesn’t have to be a big meal, just focus on that magic combo of protein, complex carbs and some healthy fats to give you that all-important energy. This will set you all up for the morning and fend off those ‘Mum, can I have a snack?’ requests that can start about 20 minutes after you’ve cleared the breakfast plates.

One quick and easy option is overnight oats. A great summer alternative to hot porridge — this takes just a few minutes to prepare the night before. Oats are a great base because they are a complex carbohydrate but they lack protein so you might find that feel hungry an hour or so later. Try this recipe for a family hit: (amounts per person) • 1 cup rolled porridge oats • 1 tablespoon nuts (crushed works well) or 1 tablespoon ground almonds • ½ cup of frozen berries • Cover with your milk of choice Put everything into a bowl. Cover and put in the fridge. In the morning, add a little more milk or some Greek yoghurt, and some fresh fruit — try chopped banana, mango or grated apple or sunflower seeds. Get creative!

3 . E AT T H E R A I N B OW The more fruit and vegetables we eat (especially vegetables!) the greater the benefit to our health. Packed with nutrients essential for our well-being including vitamins A, C, magnesium and iron, all those fabulous colours are worth making the effort to get into our meals.

One good option for younger kids is to create a fruit skewer — can they make a rainbow? A smoothie made with bananas, frozen berries and some full-fat Greek yoghurt is another choice to have alongside breakfast. Plus, carrots, and peppers of all colours are great for dipping into hummus, tzatziki or guacamole. I find just putting a few dishes of colourful veg on the table around any meal, without asking the kids to eat them, guarantees they’ll graze. You’ll find yourself doing the same as you cook. 40 Finchley Community


How can you get children to eat more?

thalia pellegrini 4. SHIFT THE SUGAR

5 . S N AC K I N G

I know; it’s not easy. But aim to keep sugar to a minimum. It can affect behaviour, anxiety levels and mood. The government advises that kids under the age of four should avoid sugar-sweetened drinks and food with sugar added. Those aged four to six should have up to a maximum of 19g of sugar a day — that’s around five sugar cubes. That goes up to 24g or six sugar cubes-equivalent for seven to ten-year olds, then for anyone older than 11, it’s 30g or seven sugar cubes. To put that into perspective a Magnum contains about five teaspoons of sugar. A ‘serving’ of Haribo contains around three teaspoons.

If you or the kids fancy a snack, remember my advice from Tip 1. Aim for some protein and some healthy fats, for example: • Apple slices with some nut butter • Dark chocolate with a palmful of cashews or almonds • Hard boiled egg with cucumber sticks or carrot batons

Here are a few alternatives: • Watermelon on lolly sticks. Chop into triangles, cut into the skin and add a wooden lolly stick. You could dip the end into melted dark chocolate and chopped nuts before popping in the freezer. • Banana ice cream recipe: freeze ripe bananas, in pieces, for at least three hours. Then chuck them into a food processor and whizz up; it takes about two to three minutes, but you’ll end up with Mr Whippy-style ice cream. Add some fresh strawberries or frozen blueberries for more colourful options.

Thalia Pellegrini, FdSc DipION BANT CNHC, is based in East Finchley. Thalia spent ten years at the BBC, the last six of which were on-screen as a presenter. In 2005 she accepted a place at the renowned Institute of Optimum Nutrition in London. Having transformed her own health by working with a nutritionist in her 20s, she wanted to do the same for other women. Her professional passion is supporting women to make achievable, sustainable changes to their diet and lifestyle with bespoke nutrition plans. She shares recipes, blog posts and her #mumlife on Instagram @thaliapellegrini_nutrition Finchley Community 41

la di dah

House party! Jenna Pantelides, co-founder of La Di Dah, describes how to style a unique party


enna lives in Finchley but was born in Edinburgh. She came to London when she became a buyer’s assistant for Habitat. ‘Since having children I’ve seen a whole new side to Finchley, and I have made so many new friends after attending a baby class for new mums. The Arts Depot has also been a new discovery for me as I am very creative and love to encourage my children to be creative too.’ Business inspiration Jenna’s work in retail buying and interior design gave her the idea to start her own business. Together with a friend, she thought about how they could use their professional skills and creative passion to come up with ideas. While on maternity leave with her second child, Jenna wanted to plan a stylish, birthday party for her older daughter’s third birthday. She felt stressed and did not have the time

to shop around with a toddler and a five-month-old baby in tow. She spent hours putting together a theme for the party, looking in several different shops for cool party decorations. However, she had little success, and so the idea of creating themed party boxes came to her. Her business partner, who also has a background in design, loved the idea. ‘We decided to start a party box company, La Di Dah, with the concept of not only making party organising easy for parents but also offering fun decorations that both children and their parents would enjoy,’ says Jenna. Creating a theme Jenna’s themed party boxes contain carefully selected decorations such as banners, balloons, party plates, cups, party bags and ribbon to capture the child’s imagination and to make them feel extra special on their birthday. She hopes that children will walk into Finchley Community 43


the room and be blown away by funthemed decorations that make them jump with excitement. The party boxes have also been designed to take the stress out of party planning for parents, who only need to select the theme and party size they require. Tips for a special party Jenna generously shares her tips on how to style and set up the party, be it at home, in the garden, or a larger party in a town hall or soft play centre. One of her favourite themes, is the 44 Finchley Community

Cat Party, which adapts well outdoors. Jenna explains: ‘We created this theme because we wanted to offer our customers something unique and individual. The beautiful cat motif design allows the clients to mix our plates, cups and napkins with their own personal decorative items. In our cat garden party theme, we have included our own decorative serving dishes to display cupcakes, mini Victoria sponges and mixed berries. We have used the fence as a backdrop to display garlands and pompoms and included toys and accessories that are in keeping with the colour theme. If you are having your party outside, another lovely idea is to set up the top table and picnic blankets, rugs, cushions and bean bags on the grass as children always love this.’ The top table will be a focal point and perfect for displaying the birthday cake, perhaps with birthday garlands on the

la di dah

wall behind. ‘You can drape a tablecloth over the table and add our decorative pieces such as pompoms and balloons, along with fresh flowers.’ One of La Di Dah’s most popular themes is the mermaid party. Jenna says: ‘The shell napkins are so pretty and versatile and they can also be used as decorations. Lanterns can be made into jellyfish using crepe paper, which we provide in the box. This brings the theme to life.’ The Space Party Box has been styled indoors using a mixture of the company’s decorations and children’s toys to give a sense of play. The table features grouped helium balloons, to draw the eye upwards and set the scene

for a space adventure. ‘Another idea is to create a backdrop wall with our space rocket plates and banners,’ adds Jenna. Afterwards, the planets, rockets and garlands can be used to decorate the child’s bedroom or create a little space-themed den. A party at home can be just as memorable as a large party elsewhere. All children really want is to be made to feel special on their birthdays and have fun with their family and friends. Pick a theme that your child will love and bring their imagination to life! n Jenna Pantelides can be contacted at info@ladidah.london or via the website: www.ladidah.london

RV handmade @rv_handmade_rv email: rvartstudiouk@gmail.com

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community kindness

The Flower Bank Ursula Stone’s innovation makes sure that flowers don’t go to waste


n November 2016, while I was a mature student of floristry at Capel Manor College, I created The Flower Bank. This was a reaction to, and inspired by, two experiences at that time. The first was that as part of my course I was required to undertake work experience, which I did at a central London florist. One day, I helped prepare flowers for an event in the city for which the client spent £10k. To my horror, these stunning arrangements were only used for the day and were then discarded. Secondly, a friend died, and I prepared the funeral flowers. At the supermarket, I noticed that perfectly good but unsold flowers, past their sell-by date, were binned; I intervened and took them home. It was at that point that the Flower Bank concept was formed. After many emails and badgering of supermarkets and suppliers, I collected flowers and plants from a few supermarkets in north London, at all times of the day and night. I used the flowers for funeral wreaths and arrangements for organisations such as Barnet and Haringey’s Contact Centres and Friend in Need. In January 2017, I began providing opportunities for Haringey young offenders as well as

46 Finchley Community

running activities in care homes, day centres and dementia units across north London. In September 2018 I crowdfunded to open a pay-as-you-feel zero-waste florist and the target was reached the following January. I also received a pledge of £30k from the Mayor of London. I found the perfect premises and in December 2019 The Flower Bank was opened at 45a Leicester Road, New Barnet. The shop operates as a florist and garden centre from Monday to Saturday where we provide opportunities for Barnet young offenders and Duke of Edinburgh Award participants. During lockdown I organised a virtual miniature garden competition as part of the Chelsea Fringe and you can see the entries on Instagram @ miniature-garden2020. Last month you may have noticed abandoned bouquets around your area. To mark International Lonely Bouquet Day on 28 June, together with a team of volunteers, I made up bouquets to leave for people to find. n The Flower Bank reopened on 15 June; opening hours can be checked out at www.theflowerbank.org.uk


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community kindness

Sewing for the COMMUNITY How a group of local people are supporting our key workers with needles and threads


t the start of lockdown 2020 we connected through the Facebook group Sewing for our NHS and together formed Sewing for our NHS & Barnet Community group. Within two weeks we had a strong team of 40, all of whom were dedicated to supporting those who were working on the frontline throughout the pandemic. Many of us also work, have children at home to look after or have other difficulties to overcome; nevertheless, we gave up our time voluntarily and started to sew headbands, scrub bags and ear extenders. With the support of North and East London Sewers - For the Love of Scrubs, we are able to support the endless demand for these items as well as face masks and scrubs. As a group we have made over 5,500 items in less than two months, which have been given to care homes, hospitals, hospices, community nurses, schools and GP surgeries. We are making them for anyone who asks and will continue to do so, as long as needed. We are forever thankful to our wonderful team of volunteers and ‘couriers’ who have cycled around collecting and dropping off. All these people have made our group such a success, the irony being, because of lockdown, the majority of us have never met face to face; we all hope that day will come soon. We are always looking for new sewers to join our group. You do not need to be experienced and if you do not have a sewing machine, we always have need for people to cut fabric to speed up the process. Have a look at our website and Instagram page and join us in this new part of the journey. n www.sewingbarnetnhs.wixsite.com/website www.instagram.com/sewing_for_our_nhs_barnet Katiuscia Spanu and Sacha Kingsley, coordinators of the local group

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Work-life balance Zuzana Taylor shares her top tips to manage your time between work and family

BE REALISTIC •T  ime is limited with family responsibilities. It helps to be realistic about how much time you can give to your business and yourself every day

PLAN AHEAD •W  ork with people in your household as a team •D  iscuss every evening what plans you have for the next day and synchronise diaries and tasks • Having your family organised allows you then to focus on yourself and your business

TO-DO LIST •E  very morning, think of three tasks for the day •W  eekly planning to focus on three main things • Make a list of monthly tasks


work-life balance



A to-do list can be overwhelming so instead categorise in this order: 1 urgent and important 2 non-urgent but important 3 urgent but not important 4 non-urgent and not important

•D  o not be afraid to learn to delegate •G  et help around the house and consider childcare • Involve children in helping with house chores •A  virtual assistant or coach might be helpful for your business and keeping you on track •C  onnect with likeminded people to discuss any problems and share your experiences

ROUTINE •W  aking up early before the children gives you a block of time to exercise or work on a particularly important task •E  qually, if you are a ‘night person’, then that is also a good time for such activities •K  ids love routines; it gives them a sense of security knowing what’s happening and what to expect •A  llow for days off for quality time with family and friends and yourself • Rest, relax and recharge •T  urn off your phone giving you space to reconnect with yourself

CELEBRATE • To celebrate is an especially important part to remember • Acknowledge what you have done or achieved, either by gratitude or a weekly treat It will take time to implement these tips and for them to become part of your routine. Be consistent and do not give up. Work smart, not hard, and be organised. n

Being a mum feels like a full-time job already. When I started my own business it felt impossible to have any time for a business and myself. But it had been my dream for a long time and I was determined to make it a reality. I quickly realised that being a mum adds to our skills; we are organised, flexible, patient and used to waking up earlier; this worked in my favour. I still had to make sure that I managed time to create balance between work and family. Transformational Business Coach: www.zuzanataylor.com

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Finchley fairies It has been so rewarding to see how the fairy garden has brought people together during the epidemic. Many of the objects in the garden are donations from neighbours and local children. Elderly neighbours stop by to plant flowers and wave at my boys through the window and it has become the highlight of many family’s daily walk. The sweetest thing is that my boys have even made new friends that they write ‘Fairy Fan Mail’ to. I think the fairy garden offers a moment of magic and brightness, why not set up your own garden to spread the fairy magic! – Stephanie Romig-Orr


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Finchley Community Magazine July/August 2020  

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