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Friday Finds - exploring new places in North London and the world wide web

We had a lovely half term week this week and took the chance to explore some new places and websites. Here are some of the things we found...

Local Gems
Last week we went for a walk along the Dollis Valley Green Walk. We only did a short part of it but it is actually a 10-mile riverside walk from Mill Hill to the northern fringes of Hampstead Heath linking areas of public open space along the valley of the Dollis Brook. It passes through Moat Mount Nature Reserve, Barnet Gate Wood, Totteridge Fields, and under Mill Hill viaduct. Most of it is easily navigatable with a pushchair (although sling would be easier) and there are a few good playgrounds along the way too.




With the autumn colours it looked absolutely beautiful and it was so peaceful that we could hardly believe we were in London for some parts of it.

A Room In My House (I wish)
We also visited the fantastic A Room In My House in East Finchley. This studio is open on weekends only at the moment and as it is on a small side street is not somewhere you would ever stumble across. Set up by two sisters, it sells a really great range of vintage clothes, houseware and hand produced gifts for children and adults. We had a really enjoyable time browsing here as there is a lot to look at and it is beautifully styled. Do come down on a weekend and have a look. You really don't know what you might leave with!


We've mentioned it before in our listings, but we recently visited for ourselves the storytime at Gails in Crouch End that is run in association with Hornsey Library on Wednesdays. Held in a small room at the back of the store, the storytime was very well attended and this may be in part related to the lovely free milk and cakes that the children are given! The adults were also treated to some very good coffee and olive bread. The stories were very well read and engaging and we took the opportunity to sample some other cakes while we were there, making this a very pleasant way to spend the afternoon. Do go along. The timetable is here - some of the events include craft making too.

Website of The Week - Story Of Mum


Our website of the week this week is a bit different to the usual. This lovely site was set up by a mother and daughter duo - Pippa and Penny Best - who wanted to create a new kind of community for mums,  where mums are celebrated and are given a space to be creative and imaginative.

I happened across this one morning when I had been up since 5am and was feeling a little glum about the day ahead and how much I had to do, and how little space in life there can sometimes be to do anything for yourself. The site with it's quirky sections (eg 'Confess your best lie', 'Photograph your chaos' and 'If It weren't for the kids' and pictured below 'I'm a mum and a...') both made me laugh and moved me. It reminded me that I am not alone in finding motherhood both challenging and amazing.

I'm a mum and a....

Even better it got me thinking creatively about how I could contribute to this wonderful project celebrating motherhood - I'll be photographing my chaos soon if I can open the door enough to get near it! More seriously I'll be contributing to the small but moving 'In Mumorium' section where people celebrate mothers they have lost.

I really love this site which is supportive in a different way to other mum type forums and if lots of people contribute to it, will be a wonderful record of what it is to be a mum (and grandmother) in the world today. Do go and have a look and contribute.



Have a really good weekend and do remember to tell us if you think there is anywhere we should check out and review as part of Friday Finds. We are happy to visit your class, restaurant, shop or website and report back to our readers. Just get in touch by leaving a comment below or emailing us at info@northlondonmums.com.

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