Welcome to December

In Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, the ghost of Marley is wound in chains as he tells Scrooge he must change his ways. Here in Primrose Hill, we wind our contributors with fairy lights and baubles. If you write a book about having fun, then basically you’re fair game in our eyes.

Thank you, Ben Aitken, for being a sport and letting us tangle you in festivity for our front cover. Local author and erstwhile volunteer at the library and Shelter, Ben has a new book out, My Year of Having Fun, and he’s passed on to OTH some suggestions of fun things to do in London. Ben suggests places close to home such as Kentish Town City Farm, Hampstead Heath and a bench in Primrose Hill! He also suggests places further afield to give yourself a lift.

The converse applies to Christmas shopping – keep it local and don’t venture further than our own streets. Our shops need your support more than ever. We’ve supplied a selection of gift ideas to get you started.

If you’re having a traditional roast this Christmas, then also shop local; and if it’s to be vegan, we’ve some tasty suggestions for you inside. Plus our local chef and food writer, Yotam Ottolenghi, is always inspiring if you need to pull off something impressive for guests. He recently gave a talk at Cecil Sharp House about food, family and life. I hope he’ll forgive me for filching these links from his Instagram account, but I’d like to recommend at this fraught time a couple of charities which are doing great work in both Israel and Gaza: www.theparentscircle.org and www.savethechildren.org.uk.
Closer to home, our foodbanks are really struggling to keep up with demand, so spare a thought for them.

Have a happy Christmas …

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