So, we didn’t win.

We were disappointed for a split second, but then quickly agreed that just being a finalist for Best Website at the Association of Independent Magazine Publishers’ Awards was praise enough for our fab little website and it still deserved a big pat on the back (end). So to celebrate, we packed Around Dulwich off to a day spa for tired WordPress sites and treated it to a shiny new makeover.

The transformation is amazing! Our homepage has had a total face-lift – the layout has undergone a few nips and tucks, and a lot of the excess weight it was carrying around its sidebar area has been redistributed and smoothed over. It is now the younger, fresher trophy wife of SE Magazines.

Like every good trophy wife, it is important to have a front row ticket to all the hottest events in town. And, as the official media partner for the first Dulwich Literary Festival, Around Dulwich was right there on the main stage of the Old Library at Dulwich College. Vince Cable opened the festival to talk about his book ‘After the Storm’ and was on fine form. Other events included talks from Melvyn Bragg, Huw Edwards and the hilarious Helen Lederer.

We went along to Helen’s stand-up performance, where she talked about women in comedy, the perils of appearing on telly in your swimming costume, and her fab book ‘Losing It’. Helen stuck around for a chat afterwards while she signed copies of her book and had us all in more stitches than from our recent facelift…

The streets of Dulwich had a spooky makeover for Halloween as green-faced witches, dragons, devils, vampires and Elsa’s (?!) trick or treated their way around every house brave enough to leave a pumpkin outside its front porch.

Now with the second half of the school term underway, I feel I can really start to enjoy the run-up to the festive season.

I’m particularly looking forward to Bonfire Night at Dulwich Sports Club on 7 November. It’s always such a fun event for all the family and the fireworks display is quite spectacular!

The One Tree Grand Christmas Fair, St. John’s Christmas Fair on Goose Green, and the Love West Dulwich Christmas Fair are all on towards the end of this month and provide a wonderful opportunity to support local businesses and have your shopping all wrapped up before December.

If you can’t hold on that long, then why not pop along to the Twisted-Vintage Jewellery & Reddskin Christmas Shopping Event on 6-7 November; or drop-in to the first of Jessica Walker’s Festive Opening hours in Dulwich Village on 11th November and enjoy 20% off as well.

As always, there is so much going on and our new events listings page has it all! You can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @arounddulwich.

This feature first appeared in the November issue of SE22 magazine