Tired of London, Tired of Life - One thing a day to do in London

A website about things to do in London

28 March 2015

Buy 'London, The Weekends Start Here: Fifty-two Weekends of Things to See and Do'

Your author is off on holiday for a little while, to experience first hand the Severe Weather Warnings of Scotland, but there's good news for those looking for inspiration in the meantime. There's a new book out...

Your author spent a considerable amount of time and effort putting together this new book, and the words are bolstered by illustrations from the very talented David Doran.

The blurb reads:

"During the week, London is the bustlingly centre of big business, with millions of people working all around the capital, but it’s at the weekend that the city really comes alive. 

With London, The Weekends Start Here, explore the unrivalled range of cultural, artistic, historical and outdoor experiences this dynamic capital has to offer, with plenty of time to achieve the unexpected before another Monday morning rolls round. 

Perfect for Londoners and visitors alike, discover 52 themed weekends, organised by season, with over 250 interesting and quirky entries for unusual and surprising attractions. Including all you need to know about location, transport and the best places to eat and drink. 

From Wild London in the spring to Nordic London in the winter and Tea Drinker’s London, Quiet London, Japanese London and more in between. Multicultural and historical, urban and wild, peaceful and vibrant – there’s plenty to do in London to suit your mood and interests, as well as the time of year."

For more, see http://www.amazon.co.uk/London-The-Weekends-Start-Here/dp/075355626X

Back soon...

27 March 2015

Go late at the V&A

This month's free V&A late event is inspired by their Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition, with music, a digital download trail, an Edible Bubble Experience - whatever that means - and a chance to go into a library that Alexander McQueen also went into at some point, and look at all the stuff in there. Books, presumably...

We are also told to expect kestrels, a life-drawing class where you can draw a tortoise, workshops, crystals and food and drink. Drop in any time from 6.30pm until 10pm.

For more, see http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/f/friday-late/

^Picture © Matt Brown used under a Creative Commons license^

26 March 2015

Listen to jazz on the Golden Hinde II

Your author has experienced great folk music on the Golden Hinde II, the replica of Sir Francis Drake's boat in Bankside, before. For those with an interest in experimental jazz, the venue is opening up tonight to jazz types from 7.30pm, with live acts from 8pm.

We're told to expect Feenß Quintet, which features Fini Bearman, Nicholas Costley-White, Matt Robinson, Tom Farmer & Dave Hamblett, as well as Double Bassist Ryan Trebilcock who is supported by guitarist Hannes Riepler, multi-instrumentalist Lewis Wright, saxophonist George Crowley & Time Giles.

For more, see http://www.jazznursery.com/

25 March 2015

Visit King's College London Chapel

Hidden deep within the Strand Campus of King's College London is a spectacular chapel designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott in 1864, to reflect the "character of an ancient basilica". Despite considerable damage during the Second World War which resulted in the lowering of the main ceiling to accommodate lecture theatres above, the Chapel still retains the grace and charm of Gilbert Scott's original design.

When your author dropped in yesterday, light was streaming through Joseph Nuttgens stained glass windows, candles remained on the benches from the previous evening's candle-lit service and a student had just dropped in to begin his organ practice, which drifted down the stairs on departure. The chapel hosts regular services every weekday and the public are welcome to drop in at other times when the Strand Campus is open.

For more, see http://www.kcl.ac.uk/aboutkings/principal/dean/chaplaincy/prayeratkings/strand/college-chapel.aspx

^Picture © John Salmon used under a Creative Commons license^

24 March 2015

Drink at the Old Red Lion, Kennington

Built in 1929 in mock Tudor style on the site of an earlier pub which traces its history back to the mid-18th century, the Old Red Lion in Kennington is a decent local pub with Grade II listing an interesting architectural style inside and out. Its inter-war quirks continue throughout, and whilst much of the interior is now given over to a modern idea of style, it retains its two bars separated by low doors, and its adzed oak ceiling and interesting beams.

It's even worth a visit apart from its architecture, with decent beers, friendly staff and plenty of board games, dolls houses and that sort of thing. They claim  like many London boozers to "pride themselves on their relaxed and friendly atmosphere that emanates the feel of a village local", but to be honest, when your author visited last week, that wasn't far off the mark.

For more, see http://www.theoldredlion.com/

^Picture © Tom Bastin used under a Creative Commons license^

23 March 2015

See the Hitchcock Mosaics at Leytonstone Station

Probably Leytonstone's most famous resident, Alfred Hitchcock was born at 517 Leytonstone High Road on 13 August 1899, the son of a greengrocer and poulterer. In 2001, a series of mosaics were unveiled at Leytonstone Underground Station to mark the great man's centenary, each depicting a scene from one of his great works, including North by Northwest, The Birds, Vertigo & Strangers on a Train.

We are told that the mosaics were produced by Greenwich Mural Workshop at the Macbean Centre in Woolwich, using around 80,000 vitreous glass tesserae, Scenes were chosen by local people, and artists included Steve and Nathan Lobb, Carol Kenna, Claire Notley and Julie Noburn.

For more, see http://www.thejoyofshards.co.uk/london/hitch/

22 March 2015

Celebrate Norouz at the V&A

A special event at the V&A today marks Norouz, or Persian New Year, with Persian classical music, folk dance, stories, poetry and sound sculpture.

The day also offers the chance to make a paper carpet, design a tile, see a calligraphy demonstration and take part in other activities, to mark a festival celebrated each year around the spring equinox by Iranians, Kurds, Afghans other western Asian groups.

For more, see http://www.vam.ac.uk/whatson/media/uploads/files/Norouz_Daysheet_Final.pdf

^Picture © Andy Aldridge used under a Creative Commons license^

21 March 2015

Come and see me at Watermark Books

Your author will be signing copies of his new book, 'London, The Weekends Start Here: Fifty-two weekends of things to see and do' at Watermark Books in King's Cross Station today from 3pm. It's a smashing little bookshop, well worth a visit.

The shop was opened in the new Kings Cross after its refurbishment, and was the first Watermark in Europe, part of a chain of travel-focused shops in Australia and North America. The shop has a great selection of books and very knowledgeable staff, which set it apart from usual station bookshops.

For more, see https://twitter.com/Watermark_Books/

20 March 2015

Watch the eclipse at the Royal Observatory Greenwich

There's a partial solar eclipse this morning, which, we are told, will reach it's peak at about 9.30am, when 84 % of the sun will be gone. We're not supposed to look at it with the naked eye, but thanks to Londonist's Where To Watch The Partial Solar Eclipse In London article, it's easy to find some people with telescopes and the like to help us look.

The eclipse continues from  8.25am to about 10.40am and Londonist's M@ tells us that the Royal Observatory in Greenwich will be opening at 8am to allow us to see the eclipse, whilst the Flamsteed Astronomy Society will have their big telescopes out in front of the General Wolfe statue in Greenwich Park.

For more, see http://flamsteed.info/event/solar-eclipse-viewing-event/

19 March 2015

Drink at the Colton Arms

A lovely little pub in the backstreets south of Queen's Club and Baron's Court tube station, the Colton Arms dates from mid-19th century, and is noted for its two storey stuccoed front with sash windows an authentic interior fitted out in what we are told is a 1950s 'publican's rustic' style.

The pub seemingly takes its name from George Colton Moore of North End Lane, who built it along with the adjoining terrace. Inside, it is a welcoming affair, far enough from the main roads, offices and parades of shops to retain a true 'backstreet boozer' air, and with not really enough space to get rowdy. Still, it's always been happily ticking over with customers when your author has popped in, and long may it remain so.

For more, see http://coltonarms.com/

^Picture © Phillip Perry used under a Creative Commons license^

18 March 2015

Do life drawing at the Zabludowicz Collection

Housed in a 19th-century former Methodist chapel in Chalk Farm, the Zabludowicz Collection has been an art project and exhibition space since 2007, displaying works from the permanent collection of Chaim "Poju" Zabludowicz - one of Britain's richest men - as well as special exhibitions and new commissions.

Tonight, the Collection hosts its weekly life drawing class with artist John Close exploring the current exhibition - Testing Ground by the Still House Group - through the human figure.

For more, see http://www.zabludowiczcollection.com/london/events/life-drawing-18-march-2015

^Picture from Wikimedia Commons^

17 March 2015

Listen to young people's music at Rich Mix

Let's be honest...none of us know much about the music of the youth nowadays, but over at Rich Mix in east London this evening there's a chance to find out what's going on. A free gig offers the chance to see some of London’s best young rock, pop and urban musicians.

Presumably, this event - part of Music for Youth’s London Rock, Pop & Urban Regional Festival- is a bit like the battle of the bands used to be down Stroud in the 90s, and we'll get to hear rock, pop, hip-hop and rap from some of the best local musicians in the area.

For more, see http://www.richmix.org.uk/whats-on/event/shoreditch-regional-festival-17-march/

^Picture © andrew woodyatt used under a Creative Commons license^

16 March 2015

Buy junk at The Junk Shop, Greenwich

In these days of overdevelopment, high turnover in high street shops, and upselling of old things as 'vintage' places like the Junk Shop in Greenwich South Street, Greenwich are few and far between nowadays, and whilst prices for its contents have inflated along with similar items elsewhere, it still retains a rather timeless aladdin's cave air.

The shop continues into a segmented downstairs rummaging area, which is well worth a visit, and where you will encounter various antiques dealers, and there's also a cafe/ tea room out the back, which is open daily from 10.30am until 4pm, and your author has recently heard rumours of a Junk Shop Meridian, though he hasn't seen it himself.

For more, see http://www.greenwichmarketlondon.com/shops/detail/the-junk-shop

15 March 2015

Attend the St Patrick's Day Parade & Festival

The annual St Patrick's Day Parade & Festival take place today from noon until 6pm in London. The event begins with a 1.5 mile parade from Piccadilly to Whitehall, before a stage in nearby Trafalgar Square will offer Irish music, song dance, culture and arts.

There will also be an Irish food market, children’s activities and the chance to talk to representatives of Irish community organisations. Notable events on stage will include people from the Commitments musical a W.B. Yeats 150th Anniversary celebration with Irish Ambassador Dan Mulhall and Young Poet Aisling Fahey Irish folk rock band Hermitage Green and the Lord of the Dance.

For more, see http://london.gov.uk/get-involved/events/st-patricks-day-parade-and-festival-2014

^Picture © Blowing Puffer Fish used under a Creative Commons license^

14 March 2015

Attend the Affordable Art Fair in Battersea

The Affordable Art Fair returns to Battersea Park this weekend, with art from over 1,100 drawn from 112 different galleries. Whilst some tend to have a slightly different conception of what constitutes 'affordable' than the rest of us, we are told there is plenty to be found under £500.


As well as the chance to buy some art, the fair also features workshops, demonstrations and talks, including a talk from SLAM (the South London Art Map) of the newest and most innovative galleries at the fair at 2.30pm.

^Picture © radim99 used under a Creative Commons license^