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

A website about things to do in London

26 November 2014

See Kew Gardens by night

It's that time of year again, and with the nights getting longer by the day and autumn turning to winter, the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew open their evening illuminations tonight for the beginning of a season which will see them open from 5pm until 10pm from now until 3rd January.

Visitors are promised a garden of fire, a tunnel of lights, some sparkling giant snowflakes, a Father Christmas' grotto of some sort and plenty of lit up trees and greenhouses. as well as Victorian fairground rides and seasonal food and drink.

For more, see http://www.kew.org/visit-kew-gardens/whats-on/christmas-kew-event-details

^Picture © Ben Hanbury used under a Creative Commons license^

25 November 2014

Do life drawing at the Goldsmiths' Centre

The Goldsmiths' Centre was opened in Clerkenwell in 2012 by the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths as a collaborative learning, working and events place for jewellers and silversmiths. It also hosts events and classes for ordinary sorts and every last Tuesday of the month London Drawing hosts a life drawing class in their "creative space".

The classes cost £10 and tickets are usually available on the door. We are told that the drawing session features a variety of models, poses and approaches, and boasts lots of tuition and a friendly crowd.

For more, see http://www.goldsmiths-centre.org/whats-on/public-events/life-drawing-class-with-london-drawing-2/

^Picture from Wikimedia Commons^

24 November 2014

Wander in St Andrew's Gardens

Once a burial ground for St Andrew's Holborn, until it was closed to burials in 1850, St Andrew's Gardens off Gray's Inn Road has been open for public recreation since 1885 when it was acquired by St Pancras Borough Council.

Today, it offers grass and trees interrupted by occasional flower beds and 18th century tombs, in a relaxing haven from the thundering nearby traffic not too far from Mount Pleasant.

For more, see http://londonist.com/2008/09/natureist_st_andrews_gardens.php

23 November 2014

Attend a fair at Turner's House

It seems a bit early to be thinking about Christmas, but at Sandycombe Lodge, otherwise known as Turner's House, the country retreat of the famous painter, they're already firing up the mulled wine vat and the lucrative gifting opportunities for a Christmas fair which offers the chance to buy cards, prints, scarves and jewellery.

If nothing else, it's a great opportunity to get into the house that was home to Professor Harold Livermore until his death in 2010, after which it was left to the trust to be preserved as a monument to the painter. The house was added to English Heritage's Heritage at Risk Register last year, this might be your last chance to see it this year.

For more, http://www.turnerintwickenham.org.uk/christmas-fair-sunday-23-november/

^Picture © Jim Linwood used under a Creative Commons license^

22 November 2014

Attend the Blackheath and Greenwich Amnesty International book sale

As regular readers will be aware, the Blackheath and Greenwich Amnesty International church book sale is something of an institution in south east London, and is also recognised as one of Amnesty International’s most successful fundraising events. Their autumn books sale takes place today at the Church of the Ascension in Dartmouth Row from 10am - 4pm, and this is a special "half price" edition, with reduced books on offer.

The Blackheath and Greenwich Amnesty International annual book sale has been taking place for more than 40 years, and remains as popular as ever, held within a church first established by a relation of US President, rebuilt in 1750 and extended in 1838, before finally being declared a parish church on Ascension Day in 1883.

For more, see http://www.amnesty.org.uk/groups/blackheath-and-greenwich/autumn-half-price-booksale

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

21 November 2014

Explore Sherlock's City, late at the Museum of London

A special late opening at the Museum of London this evening as part of their Sherlock Holmes exhibition brings life drawing, improvisational comedy, a maze of memories and self defence lessons as well as some specially-commissioned theatre.

You will also be offered the chance to hear talks from memory expert, Ed Cooke, undertake workshops with creative art people Hurdy Gurdy, dust your wine glasses for prints and find out how to profile psychopaths. As usual with these things, it'll either be great or it'll be awful.

For more, see http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/london-wall/whats-on/adult-events/late-events/

20 November 2014

Explore the Institute of Sexology

Inspired by a feature on the Today Programme featuring Meg John Barker, your author popped in to The Institute of Sexology preview at the Wellcome Collection yesterday lunchtime, and found within it a thoughtfully-presented exhibition on the study of sex, looking at the work of pioneers such as Magnus Hirschfeld, Marie Stopes, Masters and Johnson, Sigmund Freud and Alfred Kinsey.

Themed around places in which sex research takes place, the exhibition focuses on objects relating to sexology, with original artefacts such as Marie Stopes' table of sexual arousal and videos of porcupine sex displayed alongside relevant books like the Joy of Sex, and contemporary artworks exploring sexual identity by artists such as Zanele Muholi and John Stezaker, The exhibition will be accompanied by a number of upcoming events, such as "Cruising for art", "Researching Pornography" and "Uncovering Freud", from now until the "Institute" closes in September next year.

For more, see http://www.wellcomecollection.org/exhibitions/institute-sexology

19 November 2014

Visit St Mary's, Barnes

A grade II* listed church which traces its history back to the early 12th century, St Mary's Church in Barnes was extended in the 13th century, and a tower was added in the 15th century, helping to create much of the church we see today.

Though parts of the building were destroyed in a fire in 1978, the majority is original, and the church hosts regular concerts and other events.

For more, see http://www.stmarybarnes.org/index.html

18 November 2014

See Alex Chinneck's Melting House

Your author only noticed it on Sunday, and today is the final day to see Alex Chinneck's - A Pound of Flesh for 50p melting house art installation on Southwark Street near London Bridge.

Installed as part of the Merge Festival, the work features a life size house, built from 8,000 wax bricks, which has been being melted by hand since late September.

For more, see http://mergefestival.co.uk/merge-events-2014/2014/9/19/alex-chinneck-a-pound-of-flesh-for-50p-the-melting-building

17 November 2014

Drink at the Bricklayers Arms, Putney

Your author recently spent much more time than usual in Putney, and during this time he was reintroduced to its oldest pub, the Bricklayers Arms, which was built in 1826 and was originally known as the Waterman’s Arms, due to passing trade from Thames boatmen.

Towards the end of the 19th century, the new railway lines brought even more opportunistic developers to west London than we are used to today. With riverboats no longer the most popular form of transport, the pub was renamed after its new clientèle. Today, it's one of the best pubs in the area, more popular with CAMRA members than bricklayers, due to its rotating real ale selection and themed beer festivals.

For more, see http://www.bricklayers-arms.co.uk/history

^Picture © Matthew Black used under a Creative Commons license^

16 November 2014

Attend the Great British Bioscience Festival

The Great British Bioscience Festival has been taking place in Museum Gardens, Bethnal Green, and continues today until 3pm. The free festival explores the world of biology via interactive science exhibits and the chance to talk to scientists.

The festival is part of the 20th birthday celebrations of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and, we are told, features glow in the dark seeds, a virtual farm and a human gut you can walk through.

For more, see http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/news/events/1411-gb-bioscience-festival-london.aspx

^Picture © Santero on Reddit used under a Creative Commons license^

15 November 2014

Wander on Putney Lower Common

First protected along with Wimbledon Common in the Wimbledon and Putney Commons Act of 1871, Lower Putney Common is a pretty area of grassland and trees that couples with Barnes Common and Barn to provide an almost uninterrupted green space between Barnes Station and Beverley Brook, a tributary of the Thames, west London.

In recent years, the Common has been the source of controversy in west London circles over Wandsworth Council's plans to convert the former Putney Hospital site into a new primary school and flats, leading to the formation of a Friends of Putney Common group, which seeks to prevent inappropriate development at the old Putney Hospital site and to protect Putney Common.

For more, see http://www.friendsofputneycommon.org/

^Picture © Shaun Ferguson used under a Creative Commons license^

14 November 2014

Listen to music at the London Jazz Festival

The EFG London Jazz Festival kicks off today, with free performances at the Albert Hall, the Southbank Centre, Kings Place, the Barbican and Ronnie Scott's, and plenty of other events running until the 23rd November.

The Festival has been running since 1992, having evolved from the Camden Jazz Week which has been taking place since 1970, and claims to be London's pan-city music festival, whatever that means.

For more, see http://www.efglondonjazzfestival.org.uk

^Picture © Richard Kaby used under a Creative Commons license^

13 November 2014

Drink at the Thornhill Arms

An externally attractive 19th century street corner pub off the Caledonian Road, marked by its tin-glazed pottery tiles bearing the livery of former Bethnal Green brewer Charrington's, the Thornhill Arms is a decent place for a drink of an evening, and rarely gets too busy.

The Thornhill is marked by its central oval bar, wooden floors and furniture and old photos, which help it to keep a comfortable air of authenticity in an era when pubs are often ruined.

For more, see http://www.fancyapint.com/Pub/london/the-thornhill-arms/981

^Picture © Julian Osley used under a Creative Commons license^

12 November 2014

See the Spirit of Soho Mural

Completed in 1991, the Spirit of Soho Mural is found on the corner of Broadwick Street and Carnaby Street and is filled with Soho greats including Karl Marx, William Blake, Dylan Thomas, jazz musician George Melly, amongst many many others.

London Remembers tells us that the restored in 2006 by Shaftesbury PLC and The Soho Society, and each striking of the hour on the clock sees actress and opera singer Theresa Cornelys wink at Casanova, whilst Marx takes a sip of Coca Cola.

For more, see http://www.londonremembers.com/memorials/spirit-of-soho-mural

^Picture © Duncan Harris used under a Creative Commons license^