Where will the mice live though?
It’s definitely worth signing up for the Somerset House newsletter. As well as bombarding you with missives about ice-skating, they also let you know about very lovely free exhibitions that they’ve got coming up in the near future. The one that caught my eye is the RIBA Forgotten Spaces exhibition. In the words of the website “The exhibition will feature 26 innovative propositions to renovate a series of London’s disused and abandoned spaces which restore them into public attractions for all to enjoy.” I’d like to turn the many disused offices in the Barbican building into a large soft play area for adults. This idea can not be seen at the exhibition though it is only available to view in my own head where tickets cost a LOT. Thankfully the RIBA exhibition is of a higher calibre and is absolutely free to boot. W
One lunchtime last week, just around the corner from Grays Inn Fields I saw this poster offering the services of a Law Student for free (for one session). You never know when you might need a bit of legal advice so do pass this on! Big up the Students! I got some nice new free pearly whites last year courtesy of someone who was studying Dentistry at Guys and St Thomas’. How good is that? P
On one of our lunchtime strolls last week, myself and W spotted the change of direction of the salubrious Chatterbox bar in Farringdon Road. It has gone from being just a “topless” bar to a “hostess” bar so it says above the door.
The best thing is, is that the sign’s been economically corrected. They only changed 3 letters thus saving them some signwriters fees into the bargain. Brilliant! P
It’s turning a bit chilly, so let’s hear it for the winter pub. Dark, wood panelled with plenty of ale on tap. And what could be better than the Old Cheshire Cheese at 145 Fleet Street? With it’s complete lack of any natural lighting, you can sit and imagine Dickens’ characters coming to life before your eyes. Or think about the old brothel that used to be upstairs…it’s up to you.
Get in for lunch, and stay till they chuck you out. W
Until the 22nd September there’s an exhibition and pop up store (very punk I don’t think) celebrating the work of The Clash at 75 Berwick Street, Soho and it’s all for free!
Forget the constantly ringing cash-tills upstairs and head down to the basement for some punk nostalgia if you’re interested in that sort of stuff. There’s a couple of paint splattered boiler suits, posters and other Clash memorabilia on show. One of the great things tucked away down in the basement is a photo of a younger looking Keith Levene (he of Public Image Limited and Metal Box in dub fame) playing his geetar at an early gig, a couple of cassette tapes from Don Letts (possibly) with handmade covers and a smart 101’ers poster (The band Joe Strummer was in pre-Clash with one Richard Dudanski who went on to join Public Image Limited too).
If you like this sort of rock history stuff head down. I’ve been, but passed on the Fender-sponsored master class to “practice some of the band’s famous licks”. What next, all the back catalogue remastered and played through Bowers and Wilkins Hi Fi system? Yeah, that’s there too! P
This week I picked up a leaflet advertising the forthcoming free Gresham College lectures at the Museum of London/Barnard’s Inn during lunchtimes (and evenings). There’s a variety of subjects covered, from “Cosmic influences on behaviour,” “Was Karl Marx always wrong?” and one which is well up my street what with me being the proud owner of the odd indian ink mark on my arm, “Distinguishing marks: The Tattoo”
Two stories sprung to mind when I saw the lecture, one was of a young punk from my home town in the midlands who tattooed his favourite band “UK Subs” onto his forehead in front of the bathroom mirror. Needless to say it was done the wrong way around!
The other involved a good mate who in the seventies, had the raffle ticket motif (above) of his favourite band 999 tattooed onto his arm. Years later he went to work in Greece teaching English at a secondary school. The first day he rolled up his sleeves, exposing his “tatts” and someone immediately informed the headmaster. He was then physically dragged out the classroom by a couple of the other teaching staff having no idea what he had done wrong! Turns out the kid’s previous teacher was involved in some mad satanic cult and then exposed in a national newspaper trying to corrupt children to the ways of “the devil”. And what does a large 999 on an arm look like when it’s upside down? Exactly! In the end my mate kept his job. but it took a bit of explaining as I don’t think 999 were that big in Greece!
Talking of music there’s a great free exhibition at the Barbican Music Library until September 28th. It’s Pete Frame’s Rock Family Trees that used to appear in the rock press (Zig Zag, NME and Sounds) throughout the 70’s and 80’s. Well worth seeing! P
The lake in all its glory
Are you bored of tramping familiar streets? Do your lunchtime ambles take you to the same old haunts? Then why not take a boris bike and explore before Summer buggers off for another 8 months?
Last week so took myself off to see what Hyde Park looked like in the fast-disappearing Summer sunshine. To be honest, I thought I might even get a swim in the Lido, but that was a step too far. The traffic from EC1 to the West End was quite terrific but it was all worth it when I got to the park. Cycling around the perimeter (you can’t cycle through the middle) on the dedicated lanes is very pleasant, and the road takes you all the way around the Serpentine, past the gallery and back round the Hyde Park Corner.
Give it a go anyway. W