diamond geezer

 Friday, April 28, 2006

10 things to do in London over the Bank Holiday weekend
(three of which I've made up, sorry. I'm sure you can spot which)

1) Canalway Cavalcade: For three days every May Bank Holiday the charming canal basin at Little Venice fills up with colourful narrowboats from far and wide. The banks are packed out with canalfolk, localfolk and the usual kebabvanfolk who congregate at events such as this. It's busy, it's friendly, and where else can you see floating jazz this weekend? [photo, photo]
2) Land Of Make Believe: The 25th anniversary Bucks Fizz musical premieres on the West End stage on Saturday night. Join Jay, Cheryl and the other two blokes in a merry romp set at a suburban drinks party. Features such top hits as My Cocktail Never Lies, Now Those Martinis Are Gone and, of course, Making Your Wine Up.
3) Vaisakhi: Come celebrate the Sikh New Year this Sunday with Mayor Ken in Trafalgar Square. Try to ignore the fact that Nelson's Column is wrapped in scaffolding and, more importantly, that the correct date of the Sikh New Year was more than two weeks ago.
4) IKEA Fun Day: Celebrate Spring and all things flatpack at the freshly refurbished Swedish superstores in Wembley and Croydon. Expect face painting, giant Vikings, jazz on stilts, Pippi Longstocking and massage therapists, plus adopt a reindeer by winning the ever-popular children's colouring competition.
5) Replacement Bus Safari: Seven tube lines are undergoing track closures for engineering works this weekend, as well as five different overground lines. Bring your packed lunch and come join the travelling public trying to get around on clapped-out replacement bus services. Starts Kings Cross at noon (assuming anybody can get there).
6) East End Film Festival: A series of eclectic and diverse cinematographic experiences from around the globe, beaming out from the Genesis, Mile End and the Rio, Dalston. Richard E Grant is Director in Residence, and the festival opened last night with his semi-autobiographical drama Wah-Wah.
7) Gumball Rally: Beginning in London on Sunday afternoon and finishing in Los Angeles eight days later, 120 cars will cover 3,000 miles across three continents. There'll be all sorts of vehicles from million dollar hatch-backs to ice cream vans, and it'll probably all be unbearably wacky.
8) May Day March & Rally: Show solidarity with the TUC's glorious band of brothers (and sisters) on this red march from Clerkenwell to Trafalgar Square. You might even bump into a few rampaging anarchists along the way (assuming they're not taking Bank Holiday Monday off).
9) Kensington Hog Roast: Holland Park is the venue for W11's annual pig-sizzle. Bring Jocasta, little Oliver and the 4x4, or let the au pair take them instead and enjoy the morris dancing, pedigree dog show and property tombola without underage hangers-on.
10) National Cheese On Toast Day: Sorry, you probably missed this top event because it was held yesterday. A record breakingly huge piece of cheese on toast was grilled in Leicester Square using 1300 slices of bread and 90kg of cheese (alas Lancashire, not Red Leicester). No, honest. [photos]


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