diamond geezer

 Friday, May 26, 2006

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

1) Nettle Day at the Natural History Museum: "Celebrate the common nettle, as part of the national Be Nice to Nettles Week. Join us to unearth the nettle's many uses throughout the ages, both in Britain and in other parts of the world, with talks, demonstrations and displays throughout the Museum - you can even try some nettle-based refreshments for yourself."
2) Chelsea Flower Show: At the Royal Hospital, not the football ground, a lot of horticultural gurus plug their own TV series by constructing row upon row of ostentatious gimmick-filled gardens. But the flowers are pretty.
3) International Low Tide Day: Happens every year on the Saturday in May with the lowest tide. A family event searching for minibeasts and undegraded litter on the Thames foreshore by Hammersmith Bridge (wear old clothes and wellies).
4) Metronet Mystery Tour: Come ride the rail replacement bus from Moor Park to Watford, to celebrate incompetent infraco Metronet forgetting to pre-stress the tracks before the hot weather started. Might be fun hurling rotten tomatoes at the contractors.
5) London MCM Expo: Imagine a giant exhibition hall full of collectible comics, a Robot Zone, 'top class' manga, costumed sci-fi geeks, an Anime Village, a Games Arena and celebrity appearances from the cast of '24' and 'Battlestar Galactica'. Sounds like absolute hell, doesn't it?
6) Purves & Purves: Massive relocation sale at my favourite Tottenham Court Road interior design shop (must end Monday). Did I mention I once saw Dermot O'Leary there doing his Christmas shopping?
7) The Long Weekend: Celebrate the Tate Modern's rehang with four themed days of arty events. Starts on Futurist Friday, continues with Surrealist Saturday, slips up alliteratively with Abstract Sunday, but finishes off appositely with Minimalist Monday.
8) Brentford Waterside Festival: Mmm, street entertainers, face-painting and balloon modellers down by the Grand Union Canal, plus (hold your breath) an "interpretative display of the history of Brentford". The Farmer's Market might just redeem it...
9) The Queen Mother Collection: Not many people know that Her Deceased Royal Highness used to be an accomplished artist. Buckingham Palace hosts her private collection of racey corgi portraits, saucy seaside postcards and bawdy Edwardian sketches.
10) Paradise Gardens: Recreating a Victorian Pleasure Garden in Victoria Park, E3. Carter's Steam Fair are coming, and the thumping Bassline Circus, and the intriguing Black Maze (crawl alone around the back of a truck in the dark), and more. We know how to have fun in Tower Hamlets, we do.

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