Monday, 19 May 2008

Oh we can dance again, take a chance again

A new group of students has just started their first week of classes, and I've been asked several times about my favourite things to do in London. It's always a hard question. (The real answer is 'almost all of it, which is why I still live here'. ;D)

I usually default to 'walking' as an answer, because it covers so much ground (pun intentional). I know I've asked the question of favourite free things to do here before, and the routes offered in the comments varied, but the walking was a constant*.

My other common answers (it really depends on the moment I'm asked) include the British Museum, the V and A, gigging**, and Borough Market followed by a kitchen full of friends, or a picnic in the park of your choice, depending on the weather.

And 'taking advantage of some of the free stuff that's going on'. No one's ever going to make an argument that London's a cheap place to live, but we're positively spoiled for fantastic free events, on top of all the free museums and galleries. Time Out lists no less than 101 free music events in the next seven days, and 36 free club nights.

Tabs I currently have open as I try and plan my diary over the next few weeks include:


(Plus the Royal Ballet's Romeo and Juliet on the big screen on the 1st, and a free new play, Nobody Lives Forever, at the Wellcome, which I can't go to because the performance times clash with my working hours. Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21 May, 12.30-13.30 and Thursday 22-Saturday 24 May, 15.00-16.30 for any readers with more flexible schedules.)

All of them, free as a free thing, and probably not even 10% of the free events happening in the near future.

~~~
* while Greater London is undeniably huge, there's so much within the bounds of the Circle Line that's never much more than an hours walk, so it seems crazy not to take advantage.

** it's been an excellent gig month for me, with shows ranging in size from the 02 to a friend's band in the pub, hitting the Union Chapel, Brixton Academy, Astoria 2, and Indigo 2 along the way (plus one Birmingham date, and another out of town show next weekend.) Friends and good live music - what's not to love?

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