In my most audacious use of a book review ever, I gave a talk for the Vine Collective at the William Morris Gallery in August about what I learned from reading Etta James’s autobiography, Rage To Survive.
The Vine Collective has been behind a number of brilliant events in the past year, including a night of music from The Magnetic North at RIBA, and so I was really chuffed to be on the bill with Salena Godden at one of Kirsteen McNish’s nights. Click ‘Read more’ to read the talk in full.
I haven’t done a lot of talks but last February I did a bit at a night in Dalston called Romantic Misadventures and last year I read short stories at the Peckham Pelican. Follow the links to find out more about those two readings.
While working as a listings writer for Time Out I got the chance to cover the homes of London heroes as the lead feature in the Things To Do section. My favourite entries were for Luke Howard – the man who invented the naming system we still use for clouds – and Nipper the Dog (yep, the HMV hound). I also wrote a feature on London’s best (free) gardens.
Eddy Frankel commissioned a couple Top Five, which ran in the front of the mag (click here to read one of those on the blog), and a couple of street guides (Marchmont Street in Bloomsbury and Pitfield Street in Hoxton).
I also covered 12 Things To Do In Parks This Summer (PDF) for issue 2383, reviewed an exhibition at the V&A, visited an art arcade in Holborn and visited Portobello for issue 2375’s markets feature.
Thanks to the listings editor who kept in this cheeky line about George Michael’s bottom.
If you liked this, you might also want to read features I’ve done for another London publication, Londonist:
Just minutes from the ‘Refugees are Welcome Here’ sign on Dalston Lane, a mocked-up shipping container is being set up in the basement of the Arcola theatre. I interviewed director Tess Berry-Hart about the child refugees she met as a cahrity director in Calais, and why she decided to recreating the experience of trafficking was so integral to her play. Click here to read it on the East End Review site.
Dunno about you guys but sometimes I do my day job, and then do some other work afterwards. Also, sometimes I like to have coffee with people after work instead of pints. Here’s a Google map I’ve made of places in London that stay open to 8pm on weeknights (or later) that do coffee.
Cafés that qualified for this map are places that, generally:
- would be convenient for someone to take a laptop
- would be OK for someone work for about an hour without feeling like he or she was annoying anyone
- have laptop surfaces (mid-level tables, for example)
- aren’t noisy
- are good
I haven’t considered whether these places have wifi or plug sockets – most have wifi, some are cool with you using their power. Some of them sell booze but none are pubs or bars and none of them have drunk people. Call ahead or do a reccie if those things are important to you.
If you know a good café to add to this map, please say hi! email@example.com
Chris Watson makes sound for BBC Wildlife docs, and he also makes sound art installations. After I heard his latest one, Okeanos, I got a chance to talk to him about listening, whether his work is political, and the one animal he’s found it impossible to record.
Click here to read this piece as it was published by Caught By The River.
If you like the kind of nature writing featured in CBTR, you might also like to check out a new journal called Elsewhere. Disclosure: I have done a couple of pieces for them about going on holiday to a lighthouse, and witnessing the aftermath of the 2015 floods in the Lake District.