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).
Eddy Frankel commissioned a couple of Top Fives, 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), reviewed an exhibition at the V&A, visited an art arcade in Holborn and visited Portobello for a 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:
Photo: PDSA/English Heritage
Maria Dickin has until recently been an unsung hero for animal rights.
When she founded the PDSA she took a critical view of vets, and in 1931 she blasted them in a letter, writing:
“If you are so concerned about the proper treatment of Sick Animals of the Poor, open your own dispensaries; open them everywhere for there are vast factory, mining, manufacturing and dockland areas where nothing at all exists to help the Sick Animal…Live among it as we do… Do the same work we are doing. Instead of spending your energy and time in hindering us, spend it in dealing with this mass
Afterwards she compounded her fame by creating a record-breaking 10-tonne Christmas pudding in the Albert Hall as part of the PDSA’s seasonal bazaar.
Working as a writer, then features editor at the Hackney Citizen I got to cover lots of things I loved. Here’s a selection of the best:
“Six months ago I wouldn’t have agreed to be interviewed for a newspaper – absolutely no confidence there at all,” Paul confides.
“I’ve been using tools all my life, so that’s not much of an issue, but the main difficulty is actually dealing with people. At one point I just wouldn’t go near people. Now I can at least talk to them. I’m not exactly fond of it yet but I’m not running away from it either.”
I spoke to Paul about the charity project Restoration Station – a furniture restoration course for people going through rehab. Click here to see the feature in full on the Hackney Citizen’s website.
I worked as the features editor at the Citizen in 2015, covering stories including:
Dying to see a new film but feeling cheap/skint? I’ve set up a cheap cinema calendar of all the cheap films (some films free, most £7-and-under) in London – just click below to add it to your own GCal. Cinemas are all over town; some are showing the latest films, and some are screening old favourites (check out Cinereal for 35mm projection).
Shout out to Peckham and Stratford for having cheap cinema tickets all week long, and to the Prince Charles Cinema which has a £10 membership that gets you £1 screenings at least every month. There are also lots of great screenings in London’s pubs, and the Roxy Bar and Screen on Borough High Street gets a special mention for its regular weeknight screening events that usually come with a very cheap dinner option on side. I also love cinephile film clubs like the Blue Stocking Club in Waterstone’s on Tottenham Court Road – check out their Facebook page if the next screening isn’t published in the calendar below.
And it’s not all freebies, pub screenings and zone 3 cinemas, either – the big institutions are taking part too, but cinemagoers have be smart about what night they go out in town.Usually, a cinema’s most affordable tickets come up early in the week, when cinemas are less crowded. Off the top of my head, the BFI is the most central cinema in that list, with the Barbican coming a close second for convenient after-work dates with the big screen. Skint? NBD. You can still afford the silver screen on a shoestring.
Last week I was lucky enough to go to the Little White Lies x MUBI screening of Daisies and enjoyed it so much that I wanted to help other people in London get along to free and affordable London cinema events like it.
I hope to update quarterly – if you have any screenings you want me to add, I’m on email@example.com.
Other articles you might like:
London’s 10 Best Zine And Mini Comic Shops
Where are London’s best zine shops?
If the rustling of leaves underfoot makes you want to curl up in the corner with a coffee and a Xeroxed fanzine, you can shop at one of the ten best I’ve picked from across town.
My two personal favourites:
ICA, the Mall
If you’re looking for self published art books and zines, head to the ICA bookshop on the Mall. The selection is curated to include a huge variety of materials and techniques including riso printing, collage, photocopying, and digital colour news printing. It also covers more traditional topics such as poetry and architecture. The ICA does a regular monthly review of new zines on its blog, should you wish to check this out before visiting.
Ti Pi Tin, Stoke Newington
On 47 Stoke Newington High Street sits Ti Pi Tin, an art book shop with a cute selection of illustrated work. For starters, check out the the zingy, colourful Windowpane by Joe Kessler, and The Elder — a riso-printed witchy forest fairy tale by Esther Mcmanus. Perfect for browsing at the weekends.