Things To Do In London Today: Wednesday 15 May 2013

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Spirit of Summer Fair, details below.

SPIRIT OF SUMMER: Ignore the fact it is only 11°c in May, with the Spirit of Summer Fair at Olympia Grand. Boutique house and garden decorations, fashion accessories, summer gifts and gourmet food and wine will all be on hand to help you feel sunny. £18/£9, prebook for cheaper tickets, until 18 May

FORAGINGSift for your supper at a foraging walk and talk around Hackney Downs. Jason Irving from Forage Wild Food leads the walk and then talk alongside Blanch and Schock (design and catering company), Ipso-Phyto (food and medicine plant forager) and The Foragers (team of hunter gatherers) about a range of foraging subjects. £4, just turn up, 6pm

BEST FIRST NOVELS: Four authors shortlisted for the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award (Kerry Hudson, Lloyd Shepherd, Ros Barber and Patrick Flanery, if you want specifics) are reading and chatting at Foyles. Free, prebook, 6.30pm

AUSTEN: John Mullan hosts a Jane Austen quiz night at UCL: test your knowledge of Darcy et al. Free, prebook, 6.30pm

COMEDY: We’re kind of agog that Mitch Benn has never done a solo tour before. But he’s doing one now, so catch his brilliant musical comedy at Leicester Square Theatre until Saturday. £14/£12/£10, prebook, 7pm

BOTANY: Hear from an artist and botanist about Arctic Poppies, the northern-most flowering plant in the world, at Dana Centre. Free, prebook, 7pm

SCIENCE SHOWOFF: The fun takes place at the Star of Kings, in King’s Cross. Academics share their passions, including the biology of hangovers and the science of Megashark vs Giant Octopus. Free, just turn up, 7pm

DANCE DUETS: An evening of duets with seven performances — each featuring a dancer and musician. £10+bf, prebook, 7.30pm

SHAME: Try an experiment in catharsis and share your stories of shame at the Camden Head with Natural Born Storytellers. Free, just turn up, 7.45pm

FOLK’S FOLK: Steve Folk is a travelling troubadour who lives and records his music on his two roaming canal boats. Tonight he performs at The Narrow Pub and Restaurant. Free, just turn up, 8pm

FINGERSTYLE FRENZY: The Half Moon in Putney hosts an evening of the very finest British Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitarists tonight. £12/£10, prebook for cheaper tickets, 8pm

Shameless Londonist Plug of the Day
Londonist editor (and weatherman) Matt Brown will discuss some of the more creative maps published on Londonist over the years at a special Salon event in Westminster Arts Library (30 May). Rachel Lichtenstein will also be speaking about her new app, which brings her recent book about Hatton Garden to life. Only a few tickets remain, so sign up now.

Good Causes of the Day: Art Auction and Meet Jude Law
The Special Yoga Centre is a charity set up in 2004 to provide yoga therapy to babies, children, teenagers and adults with special needs. They help people with a broad range of physical and developmental challenges and offer yoga therapy on a donation basis, so no family is ever turned away. For six years, The Special Yoga Centre has held an art auction to raise much-needed funds for the charity, meaning it has evolved into a prestigious event with world-renowned artists donating their works for the cause. The 2013 event takes place tonight with artists such as Banksy, Mario Testino, Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin taking part. Tickets cost £40, prebook, 6.30pm 

Friends of Age Exchange are a group of people who work to support Age Exchange — a charity who work with older people to improve their quality of life. Age Exchange are based in Blackheath, and do you know who else used to be based in Blackheath? Jude Law. He joins Friends of Age Exchange on 23 May to discuss his career with Malcolm Jones, Age Exchange Arts & Education Co-ordinator. Tickets have just gone on sale and are sure to go quickly so don’t delay in booking. £25 (including tea, coffee, scone and jam, plus possible eye contact with Jude Law), prebook, on 23 May 11am-1pm

London Weather
In Travis’s seminal 1999 hit Why Does It Always Rain On Me?, singer Fran Healy hypothesises a connection between teenage mendacity and the onset of precipitation. “Is it because I lied when I was seventeen?” he enquires. Although a causal link between the behaviour of callow celebrities and raincloud formation might seem fanciful, it does have some basis in chaos theory, which famously suggests that a butterfly flapping its wings in Tokyo can start a hurricane on the other side of the world. In that vein, today’s downpours were caused by Barry McGuigan spilling some coffee on a friend’s rug in 2004 . The unseasonably low temperatures, meanwhile, have their origins in the world-weary sigh emitted by Bob Carolgees when he missed his bus on 4 November 1982. Everything else is George Osborne’s fault.

Whatever happened to Bob Carolgees? If you know, and can see this hidden text, do tell us.

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