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BLOOD: Today’s opportunities to donate blood are at City Temple by Holborn Viaduct, Thamesmead Morrisons and St John Centre in Isleworth. Free, see site for terms and conditions
COMEDY FILM: Currently on at BFI Southbank is A Serious Man, a Modern World: Buster Keaton and the Cinema of Today — a selection of films that celebrate one of cinema’s finest comic performers, Buster Keaton. See website for full details, until 31 January
THEATRE: Fancy starting the new year with a trip to one of London’s lovely theatres? Take a look at our list of stage openings this month and see what takes your fancy.
CHANGING SPACES: London artist Jonathan O’Dea presents an exhibition at Rich Mix that explores the physical changes to our environment and how these changes impact on our visual culture. Free, just turn up, until 31 January
THE SHED: The National Theatre’s excellent pop up performance space, The Shed, is a good place to discover new and innovative theatre shows. Catch a puppet elephant wreaking havoc in The Elephantom, or Rhys Ifans in Protest Song — a one-man show about the London Occupy movement. Both run until 11 January (only day tickets available for Protest Song).
GAME OF CROWNS: If you’re still desperately clinging on to the shreds of Christmas then go out with a royal bang at Kensington Palace’s Game of Crowns exhibition, which has its last day today. Join a quest to decorate your crown and journey through the King’s State Apartments, taking part in 17th century inspired games and activities to win decorations. £15/£12.40/children free, just turn up, 10am-5pm
IN A STITCH: If you have resolved to try something new in 2014 then you could pop along to Drink, Shop & Do in King’s Cross this evening for a Cross Stitch masterclass with Jamie “Mr X Stitch” Chalmers. Materials are supplied. £15, prebook, 7.30-9.30pm
COMEDY: Josie Long’s optimism, whether she’s talking about politics or whimsy, is infectious so we thoroughly recommend these informal work-in-progress nights at Invisible Dot. £8, prebook, 7.30pm (tonight and tomorrow)
FAIRYTALES: The excellent Crick Crack Club begin their 15th season at Soho Theatre with Love in the Shadows, where Sally Pomme Clayton tells gothic grown-up fairytales of love and desire. £9/£7, prebook, 8pm
London Connection Puzzle
Returns tomorrow, with a tricky one from reader Paul Baker, who was first to guess the final connection puzzle of 2013.
From the Archive
Last year on this day, we brought you part F of our alphabetical Where To Play Sport In London search, while the year before we published an interactive, detailed panorama of the London skyline, an amalgamated Boris Johnson and Ken Livingston, and finally multiple Paddington Bears spotted on Google Street View. That’s variety for you.
A brand new section, highlighting some of the more overlooked corners of the capital.
1. Metropolitan Police Hook, Great Newport Street
This curious appendage can be found to the west of Verve Bar, just off St Martin’s Lane. We can’t find any official corroboration, but a perfectly plausible explanation on various websites suggests that the hook was added to the building in the 1930s, as a place for police officers to hang wet capes.