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BLOOD: Today’s opportunities to donate blood are at Lambeth Town Hall in Brixton, East Wintergarden in Canary Wharf and Sainsbury’s in Sydenham. Free, see site for terms and conditions
COASTAL PHOTOGRAPHY: Courage on our Coasts, a Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) exhibition, opens at City Hall today, featuring photos taken by volunteer life boat crew member Nigel Millard and depicting the work that RNLI crews do. Free, just turn up, until 10 March
FREE CONCERT: Catch some Mozart and Dvorak courtesy of violinist Alexander Janiczeck and Guildhall Chamber Orchestra in a free lunchtime concert at Bishopsgate Institute. Free, just turn up, 1.05pm
WINE TASTING: Selfridges’ Festival of Imagination takes an alcohol-fuelled turn today, as Dawn Davies hosts a masterclass in Finding the Flavour of your wine — how to pick out the flavours, and how to describe them. We feel more sophisticated already. Adults only. £25+bf, prebook, 6pm
THEATRE HISTORY: Forty Years of Paines Plough celebrates the history of this theatre production company, which has launched the careers of many playwrights. This event allows the public to hear tales from the road from the company’s 100+ past productions and learn what the future holds in store. £4/£3, prebook, 6.30pm
COMEDY: There’s free improv today and every Tuesday at the Top Secret Comedy Club in Covent Garden with Shoot From the Hip. One of our team caught the show recently and heartily recommends it. Free, just turn up, doors open 7pm
POETRY LAUNCH: Christopher Reid, Liane Strauss, Jacqueline Saphra, Richard O’Brien and more read at a launch of a pair of books of love poems inspired by Ovid, at the Tea House Theatre in Vauxhall. Free, just turn up, 7pm
FILM SCREENING: The Pavement Perspective screen their film about London’s rough sleepers, which they hope will speak to those desensitised to their plight. Homeless Londoners who participated in the film will be available to answer audience questions. Free, prebook, 7.30pm (bar from 6pm)
CHINESE CRAFTS: The lovely people at The Make Escape are back with their monthly craft evening, this time based on the Chinese Year of the Horse. Learn how to make paper lanterns or rosettes, or simply learn to knit. There is also a bar and live DJ. Free, just turn up, 7.30pm
POETRY UNPLUGGED: Niall O’Sullivan hosts Poetry Unplugged, an open mic night that has been running for more than a decade, at the Poetry Cafe. £5 / £4, just turn up, 7.30pm
LITERARY STAND-UP: A new monthly comedy event, In Yer Ear, kicks off tonight around the theme of literature. Brace yourself for poetry, prose, monologues and more, with the evening culminating in live music. Suggested donation of £1 to Macmillan Trust, (there will be a £3 charge for future events), just turn up, 7.45pm
Good Cause of the Day
Celebrity hairdresser Andrew Barton’s Covent Garden salon hosts a glamorous fundraising evening in support of the British Association of Adoption and Fostering (BAAF). Have a personal hair consultation while tucking into canapés and champagne, plus goody bags and a chance to win a hair appointment with Andrew Barton himself. Ooh la la. £25, prebook, 6pm
London Connection Puzzle
A new puzzle starts today, courtesy of last week’s winner Josie Degaris. Your first clue is JOHNSON. Frankly, at this stage, the theme could be just about anything, so don’t guess yet, but wait for clue number two tomorrow.
From the Archive
This time last year, we were admiring this oil painting of the London Underground, sent in by reader Tony Harrison. It features a tube carriage of people avoiding interaction, all plugged in to the telling white earphone cables. A year on, the only thing in this picture that has changed is probably the music the commuters are listening to, and the amount they pay for their daily cattle-truck-style ride.
This week’s theme is ‘street oddities’.
Today’s entry is the Emotive Bollards of Montague Close. If you walk around Southwark Cathedral, on the river side, you’ll notice a row of thigh-high bollards preventing cars from mounting the pavement. Each bollard has a pair of reflectors set at just the right height and separation so as to resemble eyes. There’s no way you can walk past and not think ‘Egad, those bollards are watching me’.
It’s a long-standing and mischievous tradition for people to adorn these bollards with further facial features. We’ve seen sad bollards, happy bollards, maniacal bollards, beardy bollards, and there are many more examples on Flickr. We don’t condone graffiti, but whoever installed this tantalising street furniture must have foreseen the consequences.