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BLOOD: Today’s opportunities to donate blood are at The Old Town Hall in Stratford, Tesco in Beckenham, Central Library in Bromley and the usual permanent donor centres. See site for terms and conditions.
NEW EXHIBITION: The Clockwork Factory in West Hampstead hosts Failure of the American Dream, a photography exhibition by Phil America. It consists of photos from his month of living far below the poverty line, in San Jose’s The Jungle, America’s largest Tent City. Free, just turn up, until 28 August
WRITING SOCIAL: Drinks Thinks and Inks is a relaxed creative writing social open to everyone. There are short exercises to get your imagination fired up. No experience necessary, groups and individuals are all welcome. Takes place at The Proud Archivist in Haggerston. £10, prebook, 6.30pm
SWING DANCE: Learn to Swing Dance at Drink Shop Do in King's Cross. There are classes from 6.30pm, with individuals and couples welcome, and a social dance from 8.30pm. £8/£10, just turn up, from 6.30pm
HARUKI MURAKAMI: Following the release of his much-hyped new novel, Haruki Murakami’s book is being discussed at The Japan Foundation. Particular focus is on the connections and meanings between colours and characters. Free, prebook, 6.30pm
SOUNDS OF LONDON: Head to The Social and listen to rarely-heard and never-heard recordings of London’s life from the 1950s back to the late 1880s. The event is hosted by Ian Rawes, formerly of the British Library’s sound archive, who founded the London Sound Survey with a collection of 200 recordings five years ago. £3, prebook, 7pm
WHAT THE DICKENS: See the London of Charles Dickens on this guided walk. Visit the last remaining London coaching inn that he himself visited frequently, his first place of work and learn about the places and characters that inspired much of his writing. £5-£10, prebook, 7pm
FREE COMEDY: Pulp Comedy (the new name for Comedy Knights) has a show at The Hemingford Arms in Islington. Performing will be Trevor Crook, Luke Graves and Lea Rose Emery. Free, just turn up, 8pm
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Good Cause of the Day
On Friday, Laura Mvula will be performing an intimate gig at The Hippodrome Theatre to raise money for Centrepoint. Just 100 tickets are available for the show, so get in quickly. Tickets are £100, which includes a champagne reception and canapés. Find out more and book.
From the Archive
Last year we shared a gallery of London signs with questionable and downright worrying things on them, including mutant marine creatures and the origins of some of our favourite politicians.