The weather is batty. One minute you’re showing some (pale) skin, reveling in the promise of summer, and the next minute you wake up to a snowstorm. What could, at first glance, be wonky hangover vision, is the undeniable truth: it is April, and it is snowing. And you can’t do a damn thing about it. So get out there, make a few snow angels, and then check out our guide to escaping the freeze on the cheap.Monday: The weather makes you head instinctively to Somerset House to ice skate, which is, however, cruelly closed until November. What to do? Head inside the Somerset House anyway to the little-known treasure trove of art at the Courtauld Gallery which houses one of the finest collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings in the world. On Mondays, the Gallery is free to the public until 2pm (and is always free for full-time UK students). This Monday, they’re giving a short, free lunchtime talk from 1.15 to 1.30 on the piano’s ethereal cousin, the 17th century harpsichord. Tuesday: What better way to cuddle up this wintry week than getting your cultural fix at a gay literary salon? Tuesday evening, head to Polari the monthly salon that features rotating guest authors and DJs. This week, Francis Bingham, biographer and editor of lesbian poet Valentine Ackland speaks. Upstairs in the colorful living-room-come-lounge at the Green Carnation, 5 Greek St. Starts at 7, reading begins at 8. Free. Wednesday: Any band who got its start as a back-up for burlesque’s reigning queen Dita Von Teese earns automatic cool cred. Devotchka, responsible for the theme music in Little Miss Sunshine, plays tonight at the Scala. For a mere tenner, you can see this wonderfully odd quartet play hauntingly joyful music that fuses Greek and Slavic influences. Get tickets here
Alternatively, find out why it took Ingres twelve years to paint Madame Moitessier when the National Gallery puts the painting in focus on its special late Wednesdays' lecture series.
Or, you could stay in and watch White Christmas. Or films on global warming. Whichever.
By Kira Hesser
Image of Nick from Devotchka taken from their website, with thanks