Things To Do In London Today: 14 November 2012

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KISSING: pucker up for a mass snogging stunt under the mistletoe at the opening of the Ideal Home Show at Christmas at Earls Court. Turn up to register and be ready to smooch for 9.45am.

AUCTION: Holborn's Paolozzi bronze (pictured) is being sold by Bonham's today, in case you're interested in bidding for the eight foot tall sculpture of The Artist as Hephaestus.

LUNCHTIME MUSIC: Get away from your desk and enjoy a free classical recital at St Olave, Hart Street EC3. Free, just turn up, 1.05pm.

BIG BANGS: We might get the bumps but Prince Charles gets wished a happy birthday by a 41 gun salute in Hyde Park at noon and 62 rounds fired at the Tower of London at 1pm.

LIGHTS: The Marylebone Christmas Lights event presents Christmas carols from schools, a tombola, stalls on the streets, face-painting and a switch on with Claudia Winkleman. Free, just turn up from 3.30-6.30pm.

SOLARIS: The first UK staging of Stanislaw Lem’s 1961 cult classic opens at the Courtyard Theatre. Tickets £16/£14 pre book or just turn up. Curtain up 7.30pm.

BALLET: There are still tickets available for the mixed bill by the wonderful Ballet Black at ArtsDepot in Finchley. Tickets are just £16, book or just turn up, show starts 7.30pm.

HORRORGAMI: Last chance to see the macabre first solo show of paper engineer Marc Hagan-Guirey, aka Paper Dandy at One and a Half Gallery, Ardleigh Road N1. Free, just turn up between 10am-5pm.

BATMAN: Watch The Dark Knight Rises at Roxy Bar & Screen, Borough, for just £4 (members free). Turn up for 8pm.

SHOPPING: Submit to festive feelings at the feelgood shopping evening, Boutique de Noel in Kensington Town Hall and support London charity, Junior League of London. Tickets £35 (include entry to shopping on Thursday too, pre-book. From 6-10pm.

RUN IN THE DARK: race over 5km or 10km in Battersea Park to raise money for the Mark Pollock Trust. Registration £22.95. Starting pistol 7.30pm.

EPIPHANY: London Storytelling Festival brings Martin Dockery and his Wanderlust to Leicester Square Theatre, "a true and hilarious anti-adventure". Tickets are £10/£8. Book or chance turning up. Show begins at 7pm.

TRIPLE GIG: The Strongroom Sessions present an interesting line up of new music talent, including a Chilean folk singer, a duo influenced by 1920s rembetika and a singer who sounds like a chocolate egg. Free, just turn up for 8pm.

BEER FESTIVAL: Hackney's Pembury Tavern embarks on five days of real ale celebration.

Random London Fact of the Day

Following our story about the New River Tunnel inspection, we remembered that water from the New River Head was once used to fill a huge tank on the Sadler's Wells stage, to enable "aqua-dramas", often re-enactments of naval battles, to be performed between 1804-1824. In the early days, the transition from normal play to aquatic finale could take up to 40 minutes to set up.

Whilst checking our facts, we uncovered a tragic story that occurred during one of these scene changes. On 15 October 1807, a quarrel broke out in the pit. Cries of "Fight, fight" were mistaken for "Fire, fire" and in the ensuing panic, 18 people lost their lives, crushed or trampled as the audience fled the auditorium.


The temperature will shimmy between 10 and 11 degrees for most of the daylight time. Set your SAD lamps to strong as it will be overcast for most of the day. Best time to go for a head clearing walk might be around 3pm, when some sun might briefly struggle through the cloud. Put your heating on timer as it could sink to 2 degrees overnight.

Random Hidden False Rumour Of The Day
While your humble editor is on his hols this week we're playing true or false with M@ facts. Number 3: "Heather" is M@'s crafting alias. All theses knitted figures are his own work: Answer in the comments please.

Photo by Steve Reed via the Londonist Flickrpool.