Things To Do In London Today: Wednesday 20 November 2013

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Find out more about Ghostsigns at St Bride, details below. Photo: Sam Roberts.


BLOOD: Today’s opportunity to donate blood is at St Olave Parish Hall. Free, see site for terms and conditions.

IRISH FILM:  Drama, Documentary, Comedy, Irish Language Films, Animation and Shorts are all on offer at the annual Irish Film Festival in London, starting today. See website for details.

HIMALAYA: Austrian climber Kurt Diemberger headlines a line up of Himalayan pioneers at the Royal Geographical Society, telling of their respective quests. £30/£20, prebook, from 10.30am

MARS: Planetary geologist Natasha Stephen talks at City Lit about the Red Planet, the work being done on and around it, and why it is so important. £13.37, prebook, 4.15pm

PARKINSON’S: Parkinson’s UK holds a lecture at the Royal Institution, looking at the research work the charity does and how new treatments are tested in clinical trials. Free, prebook,6.30-8pm

SECRET CIRCUS: Find out some of the secrets and scandals in the streets around Oxford Circus on this Trails of the City guided walk. It includes a pub stop too. £8/£6, just turn up, 6.30pm

GHOSTSIGNS: If you are intrigued by Ghostsigns then head to St Bride for an illustrated talk by researcher Sam Roberts on the topic (and also take a look at our top 10 London Ghostsigns here.£15/£12.50, prebook, 7pm

SHORTS: Shorts on the Platform, near London Fields, screens four short films on domestic violence and immigration issues with intervals between each of them for the opportunity to comment, and followed by a panel discussion. Free, prebook, 7pm

JEWISH MUSIC: The London Klezmer Quartet presents a mix of traditional and original melodies, taking you on a Jewish musical journey from the Baltic to the Black Sea at Newington Green Unitarian Church. £9.35, prebook, 7pm

MEMES: Another Future Human talk takes place at The Book Club looking at the science of memes (short for the Greek word mimeme meaning ‘imitated thing’, did you know). £10, prebook, 7pm

ART CRAWL: An evening of art viewing, chatting and exploring Mayfair galleries starts at Hus Gallery on Hanover Street, courtesy of Art Collectors London. £10 (includes all private views and complimentary drinks), just turn up, 7pm

VIOLIN: Indian violinist Jyotsna Srikanth performs at Brunel Museum, fusing Carnatic classic music with her knowledge of Western music. £12/£10, prebook, 7.3opm

TRIBUTE: Writers including Simon Armitage, Carol Ann Duffy, Edna O’Brien, Christopher Reid and Tom Paulin take part in a tribute to Seamus Heaney at the Southbank Centre. £12/£10, prebook, 7.30pm

FILTH: The excellent Bright Club is once again teaming up academics and comedians for an amusing lecture on a particular theme. Tonight's is all things bottom-related, to celebrate the opening of the inaugural UCLoo Festival. £5.95, prebook, 7.30pm

GIG: Today’s music tip (we have a selection of them this week), as recommended by our friends at LondonGigGuide, is a spacey double bill with Worry Dolls and The Freewheel both performing at Strongroom Bar and Kitchen, Shoreditch. Free, just turn up, 7.30pm


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Good Causes of the Day

Held every year since 1946, the Musicians Benevolent Fund Festival of Saint Cecilia celebrates music and musicians, featuring a special service at Westminster Abbey this year. Free (donations welcome to the Musicians Benevolent Fund), prebook, 11am

London Connection Puzzle

Yesterday's clue was John Betjeman. Today's is William Webb Ellis. What's the London connection? EDIT: We now have a winner, so no need to email in.

From the Archive

Interested in London's buried waterways? Find out a bit more about the River Westbourne, its hidden route around London and where exactly you can still get a peek of it today, in this article from 2009 (we covered some others here too).

London Weather by Inclement Attlee

Today, I'm feeling lazy, so I've phoned up the 17th century and asked some Tudor friends to supply the weather forecast. Here it is:


Basically, god's massive right hand will debouch from the clouds to soak the bewildered denizens. "And I made it rain on one city," reads the Latin motto around this ancient forecast. In case you're wondering, this is the modern replica emblem of the New River Company. The scene is a pre-Fire London, with Old St Paul's Cathedral dominating the skyline. I found this hoary weather chart on one of the ornamental bridges in Clissold Park, but many others exist around town. In summary: London's a wet pisser of a place in this or any other century.