Things To Do In London Today: Monday 13 January 2014

If you’ve not already done so, you can subscribe to these daily listings and have them delivered to your inbox at 7am every morning. Alternatively, subscribe to Londonist Daily to hear about events further in the future. And help spread the word to your friends who haven’t discovered us yet!

Lebensraum at the London International Mime Festival. Photo: Sanne Peper


BLOOD: Today’s opportunities to donate blood are at City Temple by Holborn Viaduct, New Cross Sainsbury's and Charing Cross hospital. Free, see site for terms and conditions

KEEPING DRY: Still recovering from Christmas and NYE? Try these booze-free venues.

THEATRE: Fancy a trip to one of London’s lovely theatres? Take a look at our list of stage openings this month.

RIVER ROAMING: Take to the Thames for the day with the City Cruises Sightseeing Supersaver voucher, which allows ticket holders to bob down the river, off the boat, back on the boat, up the river, and any combination thereof as many times as they like, all day for just £5. Download voucher online, until 13 Feb

ISRAEL: Israeli journalist Elon Perry is at the London Jewish Cultural Centre to present a talk on the Israeli/Arab conflict and the history of Israel from its establishment until today. £10, prebook, 2pm

KNIT: Get Your Knit On and sew together knitted squares to make blankets for older people this winter, as part of a workshop at Royal Festival Hall. Free, just turn up, 2-4pm

IRANIAN FILM: A screening of Iran: A Cinematographic Revolution takes place at Brunei Gallery, SOAS University — a film that traces the development of Iranian film, an industry that has always been closely intertwined with politics. £8.07, prebook, 6-8pm

IRANIAN FILM 2: This is followed by a screening of Facing Mirrors — a Persian film about two different people who somehow find themselves on the same journey. £9, prebook, 8-10pm

MIME: London International Mime Festival has begun – read our preview — and tonight you can see Lebensraum (based on Buster Keaton’s silent film The Scarecrow) at Southbank Centre's Purcell Room. £17, prebook, 7.45pm (festival runs until 1 Feb)

Good Cause of the Day

West Norwood Cemetery is a beautiful spot in South London, with 40 acres of landscaped cemetery built on the site of the ancient Great North Wood. We explored it in 2009 and Jeane Trend-Hill went back in 2011 to investigate the rarely-visited catacombs. Friends of West Norwood Cemetery (FOWNC) aim to increase knowledge and appreciation of the cemetery by holding regular tours, meetings and talks. If you like the work that FOWNC does and want it to keep on doing it, you can make a donation here.

London Connection Puzzle

Congratulations to Marilyn Collis who was first to guess last week's puzzle solution. Your clues were ESTHER, MARTIN, ELIZABETH and OSCAR. The solution is that they're all 20th century martyrs represented above the Great West Door of Westminster Abbey. Specifically, Esther John, Martin Luther King, Grand Duchess St Elizabeth of Russia and Óscar Romero. A tough one, but Marilyn got it from just two clues. She will set this week's puzzle, which begins tomorrow...and it's a bit easier.

From the Archive

In 2012, we attempted to ward off the 13 January blues with an article looking at what's wrong, from a structural point of view, with the Hammersmith Flyover. Jolly stuff. But if that doesn't knock your socks off, we really got the hang of things on 13 January 2013 when we published a London Alphabet Game based on what you'd say to Boris in a lift AND an image of a train ticket artwork behind the scenes at Paddington mainline station. January? HA. What January?


This week, the theme is Roman London. And to kick things off, we're going for a paddle. Many readers will have heard of the River Walbrook, one of the 'lost' rivers of London, which flows beneath the Square Mile to emerge at the Thames near Cannon Street. It's a sewer today, but was once at the heart of Roman London. The first semblance of settlement was probably established on the banks of the Walbrook, in the areas of Bank and Mansion House.


Above: the dig in Walbrook. Image by M@.

Yet the route of the Walbrook sewer today isn't quite as the Romans would remember. A recent dig on the old Bucklersbury House site revealed the original bed of the River Walbrook, several metres west of where it flows as a sewer today. It's not very photogenic (see below), but its discovery is exciting to historians of the city — not least because of the 10,000 small objects found in the wider dig. The site is now being redeveloped as offices for Bloomberg, who will incorporate some of the remains, plus the long-recovered Temple of Mithras, in a basement display open to the public.

walbrookAbove: soil from the ancient bed of the River Walbrook. Image by M@.

poyAbove: a Roman pot, in situ. Image by M@.