Londonist In Your Living Room 26 March 2020: Bringing You The Best Of London

In place of our daily event listings, we're compiling the latest coronavirus news, views and resources for Londoners — as well as things you can do, and the ways you can enjoy this great city — without the usual access you have to it.

We also want to flag up all the positive ways that Londoners are finding to deal with the crisis, from good deeds to witty photographs. Please email hello@londonist.com with any contributions.

Ways to help, and reasons to be cheerful

  • Massive round of applause: At 8pm tonight, move to your front door, window, balcony or wherever to offer the NHS a big round of applause for all their efforts so far. It sounds like the most British thing ever, but similar shows of appreciation have taken place across the world. To coincide with #ClapForOurCarers, the London Eye is turning NHS blue tonight.
  • Happier times: Remember the London 2012 Opening Ceremony, which everyone assumed would be cringeworthy, but turned out to be a brilliant, inclusive celebration of British culture (and a huge salute to the NHS)? Well the whole thing is being replayed on TeamGB's Facebook page at 4pm this afternoon.
Relive the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony.
  • Takeaways map: Since being forced to close down, many restaurants have pivoted to offer takeaway and delivery food only. Website Still Serving has started a map of London eateries offering the service. By ordering direct from the restaurant (rather than a third-party service who will take a cut) you can help keep them afloat in trying times.
  • A sonnet a day: The timeless beauty of Shakespeare's sonnets read by one of the finest Shakespearean actors of our age. Join Sir Patrick Stewart each day as he shares one of the Bard's tiny masterpieces. Then tune into Amazon Prime tonight to watch the final episode of Star Trek Picard's first season (it should appear around 11pm), in which Stewart reprises his greatest role as Captain Jean-Luc Picard.
  • Online events: The Indytute has a pretty eclectic lineup of online events to bring "creative and social interaction live to your living room". Options include a pub quiz, a hula workout, ukulele lessons and a vintage china upcycling workshop. Tickets are £5 a bash.
  • Online fitness: It might not be the prettiest, but this board of sport/fitness/wellbeing 'solutions' has a vast collection of stuff you can download or subscribe to, to help keep you fit while in isolation.
Get creative with PLONK Golf
  • Crazy golf: Golfmeisters PLONK are closed, but they're encouraging people to keep playing at home, and have released design packs and videos to show you how to build your own crazy golf course. Get really inventive, share your creation using the hashtag #PlonkAtHome, and you might see your design rebuilt in an actual PLONK venue, once the virus is conquered. A great use for old bottles, trays and toilet rolls if you can no longer recycle.
  • Store cupboard: If, like us, you're looking at the back of your store cupboard with renewed interest, then check out the Facebook of  Swiss Cottage Indian restaurant Saffron Circle. Every Friday at 4pm, chef Santosh Shah will demonstrate how to whip up a dish from the kind of stuff we all have lurking behind the tea bags.
  • Generous gin: Buy gin and be virtuous. For every bottle of Hepple bought online, the company will donate £9.30 (an hour's Real Living Wage) to the Hospitality Action Covid 19 Emergency Appeal, which helps the hospitality industry in this, its darkest hour.
  • Free bike hire: The red, electric JUMP bikes are now free to use for anyone employed by the NHS. Uber, which runs the bike hire scheme, has offered a maximum of 50 redemptions to workers who register at jump.com/nhs. Uber assures us that the bikes are given a thorough, antiseptic clean at least once a day.
NHS worker? Hire me for free.
  • PPE: We salute London's conservators and conservation scientists, who have collectively donated many masks, gloves, aprons and other supplies to the NHS. Great idea.
  • Photoshoppery: Someone reimagined the Beatles' Abbey Road photo on the zebra crossing for times of social distancing. Others have taken on the baton, reworking other classic album covers.
  • Cockney knees-up: That singalong round the old Johanna we keep telling you about takes place tonight at 8.30pm, led by Tom Carradine. Details here, and don't forget to download your lyrics sheet before you tune in.
The London Eye turns blue tonight.

Latest London coronavirus news

  • London's intensive care wards are operating close to the limit, under a combination of coronavirus cases and staff sickness.
  • All flights to and from City Airport have now been suspended until at least the end of April. It may still see some action in the fight against coronavirus. It is located right next to NHS Nightingale, the temporary hospital set up in the ExCel centre, and may be useful for supply flights.
  • The virus is, of course, affecting transport staff too. Tom Edwards reports on how the tube network is having to deal with unprecedented staff sickness, not just from drivers but also station staff, signallers, admin, back office people, controllers, cleaners and more.
  • Victoria Park has been closed "following the failure of some visitors to follow social distancing guidance". The decision has been met with fury, and the suggestion that this will be counterproductive. Everyone seeking exercise will now be forced into smaller parks nearby, increasing the risk of disrupting social distancing.
  • The Great British Beer Festival has been cancelled. That may sound unsurprising, but the annual booze-fest was not scheduled till August. It's another sign that life will not quickly return to normal for many months.
  • That said, we see that Wimbledon (29 June-12 July) has not yet been called off. A decision is expected from the All England Club next week as to whether this year's tournament will go ahead.
  • The Gatwick Express will reportedly close from Monday. So few flights are now serving the airport that the shuttle service is no longer viable.
  • "I'm stuck in isolation with my homophobic parents." A reminder from the BBC that some people in isolation have more to contend with than food deliveries and running out of toilet roll.
  • "Pay your staff" scrawled on the window of a Wetherspoon pub in south London, after claims that the chain's staff wouldn't be paid while the pubs were closed. The decision has since been reversed.

And in other news

It's the 200th anniversary of Mornington Crescent, famed for its tube station as well as a long-running radio game.

Fact of the day

Social distancing measures introduced on the London Eye... in our imagination.

Like all attractions, the London Eye is currently closed while the city remains in lockdown. We had a bit of fun, above, imagining how it might operate with strict social distancing rules.

Did you know the London Eye (normally) has 32 capsules, one for every borough of London? The observant eye might notice, however, that the capsule numbers go up to 33. There is no capsule '13' in accordance with the European tradition that this number is unlucky. One of the pods is also designated the Coronation Capsule, as one of the more peculiar tributes to mark the 60th anniversary of the Queen's coronation. She's never taken a ride; the Queen fears revolutions.