Things To Do Today In London: Monday 16 September 2019

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There's a tea dance at the Royal Opera House

Things to do

TEA DANCE: Everyone's welcome at the Royal Opera House tea dance. Tango, waltz and quickstep your way around the dancefloor, to the sound of the Royal Opera House Dance Band. Your ticket includes complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits too. Royal Opera House (Covent Garden), £20, book ahead, 1.30pm

PHILIPPA GREGORY: Hear from Philippa Gregory — author of historical novels including The Other Boleyn Girl — about writing historical fiction, and why she is writing her new book, a history of women in England. She chats to Stella Tillyard, author of George IV: King In Waiting. Birkbeck (Russell Square), free, book ahead, 5.30pm-8.30pm

PUBLIC SPEAKING: Master the art of public speaking at this one-hour workshop by coach Emma Zangs. She focuses on public speaking in a business context — for example, in pitching — and uses a method of choreography, yoga, somatic and performance techniques. Museum of Brands (Ladbroke Grove), £45, book ahead, 6.30pm-9pm

Get an introduction to journalling with The Make Escape

ENGINEERING CLEANER AIR: Find out about air quality in London and what's being done to improve it at this free lecture and networking drinks. Expert speakers cover the challenges engineers face with dealing with air pollution in London, ahead of car-free day on 22 September. Institution of Civil Engineers (Westminster), free, book ahead, 6.30pm-9.30pm

STRANGER TIDES: The things that wash up in our oceans are the subject of a talk by physicist and oceanographer Helen Czerski. Learn about the difference between flotsam and jetsam, what the rules are for keeping things you find washed up on the shore, and why there's so much plastic in the ocean. Royal Institution (Mayfair), £16/£10/£7, book ahead, 7pm-8.30pm

MAKE YOUR OWN JOURNAL: Get into journalling with this introduction to the craft by The Make Escape. Customise your journal using Liberty fabrics (fancy!), and create individual pockets and sections unique to your own purposes. Ticket includes notebook, all materials, tips and advice, and a free drink. Drink, Shop & Do (King's Cross), £25, book ahead, 7pm-9pm

The focus is on America's ocean at the British Library

AMERICA'S OCEAN: Find out how and why the influence of the United States has grown in the Pacific  through history, and what consequences this has had for the American people. The British Library's Phil Hatfield uses maps, photographs and cartoons to take a deep dive into America's ocean. British Library, £12/£8, book ahead, 7.15pm-8.30pm

WAR ZONE JUSTICE: Hear from Kimberley Motley, an American public defender who quit her job in 2008 to join a program that helped train lawyers in war-torn Afghanistan. As her book, Lawless, is released, she tells her story of her time in Afghanistan, where she became the first foreign lawyer, and fought to overturn miscarriages of justice. Conway Hall (Holborn), £8/£5, book ahead, 7.30pm-9pm

Hear about Kimberley Motley's work in Afghanistan

TRUMP'S WHITE HOUSE: What's life like in the Oval Office now Trump's in charge? BBC North America Editor Jon Sopel gives an insight into what's going on in the West Wing, what it's like to be a reporter in the Briefing Room, and the current state of the relationship between the media and the president. It coincides with the release of Sopel's book, A Year In The Circus. Conway Hall (Holborn), £30 with a copy of the book/£20, book ahead, 7.30pm-9pm

THE GOONIES: Classic 1985 film The Goonies is today's offering at Backyard Cinema's Winter Night Garden. Choose between standard seats and beanbags, and step through a magical wardrobe into the cinema screen room. Capital Studios (Wandsworth), £18.99, book ahead, 8.30pm

Tube ponderings with Barry Heck

Our resident tube fancier dishes out daily thoughts on the London Underground.

Tube roundel made of play-doh

I understand that today, September 16, is World Play-Doh Day. That can mean only one thing in the Heck household. Little Miss Heck and I say down with the putty knife and crafted a play-doh roundel. Well, what else?

Follow Barry Heck on Twitter @HeckTube.

Good cause of the day

For a fancy night out, book tickets to this Saturday's Gala on the Green at the Garden Museum in Lambeth. It's a black tie do, so don your ballgown or tux for an evening of food, live music and free-flowing drinks. The event supports homelessness charity Depaul UK, with a specific focus on young people. Find out more and book tickets.

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