Things To Do Today In London: Monday 20 May 2019

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Hear readings from the Man Booker International Prize shortlist

Things to do

CHELSEA AND BELGRAVIA IN BLOOM: Two free flower festivals begin today, offering a free alternative to the Chelsea Flower Show. Belgravia in Bloom has a 'language of flowers' theme, while Chelsea in Bloom focuses on marine mammals. Look out for floral sculptures and arches around both areas all week. Both free, just turn up, 20-25 May

LAST CHANCE: Two big exhibitions are entering their final week. Only Human: Martin Parr is a show of the photographer's portraits of people from all over the world, offering wry observations of the nature of Britishness. National Portrait Gallery, £18-£20, book ahead, until 27 May. Over in Walthamstow, Cultural Revolution features state propaganda from Emperor Mao's China, where the colour red and images of the leader are prevalent. William Morris Gallery (Walthamstow), suggested donation £5, just turn up, until 27 May

Belgravia in Bloom is back (photo from the 2018 festival)

ISLE OF DOGS: Join Footprints of London tour guide David Charnick for a wander around Cubitt Town — the area of the Isle of Dogs that was redeveloped by William Cubitt in the 1840s. These days, the community he created is often overshadowed — literally and metaphorically — by the nearby financial district, but this walk aims to redress the balance by remembering the international impact of Cubitt's work. Jack Dash House (Cubitt Town), £12/£9, book ahead, 2.30pm-4.30pm

YOUTUBERS: Journalist Chris Stokel-Walker and YouTuber Simon Clarke chat about Chris' new book, YouTubers, an in-depth look at the creators who've forged careers out of the platform. He interviewed more than 100 people for the book, charting YouTube's rise from its very first video to a multi-billion dollar site. Waterstones Tottenham Court Road, £20/£7, book ahead, 5.30pm-7.30pm

LIFE DRAWING: Get your sketch on at Flesh and Bones life drawing class. All artists, including beginners, are welcome, with a qualified tutor leading the session, and all materials provided. Hackney Picturehouse, £15, book ahead, 7pm

Clare Balding discusses women's football

WOMEN'S FOOTBALL: TV presenter and sports expert Clare Balding and other panelists discuss the history of women's football in Britain, in advance of the women's world cup kicking off next month. The sport is currently the most popular it's ever been, but it wasn't always so — women weren't allowed to play at professional grounds between 1921 and 1971. British Library, £15/£10, book ahead, 7pm-8.30pm

FORENSIC TALKS: Forensics lecture Jennifer Lees takes you into the mind of a serial killer on this talk about the psychology behind the crime. Find out how serial killers are classified, hear common myths debunked, and find out about the phenomenon of serial killer couples. It's not a cheery topic, but it's a fascinating one. Lighthouse Bar & Club (Shoreditch), £12, book ahead, 7pm-9pm (sponsor)

Pundemonium comes to Shoreditch

MAN BOOKER INTERNATIONAL PRIZE: On the eve of the winner being announced, shortlisted authors and translators for the Man Booker  International Prize gather for an evening of readings and discussion around the books. There's also a Q&A and book signing. Southbank Centre, £12, book ahead, 7.45pm

PUNEDEMONIUM: Bank holidays, Labour Day and tired Theresa May are the themes for this edition of Pundemonium, a live comedy game show aimed at addicted punners. Warning: things often get raucous. The Book Club (Shoreditch), £10/£8, book ahead, 8pm-10pm

Tube ponderings with Barry Heck

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

The tube map contains more oak trees than you might have imagined. Burnt Oak and Gospel Oak will quickly spring to mind, along perhaps with Oakwood and Honor Oak. But seven more lurk to the west, for 'Acton' is Old English for 'oak farm', or 'farm by the oak'. (For the record, these are North, South, East and West Acton, plus Acton Central, Acton Town and now Acton Main Line on TfL Rail.) Another hidden oak can be found at Fairlop, named after an ancient oak with pollarded limbs (sadly now gone), around which a fair was held annually. Old Oak Common will one day add a 13th!

Follow Barry Heck on @HeckTube.

Good cause of the day

Head to Twickenham this evening for a comedy night fundraiser in aid of The Compassionate Friends, a charity for the bereaved. On the bill are Milton Jones, Suzy Bennett, El Baldiniho and Cerys Nelmes. Find out more and book tickets.

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