Another lockdown month and secretly, has anyone enjoyed the quality of time? Our April Super Seven showed you the incredible access to art and culture whilst we are in quarantine. Most are still running and they have helped many of us escape. I know it has for me!
A true highlight for me during this lockdown has been the Thursday ‘clap for our carers’. Time stands still at the weekly 8pm slot. We stand outside our homes as we thank the key workers who continue to do an extraordinary job.
This week Captain Tom Moore turned 100 years old. He has become a name on all our lips for inspiration. For his birthday, HM the Queen made Captain Tom a Colonel, coinciding with his fundraising breaching the £30million mark. An amazing amount for our NHS.
It is a phenomenal story and legacy for doing something kind for the people who have looked after him. He is the nation’s sweetheart – a kind, gentle, gracious and funny gentleman. I defy anyone not to watch his reaction to the Spitfire flypast without a tear in their eye.
I cannot match that but let me keep you all inside with a few new highlights for our ‘May Lockdown’ Super Seven.
VE Day 75 yr Anniversary Friday 8 May : It makes me sad that we can’t celebrate as we were supposed to, but with so many parallels being drawn between Covid-19 and WWII, we must still celebrate from our homes.
The day starts at 11am with a 2 minutes silence. At 3pm there will be a national isolated toast, so raise your glasses, as only the Brits can do… There will be tribute programmes on television all afternoon, but don’t miss Colonel Tom Moore sharing his own WWII story on ITV. Finally a sing-along at 9pm with Vera Lynn to We’ll Meet Again. If you click the link you can get the words and details.
How To Academy : If you haven’t ever been to the ‘In Conversations’, now is the perfect time to try it out online. On 7th May at 6.30pm tune into ‘They have Rebel Ideas – problem solving in a crisis’. There are also a host of videos to watch with past guests, including Julia Samuel, the author of my go-to book at the moment, This Too Shall Pass. They can all be found on the How to Academy on YouTube. I have linked where to find them and don’t forget to check out the ones coming up.
I’m going to take you out of London quickly for a few highlights of online wonders in the art world from around the world. I was inspired by Laura Freeman in The Times where she picked her top ten best virtual tours of museums and galleries, all for free.
Sainte-Chapelle in Paris: A treat for anyone missing this beautiful city
The Met in NYC: This 360 project is inspiration for your next visit
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington offering several different tours
Sistine Chapel & The Vatican. Is there anything more beautiful? I was transfixed.
London Original Print Fair: This annual fair at the Royal Academy is going online for the whole month of May. See it for free, and buy to fill that free wall space. I have picked up some of my favourite pieces over the years, so it is well worth having a browse.
Flowers in isolation. May is always a month for flowers. Chelsea Flower Show, Belgravia in Bloom, Chelsea in Bloom… there isn’t a corner of London that doesn’t embrace the floral month. I have done a blog post on small London florists that are now able to deliver flowers.
Harry Potter Virtual Tour 10 May : Well if you are a Harry Potter fan, this is for you. London Blue Badge guide Alex Lacey is doing a virtual tour for £10pp. All the details can be found in the link. Alex is also live every day at 3pm for her #globalteabreak for a 20min chat on London history and culture.
The Postal Museum: Watch their virtual tour on taking a ride through 500 years of postal history. Then book a postal tour, or a tunnel walk for when they re-open. These tours always sell out. They are super popular so whet your appetite and support the museum for when they re-open.
Masterclass. You must take a look at Masterclass and be inspired by the world’s best instructors. There is something for everyone. I am determined to come out of lockdown with something other than just out an organised house with colour-coded bookshelves!
Goat Chelsea are teaching cocktail classes on Saturday evenings at 7.30. This weekend is rum, so if you fancy joining the party sign up. It is great family fun. You are sent a list of ingredients to have in front of you, and then you get to make four very tasty cocktails. At £8 per ticket is a win.
Cecil Beaton : Bright Young Things : NPG. This exhibition was shut down before I got the chance to see it, yet it was one of the exhibitions I was most looking forward to. Take a curator’s guide to the Bright Young Things exhibition with Robin Muir. If photography is your thing, enter the NPG competition and you could find your work on display here. There are categories & themes to choose from.. Open to under 25’s and above. Definitely check it out, as you will surely find something to suit you.