Friday, 27 June 2008

The Greenwich Gazette's WeekEnd Guide

Saturday June 28, 2008

Art & Architecture of Canary Wharf (Sat & Sun 28 &29 June, 2008): Explore the buildings, sculpture and landscape. 3pm. £7.50 (over 12s only). Museum in Docklands, West India Quay, E14. Book: 0870 444 3855

Lewisham People's Day: Stalls, performances, entertainment. 12noon - 8pm. Southwark Park, Surrey Quays, SE8.

Brockley Open Studios (Sat & Sun): Gill Hickman. 45 Sprules Road, Brockley. 2pm.

Sunday June 29, 2008

Italian Market: Passey Place, Eltham with Live Classical Singing Performances from Australia 11:30am - 1:30pm. Market times: 10am - 4pm. Info tel: 020 89213479 or visit:

Asian Mela: Celebrating Asian arts, dance and music. Plumstead Common, Plumstead

Blackheath Choir Concert: Sidcup Symphony Orchestra. 7:30pm. £9. St. Margaret's Church, Brandram Rd, Lee, SE13. Tickets: 020 8303 3439 or on door.

Thornhill's Treasure: Children's art event celebrating the Painted Hall's 300th anniversary. 12pm. Painted Hall, Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich. 3pm-5pm. or call 020 8269 4799

Cantus: Phil Cowling (conductor). St. Alfege Church, Greenwich Church St. SE10. 7:30pm.

Trinity College of Music Ensemble: 2-3:15pm & 3:45-5pm. Free. Bandstand, Greenwich Park, SE10.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

THE PENNY DREADFULS at Greenwich Theatre

For two nights only (FRI 27 & SAT 28 June, 2008), THE PENNY DREADFULS, Aeneas Faversham Forever will be showing at Greenwich Theatre, Royal Hill.

As seen on BBC3, as heard on Radio 4, and from BBC7's The Brothers Faversham. The critically acclaimed Penny Dreadfuls present a brand new show of rip-roaring comic tales from the Victorian world of British sword-for-hire and gentleman Aeneas Faversham. Three of the best new comic actors in the UK, the cravatted and waistcoated David Reed, Humphrey Ker and Thom Tuck effortlessly affect a wealth of Dickensian characters.

Time: 20:30

For more info and to book click here.

Next Week: Midsummer Night's Dream at Royal Observatory

Quantum Theatre presents a brand new production of Shakespeare's most enduringly popular play of love and intrigue, magic and celebration set on that most dangerous of nights when fairies are abroad and nothing is as it seems….

It is thought that 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' was written originally to be performed outdoors for a private wedding party and indeed it lends itself perfectly to an open air setting. Using not just the stage but the surrounding greenery Quantum Theatre's brand new production presents the play as a flight of magical fancy, with willow-the-wisp fairies, unsuspecting artisans and ardent young lovers woven together by the finest gossamer thread: "I have had a dream, past the wit of man to say what dream it was…"

Performances will include a 20 minute interval. Do bring warm clothes, a folding chair or rug. Picnics welcome but no glassware please. Performance is suitable for all ages.

Time : 1- 5 July, 2008
Tickets: £10 Adults (concs £8), £7 child, family (£28), Group (schools only) £28
Booking: 0845 450 5157
Times: 1pm & 6:30pm

For more info, click here.

Book Now for Summer Courses with Charlton FC

Charlton Athletic Community Scheme Solutions Whitsun Schools football coaching courses and bookings are now taking place for the courses running during the Summer School Holidays starting 14th July.

The courses run between 10am-3pm unless otherwise stated, and application forms are available by calling: 020-8850 2866 or online by clicking here. Booking is essential as places go fast.

For more info on the program, see here

Summer Parks Free Programme for 8 - 12 year olds

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

London Festival of Architecture at Canary Wharf Today

London Festival of Architecture – Fresh Perspectives. Throughout Canary Wharf. Wednesday 25 - Sunday 29 June 2008

A five day programme packed full of arts, entertainment and activities bringing you Fresh Perspectives as Canary Wharf takes part in the London Festival of Architecture 2008.

There is a line-up confronting the perception of architecture through sound, dance, art, entertainment, workshops, music and observation and more. Activities will include FREE screenings of a series of architecture themed films: My Architect by Nathaniel Kahn (25th), The Fountainhead by King Vidor (28th) and Sketches of Frank Gehry by Sidney Pollack (29th) and the renowned architect C├Ęsar Pelli will be giving a special lecture to mark the 20th Anniversary of Canary Wharf (27th).

Download the
Fresh Perspectives brochure here for details of all activites and events taking place. For further details of these special film screenings and lecture and how to obtain FREE tickets Click here

The Cutty Sark to Float in 2010

Greenwich Conservation work on the Cutty Sark, which was damaged seriously by fire last year, will be completed with the help of a gift of £3.3 million from a shipping magnate. The donation from Sammy Ofer, a businessman and philanthropist, will be added to the £23 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund and should allow the conservation project to be completed by 2010.

Source & full story, click here

The Rake's Progress

The Rake's Progress by Stravinsky. Trinity College of Music present a full staged production directed by Mike Ashman. Conducted by Gregory Rose and Tom Hammond. Set design by Ellie Rees. Wed 25th, Thurs 26th, Fri 27th June 2008 at 7:30pm / Sat 28 June 2008 at 2pm & 7:30pm. Blackheath Halls. £12 + concs (£9) or matinee £10 (£7). Box office: 02084630100/ Blackheath Halls, SE3

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Today's Highlight: Free Range 2008:‘The World’s Largest Art Happening’

One of the world's largest art fairs, Free Range shows the work of recently graduated art and design students from 45 colleges, spread over 11 acres at the Old Truman Brewery and on display throughout June and July.

The beauty of this show is that even novice art collectors can own an original art work. And, if you've got a good eye for this sort of thing, your pretty piece of art may become a masterpiece if the up-and-coming artist you've plumped for makes it big. Choose from jewellery, photography, illustrations and ceramics by some of the hottest young talents, some of whom have already won awards in their fields.

Schedule of events:

Opening: Thur 26 June. Show: Fri 27 June - Mon 30 June
Opening: Thur 3 July. Show: Fri 4 July - Mon 7 July

Opening: Thur 10 July. Show: Fri 11 July - Mon 14 July

Opening: Thur 17 July. Show: Fri 18 July - Mon 21 July

Opening Nights: Thursdays 18:00 - 20:00
Show Days: Fridays to Mondays 10:00 - 19:00

Tube: Liverpool Street

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Greenwich Wheel Launch postponed

Due to logistical difficulties there has been a delay in delivery of the Wheel from The Hague. The scheduled Wheel launch for Friday 20th will not go ahead and a new date for start of operation and press launch will be announced as soon as possible.

Source: Old Royal Naval College Website

The Greenwich Gazette WeekEnd Guide

Friday 20 June, 2008

The Greenwich & Docklands International Festival:

1.00pm Bend it… Canary Riverside, Canary Wharf
1.00pm The Medal Ceremony Cutty Sark Gardens, Greenwich
6.00pm Time is like water flowing The O2, North Greenwich
6.00pm Bend it… Canary Riverside, Canary Wharf
6.00pm Beautiful People Royal Observatory, Greenwich
7.00pm The Medal Ceremony Cutty Sark Gardens, Greenwich
7.30pm The Garden of Wonders Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich
8.30pm Time is like water flowing The O2, North Greenwich
8.30pm Beautiful People Royal Observatory, Greenwich
9.45pm Run! National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

Trinity College of Music Harp Department: 1.15pm. £5 (includes light lunch), £2 (only concert). Blackheath Halls, Lee Terrace, SE3. 020 8463 0100/

Saturday 21 June, 2008

Greenwich Park: Park plant sale. 9am-12noon. Royal Park's old nursery inside the Maze Hill Entrance. Also visit the Rose Garden at the top of the park to see some of the flower beds recently designed by primary school pupils from the borough.

The Greenwich & Docklands International Festival:

1.00pm Time is like water flowing The O2, North Greenwich
1.30pm The Wheel House Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich
2.00pm Bend it… Canary Riverside, Canary Wharf
2.00pm The Medal Ceremony Cutty Sark Gardens, Greenwich
3.00pm The Garden of Wonders Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich
4.00pm Time is like water flowing The O2, North Greenwich
4.00pm The Wheel House Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich
5.00pm Bend it… Canary Riverside, Canary Wharf
6.00pm Beautiful People Royal Observatory, Greenwich
7.00pm The Medal Ceremony Cutty Sark Gardens, Greenwich
7.30pm The Garden of Wonders Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich
8.30pm Beautiful People Royal Observatory, Greenwich
9.45pm Full Circle Wennington Green, Mile End Park

Great Get Together at Woolwich: The Royal Artillery Barracks in Repository Road. 11am-4pm. Crafts, music, stalls, sport, dance, health and fitness. A chance to win tickets for the Kylie Minogue show. See:

Opening Exhibition: Out of the Dark. An Exhibition of 230 years of the collection. Rarely seen by the public. 10:30am - 5pm. £5.5+ concs. Firepower: Museum of the Royal Artillery, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, SE18. 020 8855 7755

London Festival of Architecture: Bike Ride. All That Life Can Afford. Stephen Bayley on artists & architects houses. Meet 2pm. Tate Modern north side garden, Bankside, SE1. Ends 5:30pm. Info: Barry 07905 889 005

Sunday 22 June, 2008

The Greenwich & Docklands International Festival:

1-5pm Dancing City Canary Wharf
1.00pm The Wheel House Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich
1.00pm Time is like water flowing The O2, North Greenwich
1.00pm The Medal Ceremony Cutty Sark Gardens, Greenwich
1.30pm The Garden of Wonders Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich
2.30pm The Wheel House Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich
3.30pm The Medal Ceremony Cutty Sark Gardens, Greenwich
4.00pm The Garden of Wonders Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich
4.00pm Time is like water flowing The O2, North Greenwich
4.30pm The Wheel House Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich

Horn Fayre: Medieval battle reinactment, jesters, and a fortune teller. 12noon-5pm, Charlton House, Charlton. Tel: 020 8856 3951

The Mayor's Sponsored Charity Cycle Ride: From Cutty Sark Gardens to Erith. £5 entry which entitles you to free refreshments at the end.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Today's Highlight: Lift Festival 2008

About Lift:

According to their website, Lift produces and presents interactive cultural experiences which enable people to make meaningful connections on a local, national and international level. Since 1981, Lift has been recognised as one of Europe’s leading arts festivals, introducing theatre from over 60 countries to venues and unusual sites across London.

Lift believes that arts and culture can help create a society where people are more active, willing to engage in dialogue, politically and culturally aware, curious, able and eager to make change.

"Lift continues to be a cultural sector leader with the launch of Lift Festival 2008, this summer at Stratford and Southbank Centre. Lift Festival 2008 is an extraordinary programme of international premieres, talks, screenings and participatory events that engage with climate change, migration, communities, regeneration, and individual and collective freedoms".

"At the heart of the Festival is The Lift, a ground-breaking design for a mobile venue and meeting place. Connecting local audiences with international artists. The Lift hosts performances, exhibitions, workshops, discussions and screenings."

Lift Festival 2008 Stratford12 – 21 June
Lift Festival 2008 Southbank Centre 26 June - 6 July
Lift Festival 2008 at Shoreditch Festival 16-24 August

For more on the program schedule, click here.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Weight Loss Talk

I'm always dieting. Always. Losing weight has been on the top of my New Year resolutions for the past five years. Five! My plans to lose the weight this month are being sabotaged. And by own son. Well, not really! but I thought this would make a rather dramatic introduction and I've run out of better excuses.

This morning he was up by three thirty with only Darth Vader questions on his mind (he's been so into Star Wars lately) and he just wouldn't go back to sleep. Not for anything. Anyway, he's not the reason for this rambling. Sleep or lack of it is the major cause of my panic attack.

In general I am a very light sleeper. I am one of those people who is content with only five hours of sleep a night (research shows that women who sleep 5 hours a night are more likely to gain weight than women who sleep 7 hours a night - so you see the reason behind my panic attack. I am already doomed by fate). Hence, I have got to have those five hours of deep sleep. If I don't or if the rhythm is broken for any reason I honestly tell you that I can feel my hormones shift and this is so not good for my plans to lose weight.

Research suggests that lack of sleep is a major cause of obesity. It may all have to do with two hormones - leptin, a hormone that suppresses appetite, and Grehlin, a hormone that increases food intake and is thought to play a role in long-term regulation of body weight. Sleep deprivation lowers the levels of leptin and raises levels of grehlin.

Others suggest that when you are sleep deprived then you have lower energy to go out and exercise. You are tired most of the day and your body starts to crave high energy fixes along the day. You end up snacking on chocolates or high energy foods (usually high in fat) that give you that instant shot of energy to go on. The down side is that a few hours later these same foods cause you to crash again so you reach for those wrong foods again. And so the cycle goes on.

Today that my sleep cycle has been interrupted and I am aware of the fact that my body is going to be slower and downright tired (not to mention cranky and angry which is always an excuse to reach for my beloved bag of crisps) by midday. It is going to be a challenge sticking to my diet. Even when I have slept properly I crave sweets and fast foods. Lack of sleep will only double it and the challenge of resisting the impulse to give in to my cravings is my task for today.

So, based on all that and after much surf googling, I've come to find that theses are the foods I should be having on days like this. They give a steady stream of energy and will keep me going for longer before I need to recharge again.

1. Oatmeal (porridge) which I will have for breakfast.
2. Lentils (I will have that for dinner as a soup - it's cold outside and this will be wonderful). To decrease the undesirable side effects (like gas and a bloated tummy I add a lot of cumin). I will post the recipe later on today.
3. A small banana for my snack although I sometimes go for apples, grapes, peaches, and pineapples because they are great energizing snacks.
4. Almonds (go easy on those: but they are packed with the good fat and if you stick to only 12 almonds that's only 83 calories. Almonds are great for alleviating crankiness and creating a calm mental state.
5. Low fat yogurt or cheese (but I am going for low fat yogurt because I am planning to make a Middle Eastern dish for lunch today that has all my ingredients in it to give me the energy I need for the day - I will also post the recipe for that one today.
6. Water.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Let Me Tell You About My Greenwich

Let me tell you about my Greenwich:

  1. Lots to see and lots to do.
  2. Is home to the National Maritime Museum, Naval College and the Cutty Sark (to name a few).
  3. Although it's in the city, it has a sense of being a quiet village where everybody seems to know each other. Friendly smiles and salutations all around. Great for raising children. Neighbours all know and like one another.
  4. Great shopping to be had from local stores and shops.
  5. Very progressive and environmentally friendly. Claims that it's one of the best recycling boroughs around. Beat that.
  6. Excellent primary schools.
  7. Most of our youth are either into sports (swimming and football) or doing community work (source: based on what you read in Greenwich Time)

Let me tell you about my Greenwich:

  1. Lots to see and lots to do.
  2. It's home to the deft pick pocket and host to the noisy littering drunken visitors who make it (or at least try to make it) their life's mission to damage as much of the national treasures as possible.
  3. Barely know the neighbours. All the better from the look of matters. I'm calling the police. Kids do not go out unsupervised.
  4. High rent flushing local businesses out of the area.
  5. Thanks to the new waste collection scheme, there seems to be more rubbish outside the bins than inside them.
  6. Who are we kidding? In truth, it's just one primary school that counts and the rest are trying to catch up. What secondary school?
  7. Youth? what youth? they're either too drunk or too pregnant. Call the police!

Friday, 13 June 2008

Local Exhibiton: The Last Wharves of Greenwich

Motor Boat by Terry Scales

Thames artist Terry Scales latest exhibition ‘The Last Wharves of Greenwich’ will be held in the newly opened Paul McPherson Gallery in the East Greenwich regeneration area. Terry has a passion for painting the working Thames and has recorded the immense changes that have taken place over the past 5 decades as old industries decline and new ones grow. The exhibition also includes rarely exhibited paintings of Greenwich scenes as Terry celebrates 50 years of living in Greenwich.

Dates: 16th June - 5th July 2008
Open Mon - Fri 11am - 6pm. Sat 10.30 - 3pm. Entry is free.

The Paul McPherson Gallery
77 Lassell St
East Greenwich
SE10 9PJ
Tel: 020 8269 2990

Special event: Terry Scales will be in the exhibition to discuss his work and for book signings of 'Visions Of Greenwich Reach' on 28th June 11.30 – 2.30 and the 5th of July from 12 - 2pm.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

The Greenwich Gazette's WeekEnd Guide

Friday 13 June, 2008

Greenwich & Bexley Cottage Hospice: Barbecue in the hospice grounds at 185 Bostall Hill, Abbey Wood. Live entertainment. Tickets £7 at 7pm. Tel: 020 8312 2244

Blackheath Halls: Austin Blackburn (oboe). £5 including lunch or £2 for concert only. Time:1.15pm. Blackheath Halls, Lee Terrace, SE3. Call 020 8463 0100.

Greenwich Dance Agency: gDA Cabaret: features traditional cabaret alongside dance music, comedy. Line up includes Ruth Zaporah, Anna Williams & Rachel Rishche. 7.30pm. £15. gDA, Borough Hall, Royal Hill, SE10. 020 8293 9741 or

Greenwich Playhouse: Elegies for Angels, Punks & Raging Queens. Book & Lyrics by Bill Russell. Making its debut at the Greenwich Playhouse, Sideshow Theatre Company brings a cast of 22 to perform “Elegies” – a celebration of lives lost to HIV/AIDS. Dates:10-15 June 2008, time:7pm. Sundays @ 4pm. Tickets: £11 (£9 concs). Greenwich Station Forecourt, 189 Greenwich High Road, SE10 8JA. Box Office: 020 8858 9256
The Alexandra Players (also Saturday 14 June): The Enquiry: a drama set in a women's prison. by Charlotte Hastings, presented by the Alexandra Players. 8pm. £5-£6 + concs.

Saturday 14 June, 2008
Greenwich Heritage Centre: Railroad to Riches - talk by Chris Foord on Lewis Glenton (Victorian entrepreneur) and the makings of a self-made man. 2-4pm. £3 including refreshments. Call 020 8854 2452 to reserve a place.

The Blackheath Bike & Kite Festival: (Saturday & Sunday): 11am-4pm. Blackheath Common, Blackheath, SE3 0TY. Among the spectacular displays will be "kite ballet", or synchronised kite flying, from seven man stunt team The Air Heads, as well as a show from The Flying Squad. Expect to see some weird and wonderful objects in the skies of London as the Holland Kite Team and Belgium's Atomic Kite Team fly their inflatable kites, including champagne bottles and air guitars, as well as some amazing kite trains.

Greenwich Open Studios: (Also Sunday): Twenty artists' studios open noon-6pm. Addresses & maps available from Greenwich Tourist Office, Cutty Sark Gardens, SE10 or local libraries. Also see

St Alfege Church: Johanne Cassar (mezzo soprano) at 1.10pm. Free. Greenwich Church Street. SE10.

All Saint's Church: Monteverdi Vespers. The Breve Ensemble and the All Saints Blackheath Youth Choir. 7.30pm. £10. Call: 01 795 537363.

St. George's Church Summer Fair: from 2-4:30pm. Cakes, jams, games, children's activities, bric-a-brac, gifts, craft table, cream teas. All welcome. For details call Rev'd Malcolm Torry 020 8858 3006

Glyndon Festival at Plumstead Common: gathering with Irish dancers and a tai Kwondo demonstration along with stalls and a host of activities. from noon -4pm also a chance to board get a grips with computers for free by boarding the UKonline bus.

Thailand Festival at Trafalgar Square. Time: 12noon - 20pm at Trafalgar Square. For more info click here.

Sunday 15 June, 2008

St Alfege Church: Thomas Tallis Society Choir & Orchestra present Handel with Hamper Israel in Egypt. Soprano: Deborah Stoddart. Counter Tenor: Timothy Travers-Brown. Tenor: Daniel Auchincloss. Conductor: Stephen Dagg. Bring a picnic for the extended interval. Refreshments also on sale. Tickets: £20, £16, £12 (concs & friends less £2). Time: 6.30pm /Box office: 020 8858 7755. St Alfege Church, Church Street, SE10.

Greenwich Park: The bandstand, Ensemble from Trinity College of Music. Free. Time: 2pm-3.15pm & 3.45pm - 5pm.

Breasts & Polyclinics

I was in for a check up at my surgery (been having recurring nightmares that all is not well with my breasts) where I was reassured by my very wonderful doctor that all is well with my rack except maybe for the confounded bra. "Buy new bras. That's the problem" whereby I was nearly (just nearly) reduced to tears moaning that I had just bought new ones. Damn it, I had just taken the tag off this one just this morning. Damn it. Then the dreaded words were beginning to form on the doctor's lips, I could see them coming. I wanted to jump up and would have if I weren't too darn lazy and cover that mouth of his as he said "It might be time for a diet". Crash and so my day was ruined. So, anyone got any ideas for fashionable watermelon carriers? (that's what they look like now). Shit.

Breasts aside (ahem), it seems that the hot topic on people's mind are the polyclinics the government's on about. In layman's terms polyclinics are one huge medical mall where you not only get to see doctors but you can also have all your tests done all under one roof. As easy as pie. Or so I thought. It seems that doctors and patients (over one million of you according to a petition highlighted in today's news) are opposed to the idea of polyclinics erupting here there and everywhere for the simple main reason that it will detract from the doctor patient relationship. That personal treatment you receive at surgeries whereby you always deal with a doctor who has become not only familiar with your case but with you as opposed to polyclinics where you are reduced to a reference number.

I have experienced first hand what polyclinics are all about. When I was living in the Middle East, particularly the Gulf States, the idea of polyclinics had been going on for some time. Whenever I needed to see someone for myself or my family, I would have to give my reference number with each booking so that the file can be placed with the doctor available at the time. You did get to choose your doctor, however if that doctor wasn't there, then you had to make do with whoever was on duty. In my case, having the same doctor or otherwise was irrelevant to me. I rarely went in for major cases, and wasn't on any prescribed medication. And this is where I can understand when people complain that they would rather have their familiar doctor when they have to come to the clinic on a regular basis for checkups. Regular visitors need to have that security and knowledge that the doctor on their case is reliable, aware of all details and knows them inside out. All said however, it was never came cheap.

The government is claiming that polyclinics are not there to compete with local surgeries. Are they delusional? Of course they will and in the end what I (and lots of others like me) fear is the privatization of these clinics. The Government assures that in no way will this happen but common sense says it will become first an option at one stage and then a necessity at a later stage. The NHS can barely cover its costs as it is right now, polyclinics will suck it dry. There are loads of staff to consider and a load of finances to sustain and equip these clinics. Unless the government has something up its sleeve I see no way out and privatization is a sure option.

However, I believe that polyclinics are a good thing in big major cities. I really do. How many of us have their surgeries open till late? Can you contact your doctor on the weekend? How many times have you been told that there is no point going to a surgery as the hospital is better to get tests and such done? All some (and I stress some) doctors want is a nice surgery where they can see patients from so and so time and then go home early and live a normal life. Whoever heard of a doctor having a normal life anyway? Is there such a thing? That's what they signed up for so deal with it.

In this week's Guardian, Councillor Alan Hall, Lewisham Labour Group, said, "At last, with the advent of the 8am-8pm walk-in clinic, people will have an alternative. Access will be improved for all, including the hidden population of unregistered people. This is not unbridled market forces or unnecessary competition because health authorities have had to provide GP clinics directly where their was a gap in provision - decoded this means where the GPs refused to go and open a practice".

So, what happens now? We do what we've always done. We wait and in the mean time I might as well resign myself to dishing out for another new bra.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Shoes, Lesbians & Affairs

The automized ice cream cones / Jerry Hall's dress (not for ice cream eaters)

A sad day for me. I am forced out of sheer necessity to part ways with a perfectly good (nearly new Nine West) pair of shoes (I die a thousand deaths each time I have to do that and I avoid it at all costs) but they really were genuinely mutilating my toes. They looked great but were torture. I did manage to suffer through the ordeal three times (my outfit required it) but I can take it no more. So, it's love you and leave you dear shoes. Charity shop here we come.

I love Summer but can't bear the heat. If like me you love the summer but the masses of fat in your body cause it to overheat to the point where you feel like you may burst out of that suit you call outer skin, then you will definitely sympathize with me and are already nodding your head in that knowing way. It is unbearable. For the past five summers (yes five dammit), I have told myself over and over again that I will not let this happen to me next summer. I will shed those pounds so that I may suffer from anorexic hypothermia. So that I may shudder and be one of those annoying people who always carry a 'cardie' with them in case they begin to shiver if a cloud should appear. I hate them and yet long to be one of them. But then the summer passes, winter sets in and you find me wrapped around my warm muffins all vows forgotten. How sad is that? Very if you must know.

The day hasn't been in total ruin though. I did manage a chuckle or two as I baked for an hour outside my son's school reading yesterday's Guardian (that's how little time I have). Steven Morris has listed a fantastic gadget du jour on page 5. The motorized ice cream cone. Yes. I was so excited by the idea that I have checked out the site ( Those babies will soon be mine I promise you. However, you may want to avoid them if you've decided to go for Jerry Hall's wedding dress on auction at Sothebys'. The dress requires a 26-inch waist and is up for grabs for a guided price of £500. A bargain for skinny ice cream deprived individuals.

Did you know that there is actually an island called Lesbos and people who come from there are Lesbians? Now, the people of the Island supposedly want to stop gay women from calling themselves Lesbians because it reflects badly on local women of the Island. The hearing initiated by plaintiffs on the Aegean Island of Lesbos argues that it is not that the Islanders object to gay women per se but they don't want to be labelled with a term that is associated with someone's sexual orientation. Why do I have a feeling that we have men to blame for this dispute as well?

On the Greenwich home front, my girlfriends and I could not stop talking about this new book "When Good People Have Affairs" by Mira Kirshenbaum. None of us have read it yet but we all plan to. If only to see what all the fuss is about. We did have a few laughs about the matter. Most of us except for one have been married for a minimum of seven years and the only objections we had to having one was a) we couldn't be bothered, b)it would be too stressful to do all the lying and c) if we were to go for it, it had to be with a woman just for it to be worth it (we'd have the excuse of having wanted a new experience). Our single friend thought we were all pathetic. A great way to end the day!

Greenwich In The News

Arts prove good sports for Greenwich and Docklands festival

This year's Greenwich and Docklands International Festival is bringing the arts to a new ball park. Kerry Ann Eustice finds out how and why the event is bringing sport and art together. Click here for more.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Events for Tomorrow, Tuesday, June 10

Writing Bond
Date: 10th June 2008
Location: Imperial War Museum, London

Author and journalist Ben Macintyre will chair a panel of authors looking at how they each took on the legend of Fleming’s James Bond and made it their own. This will include Kate Westbrook, author of The Moneypenny Diaries; Charlie Higson, author of the Young Bond novels; Fleming’s biographer Andrew Lycett and Fleming’s niece Kate Grimond.

This event will be interpreted in British Sign Language by TRI UK.

Tickets are £15, concessions £12
Call: 020 7416 5439 or email /
Ticket price includes access to the exhibition. Booking is strongly recommended.

David Lodge
Tuesday 10 June at 8:00 PM
Blackheath Halls
23 Lee Road
London SE3 9RQ
Box Office: 020 8463 0100
Admin: 020 8318 9758
Fax: 020 8852 5154

David Lodge introduces his new Book ‘Deaf Sentence’, a brilliant, elegiac novel of one man's effort to come to terms with deafness and death, ageing and mortality, the comedy and tragedy of human lives.

David Lodge's novels include Changing Places, Small World, Nice Work, Therapy, Thinks... and Author, Author. He has also written stage plays and screenplays, and several books of literary criticism, including The Art of Fiction, Consciousness and the Novel and, most recently, The Year of Henry James.

£8 - free glass of wine/soft drink with every ticket

Canary Wharf Motor Expo Kicks off today

The world's biggest motor show returns. Monday 9 June - Saturday, 15 June. 10am - 6pm. Sunday 11am - 5pm. Free. Throughout Canary Wharf. E14. Visit

Friday, 6 June 2008

Arches Stink!

It's definite. Absolutely. I truly hate the Arches. They smell and I think that the staff there are the nastiest I've ever come across. Yuck!

Shop of the Week: Fashion Nails (4.5/6)

This place already has a lot going against it before you even decide to go in. It's in West Greenwich, specifically on Trafalgar Road. It's got a flashy window sign with a big flashing American Flag and if that weren't enough it looks almost shabby. When you walk in, things aren't any better as you discover that none of the staff there speak much English and so a lot of sign language and patience should be at the ready. So, why is this place among my most recommended salons in the area?

Simple: Once you're done with explaining what you want done with your nails and you've gone through all the polite nods and smiles, the girls are fantastic. Acrylics are very professionally done although you can opt to have a regular manicure or pedicure. They do have some really funky designs to add onto your nails that they can either brush paint for you or opt for glue on tiny shiny diamonds. I had mine done on my big toe in the shape of a flower and with the warm weather we've been having, they've made wearing my flip flops a very trendy occasion.

I have been going there for some time now and the place is definitely undergoing many changes.Two months ago they brought in this really fantastic pedicure chair that gives glorious back massages as you get your feet done. Heavenly. They have also increased the number of work tables and they have introduced a few other niceties that is not only a sign that they are obviously on the road to appearing more professional but it also means that they are having enough of a regular clientele who they are wanting to do this for.

The service is great, the girls very friendly (as much as they can be given the language barrier) and they are very accomodating if you come in with kids. They are quick, efficient and the results are well worth going again and again. Only for quality of work and service, this place gets my highest recommendation. A lot of other salons down East Greenwich who may look better have a lot to learn from Fashion Nails. Booking is essential as they are busy.

Fashion Nails
Tel: 020 8858 6281
169 Trafalgar Road,
London, SE10
Opening Times: Mon - Sat 10am - 7pm

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Visit Greenwich's Secret Gardens This Weekend

For anyone into gardens this should prove to be one of their most anticipated dates ever. Secret gardens are set to open their gates to the public for the 10th year of the Open Garden Squares Weekend. Around 170 gardens across London will be open on Saturday & Sunday, June 7 & 8 (120 of them are not usually open to the public and range from private residential squares to allotments and prisons).

There will be two Greenwich Gardens to explore; The Charlton House Walled Gardens will be open on both days from 10am - 2pm. Made up of the Peace Garden, Pond Garden and Sensory Garden, the open spaces form part of the grounds for the landmark Jacobean mansion house. There will be children's workshop, live music and teas.

The other is The Environmental Curriculum Service and The Growing Schools Garden at 77 Bexley Road, Eltham which is open on Saturday from 10am to 4pm. There are ponds, streams, farm animals, beehives, and others.

Ferris Wheel In Greenwich

A London Eye-styled observation wheel is to be erected by the Thames in a historic maritime site this summer.The Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich is due to open a 60-metre high Greenwich Wheel on Saturday, June 21.

The wheel's 36 capsules each seat six adults and two kids and will rise above the London skyline between 10am and 10pm every day, every 12 minutes.

Greenwich council originally opposed the application for the wheel on the grounds that it would spoil the skyline.Traders in Greenwich Market supported the tourist attraction during the temporary closure of the Cutty Sark.

Prices start at £7 per adult and £4.50 per child. Private capsule hire costs £30, and a VIP capsule including leather seats and a DVD player costs £50. Champagne can be taken up for an extra £30.The wheel will be open until September 28. Tickets are expected to sell out fast. To book visit, or visit the site in person from June 21.
From Bexley Times

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Lunch Recital in Blackheath This Friday

Blackheath Halls, Friday June 6, 2008

Trinity College of Music postgraduates performs a lunchtime recital. Enjoy a light lunch before or after the conert! 1:15pm. Blackheath Halls, 23 Lee Road, London SE3 9RQ. Box Office: 020 8463 0100 /Admin: 020 8318 9758/ Fax: 020 8852 5154

Photography Workshops For Kids (8-13yrs)

Anna Hillman will be running two photography workshops during the course of her forthcoming exhibition at the Viewfinder Photography Gallery in Greenwich, London, for 8-13 year olds. These will take place at the gallery from 10am-12pm on Sunday 8th June and again on Saturday 14th June.

If you are interested, please get in touch. The group is kept small to allow for the best possible experience so please book early.

Each child needs to be accompanied by an adult, and will need to bring their own digital camera to the workshop. The cost is £7 (for child plus adult).

The Greenwich Gazette's WeekEnd Guide

Saturday, June 7

Thames 21 Clean-up: National Maritime Museum with Thames21 clean litter from the river. Equipment provided. 10am-1pm. Free event. Meet at Poplar & Blackwall District Rowing Club off Ferry St, E14 (via Greenwich Foot Tunnel).

Plumstead Make Merry: Children's activities, stalls, entertainment. Noon-5pm. Plumstead Common, SE18

St. Luke's Summer Fair: Art exhibition/sale, flower & produce competitions, stalls, games, refreshments. 10am-4pm. 50p in advance. St Luke's Church, Charlton Village, SE7

Firepower Museum: (also Sunday, June 8): Model Railway Exhibition: Sat:10:ooam - 5:oopm/Sun 10:00am- 4:30pm. Detailed working layouts. £5.50. Firepower, Royal Artillery Museum, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, SE18. 8855 7755 (

Casanova: (also Sunday, June 8): The Greenwich Playhouse, Greenwich Station Forecourt, 189 Greenwich High Road, London SE10 8JA ( Box office: 020 8858 9256. Time: Sat @ 7:30pm, Sun @ 4pm, tickets: £12 (concs. £10)

St. Alfege Concert: Njabulo Madlala. Baritone. 1:10pm. Free. St. Alfege, Greenwich Church St, SE10.

The Wihan Quartet: The complete Beethoven String Quartet Cycle. 7:30pm. £13.50 + concs. Blackheath Halls. Lee Terrace, SE3. 020 8463 0100.

Art Open Studio (Also Sunday, June 8): Cristiana Angelini in action. Check out her paintings, pastels and limited edition prints when she opens her studio. 1pm-6pm. 12 Prior Street, Greenwich. Details on 020 8853 3730

Sunday, June 8

Italian Market: Cutty Sark Gardens. Specialist Italian traders showcase a range of their finest fare at a food market this weekend from 10am to 5pm.

Pleasaunce Picnic: 12pm - 4pm. Fire Engine, Circus skills workshop, Circus performance (3pm) and throughout the afternoon there will be music, Pleasaunce punch, face painting, bookstall and photography exhibition.

Where's Jack?: The career of Jack the Ripper on screen. 2:30pm. £7.50. Museum in Docklands, West India Quay, E14. Booking essential at 0870 444 3855

Trinity College of Music Ensemble: 2pm - 3:15pm & 3:45 - 5:00pm. Free. Bandstand, Greenwich Park, SE10.

The Wihan Quartet: The complete Beethoven String Quartet Cycle. 11am. £13.50 + concs. Blackheath Halls. Lee Terrace, SE3. 020 8463 0100.

Organ Recital: Huw Morgan, St Laurence, Catford. Free. All Saints Church, Blackheath SE3. 5:15pm.

Singing Sunday at the Conservatoire, Blackheath: A Sunday afternoon singing session, open to singers of all abilities, will be led by Peter Broadbent, Choir Director and founder of the internationally acclaimed ‘Joyful Company of Singers’. Participants will form a choir for the afternoon and explore exciting new repertoire. All adult singers are welcome. 2-5pm. £6 conservatoire students, £10 non-conservatoire students. For more info click here. The Conservatoire. 19-21 Lee Road, Blackheath, London SE3 9RQ Telephone: 020 8852 0234 Fax: 020 8297 0596 Email:

Friends of Greenwich Park plant sale: 10am to 2pm, Blackheath Farmers’ Market. Interesting plants from Friends’ gardens and the Park.