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…go for a cocktail @ my favourite cocktail bar Alphabet to wet the head of the first ever great grandchild of my Granny. Born today, November 3rd 2011. Welcome to Planet Earth lovely little girl! Can’t wait to finally meet you. And one day teach you the alphabet 😉

61-63 Beak Street
London W1F 9SL
www.alphabet-bar.co.uk or Twitter @alphabetbarsoho

…. dig up my rain boots, search for a bucket, buy a proper shovel and go to the “Annual Thames draw off clean-up” organised by the Environment Trust. As some of you might know I’m in love with the river Thames, so cleaning it up a bit and being able to experience the Thames in a different way… for me impossible to say no to! It doesn’t happen that often, so don’t miss out.

November 12th: at the Twickenham’s normally inaccessible riverbed. Meet at the Eel Pie Island footbridge.
November 26th: at the Richmond riverside (Meeting point tbc).
Both dates 9.30am – 12.30pm
If you’re into it (who wouldn’t!) have a look at their website: www.environmenttrust.co.uk

And yes, I do understand that for some this is a bit too much mud and digging and cleaning. So luckily… on the 10th of November the Environment Trust organises an auction to support all their projects. I’ve spotted some interesting paintings yet – have a look yourself: www.environmenttrust.co.uk/art-auction.html

If you like this idea better than cleaning up, here’s some more information:
10 November at Clarendon Hall, York House, Richmond Road, Twickenham, TW1 3AA.
Viewing starts at 6.30pm, auction begins at 8.00pm.
Admission is £7.00 (includes wine and nibbles).

No excuses not to join one of the lovely events the Environment Trust hosts!

… spend my Sunday afternoon at the “EDS UK Fundraising Fashion Show” (EDS standing for “Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome”!).
It sounds like it’s going to be a great show with stalls selling jewellery and fashion items inside (with a percentage going to EDS UK) and a fashion show with models who suffer from Ehlers Danlos.
And that’s not all! My dear friends from Cazcarra London will be present as well for a make up demonstration and sale of their Christmas/New Year make up collection. I’ve had the privilege to work with them once during an event I organised and let me tell you this: they know what they’re talking about! (I’ve added a couple of pictures of the event I organised, think you might like it.) If you suffer from lack of make up inspiration, check their website and of course it’s only another reason to go to the Fundraising Show!

Tickets for this special Sunday afternoon are £25 and before you start yelling “that’s a whole lot of money!” remember this: a) it’s in aid of charity and b) included in this ticket is a glass of champagne on arrival, tea, coffee and soft drinks all afternoon and full English Tea, including sandwiches, cakes, biscuits, cupcakes, eclairs and lots of yummy things! Haha, now I hear you think “£25, that’s a bargain!” and yes, I agree and therefor I would advice you all to shop ’till you drop, so that this lovely organisation can raise a serious “whole lot of money”.

Sunday November 6th, 3 – 6pm
Foundation Bar, Covent Garden

More info: https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=245576342149812
Tickets: https://www.eventelephant.com/edsukfashionshow
Cazcarra: http://cazcarralondon.com/index.html

… go to the launch of the new Saturday Market. It’s launched by “The Old Spitalfields Market” and will be the start of four distinctively different Saturday markets. The launch will give visitors the opportunity to experience bits and pieces of all four markets. Vintage, arts and crafts, designers – I’m getting excited already!! I LOVE vintage, young designers, ispirational surroundings. Curious to find out if it’s going to be another amazing “London-market-concept”… Next time I’m in London, I’ll make sure I’ll visit and figure that out myself.
Are you planning a trip to this new market? Let me know what you thought of it!

More info: http://insocial.pressitt.com/smnr/Old-Spitalfields-Market-launches-new-Saturday-Market/7566/

…. enjoy the music of some great artists at the London Jazz Festival. The line up is simply “whoooohooooo”! A trumpet battle, Alison Kraus (who is unfortunately sold out, but you never know: anything can change!) or how about this one: a silent movie with music written by Wynton Marsalis (!!!) about dear Louis Armstrong. “Oow yeah!” followed by “Aaaaaah, I wish I was in London right now!”.
Of course I’m still Dutch so I have to mention “De Jongens Driest” – the smallest brass band in the world and, are you surprised, from The Netherlands! They also can be seen at the London Jazz Festival – I’d certainly have a look if I were you.
It is not just the line up of this festival that is amazing, also the locations deserve some praise. Some are no surprise (Barbican, the Vortex, Ronnie Scott’s and Pizza Express Jazz Club to name some) but never the less great. Others however are certainly surprising, quirky, inspiring. Like the National Maritime Museum or the National Porttrait Gallery! I love a bit of music or theatre in a museum – up my alley!

London Jazz Festival
11 – 20 November 2011
www.londonjazzfestival.org.uk or Twitter @LondonJazzFest
With Winter and Christmas on it’s way there’s even more to do, see and go to in London. The British do deserve some extra credits for making Winter and especially Christmas an outstanding and at the same time cosy and warm time of the year.

So, if I were in London right now, I’d enjoy the atmosphere and I’d…..

… have some mulled wine and watch the famous fireworks and thank Mr. Guy Fawkes for once having done something which had something to do with gunpowder…. ’cause hey, in the end the result is great on a cold Winters day (well, no it’s actually better to watch it at night…).
So if you fancy some mulled wine and fire works, here some places I’d go to and you might wanna go to as well:

Friday November 4th:
Westway Fireworks @ Maxilla gardens – free event, Entry from St Mark’s Road alongside the Westway flyover. West London.
Wimbledon Park: the first bonfire and Disney-themed fireworks display are suitable for young children. The second display has a ‘Best of British’ theme and the funfair is open until 10pm. South London.

Saturday November 5th:
Blackheath (Blackheath Common), free. South London.
Lambeth (Brockwell Park), free. South London.
Southwark Park Fireworks: food and novelty stalls, a mulled wine and a spiced cider bar! Free event. South London.
Battersea Park Fireworks: with toffee apples, mulled wine candy floss, roasted chestnuts and more 🙂 South London.
Weavers Fields: One of three fireworks displays organised by Tower Hamlets Council this year will be at Weavers Fields. These three displays will replace the traditional event in Victoria Park. Free event. East London
Ravenscourt Park: West London’s biggest community bonfire night in 32-acre Ravenscourt Park comes complete with a funfair and food stalls. West London.

November 12th:
Lord Mayor Fireworks shows. Central London.
… go for an atmospheric evening stroll in Hyde Park Winter Wonderland…
With ice rink, music and Christmas market. Some events are ticketed, some are not; either way there’s fun for everyone. You could always go during the day time, but I vote for the evenings!

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park (I’m not kiddin’)
18 November 2011 – January 3rd 2012

… witness the Christmas street lights being switched on in central London.
Until they switch on the Christmas lights on Oxord Street and Regent Street it isn’t officialy Christmas…or that’s what they say. Of course we can discuss this but what’s more important is to enjoy the lights and the slightly over-the-top-and-far-beyond celebration they make of it!
The giant parcel illuminations that light Oxford Street over the Christmas period have already been switched on by girl group The Saturdays last Tuesday November 1st. Believe me, The Saturdays – you haven’t missed a thing….
More fun and cosy are the Regent Street Christmas lights, simply because it’s Regents Street!
“This year the Regent Street Christmas lights switching on event celebrates the start of the festive season in true West End style…” – I think I was close when saying the celebrations are slightly over the top, wasn’t I?

So, what/when/where to go:
Tuesday November 8th, ceremony from 5pm and the lights switch on at 6.15pm. Tube stations: Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus.

… visit some city ice rinks, just for fun and to get in that Winter mood. No skating for me! You can find some of the outdoor ice rinks here:
Natural History Museum: 4th November 2011 – 8th January 2012.
Sommerset House: 22nd November 2011 – 22nd January 2012.
Greenwich: dates to be confirmed yet.
Tower of London: 19th November 2011 – 8th January 2012
Canary Wharf: 12th November 2011 – 19th February 2012.

Note: to get entrance to the ice rinks mentioned above you’ll need to buy a ticket.

… do the Southbank Mosaics Walk on a sunny afternoon. “Southbank Mosaics have over 130 installations around the South Bank area between Salamanca Street on the West and Hopton Street on the East.” That is a lot of mosaic and even a lot more pieces!
I have a favourite Southbank Mosaics project already: the sillhouetes series. Beautiful and touching! The works are made together with young offenders and only recycled materials were used.
And if you wonder why mosaics? Well, Southbank Mosaics has a clear answer to that: mosaics are a metaphor for London with all it’s colours, religions, people, tribes. It all comes together in London, as all colours and sizes come together in a mosaic. Think about that. And of course it’s a colourful delight.

For more information on the specific walk: http://www.southbankmosaics.com/content/walk.php
For more information on these beautiful creations:
www.southbankmosaics.com or Twitter @southbankMosaic

…. read a book or two at the Richmond Literature Festival. The festival celebrates it’s 20th anniversary and runs from the 3rd of November through the 27th. On the 9th of November the festival’s first pop-up literary salon will open at 164 Heath Road, Twickenham. The pop up shop will partially be the home of exhibitions and partially be a workshop and event space.
Lots of activities are planned and lots of writers will show their faces. Apart from the main programme the festival has some interesting Fringe and Young people events coming up and even a food event (Cook books? Yum!); so all bookworms unite and head down to the Richmond Literature Festival!
Pop-up Salon opening times: Wed – Sun, from the 9th of November until end of the festival.
www.richmondliterature.com or on Twitter @richmondlitfest

So here’s on a new month, on a new Winter ahead and on a jolly good time!
Enjoy whatever you do, where ever you are.
And if you’re in London right now: have a blast!