Sunday, 4 December 2011

Things to Come (That Have Gone)

One of the many things I thought I would do after being made redundant was to keep up this blog better, writing regularly, as well as update my website on music reviews and the like (I have photos and notes of dozens of concerts I’ve never written up that might be worth a re-visit, most recently The Bible reunion, Neil Finn’s PaJaMa Club live UK debut, Johnny Mathis, and many others).

Unfortunately, I’ve somehow managed to have rather neglected both, but I think I shall somewhat weirdly go ahead and write up my typically detailed accounts of the various things I’ve attended, even though they won’t be current and are thus not news, and perhaps not so interesting. But I will anyway.

So the things that I will be writing about in the near future include the following events I have attended since leaving work in August:-

  • Jon Snow interviewing Jimmy Carter, at the end of which Peter Gabriel came on and led us in singing Happy Birthday to the former President
  • The Guardian investigative editor David Leigh on working (and falling out) with Julian Assange of Wikileaks
  • Andy McNab speaking on Afghanistan and generally rescuing hostages
  • Seeing Bitterns at the London Wetlands Centre
  • The Science of Secrecy, which included Simon Singh demonstrating a real Enigma Machine
  • Peter Doggett on David Bowie in the 1970s
  • Open House tours of the Park Lane Hotel and 55 Broadway (I love Art Deco), Lambeth Palace and Strawberry Hill
  • The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation evening focusing on the sadly real prospect of A World Without Tigers
  • Craving, Collecting and Caring for Album Covers at the Victoria & Albert Museum, with speakers including music journalist Paul Du Noyer and the editor of Record Collector Rare Record Price Guide, Ian Shirley
  • Jeremy Paxman talking on Empire.
  • Sir Terry Farrell speaking on Postmodern architecture
  • A sociable discussion after hours at the Natural History Museum on the ethics of wildlife photography
  • Architectural critic Hal Foster speak on ‘starchitects’ and the relationship between art and architecture
  • A technical wildlife photography workshop at the London Wetlands Centre with Mark Carwardine
  • The marvellous inaugural WildlifeXpo at Alexandra Palace, with talks by Mark Carwardine, Nick Baker, Paul Goldstein and others on wildlife photography and tourism, Kangaroo Island, Alaskan bears, Polar Bears and the best places to see wildlife.
  • An Art Deco tour of Eltham Palace
  • Victoria & Albert Museum Study Days on Designing the Decades: 1930s and 1980s
  • War Horse (the outstanding play, not yet the exhibition)
  • The annual Durrell Lecture, this year on the marvellous Madagascar
  • Nigel Warburton speaking on philosophy
  • Simon Russell Beale speaking on his work with director Sam Mendes
  • Franny Moyle speaking about Mrs Oscar Wilde
  • The 10th Annual Earthwatch debate, where various experts vied for our votes to choose their concern as the most important environmental challenge we face today (eg food security, energy, oceans, water scarcity, overpopulation) .
  • The Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum
  • Experts speaking on Pulitzer-prize winning poet Robert Frost
  • Thought-provoking World Monuments Fund talks on UK sites on the Watch list, with presentations on fine buildings that have ‘vanished’ by authors Philip Davies (Lost London) and Gavin Stamp (Lost Victorian Britain)
  • The Guardian’s Head of Digital Engagement Meg Pickard on how publishing news content has changed in the face of social media and the internet
  • Various King James Bible readings at the National Theatre in celebration of its anniversary
  • My first time attending a church service in the UK other than for a funeral, although it was the annual bereavement service.

Obviously, that’s just a dull list right now, but I hope to bring it to life soon with detailed descriptions of the various wonderful events and lectures I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying during my enforced leisure time. So if any of that seems remotely interesting, tune in again and I’ll get cracking for a change (in between stints of searching for my dream job—or at least a suitable income--and re-jigging my c.v.) and keep my blog better updated, even if it’s largely updated with out-of-date stuff. But I hope some of it might be useful reading for people who could not be at these events but would like to learn more about them. Later.

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