April Bookmarks

April Bookmarks


The clocks have leapt forwards, the daffs are out and you can’t move for Cadbury’s Cream Eggs, its official peoples, we are but hours away from being in April. Despite me spending most of the year idly kicking rocks until Autumn arrives I suppose it is a little bit nice to have more sunlight and everyone to generally be in a better mood. Of course it does mean I am but a few short weeks away from having to source, purchase and then wear the dreaded summer clothes **shudders** (why can’t some enterprising retailer come up with a range of summer clothes in anything other than floral, pastel or neon for us goth-bohemian-1920’s-dustbowl-circus-waif-B-movie-noir-loving-minimalist-exectutvie-witches out there??? But that’s a rant for another post).
In honour of this new month here are some of the best things April has to offer! Some monthly bookmarks if you will. (Editor’s note: I have refrained from filling this with bank holiday goings on because on Thursday I am going to do a Easter Bank Holiday special for you all – keep your peepers peeled).

1st April – Defining Beauty: the body in Ancient Greek Art is at the British Museum. This actually opened last week but if you’re such a Johnny-on-the-spot that you have already seen it, you really don’t need any tips from me about how to spend your time!

1st April – All this Belongs to You at the V and A. The launch night is tonight (if you’re at a loose end) with the exhibition proper opening tomorrow. It is a free exhibition looking at the role of public institutions in society and obviously rather apt in this election year.

1st April – Vivienne Westwood: Cut From the Past at Danson House. This exhibition, as the name suggests, explores how the designs of the past have influence Westwood, particularly those of the 18th Century.

8th April – Heroes from the dark or light side? Ancient and modern heroes versus the Minotaur at the Petrie Museum. A screening and talk by Amanda Potter focussing on the role or hero in Theseus and the Minotaur legend.

9th April – Liz Tregenza will be signing copies of her latest book, Style Me Vintage 1940s at IWM London.


Montage of Heck

10th April – The eagerly anticipated and apparently definitive documentary about Kurt Cobain, Montage of Heck is released nationwide.

10th April – Sherlock Holmes Film Night at the Museum of London. Dressing up, drinking and watching Sherlock Holmes films in a museum, well this sounds terrible.

11th April – The Oxford Cambridge Boat Race takes place (I know, it’s come round again – where does the time go?) For the best spots to watch from follow this handy guide…

11th April – The Renegade Craft Fair is in town, more specifically at the Old Truman Brewery.

18th April – Snap on those bicycle clips and button up that waistcoat, it’s Tweed Run time! Tickets for the ride itself have all gone but there are still spaces available for the end of race shindig at the Bloomsbury Ballrooms.

Amy Shore Tweed RunImage: Amy Shore via Tweed Run

25-26th April – Forensic Television: Crime Scene to Courtroom at the BFI. A two-day event looking at the symbiotic relationship between forensic science and television dramas. This looks really interesting especially for anyone who thinks they could solve a murder after watching CSI religiously for the best part of ten years. What? Oh, don’t even pretend you’re not one too, we can smell our own kiddo.

26th April – “Residents of London stay in your homes! I repeat, please remain inside your homes and do not attempt to make any unnecessary journeys. 40,000 people in fancy dress are running through the city and getting around is, not to put to finer point on it, a total f-ing nightmare. Stay in your homes and watch it on the telly because after all it is for a very good cause. Thank you for your co-operation”.

Book of the Month:

Last but not least I thought I would recommend a book to read this month, because, well, I like books.
This month I am recommending Skyscapes: The Role and Importance of the Sky in Archaeology by Fabio Silva. Needless to say I haven’t had a chance to read this yet, but the premise looks fascinating. Exploring the lived experience of past environments is what I am interested in in my own research and this kind of stuff is just generally very cool and groovy.

Right, let’s do April peoples!



A Month of Death!

I’ve always wanted to spend Halloween in America. Those guys know how to do Halloween. Here in the UK we start to get excited about Halloween at, oooh, around 2.30pm on the 31st, and we’re all done and dusted by midnight. But over in the U S of A, it’s the land of the scream and the home of the errm, jack o’ lanterns for weeks before the big night. I grew up enviously wishing I lived in the town I’d seen in hundreds of films. You know, the one with leafy suburban streets decorated with paper skeletons and cardboard tomb stones, children running around in costumes and some cute guy in a William Shatner mask lurking by neighbours hedge as I walk home from school, oh wait…

Well it seems those folks from A Curious Invitation and Antique Beat feel the same way I do because they have organised a month long celebration of all things death. It’s also in aid of helping to preserve Kensal Green and Brompton cemeteries, which is doubly pleasing.

There are some really fascinating events occurring from the 11th October up until All Souls Day. There is something to appeal to everyone, with taxidermy by Margot Magpie, séances and a series of very interesting lectures on varrying aspects of death and the afterlife. The walking tours by Robert Stephenson look particularly fascinating, as does the tour the Museum of London Osteology collection. The closing night of the event boasts a performance of Schubert’s Death and the Maiden in the Dissenters Chapel and a torchlight parade.

Tickets are still available although they seem to be selling quickly. I can’t wait! This is going to be the best, month, ever!

For more information visit the website here!


Archaeologists Assemble!

As some of you will be aware I am currently completing my MA in Archaeology. Adorning my department walls is an ever changing carnival of posters for multiple and varied conferences, lectures and projects covering a broad spectrum of historical and archaeological research interests. I’m not going to lie, most are pretty darn niche. However today I spotted one that I thought looked really interesting and was thoroughly deserving of a bit of a shout out.


As we all know this year marks the centenary of the start of the First World War. I have already mentioned the great ‘Letter to an Unknown Solider’ project that I took part in recently (and you can too!). However this year The Council for British Archaeology are also commemorating the War by launching a four year project (2014-2018) exploring the effects of the First World War in Britain through previously unrecorded sites. The Home Front Legacy Project is asking you to get involved by letting them know about sites in your area which are historically valuable to the story of the First World War in Britain. This is your chance to flex your archaeologist elbow. But don’t worry, you don’t need to be experienced in the field or even get muddy. Much of archaeological work, which isn’t for some reason documented in Indiana Jones, is recording evidence (like a detective I like to think, which is equally as cool). Archaeology is a destructive process and so we replace what we remove with accurate records to preserve the site for future study. This model of recording is what the CBA are asking us all to do. They provide all of the tools needed on their website (along with a much more thorough brief than I have sketched out). The website will also serve as a repository for the information and will develop a UK wide map plotting newly discovered sites. The data will also be shared across multiple archaeological agencies and submitted to local councils to ensure that First World War sites are considered in any future planning decisions. Very cool indeed.

The sites could be anything, from requisitioned buildings, military sites or even documentary evidence such as photographs and letters.

I think this is a fabulous opportunity to preserve our relatively recent local history in a synthesised way and to ensure it doesn’t disappear over time.

Also I just really love doing detective work.

Follow the project on Twitter too @homefrontlegacy