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The Muddy Guide 18 – 24 Jan

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Griffin Prize touring exhibition, High House, Clanfield, From Sat 18 Jan

The lovely High House gallery in Clanfield, West Oxfordshire, is teacher’s pet this week, having been selected as the first stop on the prestigious Griffin Art Prize tour, the first time the GAP has been shown outside its west London home. The prize is an independent annual award aimed at supporting the UK’s most talented emerging artists. You can see ‘Gate’, this year’s winning entry  by Luke George and Elizabeth Rose (above) along with a wide selection of other paintings, drawings, photography, printmaking and installation.

The exhibition runs until 16 February 2014. Open Thursdays – Sundays 11am – 5pm.

Mr Cello & Friends, The Theatre, Chipping Norton, Sat 18 Jan

I’m a big fan of classical music for kids, and these interactive Mr Cello & Friends concerts plainly focus on fun and exploration for littlies from age 2 upwards. The concerts are 45 minutes long, and introduce children to various instruments through a variety of short pieces. This week professional cellist Roz Gladstone explores the workings and sound of the classical and jazz trumpet. Then it’s the double bass in February and the Koto in March. Watch out Chinese Tiger mums, we’re on your tail!

The Theatre, Chipping Norton. 11.30am. £8.50.

Francis Bacon/Henry Moore: Flesh and Bone, The Ashmolean, final weekend

If you haven’t already made it across to Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum to see this phenomenal exhibition, now’s the time to mobilise, as it ends this Sunday. A large collection of paintings by Bacon and sculptures and drawings by Moore have been carefully selected to bring out the similarities and differences between their work in a deeply satisfying exploration of the two 20th century greats. Don’t miss it.

Woodland Walks, Cliveden

January and February can be frustrating times, when all the big country houses and estates close, but often the gardens do stay open, and certainly that’s the case for stunning grounds of Cliveden. The woodlands are open every day 10am – 4pm and they offer three self- guided walking trails available to download before setting out. Other gardens worth wrapping up for are Waddesdon (weekends only), Stowe Landscape Gardens and the magnificent Rousham gardens – all local to us, and amongst the most beautiful in England.


Worminghall Pop up Cafe, Worminghall, Bucks, Sat 18 Jan

BeNQpzQIEAApGAF.jpg_largeI suspect you won’t be traveling across the county for this one, but bravo to the mum-and-daughter team who’ve set up a pop up cafe in Worminghall Village Hall from today (Sat) and running for the next four weekends. Worminghall is a quiet, rural village in mid-Bucks, not far from me actually, and the idea is to bring the local community together, give the kids a place to spend their pocket money and have a bit of fun. The frolicks end with a fun Bake off. Love it. @worminghallcafe;

Kairos 4tet, North Wall Arts Centre, Summertown, Oxford, Wed 22 Jan


2011’s award-winning MOBO jazz act Kairos 4tet come to the  North Wall Arts Centre in Summertown to perform music from their critically acclaimed 3rd album – all four and five stars in the press by all accounts. I’m a big fan of the North Wall – an intimate venue with an inventive programme. This event is a sit-downer, just in case you’re disappointed at the lack of moshpit.

Tickets £13. 8pm.

StonyWords, Stony Stratford, Nr Milton Keynes, Sat 18 – 31 Jan

chorist_-_SS_Shanty_2Did you know that the phrase ‘cock n bull story’ originated in the market town of Stony Stratford, North Bucks? The Cock and the Bull were two of the main coaching inns in the town and the banter and rivalry between groups of travellers is said to have resulted in exaggerated and fanciful stories, which became known as ‘cock and bull stories’. There’ s a strong element of storytelling and spoken word in Stony Stratford’s 10th annual festival starts on Saturday and runs until the end of the month. Created to brighten residents’ lives during the dark January days, the event is full of music, poetry, storytelling and quiz nights. No bull!

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