The Muddy Guide
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Finally, some normality is set to resume after a very long, hot summer – I don’t know about you guys, but I found 6 weeks of juggling work and kids with no childcare quite, um, interesting. Enjoy this week’s Muddy Guide – go and book something you want to see!
BTW, I will add more to this tomorrow so don’t forget to refer back to it (the new additions will be at the top of the post for your ease).
Blenheim Horse Trials, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, 12-15 September
I’ve yet to visit these now internationally established horse trials but I know plenty who have been, and it sounds like really good fun if you’re a horsey type or just enjoy the sport. It’s a three day eventer (show jumping, cross country, dressage) over, um, four days and also includes demonstrations, seminars, classic cars, children’s activities and all the peripheral stuff you’d expect from a large event. If you ride, you can also take part in a 10 mile ride around Blenheim Palace estate – I can’t tell one end of a horse from the other, but even I can appreciate that sounds like a gorgeous opportunity.
Thames Festival, various venues, London, 6-15 September
Don’t want that summer feeling to end? The annual Mayor’s Thames Festival returns to London, and it’s bigger and quirkier than ever, with a floating art fair, large-scale sculptures, Tower Beach open on the weekend (loving this vintage pic!), a ship’s opera, barge-driving races and the Thames’s biggest ever river race with 300 competitors. Great fun to dip into if you happen to be in London and of course, utterly, gloriously free.
The Ultimate Picture Palace reopens, Jeune St, Oxford, 13 September
Oxford’s first – and now its only – independent cinema, the UPP has always been a pretty special place. But it’s always been a bit grungy, a bit damp and studenty, and er, sticky. That’s all changing from next Friday when the cinema reopens with a natty makeover. Subdued taste, thankfully, is not the order of the day – frankly that would be absurd up Cowley Road. Instead, the interior is being painted purple, and there’s some dramatic grey and black wallpaper going up! Prices too, for icecream and Haribos at least (but as the UPP says, better that than have to watch loads of ads before your film). Here’s the new season programme of films, so take a break from the multiplex and try the new-look UPP out.
MK Handmade and vintage fair, thecentre:MK, Milton Keynes 7-8 Sept
120 stallholders vie for your attention at this massive fair, bang outside the John Lewis in Milton Keynes (how the John Lewis managers must loathe this event!). Everything from fashion to home furnishings are for sale, so you’ll be able to spend a good half day nosing around. Of course, you either love rummaging around vintage fairs or you don’t (I’m a ‘do’ as long as there’s room enough to move around without smashing crockery) so if you crave the craftier, more retro side of the street, you’ll love this.
Henry VI, Globe Theatre on Tour, Oxford Playhouse, 10-14 Sept
The touring Globe Theatre get about don’t they? Here they are, back in Oxford, offering a rare opportunity to see the three plays of Henry VI, Shakespeare’s powerful rendering of a country wracked by civil war. Harry the Sixth follows the death of Henry V, where divisions are appearing around the infant Henry VI. The Houses of York and Lancaster sees the nobles of England take sides behind Richard Duke of York and King Henry VI, culminating in the first battle of the War of the Roses. The True Tragedy of the Duke of York is a bloody power struggle between the King’s party, led by the fearsome Queen Margaret, and the Yorkists. Grab your GSCE-stage children and force them onto their seats forthwith!
Hugh’s Autumn Fair, River Cottage, Axminster, 7-8 September
There was such a huge reaction to my River Cottage comp last month that I thought you may be interested to know about Hugh’s Autumn Fair at River Cottage HQ. The event is as you’d expect really – multiple cookery demonstrations, talks from the team (including Hugh), fun activities for kids. It being billed as a harvest festival, musicians, local beer and cider, and festival food cooked by the River Cottage chefs complete the ruddy-faced lineup. Don’t forget your wellies!
Hugh’s Autumn Fair, 10am -4pm. Tickets £15, under 12s free.