Your social life sorted: The Muddy Guide 15 – 21 September
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Sorrryyyyyy this is late. Having a crazy old time of things, what with the new Muddy Stilettos blogazine launching in two weeks (*squeak!*), trying to find time to talk to advertisers, chucking three kids in and out of school and trying to keep my alcohol consumption within moral limits.
Anyhow, here it is, in all its glory. Your social life sorted for the week. Have fun and please, if you do any of the things on this list, write and tell us about them in the box below this post. Mi comment boxa e su comment boxa and all that.
Edward Lear exhibition, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 2o Sept 2012 – 6 Jan 2013
I confess that I didn’t know much about Edward Lear until a press release to this exhibition plopped into my in-box, but the Ashmolean’s brand new Exhibition Happy Birthday Edward Lear: 200 Years of Nature and Nonsense sounds captivating.
Lear is one of the most notable artists and popular writers of the Victorian period (I know, who knew?!), best known for his literary nonsense in poetry and prose, though he saw himself primarily as an artist. I’ll be taking a sneaky pre-peek on the 19th so I’ll report back then but I’ve never had a less than interesting experience in the Ashmolean so I’m expecting great things. Frankly for £4 (and free for kids) you can afford to take a punt on it.
£4/£3 concessions | Free to under-18s/ www.ashmolean.org/exhibitions
Julius Caesar, Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, 19-22 September
The RSC’s acclaimed production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar comes to Aylesbury straight from the West End, starring a whole load of buff men wearing not very much. See you in the stalls!
www.atgtickets.com. Tickets £10-30
London Design Festival, until 23 September
Are you a doer-upper, Grand Designs voyeur or hardened interiors pro? There’s something for everyone at the London Design Festival, now in its tenth year. Furniture, lighting, ceramics, architecture, fashion, interiors, graphic design and crafts are all lovingly covered in over 300 events. The organisers recommend planning your visit carefully before you go – great advice because the range of this festival is truly gobsmacking. It’s not easy though. I’ve just spent half an hour trying to choose one brilliant event over another and have basically decided to sleep in the Truman Brewery for the next week.
Keeping it Local, Oxford’s Castle Quarter, 15-16 September
Muddy Stilettos gets all warm and toasty about community spirit, and Keeping It Local has it in spades. Over 100 exhibitors, from makers and bakers, gardeners to performers, will come together in Oxford’s Castle Quarter to showcase the best Oxfordshire and adjoining counties haveo offer. As you’d expect, there’s plenty for kids to do from pony rides, story telling, animal petting and face-painting while you concentrate on the important stuff like heckling the Morris Dancers.
10am-5pm both days. 1p entrance fee per person.
Jazz at St Giles, St Giles Church, fortnightly from Saturday 22 September
I’m loving the idea of these new fortnightly Autumnal jazz concerts held at the 12th century St Giles church in central Oxford on Saturday nights. Featuring top class jazz musicians performing two sets with a 20 minute interval (yes, refreshments are available, you old lushes) the concerts will raise funds for the church, proving the famous adage that ‘jazzliness is next to Godliness’.
Tickets are available on the door, or book online at www.jazzatstgiles.com . Tickets £10/concessions £8. Doors open: 7.00pm
Luminaries at LASSCO, Milton Common, Thursday 20 September
I love LASSCO Three Pigeons, the architectural salvage experts nestled on the edge of Milton Common, with their quirky treasure trove of Grecian pillars, stuffed animals, Victorian door knobs and glorious chandeliers.
In line with its classy but slightly out-there aesthetic, the company has introduced a’Luminaries’ series of evening talks, the first of which was about the Antarctic explorer Frank Wild (!), but the second of which, container gardening, has infinitely broader in its appeal. Paul Williams, former Head Gardener at Bourton House and now consultant, broadcaster and author, is dropping by on 20 September to spill his trade secrets. Apparently there’ll be practical demos with pots, plants, compost and ‘quite a bit of mess’ according to LASSCO’s gleeful owner Anthony. Bring your own trowel for acccurate mud-flicking.
£10, including a glass of wine. 6.30pm for a 7pm start. LASSCO Three Pigeons, London Road, Milton Common, Oxfordshire OX9 2JN United Kingdom Tel: 01844 277188. www.lassco.co.uk
Chilterns Countryside and Food Festival, Ashridge Estate, Berkhamsted, Sunday 16 September
Can you stomach another festival? This one has all the usual attributes of kids crafts, ferret racing and local produce stalls, but plays its trump card in its location – the Ashridge Estate, which is stunning even by Chilterns standards. When all the bushcraft, sheep shearing and traditional beardy weardy woodcarving gets too much for you, take a deep breath, step into 6 miles of glorious forest and remember what you’re really celebrating.
10-4pm, £3 adults, children free. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ashridge. Ashridge Visitor Centre, tel: 01442 851 227