Things to do
SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS: We’re only just in November, but Christmas is well on the way. The Spirit Of Christmas Fair opens today for a week of festive fun, giving you the chance to stock up on gifts, decorations, cards, wrapping paper and festive food well ahead of the big day. There’s also a packed workshop programme, covering topics such as making edible gifts, floral arrangements and cocktail masterclasses. Olympia London, from £20.50, book ahead, 4-10 November
VOILA! EUROPE: British and European theatre-makers come together for Voila! Europe, a two-week theatrical festival. The multicultural, multilingual, and multidisciplinary programme covers comedy, physical theatre, music, new writing and much more, and begins with an opening party tonight. Various locations, from £8 per event, book ahead, 4-17 November
WEIGHING THE UNIVERSE: We thought about trying to work out how much London weighs once (it’s just the way the Londonist brain works…) but gave up pretty quickly. So imagine trying to weigh the universe. Hear astrostatistics expert Professor Roberto Trotta talk about how exact measurements of light have allowed astronomers to weigh the universe, and thereby establish the geometry of space. Museum of London, free, just turn up, 1pm-2pm
DOCKS AFTER DARK: Grab a lantern and your brave face and head out east to tour London’s docks after dark. A Museum of London Docklands guide tells spooky stories of men, women and children who worked in the docks, as you visit some of most ‘haunted’ spots in the museum’s 200-year old warehouse building. Tour is partly outside, so dress for the weather. Museum of London Docklands, £25, book ahead, 6.30pm
DIRTY DANCING AND ME: Comedian Katy Brand waxes lyrical about all things Dirty Dancing. She talks about her lifelong obsession with the film, how it shaped her life, and shares some of the things that most people miss on first viewing. Conway Hall (Holborn), £30, book ahead, 6.45pm-8pm
MUSICAL HISTORY: Turn the clock back to 1954 and watch classic Judy Garland musical A Star Is Born. The screening is part of the BFI Musicals! The Greatest Show on Screen series, so expect a look at the history of American musicals and another short film screening as part of the event. Deptford Cinema, £6.50/£4.50, book ahead, 7pm
ALIENS: Psychology expert Christopher French offers a skeptic’s guide to aliens. Hear him talk about the psychological explanations for the various types of claim, from UFO sightings, to abductions. Learn about the history of UFOs within society, and the risks of the memory recovery techniques employed by some ufologists. The Joker (Islington), £12, book ahead, 7pm-9.30pm (sponsor)
COMEDY: Comedians Joz Norris and Pope Longeran team up for a pay-what-you-want show, offering very early previews of some of their Edinburgh 2020 material. Pope debuts Pope Lonergan: Incontinence Pad Disposal, while Joz follows up to his critically acclaimed show Joz Norris is Dead. Long Live Mr. Fruit Salad. 2Northdown (King’s Cross), pay what you want, book ahead, 7pm-10pm
IRRATIONAL APE: London Skeptics In The Pub hosts author David Robert Grimes to talk about his book The Irrational Ape. He covers the importance of critical thinking, and how we can be lured into making critical mistakes or drawing false conclusions, and how to avoid such errors. The Monarch (Camden), £3, just turn up, 7.30pm
MUSIC RECITAL: Treat yourself to an evening of live music. The Hieronymus Quartet’s last show at Fulham Palace was a sell-out, so we’ve got high hopes for tonight’s recital, featuring violin, viola and cello. Fulham Palace, £25, book ahead, 7.30pm-9.30pm
PUB(E) QUIZ: On the first Monday of the month, London’s new Vagina Museum hosts a vagina-themed quiz. Test your knowledge, to be in with a chance of winning prizes unlike those from your average pub quiz. Vagina Museum (Camden), £3, book ahead, 7.30pm-9.30pm
Tube ponderings with Barry Heck
Our resident tube fancier dishes out daily thoughts on the London Underground.
My Roundel of the Week is an easy choice this week. These poppy roundels have been installed at 15 stations across the Underground and Overground. Poppies will also appear on buses and hire cycles to mark this year’s Remembrance.
Follow Barry on Twitter @HeckTube.
Good cause of the day
Sign up now to take part in Thursday’s sponsored fire walk in Chiswick Park, in aid of Shooting Stars Children’s Hospices. No training is necessary — it’s a case of mind over matter — and the walk is followed by Chiswick Park’s free fireworks display. Find out more and sign up.