Things to do
CONSERVATION FRONTLINES: Conservation biologist and National Geographic Explorer Joshua Powell discusses the conservation challenges faced by wildlife rangers around the world, from temperate forests on the Azerbaijan-Iran border, to snow-capped mountain reserves in Kyrgyzstan. It’s a Babble Talks event which means it’s aimed at parents or carers with babies. The George IV (Chiswick), £10, book ahead, 11am-12pm
CAN MATHS SAVE WHALES?: Saving the whales and curing cancer are two of the great challenges faced by science today. Professor Chris Budd gives a talk about the role that maths has to play in dealing with both of them — in particular, how mathematical modelling can be used to learn how the world works, and how we can change it. Museum of London, free, just turn up, 1pm-2pm
DARK SIDE OF THE GREEN: Footprints of London guide David Charnick leads a guided walk exploring the dark side of Bethnal Green. It’s based on research for his book The Dark Side of East London, and tells the story of some little-known characters from the area. St Leonard’s Church (Shoreditch), £12/£9, book ahead, 2pm-4pm
A NIGERWIFE’S STORY: Tying in with the current production of Three Sisters, National Theatre hosts Rosina Umelo and Elizabeth Bird to discuss their book, Surviving Biafra: A Nigerwife’s Story. It’s Umelo’s first-hand account of living through the Nigeria-Biafra civil war, and how she and her family survived. National Theatre, £9/£6, book ahead, 6pm
JOURNEY TO THE MAYFLOWER: History author Stephen Tomkins gives a talk about how The Mayflower came to be launched, in a year marking the 400th anniversary of its voyage to America, Tomkins reveals a side of the story that not many people have heard before, linked to a period of religious unrest. Southwark Cathedral, £3, book ahead, 7pm-8.30pm
CAMILLE IN OCTOBER: Celebrate the life and works of working-class French lesbian author Mireille Best, who deserves more recognition for her contributions to LGBTQ+ fiction. This talk and readings by translator Dr Stephanie Schechner celebrates Best’s novel Camille in October, published in 1988 and now available in English for the first time. Gay’s The Word (Bloomsbury), free, just turn up, 7pm-8.30pm
STARKERS ACADEMY: Everyone’s welcome to take part in Starkers Academy’s life drawing session, regardless of your artistic experience. All materials are provided, and the nude models are all first timers — so don’t worry if it’s your first time too. Arcola Theatre Bar (Dalston), £15/£12, book ahead, 7pm-9pm
ARAB CHRISTMAS: Across the Arab World, Orthodox Christians and Egyptian Coptics celebrate Christmas today. St Martin in the Fields celebrates with a line-up of singers and musicians performing Syriac, Coptic and Byzantine chants. Palestine broadcaster Reem Kelanim hosts, with Syrian mezzo soprano Mirna Kassis and half-Coptic Egyptian, half-German singer and composer Merit Ariane Stephanos also due to perform. St Martin in the Fields (Trafalgar Square), £15/£13.50, book ahead, 7.30pm
HAMMER & TONGUE: Spoken word night Hammer & Tongue returns to east London, headlined by battle rapper and comic Shuffle T. There’s also an open mic section, where any poets can sign up for a 3.5 minute slot. The Book Club (Shoreditch), £7, book ahead, 7.30pm-10pm
Tube ponderings with Barry Heck
Our resident tube fancier dishes out daily thoughts on the London Underground.
Passing through Waterloo the other day, I noticed this bank of old ticket offices has been brightened up with a series of mosaic-like images. Nice touch. Other stations have installed ‘tiny parks’ in the windows, or information displays about the tube’s history. All very lovely, although many will retort that keeping the offices open with staff might have been preferable.
Follow Barry on Twitter @HeckTube.
Good cause of the day
House full of toys after Christmas? Have a clear out and donate your kids’ old items to those in need. Find out more about the Salvation Army’s Big Toy Homing scheme — you can donate at your nearest The Entertainer store.