Things I’m Looking Forward To Seeing and Doing In London This Year
At this time of the year when it’s bitterly cold, I know I tend to start thinking “what the hell am I doing with my life” (aren’t we all?). The first thing I know a lot of people start doing is looking for an escapee from the cold, the grey never-ending sunless days. Making you feel like a vampire - coming and going, and only leaving your house under the cover of darkness.
This is the time that I start planning my trips for the year. This helps me take my mind off the January blues and helps me make it through the cold gruelling winter months.
My travel plans usually start off with a fantasy about how hot and nice Greece, Jamaica or Malta might be and if I will be bikini-ready by then, all the while refreshing booking.com and skyscanner.com simultaneously, hoping the price of the flight drops even by £50.
But as I was refreshing BA.com, Google flights, booking.com and skycanner.com all with the hope of getting tickets to Jamaica for December/January 2019, I realised that December is a long way away.
So, I started thinking about all the amazing events that, will be happening in London throughout this year that I can’t wait to attend.
Exhibitions in London You Need To See
One of the things I loved seeing was the Basquiat: BoomForReal exhibition at the Barbican Centre. That event is still running until 28 January 2018.
I couldn't help but be inspired by how he used the environment to create his art. How he did not only try one form of art but excelled at them all from painting and music to poetry. His creativity was inspired by the environment around him. This exhibition is definitely worth seeing.
I am also excited about the Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self UP Exhibition. I’ve always heard of her but never really knew too much about her life and art until I watched the movie starring Salma Hayek about her life and what inspired her to create art and what a strong woman she was. I became obese.
She painted her life and lived with such passion and strength. From a horrific car accident, the loss of a child, divorce, and being bedridden in her later years. She wasn’t afraid to share it all on her canvas and was badass while doing it.
The exhibition will showcase collections of personal artefacts and clothing belonging to this iconic artist including her medical corsets, jewellery, accessories, photographs and letters and her distinctive Tehuana outfits that she wore for political statements. All this has been locked away for 50 years after her death and has never before been exhibited outside Mexico.
Even though this exhibition is in June... yes June, I am extremely excited to see it.
Frida was an original trailblazer.
Where: V & A, opening 16 June 2018
Michael Jackson: On The Wall exhibition: While MJ’s music is the soundtrack to the single girls Friday night, no ice cream and Bridge Jones for this girl. I am rocking out to MJ with my cat, feather boa, and a glass of wine. Who needs the club when you have at hand a full catalogue of the thriller album to dance to?
This exhibition looks at MJ's influence on contemporary art and as he was seen as one of the most cultural figure in visual art. The Michael Jackson: On the Wall will bring together the works of over forty contemporary artists, including pieces from both public and private collections around the world,
The exhibition also coincides with what would have been Michael Jackson’s 60th birthday (on August 29, 2018).
There is no way I will be missing this exhibition and you shouldn’t either. Where: National Portrait Gallery, opening 28 June - 21 October 2018
London Marathon The Great Equalizer and Stuffed Character Race
The London Marathon is an event I always look forward to every April. The marathon is considered the great equalizer of men, women, and people dressed as various stuffed cartoons.
I have watched it countless times and even volunteered for a charity that hosts some of the runnings after the marathon. I got close enough to the finishing line to see all the elite runners finish, which is a sight to behold in the flesh.
There is nothing more interesting than seeing a middle-aged man with a bloodstained running vest (because his nibbles rubbed off during the marathon and started bleeding through), perspiration that now looks like salt caked on his face and lips, panting as he throws his body to the ground. Looks up and asks you ‘am I the first to finish for this charity?’ and the look of glee and delight as you tell him ‘yes’. Now that’s priceless - Mastercard not included.
For 12 hours, London will change and people you don’t know or will ever see again will encourage and cheer each other on. The London marathon brings a vibe of unity in London that you don’t see every day. So, if you're in Central London on that day, come out and cheer on the runners.
Where: London 22 April 2018
The Best London Foodie Event
Taste of London is another event that I really look forward to in London. I can proudly say I was at the very first Taste of London, and the event has gone from strength to strength and (is a great way to spend a day with friends).
If you're interested in food or just looking for a great day out with friends while sampling from some of the best restaurants that London has to offer, this is the place to be.
Taste of London is also a great place to try out new food products before they hit your local Waitrose or Sainsbury’s. Bring an extra carry bag for your goodies and go with an empty belly.
Where: Regents Park, Opening 13 June to 17 June 2018
Calling All Carnival Queens
Being from the Caribbean, you already know I’ll be getting on bad at Notting Hill Carnival. Last year, London had the perfect weather for the Carnival (hot & sunny with strong white rum).
This year, I have already planned with my friend that we would join a band (I want to look like a carnival Queen aka Rihanna at crop over). You won’t be able to miss me on that day, just look at the biggest sound truck for the gal carrying on bad. To get ready for carnival I usually go to all the Fetes (soca parties) happening in London, usually starting a month before the actual carnival.
Yes, ladies, you need to get the waistline nice and limber to whine up at carnival :)
Even though this month I’m (and every Londoner) feeling like a hibernating bear, fantasizing about beaches, bikinis, rum and a tan, there are so many events in the months ahead to look forward to.
Why not check out the amazing events happening in and around London (most of them are free too). Writing about them has already made me excited and grey old London doesn’t seem that bad.
Where: Notting Hill Carnival, 26 August to 27 August 2018
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