Get Your Hobby on!
Written by: Violet Myers
Are you reaching your full potential as a Londoner? Are you merely a human being ordo you dare to become a fantastical human doing? In a world where Netflix has become less of a source of entertainment and more like a full time occupation, the brave people of Finsbury Park are fighting back and breathing new life into the humble hobby.
Picture this: you’re attending a swish cocktail party, full to the brim with fabulous interesting people. Someone’s popped over after just swimming the Channel, there’s a civil servant who plays squash with Martin Clunes. Then the dreaded question comes up “tell me about you? What are you into?” Does planning a fictional wedding on Pinterest count as a hobby? No? How about being intolerant to gluten?
These people don’t just work, eat, sleep, repeat they’re getting involved in EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES and their social media profiles look great because of it. It seems everyone’s at it – Barry from accounts is so much more than Barry from accounts, now he’s Barry from accounts who also plays ultimate frisby on the weekends. Your mum’s friend Jill has never felt better since she started her stealth yoga class and uncle Ken has taken his flower arranging to a whole other level. Well if you can’t beat ‘em, join ’em. It’s time to reclaim the early evening slump, turn off Making a Murderer (too far?) and get your hobby on!
Sewing Classes at The Stitching Academy (Harringay)
Taught by industry experts, The Stitching Academy offer a range of courses at different levels for budding fashion designers. You can commit to a 5 – 12 week course, or watch out for pop-up one offs.
Courses include; pattern cutting, basic sewing techniques and finishing techniques for the more advanced.
Rock Climbing at The Castle Climbing Centre (Finsbury Park)
Up for something a little more…death defying?
The Castle Climbing Centre offers a tonne of different sessions to match any ability including; one-to-one tuition, master classes and have-a-go sessions. These are perfect for those just starting out, everyone can get involved, even if you’re only experience of climbing is scaling the fence at Glastonbury that one time.
Capoeira Classes at The London School of Capoeira (Stroud Green)
So neither fashion design nor scaling walls really floats your boat? Maybe you’re less into climbing and more into kicking people stylishly. Well, you are in luck.
This Stroud Green based school does daily mid-week evening classes and has even started doing a Thursday morning class, just in case you can’t start the day without a good headstand flail kick (probably not a technical term).
Photo: Marie-Lan Nguyen
Swing Classes at Swing Patrol (Finsbury Park)
Maybe you’re a lover not a fighter, more of a Fred Astaire than a Bruce Lee. Well don’t worry your gentle little soul. Swing Patrol offer classes all over this great city of ours, but there are two N4 postcode venues to choose from, jolly good! Lessons are £8 per class, or £12 if you do both classes in the evening.
Photo: Neal Jackson
Spirited away from the hubbub of the city, sitting on the bustling boundaries of Islington and Camden, a 65 metre wide gallery resides hidden behind the Attic Self Storage building in Kings Cross. Market Road Gallery is a newly opened space for everyone to contribute to. It is London’s first bookable open air public gallery. Everyone, from the neighbourhood cat to a fancy pants established artiste, can create artwork for the space.
Today Britain will relish (moan) in 16 hours and 38 minutes of daylight, with the sun rising at 4:43am and setting at 9:31pm. It’s set to be a record breaking 33 degrees in London. I for one am going to need all the help I can get not to disappear like the wicked witch of the West into a sticky puddle on Stroud Green Road. Here’s our Solstice-worshipping, Pagan inspired tips for surviving the hottest and longest day of the year in London.
It’s time. Time to bask (complain) in the sun and ask why god why when will it end?? Yes, Summer is officially here for the week, the hottest week in the last 20 years. This Friday, Drum n Bounce are coming all the way down South to help us celebrate this fact, as healthily as possible. Right in the middle section of VeloPark (link) you can take part in uplifting and limbering flow yoga with Tammy’s Yoga before 45 minutes of energising drum n bounce aerobics. This is basically getting hot and fit and dancey to your favourite tracks before you head off in to the night (or bed) with a massive sweaty smile on your mug.
Next Friday night, ignore your mounting list of life admin and venture outwards into the ether for a misanthropic wine a plenty. It’s the Black Books pub quiz at The Duke of Wellington as part of their couch potato themed quiz series. Entry is a meagre £2 but you can win some cold hard real cash if you’re up on your Dylan Moran / Tamsin Greig / Bill Bailey shaped references.
Who are the Heather Brothers? It’s a question that’s been keeping me up at night. Ever since I was asked to review their latest musical, Holy Crap, I’ve been trapped in something of a Google wormhole. To begin at the beginning: the Heather Brothers are, depending on who you ask, a musical writing duo/trio/quartet. Born in London, they grew up in Zimbabwe, where they spent their teenage years performing in a fraternal rock band. Again, depending on who you ask, they were variously known as: The Chequers, The Three People or Quiet World.
“Arriving back in the UK, after a long time away, there seemed to have been a swing towards xenophobia and the dehumanizing and vilify of both migrants and refugees was happening at the highest levels. I wanted to create a short that would address this trend.” Director Daniel Mulloy
The gin enthusiasts down at Hendricks have decided to take these cucumber celebrations a slice further with their Cultivate the Unusual campaign. Encouraging gin fans to grow their own cucumbers over the last few months in preparation, Hendricks are asking us to bring said veggies to participating pubs and bars this Thursday 15th June. The Canonbury Tavern for example, will light up if you walk in with a cucumber and will proceed to exchange it for a free gin and tonic. Can you imagine?
Hang Up Gallery have some pretty hush hush news. And it goes a little something like this: Darryl ‘Run’ DMC McDaniels will be popping up in the Stoke Newington gallery this month to launch his new collection of works, The Art of DMC. This is the icon’s first London exhibition, showing new and unseen collection of ‘Darryl Makes Comics (DMC)’ Fine Art, a body of signed limited edition prints showcasing his underlying passion for comics.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the original Summer of Love ’67 where freedom of expression, art and love reigned supreme. #ShopStroudGreen are celebrating the fact with a Summer of Love Local weekend festival this June. Celebrate artistic expression and support local independent traders and makers with a weekend of live art, workshops and music (with a few special discounts, tasters and freebies for good measure).
Oh snap! Another general election looms. Whether you’re hopeful for a landslide win or a surprising wild card outcome, wipe the bitter disappointment from your tastebuds with some gins, ales, burgers and strong covfefe. Because let’s face, it will be neither of those results will it really? Find the perfect place for you to receive the bad news in good company.
Get a different perspective on the city you live in this June. Film London are holding a screening of archive footage of London’s outer boroughs through the decades, underscored by live music accompaniment. The best of London’s Screen Archives hugely successful project, London: A Bigger Picture will be shown, funded by Heritage Lottery three years ago.
We caught up with Snowy the Harringay Station cat to talk Twitter, working life and his unsavoury friendship with Gus the fox. Summer is coming and, in North London, that means it’s time to hit the train stations. So we took Snow the Haringey Station Cat and photographer Mike Barry tumbling across one of them: the undergrowth of Haringey Station. Then we sat down with Snowy for a raw conversation about how to move forward after things fall apart.
“You grow it, we mow it” might be their blasé catchphrase, but Rocket’s attitude to your haircut is far from casual. These guys are serious about hair and the person that grew it. Rocket Stoke Newington are holding a day of free beer and entertainment with your cut in aid of Men’s Mental Health Sunday this 12th June. Also known as “Chopping for Chazza”, there’ll be talks on mental health, stand up comedy and more from 12 - 5pm.
Unless you’re already working for charity or regularly ‘do your bit’, that £6 monthly donation to The Dogs Trust might not be doing enough to quash your conscience / save the world. Whether you’re doing it for experience, to reset your karmic balance or generally give back and help out, there’ll be a role out there for you. On the Volunteer Centre Camden’s website for example, there’s a handy search page that lets you filter through hundreds of opportunities by location, interest and activity.
Currently showing at Camden People’s Theatre, performance artist Tom Marshman’s play Kings Cross (Remix) is a glorious celebration of a bygone era. The show is a tightly crafted journey through the stories of some of the people who made up the 1980s Kings Cross LGBTQ scene. Bursting with warmth, charm and affection, the play is a must see for anyone interested in learning more about London’s alternative history.
The Londoner behind 'Strong and Stable My Arse'. It’s a simple message. A slogan that’s straight to the point. 'Strong and Stable My Arse’ is a statement everyone can understand with a wry grin as they spot it slathered onto billboards, phone boxes and brick walls around the UK. So who could possibly be behind such a simple, cheeky, dig in the ribs campaign? Someone who knows his audience, who knows the mindset of the British like the back of his left hand.