Your 'Hell No It's Not September' To Do List

Written by: Sophie Taylor

ARGH IT’S SEPTEMBER ALREADY WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE? Calm down, put those worries in a box and slide ’em under your bed. We’ve got September covered. Well the first half anyway. Check back mid month for another handy list of suggestions won’t you.

Walk on water and catch a fish

Basically get all blasphemous and try to be Jesus in Camden. On Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th September you are cordially invited to sneak a peek at the bottom of Camden’s secret lock chamber. Hey hey, don’t mind if I do you saucy minx. It’s Camden Lock’s special open day weekend. This is your rare opportunity to get up close and personal with Hampstead Road Lock 1A and see all the repair work that’s been going on behind closed doors.

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Walk along original 200 year old brickwork and learn about ‘one of the finest examples of working heritage in the world’ without all that pesky canal water getting in the way. You can then get your silent groove on in one of the locks with 40 others for half an hour, if that’s the sort of thing you’d like to do on a Saturday night. Between 7-9pm you’ll be part of the first ever silent disco to be held in a lock chamber.

But if that’s not enough hushed celebration for you, register for a free fishing starter kit and let a licensed Level Two coach show you the ropes on the water (and by ropes I obviously mean fishing line). “Why?” You ask quietly.

“Because it’s National Fishing Month, okay?”

Camden Lock Open Weekend. Free, first come first served from 10am

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Folk about

I remember the first time I saw someone playing the spoons. It changed my life. I looked my Dad in the eye and said, that is all I want to do in life. I quit school, borrowed some teaspoons and found out I didn’t have a knack for it. If you’ve never had the honour of watching someone whack out a tasty rhythm on a pair of humble soup shovelers, you just simply haven’t lived. This Saturday could change all that. It’s the annual London Folk Festival at Cecil Sharp House in Camden from 11am September 3rd. Throughout the day there will be workshops and singarounds, as well as award-winning local and national acts well established on the folk and acoustic scene from the likes of Faustus and The Foxglove Trio. But get this: one of the events is a spoon workshop 😮 😅 Jo May will be providing an assortment of metal, wooden, plastic and joined-up spoons for the less dexterous amongst us. I’ll be there, banging a ladle against my leg if nothing else.

Tickets available here 

Satisfy your night munchies

Launching on the 3rd September, Islington Green Night Market will be opening from 5-9pm every Saturday evening. Expect a variety of chow from flavour saviours like Comfort Kitchen, Tico’s, Guasacaca, Chunky Buddha and Cheeky Burger. Just waltz straight in, they’re waiting for you and that rumbling belly of yours.

Islington Green Upper St N1, every Saturday 5-9pm 

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I’m a canoe, I’m a canoe, how do you do?

The next day, just up the road from Islington Green it’s the Angel Canal Festival. Relive your terrifying childhood experience of Punch & Judy acts (do they still do the whole domestic violence thing? What was that all about? And why was that crocodile’s mouth so loud) then catch some live music before climbing aboard an actual canoe on the canal. I can’t tell you what happens next as I make these sort of activities look like something you’d film for Jeremy Beadle (RIP). But I imagine you get a wooden stick thing and have to actually do some arm work to get upstream. Reward yourself afterwards with a treat from one of over eighty stalls selling food, bric-a-brac and canalware. Again, don’t ask me what that means – I’m not well versed in water based activities and their ‘wares’.

It’s free to swing by and feel like you’ve done something with your Sunday, from 11am – 5pm, 4th September Angel Canal.

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Tie dye the right way

Be safe, not sorry. Try a Japanese Shibori workshop in Finsbury Park. You too can swan about with a patterned tote bag if you head down to the Pretty Shiny Shop on Stroud Green Road this September 10th. Expert instructor Rob Jones will be there to show you the Japanese art of stitched and bound resist (fabric knotting and dying). Bring along a plain tea towel, pair of Converse (other plain, cotton shoes are available. From Primark usually. Much cheaper but not as long wearing you know?) Or even a lampshade, why not?

I once bought a six foot lamp from a charity shop and had to take it home on the bus and it really wasn’t that big of an ordeal so if you forget to remove the shade from the lamp and end up bringing the whole thing, who cares in the grand scheme of things.

Style it out, quite literally, at the Shibori (tie dye) workshop from 10am and learn the spider web, the wood grain and the running stitch. Yes it does sound like a dance lesson, good one Barbara. Your £40 ticket also includes some secret insider knowledge from our Rob and the white cotton bag itself.

Tickets available here.

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Get your TV fix at the Theatre

If you liked House of Cards or Homeland, peel yourself off your sofa and waddle down to the Park Theatre, Finsbury Park. Wishbone Films, in association with Park Theatre and Oliver Taheri Productions, are presenting the world premiere of The American Wife by Stephen Fife and Ralph Pezzullo. A political thriller throwing one woman’s trust into the balance as her husband is accused of being a terrorist. Let’s face it, a night at the Park Theatre beats Netflix and you can grab a pre show dinner at Yard Sale Pizza round the corner  and really feel like you’ve got out of the house. If you’re seriously attached to your screens you’ll find some familiar TV faces in the cast, who are a rather handsome line up of talented beasts.

Park Theatre are showing The American Wife until 1st October. Tickets are available here.

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Harvest your potential

You know how Noel Edmonds believes in the power of universe? Ask and you shall receive a never ending job as a host of a TV show about boxes? Well, the other day I was randomly thinking about hog roast and cider. Then I thought about some live blues (and sort of accidentally-on-purpose some gypsy jazz) and a bonfire. Then I pushed my luck and thought, all this for free, near me. Well guess what Blobby Appreciators? Noel knows what he’s talking about. On September 16th The Urban Orchard Project are hosting their annual Harvest Festival Party at Alara Warehouse in Camden where you’ll find all of the above dreams made manifest, as well as an apple pie bake off competition. Which means if you’ve been flouring up recently and asking for your own personal Paul Hollywood / Mary Berry scenario, the Universe was listening my little pastry fancier.

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It’s all in the name of supporting Camley Street Neighbourhood and raising awareness for sustainability. So just remember to show your appreciation to the powers that be with a small (or big) donation to The Urban Orchard Project and get stuck in to that spit roast, guilt free.

Urban Orchard Project Harvest Festival, September 16th at Alara Wholefoods Warehouse, 110-112 Camley St, London N1C 4PF. Free entry, donations welcome

Pub Pub Pub

If you’d rather spend your September weekends drinking pints and moaning then we are by no means stopping you. Check out some of our pub recommendations:

Top 4 After Work Pints 

Top 4 Dog Friendly Pubs

Top 4 Pub quizzes

Top 4 Places to cure a hangover

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Finding Humour in Dark Times: Performance Artist Tom Marshman   

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.

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'Strong and Stable My Arse' is all of us

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.

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Top Four "Imma Get Greedy" Second Helpings of Bank Holiday

For some, a second bank holiday brings with it an extra day of anxiety as you wonder how to fill the 24 hour void that desk bound coffee fuelled typing usually fills. If you’re not content to lie horizontal letting gravity slide pizza down your throat, here’s our plans for your second Bank Holiday of the month.

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Theatre of Changing Spaces: Kings Cross in the '80s

“Only last night I found myself lost / by the station called King's Cross. / Dead and wounded on either side / you know it's only a matter of time.” [Pet Shop Boys - Kings Cross] It’s the night after the play and I’m standing at the bar of ‘The Big Chill House’ on Pentonville Road in Kings Cross. It’s ‘Throwback Thursday’ (#TBT) and happy hour is definitely over.

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Local Creatives: Laura Bird Ceramics

Ceramics with charisma. Local pottery genius, Laura Bird has of course graced the digital pages of It’s Nice That, sold out in Anthropologie* and taken her seat at many a London ceramics stall since just recently starting her career in ceramics. It’s no surprise she is well loved: her unique and gentle humour exudes from every jar, planter and candlestick holder, adorned with cheeky expressions and impish grins.

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Eat & Drink

Fresh Comfort Food: Walnut Cafe and Dining

Having worked in hospitality with a keen artist’s eye, the Arts Building knew Emma was perfect to take over the space. They were after a morning to night eatery for the neighbourhood, one for local residents and workers alike. Knowing the street’s reputation as a bit of a foodie strip, the menu had to be up to scratch for it’s discerning super-taster of a community. Yes, we’re a hungry bunch in Stroud Green.

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Twin Peaks Supper Club, North London

At the time of writing this the menu has just been released for Food by Feast’s new supper club. I imagine, however, that by the time you read this every dining space will be swiftly filled. If you aren’t acquainted with the duo yet (tsk), they’re the genius collaboration of Cordon Bleu chef and food writer Olivia Potts and Guardian food writer and cook, Kate Young. Having successfully completed the likes of a Gilmore Girls supper club to rapturous applause and smacking lips recently, the latest menu experience is Twin Peaks inspired and looks equally witty and delectable.

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Get Your Shaman On: Gong Bath in Stokey

Sound healing in Stoke Newington. This Thursday 18th May, The Mystery School of Sound are running a de-stress gong bath experience in Stoke Newington Ramadan Mosque. Alongside guided meditation, healing process and gong performace, you’ll get a mini intro to healing traditions of the druids and hermetic teaching.

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Pop Up Cinema: Celebrate Cannes in Kentish Town

Patron Cave a Manger’s pop up cinema are shacking up at The Rose and Crown in Kentish Town to screen The Artist. Soak up the atmoshpere of the Festival du Cannes with swanky popcorn and elegant cocktails. Get red carpet ready for this special screening of The Artist - the ridiculously popular award winning silent French film that everyone fell in love with.

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Stokey Food Market: Fundraising for the Community

Unfortunately rising rents are affecting community spaces in Stoke Newington and their availability. St Mary’s Centre currently provides a space for projects including the Foodbank, Hackney Migrants centre and the Night Shelter but they're at risk of losing their space. To help raise funds to redevelop the space and increase awareness, they are organising a weekend food market in Stokey. The pop-up food market is a launch event for their huge fundraising drive to rebuild the community rooms attached to St Mary's Church in Stoke Newington.

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Eat & Drink

Eating North London: Healthy Chocolate Breakfast with Kate Oates

Healthy chocolate mousse and sexing up your smoothie with Kate Oates. We have found ourselves a yoga guru in Kate Oates, a healthtastic yogi based in Crouch End. When we met her last year she hinted at a few of her own culinary creations and boy were we intrigued. Asking for an exclusive recipe for you health conscious readers, we received a taste sensation of an idea for chocolate breakfast.

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Alternative Speed Dating with Single Cylinders

“All My Single Cylinders, All My Single Cylinders”. Two girls, sick to the back teeth of Tindering and Bumbling about the bars of London, decided to create their own speed dating night. Involved in the biker community of East London they have created a special series of nights combining live music, motorbikes and speed dates. Bolt Motorbike Shop of Stoke Newington is their latest venue, providing a more intriguing backdrop for your date night and quashing the usual awkwardness of sparse, brightly lit speed dating scenarios. You can admire the motors, enjoy your free drinks and listen to some live music with some top notch handpicked company.

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Eat & Drink

Pop Up Proper Piirakka in Finsbury Park

In case you’ve never had a piirakka, (also known as Karelian pasties, pies or pirogs) they’re a delicious Finnish treat that you need to try immediately. Whether savoury or sweet, they’re basically a light pastie made with rye flour and a pretty unique variety of filling options. Meet Aapo Nieminen, a native Finnish local who grew up with piirakka. After getting tired of asking friends and family to bring him these naughty little pasties whenever they visited he came up with a plan. “They are an important part of everyday finish life. One day I thought why not just make them yourself?”


North London Bike Tour: Giro d'North Four

The lycra is optional. Coffee however, isn't. On Friday 197 cyclists descended on Sardinia to compete in the 100th edition of the Giro d'Italia. For those of you that don't have wardrobes filled with lycra you might never of heard of it but Think Tour d'France but in Italy. Still drawing a blank?

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Eat & Drink

Millenial Munchers Heaven: Cookie Dough Cafe

Naked Dough have appeared like a pair of beautiful fairy godmothers to lead me to an actual edible cookie dough dance party. Plus they didn’t even tell me what I should wear, they genuinely don’t care. Naked Dough is a new restaurant serving edible cookie dough from tubs, cones and even carry home pots. The ingredients are raw egg free and the flour is heat-treated so you need not worry-like-Edwina-Currie about salmonella and stomach bloat (unless you’re gluten free of course. In which case I’m sorry you’ve stumbled upon this torture page of an article).

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MINT Vintage, The Denim Edition

Ten years ago MINT Vintage first opened in Covent Garden before moving on to the more creative surrounds of Stoke Newington, pioneering fashion forward vintage. Every piece is hand selected and sourced from all over the world, ensuring every garment is trend driven but timeless and always unique. This May they’ve decided to transform their world in to an “oops we were trying to make corduroy and came up with denim” dreamland*.