Radio 3’s Free Thinking devoted this year’s Valentine’s Day episode to love and literature. I arrived at Old Broadcasting House on Portland Place with Imtiaz Dharker’s luscious poem, ‘How to Cut a Pomegranate,’ slipped in my pocket…
Photographer extraordinaire, and darkroom tutor beyond compare. One snowy Easter night a long time ago, she walked up into the hills above Nice and shot The Road to Falicon, the image at the heart of my novel, Silver and Salt.
If you can’t get to Exhibition Road, and find your way to Room 100, then lose yourself on this site for an hour or so instead.
Hidden away on Ramillies Street, hard by Oxford Circus, is the largest public gallery in London dedicated to photography. There are talks, exhibitions, free shows, and there’s even a camera obscura (weather dependent, hours variable)!
The gorgeous photographs of objects featured on this website were taken by Lucy Pope (apart from the brown paper package, to your right, which I found elsewhere.)
It’s all free. It’s all enriching. You can listen to Margaret Attwood (‘I would like to be the air that inhabits you for a moment, only…’) and Borges, or watch Diary, the last short film by Tim Hetherington.
Southbank Centre, National Theatre, BFI
In between stints away, my family always ended up on the south bank of the Thames. It’s a part of London that feels like home for me.
The most wonderful way to learn about writing. And to learn, at Lumb Bank one snowy January evening, how to make a fine Chestnut en Crôute with some of the loveliest people I’ve ever met.
Beautiful poetry and more, beautifully made. Originated and run by Helena Nelson. Based in Fife, Scotland.
The British Council: Literature
When I lived in Jakarta as a teenager, the wonderful British Council sent out a theatre company. Props, set and costumes unpacked, the company took up its station in the Hilton Hotel for a week of performances. I’m going to put that in a novel one day…
The Free Word Centre
Words Change Lives. Make your way to the Farringdon Road or roam around the site to explore how.