It may be the start of spring but it’s the end of our A-Z of Fundon. To see us out, we have everything from R-Z…
Religion without God. Since launching their totally irreligious Sunday Assembly at The Nave, Islington, earlier this year, the fun-loving atheists behind it have been contacted by hundreds of people from cities around the world who want to make the concept global. Their next service, Easter for Atheists, is on in April.
Spotting trains. Been to the London Transport Museum, but want more? Then choo-choo-choose to visit its depot in Acton on April 13 and 14 for a themed open day, ‘We Love Steam!’, which marks 150 years of the Underground system. There’s a chance to see a Metropolitan Line locomotive and carriage in all their restored glory. Slightly more bonkers transportation-related high jinks are to be found at Stoke Newington International Airport. Not actually an airport, but a ramshackle warehouse arts space run by some of London’s most exciting creatives. Last time Time Out visited we took part in a potato shotput as part of its Allotment Olympics. Sadly, it closes permanently on April 1, but you can still take part in its farewell weekend (with a Last Supper dining experience promised). Hopefully, however, we’ll always have the chance to Stitch ’n’ Bitch. Foul-mouthed fashion genius Laura Lees – the seamstress behind the famous skulls stitched on Luella, Sibling and Giles’s designs – hosts riotous embroidery classes in her Kilburn studio. They’re £35 a pop and suitable for any level. Even a total dunce will leave the class with a jazzed-up item and a fit of the giggles.
Toy Kingdom. Harrods’ spectacular new toy department is a multisensory playing experience including live dancing performances from ‘Fame’ types who’ll show you how to perform routines. There’s also a massive jumbo soft toy department which kids can throw themselves around in. That’s probably best avoided by adults. But there’s plenty fun for everyone. And if you really want to make the kids jealous, tuck yourself up in pyjamas at the Natural History Museum’s Dino Snores for Grown-Ups. On June 29 you get to snuggle up under Dippy the diplodocus skeleton, after a three-course meal, lectures and late-night ghost stories. Devotees of the pyjama party should also check the ‘M is for… Movie Marathons’ at the Prince Charles Cinema.
Under-the-bridge graffiti. Leake Street Tunnel beneath Waterloo Station features 300 metres of constantly changing graffiti. Banksy’s Cans Festival kicked it all off back in 2008, and the road was soon pedestrianised. Now it’s a shifting canvas of spraypaint, and a hotspot for fans of street art (and solvents).
Vintage-shop sweep. Fed up being charged £15 for a ‘silk’ scarf that smells like your nana’s loo? Then you’ll love the buy-by-weight trend that’s sweeping the capital’s vintage shops. Thriftstock, a one-off ‘fill-a-bag’ event at the East End Thrift Store, was such a hit that it’s now a permanent fixture. Arm yourself with a medium-sized bag (£10) or a large carrier (£20) and stuff in as much pre-loved stuff as you can.
Weird walks. Flitting around woodland and open spaces at night, bats are some of the capital’s most elusive inhabitants. Get up close to them on a bat walk. If you prefer to get down and dirty, a Deptford Creek low-tide walk provides both: enjoy the wildlife and marvel at the variety of crap we feel compelled to offer up in sacrifice to Old Father Thames. Or, why don’t you just ‘waack’ off? If you wish you’d got hip to the Harlem Shake a little sooner, check out this street dance form that involves much flicking of arms and posing. It’s taken deadly seriously by its devotees, so is even more of a laugh for onlookers. Add contributions from associated forms krumping, locking and vogueing and you’ve got a veritable waackipedia of jerky entertainment. As spring has retreated, groundhog-like, into its burrow, do the same, snuggle up, and wassail in a wigwam on the Queen of Hoxton’s rooftop. There’s beer, barbecue and the snuffling of small furry hipsters waking up after a long winter.
X-rated hula hooping. First it was ping pong (check out the excellent Bounce bar in Holborn), now another ’70s kids’ icon is back, strictly for adults. Okay, Anna the Hulagan (who teaches classes on Mondays in Kennington and Tuesdays in Hackney, is more about fitness than filth. But she is famous for her ‘get down and dirty’ move (a squat with a hoop). One of the few women on the planet who can out-gyrate Beyoncé and teach you to as well. Next up: pogo-stick pole dancing and the spacehopper Olympics (probably).
Yodelling. Officially not just for lonely goatherds, yodelling is to singing what tequila is to ordinary booze: it doesn’t get you happy, it gets you high. Previously, the only place Londoners enjoyed a rousing ‘odelayhi-hoo’ together was at the singalong ‘Sound of Music’ screenings at the Prince Charles Cinema (See ‘M’ for more movies). Now, you can eat real schnitzel with noodles as you sing at the Tiroler Hut, a ski-chalet-style eatery in Bayswater where guests are encouraged to express themselves in the time-honoured alpine way.
Zufari. Okay, it’s in Surrey, but Chessington is the closest Londoners get to an actual amusement park, and it’s got a zoo, too. On Wednesday March 20, it’s throwing open the gates of its new ‘Zufari’ trail, a 22-acre ride with off-road trucks, rhinos, giraffes and flamingos. A short train hop from Waterloo, it’s way closer than the real Africa, too.