Things to do
MUSIC AND FILM: The Valentine’s incarnation of Ealing Music and Film Festival gets underway, celebrating the cultural heritage of the area and showcasing local and international artists. Today’s highlights include a programme of locally produced and directed films. See the full programme. Various locations and prices, book ahead, 13-17 February
IMAGINE FESTIVAL: The annual Imagine Children’s Festival begins, celebrating children’s literature, music and theatre. Highlights from the programme include a giant chalkboard for them to doodle on, gigs for kids, and a celebration of Elmer the elephant’s birthday. Southbank Centre, various times and prices, booking required for some events, 13-24 February
FRED AND GINGER: The story of 1930s dancing duo Fred Rogers and Ginger Astaire is told through songs, performed by Robert Habermann. The show covers the eight films they made together, plus Fred’s solo career after they went their separate ways. Dugdale Centre (Enfield), £15, book ahead, 2.30pm
KNITTING KITTENS: Take your needles and wool along to the world-famous animal home, and knit a toy or blanket for one of the residents — or a treat to take home for your own pet. Battersea, minimum £2 donation, just turn up, 5pm-8pm
FIRST WIVES CLUB: Watch a ‘Galentine’s Day’ special screening of 1996 film The First Wives Club, about a group of three women who take revenge on their ex-husbands. The film stars Diane Keaton, Bette Midler, and Goldie Hawn, and is followed by an after-party. BFI Southbank, £13.75, book ahead, 6.10pm
SAILING: Hear two sailing experts and authors in conversation about life at sea. Nicola Rodriguez launches her new book Sail Away, about escaping the rat race to live the dream and Kitiara Pascoe, author of In Bed With The Atlantic, discusses battling anxiety to sail the Atlantic. Stanfords (Covent Garden), £4, book ahead, 6.30pm-7.45pm
LOVE AND PASSION: Historian of sexuality Julia Peakman talks about sexuality in the 18th century, a culture which both celebrated sex and women’s sexuality, and robbed women of their sexual freedom — with sex outside of marriage something to be frowned upon. Dr Johnson’s House (Fleet Street), £10, book ahead, 7pm
RIVAL QUEENS: Cousins Queen Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots had a famously rocky relationship, with their rivalry the subject of a recent film. Historian and author Kate Williams talks about the famous feud, which she researched for her book, Rival Queens: The Betrayal of Mary, Queen of Scots. National Archives (Kew), £16-£20, book ahead, 7.30pm-9pm
BREAKUP MONOLOGUES: Award-winning comedian, author and broadcaster Rosie Wilby records the finale of the second series of her podcast, The Breakup Monologues. She and her guests discuss their best and worst break-up stories. Poplar Union, £10/£9/£7, book ahead, 7.30pm-9.30pm
ROMEO AND JULIET: Start your Valentine’s celebrations a day early and treat your loved one to a screening of Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo & Juilet, more than 60 floors above London. A glass of champagne and portion of popcorn are included in your ticket. The View From The Shard, from £45, book ahead, 9pm-11.45pm
Tube ponderings with Barry Heck
Our resident tube fancier dishes out daily thoughts on the London Underground.
Old Street station contains a working flint mine. You’ll find it at the northbound end of the Northern line platforms.
Good cause of the day
Tonight, broadcaster, journalist and author Clover Stroud is in conversation with artist Amy Shuckburgh exploring the many and varied aspects of motherhood. The proceeds go to West London Action for Children. Find out more and book tickets.
What we’re reading
- Plans for a cheese room at the new Spurs stadium have melted away.
- Southeastern’s Barnehurst line, between Blackheath and Dartford, is closed for the rest of the week.
- Plans to demolish the Welbeck Street Car Park are going ahead.
- London’s Chinese New Year celebrations — from the point of view of a dragon dancer.