Across the Pond is back! After a 2 week break, I am well rested and basking in the Mediterranean weather we've been having here in the UK. It's the hottest April since records began and whilst it has been an incredible month, our fingers are firmly crossed for the upcoming summer - this better not be it!
This being Easter weekend, I happened to hear today's Easter sermon, given annually by the Archbishop of Canterbury - and this year the last formal Royal engagement before the Royal wedding. Whilst I am personally not a religious girl, I was struck by the essence of its message and very much wanted to include it in this week's column - based purely on the positivity it conveyed.
Delivering the sermon in Canterbury Cathedral, The Archbishop focussed his speech around the subject of "happiness and communal fulfillment rather than the narrow pursuit of material goals". He celebrated the joy which could be effectuated by fostering relationships with those around us, the world we inhabit and by adopting a positive outlook and vision towards the future. This year has so far been a tumultuous one to say the least, with violence and resistance rolling to the forefront across many parts of the world. Revolutions and natural disasters have dominated the headlines, and more importantly the lives, of countless innocent individuals - and a wish for peace for all of the areas and human beings effected made up a large part of Dr. Williams' sermon. It was touching and extremely poignant. It's all too easy sometimes to lose sight of what's truly important and we're all guilty of becoming wrapped up in our daily material desires - so a pure and simple reminder to focus on happiness couldn't have come at a better time. Happy Easter!
Ever wanted to spray paint a wall without getting into trouble? Well now you can become a graffiti artist for an afternoon - with the help of street artist Andy Seize! He teaches graffiti basics (lines, shading and spraying) in an underground subway on Leake Street in London's Southbank, and in his 3 hour class you'll learn "aerosol control, how to write your name and various techniques with different nozzles". Brilliant!
Prices range from 55 quid to 150.
For more details: http://www.graffitilessons.co.uk/
Tonight is the fourth and final night of the London international Ska festival - so get down to Clapham Grand if you're in London on this balmy evening and enjoy the beats born in the sound systems of Kingston. With Bob Andy and Marcia Griffiths performing, it's set to be an incredible night.
For more details: http://www.londoninternationalskafestival.co.uk/
It's been announced this weekend that the Wombles will be performing at this year's Glastonbury Festival (yes, you read that right). Uncle Bulgaria and the eco-loving gang will be rocking the Avalon stage on the 26th June! They'll be joining the likes of Coldplay, The Chemical Brothers and Morrissey for this years legendary weekend in the sun (fingers crossed!). I will be writing a special "Glasto column" from the festival that weekend - which I'm extremely excited about, so stay tuned for that.
For more about Glastonbury: http://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/
Restaurant of the week: Voted "the best new restaurant in the whole wide world" by The Times, I just had to give "Dinner by Heston Blumenthal" at the Mandarin Oriental in London's Knightsbridge my thumbs up this week. With recipes dating back to the 14th Century - including "Porridge of cod cheeks, pickled beetroot, garlic and fennel" - you'll need to go with an open mind. But it really is a gastronomic feast for the taste buds and the eyes. Only thing is - you'll need to plan ahead as bagging a table is almost impossible!
For more on Dinner: http://www.dinnerbyheston.com/