Updated: Apr 12, 2020
It's a funny old time, right now. I don't want to mither on about how difficult it is, with no social contact and not being able to see - let alone HUG - loved ones. We all know that, only too well, and there are many people in a much worse situation than me. I have my health, a house, a healthy and happy(ish) family, AND a garden and I count my blessings - Every. Single. Day.
So while this blog isn't about that, it IS indirectly connected to this new reality we're living. In my other work life (because let me whisper a little secret, and that is that MOST WRITERs, even successful, published ones, have to do work other than simply writing their delectable prose, to live), I put together a list for all our currently home-bound travellers.
It's an amazing list.
There's at least one positive side effect from social isolation on a global scale, and that's
the opening of cultural floodgates online. Live music, opera and theatre are being streamed (often for free) straight into living rooms. Or you can WATCH KOALAS 24/7, or drool over aquarium-cams. You can tour palaces, museums and gardens, take a drawing or cooking class, browse a virtual craft market, watch your favourite people read beautiful words (PATRICK STEWART and SONNETS, say no more), or even attend the Sydney Biennale. In some ways, you can get to more events all over the world than ever before.
So here is The List, which brought me great joy. You need this, even if you don't yet know it. The cyberwave of creativity and culture out there is phenomenal, and growing by the day. This list is just a few offerings from Australia and the UK - there's gazillions more out there and I've barely touched the sides. Of course, this is also an excellent conduit to helping artists of all stripes - who really need support now, needless to say.
Over to you! Stay at home, my lovelies, and explore the world. Add some things to The List and I'll keep updating, if you like. And Happy Easter. x
Events and livestreams:
1. Melbourne Symphony Orchestra invite you to be part of their online concert series where they will broadcast performances from the MSO archives. Join them on the MSO YouTube channel every Thursday night at 7.30pm and every Sunday at 3pm (Eastern Australia time), to experience the magic of music, from the comfort of your own home!
2. Time Out recommend a whole range of activities you can stream from Melbourne and Sydney in the links below (Sydney spoiler – there is 24/7 KOALA WATCHING at the very bottom of their events list.)
For Melbourne, click here - https://www.timeout.com/melbourne/things-to-do/melbourne- events-you-can-stream-online-now
Click here for Sydney: https://www.timeout.com/sydney/things-to-do/sydney-events-you-can-stream-online
3. The hashtag #OurHouseToYourHouse is being used to provide free opera broadcasts, ballet, talks and live content from organisations such as:
Sydney Opera House at https://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/digital.html
The Royal Opera House at https://www.youtube.com/user/RoyalOperaHouse
Coming up: April 10 ‘Così fan tutte’ (Royal Opera, 2010) April 17 ‘The Metamorphosis’ (Royal Ballet, 2013).
4. Virtual Tour of Buckingham Palace and the Royal Collection. The Royal Collections are currently closed, but you can browse them online here : https://www.rct.uk/
5. The Wellcome Collection are posting new stories each week: https://wellcomecollection.org/stories
6. Watch a daily Livestream at Kew Gardens: https://www.kew.org/about-us/virtual-kew-wakehurst
7. Browse amongst the South London Craft Fair - Virtual Craft Market on Saturdays 12-2pm (GMT): http://www.solocraftfair.com/solo-craft-fair-virtual-market
8. The great museums of the world have closed their doors, but they welcome you in through their cyber portals. Experience the best museums from London to Seoul in the comfort of your own home (you will need to enter your email address to access this link): https://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/museums-galleries/museums-with-virtual-tours
You can access The British Museum directly here: https://britishmuseum.withgoogle.com/
There are also reality tours at The British Museum here: https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/the-british-museum
9. Visit the Globe Theatre and explore Shakespeare’s plays and behind the scenes: https://www.shakespearesglobe.com/
10. Or watch Shakespeare readings live on YouTube at 7pm Thursdays GMT - https://youtu.be/KOAHj4ANGKw
11. Coming soon - Leave a Light On is a series of intimate, three-times-a-day concerts staged by Lambert Jackson Productions and the Theatre Café – watch this space: https://www.timeout.com/london/news/a-new-series-of-web-concerts-is-supporting-west-end-actors-furloughed-by-coronavirus-031720
12. Patrick Stewart is performing a Shakespeare sonnet every day on Twitter! https://twitter.com/SirPatStew and also Instagram.
13. London Symphony Orchestra is streaming a concert from their archive on their YouTube channel each Sunday and Thursday: https://lso.co.uk/whats-on/2019-20-season/alwaysplaying.html
14. The National Theatre is going to stream a live play every Thursday at 7pm GMT: https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/
15. Borough Market are running online cooking classes on weekdays at 1pm GMT: https://www.instagram.com/boroughmarket/
16. Take a 360 degrees tour of London with Dan Snow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeLQVare-3k
17. Interested in Japan? Try following The Daiwa Society and The Japan Society on Facebook and Twitter - they will be running some webinars and other online offerings during this time.
18. The Chinese-American writer Yiyun Li, winner of the Guardian First Book Award, has started a free virtual book club in which she invites everyone to read and discuss Tolstoy’s War and Peace together.
19. London Mozart at home: http://londonmozartplayers.com/athome/
20. Local bookshops are running online events and some are taking orders and delivering, too - like my fabulous local Brunswick Bound (on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BBoundbks/).
21. And of course, keep an eye open for book launches and author events that are proliferating all over the internet now - so much amazing activity at eg https://ozauthors.online
22. From the NGV (National Gallery of Victoria) - Drop by Drawing Classes that you can take whenever you like, or you can listen to the sounds of Antarctica in all its moods at the soundscape exhibition, 'Floe'.