I'm a freelance writer living in Shoreditch, frequently commenting on life in London; from coffee, to pubs, food, science and anything new and interesting.
Published August 12th 2014
According to a recent article in the Telegraph, London is the most expensive city in the world to live. Excellent! Yet despite the often ridiculous rents, petrol that costs twice as much as it does in Los Angeles and being charged for the privilege of driving into the center, it's still, in my humble opinion, one of the best cities to live in throughout the world. There's so much to see and do that I often spend my Saturdays walking round in bemused circles, face palming my forehead confused and overwhelmed with the innumerable choices of what to do.
However, many of the choices (ok tourist hot spots) are a further drain on the wallet, forcing many of us to choose between either a day or an evening out. Doing both on a regular basis requires re-mortgaging the flat, groveling to the bank manager (repeatedly pressing the overdraft button on my laptop), eating beans throughout the week or waking up without a kidney, armed with medical research funds to enjoy my weekend.
However, all is not lost. With a little bit of searching there are many "free" events that can be attended throughout the day that cost nothing more than the sugar puff fuel for your legs. OK so some of them on this list are a little on the cerebral side, but aren't we constantly told that life is all about balance. Learn something new and interesting throughout the day, and then talk about monkeys and badgers before falling over in a cider-addled state during the evening: it's all about balance…….or the lack of it….I've confused myself.
So if you're feeling particularly high-brow over the next few weeks, check out these completely free events that will expand your rambling repertoire over and confuse your friends over an evening beverage.
The Secret Life of Isaac Newton The Royal Society London 1:00pm – 2:00pm 20th September 2014
Considered one of the most influential scientists of all time, Isaac Newton has had a profound effect on all of us. He discovered the laws of gravity and motion; invented calculus almost overnight and perfected telescopes so we could understand the universe.
After his death he left behind ten million written words that during this lecture will be uncovered, discussed and explained. Revealing his thoughts on science, religion and the worlds changing attitudes to science during his lifetime…….or you can stay in and watch big brother.
An evening on particle physics UCL – Cruciform Lecture Theatre 6:30pm – 8:00pm 20th August 2014
Jon Butterworth is the head of UCL Physics and Astronomy. His work at CERN helped uncover the now quite famous Higgs Boson (God particle) and his lecture will provide an evening explaining particle physics. It's suitable for ages 12 and up so don't be too alarmed if you have no idea what any of the above means. Particle physics is often strange but deeply compelling and anything that involves the words "Hadron Collider" will always be of interest for some. Plus you'll leave armed with general knowledge that will help you answer science questions when playing Trivial Pursuit.
The history and heritage of meditation
50 Greek St, Soho
7:30pm – 9:00pm
10th September 2014
Will Williams is the owner and founder of Will Williams Meditation London and a former pupil of the pre-eminent master of Vedic Meditation, Thom Knoles. The talk will provide an overview of the oldest meditative technique, it's ancient heritage and how it's taught and practiced throughout the world. If you have an inquisitive mind, or are simply interested in how meditation works, the practical advice can help you understand why so many people are turning to meditation in today's hectic world. Sitting cross-legged in a robe isn't a pre-requisite.
How Aristotle Invented Science
The Royal Institution
7:00pm – 8:30pm
3rd September 2014
Aristotle is often credited as being the first genuine scientist in history. He studied at Plato's Academy, taught Alexander the Great and his ideas and philosophy's have helped shape the western world. Armand Leroi, Professor of Evolutionary Biology at the Imperial College, explores Aristotle's work, how he laid the foundation for biology and the lessons we can learn for the 21st Century.
Black Holes: Clean energy for the future
LTG Business School
6:30pm – 7:30pm
8th September 2014
With much of the world's resources running low, finding a clean and abundant energy source in the future is critical for maintaining the way of life many of us know today. In 2015 the Hadron Collider (which you'll know about if you attend the evening on particle physics) will go to full power. With it comes the possibility of creating a micro black hole. Physicists like Stephen Hawking have often hypothesised that the creation of a controlled black hole could be used as a clean energy source in the future. The lecture will look at the viability of this process and the work being done at CERN.
There's a surprising amount of free events going on all the time throughout the capital. Living in London can be expensive, but it can also be cheap and extremely interesting. Enjoy.