Mon 30 Sept - Sun 6 Oct
SCIENCE: Amazing Ada talks and workshops, North Hertfordshire Museum, Hitchin, 1-14 Oct
Heard of Ada Lovelace? Born two centuries ago, she was a tech pioneer of her day and has been given her very own day (8 Oct) to recognise her work in computer science. It’s no surprise then that she’s become a bit of a role model to young women who want to get into STEM based careers – go Ada! In recognition, the North Herts Museum are putting on a series of workshops and talks, by women, naturally, covering sujects from climate change and the human microbiome to app building, as well as chemistry workshops for kids. Sounds fascinating.
MUSIC: Toyah Willcox, The Alban Arena, St Albans, 2 Oct
Ok, she might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the princess of punk has certainly become a household name over the years. Now Toyah Willcox is back and will perform live in concert to celebrate a career spanning four decades. Earlier this year she released a reimagined version of her album In The court of the Crimson Queen, and this gig will be a retrospective of her early hits, album classics and fan favourites.
Muddy Book Club Live, Henley Lit Fest, Henley, until 6 Oct
Muddy fave Henley Literary Festival (until 6 October) is in full swing – there’s simply too much going on to list but we might just find time to mention that we’re hosting the Muddy Book Club (5 Oct) at Phyllis Court – sorry, shall we shout that a bit louder? THE MUDDY BOOK CLUB, we’re back! We have amazeballs guests – Celebrity Masterchef champion Lisa Faulkner, former ELLE journo Lotte Jeffs and the inspirational Ella Dove. We will be there. There will be wine. It’s £12 well spent.
BALLET: Vienna Festival Ballet, Snow White, Hertford Theatre, 4 Oct
It might seem a little early in the calendar for the tutus to be making an appearance (I love a good Chrimbo ballet, don’t you?) but so what? This Grimm Brothers’ classic promises to mesmerise audiences with its world class choreography and spellbinding score. Time to escape into fairytale land for a couple of hours…
THEATRE: Jane Eyre, Broadway Letchworth 4-5 Oct
We must have seen a gazillion adaptations of this gothic and gritty love story (and read the book just as many times), but this theatre company has got a pretty good rep so we have high hopes for this version. And (*whisper it*) we’ve got a bit of a soft spot for that brooding Mr Rochester, too.
FITNESS: Mucky Pup Fun Run, Hatfield House, 5 Oct
Take your usual dog walk up a notch and tackle the 2-mile obstacle course around the grounds of Hatfield House this month to raise money for the Animal Care Trust. Yep, you and your pooch will need to navigate the challenges to earn your Mucky Pup medal, plus there’ll be dog (and human) friendly stalls to check out afterwards.
PARTY: The Mill House’s first birthday, Hertford, 5 Oct
This month marks one year since the opening of The Mill House – a cool and quirky space dedicated to hosting community events like for workshops, craft markets, wellbeing classes and kids’ activities. They’re celebrating their anniversary by inviting you to their birthday party – there’ll be family friendly activities, scrummy street food and craft beer, as well as free face painting. Go check it out!
FOOD: A Taste of History, Wrest Park, Silsoe, 5-6 Oct
Step back in time and learn all about changing culinary tastes and trends through the centuries – from Roman sauces to Georgian ice cream. Food historian Annie Gray will talk about cooking in the early 20th Century while GBBO finalist Mary-Anne Boermans will discuss her new book. There’ll also be Victorian and Tudor, err.. delicacies on hand to taste from the historic traders while historical kitchenware and ingredients will be on display in the shop. But if that doesn’t whet your apetite, you can stick to food from this century, as there’ll be loads of up-to-date dishes to chow down on from local producers too. Tasty!
FAMILY: Apple Day, Tewin Orchard, Welwyn, 6 Oct
‘Tis the season of apple crumbles, cider and apple sauce, and Tewin Orchard is celebrating the harvest with a special day dedicated to this most humble of English fruits. Head to the Tewin Pavillion to buy crates of the things and all manor of apple-y delights, take a tour of the orchard and ask the experts for their top tips on growing and identifying different varieties.
ART & EXHIBITIONS
Vogue fashion and portrait photographer Tim Walker‘s enchanting, fantastical, frankly insane work is the subject of a new V&A exhibition (until 8 March). Tilda Swinton, Björk and, er, Sir David Attenborough are among his subjects and he’s also created 10 new works for the show.
Meanwhile this autumn’s big-hitter is William Blake at Tate Britain, below, (until 2 Feb 2020). The visionary painter and poet’s work will be imaginatively displayed – some of it blown up to enormous scale using digital technology, other works in an immersive room that recreates the space in which Blake first showed his art in 1809.
Elsewhere Into the Night: Cabarets & Clubs in Modern Art at the Barbican (4 Oct – 19 Jan) is probably the nearest I’ll get to clubbing this autumn. It’s such a cool concept – a history of cabarets, clubs, dancefloors and party spaces that inspired artists from the 1880s to the 1960s, including the Berlin cabaret scene in Weimar Germany and Harlem’s jazz clubs and lifesize recreations of some of the hotspots.
And finally, playing “spot the Angel Of The North” as we drive up the A1 to Newcastle is a family ritual in our house (Geordie in-laws, you see), so I’ve got a soft spot for Antony Gormley’s striking sculpture. His new show at the Royal Academy (until 3 Dec) is billed as his most ambitious in a decade and involves six tonnes of steel mesh, eight km of coiled tubing and a gallery flooded with clay and sea water. Blimey!