Five things to do in March

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[caption id="attachment_1875" align="aligncenter" width="401"] The Oxford women's crew paddle down to the start for the University Boat Race versus Cambridge at Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire in March 1994 (Photo: Tom Jenkins / Getty Images)[/caption]

 

There is, after three cups of tea and as many muffins, nothing one cannot achieve. Conversely, in those early hours whilst one is steeling the soul and strengthening the sinews in preparation for getting the old bod out of bed, it can seem that even the task of raising oneself beyond the horizontal is beyond the wit and will of man. One is devoid of ambition; one’s spirits are, if not actually dead, undeniably dormant; one is apt to lie there glaring out at the world from under the duvet, reflecting on the brute injustice of life and generally mourning one’s lot:

“Life is, in fact, a battle. Evil is insolent and strong; beauty enchanting, but rare; goodness very apt to be weak; folly very apt to be defiant; wickedness to carry the day; imbeciles to be in great places, people of sense in small, and mankind generally unhappy. But the world as it stands is no narrow illusion, no phantasm, no evil dream of the night; we wake up to it, forever and ever; and we can neither forget it nor deny it nor dispense with it.”

Henry James could no doubt use a slosh of Earl Grey and something floury buried in butter and Tiptree – but he has, one must admit, a point. However, it’s also worth remembering that anybody who doesn’t have a kettle and toaster tucked away by the bedside must eventually throw back the covers, brave the cold, slide into a suit and go about one’s daily business.

As the spirits are slowly restored over the course of the morning, one is liable to reflect upon the fact that this fine city is packed with all sorts of cultural and culinary wonders that make the present unarguably better than the past. One realises that this is, indeed, the best of all possible worlds despite its many defects - and a sensible fellow owes it to himself to make the most of his time here:

1. First, then, it might be a fine idea to consider what the Capital will look like when one is dead and gone. Curator Foteini Aravani has brought together such visions of the future at the Museum of London: https://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/discover/london-visions-what-does-your-future-london-look

2. Then, to remind oneself of the world as it currently is in all its startling beauty and complexity, head to the Hayward Gallery to take in the vast and vastly powerful photographs of Andreas Gursky: https://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whats-on/exhibitions/hayward-gallery-art/andreas-gursky

3. Thought-provoking suppliers of soul food though they may be, galleries can also be somewhat exhausting and hunger inducing. A Monday evening of eating, boozing and star-gazing at the Culpeper Kitchen awaits: https://www.theculpeper.com/events/rooftop-astronomy/

4. Thus refreshed and come the 24th of March, it’ll be time to layer up and head down to the river for the Boat Race before finding a fine and foaming pint of beer in a cosy pub. Everything one needs to know can be found here: http://www.theboatrace.org

5. If one still finds oneself in need of spiritual or cultural sustenance then a couple of tickets to see ‘Girls & Boys’ at the Royal Court Theatre are in order. Funny and insightful, Dennis Kelly’s new one-woman script is as accomplished as Carey Mulligan’s seamless, sophisticated performance: https://royalcourttheatre.com/whats-on/girls-and-boys/