Event review: O’Hooley and Tidow play the Oval Tavern, Thursday 8th October

Posted on October 27th, by Catherine Pestano in Culture. 1 Comment

Catherine Pestano enjoys a melodious evening with two luscious lesbians and beer

As I settled in for another fine evening’s music at the splendid Oval Tavern to listen to torch folk duo O’Hooley and Tidow, I was delighted to find an extra gem on the menu. No, not the fabulous halloumi salad (also enjoyed) but a delightfully voiced local seventeen year old called Beka who … Read More »



IDAHOBIT Day Croydon 2015: you’ve come a long way, baby

Posted on May 13th, by Catherine Pestano in Culture. No Comments

Catherine Pestano invites all Croydonians to a celebration of our sexual minorities

International Day Against Homophobia, Bi, Intersex and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT Day) will take place from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm on Saturday 16th May in the lovely community space at Bernard Weatherill House in Mint Walk, Croydon. The theme is ‘allies show their colours’ and it is for everyone in the community who values … Read More »



Croydon celebrates International Women’s Day

Posted on March 30th, by Catherine Pestano in Culture. 4 comments

Catherine Pestano sings the praises of singing for International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day highlights women’s struggles for equality, and this year had the theme #MakeItHappen. As a feminist, I am a great fan of women-only space but there is also something to be said for collaborating together to celebrate an oppressed section of society, and to embrace the ‘other’ in oneself. With this in mind, … Read More »



Event review: Rosie Wilby, Nineties Woman, at the Spread Eagle Theatre

Posted on March 9th, by Catherine Pestano in Culture. No Comments

Once a feminist? Catherine Pestano laughs and reflects at Rosie Wilby’s one woman comedy show

Ever come across an old pile of memorabilia that once meant so much to you but now seems so much of its time? At home one Christmas, comedian Rosie Wilby came across some old copies of the feminist newspaper she was involved with as a student, and wondered what became of those … Read More »



Event review: ‘Tales of Love Lost and Found’ at the Spread Eagle theatre, 7th February 2015

Posted on February 18th, by Catherine Pestano in Culture. No Comments

Catherine Pestano enjoys a life-affirming evening of lesbian love stories as part of Croydon’s LGBT month

Much dyke culture happens north of the river, in central or north east London, so it was a real treat to be able to attend a lesbian cultural event that I could walk to, as part of the programme of Croydon’s LGBT month. I hosted a get-together for the very popular … Read More »



Event review: Sine Nomine Singers perform ‘Symbols of Mystery’, Saturday 29th November

Posted on December 8th, by Catherine Pestano in Culture. No Comments

Catherine Pestano goes beyond the borders of Croydon to be blissed-out in Bickley

Last Saturday, the 29th November, I attended my first Sine Nomine Singers concert, just across the border in the wilds of Bromley (sorry, it’s lovely really!). The concert was Symbols of Mystery and it was performed in the acoustically fabulous, stone-walled church of St George, Bickley.

Sine Nomine Singers are affiliated … Read More »



Croydon carers singing for support

Posted on September 17th, by Catherine Pestano in Culture. No Comments

Carers are finding their voices through singing groups in Croydon, says Catherine Pestano

Recently I attended a Royal College of Music Symposium on singing and health which has led me to reflect on how singing can help to support and uplift carers. I’m aware that an increasing number of us face caring responsibilities, both for young but also increasingly for elderly family members – or both at … Read More »



How Creativity and Wellbeing Week 2014 can make Croydon a healthier place

Posted on June 2nd, by Catherine Pestano in Culture. No Comments

Are the arts really agents of well-being? Catherine Pestano thinks so, as she reports on how Croydon is joining in London Creativity and Wellbeing Week 2014

The London Arts in Health Forum (LAHF) has been running for eleven years. It’s a free-to-join organisation promoting the value of the arts in relation to health and has been promoting London’s third Creativity and Wellbeing Week (2nd-11th June 2014). Croydon, … Read More »



To hear our hearts speak: Croydon’s later life dancers

Posted on May 28th, by Catherine Pestano in Culture. 4 comments

Arriving late to the dance, Catherine Pestano reports on a journey of many steps

After a substantial knee injury and passing my half century, I thought I should look into ways to keep fit without becoming bored or falling off the exercise wagon – again. Recent TV programmes including Channel 4′s Big Ballet and BBC1′s Sadlers Wells Company of Elders got me thinking about dance. Now I … Read More »



Answering the call of the wild: Croydon Forest School

Posted on April 4th, by Catherine Pestano in Culture. 3 comments

Who knew this sort of thing went on in Croydon?

It will surprise many people to learn that Croydon, celebrated land of concrete alienation, has its own Forest School. This pioneering and inspiring method of working with children and young people has been popular in Scandinavia for decades and arrived in Britain some twenty years ago. It has gained popularity over the last few years and many schools, including … Read More »