Byline: BARBARA CHANDLER
THE clocks go forward on 25 March, and the pace of life will quicken as more Londoners fit in a greater number of activities during the longer daylight hours. To get in sync with the season there is a packed programme of highcalibre art, design and antiques events, as well as special shopping events where you can find a good choice of original merchandise.
At an exclusive property fair, the golfing gang could purchase a links-linked property in an exotic location. By contrast, surrealism comes to Selfridges in mid-March, with a gigantic eyeball suspended over its gracious Art Deco facade.
Make of it what you will - you may find clues at the V&A's blockbuster Surrealism spring/ summer show.
And don't forget Mother's Day, so sweetly sentimental, on 18 March.
Selfridges, 400 Oxford Street, W1 (0870 837 7377; www.selfridges.com) The eye has it at Selfridges this month, with a gigantic suspended optical sculpture hanging
over the famous Lady of Time figure at the store's front entrance. This has been fashioned by the Paris-based Dada-inspired team of Dadadandy. From 16 March, you can also puzzle over a series of surreal windows, inspired by the V&A's major spring/summer exhibition entitled Surrealism and Design (29 March to 22 July).
Window displays have been commissioned from designers including John Galliano, Viktor & Rolf and Moschino and the Swiss minimalist Rolf Sachs.
Meanwhile, inside, the sign, "This is not a shop" proclaims an installation on the lowerground floor. It has been designed by the avant garde architectural practice FAT. Nevertheless, selections of surreal merchandise are all for sale, including Dali-inspired mirror nails (for fingers not wood), oversized stationery and surreal-style lighting by Greenwich Village.
The Affordable Art Fair, Battersea Park, SW11 (020 8246 4840; www.affordableartfair.com) From 15 to 18 March, there is no excuse for a room without art, when more than 125 galleries will show original prints, sculpture and paintings in unstuffy surroundings at prices that start at [pounds sterling]50 and go up to [pounds sterling]3,000. This year, the focus is on fine-art photography in a special display called AAF Photo2007.
There is a cafe, free creche and free shuttle service from Sloane Square.
Tickets cost [pounds sterling]9 in advance, or [pounds sterling]10 on the door (call 0870 777 2255).
Country Living Spring Fair, Islington Business Design Centre, Upper Street, N1 (0870 126 1800; www.countrylivingfair.com) The country comes to town from 14 to 18 March, when quality handmade furniture, ceramics, glass, jewellery and fashion hit the Business Design Centre in Islington. None of the items on show will ever be seen on the high street.
Make a note to check out Caroline Zoob, who is holding a sampler competition giveaway (worth [pounds sterling]300) on her stall, and Imogen Jamieson, who sources lovely brocante items from France.
Also taking part are King's Road-based Osborne & Little and Designers Guild.
Tickets cost [pounds sterling]10.50 in advance, or [pounds sterling]14 on the door. …