Realised ... That Chinese New Year begins today. Although the traditional celebrations in Chinatown don't take place until Sunday 1 Feb, today marks the beginning of the Year of The Tiger. Tigers are brave, generous and affectionate, which seems reason enough for a year-long celebration.

Visited ... "Hyenas In Petticoats". This exhibition looks at the lives of mother and daughter, Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley. Both women made extraordinary impact with Wollstonecraft's seminal A Vindication of The Rights Of Women and Shelley's enduringly popular work of fiction, Frankenstein. Until 15 Feb, National Portrait Gallery, St Martin's Place, WC2 (0171-306 0055).

Seen ... Some ordinary life. A long forgotten local artist of great talent, Marshall Forster Atkinson's paintings depict ordinary lives and situations of Tyneside Life. Until 2 Feb, Laing Art Gallery, New Bridge Street, Newcastle (0191-232 7734).

make sure you...

Know ... The real-life experiences behind the fantastic sounding tales of rags-to-riches of NM Rothschild the founder of one of the world's greatest banking dynasties. Museum of London, London Wall, EC2 (0171-600 3699). pounds 4 adults, pounds 2 concessions, pounds 9 family ticket.

Hear ... Chris Rea who will be performing on three successive nights at the Shepherd's Bush Empire, in what will be his first live dates in five years. Shepherd's Bush Empire, Shepherd's Bush Green, London W12 (Box Office: 0181-740 7474). Tickets also available from Star Green 0171-734 8932. pounds 17.50 advance.

See ... The sculpture of Mark Quinn. Having come to the attention of the general public with Self, which was his own head cast in his own blood, a solo exhibition that continues this theme will give viewers the chance to think about whether this is shocking or a unique way to express the exploration of the self. South London Gallery, 65 Peckham Road, London SE5 (0171-703 6120).