AMERICAN IN BRITAIN Serving the American Community in the UK
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AMERICAN IN BRITAIN
2 Eating In 6 Ways To Be Creative In Lockdown 7 Tax Matters
9 Wealth Management 11 Legal Issues 12 Travel - Cornwall 14 Reader’s Lives
17 Travel - Slovenia 19 Arts & Antiques 21 Charity Begins At Home 24 Theatre
26 Intelligent Weight Loss 28 American Expatriate Clubs News 31 Free Annual Subscription Form
32 Useful Numbers SUMMER 2020
AMERICAN IBC Embassy Corner IN BRITAIN Serving the American Community in the UK
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FEATURES INCLUDE Eating In • Tax Matters • Wealth Management Legal Issues • Travel • Theatre • Arts & Antiques • Intelligent Weight Loss Reader’s Lives • American Clubs News • Embassy Corner
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EATING IN Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have sadly been unable to review our fabulous British restaurants, so instead, this issue, we are publishing some recipes from some top London Chefs, so you can try your cooking skills at home, along with a recipe for Banana Pancakes from the fabulous Betsy Cook Speer, and a feel good fast smoothie by Laura Palowski.
English Asparagus with Egg and Mimosa Dressing
English Asparagus With Egg And Mimosa Dressing By AndrĂŠ Garrett, Executive Chef at Corinthia London
In a medium pan, bring the vinegar and orange juice to the boil and reduce slowly until a light syrup, then take off the heat and whisk in the olive oil to emulsify, before adding the zest and seasoning. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Bring a large pan of well-salted water to the boil, drop the asparagus in and cook for 3 minutes before removing with a slotted spoon. In a separate, flatter pan, warm the butter and add the asparagus. Season with salt and pepper and baste with the melted butter. Add a tablespoon of the orange dressing and baste the asparagus again, then place them onto kitchen paper to drain. To serve, take four plates and spoon a good amount of the egg onto each. Place the warm asparagus on top, and finally dress with the orange dressing and garnish with the edible flowers and herbs. Soup Au Pistou
Serves 4 Ingredients 2 bunches of green English asparagus 30g unsalted butter Sea salt 1 punnet edible flowers 1 small bunch garlic chives 1 small bunch chervil, picked 4 large eggs 1 small shallot, finely chopped 1 small bunch chives, finely chopped 200ml extra virgin olive oil Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper 200ml champagne vinegar 150ml extra virgin olive oil Juice and zest of 1 orange Sea salt Wash and peel the asparagus, cleaning all the spines, then cut the bottom 2cm off all the asparagus and set aside to cook later. Bring a large pan of well-salted water to the boil to cook the eggs. Cook two of the eggs for 10 minutes until hard-boiled and set aside. Then boil the other two eggs for 5 minutes, before breaking open and scooping out into a bowl whilst still warm and whisk lightly, adding the olive oil to emulsify like a rough mayonnaise. Season, then add the chives, shallots and grate the two hard boiled eggs into the mixture well bound dressing. Set this aside. 2
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For the pistou 3 garlic cloves 1 bunch of basil 50g freshly grated Parmesan (plus more for serving) About 100ml good quality extra virgin olive oil (plus more for serving) Peel the vegetables as necessary, and cut them into rough 1cm dice. Rinse the leeks well. In a large heavy-based pan, sweat the onions, carrots, leeks and squash or pumpkin in the olive oil over a gentle heat until soft. Add the potatoes and courgettes, and sweat these gently, stirring, until just beginning to soften. Cover the vegetables with water, then add the bouquet garni, with salt and pepper to taste, and cover with a lid. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer until all the vegetables are tender. Add the remaining ingredients and set aside to keep warm. To make the pistou, combine all the ingredients except the oil (in a food processor rather than a blender, as this gives a better consistency). Then, with the machine still running, pour in just enough oil to make a thick, smooth paste. Remove the bouquet garni from the soup and add the pistou at the last minute, together with a drizzle of olive oil and more grated Parmesan.
Soup Au Pistou By Anthony Demetre from Wild Honey St James
Serves 4-6 Ingredients 200g onions 200g carrots 100g leeks 200g squash or pumpkin 250ml good quality extra virgin olive oil 200g potatoes 200g courgettes Bouquet garni Salt and freshly ground black pepper 100g fresh peas or broad beans, blanched 100g cooked fresh white beans (Coco de Paimpol, or other) 4 tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and chopped 100g cooked short-cut macaroni or ditali
Mackerel Tartare Oyster Cream, Green Apple, Shiso By Gary Foulkes at Michelin-starred Angler in the City Serves 4 Ingredients 480g of diced raw mackerel 2 finely diced banana shallots
EATING IN 60g of finely chopped pickled pink ginger 50g of chopped chives 1 Granny Smith apple 5ml of white soy sauce 10g of crème fraîche Zest of one lemon 250ml of oyster cream 1 punnet of purple shiso cress 1 punnet of green shiso cress Wakame powder to finish Oyster Cream: Place three opened oysters into a highpowered blender with the juice of two lemons and a little salt. Blend until completely smooth and emulsify with grapeseed oil and finish with a squeeze of lemon. Pass through a fine sieve, place into a squeezable plastic bottle and set to one side. Mackerel Tartare: Place the diced mackerel into a bowl and add the shallots, pink ginger, white soy and crème fraiche, chives, lemon zest and mix together. It is important to taste the mix as you can add more of each ingredient should your palette desire. To Finish: Place a circular mould on the plate and carefully place the correct amount of mackerel into each. Gently smooth the mackerel down with the back of the spoon before placing five equal size dots of the oyster cream on top of the mackerel. Finish the dish with batons of the apple, shiso cress and wakame powder.
Scallop “Minestrone”, Broad Beans, Peas And Wild Garlic By Gary Foulkes at Michelin-starred Angler in the City Serves 4 Ingredients 8 Large Orkney scallops 100g fresh shelled peas 100g fresh shelled broad beans 20 preserved confit tomatoes WWW.THEAMERICANHOUR.COM
100g cooked chick peas 8 Squid ink Garganelle ( this can be replaced with a shop bought pasta such as a macaroni) 20 small basil leaves (Greek basil is preferable) 10 finely chopped wild garlic leaves 500ml tomato essence *see separate recipe to be prepared 1 day in advance. To Finish: A good quality first pressed olive oil Blanch the fresh peas, then the broad beans in boiling salted water and then refresh immediately in iced water. Pod the beans and the peas and set to one side. Thinly slice the radishes on a mandolin and place in lightly acidulated water. Slice each scallop into three and season lightly with coarse grain salt. Place the sliced scallops equally into the bottom of the serving bowl. Gently warm the tomato essence - Do not boil. Place the chick peas into the tomato essence, along with the broad beans, blanched garganelle/pasta and peas. Drop in the preserved tomatoes, sliced radishes, adding the wild garlic leaves. Spoon the warm minestrone over the scallops and finish with a good splash of the olive oil and fresh basil leaves. *Tomato Essence Ingredients 22 plum tomatoes (de-seeded and juiced and cut into quarters) 7g celery salt 4g cracked white pepper 15g salt 25g sugar 5 basil leaves Prepare the tomatoes and place in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well, making sure the tomatoes are well coated in the marinade. Place in a tray, cover and place in the fridge, leaving it to marinade for 24 hours. After 24 hours, place the mix into a blender and “pulse” the tomatoes but do not blend them. They want to be broken down but not a purée. Hang the tomato mix in some muslin cloth and retain the clear juice that drips out of the cloth. Gary Foulkes in the kitchen
Scallop with Ponzu and Smoked Eel
Scallop With Ponzu And Smoked Eel By Ben Murphy at Launceston Place
Serves 4 Ingredients 4 XL Cornish scallops (1 per portion) 1 Whole smoked eel - diced (4 x 1cm cubes per plate) For the eel stock All the trimmings of the smoked eel, including the skin 2 carrots 6 shallots 2 cloves of garlic 4 sprigs of lemon thyme 200g fish stock 40g bonito flakes For the ponzu 200g soy sauce 2 lemongrass 100g orange juice 28g ginger 10g yuzu juice 44g Ultratex thickening agent (or 6 sheets of soaked gelatine if unavailable) For the eel jelly 100g smoked eel stock 10g agar agar 2 sheets of gelatine Salt to taste For the stock - Dice and sauté the vegetables and eel trim for around 8 minutes. Once coloured add the herbs, bonito flakes and fish stock and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain off the liquid which will be used for the jelly. For the jelly – Soak the gelatine in ice cold water until it softens. Bring the stock to the boil and add the agar agar. Cook on a high heat for five minutes while stirring continuously, then add the soaked gelatine, and season to taste. Pour the liquid onto a baking try to create a 5mm layer and refrigerate. Once set, this can be cut into a 5cm disc with a pastry cutter. For the ponzu – Bring all the ingredients (except the Ultratex) to a boil in a pan. Cover, and allow to infuse for 6 hours. Once cooled, blend WWW.AMERICANINBRITAIN.CO.UK
the infusion with the Ultratex, to create a thick paste. Pass through a sieve to remove any lumps. Cooking the scallops - Pan fry the whole scallop with butter over a medium/high heat (we quickly char ours on the BBQ first). These should be cooked just before serving. To plate – Ensure that the jelly discs, eel and ponzu are at room temperature. Pipe a 10cm spiral of ponzu in the centre of the plate, place the whole roasted scallop in the centre of the spiral. Top each scallop with four cubes of smoked eel and finish with a disc of jelly.
Food As Medicine To Feel Good Fast By Laura Palowski, Healthfull
I’m a nutritionist and health coach in London, where I use food as medicine to help others achieve optimal health. I’m sharing my favourite nutrient-dense smoothie as a simple
way to strengthen your immune system, support gut health and boost energy:
Dr. Green Smoothie 1-2 c spinach 1/2 avocado 1/2 banana 1/2 pear 1 lime 2 T hemp seeds 1 T ginger 1 c water Mix in a high-speed blender and enjoy! Whether you’re looking to get your health back on track or optimise an already healthy lifestyle, feel free to reach out to book a virtual session. I’m also offering complimentary sessions to our carers on the front lines. To learn more, visit livehealthfull. com or contact me at 07553 155257.
Easy Peasy (and healthy) Banana Pancake Recipe By Betsy Cook Speer Ingredients 1 egg 1 banana In a bowl, smash-up the banana with a fork. Crack the egg into the bowl and gently mix banana and egg. Don’t worry about lumps. They seem to make the pancake fluffier. Coat the pan with Kerrygold grass-fed butter or olive oil (both healthy fats). Cook your pancake over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes each side or until lightly browned. I usually make just one big pancake. Delicious. Enjoy!
Your ‘Ditch Diets’ Checklist Betsy Cook Speer, author of 527 Things to do Before you Die...t, is a Wellness & Success Coach, passionate about helping women feel good about their bodies, themselves and their lives. She recently shared her motivation for her new online course: Prep-Pack for Success. “I suffered through years and years of yo-yo dieting and ‘self-hate’ about my eating and my weight. Weight loss had become my ultimate measure of success. It was ruining my self-esteem, my health and my energy. On top of that, I used failed diets as an excuse for not reaching other life goals.
6 TIPS FOR DITCHING DIETS Ditching damaging diets is an uber-smart idea but any change can have its challenges. So, this list has things to think about and do before you transition to a wonderful new no-diet life. 1. Plan Something to Look Forward to • Learn a new skill • Make new friends • Try a new sport • Dust off an old hobby. 2. Find A New Group If you’ve been part of a diet or weight-loss community, you’ll need a new non-diet tribe to hang out with. You might enjoy my fb group: @galswithnodiet for cool friendly women. 3. Build a Support System Those around you could be quite supportive of your choices while others may not. Trying to transition with less than supportive folks can be difficult. You’ll find a few ideas to help you decide what your share and how you do it, in this blog: To Share or Not to share. 4. Review Food Facts If you’ve been on a meal plan and you haven’t had to make food choices, it’s a good idea to reacquaint yourself with which foods to choose for a feel-good factor. My Feel-Good Shopping Sheets is a great place to get some answers. 5. If You Need More Help If your relationship with food feels more deeply rooted, possibly attached to a disturbing memory or event then, it might make sense to chat with a professional before you make this shift. It could be part of the reason for your eating patterns in the first place. 6. Prepare to Ditch Diets the Right Way You’re in luck! June 24th, 2020 I’m launching a brand-new online course called: Prep-Pack for Success designed to prepare you in the right way to succeed as you ditch diets. So, I quit diets, focused on feeling good and becoming the best version of me. Ironically, that’s when I lost 40 pounds. Now, I want to help other women become the best version of themselves.”
To contact Betsy please visit www.betsycookspeer.com 4
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We are delighted to offer year round swabs and blood draw tests Please call Mr Nick Sullivan for this on 02075805467 or email email@example.com. The swab tests can be sent to you or your employees. We also offer a consultancy service for any issues or concerns re COVID19 disease and the safe return and management of your staff. Please call Dr Charlie Easmon on 07834438479 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Our shop will offer non medical masks, Personal Protective Equipment, hand sanitiser and hand picked quality items for managing personal or corporate COVID19 disease issues.
WAYS TO BE CREATIVE IN LOCKDOWN Who says the coronavirus has stopped us from travelling? Lockdown has given us the opportunity to journey on the greatest trip of all - to discover ourselves again - that person you used to be. When you can’t physically travel, there is plenty of space inside you to discover - so many set-aside memories, talents and things you always wanted to try. What did you used to value? What did you want to do or feel in your life? Do you even remember? Tune in and find yourself, - then, when you can actually travel again, your experiences will be deeper and more memorable because of this unexpected pause in activity. When you are going to discover yourself again, you need time. Your mind will agitate to get busy, but resist, and try to do an activity quietly. After 30 minutes, I find I can settle down and start to concentrate. You need to create something that is meaningful to you. I love the colours in paintings so wanted to try art. I am so bad at it; it’s embarrassing. But then I read some good advice: create something but never show it to anyone or display it anywhere unless you can take criticism (‘this looks like your child drew it’, someone once said to me. I was devastated). You are creating just for yourself. Here’s an example. I was coming home on the train from London one pre-coronavirus evening. The sunset out of the window was glorious - rich blues, purples and reds, bright yellows and oranges - only the ninnies under the window didn’t even notice and just talked about trivial stuff when the beauty of life was right in front of them. I was sitting across from their table so I could see the scene unfold with my very own eyes. When I got home, I did a little painting of it - a beautiful colourful sunset, but I put the unseeing people around it in black and white. The whole picture isn’t anything for anyone to look at it, but it means so much to me. It brings back the lesson I learned that day instantly, plus I got to play around with paint colours.
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Other things that help me are singing, reading books I used to love once again, yoga on Zoom and walking or cycling in the mornings. The air is so fresh and fragrant in the morning - you can’t help but think everything will be fine if mornings like the ones we have been having keep coming. I like to think of Philip Larkin’s poem then:
What are days for? Days are where we live. They come, they wake us Time and time over. They are to be happy in: Where can we live but days? Gardening is another way to grow even when the world seems stagnant around you. Whilst we couldn’t go to garden centres, I tried to make new plants from cuttings of things I already had, to put elsewhere. I also
used the seeds that the wind had blown in, or the birds had dropped from on high. Oak acorns are my favourite. Since I have nowhere to put an oak as my garden is very small, I bonsai them or basically just never move them out of the pot they landed in. I have such pretty small trees now to admire. I also do silly things like rock painting. I write inspirational thoughts on them and throw them somewhere in the gravel in the driveway. Then I forget I ever did them, and when I run across them months or a year later, the thought inspires me again. Keep a coronavirus journal. Just jot down thoughts, draw little pictures and write down cute things your children (or husband?) say. You will find you come to know yourself a little better day by day. The experience of lockdown might not want to be a trip you wanted to take, but what an experience. Don’t miss the chance to learn what you can from it. As Lao Tsu wrote:
At the centre of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want. I hope these ideas inspire you during these difficult times. By Elizabeth Scanlon Thomas
TAX MATTERS Common Economic Impact Payment Issues in the American Expat Community The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented stress for communities across the globe. Much needed financial relief has come in various forms. The United States government passed the CARES Act in late March offering several different programmes to American businesses in order to help them withstand the economic crisis. Programmes like the Paycheque Protection Programme (PPP) created a pathway for many businesses to make it through the next few months. Unfortunately, this form of assistance has been largely out of reach for the American expat community due to requirements that eligible businesses be operating within the United States. While American expats may be able to find support in their local communities, another avenue to assistance has been created by the individual Economic Impact Payments, which are available to taxpayers abroad. Since April, the US Treasury has been issuing these payments of $1,200 to eligible Americans. The payment doubles to $2,400 for married couples filing jointly and is increased by $500 for each dependent child under the age of 17. For example, an American family living in the United Kingdom with three young children could expect a total payment of $3,900 from the IRS, provided the eligibility guidelines are met. While the information is continuing to change and some uncertainty remains, we have identified several of the common issues that are impacting American expats who have questions about their eligibility and the steps they must take to secure these benefits.
Am I potentially eligible for the Economic Impact Payment as an American living in the United Kingdom?
Yes. The stimulus payment is available to US citizens and resident aliens with a social security number that is valid for employment in the United States. Incarcerated taxpayers and those who can be claimed as a dependent are ineligible, but there is no requirement that you be living or doing business in the United States. Eligibility is income-tested and subject to a threshold of $150,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly, $112,500 for heads WWW.THEAMERICANHOUR.COM
of household, and $75,000 for all other taxpayers. The payment is reduced by $5 for each $100 of income above these limits. The IRS used information obtained from 2018 and 2019 tax returns to determine eligibility, current address, and applicable banking information. A portal for NonFilers has been launched so that anyone who is not required to file a tax return, but is otherwise eligible for the payment, can provide the necessary information to receive their benefits.
Can I enter my payment details through the â€œNon-Filerâ€? portal the IRS has established if I am required to file a US tax return but have not done so?
No. If you are required to file a tax return in 2018 or 2019, you are not eligible to use the Non-Filer portal, which is intended for individuals who are not required to file a tax return. In order to receive your payment, you need to file the required US tax returns. If you find yourself in this situation, you may want to consider one of the voluntary disclosure programmes offered by the IRS to individuals who have overlooked their tax and account reporting obligations back in the United States. If you have many years of unfiled tax returns, the Streamlined Compliance Programme may allow you to get back into compliance by submitting the past three years of Federal tax returns and six years of Foreign Bank Account Reports (FBARs). The FBAR is required annually if the combined value of your non-US accounts exceeds $10,000 at some point during the calendar year. No tax is calculated but severe penalties can apply for noncompliance. Eligibility for the Streamlined Programme requires that you submit a statement, signed under penalties of perjur y, that outlines the facts demonstrating why you have acted reasonably in neglecting to file US tax returns and FBARs. Given the multitude of different compliance options available and possible exposure to penalties, consulting a tax advisor to assist you with this process is crucial.
Previously I made an election to file a joint US tax return with my nonresident spouse and we continue to file jointly using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Am I still eligible for payment?
Maybe. The IRS has made clear that taxpayers who are otherwise eligible and file jointly with one spouse having an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) will not receive the Economic Impact Payment. However, if you previously made the joint return election but no longer accrue any real tax benefit from filing jointly, filing separately may restore your eligibility. Filing a separate tax return in a year after having made the joint return election would not eliminate your ability to file jointly in future years. Then again, if you do benefit from the additional standard deduction or reduced tax bracket from filing jointly, the additional $1,200 Economic Impact Payment may not be greater than the tax savings produced by the joint return election.
Does the foreign earned income exclusion impact my eligibility for the Economic Impact Payment?
Yes. One nuance of the CARES Act is that eligibility for the stimulus payment is based exclusively on adjusted gross income (AGI) and AGI does not include any excluded foreign earned income. Historically, tax-driven stimulus payments have required Taxpayers to add excluded foreign earned income back to their AGI when determining eligibility. This language is not included in the CARES Act and many American expats with income in excess of the $75,000 threshold have reported receiving the stimulus payment after having elected the foreign earned income exclusion on their 2018 or 2019 tax returns. The IRS has explained that those who received the payment based on their 2018 or 2019 income but would not be eligible based on their current year income, will not be required to repay the benefit. WWW.AMERICANINBRITAIN.CO.UK
In the case of the foreign earned income exclusion, it is unclear whether the law will be updated to address this nuance before the 2020 tax filing deadline. This appears to create an opportunity for a possible windfall for certain taxpayers claiming the foreign earned income exclusion. Presently, taxpayers with income in excess of $180,000 would be potentially eligible for the full $1,200 benefit by claiming the foreign earned income exclusion.
If I have been living outside the United States, how will I receive my Economic Impact Payment?
If you are eligible, you may have received your Economic Impact Payment in one of three ways: 1) Direct deposit to your US bank account. If you are required to file a tax return and are eligible for a tax refund that you have requested be direct deposited to a US bank account, the IRS has likely already issued the payment to you as a direct deposit. As of early May, close to 600,000 individual payments had already been issued to Americans with foreign addresses. 2) Mailed cheque to your address on record with the IRS. The IRS has clarified in its published FAQs on May 14th that the online portal for taxpayers, other than “Non-Filers,” will now only allow you to input bank account information when there has been a problem with your mailing address. They further explained that if you had been using a US bank account to make electronic payments for your US tax liability, your banking details would not have been picked up in this process, thus placing you in the paper cheque group. 3) Prepaid debit card mailed to your address on record with the IRS. The IRS has also been issuing prepaid debit cards to certain Taxpayers in lieu of paper cheques. Among the group receiving the debit cards are Taxpayers who had their returns processed at the Austin Service Center. This center processes many of the US tax returns filed with foreign addresses, so a strong possibility exists that these debit cards will be landing in the American expat community. As of this article’s posting, American expats who have not already received their payment will have a cheque mailed to them at their address on file with the IRS and do not presently have a mechanism for proactively providing US bank account information outside of a 2018 or 2019 tax return requesting a refund. Due to obvious challenges with international mail, this mechanism for delivery will create additional hurdles. 8
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What happens if I am expecting my Economic Impact Payment to be sent to my address in the United Kingdom, but I have not received it?
You can currently check the status of your Economic Impact Payment by using the “Get My Payment” portal offered by the IRS available at this link: www.irs.gov/ coronavirus/get-my-payment. Through this portal, you will be able to determine the status of the payment as well as the payment method. The IRS is also mailing out Notice 1444 to advise taxpayers of the payment details. Given the volume of payments that will inevitably be mailed to eligible taxpayers overseas, the likelihood of many of these cheques or debit cards failing to arrive in the mail is high. Taxpayers who have been notified that they were issued a payment but did not actually receive the cheque have been advised to take several different actions. If you file with a foreign address, it can take up to nine weeks from the scheduled mailing date for the cheque to arrive. After this nine-week window has passed and your money still has not arrived, you can contact the IRS to initiate a trace on the payment. This is done by either calling the IRS or submitting Form 3911, Taxpayer Statement Regarding Refund. If the trace determines that the cheque was never cashed, the original cheque will be cancelled, and a replacement cheque issued. Alternatively, if the cheque was cashed, the process will be more involved, and you will be obligated to complete a claim package issued by the Bureau of the Fiscal Services (BFS). BFS will review the claim and the signature on the cashed cheque to make a determination before reissuing the payment.
I renounced my US citizenship in 2019 but the IRS still issued me a payment. Can I keep these funds?
The IRS has made clear that if you will be a nonresident in the United States in 2020, you are not eligible for the payment. They are aware that the payment was erroneously sent to a number of nonresident aliens and deceased individuals. If you have recently abandoned your US residency or citizenship status, the IRS may have issued you a payment erroneously. Recent IRS guidance has clearly stated that they do expect individuals who received the payment in error to return it; however, no penalties have yet been announced for those who do not follow these guidelines.
If a cheque was issued to you in error, you are instructed to mark the cheque as “VOID” and mail it back to the IRS along with a statement of explanation. If a direct deposit was made, you are to draft a personal cheque payable to “US Treasury” and note “2020EIP” and your Social Security Number in the memo line. … A statement of explanation should also be included. The IRS address to use will depend on your state of residence. Ineligible taxpayers with a foreign address have been instructed to return the Economic Impact Payment to: Austin Internal Revenue Service 3651 S Interregional Hwy 35 Austin, TX 78741, USA If you are among the group who received the payment issued on a prepaid debit card, you would return the debit card along with the statement of explanation to: Money Network Cardholder Services 5565 Glenridge Connector NE Mail Stop GH-52 Atlanta, GA 30342 The IRS has been actively updating information about the Economic Impact Payment programme and has just opened limited phone support for taxpayers with questions or concerns. Long wait times should be anticipated.
American Tax Partners is a US-based tax services company dedicated to providing expert global tax support for American Expats in the United Kingdom and UK Nationals with business or investment activities in the United States. Offering flat fee pricing, we serve as a single point of contact for managing all your international tax compliance obligations. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation at email@example.com or visit our website at amtaxpartners.com.
WEALTH MANAGEMENT Investing In The New Normal We will eventually return to some form of normality and be back in our daily routine. There will be some changes that we will have to incorporate into our routine like social distancing and maybe wearing face masks about our daily business. There are other areas that might be longer-term, such as businesses encouraging their workforce to work from home, and speaking with your doctor through video. So, when it comes to investing what does the new normal look like? Well, little is known about when global economies will be fully back up and running, how quickly unemployment will reverse from its alltime highs to the lower levels seen before the pandemic and governments ease their stimulus packages. With so many variables, uncertainty about the future has increased. This level of uncertainty has led to volatility rarely seen in the history of the markets. Over the past few months we have seen some of the fastest falls in markets ever recorded. In March, it only took 16 days for the S&P to fall into a bear market (a drop of 20% or more) from its high. To put this into context, the two next fastest falls of the S&P were in September 1929 and August 1987, when it took just under 50 days to drop 20%.(1)
Despite this uncertainty and heighted volatility there are some things we do know; there will always be winners and losers when it comes to investing US oil prices turned negative for the first time in history, meaning producers of oil were effectively paying buyers to take it off their WWW.THEAMERICANHOUR.COM
hands. The VIX index (Chicago Board Options Exchange’s (CBOE) volatility index) also known as the ‘Fear Index’ also weighed in on the uncertainty in investor sentiment by hitting highs not seen since the financial crises in 2008. In March, the VIX hit 82.69% volatility. This was four times higher than the long run average of just under 20% volatility. The last time it hit comparable levels was in 2008.(2) Despite this uncertainty and heighted volatility there are some things we do know; there will always be winners and losers when it comes to investing. Becoming a winner is only possible by taking part. And, there are things one can do to tilt the odds of becoming a winner over the long-term. Market volatility can provide opportunities for those with cash on the side, waiting to be put to work.
Market Crash – Time To Invest Cash?
For investors who have cash and would like to invest but have been wary about investing when markets have been hitting record highs – a dip in the market does present an opportunity to put money to work. Before deploying cash into a downward trending market and taking advantage of cheaper prices, it is important to understand one’s financial situation. It may not be sensible to invest if there are large debts to pay back, especially high interest debt. Cash should always be set aside for emergencies or the unpredictable such as a pandemic. If after this there is no upcoming short-term cash flow need, it might be a good time to seize the opportunity. Personal and financial goals, investment time horizon, capacity for loss and emotional tolerance to risk are key factors that will help determine the level of risk that can be afforded. Investors with a longer investment time horizon generally can afford to take more risk, increasing the probability of achieving higher expected portfolio returns. Making the decision to invest during times of volatility is different than trying to time the market. Past evidence has shown that trying to buy when the market is at its bottom, or sell when it is at its peak, proves detrimental to portfolio returns over the long run. In his recent article, Rob Arnott (founder of Research Affiliates) ‘With Volatility Comes Opportunity’, sums the problem with market
timing well - “It’s impossible to pinpoint peaks and troughs. We don’t believe we have any special knowledge or skill to divine peaks or troughs ahead of the pack, but we do have the discipline to buy the assets people fear most, and sell the assets that are most beloved”.(3) With the volatility recently experienced, investors may feel uncomfortable investing in one lump sum, investing regularly but systematically can reduce the emotion of investing in one go. Volatility also provides opportunity for investors already invested.
Many investors understandably become nervous during market sell-offs and consider whether they should rebalance their portfolio or not Rebalancing – Is It Necessary?
Many investors understandably become nervous during market sell-offs and consider whether they should rebalance their portfolio or not. When uncertainty increases, the perception of risk increases, in turn leading to risky assets to become cheaper as investors sell their investments to reduce this risk. Although the risky assets that have fallen now mean investors expect and demand a higher expected return to compensate them for the risk, a fall in the riskier asset part of the portfolio means that now the risk being taken could be too small, potentially leaving investors short of their end goals. Before deciding on the next steps, one must understand their financial position and make sure that the portfolio goals, tolerance WWW.AMERICANINBRITAIN.CO.UK
for risk, and time horizon, still remain the same. Vanguard produced a short paper in 2015 called ‘The Best Practices for Portfolio Rebalancing’, that conveys the importance of why investors should rebalance. Market volatility and crashes make investors nervous and lead them to make irrational decisions like fully liquidating their holdings in a panic. Making emotional decisions like this reduces the odds of investors achieving their goals. If investors remain rational, disciplined, and follow the plan, the odds of having a successful experience are increased. Rebalancing the portfolio allows for the risk level to be brought back to an acceptable level that is aligned to the objective of the portfolio. Rebalancing systematically, or in times of extreme volatility, means that investors are more likely to have a successful investment experience and achieve their goals.(4) For the near-term anyway, the new normal looks certain to include increased volatility with faster falls and rebounds in global stock markets. For those with a longer investment time horizon, volatility can be absorbed. For those with a shorter investment time horizon, or more emotionally sensitive to seeing their portfolio change in value on a daily basis, it is important to remember that investment principles remain – stay rational, maintain diversified portfolios and systematically rebalance. The new normal might mean more frequent cash flow planning and reviewing portfolios at times of volatility. Reacting to every market swing can prove costly and destroy wealth. Keeping portfolios aligned to targeted levels of risk, ensuring financial situations are kept current, allows one to embrace increased volatility without acting irrationally.
Risk Warnings And Important Information
MASECO LLP (trading as MASECO Private Wealth and MASECO Institutional) is registered in England and Wales as a Limited Liability Partnership (Companies House No. OC337650) and has its registered office at Burleigh House, 357 Strand, London WC2R 0HS. MASECO LLP is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for the conduct of investment business in the UK and is an SEC Registered Investment Advisor in the United States of America. This article does not take into account the specific goals or requirements of individuals and is not intended to be, nor should be construed as, investment or tax advice. Information contained in this article is based on MASECO’s understanding of current regulations and tax law and legislation which is subject to change. MASECO Private Wealth is not a tax specialist and does not provide either tax or legal advice. The tax treatment of any investment strategy or investment in a financial instrument depends on the individual circumstances of each person and may be subject to change in the future. You should carefully consider the suitability of any strategies along with your financial situation prior to making any decisions on an appropriate strategy. We strongly recommend that every person seeks their own tax advice prior to acting on any of the tax opportunities described in this article. Alexander Dolton is a Wealth Manager at MASECO Private Wealth. Alexander helps US connected clients implement tax efficient investment solutions and taking
advantage of broader financial planning opportunities. Prior to working at MASECO Alexander worked at Rothschild & Co. Email: Alex.Dolton@masecopw.com
References: (1) Peter Wells, S&P 500 suffers its quickest fall into bear market on record, Financial Times, March 12 2020 (2) Madison Darbyshire, Vix ‘fear gauge’ in recovery from Covid-19 shock, Financial Times, April 17 2020 (3) Rob Arnott, Feifei Li, With Volatility Comes Opportunity, Research Affiliates, March 2020 (4) Yan Zilbering; Colleen M. Jaconetti, CPA, CFP ®; Francis M. Kinniry Jr., CFA, Best Practices for portfolio rebalancing, Vanguard Research, November 2015.
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SECURE HOUSE & PET SITTERS
You REALLY need to check out Winston Hayles at www.SecureSitter.com Whether you are newly relocated, or long term resided. you will find using my professional and flexible Overnight Pet Sitting services a relief and take a lot of stress out of bringing your family member over from the US to the UK. I COVER: • Overnight Sits where I stay in your home and look after your pet and home whilst you are away on vacation, or work calls. Confidential, Security and investigative background. • Relevant Pet and House Sitting Insurance and Health & Safety qualifications. • You can be assured your pet is looked after, kept in the routine they need, and having the luxury of being in their home surroundings they love and prefer...than the stress and boredom of being sent to a cattery, or kennels. • Pet Transportation to/from the Vet, or hospital, when you are not available. • Drop-In to do a 60, or 90 minute Feed & Play when you do not need an overnight sitter. • Emergency Dog Walking. When you are incapacitated, have something else to do that evening, or just don’t feel like it…yes, we have all been there! I can be available at short notice depending on location. • Need someone to travel with your pet. This can be arranged. I receive favourable Club Class Rates with a national airline and can accompany your pet to/from the US/UK. Ask for details. CALL ME: If you are still in the USA call my US Toll Free Number 1-866-290-0504 for a chat and any possibly requirements before you fly over to the UK. CANADA Toll Free 1-866-582-7141, or if you are already here in London my UK FREEphone 0800-783-2828. WhatsApp: +44-774-341-5695. Don’t worry about the time of calling, I always make myself available. Email: SecureSitter@hotmail.com • UK Cell: +44-(0)-774-341-5695 • www.SecureSitter.com
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LEGAL ISSUES Time To Get Back To Business Many businesses may have experienced a significant reduction in work during this challenging period and the plans of many directors and employees may have been placed on hold as the UK awaits further easing of lockdown restrictions. Thankfully, the Government has begun to lift some of these restrictions and has outlined a flexible plan to ease lockdown further in the coming weeks and months, based on scientific evidence. As the UK returns to a new form of normality, now is the time to consider your legal affairs across a variety of areas. To help you as you plan for the weeks, months and years ahead, some of the UKâ€™s leading lawyers from London-based fullservice international law firm Mackrell. Solicitors are sharing their advice with US expats to help them navigate their way through this challenging period.
As the UK returns to a new form of normality, now is the time to consider your legal affairs across a variety of areas Property - Looking To Buy Or Sell? Now Is The Time
The UK government has confirmed that home viewings and property moves are now permitted. This means that buyers and sellers can now begin to complete property transactions. With the property market now re-opening, and the cost of borrowing at an all-time low, now is the time to take advantage of this situation. However, it is important that you seek professional assistance every step of the way whether you are selling or buying property, re-mortgaging or transferring equity. WWW.THEAMERICANHOUR.COM
Employment Managing Your Teams Return To Work
Businesses must follow the COVID-19 secure guidelines and carry out appropriate risk assessments to ensure the safety of their workplace. It is a good idea, wherever possible, to include workers in these risk assessments. It is also essential to establish proper communication channels with workers. During the consultation process, businesses should talk to those employees who are anxious about returning to work and try and resolve these concerns together. Measures such as staggering arrival and departure times will ensure there are fewer people in the office at any one time and reduce public transport usage during peak hours. Social distancing guidelines - currently two metres - should also be adhered to where possible. Please do contact us for further advice and assistance
Businesses must follow the COVID-19 secure guidelines and carry out appropriate risk assessments to ensure the safety of their workplace. It is a good idea, wherever possible, to include workers in these risk assessments
Both on the buyside and sell-side, COVID-19 has had an impact in two main areas M&A - Buying And Selling In Uncertain Times
Both on the buy-side and sell-side, COVID-19 has had an impact in two main areas. Firstly, due diligence. A buyer should undertake enhanced due diligence on a company to understand the impact that COVID-19 has had on the business and, importantly, how the company has changed and adapted. Sellers should review their commercial contracts and internal processes (particularly regarding remote working) to ensure that they are prepared; this will give a buyer significant comfort. Secondly, both buyers and sellers need to think carefully about deal structures. It is likely buyers are going to lean towards structures that place greater importance on earn-outs and deferred consideration rather than cash as much upfront. Both buyers and sellers will, therefore, need to look at alternative structures that share the risk, for example, seller notes or escrow arrangements. These points cover just some of the areas of your life that are likely to have been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. The team at Mackrell.Solicitors can help with these areas and many more via its fullservice offering â€“ ensuring that you have the advice and legal support you need as you rebuild and recover following these testing times. Mackrell.Solicitors is a founding member of the top international legal network Mackrell International. This gives the firm access to more than 4,500 specialist solicitors in more than 60 countries around the world, including members across 30 US states. To find out how Mackrell.Solicitors can help you with your legal queries or advice you may require, please visit www. mackrell.com or call + 44 (0) 20 7240 0521. WWW.AMERICANINBRITAIN.CO.UK
This is not Hawaii - it’s Cornwall! Carne Beach. (Photo courtesy: S.I. Monshaw)
TRAVEL - CORNWALL Cornish Mile By Susan Irving Monshaw If “as the crow flies” is a way to describe the shortest possible route, a Cornish mile is the exact opposite. In every way, it takes you longer to travel a mile in Cornwall because the actual measure of a Cornish mile equals 1.5 standard miles, and the towering hedges lining the impossibly narrow and winding roads easily double your travel time. While this may be exasperating, the effort in patience and concentration behind the wheel is well worth the effort: Cornwall is simply breathtaking. As newly arrived American expats, we did not heed the warnings about traffic leaving London on a Friday in the direction of the Cornish coast. Our estimated trip should have been about 5 hours – it took us 7, and that may not include numerous stops to argue about who could better handle the challenge of backing up to let oncoming cars pass by. Once we crested the hill at Veryan Village and saw Carne Beach below, all of the effort faded away and we were entranced by 12
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the magnificent vista before us. Low tide revealed a massive stretch of shore where walkers, dogs, swimmers and kite flyers danced around the gigantic black rocks partially submerged beneath the sand. The Nare Hotel is set on a bluff with the crashing waves of the English Channel at its feet, rolling green hills blanket the tops of the cliffs on all sides, dotted with cows and old farmhouses. Really, it looks just like a painting. Described as a “country house” hotel, The Nare has been there for 100 years, now just reopening after the recent pandemic. Full English breakfast and a multi-course dinner are included in your room fee, along with the most wonderful afternoon tea. Every day, every single day, I indulged in a slice of Victoria sponge and a cup of Earl Grey – bliss. We walked the Southwest Coastal Path which runs along the front of the hotel’s property. Don’t the Brits just love walking? The path runs 694 km along the coastline,
offering truly breathtaking views of the water and massive rocky sea cliffs along with perfect little villages and delightful historic cottages tucked into the hillside. Of course, we found a tiny pub along the way where we enjoyed a pint and a refreshing bowl of water for our ecstatic beagle, who couldn’t get over his great good fortune at being off leash, rambling for miles. On our way to the King Harry Ferry, we discovered one of the most exquisite little churches I have ever seen. St. Just, in Roseland, is a 13th century Church of England structure built on the site of a 6th century Celtic chapel. Surrounded by century old, semi-tropical gardens and a uniquely rolling cemetery, St. Just holds a fascinating artifact: a book containing the names and signatures of hundreds of American GIs who were stationed nearby in 1943-44, amassing supplies and gearing up for the D-Day landings just hours away by sea. Clive, the church caretaker and
TRAVEL - CORNWALL Perfect picnic aboard the Alice Rose. Cornwall. (Photo courtesy: S.I. Monshaw)
keeper of the splendid gardens, told us that the Americans had engaged local ladies to help with their laundry. As this was a time of extreme deprivation, in addition to payment, the ladies were delighted to discover fresh fruit and chocolate bars in the bottom of those laundry bags, left for them by the thoughtful and grateful soldiers. I stood on a nearby concrete ramp that disappeared into the River Fal and imagined them, those tender young men, preparing for the nightmare they couldnâ€™t possibly conjure. The sun was retreating from a half-hearted attempt, the wind whipped up and the King Harry Ferry was just arriving, depositing passengers for its last trip of the day. A few boats strained at their moorings and we soon learned that the weather would cancel our plans to cross by ferry, so we drove to St. Ives,
Roseland Heritage Walk, Cornwall. (Photo courtesy S.I. Monshaw)
a darling fishing village filled with pubs, shops, restaurants and charm. By this time, I wasnâ€™t so intimidated by the narrow roads and enjoyed driving a bit further afield to discover Trelissick House, a 1755 National Trust property featuring an impressive country mansion surrounded by acres and acres of beautiful fields, gardens and a lovely river walk. From here, we discovered St. Mawes Castle where we could look across the river to its twin Pendennis, both built by Henry the Eighth to secure the peninsula from attackers. The highlight of our visit was a boat tour of the rivers and bays of the Roseland peninsula aboard the Alice Rose. Expertly piloted by Simon, we braved a bit of rain and wind, the only guests on the cruise that day. He is a native of the region, formerly of
St. Just in Roseland Church, Cornwall. (Photo courtesy: S.I. Monshaw)
the Royal Navy, and something of a local historian. Our Captain pointed out yachts owned by famous locals, quiet, lesser-known corners of the inlets, and the best places to swim and fish. While it was too cold to swim that day, we enjoyed a lovely picnic provided by the hotel featuring the perfect prawn cocktail in glass jars, salads and a very respectable white wine. We stayed a week in Cornwall but wished for another four. There is so much to see, taste, and explore in this stunning part of England. You can save yourself the Friday traffic aggravation by taking the train from London, but you would certainly be cheating yourself of the unforgettable experience of hearing those tiny hedge branches squeak along the side of your car, subtly reminding you that you might be a little too close!
READER’S LIVES How The World’s Coolest E-Bike Landed In The UK When I see the headline “be careful about falling in love with a British accent” I smile, as it reminds me of when I met my husband while on a trip to New York City. Although I thought it was a British accent I fell in love with, he is originally from a British colony Northern Rhodesia now called Zambia. After 6 years of dating long distance and many hours on Skype and trips back and forth between my home in Chicago and his work locations in London, Italy and Germany, we were married 5 years ago. After our Chicago wedding, I quit my job, gave away most of my furniture and belongings, sold my car, and arrived in the UK in 2015. As I settled in London with him and we started our new life together, we realised that with both our careers in transition working for others, we needed a change. In 2018, my husband and I launched Rayvolt UK as the exclusive importer and distributor for a luxury brand of premium e-bikes designed and hand-assembled in Spain. With his background in the European automotive industry and my HR background, we decided to give it a go after my husband fell in love with the Rayvolt Cruzer e-bike while on holiday in Spain. We happened to walk past the Rayvolt showroom and headquarters in Barcelona’s Old Town while looking for our favourite restaurant. My husband was drawn into their beautiful shop, and was astonished by their design and beauty and had to learn more. During that visit, It didn’t take long after seeing their range of e-bikes, and meeting the founders and hearing their story before my husband politely asked: “Do you have a UK distributor?”, which startled me, as we weren’t actively looking to start an e-bike business or had even discussed it! My
Torino in Pearl White - Rayvolt images
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husband has an appreciation for retro-styled classic cars and has two 1980’s Mercedes SL’s and a motorcycle, and we quickly determined that there was nothing quite like these e-bikes on the market in the UK. We realised that they are the absolute cutting edge of design, engineering and technology, with Bluetooth connectivity, automatic uphill assistance, and intelligent regenerative braking among the many features. However, the real impact of the Cruzer is the smiles on all who see and ride it. When you ride a Rayvolt Cruzer, you can literally feel people staring. This is something we quickly had to get used to as they are real head turners and you’re the centre of attention when riding it. What we also came to appreciate is that the Rayvolt Cruzer is a fantastic eco-friendly way of commuting and to enjoy a casual cycle, without having to exert a lot of effort. With a potential 50-mile range, you feel very confident that you’re not going to run out of power. This has become especially important during the current times we face as an alternative form of safe commuting. When our first stock arrived in 2018, we initially worked out of our home in South London while storing most of our stock in a rented storage container nearby. Our first customer had inquired about a Cruzer by contacting the Rayvolt Office in Spain who then sent him our way. He set up an appointment, drove down from StratfordUpon-Avon, had a cup of tea, took a test ride, and fell in love with it straight away. He was looking for a high tech e-bike to take him on his daily journey along the towpath to go fishing. We will never forget our first sale, but working out of the house was not practical nor the image we wanted to present, as we
were determined to provide a first-class sales experience and provide a service centre and repair facility which would carry the full range of spares and guarantee personalised post sale customer support. It took months of researching the high priced commercial letting market, but we found an industrial warehouse unit nearby and moved in a year ago. We’ve established a secure warehouse storage facility, stocked a full range of spares and built a fully-equipped professional e-bike service centre. A web designer friend of ours developed our first website and we launched our Rayvolt UK e-commerce business. My husband Graham handles the stock, sales, service and technical specifications of the business, and I handle social media, finances, and accounting. It’s been an interesting journey so far as I’ve had to develop skills that were not in my wheelhouseQuickbooks, the UK VAT system, photography, marketing, social media and the commercial retail market. We also realised we needed a vehicle to transport the bikes, and although we were looking for any other colour than white, we did indeed eventually purchase a white van - yes, we are those people. We decided that unlike many e-commerce platforms that deliver boxes and have no follow-up service or support, we were determined to differentiate ourselves and offer personalised, professional service and support for our customers. The business we’ve created is one where a customer can build and customise their e-bike on our website, picking out colour, battery size, motor size and accessories, and placing an order or by making an appointment with us for a test ride while discussing their requirements and riding style to determine the most suitable Rayvolt e-bike. Once an order is placed, we keep in touch and prepare the e-bike to your specifications including a full 52 point PDI inspection, full technical inspection and a 10-mile static road test to make sure the e-bike is perfect and ready to ride upon handover. We also offer a free white glove delivery service to your door which includes full training on the EIVA ® app which converts the e-bike to a smart bike to control, customise and monitor your Cruzer, and a custom bike fit. Riders can download the free EIVA app on purchase and get real-time readouts on speed, battery and bike health, as well as control acceleration, top speed, braking and drive modes. Included is the facility of switching to off-road if riding on private land with the owner’s permission.
Cruzer in Gun Metal Grey - Rayvolt images
The Cruzer has been designed as a highperformance e-bike from the ground up and it aligns a classic vintage look with cutting edge technology creating a timeless e-bike full of character. The look harks back to the legendary era of motorcycling: the early 1900s Indian Motorcycle, the 1969 Cafe Racer and the 1970 Beach Cruiser. The result is a timeless e-bike that doesn’t appear too futuristic and off-putting to customers and one that makes people feel sentimental about the old classic bikes of yesteryear. The Torino, like the Cruzer, has all the built-in technology and uniquely beautiful design that
sets it apart from other e-bikes available which are simply converted bicycles. Later this year we will also be launching the next Rayvolt e-bike in the range - the Rayvolt Clubman, which is similar in design to the Cruzer but is set at a more affordable price. These unique e-bikes are a fantastic way of commuting and it’s been such a rewarding business to be a part of when we see the faces of the customers upon delivery of their new e-bikes. However, these last few months of the pandemic, with our transportation system severely limited, these concerns are clearly impacting everyone and we have a
beautiful option to assist people with a safer means of commuting. With prices starting at £3,400 we are making a special offer to the American in Britain readers of up to £400.00 worth of accessories free with any e-bike order. Please make sure that you quote code: AIB20 when placing your oder (this offer is valid for 90 days from date of publication). Nancy Kusner Rayvolt UK firstname.lastname@example.org www.rayvoltbike.co.uk
READER’S LIVES An American In Britain: Meet Chau-Jean Lin, Co-Founder of Marulin, The Award-Winning British Tea Company
Chau-Jean in her family’s tea garden in Taiwan
Whether it’s “builders’ tea” - strong, often with sugar and always served with milk and in a mug - or a more refined variety such as Earl Grey, it’s a well-known fact that the Brits love their tea. In fact, they drink around 165 million cups of tea a day (according to The Daily Express newspaper). But you may not know that an Asian-American woman is currently taking the British tea sector by storm with her own award-winning tea company, Marulin. California-born Dr Chau-Jean Lin grew up in Boca Raton, Florida, and now lives in London with her partner and baby. In 2016, she made an unexpected career move for someone with a PhD in materials science and engineering when she transitioned from working as a scientist in the oil industry to becoming an entrepreneur and starting up a tea business. Tea farming has been in Chau-Jean’s family for generations, and you could even say that tea is in her blood! While working as a scientist in France, she witnessed the appreciation that her French colleagues and friends had for drinking tea, and the idea for a tea business was planted. She decided to leave the oil industry behind her to focus on tea, and undertook an MBA at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School. It was here that she met her business partner - and the beginnings of Marulin were created. Marulin sources tea from Chau-Jean’s family tea gardens in Taiwan and from trusted farms in both Taiwan and other parts of the world. The company’s heritage is in highquality Taiwanese oolong tea, the type of tea 16
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her family has been producing for generations. This deep family connection to Taiwan makes Marulin stand out from other artisan tea brands on sale today, because Chau-Jean knows the provenance of where her tea comes from, which piece of land it’s from and who farmed it – which in many cases is Uncle Lin or her Father, who eventually came to America to pursue the American dream! This really is a family business. As well as Chau-Jean’s tea-farming family in Taiwan, Chau-Jean and her partner run Marulin together from London. They welcomed their daughter Marie in 2019, and she’s attended several events as part of the Marulin crew even meeting the Duchess of Cornwall on one occasion! Marulin produces a range of different teas in both loose and tea tent form. Varieties include the award-winning Hearty Breakfast tea, the zesty and energising Four Seasons Pearl Oolong tea, a cool and refreshing Minted Mint tea, and the classic and comforting Your Earl Grey tea. Chau-Jean’s top tip for making the perfect cup of tea is to follow the brewing instructions on each packet you buy, since they can vary depending on the variety and quality of the tea in question. Here’s her expert guidance for brewing the perfect cup of green tea, using an Imperial Green tea tent from the Marulin range:
Marulin’s Imperial Green tea
• Use filtered or bottled water if possible • Use a glass or porcelain teapot. If you don’t own one, brewing your tea directly in a cup or mug is fine. (The size of the teapot doesn’t matter but adjust the number of tea bags accordingly) • Allow one pyramid tea tent per person • Boil the water in your kettle and let it cool to between 70 and 75 degrees Celsius, otherwise your tea may taste bitter. (If you don’t have a thermometer, the water should be warm but not scorching hot to the touch). This is the optimal temperature for green tea • Put the tea tent into the teapot or mug • Pour the water into the teapot or mug and let it brew. A small teapot will take less time to brew, the bigger the teapot the more brew time required. For a mug, brew for three to five minutes and remove the tea tent • A Marulin tea tent can be used twice in a mug /smaller cup before being discarded • Sit back, relax and enjoy your cup of green tea! Chau-Jean is passionate about Taiwanese tea and gives masterclasses at the UK Tea Academy, as well speaking at Universities, Societies and Private Members’ Clubs. If you’re interested in finding out more, visit: www.marulin.co.uk.
TRAVEL Slovenia By Kathryn Gerken
As an independent travel agent and avid traveller, I have visited many places in Europe. One of the highlights was a three-day visit to Slovenia last October with the American Women’s Club of London. Wow! I could have stayed there for a whole week or more. Slovenia’s natural beauty and friendly people make it one of my top recommendations for places to visit. Coupled with a trip into Croatia, just an hour away by car to the border from the capital of Ljubljana, it would make a great two-week getaway.
Ljubljana: Explore The Markets And Medieval Old Town
With fewer tourists and cooler temperatures, Slovenia was an excellent choice for the fall. We started our trip in Ljubljana, only a 90-minute flight from London or other connecting European cities. Our tour guides picked us up and transferred us to our hotel, where we relaxed before going out to tour the picturesque Old Town. Straddling the Ljubljanica River, the Old Town is a joy to walk around. Head to the local craft and farmers markets and sample some of the honey liquor or any of the honey products, which are outstanding. They also have a Christmas market in December with activities and concerts during the season. The hilltop Ljubljana Castle, with interactive WWW.THEAMERICANHOUR.COM
exhibits for families, provides panoramic views of the medieval streets below. Slovenia became independent in 1997, so it is a new country with an old heritage, language, and tradition. They are immensely
proud of their country and love to talk about it and show it off to travellers. Spending more than the few hours we had would be beneficial. There are concert halls, museums and several other attractions for families.
Slovenia became independent in 1997, so it is a new country with an old heritage, language, and tradition. They are immensely proud of their country and love to talk about it and show it off to travellers
Triglav National Park: An Easy Trek To The Gorge
Ljubljana would make a great home base if you want to only unpack once during your stay. From here you can take day trips to almost anywhere in Slovenia. We chose to travel around and spend the night in different parts of the country, so our next stop was the Vintgar Gorge inside the Triglav National Park. The trail was mainly a boardwalk with some areas of dirt. Thankfully, there is a railing on sections that have a significant drop into the gorge, and at no time was I concerned for our safety. We were there on a Monday and there were quite a few walkers on the trail. We heard it was significantly more crowded over the weekend. At the end of the boardwalk/trail there is a little café with refreshments and a restroom. It had rained earlier in the week and the falls were outstanding. Trout are visible in the crystal clear river and a restaurant up the road near the parking entrance serves it (whole with garlic) for lunch. It was delightful! Cash is recommended for food and beverage in more remote places like this. WWW.AMERICANINBRITAIN.CO.UK
Lake Bled: Row To An Idyllic Island
Next, we went to Lake Bled and took a traditional rowboat ride out to its iconic island. Rowed by the boatman, the ornately decorated vessels are a sight to behold and a great experience, even if you do not want to visit the island. Upon landing, we walked the paved path around the very small island, read about the history, hit the gift shop, and visited the main attraction - a church with a bell tower and sweeping views. Here you can ring the lucky church bell and make a wish. You can also stay the night at Lake Bled if accommodations are available. Advanced bookings during high season are a must. Make sure to stop at a lakeside café and try the traditional cream cake. Consider sharing, or not - it is extraordinarily rich!
We went to Lake Bled and took a traditional rowboat ride out to its iconic island Active Travel: From Alpine Peaks To River Rafting
The Slovenia Alps, which border Austria and Italy, are gorgeous. We were lucky enough to have a sunny day and could see all the peaks at the top of the pass we went through. You will find many hiking trails here in the summer and skiing in the winter. Like many areas, you should plan to bring your own food and water. It is very remote, and does not have many facilities or shops. For a little adventure, we took a guided rafting trip down the Soča River. This was considered a level 3 river at this time of year and Neoprene gear and helmets were provided. We carried the raft to the water and out again. The guide gave plenty of instruction in the calm water to prepare
us for the swifter water with rapids. In the middle of the route was a smaller waterfall with a natural waterslide that we were free to enjoy. By the end of the 2-hour trip we were slightly wet but felt very accomplished and invigorated. Plus, we did not tip over! Bonus points! Note: This group activity could be used as a team-building exercise as well.
Wine Country: Visiting “Mini Tuscany”
To top off our trip we went to the southwest of Slovenia into the wine country of Brda. Spanning the rolling hills between the Soča River and the eastern Italian border, Brda is one of Slovenia’s foremost winegrowing areas and only an hour ’s drive from Ljubljana, which made it the perfect last stop on our tour. Often described as a miniature version of Tuscany, every hill seems to be topped with a large church surrounded by a charming little village, while the hillsides and valleys in between are blanketed with vineyards, orchards, and winding country roads. We walked the vineyards and sampled both white and red wines along with local meats and cheese. Slovenia is not a new wine growing region; they have been growing vines for hundreds of years. The vineyard that we visited is at least three generations old. We stayed in a tiny village of Brda with good accommodations and meals. This would be a great area to stay longer and do some more hiking or cycling. We could have stayed longer. We were not able to see the outstanding caves or the coastline of the country, and I left Slovenia wanting more. Someday, I will return and continue the exploration, and possibly get into Croatia too.
Travelling With The American Women’s Club
The American Women’s Club (AWC) of London organises travel opportunities for its members several times a year. 18
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Often described as a miniature version of Tuscany, every hill seems to be topped with a large church surrounded by a charming little village, while the hillsides and valleys in between are blanketed with vineyards, orchards, and winding country roads Over the past year, they have visited Krakow, San Sebastian, and Marrakesh. The club also offers a range of social, cultural, and educational activities, both in-person and virtual. Learn more at www.awclondon.org. Kathryn Gerken Kathryn moved from Seattle to London for her husband’s work. She runs her US-based travel agency, Gerken Getaways, remotely during this time.
ARTS & ANTIQUES
ARTS & ANTIQUES Meet The Artist: Carol Ann Eades By Dr Susan House Wade
Carol Ann Eades in her island studio
On first glance, it would appear that this glorious, light-filled studio, packed with intriguing indigo-dyed textile creations, may well be situated high in a remote Japanese village. But it’s not. Everything on display here was conceived and produced just a few blocks from the sea in the south of England. Although Carol Ann Eades is not native to these parts (she grew up in a cotton mill town in Lancashire), she obviously thrives here. Her textiles studio on the Isle of Wight is where she spends much of her time, when she’s not travelling to Japan or Southeast Asia. This is where she conducts most of her dyeing activities, utilising all natural materials, and combining indigo, rust and plant materialbased botanical print techniques to produce the most phenomenal outcomes. Interestingly, she reflects on how textiles were considered an industrial pursuit, and not an art form in her school days, and so Carol Ann’s career path was channeled first into the architectural field, but later she trained as an art, design and technology teacher. Had she grown up in Japan, however, she would have found no clear delineation between artists and craftspeople, with any and all forms of artistic production being equally well regarded.
Fragments of Life shortlisted for Royal Academy Summer Show 2017
Carol Ann has recently been profoundly impacted by the Asian textiles which she has come across during her travels
Kyoto Garden 2016
Following an early career in teaching art and design to adults and children with learning disabilities, the opportunity presented itself for her to establish a textile department at an art centre in Cambridgeshire. It was at this stage that she really began to take on the significance of textiles as an art form, and her own inspired practice emerged in a highly vigorous way.
Carol Ann has recently been profoundly impacted by the Asian textiles which she has come across during her travels. In fact, it was as a result of these discoveries that she originally began working with indigo dyes on natural fabrics. The interest continued, and she went on to study at West Dean College in Sussex with Canadian indigo and shibori-dyeing authority, Bryan Whitehead, who lives, farms and practices in the mountain village of Fujino, Japan (near Tokyo). Shibori is an ancient dyeing method which utilises a resist-dyeing technique, and which has, over many centuries, become well established and widely recognised as a significant element within the legacy of the Japanese arts. This ancient methodology is characterised by patterns which are created on cloth during the dyeing process via twisting, binding, stitching or folding, and in this way, it differs dramatically from what is known in European countries and North America as tie-dyeing. She cites other compelling influences, including Textile Artist Reiko Sudo of NUNO, and the noren, the cloth which is traditionally found hanging across the entrance to a shop or restaurant in Japan, the most common colour of which is indigo. Carol Ann’s ramblings in Tokyo have also taken her to the Mingeikan in Shibuya, the folk art museum which houses the vast collection of popular arts gathered by the philosopher, art critic and founder of the Japanese folk art movement, Sōetsu Yanagi. It was here that she found even further inspiration, in the form of the many and varied Japanese handcrafted textiles on show. Carol Ann incorporates both the shibori and the sashiko techniques in her work. Originally devised for utilitarian purposes in Edo (1603-1868) Japan, sashiko is a form of reinforcement stitching, which, in modern times, serves the added function of lending a contemporary, decorative aspect to the piece of work. Its original usage, however, was for repairing and mending torn or worn out garments, which were required for work such as farming, sake production or in the building trades. Nestled inside a greenhouse in the Ventnor Botanical Gardens, in the far southeast corner of the Isle of Wight, Carol Ann keeps a thriving, working studio, dependent on season. As Artist in Residence there, and with botanical specimens galore, the gardens provide an ever changing inspiration for her work. It is here that she developed her own WWW.AMERICANINBRITAIN.CO.UK
Shibori dyed textiles at Summer Open Studios 2019
Zukin 2020 shown at Japanese Craft and Textile Festival, London
Boro 2016 Sashiko technique
interpretation of the eco print technique, which draws heavily upon the 37 eucalyptus varieties found in the gardens. Presently, Carol Ann is spending the bulk of her time on the Japanese Firefighters Hood (Kaji Zukin) Project, which she characterises as effectively merging influences derived from Japanese methodology (including sashiko and shibori) alongside her own ongoing design practice. The tradition of these hoods began in the Edo period, when firefighters required fireproofed and reinforced coats and hoods, and hence this construction style came
Presently, Carol Ann is spending the bulk of her time on the Japanese Firefighters Hood (Kaji Zukin) Project
into wide usage. Shown here is her image called Zukin, featuring the hoods, which was exhibited at Craft Central, Isle of Dogs, London, as a part of the Japanese Craft and Textile Festival in March 2020. This work is both indigo-dyed and sashiko stitched. She was shortlisted for the Royal Academy Summer Show in 2017, with the mixed media work seen here, entitled Fragments of Life. The real standout for me, however, is Carol Ann’s Kyoto Garden, which was inspired by her trips to various wintry Kyoto garden landscapes. It is in Kyoto, as the old capital of Japan (794-1868), that literally dozens of not only historically important, but also incredibly sensitive and aesthetically beautiful gardens can be found and visited all year long. This extraordinary work features just such a garden, using hand stitching, alongside her ever-present rich indigo dye. At this very moment, pollen molecules and their potential usage is the subject of an informal research project for Carol Ann, and she is working, along with Sculptor Ken Proust and the Wellcome Collection on the development of it. I am watching with intense curiosity to see how this innovative project unfolds. Carol Ann’s island studio is open by appointment to see work in progress, attend workshops and to make purchases. For Further Details: Carol Ann Eades: www.carolanneades.com Mingeikan/Sōetsu Yanagi: www.mingeikan.or.jp Reiko Sudo: www.nuno.com West Dean College of Arts and Conservation: www.westdean.org.uk Bryan Whitehead: japanesetextileworkshops.blogspot.com
Shibori dying method
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Dr Susan House Wade is a design historian, who specialises in the 20th century East-West visual culture exchange. She is currently engaged as a research scholar at Newcomb Museum, Tulane University, New Orleans.
CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME
CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME Trusteeship In Lockdown Britain
Hoghton Tower - Skytech Imagery
Lockdown is impacting the way we live our lives as it moves around the planet, and people in every country are finding themselves in different stages of this global pandemic, responding in different ways. It seems that once a community is over that ‘deer caught in the headlamps’ initial shock, they are having to cope and survive as they chart a new path for the way forward towards the ‘new normal’ that awaits us all. No one is left untouched. One of my joys as a long-term American expat in Britain is my volunteer activity with UK charities. During the past 30 years, I have served as a Trustee for 7 charities and foundations, and presently I am a Trustee for three: The London International Gallery of Children’s Art, Hoghton Tower Preservation Trust, and Friends of Cricklewood Library. I was part of the team that started LIGCA in 1995 – a charity dedicated to educating children and others about the world around them through children’s art. Originally based at Southbank International School, LIGCA moved to the O2 Centre in Swiss Cottage, and most recently to Waterlow Park in Highgate until Camden Council WWW.THEAMERICANHOUR.COM
withdrew our lease in favour of another charity. LIGCA now operates in partnership with organisations, for example, the Islington Museum, The Scuola Italiana da Londra in Holland Park, the Italian Institute in Belgravia, and the Nehru Centre in
Hoghton Tower Preservation Trust is charged with maintaining and preserving the grounds, gardens and ‘historic fabric’ of Hoghton Tower
Mayfair, where we exhibit art and organise educational workshops. Hoghton Tower Preservation Trust is charged with maintaining and preserving the grounds, gardens and ‘historic fabric’ of Hoghton Tower, making it available to the community through house tours, and supporting educational, cultural and research activities. ‘The Tower’, a 16th Century Early English Renaissance Fortified Manor House (we Americans would call it a ‘castle’), is the ancestral home of the de Hoghton family who came to Britain with William the Conqueror. It has associations with King James I, Lady Godiva, Shakespeare and Charles Dickens, among others. It is also linked with Harvard University (Houghton Library), Corning Glass, and Alanson Houghton, US Ambassador to Britain during the 1920, was a member of the American branch of the family. Hoghton Tower is a place of significant historic and environmental significance visited by thousands of people each year. The Friends of Cricklewood Library is a new charity started by a group of residents when the local council vowed to close their public library. The volunteer committee WWW.AMERICANINBRITAIN.CO.UK
galvanised to lobby, raising awareness and funds, to challenge the Council’s decision. Nine years later, a new library has been built on its original site, on the ground floor of a new block of flats across from Gladstone Park. The charity was assisted by All Souls College, Oxford, who originally donated the land on which the library sits to the local community to provide a public reading room, and the initiative has been generously supported by the London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, who awarded a £40,000 donation matching the sum raised by local residents and businesses through a crowd-funding campaign. The American School of London has donated books, laptops and computers. Hundreds of books and library furniture have also been donated. During the long campaign to save the library, the Friends have maintained a pubic presence by starting and replenishing a pop-up library at Willesden Green Station. The new library space is ready for the Friends to move in, and with its small café, is destined to become an educational and cultural hub serving Cricklewood, including schools, nurseries and elderly who find the journey to Willesden Green Library, the nearest alternative, a challenge. While much of the world’s commercial and cultural activity has come to an abrupt halt, the work of charities continues. Trustees are obliged to ensure good governance and fiduciary responsibility, even during a pandemic. My weeks are full of emails, WhatsApp exchanges, and video conferences with fellow Trustees about the work of these charity. I want to share some of the ‘behind the scenes’ activity, in the hope that more American expats, who have a lot of talent and expertise to offer, might consider volunteering with British charities. A notable element of the US-UK ‘special relationship’ is the shared affection and admiration for the work of charities. Many Americans are surprised to know that James Smithson, who in 1884 provided the funding to start the Smithsonian Institute through a gift of just over $500,000, never visited America. The Smithsonian, based in Washington, D.C., is now the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, with 19 museums, the National Zoo, and nine research facilities. Many Brits do not realise that the Peabody Trust, which today has 55,000 properties, providing housing for families in London and Southeast England, was started in 1862 by George Peabody, an American who donated £500,000 to ‘ameliorate the condition of the poor’ of London. It is nice to think that I am following in this fine tradition, and LIGCA and Hoghton Tower Preservation Trust have other American Trustees. While Trustees must always confront and manage challenges, COVID-19 has presented some new ones. LIGCA was approached by a museum in Norway to partner in an exhibition that would feature children’s art about Corona 22
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from all over the world. LIGCA had worked with this museum previously, and this project was being sponsored by a major German newspaper. It presented an opportunity for LIGCA to be meaningfully engaged during these unprecedented times. The museum wanted us to use our network to reach out and collect art virtually (uploaded) that we could forward to them for their exhibition. The enthusiastic Trustees had several Skype meetings to plan the details; how to do this, how we would process the art, and how we would promote it to our stakeholders. However, when we saw the information they requested for each participant, as a UK charity based in the EU and therefore required to comply with GDPR, we had a wobble. For those who are not familiar with GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), it is regulation in EU law on data protection, privacy and the transfer of personal data within and even outside the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA). GDPR has been a subject of much discussion (and, frankly, a bit of a headache) for every institution – whether commercial, charitable or governmental - in the past year, and violations carry heavy fines. Before LIGCA could transfer information, we had to ensure that the museum in Norway, which is not in the EU but is in the EEA, had a policy for protecting the privacy and data we would forward to them. Their website made
LIGCA was approached by a museum in Norway to partner in an exhibition that would feature children’s art about Corona from all over the world
no mention of this. We sent a quick email, followed by a second, asking for clarification of their data protection policies, and for them to acknowledge agreement to ours. We had no reply. LIGCA Trustees had several Skype meetings and WhatsApp exchanges over the weeks discussing the situation, and agreed I would consult a cyber-security expert. He cautioned us to follow the Independent Communication Office guidelines on GDPR and children’s data. Based on his guidance and our obligations to due diligence, much as we wanted to believe that nothing but good could come from a children’s art exhibition with an internationally-known museum, we had to put a halt to the plan to collaborate. Disappointed with the loss of this opportunity, and frustrated after all the time we had collectively devoted to this project, the Trustees decided that we would launch our own exhibition, putting our own spin on the idea. On June 1st, LIGCA launched ‘Once Upon a Time in 2020: Children’s Art during the Global Pandemic’. The focus is not the virus, but the experiences and perceptions of children worldwide living through these times of isolation, lockdown, and return to the ‘new normal’ of a post-pandemic world. It is planned to last all year and children may submit artwork – electronically - more than once. Selected art will be displayed on the LIGCA website as a virtual and visual chronicle of life during this pandemic. LIGCA Trustees are inevitably drawn into the activities of our partner organisations. The Nirmal Barthia School in New Delhi, who collaborated in our recent project on air pollution, have launched ‘Together We Can Smile’ to unite families and communities as they face the challenges of the pandemic by creating activities for families to do together; their students will also participate in ‘Once Upon a Time in 2020’. LIGCA has also collaborated with the Volunteer Foundation Academy, operated by a UK charity, which educates children in Kibera, Nairobi - the largest urban slum in Africa. LIGCA Trustees and volunteers have visited the Academy over the years supporting art education and activities. Now as this pandemic takes hold, these children have more basic needs something that cannot be neglected. The Friends of Cricklewood Library is another story. After a 9-year campaign, the new library is now ready for the Charity to occupy, for volunteers to paint and fit out with the bookshelves and thousands of books stored in a volunteer’s garage. A small team has been trained to start scanning books to create an inventory for the online library system. Organisations and individuals interested in hiring space that will provide rental income for the library are waiting to organise their classes and programmes. The Trustees are meeting regularly via Googlemeets to manage various challenges imposed by the lockdown, and the virus.
CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME
Early on, the difficult decision was made to immediately close the popular Willesden Green Station pop-up library, as book exchanges are potentially lethal spreaders of the COVID-19 virus Early on, the difficult decision was made to immediately close the popular Willesden Green Station pop-up library, as book exchanges are potentially lethal spreaders of the COVID-19 virus. The bookcase is now being stored by London Underground awaiting happier days. The Trustees are now consulting library associations and the local councils for guidance on how libraries full of books will need to work in the ‘new normal’ era. We still have to adhere to our charity objects - to advance education through educational and cultural activities for the local residents and people who work in the area. Therefore, until the library can open safely, we must do this virtually, and so my role has been to research and assemble information on educational and cultural activities available to the community at no cost so that our website can be a conduit of these resources. Meanwhile, without a building or an income stream (the anticipated rental income and the café earnings), the finance committee is applying for grants – something that requires skill and expertise – aimed at helping charities manage for the short-medium term when they cannot carry out their usual activities due to COVID-19. The Treasurer is analysing the budget in detail to identify ways we can defer payments of any anticipated bills. As with LIGCA, partnerships are important for the Friends, and during the lockdown the library has supported the Mapesbury Mutual Aid (MMA), a group formed by local charities, churches, mosques and concerned individuals to WWW.THEAMERICANHOUR.COM
coordinate support for local residents during the Covid-19 Pandemic. The hub of MMA is the Pakistani Centre in Willesden Green, where 30-50 of their 200 volunteers gather daily to fill boxes of food to deliver to the sheltered members of the local community. Ward Councillor Tariq Dar, MBE, Director of the Centre, and also a Library Trustee, arranged for the Friends to donate boxes of books, normally destined for the pop-up, to MMA. In one day their volunteers sorted and cleaned books with antibacterial wipes to make them safe, and contacted the roster of sheltered households to ask what their interests were and ages of any children so that an appropriate book could be added to their boxes with their food delivery. As of early June, Mapesbury Mutual Aid had fed nearly 3,500 local residents in nearly 1,500 households. Both LIGCA and the Friends of Cricklewood Library are entirely volunteer organisations. This is good, in that we have not had to worry about paying staff during COVID-19 as so many organisations have had to do. The flip side is that it means that all of the additional work must be done by the Trustees. The Hoghton Tower Preservation Trust is different story. As a charity, linked to a limited company that manages the commercial activity that provides revenue for the Tower’s upkeep, it has a small paid staff to manage the housekeeping, tea rooms, education programmes, tours, weddings, Irishman’s Tower self-catering accommodation, special events, and film bookings. (Hoghton has appeared in TV shows such as Last Tango in Halifax and Peaky Blinders). Government schemes to assist charities have enabled us to furlough staff, but there is still work to be done, and the bulk of this has fallen to our Chair. Cancelled weddings must be individually negotiated – re-scheduling is preferable to a refund request. Major public events must be re-scheduled – can they happen later this year or have to wait until 2021? How might we plan house tours with social distancing when we can re-open; our volunteer guides include many retired people whose age means they should be sheltered. How can we operate the tea rooms? The Trustees in Lancashire, London and Wales meet via Zoom to discuss strategies and the financial repercussions for gradual re-opening. We agree we will start with the popular Merchant of Hoghton Farmer’s Market, with new timed-entry procedures requiring advance bookings, social distancing measures, new health and safety guidelines for merchants who are keen to see this event return. The financial viability needs to take into account lower footfall, closure of the tea rooms which generate additional income, and higher security costs. My role is to investigate how other markets are managing this and what health
As a charity, linked to a limited company that manages the commercial activity that provides revenue for the Tower’s upkeep, it has a small paid staff to manage the housekeeping, tea rooms, education programmes, tours, weddings, self-catering accommodation, special events, and film bookings and safety and social distancing guidance, regulations and policies they are following, which led me to the London Farmers Market and Farm Retail Associations. Grants to tie over charities such as HTPT must be applied for, and thankfully we have had some success. Staff and volunteers need to be kept informed about developments, and we have to plan how to stage their return for the ‘new normal’. Fingers crossed that predictions of ‘staycations’ this year in Britain are true. I marvel at how Hoghton Tower, rebuilt in 1565, has witnessed the gunpowder explosions during the Civil War, World Wars I and II, the Spanish Flu, and believe that somehow it will survive the global pandemic of 2020. Mary Langford is the Admissions Director at Dwight School London, and this year celebrates 40 years living in London. LIGCA invites children everywhere to participate in Once Upon a Time in 2020. www.ligca.org/once-upon-a-time-in-2020/ www.ligca.org www.hoghtontower.co.uk www.cricklewoodlibrary.org.uk WWW.AMERICANINBRITAIN.CO.UK
THEATRE Review of London’s Theatre Productions by Lydia Parker It was a sad occasion when theatres closed their doors due to the pandemic, but a sound decision. As a theatre maker myself, I’ve found it a trying time, wondering when and if I’d ever have a career again in live performance. We can but hope that all artists are continuing to thrive, create and produce work ready for the safe re-opening of venues or for online viewing. Luckily there is much to watch online, catching up with filmed live streams of performances we’d meant to watch but missed; I was thrilled to see Complicité’s The Encounter on the Barbican website and The Barbershop Chronicles by Inua Ellams on the National Theatre at Home. They broadcast a new play each week for free, asking those who can to donate. As I write this they are showing The Donmar Warehouse production of Coriolanus with Tom Hiddleston. www. nationaltheatre.org.uk/nt-at-home. The RSC has been broadcasting free Shakespeare on BBC Radio 4 www.rsc.org.uk.
Luckily there is much to watch online, catching up with filmed live streams of performances we’d meant to watch but missed The Globe Theatre has its own pay per view channel online: for £5.99 you can choose one of seventy three productions of primarily Shakespeare, both homegrown and from other countries such as Japan, Georgia, and Lithuania on Globe Player TV www.globeplayer.tv. For those expats missing American performing arts, Lincoln Center at Home is offering a wide variety of productions ranging from concerts to opera to musicals www.lincolncenter.org/lincoln-center-at-home. 24
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I decided for this issue to have a look at a couple of productions off the beaten path which are streaming for free throughout the summer. The first is Wasted, a musical about the Brontes with music by Christopher Ash and book and lyrics by Carl Miller, presented by Southwark Playhouse. Although the driving beat of the music is at first jarring as an anachronism, you soon see the brilliance of pairing contemporary music with the passionate desperation of this brilliant family. The story is told with no set, the performers communicating mostly through microphones straight out to the audience. With one slamming song after another , we learn about their early life in Haworth, a poor town in Yorkshire where they all felt out of place. Branwell, the only son, is the least talented but believes himself a bit of genius, although he can’t settle on whether he is an artist, musician or poet, and can’t seem to finish anything he starts. He hopes his sisters will marry well as it is obvious he cannot support them. Charlotte gets frequent proposals from Mr Smith, the local curate, but refuses him each time as she wants to be free to write. Anne plaintively sings the folk like song “No One to Marry”; she has dreams of happiness but despairs of finding anyone suitable in their isolated little town. Emily, meanwhile, declares her dog Keeper is her soulmate, as she sings “Only pup’s prepared to put up with my monologue in a bog”. Her musical homage to her dog as she runs off to the moors is probably intentionally reminiscent of Kate Bush. The Brontes are unlucky in love. Branwell has an affair with Lydia Robinson, the mother of one his pupils. Charlotte falls in love with the husband of her employer in Brussels at a boarding school. She is heartbroken but is the driving force in getting the sisters’ poems published, which don’t sell, and eventually their novels, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey, which become best sellers. Unfortunately tragedy follows triumph as Branwell becomes addicted to laudanum and all the siblings, except Charlotte, succumb to illness. The music ranges in style from rock to folk to rap and the numbers are sung beautifully by the strong cast who have a huge vocal range. One of the standouts is Ordinary Woman, where Charlotte describes her main character in Jane
Eyre, touching because she is so similar to her creation. Natasha J Barnes portrays her as the solid centre of the family, with an extraordinary voice that can belt out a rock solo or glide through a ballad. She could have a career as a recording artist. Matthew Jacobs Morgan as Branwell shines in all of his songs, particularly “I Paint Myself In”, sung towards the end of the play and his life, recognising that he has never amounted to anything. He gives a real pathos to this character, a man who felt he should be the best at everything as he was the only man in the family, and yet knew he didn’t have his sisters’ talent. Siobhan Atwell is outstanding as Emily, a “goth before my time”. She creates a huge, larger than life wild woman who cannot be contained, has no social skills and is fiercely private about her writing. Molly Lynch is excellent as Anne Brontë, the quiet, religious one who regrets never being held in passion. Her character is given the least attention by the writers, probably as she was not very exciting in real life, but Miss Lynch storms through the songs with as much aplomb as her fellow cast members. Wasted, like Hamilton, makes historical characters relevant and relatable through new music. Expertly directed by Adam Lenson, it offers the audience a fresh and exciting way to look at familiar stories. Hopefully, this filmed version will inspire producers to transfer this production eventually to the West End and a wider audience. There is some strong language but this could also be a riveting and entertaining history lesson for teenagers and their parents. Wasted will be streamed throughout the summer. www.southwarkplayhouse. co.uk/archive-2018/wasted/
Wasted, like Hamilton, makes historical characters relevant and relatable through new music
Reasons To Be Cheerful from Graeae Theatre
Reasons to be Cheerful, presented by Graeae, was first produced in 2010 and revived in 2017 at Theatre Royal, Stratford. A play within a play, with music by Ian Dury and the Blockheads , it tells a coming of age story set in 1979. Vinnie and his family live in the East End of London, his father Bob is going blind and is stricken with cancer. His mum, Pat, has given up work to care for him. Vinnie has left school to go to work at his mother’s old job at Finefare, with Colin, his best friend who is an anarchist. Both were supposed to be going to see Ian Dury at the Hammersmith Odeon, but Bob, also a huge fan, forgot to buy them tickets. Sleazy Finefare boss Dave, happens to have four, but intends bringing his girlfriend Janine, whom he boasts to Vinnie he is cheating on. Janine overhears and is furious, steals Dave’s tickets and plans to go to the concert with Vinnie, Bob and Colin. Plans go awry when they have car trouble, but an attraction between Vinnie and the lovely Janine develops. It is a slight plot but enough to carry this energetic, exuberant, intentionally messy musical. Graeae is a theatre company for D/ deaf and disabled performers but also includes able bodied actors. Disabilities are mentioned but not highlighted: Colin, played by the hilarious Stephen Collins, is deaf ; he signs and speaks his lines. There is also a Sign language interpreter, Jude Mahon, who signs the entire performance and dances; she is as much an onstage presence as the other characters. Max Runham, who plays the cartoonish sleaze bag Dave, removes his prosthetic arm when he changes into other characters or plays guitar. Wayne “Pickles” Norman is the audio interpreter. It all blends together well and indeed should be inspiration to other theatre companies to do the same. Ian Dury was himself disabled by polio when he was seven, which makes this tribute to his music a perfect fit. He studied art at the Royal College of Art and taught art, but formed the Blockheads in the mid seventies. The music is uniquely British, post punk rock with jazz, reggae and shades of music hall. The lyrics are rude, crude, clever and poetic. One can hear how bands Squeeze and Madness were influenced by Ian Dury. The Blockheads, however, were that much more edgy and sometimes very angry. The furious anthem “Spasticus Autisticus” was Dury’s response to the condescension he felt from others as a disabled person and was banned by the BBC. The cast performed this song at the opening of the last Para Olympics. His most famous songs “Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll”, “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick” and the title song “Reasons To Be Cheerful (Part 3)” are performed by superb vocalist John Kelly, who has a roaring, growling voice, not imitating Dury but more in his style. WWW.THEAMERICANHOUR.COM
Graeae’s Reasons to be Cheerful 2017. Photo Patrick Baldwin
Stephen Lloyd as Vinnie and Beth HintonLever as Janine are charming and funny, nicely juxtaposed by Stephen Collins’ abrasive Colin. The story of Bob’s illness could slip into sentimentality, but aside from the fact that the music won’t let it, Karen Spicer as Pat and Gerard McDermott as Bob, show traditional British resilience and humour to keep the mood buoyant. There is also an excellent band onstage, including Reasons to Be Cheerful’s writer Paul Sirett on guitar. This is a hugely enjoyable production but definitely not one for the children, as there are far too many sexual references both in the songs and in the play. It is not to be missed, however, and will be streamed until 3 August from Graeae’s website. Again, please donate to the theatre if you are able. www.graeae.org/ reasons-to-be-cheerful-available-free-online.
Graeae’s Reasons to be Cheerful 2017. Photo Patrick Baldwin
Graeae’s Reasons to be Cheerful 2017. Photo Patrick Baldwin
Graeae’s Reasons to be Cheerful 2017. Photo Patrick Baldwin
INTELLIGENT WEIGHT LOSS How To Combat The ‘Quarantine 15’ Lockdown weight gain has affected almost half of us. Here, Harley Street nutritionist and leading weight loss expert Kim Pearson, shares how to tackle it intelligently. A recent study found that 47% of us have put on weight since lockdown began in March, with 16% gaining five pounds or more in the first six weeks. Researchers spoke to 2,000 adults and identified the top reasons for weight gain during lockdown which included increased comfort eating, a reduction in exercise, drinking more alcohol and a lack of routine. Many people are finding that lockdown is having an impact on their weight and this has certainly been reflected in the number of enquiries we have received at the clinic lately. Albeit a virtual clinic at present! Our clients are typically intelligent men and women who have a good understanding of the difference between ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ foods, but nevertheless, have still found managing their weight a challenge. Of course, eating the right diet is key, but a more comprehensive approach is often needed to ensure weight loss is successful and maintained in the long-term. From my 15 years working with clients to help them lose weight, I have identified five key pillars that are integral to successful weight loss. These form the foundation of my Intelligent Weight Loss Method. So what are they, and how can you implement them in order to manage your weight successfully? Here are the five steps to success.
If you feel you could do with overhauling your diet, a good place to start is by keeping a food diary for at least one week. This will help to develop your awareness of your eating habits and review where you could make improvements. As a general rule, we teach our clients to structure meals around a source of protein (fish, seafood, eggs, tofu, organic meat and poultry), plenty of vegetables and salad (aim to fill half of your plate with them), and moderate amounts of healthy fats (such as olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, nuts and seeds). Whether for health reasons or fat loss reasons, it’s generally a good idea to avoid regularly eating refined carbohydrates, sugars and highly processed foods.
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Eating mindfully, chewing food thoroughly and noticing when you’re starting to feel full will help you to naturally manage your portions. I believe that a smart diet can allow for well-planned treats. Rather than turning to highly processed snack foods as a reaction to boredom or stress, make a plan to have a treat you’ll really enjoy once or twice a week. Planning is really key here, so decide when you will be enjoying treat foods and you can look forward to it.
Eating mindfully, chewing food thoroughly and noticing when you’re starting to feel full will help you to naturally manage your portions. I believe that a smart diet can allow for well-planned treats Lifestyle Refinement
Sleep, exercise and stress can significantly influence our weight so it’s important to not overlook them when it comes to weight loss. Working on improving your sleep is well worth the effort. When we are tired we produce more of the hunger hormone ghrelin, and less of the satiety hormone leptin, so we feel hungrier and less satisfied by what we do eat when we are tired. Start out by aiming to get to bed at the same time each night, setting an alarm to remind you when it’s time to turn off Netflix if you need to! Aim to eat your last meal three hours before bedtime, avoid caffeine in the afternoon and switch off
your phone/computer/tablet at least an hour before bedtime. Stress can be a trigger for non-hunger eating and increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol have been linked to fat storage around the middle. If stress is an issue for you, work on strategies for addressing it. Identifying route causes is an important step in developing your awareness of what triggers stress for you. Building in daily activities known to reduce stress – such as meditation and walks in nature – can have noticeable effects on your stress levels and your weight. Self-care is a term we hear a lot and it’s an important consideration when it comes to weight loss. When we don’t make time for ourselves we can quickly become depleted and reach for foods to ‘top up the tank’. Selfcare is all about what feels right for you, whether it’s spending half an hour reading before bed, taking a bath, doing a creative course or working on self-development. Scheduling at least 20 minutes of self-care into your daily life is more important than ever right now. We all know that exercise is good for our health and supports weight loss. It also positively impacts our state of mind and mental health, so it’s worth finding ways to work some activity into your daily routine. The key to staying consistent with exercise is finding an activity you enjoy. If burpees and push ups aren’t for you, there are plenty of alternatives. Exercising outdoors provides additional benefits – exposure to sunlight enables us to produce vitamin D and helps to regulate our circadian rhythms – so try going for a cycle, a run or a brisk walk. Alternatively, download a workout app or follow a personal trainer’s Instagram workout so you have a workout to follow. Buddying up with a friend or family member, even if remotely, will help to keep you accountable to your goals. Birthdays, vacations, the holidays - these events don’t have to be ‘all or nothing’. Having a plan before heading into the situation ensures we can enjoy good times without it triggering a downward spiral health or weight-wise.
It is always my goal that my team and I not only support our clients in achieving their happy weight, we also optimise their
INTELLIGENT WEIGHT LOSS health and wellness at the same time. True transformation goes beyond a lower number on the scale, or a smaller person looking back at you in the mirror. It means feeling well, full of energy and with a positive outlook on life. We work with many clients who come to us feeling like they have tried everything to lose weight but nothing has been successful longterm. For these clients it can sometimes be the case that they have underlying health issues, such as underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), that have gone undiagnosed and are preventing effective weight loss. Restrictive diets may work in the short-term, but they rarely works in the long-term if underlying health issues aren’t resolved. As a nutritionist, I am always keen to ensure that nutritional status is optimised and any deficiencies are identified and corrected. Low vitamin D and iron are common, and they can leave us feeling tired and not ourselves. So what can you do today to start optimising your health today? Circling back to our first pillar, cutting out ultra processed foods is known to reduce disease risk and support healthy ageing. It is a vital first step that you can take to start optimising your health today – reduce the processed food in your diet and base your diet around whole foods. While it would be nice to think that we can get all of the nutrients we need from food alone, sadly in today’s world that’s often not possible. Intelligent supplementation can be important in optimising nutrient status. While nutritional requirements vary from one individual to the next, and can change at different stages in life, many of us could benefit from supplementing vitamin D, omega 3 and magnesium. Women who are menstruating may also need to consider taking iron, and those on a vegan diet should consider a vitamin B12 supplement. I have developed an Intelligent Weight Loss blood tests that provides a comprehensive insight into factors that affect our weight. It can be carried out at home and it looks at thyroid function, liver health, cholesterol, blood sugar (diabetes) as well as nutrient levels. If you feel like an underlying health issue might be stalling your weight loss progress, it’s worth considering.
‘As within, so without’. Our bodies and minds are connected in countless ways and our outside world is a reflection of our inner world. Mindset can be defined as ‘thoughts and beliefs that shape habits. And your thought habits affect how you think, what you feel, and what you do’. I believe that it is important to approach weight loss from a perspective of wanting to care for your body and be your best self, rather than deprive your body because you feel negatively about it. WWW.THEAMERICANHOUR.COM
A journal can be a valuable tool in helping you to develop your self-awareness. Start by taking a few minutes daily to write in your journal. If you’re new to it, try buying a wellness journal online that prompts you with different questions to reflect on. Meditation is a powerful practice that not only works to reduce stress, is can also help us foster mindfulness. As well as working on this at a conscious level, the subconscious can be positively influenced to support us reaching and maintaining a healthy weight. Working with NLP specialists, I have developed a weight loss meditation, using the power of suggestion to reprogramme beliefs and behaviours on a deeper level. It’s a more recent addition to the Intelligent Weight Loss Method but it’s proving extremely powerful.
Meditation is a powerful practice that not only works to reduce stress, is can also help us foster mindfulness. As well as working on this at a conscious level, the subconscious can be positively influenced to support us reaching and maintaining a healthy weight Supportive Accountabiltiy
Weight loss is a journey. There can be challenges on that journey and having an individual or network to support you hugely increases your chance of success. The American Society of Training and Development carried out a study on accountability and found that we have a 65% of completing a goal if we commit to
someone. Furthermore, if we have a specific accountability appointment with someone we’re accountable to, we increase our chances of success by up to 95%. If you’re not working with a practitioner, you can create accountability in other ways. You might choose to recruit a friend or family member who you know understands your situation and supports you achieving your goals. Share with them your plans, and set up a ‘check in’ routine with them in the form of a weekly call or daily text update. If you don’t feel comfortable working with someone you know personally, there are many online support groups, so find one that you feel is full of likeminded individuals who share your goals.
Many of us have struggled with yoyo diets and years of losing weight, only to regain it over time Long-Term Success
Many of us have struggled with yoyo diets and years of losing weight, only to regain it over time. One of the biggest mistakes we can make is reaching our goal weight and thinking the job is done. It’s important to plan for weight maintainance, approaching it with the care and attention we would when we embark on a new weight loss plan. It’s a good idea to agree an ‘upper maximum’ weight with yourself and weigh yourself weekly to ensure you’re staying on track. If your weight begins to creep up beyond that number, you know it’s time to take action. We don’t get our teeth fixed once and then never go back to your dentist again. Regular reviews are important to make sure everything is staying on track, and it’s the same for weight loss. Taking into consideration the five pillars of Intelligent Weight Loss will stand you in good stead to successfully lose weight and maintain a weight you’re happy at long-term. If you feel like you would benefit from one to one support and a strategy tailored to your individual needs, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Kim Pearson is a qualified nutritionist and founder of the Intelligent Weight Loss Method. Based on London’s Harley Street, Kim and her team consult clients in London and internationally via virtual clinic. For more information or to book in for a complimentary weight loss strategy call visit www.kim-pearson.com. WWW.AMERICANINBRITAIN.CO.UK
AMERICAN EXPATRIATE CLUBS NEWS • 75 members participated in our virtual Spring Leadership Conference: Catalysts For Change, with inspiring speakers and timely insights during this unprecedented time.
35 Years of Service to the London Community. We are the Junior League of London! AWBS - All Women Of Berkshire & Surrey, Celebrating Inclusiveness And Friendship!
AWBS is a sisterhood of international and local women in the Berkshire and Surrey area, who come together to enhance their UK experience through fun and fulfilling volunteer-run activities. We are proud to announce AWBS TV, our virtual offerings just for our members, join us for Summer Camp, our virtual offerings production of webinars, events and social gatherings all Summer long! Along with our regular prestigious monthly speakers, we will also feature informative, inspirational and entertaining live virtual sessions where all members are welcome to join in. We even have recorded sessions in case you’ve missed a featured event. To find out more about becoming a member of AWBS, visit our website or contact email@example.com who will be more than happy to help and answer questions you may have. Our diversity makes us unique, but also brings us together! www.AWBS.org.uk 28
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Since 1901, the Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI) has been dealing with global challenges via strong community advocacy and adapting our work to serve those in need. Through both World Wars, the 1918 Influenza Pandemic, the Great Depression, terrorist attacks, natural disasters and our current COVID-19 pandemic, Junior Leagues have stayed strong in our commitment to our mission and assisting our community partners. Adapting To Change This spring we demonstrated our ability to transition to virtual work to support London community partners. We digitised our initiatives, leadership training, meetings, events and fundraising. The results were outstanding! • Our LBDI COVID-19 Poverty Awareness campaign (#theLBDI) raised over £15,000, with 100% of the funds dedicated to our community partners and programmes fighting poverty and the disproportionate effects of COVID-19 on vulnerable Londoners • We hosted our annual Pub Quiz virtually with 100 participants and donations supporting LBDI • We created 7 Neighbourhood Community Action Teams for member support and local volunteering opportunities within London neighbourhoods
Planning For The Holidays We are also excited to announce a brilliant way for our friends and supporters to make donations to support our longest-running community event: Holiday Hampers. Each holiday season, we put together Hampers with essential items and gifts for those most in need. Last year we supplied over 600 hampers supporting over 1000 vulnerable Londoners. We know the need may be exceptionally higher this year so the ask is simple: make donations via our Aviva Crowdfunder site. Aviva employee donations open on 10th June; each UK employee has a £25 voucher to donate to a project of their choice. The more supporters and donations we have, the more visibility and hopefully, donations from Aviva employees. If this is not your cup of tea, then you can also donate in other ways to support Hampers, including hosting a donation drive (jll.org.uk/ holiday-hampers/). Developing New Community Leaders Leadership, voluntarism, friendship, and civic engagement are recurrent themes with our members. This summer we welcome a new group of Leaders, including Active Members leading committees and long-standing Members (Sustainers) helping to mentor and guide our strategic initiatives. We welcome new members each September and January. You are invited to attend an interest session to meet members and learn how you can be part of the legacy that is Junior League. Embracing Our History For 35 years, the Junior League of London has been affecting change in our community. Our 2019-2020 President, Melissa Allen created ‘35 Cheers’ this year to tell our story. Recap the cheers at jll.org.uk/about/35cheers/. Junior League of London
AMERICAN EXPATRIATE CLUBS NEWS
We are a group of international women who call this area home, either temporarily or permanently. Our common goal is to share friendship, fun and philanthropy Diversity, Equity And Inclusion The Junior League of London’s commitment to equity, inclusion and giving support to all cultures and ethnicities is more important than ever – and as an organisation we strive to be an authentic ally in this fight for justice.
Read our full statement at jll.org.uk/about/ statement-on-diversity-equity-and- inclusion/. Thank you to our supporters, donors, community partners, friends and family, and the expat community for continuing to follow and support our work. A special thank you to American in Britain Magazine for sharing our achievements! Thank you to Melissa Allen, Kelaine Blades, Starr Cortner and Isobel Jewell, for their contributions to this article.
The Chiltern American Women’s Club (CAWC)
Now in our 33rd year, the Chiltern American Women’s Club (CAWC) continues to thrive in our Chilterns’ communities, offering social, cultural and philanthropic opportunities to our membership. We are a group of international women who call this area home, either temporarily or permanently. Our common goal is to share friendship, fun and philanthropy. While we certainly offer support, helping newly arrived expats and repatriates alike assimilate into life in the UK, we are also a women’s membership of British and international locals who seek to get the most out of living in this amazing area. In addition to General Meetings (held in Buckinghamshire) and events like our annual Christmas party, May Tea Party and
end-of-year celebration, CAWC members can enjoy special interest activities together. Activity groups are established and organised by members who are interested in pursuing their personal interests and hobbies with other CAWC members. Special Interest Activity Groups include hiking/ walking, movies, book club, lunch bunch, sports including tennis and golf, bible study, cooking, crafts and much more. In response to the current situation with Coronavirus, meetings and activities have been transitioned to a virtual platform wherever possible, and we continue to build a fun and engaging virtual calendar to ensure our membership stay connected and can benefit from inspiring and timely content during these unprecedented times. Programmes will be running throughout the summer and new members are welcome to join us at any time. Our philanthropic work is an important part of club life. Our annual charity Christmas Bazaars have raised over a quarter of million pounds for local charities. For the next two club years, CAWC International is proud to be supporting the Motor Neurone Association, www. mndassociation.org, registered in England (registered Charity no. 294354).
Our philanthropic work is an important part of club life This charity will specifically benefit from 100% of the proceeds from the 33rd Annual Charity Christmas Bazaar, which will be virtual this year. Last year our Christmas Bazaar raised £22,000 in support of the Community First Responders – South Bucks (registered Charity no. 1049778) through sales generated by our famous gift hampers, Texas Chili Café, American Bake Sale, 60+ Specialty Vendors, raffles and various other festive activities! In addition, special outings are arranged several times a year in the local and surrounding areas and are always wellattended. Recent past outings have included organised trips to Ascot, Stoke-on-Trent, Bletchley Park, and Highgate Cemetery to name a few. By joining CAWC you will become part of an amazing group of women from all corners of the world (including those born and raised locally), from all walks of life, with all sorts of interests! Ever yone is welcome at CAWC International. To join in the fun and find out 30
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more, visit us at https://cawc.co.uk/ or on Facebook at CAWC International. You can also see what our club members are up to on Instagram at @cawc_international.
The American Society in London The American Society in London was founded in 1895 by the then US Ambassador Thomas F. Bayard. Indeed, the serving US Ambassador, Robert Wood Johnson IV, remains our Honorary President and we are fortunate to have the generous support of the US Embassy. The intention of our founders was to improve and cement relations between the citizens of our two countries, fostering mutual respect, understanding and affection. Membership is open to both US and UK citizens and draws heavily on the US expatriate community here in London. It was with great regret and disappointment that our 125th anniversary celebration, to have been hosted by our Honorary President at Winfield House, was postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis. We did, however, proceed with the launch of our upgraded website which was timed to coincide with the festivities. Please visit us online and check out the beautiful photos of past events at www.americansocietyuk.com. Never content to sit still for very long, during the lockdown we have been
The virtual world has been bustling with interesting programmes with an American angle and we have been working hard to keep our members plugged in to the best of these virtual events and to support fellow American organisations
privileged to attend various virtual events including ones hosted by the Benjamin Franklin House, the Booth School of Business at The University of Chicago, the Eccles Centre at the British Library, the Hamilton Society, the Kensington Gardeners Club, and the US Alumni Club to name but a few. The virtual world has been bustling with interesting programmes with an American angle and we have been working hard to keep our members plugged in to the best of these virtual events and to support fellow American organisations. We look forward to resuming a full schedule of in-person events as soon as restrictions on large social gatherings are lifted. To learn more about our events or to join the American Society please: email: firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook: @americansocietyinlondon Instagram: @americansocietyuk Twitter: @ASL1895.
American Women Lawyers In London – AWLL
AWLL is an organisation of Londonbased women with ties to the American legal community. Our aim is to provide professional development support to members through educational events, networking and mentoring opportunities. AWLL has also partnered with several top companies to offer exclusive discounts and benefits to members. American Women Lawyers in London (AWLL) has been doing our best to stay in touch with members during the pandemic. In May, we teamed up with SEAL and held a pub-less quiz via Zoom. We had some great prizes and all of the donations made during the quiz went to FEEDNHS, a JustGiving page focus on getting hot meals to the NHS staff. We donated a total of £300 to this great cause. In June, we held another Zoom event, a Productivity Workshop headed by lawyer and author Ritu Goswamy, Esq. Ritu walked us through her concept, The New Billable Hour, and gave us some great tips on staying focused and taking care of ourselves during these unprecedented times. Our Vice President, Molly O’Brien, has also been offering daily yoga sessions via Zoom. For more information on Molly’s classes, visit www.mollymac.yoga/stream. We have a new website and Facebook page! Visit awll.org.uk to learn about membership benefits, upcoming events and to join our group. For more information about AWLL, please visit our website at www.awll.org. uk or contact AWLL President Eryn Hanlon at er email@example.com. You can also connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter. We look forward to seeing you!
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USEFUL CONTACTS EDUCATION - SCHOOLS TASIS THE AMERICAN SCHOOL IN ENGLAND Coldharbour Lane, Thorpe, Surrey TW20 8TE Contact: Sarah Travis Telephone: 01932 582316 Email: email@example.com Website www.tasisengland.org The educational pathways TASIS England offers to day (3-18) and boarding (13-18) students include a broad-based American curriculum, AP courses, the International Baccalaureate Diploma, and EAL support. Taught in small classes, every student in our diverse community from 50 nations is encouraged to reach their academic potential. Participation in co-curricular activities, the arts, athletics, and leadership programs provides balance, fosters curiosity, and develops Individual talents. With excellent exam results and one-to-one college counseling, 97% of TASIS graduates gain acceptance to their first- or second-choice university in the US, the UK, and worldwide. Extensive summer opportunities are also offered to students from all schools. Located close to London on a beautiful and historic 46-acre estate.
LEGAL MUNDAYS LLP Surrey Office: 400 Dashwood Lang Road, Weybridge, Surrey KT15 2HJ London Office: 2-3 Conduit Street, Mayfair, London W1S 2XB Contact: Oliver Taylor Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone +44 (0)1932 590523 Website: www.mundays.co.uk Twitter: @MundaysLaw Mundays LLP are a top UK law firm based in Surrey and London. Ranked in The Legal 500 UK, Chambers & Partners UK and Chambers HNW legal directories as a leading law firm in the South using expertise to deliver the full range of legal services to individuals, families and businesses. Our highly experienced friendly team offer a range of knowledge. Delivering not just legal advice, but tailored advice that is appropriate to your specific circumstances.
PET SITTING SERVICE SECURE HOUSE PET SITTER 11c Compayne Gardens. West Hampstead, London NW6 3DG Telephone: UK Cell - 0776-837-4677 USA Toll Free: 1-866-290-0504 Contact: Winston Hayles Email: SecureSitter@hotmail.com Website: www.SecureSitter.com Adding colour and fun times to your pet’s lives in their own home whilst you are away. 32
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US TAX & FINANCIAL SERVICES 3 Harbour Exchange Square, London, E14 9GE Telephone: +44 20 7357 8220 Contact: Joni Trulock Email: email@example.com Website: ustaxfs.com Twitter: @ustaxfs With over 30 years’ experience, our US/UK expat tax specialists provide US and UK tax return preparation, planning, compliance, and expatriation as well as all US business tax services, wherever you are in the world.
AMERICAN TAX PARTNERS Website: Amtaxpartners.com Telephone: +44 330 808 7539 Contact: John Carlos Sabates Email: firstname.lastname@example.org American Tax Partners provides bespoke tax compliance services to American expats, US investors, and global entrepreneurs with US activities. The company offers transparent, flatrate pricing while delivering unique solutions that address the filing obligations you face as a global taxpayer. EXPAT LEGAL SERVICES GROUP Website: Expatlegal.com Telephone: 1.888.502.8579 Contact: Roland Sabates Email: email@example.com Expat Legal Services Group, with its background in international taxation, offers unique legal services for American expatriates and foreign nationals with financial interests in the United States. We leverage a suite of modern technology solutions that enable us to bring our international expertise directly to you no matter where in the world you might be living. FRANK HIRTH 236 Grays Inn Rd, Holborn, London WC1X 8HB Telephone: 020 7833 3500 Contact: Michael Lewis Email: Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.frankhirth.com Twitter: @Frank_Hirth With years of experience in helping owner managed businesses to expand overseas, as well as advising individuals on their personal tax needs, Frank Hirth has established itself as the leading US/UK tax compliance and consultancy provider. We focus on providing high quality tax advice and compliance services for those with the most complex needs. TAX AND ACCOUNTING HUB Hallings Wharf Studio Office, 1A Cam Road, London E15 2SY Telephone: +44 (0)208 221 1154 and +44(0)7914393183 Email: Kader@taxandaccountinghub.com Contact: Kader Ameen, US Tax & ITIN/EIN Specialist Website: www.taxandaccountinghub.com Website: www.itincaa.com We are UK based American expatriate personal tax and ITIN (IRS approved CAA) specialist
WEALTH MANAGEMENT LGT VESTRA US LIMITED 14, Cornhill, London EC3V 3NR Telephone: +44 20 3207 8181 Contact: Paul Nixon, CEO Email: email@example.com Website: www.lgtvestra-us.com Twitter: @LGTVestraUS A fresh approach to wealth management with a global, personalised and transparent service designed around our clients’ best interests. We are a specialist subsidiary of wealth management firm LGT Vestra LLP, set up specifically to help clients with personal and financial connections to the US. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK and a Registered Investment Adviser with the Securities & Exchange Commission in the US. MASECO PRIVATE WEALTH Burleigh House, 357 Strand, London WC2R 0HS Telephone: +44 (0)20 7043 0455 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.masecoprivatewealth.com MASECO Private Wealth gives peace of mind by providing expert guidance to US families on how to simplify their cross-border wealth management needs. We serve and care for Americans living at home or abroad through the planning and implementation of rational, practical and tax efficient wealth management strategies.
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EMBASSY CORNER We are happy to be able to reach out to you during these unprecedented times. The primary mission of US embassies and consulates around the world is to protect the safety of US citizens wherever they may be. Our team has been hard at work helping US citizens who want to return to the United States, and providing urgent consular services to those in need here in the UK. Here is how we can help you now. Be sure to check our website frequently as the situation is constantly changing.
Can I Apply For A US Passport?
In the interest of safety for our applicants and staff, we only offer emergency passport services at this time. If you need a new US passport urgently, check our website at uk.usembassy. gov/america411 to find out how to contact us to request an appointment. Please be prepared to pay by cash and show a confirmed travel itinerary during the appointment. The webpage has further details about these requirements. Please note, you don’t need to apply for a new passport if you’re returning to the United States and your passport has limited validity remaining; as long as it will be valid on the day of travel, you can use your current US passport. Applicants who are issued a passport by appointment at this time will only receive a limited validity passport that can be extended when normal operations resume. Due to limited staffing, we ask that you not mail in passport renewal applications right now. If your passport has expired and you have no urgent travel plans, there’s no need to worry. US passports can be renewed any time before their expiration date or up to five years after using the mail-in form! We will update our website when we are in a position to accept standard applications again.
Can I Apply For A Consular Report Of Birth Abroad (CRBA) For My Child?
If you were hoping to apply for a CRBA and first passport for your child, please also monitor our website. It will be updated as soon as it is possible for CRBA appointments to safely resume.
Can I Travel To The United States?
If you are thinking about returning to the United States, please contact your airline with any questions about travel plans, logistics or WWW.THEAMERICANHOUR.COM
flight availability. We have information about UK entry and exit requirements, including what to expect at the airport, on our website at uk.usembassy.gov/covid19. That webpage also summarises the UK government’s latest Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance. If you have heard about a Presidential Proclamation impacting travel to the United States, please know that the restrictions do not apply to American citizens, legal permanent residents, or some categories of immediate family members of US citizens. The Department of Homeland Security will direct those who have been in the Schengen Area who are exempt from the restrictions, including American citizens, to travel through select airports where the US Government has implemented enhanced screening procedures.
Can My Friends And Relatives Travel To The United States?
We know that your friends, in-laws and other relatives may have questions, so please encourage them to check our website at uk.usembassy.gov/visas111. It has vital information for non-US citizens, including Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs), about the latest Presidential Proclamations and travel restrictions.
Can Family Or Friends Visit Me In The UK?
From June 8, 2020, people arriving in the UK must self-isolate for 14 days and may be contacted to verify compliance. New arrivals will be required to provide UK officials with contact and travel information upon arrival. Anyone failing to complete the information form or adhere to the new policy may be denied UK entry or be subject to fines. For complete details of the policy update, please visit https://www.gov.uk/ uk-border-control.
Is There Anything Else I Should Do?
We urge all US citizens living abroad to enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). It’s a free service protected by US privacy law that will provide you with important updates from the Embassy, and it can help the Embassy and your loved ones contact you in an emergency. Sign up at step.state.gov. We know that this has been a strange and stressful time so we put together this list of resources to help you stay active, entertained, and informed at home: uk. usembassy.gov/resources-for-staying-athome-during-the-covid-19-outbreak.
What Should I Do About My Status In The UK?
For those of you remaining in the UK, your immigration status may be a worry if your visa or leave to remain is due to expire. You can visit the UK government’s website at gov.uk/guidance/coronaviruscovid-19-advice-for-uk-visa-applicants-andtemporary-uk-residents for guidance.
EMBASSY INFORMATION US Embassy, 33 Nine Elms Lane, London, SW11 7US uk.usembassy.gov Switchboard: (020)7499 9000 Business Hours: 8:30am- 5:30pm, Monday-Friday. Closed on American and UK holidays. An officer is available via the switchboard all day, every day, for a life or death emergency involving a US citizen in the United Kingdom. Passport and Citizenship Services: By Appointment Monday - Friday Notary Services: By appointment Appointments available only online at uk.usembassy.gov Federal Benefits Unit: uk.usembassy.gov General Social Security information: ssa.gov Travel Advice: travel.state.gov
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