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LONDON'S 'BEST NIGHT OUT' Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2011
IL UNTOLD STORY or "HIE \VITO 1ES r
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APOLLO VICTORIA THEATRE •LONDON
News JOIN US AT THE 2012 CORPORATE RELOCATION CONFERENCE & EXHIBITION MONDAY 6TH FEBRUARY, HOTEL RUSSELL, RUSSELL SQUARE, LONDON American in Britain, has, for the past 16 years, organised this annual conference and exhibition that is aimed at expatriates and those in the global mobility world. Admission to both the exhibition and seminars is free, although you do need to pre-register for the free seminars as places are limited. If you would like to attend the 10.30am seminar, Third Culture And Cross-Cultural Kids – Who They Are And How We Can Help!, hosted by Mary Langford; Relocating Successfully at 11.30am hosted by FOCUS, or Tax Planning Essentials For Expatriates In The UK, hosted by Frank Hirth, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be delighted to reserve your place. There are also 42 exhibitors with products and services to help expatriates make their relocation as successful as possible. Please spread the word to your expatriate friends and colleagues, and we look forward to seeing you on 6th February, as we will be hosting the reception desk! We would also like to take this opportunity to wish all our readers a very Happy 2012. Best wishes, Helen & Damian Race to reach Super Bowl XLVI Race to Super Bowl XLVI heats up. The race to reach Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis on Sunday February 5 will heat up in the New Year with the NFL playoffs beginning in the United States. The Green Bay Packers – led by superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers – are the red-hot favourites to repeat as Super Bowl champions but as the NFL has taught us many times before, the race will be wide open and full of twists, turns, surprises and drama. You can follow every second of the NFL playoffs exclusively live on Sky Sports as Kevin Cadle and Neil Reynolds present the Wild Card round (January 7-8), the Divisional
Round (January 14-15) and the AFC and NFC Championship Games (January 22). Sky Sports will also show the annual Pro Bowl all-star game on Sunday January 29. BBC television will air a weekly playoff highlights show during January. Timings are provisional right now but the shows will be screened on BBC 2 for one hour on Monday January 9 (12:10am), Monday January 16 (12:10am) and Monday January 23 (11:20pm). Super Bowl XLVI will air on both Sky Sports 1 and BBC One. Cadle and Reynolds will present the action on Sky Sports from 10pm on Sunday February 5, while Mark Chapman and Mike Carlson will handle proceedings for the BBC from 10:55pm. For more information on the 2011 NFL season and how to follow the NFL playoffs, visit www.nfluk.com TITANIC CENTENARY WILL MAKE 2012 A YEAR TO REMEMBER April 2012 will mark the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic on its maiden voyage, a tragedy which turned it into arguably the most famous ship of all time. The first ever Titanic Memorial Cruise on board Fred Olsen Cruise Line’s Balmoral will set sail from Southampton on 8 April. On 15 April it will converge with another cruise ship, the Azamara Journey, coming from New York for a memorial ceremony at the exact time that Titanic sank one hundred years ago. Miles Morgan, managing director of the Titanic Memorial Cruises, said: “Next year is set to be an extraordinary one in terms of sporting, royal and historic events. The Titanic Centenary will be one of the big news stories of next year". A line up of specialist lectures are now booked for both voyages including Senan Molony, political editor of the Irish Daily Mail and author of several respected books about the disaster and Philip Littlejohn, grandson of Titanic survivor Alexander James Littlejohn and the only Titanic relative to have made the dive to the wreck site. For more information and booking visit www.titanicmemorialcruise.co.uk ROLLER DERBY & LONDON ROLLER GIRLS It's been called the fastest growing sport in the world, so what exactly is roller derby all about? It originated in 1930s America, but there’s
been a major new revival that started in Texas in 2001 - centered around groups of women working in a DIY capacity to grow the game. The new roller derby is an all-female sport played with two teams of four skating around an elliptical track, and one point-scorer per team (the "jammer") trying to battle her way past them all and lap them as many times as she can. The jammer gets one point for each opposing player she passes. You can't trip, grab or punch, but you can check opposing players off the track using hips or shoulders, and try and knock them off balance. The fact that Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Juno star Ellen Page turned up at a roller derby match in LA shows how much this independent, grass-roots sport has hit the big time. Whip It!, a film directed by Drew about a young rollergirl played by Ellen, hit UK cinema screens in April 2010 and introduced the sport to an even bigger audience. Hot on the heels of this hugely successful resurgence in the United States, the London Rollergirls were the first league to bring the new revival of women’s flat-track roller derby to the UK. This local league was started by three American expats living in London, and continues to draw a large part of it's audience and participants from the US expat community. The London Rollergirls are the reigning champions of UK and European roller derby, and their All-Star team entered the Derby News Network’s international power rankings at an exciting #15 in 2010. They play at Earls Court to 800+ crowds at games (called "bouts") that also include DJs spinning rock and pop; charity raffles; prizes; merchandise stands and a riotous afterparty. The London Rollergirls are also one of the first leagues outside of the USA to be granted a membership with the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association – the governing body for roller derby. For more details about how to get involved on or off skates: www.londonrollergirls.com n
Image courtesy of Derek Bremner
Eating Out London Restaurant Reviews Marcus WarEing at the BerkelEy Wilton Place, Knightsbridge London SW1X 7RL Telephone: 020 7235 6000 The word great is often over used in the English language and some, although a little unkindly, may say the Great in Great Britain is slightly unfair nowadays, but when it is attributed to Marcus Wareing’s restaurant at the Berkeley then in fact it is frankly not doing it justice. 4
Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley
I visited the restaurant a few years ago when it was known as Petrus and felt then that I wouldn’t have a better meal, but I have now changed my mind thanks to our recent meal there. Marcus has taken his cooking from the Petrus days and has added to it, creating a true treat to experience. In fact this is a venue for truly special occasions. The Berkeley hotel is in Knightsbridge, nestling behind some of the best shopping in London, and creates just the right setting for such a fine dining experience. To get to the restaurant you pass through a typically stylish hotel bar with a delightful buzz of conversation which only comes from people having a good time and where on the night we went, deep in conversation were Edwina Currie and Nancy Dell’olio, probably discussing their equally woeful performances on Strictly Come Dancing, or as I now find out, arguing over who Anton desired more! Once through the restaurant doors the atmosphere changes and the décor is more akin to a typical London gentleman’s club, with its rich aubergines and leather chairs. The atmosphere is far from stuffy though and you turn immediately right to a small lounge area where you can sip a glass of something cold whilst getting a taste of what is to come from a medley of canape’s. We were treated to Rissotto Balls in truffle oil, Taramasalata with pork crackling dippers and Deep Fried Chicken all of which were divine. The menu is extensive but I would recommend one of the tasting menus on offer as this enables you to sample more of the dishes on offer as three is really not enough. We started with a Tunworth Cheese complemented expertly with ceps, girolles and a mushroom consommé which is a combination that in others hands may not work, but here they complemented each other perfectly.
This is the Wareing technique where he takes seemingly contrasting ingredients and blends them perfectly together with style and panache. Scallops with Parsnip and Pig Belly followed and just when you thought that that was the best dish you had tasted, another followed upping the ante each time. Each dish is lovingly put together and as previously mentioned challenged the preconceived ideas of what goes with what, and all are just sublime. My personal favourite was the White Chocolate Ice with Redcurrant which is probably the best pudding I have ever tasted. This restaurant is fine dining with a capital ‘F’ and I want to emphasise what makes it special. The ambience is perfect, the staff are helpful and friendly yet discreet, and the food is delicious, the combination of which together creates a truly magical dining experience. The other is that there are many chefs who put their names to restaurants and who are not there cooking for most of the time. Marcus Wareing is there, and it is he who ensures that every dish leaves his kitchen as a work of art, and long may that continue. We had the great pleasure of meeting Marcus at the end of our wonderful evening. He is charming and great company, and his passion and love of food is reflected in his restaurant. There is also a stunning table that seats about 8 people within the kitchen area, where guests can dine and marvel at the skill that goes into creating the incredible dishes on the menu. This would be a fantastic experience for a group of friends or colleagues who delight in culinary experiences. In conclusion this is a restaurant you have to visit when in London. The Berkeley hotel is chic and sophisticated but the real gem lies within and goes simply by the name of Marcus Wareing.
Hakkasan 8 Hanway Place, Fitzrovia London, W1T 1HD Telephone: 020 7927 7000 A number of my friends have been telling me that I really should visit an excellent Chinese restaurant in London, and being the good and respectful friend I am I finally took their advice. The restaurant they were raving about was Hakkasan, which they reliably informed me is situated where an underground car park used to be in a back street near Oxford Street. I can’t confirm whether this is true, but I would happily park here for hours enjoying not only the excellent food but also the unique atmosphere! The contrast between the back street I had just left and the incense infused stairs I was walking down made me feel like I was entering a James Bond villain’s secret lair, and that feeling grew as the room opened up into a subterranean world with dining areas separated by carved wooden screens and a striking bar that spans the whole of the back wall. Christian Liaigre designed Hakkasan and followed his brief to a tee which was to ‘bring back the dragon’ by creating an authentic ethnic interior. This is a delightful contrast to many of Hakkasan’s competitors which have a more stark and modern feel. To me, dining out is an experience and part of that is your surroundings, and from the moment you descend the subtly lit stairs your experience begins. Diners are escorted to the dramatic 16 metre oak bar to review the menu and wait to be taken to your table. Whilst here you are drawn to the back of the bar where the largest selection of spirits I have ever seen are displayed proudly in front of the lit blue glass which surrounds the perimeter of the restaurant. Whilst my companion and I enjoyed an expertly mixed cocktail at the bar, we toyed with the idea of playing a game of ‘find the
spirit they don’t have’, but we were quickly brought back on track by the challenges of the menu. The conundrum is that there are so many dishes you want to try, but be warned, the portions are generous so it is not advisable to order too many dishes as it is very easy to order too much food. A must from the starters is the Dim Sum which consists of two prawn, two scallop, two mushroom and two Chinese chive dumplings all bound by a skin I would never tire of eating. We accompanied this with Crispy Duck Roll and Sesame Prawn Toast. Each one was a delight and again as a devotee of the experience the way the prawn toasts were served up just adds to the joy of the evening. The prawn tails reared up over the toast like a scorpion’s tail just waiting to strike. Other starters recommended to me by my friends are the Salt and Pepper Squid and the Golden Fried Soft Crab Shell, but frankly whatever you order will be good. The main courses offer an even greater dilemma than the starters as the choices here are even more extensive, but after considerable debate and a lot of compromising (on my part of course) we chose the Roasted Silver Cod with Champagne and Chinese Honey and the Stir Fried Black Pepper Rib Eye Beef. The cod was perfectly cooked and broke away in large fluffy flakes and its accompanying sauce was ideal. The quality of the beef was clear and was cooked to perfection. If you feel a little more adventurous then the menu caters for you perfectly as meats here are given a Chinese twist that I have never seen before, including Stir fry Ostrich in yellow bean sauce and Venison with water chestnuts and Thai celery. Vegetarians are also well catered for with an imaginative array of dishes Overall this is not just a restaurant serving great food, it is a great restaurant, providing a great experience with great food. From the moment you descend the incense bathed steps
you are transported into a concept which fuses great food with a very special atmosphere and I for one will be returning very soon. The Brompton Bar & Grill 243 Brompton Road, London, SW3 2EP Telephone: 020 7589 8005 The award-winning Brompton Bar and Grill is Knightsbridge’s stylish, local bistro offering the finest seasonal cuisine and delicious cocktails. Founded by chef Francois O’Neill in 2009, it has gone from strength to strength and is the ideal place to eat, drink and enjoy regular live music with friends and family. The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly and we got the impression that the staff knew most of their guests which gave it a very welcoming feel. The Brompton Bar and Grill is a historic site that has housed a restaurant for over 60 years. Originally a celebrated Greek/Cypriot restaurant, The Brompton Grill became Brasserie St Quentin in 1980 and was one of the first brasseries to arrive in London. It was created by Francois O’Neill’s father, Hugh O’Neill and his cousin, Quentin Crewe, the renowned restaurant critic and rapidly gained an international reputation for its menus and ambiance. They sold the brand and sites to The Brompton Bar & Grill
the Savoy Hotel Group in the early 90’s. All the sites and restaurants were sold apart from the brasserie in Brompton Road. Twenty eight years later Francois saw an opening in the market and acquired the site and opened The Brompton Bar and Grill. The chic décor of The Brompton Bar and Grill merges both the classic with the contemporary so effectively that it was awarded ‘The It Room’ Award at The Tatler Restaurant Awards in 2010. Sleek leather banquettes, a zinc topped bar and modern art pieces are combined with authentic Parisian sketches, crisp white tablecloths and windows looking out on the street, from where diners can watch the world go by. In fact the ambience of the restaurant is so great that my guest and I were there for four hours enjoying the atmosphere and I nearly missed my last train home! Seasonality is of vital importance to the dining concept at The Brompton Bar and Grill, with menus changing on a weekly basis. Starters include: Snails with Bacon, Parsley and Garlic on Toast, Steak Tartare and the signature Brompton Fish Soup. Diners can enjoy mouthwatering mains such as: Grilled Calves Liver with Bacon, Mash and Onion Sauce, Grilled Halibut with Hollandaise or Salsa Verde and Honey and Soy Glazed Duck with Sesame Green Beans. Round off the perfect mealwith delicious desserts including Apple and Blackberry Jelly with Damson Ripple Ice Cream, Rhubarb Crumble with Ginger Dessert, and the Brompton’s specialty, ‘Coupe de Churchill’. My guest and I chose the Salt & Pepper Squid which was from the bar menu and the Mixed Beets salad, Roast Chicken and Steak Tartare, Cheese and the Plum Crumble. The Plum Crumble was one of the best I have ever had and I would go back just for that! The beef served at The Brompton Bar & Grill is unparalleled in both flavour and quality and the roasts served every Sunday have attracted a regular and loyal following. Meat lovers can enjoy everything from Ribeye Steak to Roast Leg of Elwy Valley Lamb with Rosemary Jus and Pork Escalope with Fried Quail Egg, Anchovy and Caper Butter. There is also a set menu available from MondaySaturday with two courses for £15.50 and three courses for £18.50. The Brompton Bar and Grill’s diverse wine list offers an interesting selection of both Old and New World Wines and is extremely goodvalue, with house wines starting at £3.50 for a glass and £14 for a bottle. The cocktail list offers some classic cocktails such as the Old Fashioned, Cosmopolitan and Whisky Sour as well as some with a more modern twist such at The Brompton Mojito and the Brompton Lychee Sour. Downstairs houses a private and comfortable space that can accommodate groups of up to 30 persons for dining and 45 people for 6
drinks and canapés. The Brompton Bar and Grill can offer service with beverage and food for any event, whether social or business, large or small. The basement also hosts monthly live music evenings, predominantly of the jazz variety, which complements the sultry and relaxed feel of the space. galoupet 13 Beauchamp Place, Knightsbridge, London SW3 1NQ Telephone: 0207 036 3600 This delightful restaurant, just round the corner from Harrods (on Beauchamp Place) is also a wine tasting space and wine shop. As you enter, you arrive into the impressive wine tasting area, with a few high stools in the window so you can watch the world go by whilst sampling from an extensive wine collection! It seems that a lot of effort has been put into the wine preservation and they use the Enomatic® system (a state-of-the-art wine serving system). The collection of wines looked impressive, but on hearing that the owners own a vineyard in Provence (Château de Galoupet), I would expect good wines to be the focus of this venue. The white seating and banquettes, mirrors and oak décor are smart and very chic. The restaurant is warm and the atmosphere was pleasant, without too much intrusion. The main menu offers a good range of meat and fish dishes, and is not split into starters and mains. The dishes range in price from £10 to £13, and depending on how hungry you are, it is recommended that you order three dishes. There is also a good range of salads, vegetables and grains as accompaniments, which can be ordered as larger sizes. The seasonal menu comprises a delightful mix of Mediterranean and Asian cuisines and is devised by head chef Chris Golding.
My guest and I sampled the Tasting Menu which is very reasonably priced at £55 a head. As I was very hungry, I was concerned that there would not be enough food, and I was very wrong! Each of our dishes was paired perfectly to a wine by the glass (some of the wines available are from their own vineyard in Provence). All wines, however, can be taken by the glass, carafe or bottle to encourage sampling. I began with the grilled squashes, goat’s curd, and candied pumpkin seeds, whilst my guest enjoyed the cured wild bass, seaweed, and pickled cucumber. For our next serving, I very much enjoyed the Norfolk White free range chicken, miso, pear, and ginger with a glass of Marcel Deiss Riesling 2006. The sticky coating of this generous dish was cooked to perfection. My guest ordered the lamb, chilli, pickled fennel and pistachio, accompanied by a wonderful Châteauneuf du Pape Les Cailloux Domaine André Brunel 2007 (FR), which although was the most expensive ‘paired’ wine, was well worth the £12.50! (this dish is not on the tasting menu). Both dishes came with a large selection of vegetables. The desserts were to die for! I adored the warm chocolate, quince, and cinnamon deliciously matched with a glass of Kung Fu Girl Riesling, Charles Smith 2010 (USA), and my guest enjoyed the hazelnut, vanilla & olive oil cake, and butternut sorbet with a glass of Quinta da Romaneira, 10 Years Old Tawny Port (PT) NV. This is a superb restaurant for sampling some excellent wines with a contemporary and rather healthy cuisine. The menu is varied, and the affordable prixe fixe menu would suit even those on a non-Knightsbridge budget! We found the staff to be attentive, friendly and extremely helpful in discussing the wines and food, which helped even more to enjoy this as a culinary experience! n
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Top Ten Tips It’s Cold Outside: Top Ten Great Ways To Enjoy Cosy Culture
by Judith Schrut
y the time you are reading this, those long balmy Indian summer evenings, crisp bright autumn afternoons and winter seasonal lights will all be fond memories, and it will be some weeks before winter’s thaw and the first snowdrops of spring are with us. However, we say that just gives us more reason to go inside and enjoy the great cultural indoors. Following on from our recent focus on open air events (Summer 2011 issue), we are delighted to share with you top ten recommendations for this season’s best in British cosy culture.
National Theatre by night, photo credit Stephen Cummiskey
1. WINTER WARMERS - BEST IN SHOW British theatrical tradition burns fiery bright any time of year but seems to have a special glow in the chillier season. Whether your fires are best lit by toasty and traditional pantomime, steamy and serious drama or toe tapping, soul warming musicals, British theatre has much on offer this winter to counter the iciest frost. Bring along your old satchel, lunch box and favourite rebellious school child and beg for, borrow or steal a ticket to the West End's latest smash hit, Matilda the Musical. Produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company and based on Roald Dahl's unforgettable tale, Matilda has all that's best in a great show. In turns, it's clever, scary, charming, rude, hilarious and uplifting. It's about good and evil, books versus telly, bullying grown ups versus revolting children (try repeating ‘prepubescent putrescence' at speed) and ultimately the triumph of imagination and all that's youthful (and just a little naughty) in the human spirit. With extraordinary lyrics and music by Tim Minchin and book by Dennis Kelly, Matilda also features three alternating teams of talented young performers, with four astonishing young actresses sharing the starring role. From its breathtaking set design, lighting and illusions to sparkling choreography and powerful portrayals of Dahl's most memorable characters including Crunchem Hall School's magnificently terrifying Headmistress Trunchbull, Matilda can only be described as outstanding in every way. If you have yet to encounter the mischievous Minchin, he’s that eccentric, outspoken and hilarious Australian musical comedian easily identified by trademark mat of wild red hair,
heavy eye makeup, bare feet (with which he frequently climbs on top of his piano), tight leggings, dinner jacket and tie. Clearly a genius choice to set Roald Dahl to music. Beyond the triumphant Matilda, there’s a wealth of superb shows to snuggle up to this winter. Top of our West End shortlist are National Theatre productions One Man Two Guvnors, and War Horse, as well as the magnificent Sir Antony Sher in Travelling Light, a funny and fascinating tribute to Hollywood’s golden age and its European immigrant roots. What’s equally exciting is that friends and family back home can also enjoy these outstanding shows, since the National will be broadcasting in venues across the USA as part of its groundbreaking National Theatre Live Season. The outrageous Spamalot returns with a grand regional tour opening at Brighton’s Theatre Royal and travelling to 12 lucky repertory stages around the UK. Finally, look out for two of the hottest musical tickets this spring, new productions of Singin’ in the Rain and Sweeney Todd. For further information visit: www.matildathemusical.com www.nationaltheatre.org.uk 2. DISCOVER YOUR INNER FOLK There is only one place in the world where you can enjoy Appalachian clogging or English Morris dancing, learn to play folk fiddle, accordion or old time banjo, sing acappella harmony in a community choir or swing your partner to the rhythms of a live Ceilidh, barn dance or Cajun band, all in the same week and under one roof. That place is Cecil Sharp House, the delightful and definitely cocklewarming north London headquarters of the English Folk Dance and
RSC's sparkling Matilda the Musical, photo by Manual Harlan
Discover your inner folk at Cecil Sharp House, photo Chris Gill
Song Society for over 75 years. Named after Victorian gentleman extraordinaire Cecil Sharp, who devoted his life to reviving traditional British music, song and dance (including its strong US Appalachian connections), this unique community and cultural centre offers endless ways to ‘discover your inner folk’. In addition to a wide choice of workshops, classes and other hands-on activities, Cecil Sharp House hosts loads of folk flavoured events and performances within the remarkable muralled and wood panelled surroundings of its historic Kennedy Hall. Recent outstanding shows include the unforgettable Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain and folk favourites Bellowhead, Mumford and Sons and Laura Marling. Appearing soon and hotly anticipated are the fabulous Carolina Chocolate Drops, winging in from the American South with their exuberant renditions of 1930s black string band, ragtime and blues music, and stunning Irish folk singer, Cara Dillon. Cecil Sharp would have been proud. For further information visit: www.efdss.org 3. SOUL MUSIC One of our favourite ways to take the chill off is to enjoy a cosy concert in an historic church. St James Church Piccadilly is just one pearl in a glittering string of atmospheric and welcoming London churches hosting free lunchtime concerts throughout the year and providing a particularly warm refuge on a cold winter’s day. St James is a Sir Christopher Wren-designed church, famed for its exquisite wood and marble carvings by the master Grinling Gibbons and some celebrity past parishioners like poet William Blake. It is also a large, light and airy space with perfect acoustics for both preaching and music. St James has long been a quality concert venue, with three lunchtime concerts each week plus other musical events year round including innovative jazz evenings. If you are seeking your refuge in the City of London, why not sample an organ concert at St Michael Cornhill or St Mary le Bow, a piano recital at St Dunstan in the West or St Lawrence Jewry (played on Sir Benjamin Britten’s piano) or a contemporary music duet at All Hallows by the Tower? The charming and Miles Davis Project Band at St James Piccadilly, photo Stephane Grandeux, copyright Nathan Hassall Music
Royal Academy of Arts: David Hockney, Winter Timber, 2009, Oil on 15 canvases. Private Collection © David Hockney, Photo by Jonathan Wilkinson
exceptionally musical ‘Danish Church’, St Anne and St Agnes, has an outstanding programme of lunchtime and evening concerts, Sunday jazz, choral and Bach vespers and an annual Bach Festival. Southwark, St Paul’s and Westminster cathedrals all hold organ, choral and other regular musical events in their famous spaces. Further afield, Kings College in Cambridge hosts wonderful winter programmes of recitals and concerts. Especially recommended are its free Sunday afternoon organ recitals held in the magnificent Gothic Chapel, where you can warm your soul and bathe your spirit in the vibrant tones of top class musicians performing on Kings’ gorgeous and ancient pipe organ. For further information visit: www.st-james-piccadilly.org www.cityevents.org.uk www.westminstercathedral.org.uk/music www.kings.cam.ac.uk/events/organ-recitals.html 4. ART FROM THE HEART More than 45 years ago, an up and coming young artist from Yorkshire headed west and set up a studio and new life in Los Angeles, California. Since that time, David Hockney may have become one of America’s most famous expatriate Britons, but he has never forgotten his roots. Recently, Hockney returned to the UK to live and work in the heart of his native Yorkshire. In January 2012, the Royal Academy of Arts hosts a major exhibition celebrating Hockney’s lifelong passion for landscapes. David Hockney: a Bigger Picture (surely an affectionate nod to the artist’s California pool paintings) will span half a century and a wide range of the artist’s works. In addition to some eagerly anticipated huge scale new paintings, the show will also highlight Hockney’s continuing fascination with, and artistic use of, technology, including the colour photocopier, Polaroid camera and, more recently, iPhone and iPad. We can look forward to a unique display of Hockney’s iPad drawings and a series of films made with 18 cameras to be shown on multiple screens. In addition to this exciting show, visitors can savour the RA’s striking classical architecture and its sumptuous painted ceilings by colonial American Benjamin West, the RA’s second president, sample tempting delights in its art shop, tea room or restaurant and ride the famous glass lift to the top floor to glimpse
the prized Michelangelo marble sculpture known as the Taddei Tondo. For further information visit: www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibitions/hockney 5. TEA AND SYMPHONY For a particularly tasty cultural treat, you’ll find it hard to better an afternoon tea experience served up in the refined surroundings of Edinburgh’s Balmoral Hotel. Here you can sample a variety of finger sandwiches, sip one of 17 varieties of loose leaf tea from fine porcelain bone china cups and scoff heather honey scones, clotted cream, jam and buttery shortbread, all to relaxing refrains of the hotel’s resident harpist and pianist. Musical accompaniment is also part of sumptuous afternoon teas you will find at several other fine hotels including Claridge’s, the Ritz, Langham and Brown’s, all in London. Or, If you’d like your tea served with something completely different such as jazz, comedy or knitting, check out the charming and eclectic Tea Box in Richmond. You may prefer to step back in time to an age of elegance and refresh your ‘Strictly’ skills at a Sunday afternoon tea dance. One gorgeous venue which promises this is Waldorf Hilton’s famed Palm Court. Here, a five piece band will accompany your scones, cream and jam and you can foxtrot or waltz
Late Nights at the V&A, copyright V&A Images 9
the afternoon away to the rhythms of traditional ballroom music. For further information visit: www.thebalmoralhotel.com/dining/bollingerbar-at-palm-court/afternoon-tea www.hilton.co.uk/waldorf www.theteabox.co.uk 6. MEANDERING MUSEUMS A museum visit must surely be one of the simplest and most pleasurable cultural ways to come in from the cold. If statistics are anything to go by, it is also one of Britain’s favourite past times. A recent estimate revealed that almost 25 million people visited the nation’s top 5 museums and an astonishing 46% of UK adults visited at least one museum each year. With a choice of 2500 British museums to choose from, it’s not hard to find something to match any interest, age, place or attention span. If you’re not quite sure what you’re after but just want a great cultural day in, we recommend a visit to the Victoria & Albert Museum in London’s South Kensington. The V&A, as it’s affectionately known, tags itself as the world’s greatest museum of art and design and seems to have a gallery for almost everything. If you’ve never been to the V&A or haven’t been for a long time, you’re in for a delightful surprise. The museum has literally been transformed over the past decade by a complete redesign. From the moment you step (admission free of charge) into this exciting space and are greeted by the gobsmacking Dale Chihuly blown glass candelabra in the main entrance, we think you will be hooked. From that point, the challenge is deciding which of 145 galleries holding millions of objects to visit, from breathtaking jewellery, glass, theatre and performance collections, to vast and glorious displays of gold, silver, fashion, ceramics, hand painted botanical illustrations and much, much more. Don’t miss the outstanding, newly opened Photographs Gallery and current special exhibitions such as 100 years of Hollywood Costume. Or, if you are feeling a little overwhelmed, one of the excellent free daily guided tours is an ideal way to start. ETO's romantic opera Eugene Onegin, photo Keith Pattison
The museum’s splendid gift shop is an exhibit in itself, featuring a wide selection of original fashion, jewellery, homewares, papercraft and toys, crafted by top contemporary artisans. Like many other venues, the V&A has found night time and culture to be an attractive mix, so the museum stays open late Fridays for music, drinks, tours and talks across the galleries. Last but not least, the V&A organises a dazzling array of courses, workshops and lectures with art and design experts and innovators. Recent topics include How to Wear Perfume, Bling your Bike, the Art of Espresso and Digital Cake Decoration. For further information visit: www.vam.ac.uk 7. SOMETHING TO SING ABOUT Exactly what is it about opera that makes it an ideal cockle warming winter treat? Perhaps it’s that rich mix of human voice, costume and stage design along with tragedy, romance and emotion set to music on a grand scale which seem to work together perfectly to inflame passions and raise temperatures. This cold season is no exception, with plenty of operatic options to warm you up. One outstanding treat we think you shouldn’t miss is the English Touring Opera. The ETO, Britain’s leading touring opera company and known for imaginative and diverse productions showcasing the finest in homegrown operatic talent, sparkles in early 2012 with new productions of Rossini’s ever popular Barber of Seville and Tchaikovsky’s timelessly romantic Eugene Onegin. The season begins with a bang at London’s Hackney Empire in early March, then tours onwards and upwards at breakneck speed to 15 other locations across the UK including Belfast, Exeter, York, Norwich and Cambridge. We also think it’s worth mentioning ETO’s innovative and award winning education and outreach programme, which has been so successful in sharing the company’s passion for opera with schools, communities and disadvantaged groups around the country. A lovely bonus too, to learn that one leading light in ETO’s production team is American in Britain, Shawn McCrory. Shawn is Artistic Administrator, responsible for ETO’s artists and orchestras and acts as company manager on tour. Other choices for the opera lover in your family include La Traviata and Beatrice and Benedict from the Welsh National Opera, Tosca, Der Rosenkavalier and Tales of Hoffman from the English National Opera and a Mozartian feast of Cosi Fan Tutte, Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni from the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. However, even if your first choice is sold out or too far to travel, there’s no need to miss a note. Many productions will also be available to enjoy at synchronised live cinema screenings around
Cooking up a cupcake storm at Waitrose Cookery School
the UK or in the comfort of your own living room via BBC’s Opera on 3. For further information visit: www.englishtouringopera.org.uk 8. BACKSTAGE AT THE BBC Even if you’ve only rested your laurels on British shores for a brief time, you’re sure to be acquainted with that national treasure which is the British Broadcasting Company, better known as the BBC. Many of us enjoy close contact with the beloved Beeb on a daily basis, whether by television, radio or the internet. But there are many other ways to get upfront and personal with ‘Auntie Beeb’. One of the very best is to join a tour behind the scenes at London’s famous Television Centre, radio’s historic Broadcasting House or one of many outstanding regional studios including BBC Bristol Centre, Birmingham’s The Mailbox, Newcastle’s Pink Palace and Pacific Quay in Glasgow, the sparkling new headquarters of BBC Scotland. All feature fascinating backstage visits and the chance ‘to have a go’ in an interactive studio. Television Centre also has a fantastic CBBC tour especially for children. Tours are free or reasonably priced but are always very popular so be sure to book well in advance. If you’ve always dreamed of seeing your favourite show filmed live, why not sign up to the BBC’s online mailing list and apply for free tickets to dozens of popular TV and radio shows such as Strictly Come Dancing, Mastermind, Later with Jools Holland, the Now Show and Friday Night is Music Night, the world’s longest running live radio programme. For further information visit: www.bbc.co.uk/showsandtours 9. KITCHEN AND CABOODLE A twenty something bachelor friend recently shared his latest gender defying, multi-tasking tip with us: he’s been doing lots of cooking in order to enhance skills, impress friends and heat his flat at the same time. If you’re keen to keep warm, learn the art and share the joy of cooking with your loved ones, we’ve got some great suggestions for cooking up a storm this chilly season. There’s always something fresh, fragrant and innards-warming going on at Waitrose and its
latest venture, Waitrose Cookery School, is no exception. For a glimpse of the mouthwatering range of courses on offer at the School’s state of the art kitchen classrooms in North London, pay a visit to its attractive web site. Culinary students can choose from such temptations as Curries of the World, French Brasserie Favourites or Beginner’s Knife Skills. For the sweettoothed, there’s Chocolate for Chocoholics and Complete Cupcake Making. For the oven and stovetop-minded, we also recommend a cooking date with Divertimenti. With two central London locations, Divertimenti has long been a paradise for the serious gourmet. Apart from its splendid cookware shops, Divertimenti’s celebrated Cookery School offers an exceptional range of options, from eight part courses covering all your cook’n bake basics to hands on masterclasses and exclusive Chef ’s Table events featuring Michelin starred chefs. The School, managed by American in Britain Adrienne Katz, also has wine and beer tasting classes, joyful foodie walks known as Gastro Tours, ‘Growing Gourmet’ cooking workshops for children, plus many other imaginative learning events such as Japas (Japanesestyle tapas), Chillies 101, Macaroons and More and Glamorous Gourmet.
For further information visit: www.divertimenti.co.uk/Cookery_school www.waitrose.com/home/inspiration/waitrose_cookery_school 10. ALL THAT JAZZ Last but definitely not least, there’s the wonderful world of jazz. This is a deliciously rich time to be a jazz lover in the UK. With Britain arguably top of the jazz league of nations, you can find jazz happenings daily in pubs, clubs, concert halls, art galleries, stately homes, canvas tents and other chilled out spaces across the country. Whether you’re a wizened and experienced fan or a first time taster, if you prefer to get jazz-cosy with solo vocalists, big bands, Bebop, Latin, Klezmer, Sunday jazz vespers, Preservation Hall or Mile Davis tribute groups, there’s bound to be an offering near you. Don’t miss Glasgow’s International Jazz Festival in July, the Brecon Jazz Festival in August and the London Jazz festival in November. One outstanding place to experience the best in British jazz is Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, recently celebrating its 50th birthday. The Club was originally started by the late great saxophonist Ronnie Scott and fellow
musician Pete King simply as a space where British jazz musicians could jam. From its 1959 birth in a modest Soho basement, Ronnie Scott’s quickly rose to the top of the world jazz club tree where it remains solidly today. In its 50+ years Ronnie’s has hosted legendary performances from jazz greats such as Nina Simone, Chet Baker, Ella Fitzgerald, the Brubecks and Wynton Marsalis, many of whom recorded live albums there. In 2012, you can look forward to more of the same, seven nights a week, plus a family friendly Sunday Jazz Lunch. For up to date jazz listings, there’s Jazz UK or Time Out. If you’d prefer to savour your kind of jazz with like-minded people, we recommend going online and joining the popular, relaxed and welcoming London Jazz Meet Up group, 1000 members strong and growing. For further information visit: www.ronniescotts.co.uk www.jazzservices.org.uk www.meetup.com/london-jazz This is the latest in our featured series of Top Tens for Americans in Britain. If you’ve got a hot Top Ten tip to share with our readers, contact Judith at email@example.com n
Travel Image courtesy of The Eden Project
A Stroll Through Cornwall by Lynne McAlister
or the third year running Cornwall won “Best UK Holiday County or Region” by the British Travel Awards, edging out Devon and Yorkshire Dales who took home the Silver and Bronze medals. Not a surprise to anyone who has enjoyed a break on England’s playground.
Walking in “the largest captive rainforest in the world,” I am immediately struck with the humidity and warmth of the steamy Rainforest Biome. The 180-foot-high (55 metre) domed structure is large enough to house the Tower of London, but instead houses tropical plants, fruit trees, a waterfall and more! In this rainforest you can walk along the well signed path or make your way to the lookout to see the trees from above. Feeling the spray of the huge waterfall as it crashes down among the tropical plants, seeing the Malaysian hut complete with vegetable garden and paddy field, and hearing birds (some imported and some local that have found their way in) it really does feel like I’m on the equator. Perhaps you prefer a stroll through the balmy Mediterranean Biome, where you will
Cornwall, what’s all the fuss about? Cornwall is fresh sea air with a hint of salt, it’s crashing waves and coastal trails, it’s 6000 years of history, it’s cobbled stone streets that wind through fisherman’s cottages, it’s art galleries and artisan jewellers, it’s the best fish and chips in the UK, it’s the Eden Project, and it’s the home of the Arthurian legend. It’s a long weekend or a two-week holiday. With so much to see in Cornwall, where does one begin? How about with the largest indoor greenhouse in the world! The Eden Project, a horticulture wonder Visiting the Eden Project is a little like visiting Future World, the Amazon and the South of France all in one day. The Eden Project is an ongoing ecological experiment in conservation that educates and entertains with stunning gardens inside huge golf ball like structures. 12
Image courtesy of The Eden Project
wind through lemon trees, olives trees, vines and perfumed herbs from the likes of Southern California and South Africa. The home of bougainvillea and vineyards are complete with bacchanalian revellers. The Eden Project was the brainchild of Tim Smit, former producer for Barry Manilow, who saw a disused china clay mine, stripped and barren, and had a dream to transform into a “living theatre,” a global garden where people can learn about nature and be inspired to respect their planet. Ten years later the Eden project is not only the largest green house in the world, but also an educational charity, which runs social and environmental projects around the world. For those who love history and literature more than science try... Tintagel, legendary birth place of King Arthur On the northwest of the Cornwall peninsula lies a tiny outcrop which is surrounded by water on three sides. It has been a military post for the Romans, a trading post for the Celts and a fortress for Gorlois and his wife, Ygerna. This is where and when the Arthurian legend begins! You see, according to Geoffrey of Monmouth's "The History of the Kings of Britain” (written c. 1136) Ygerna was the object of Uther Pendragon's desires. Merlin transformed Uther, so that he looked like Gorlois, and hence tricked Ygerna. The young Arthur was the result of this subterfuge. Today when you visit you will see the ruins of Tintagel, a 13th century castle built by Richard, Earl of Cornwall, brother of King Henry III. It’s believed that the Earl of Cornwall built on this location to deliberately reinforce his connections with Arthur and the ancient rulers of Cornwall. The ruins are pummelled by the full force of the winds off the Atlantic. When I walked along the steep stone steps, peering into the stubborn remaining walls, I just kept
thinking what a miserable place to live. It is little wonder that it was abandoned by 1483. However, the dramatic views alone make this a must see for anyone in Cornwall. It was then time to get out of the wind and take shelter in the Beach Cafe where some pretty dramatic views are available with a lovely Cornish cream tea! The tea warmed us up and the breathtaking view energised the soul! Speaking of indulgences..... Take a Cookery Class at Padstow Seafood School Rick Stein, famous for his TV show and cook books, owns and operates four fabulous restaurants in the charming town of Padstow along with the Padstow Seafood School. In his words, “My vision for the Padstow Seafood School was to run a place where I enjoyed cooking, a place where the whole morning would revolve around lunch. These lunches are designed to cover every aspect of seafood cookery. Almost without realising it, you will cover everything from filleting a plaice to stir-frying squid, and braising brill to steaming sea bass." Each course is tailored specifically with recipes carefully selected from Rick Stein’s repertoire of recipes. For example, the new Spanish courses celebrate Rick's Stein's latest book and television series 'Spain' and offer you the opportunity to try your hand at dishes such as seafood paella from the Costa Verde and baked scallops with guindilla pepper. The most popular course is Original Fish and Shellfish Cookery. This course teaches Tintagel. Image courtesy of Tony McAlister
Padstow: Image courtesy of http://www.cornwallinfocus.co.uk
the techniques needed in order to create really impressive fish dishes, starting with choosing good fish then “hands-on” demonstrations of how to make the very best of it in the kitchen. Then after all that fabulous fish... Walk or cycle, over 2,000 miles of trails! Cornwall boasts the longest coastline in Britain, with over 250 miles of incredible coastal paths and an additional 2000 plus miles of inland public footpaths! Many of the best paths meander through Cornwall’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which is primarily divided between the Land’s End and Lizard Peninsulas, Bodmin Moor and the Camel Estuary. Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (ANOBs) are defined as “precious landscapes whose distinctive character and natural beauty are so outstanding that it is in the nation's interest to safeguard them.” Cornwall’s longest trail is the Cornish coast path which is almost 300 miles long! The second longest, and most popular is the Cornish
Way, a 180 mile trail from Bude on the northern coast of Cornwall all the way down to Land’s End in the far west. In 2012 I very much look forward to donning hiking boots and trekking a few of those magnificent trails. Whether it’s the trails, the history, the food, the galleries, or the gardens Cornwall is captivating and beckons me back for another visit! The British Travel Awards judges and the 700,000 voters, got it right, Cornwall is the best! n Lynne McAlister is a freelance journalist and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org More to see and do in Cornwall: 1.Visit the Lost Gardens of Heligan! 2. Forget the diet! Cornish clotted cream fudge, fish and chips, cornish pasty, need I say more? 3. Surf! Or at least watch the surfers in the surfing capital of the UK. 4. See a play! Visit Minack Theatre for an open air performance. 5. Stop by Land’s End! Have your photo taken next to the famous Land's End signpost.
Land’s End: Image courtesy of www.landsend-landmark.co.uk
Insurance The American’s Guide For Worry-Free Holiday Travels
s a contribution to the well-being and prosperity of American in Britain readers, Clements Worldwide is pleased to share some of its most valuable lessons learned throughout its 65 year-history of insuring expatriates in over 170 countries. Consisting of many international executives and former expatriates, our staff have first hand knowledge about the unique challenges expatriates regularly face. And with holidays and business trips comes a brand new set of challenges for expatriates to overcome. Former expatriates and Clements employees volunteer their own holiday travel experiences while abroad, and share some valuable advice they learned along the way. “I wish I had thought to check travel advisories.” During a trip to Greece in December 2008, one employee and former expat did not realise the severity of the recent riots occurring in Athens. His advice: “it’s a simple precaution- check travel advisories to keep travel plans on track and your family safe.” • Keep in mind that most countries issue 14
travel advisories to their citizens for any region they consider more dangerous than their own. With so many advisories, you may find that some may not affect your travel plans at all. For example, a threat against the embassy in Rome wouldn’t affect your sightseeing at the Pantheon. For a more well-rounded range of advisory information, consider checking the British, Canadian and US government websites www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/ travel-advice-by-country (British) ; www. voyage.gc.ca/countries_pays/menu-eng.asp (Canadian) and www.travel.state.gov/travel/ cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_1764.html (US). These websites also give you the option to elect to receive automatic travel advisory updates in your email inbox. “I wish I made more of an effort to blend in with the locals.” During a trip to Barcelona during the Christmas holiday last year, another employee and former expat was an obvious tourist with a large camera draped around her neck. Putting her camera down for a moment to pay for a café con leche, the camera was stolen in seconds. “I did not realise what an easy target I was for thieves. I should have had more awareness of myself and my surroundings.” • Avoid an unnecessary high-profile appearance by leaving the fancy luggage, jewellery, and brand names at home. When it comes to blending in, the clothes you wear are your first line of defense. Simple, muted clothing is almost always the way to go when travelling • Don’t fumble with cash- if you understand the value of the local currency and various denominations, carry it in a straightforward way (wallet, purse), and can make transactions competently, you will blend in much better • Pay attention to what is going on around you and of your belongings at all times. Be aware of how the locals act, what they do, where they congregate, how they dress - and follow suit.
“I wish I was better prepared for my winter road trip outside the UK.” On a road trip to France to visit relatives, New Year, 2010, a third and former expat struggled with both the icy driving conditions and the unknown roads. “I was already so stressed when a car hit me from behind. I never anticipated this happening to me.” • Pack a winter safety kit for the car. Don't leave without the essentials for a safe road trip - a cell phone (don't forget the car charger); ice scraper; tow rope and jumper cables; sand or cat litter to aid with traction; blankets; flashlights, matches and emergency candles; first aid kit; portable radio; and a good book, in case you do get stuck • Avoid unnecessary breakdowns by having your car examined before you leave. This is one of the most crucial winter driving tips. Take it to your local auto shop for a quick once over, and make sure your tyres are winter ready and properly inflated • Check your motor insurance policy to ensure you have coverage if you drive outside the UK. All too often, expats learn the hard way that their coverage is limited when they drive outside their country of residence. One of the joys of expatriate life is the ability to travel to new and exciting places. As you and your family explore, consider too that with unknown destinations comes unknown risks. From stolen cameras to fender benders, our team hopes that by sharing their personal stories, you can avoid these travel mishaps. n Clements Worldwide is a leading insurance provider for expatriates and international organisations. Founded in 1947, Clements offers international car, property, term life, health, specialty and high risk insurance in over 170 countries. With offices in Washington, DC and London, Clements provides comprehensive coverage, superior customer service and unparalleled claims response. To learn more and quote online, visit www.clements.com.
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Taxing Issues Carol Hipwell Of Frank Hirth Highlights A Few Tax Related Matters For American Expatriates
s I write this article, pensions are in the news, and with the variety of pension issues I see over the course of a year, I really want to write about pensions. So do concentrate! This article isnâ€™t going to tell you if your pension is going to be valuable enough to allow a life of luxury in retirement, nor give you any clues regarding which are the best types of plans. My focus is really to highlight cross border tax issues, particularly for
US citizens and residents overseas. Many Americans arrive in the UK as expatriates, with perhaps a few years of residency here and little or no interaction with the variety of UK and non-UK international pension plans, remaining in a US plan. Other Americans are offered local employment packages or become integrated in the local system after a period of years here. Their employer may offer a group personal pension plan with a matching of contributions, or they may set up their own plan to make contributions in respect of employment income. The US citizens and residents setting up UK plans or other non-US plans may receive excellent UK specific financial advice, but it is all too easy for a specialist to fail to appreciate the complications and choices arising from US tax considerations. For example, the increasing popularity of Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs) has created headaches for US tax professionals, as normally they are in the legal form of a trust (generally a sub-account of an umbrella trust established by the pension provider to receive and hold the assets of pensions of its various customers). Therefore a decision should be made as to whether any trust disclosures are required, or whether the status as a pension in the UK will allow a similar treatment in the US. Additionally, a non-US pension plan is already treated differently than a US pension plan, because a nonUS plan cannot be a qualified plan under US domestic legislation. What disclosures are required? The US tax rules have a host of disclosure requirements and by holding a UK pension a US citizen may need to include employer contributions to the plan as income on their return, consider whether growth in the plan should be included, review treaty disclosure rules, and in many cases disclose the pension balance on the Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR). They also need to consider whether a trust disclosure should be made, and in 2011 a new disclosure requirement has been added for 2011 on Form 8938, in relation to foreign assets. This form is still in draft but will be required for many US citizens and residents living overseas. Unfortunately the penalties for failing to disclose information about the plan over a series of years can exceed the balance of funds in the plan, so it is important to remain up-todate with US income taxes and disclosures. What does the treaty offer? The US/UK income tax treaty operates to reduce or eliminate double taxation. With respect to US citizens and residents, only specific clauses can be used to reduce US taxation.
In respect of pensions, there are provisions regarding the taxation of growth in value of the plan, contributions to employer sponsored plans, cross border contributions to plans, and distributions from plans. The interaction of these rules is complex. For example the treaty clause allowing a selfemployed person residing in the UK with a qualifying pre-move US plan to deduct continuing contributions to that plan, but this only assists a US citizen individual in claiming UK relief, and cannot be utilised to claim US relief. As another example the treaty allows a US citizen residing in the UK to claim relief for contributions to an employer pension plan, but this relief may not be beneficial if it does not result in a lower level of US tax. By not claiming the relief this could provide a basis in the plan that would be beneficial upon distribution. The contributions allowed under a UK plan will vary from those allowed within a US plan. Finally, consideration needs to be given to whether the treaty limits the relief to US levels or considers the relief as generally corresponding to the US treatment. The treaty also has an interesting clause regarding a lump sum payment from a pension plan in the UK which is paid to a resident of the US. It allows a claim for exemption against US federal income taxes to the extent that the amount would have been exempt in the UK if the individual was living in the UK. Should I move my pension offshore? A popular topic these days is whether it is beneficial to establish a Qualified Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) in order to transfer a UK pension balance offshore. As the transfer is not a taxable event for UK tax purposes, and because the US allows transfers of pension balances between qualifying plans, it initially appears to be possible for a US citizen to move their plan to a QROPS. However, since neither plan qualifies as a US plan, the transaction is taxable in the USA unless protected by an income tax treaty. However, some of the US tax liability could utilise excess foreign tax credits. Furthermore, it will be necessary to review the resulting changes in taxation of the plan. An interesting twist arises in Malta as the US/Malta treaty came into force late in 2010 with some interesting pension clauses, and because the treaty considers US citizens to be US residents under the treaty, the treaty can be relevant for US citizens residing anywhere in the world. What happens when I leave the UK? A careful review is needed of UK pension plan balances when leaving the UK, particularly for
a US non-resident alien who is just about to become a US resident alien individual. The opportunity to make changes to arrangements while still a non-resident of the US should definitely be made, taking advice both from a financial advisor and tax specialists. What about UK planning? I have focused on US issues regarding pension contributions and plan balances, but wanted to go back to basics and point out that the primary objective for establishing pension balances is to defer taxation on income and achieve tax free growth. Because the UK taxes on employment income generally exceed the US federal taxes on employment income, a pension contribution which saves UK tax is often beneficial even if there is no US tax savings. The excess tax credits created by the differential in tax rates can be used to minimise or eliminate any corresponding increase in US tax for non-deductible contributions. And where tax free growth can be achieved for both US and UK tax purposes, this can be worth the extra headache of additional reporting. This is especially true now the benefits of the remittance basis have been reduced and
the highest rate of UK tax is at 50%, subjecting more UK residents to higher taxes. Should you wish to discuss any points in this article, or you have any concerns surrounding your UK and US tax reporting, please contact our team at: email@example.com. n
By Carol Hipwell of Frank Hirth plc Telephone 020 7833 3500 Enquiries email: Mail@frankhirth.com W: www.frankhirth.com Carol Hipwell - CPA Carol is an Associate Director in the Personal Tax Group. Carol specialises in a wide variety of US personal tax planning and compliance matters. After graduating from the University of Minnesota
in 1984, Carol worked for Arthur Andersen & Co in Minneapolis and then in Brussels, before moving to the UK in 1990 to join Ernst & Young LLP. In 2002 Carol left to develop a US tax practice within Chiltern plc, which became part of BDO LLP in 2007. Carol joined Frank Hirth in February 2010 in her capacity as a senior tax professional and Associate Director.
Carol Hipwell, and her colleague Gillian Everall, will be presenting at The 2012 Corporate Relocation Conference & Exhibition at Londonâ€™s Hotel Russell in Bloomsbury on 6 February 2012. They will be discussing tax planning essentials for expatriates in the UK and covering residency and taxation for non-domiciles living in the UK, including what is meant by non-domicile status and the taxation choices currently available. To reserve your free place email firstname.lastname@example.org
Immigration Given A Chance, The UK’s Migration System Will Work For Business
n November, the City of London Corporation published an excellent report on the impact that the Coalition Government’s migration agenda is having on the City of London. The report is full of insights that will resonate with anyone who has had dealings with the complexities of the UK’s migration system. Interestingly one of the key findings was that the mere existence of a cap on work permits has led to a prejudgement that the UK’s migration system cannot support employers or economic growth. Some commentators claim that the cap itself sends a message that the UK is closed for
business. While this perception may exist in some quarters, we do not agree that it is necessarily justified. It is easy to see why business harbours a level of concern. Employers ask why any government would want to limit skilled labour when the economy needs to grow. Their belief is that if the UK can attract the best people and teams, more British jobs will be created around them. The first incarnation of the cap, which was introduced as a reactive measure, did not do anything to allay employers concerns. It was unduly restrictive, hard for employers to navigate and manage and attracted severe criticism in the press both in the UK and worldwide. But, and this is often the case with migration, the situation is not so simple. This year, three policy changes have been introduced that, rather than acting as barriers to economic growth, should in fact support it. The first is a revamped Entrepreneur visa. The Government has clearly recognised that while multinationals can sustain an economy, it is small enterprises with potential which grow it. The most enterprising people from outside the EU can now enter in pairs with a quarter of the funding previously required (with support from venture capital funds and recognised seed competitions now taken into account). Even more radically, the “best” Entrepreneurs i.e. those who generate more turnover or higher numbers of jobs for settled workers in the UK, are now rewarded with an accelerated route to permanent residence. Interest in the visa has spiked but the lack of access for 'seed' stage companies remains a barrier. We understand that the Government may have plans to fix this and from April 2012 angel backed enterprises will attract a priority. The plan to introduce a new student entrepreneur visa could complete the picture. The UK's reshaped Investor visa is a second reason to be economically cheerful. For over 15 years the UK has granted permanent residence to high net worth migrants in exchange for a five year, £1m investment in the UK. The route tended to attract a hundred or so applicants a year. Whilst this is not bad, it is not comparable to the 4,000 entering through a cheaper Canadian model. The UK has cleverly remodelled and refined the system. High net worth migrants still need £1m to enter but the benefits have been increased, specifically, the qualifying period for indefinite leave to remain. The more money brought on shore and invested the quicker the journey. A £5m investment can lead to permanent residence in three years and £10m qualifies you in two years. The category is not perfect (in our opinion at least). Immigration officials understandably
struggle to keep up with an ever changing plethora of investment vehicles. An independent expert panel tasked with monitoring and defining acceptable vehicles would be helpful for all involved as well as clearer guidance on the key elements of the category. These changes could also help to protect against money laundering and the other abuses that could damage the scheme’s reputation. The week the new policy was announced one commentator lamented that if the UK was going to prostitute itself, at least it was becoming a high class prostitute (who wouldn't make that choice?). That was humorous but unfair. Every country in the world needs to attract investment. GDP is based on government spending, investment and consumption. As the Treasury purse strings are tightened it becomes ever more important that innovative but effective ways are found to plug the gaps. The final policy change is, perhaps surprisingly, the architecture for the cap on work permits. It is no secret that the cap on skilled workers is not popular with business. We have already mentioned that the first incarnation of the cap was unduly restrictive. Unfortunately bad news travels faster and lasts for longer than good news. That interim cap was dropped in April 2011 and replaced with a far more sophisticated model that can and does work. If current trends continue then only half of the 20,700 places available will be used. For any employers that have to recruit a skilled worker from outside of the EU, the cap need not be a barrier. Unfortunately the effectiveness of the system is too easily lost against a backdrop of perpetual policy change. Since the Election there have been five consultations relating to work permit policy and the latest raft of questions was published in October. The latest Migration Advisory Committee report commissioned by the Government was published on 26 October 2011. Home Office Ministers have implicitly asked whether the skills level should be increased (which would knock a number of roles off the approved list including – most controversially – nurses and paramedics). It also asks for evidence as to whether non-salaried payments should be ignored for intra-company transferees and whether long-term intra-company transferees (over 12 months) should be paid more than £40,000. The NHS and the public would undoubtedly be the losers if high quality foreign nurses from abroad are prevented from filling skills gaps. Transferees from the developing world often have their salaries increased before coming to the UK so that they are paid market rate. That is only right - migration should never be used as a means
of underwriting resident workers – but such a policy could have unintended implications. It is our understanding that in India, if an assignee’s salary is increased when he is posted overseas, the employer cannot legally reduce it when he returns to India. Imposing these changes on business could ultimately impact on the UK’s trade with those nations. Here we come to our conclusion. It is too easy to dismiss UK migration policy as damaging to business. It is also too easy, and rather unwise, to claim that it creates the perception that the UK is closed for business – that allegation has ‘self fulfilling prophecy’ written all over it. The fact is that the Government’s new entrepreneur and investor visas are a model to follow, way ahead of their international competitors. The cap on migration might not be well loved but it does do the job. The Home Office will inevitably tweak work permit policy in the coming months and we would like to see small amendments to elements of the investor and entrepreneur visa to make them even more attractive to the business leaders of today and the future. This is the positive message lying quietly in the background. Once the next set of changes
are made Home Office Ministers should pause and reflect; they should let the system work itself through. If Home Office Ministers can refrain from further consultations and major overhauls they will be able to point to two successes ahead of the next Election – the cap on migration that the voters asked for and a migration system that delivers for business and for the economy.
Contact details: Nadine Goldfoot Solicitor, Manager T: +44 (0) 20 3077 5150 F: +44 (0) 20 3077 5001 Email: email@example.com 2nd Floor 125 Wood Street London, EC2V 7AN Prior to joining Fragomen, Nadine was a solicitor at a UK-based niche immigration law firm where she specialised in both personal and corporate immigration law, EU free movement rights law, human rights law and public law litigation, including Judicial Review. Her notable achievements include challenges to UK immigration law and government policy. Nadine manages a thriving private client practice which advises on matters across the spectrum of UK immigration law including, investors and other high net worth individuals, highly skilled self-sponsored migrants, complex family reunion and British nationality law.
UK Sports Our Quarterly Overview Of UK Sports
efore reviewing our major winter sports of soccer and rugby union, we take a look at a feisty ladies sporting event - the Solheim Cup played between the lady golfers of Europe and America. Golf - the Solheim Cup Played in September at Killeen Castle in County Meath, the ladies’ biennial Solheim Cup between Europe and America showed that it is not just the men’s equivalent, the Ryder Cup, that can generate feisty competition as well as great drama. Patriotic fervour was evident before the competition even got under way, and Rosie Evans‘s American starlets led the way! The American captain adorned her team in red, white and blue head covers shaped like boxing gloves! A clear intent had been thrown down that a fourth consecutive American team victory was going to be achieved. It is surprising that this event generates so much aggression; after all, is it not a ladies event? Perhaps it goes back to America’s Dottie Pepper who first generated bad feeling between 20
the two teams in 1998. When she watched Europe’s Laura Davies miss a crucial putt on the eighteenth green she yelled “yes” at the top of her voice - a clear breach of golfing etiquette. After a censure from the European team she was unrepentant and said “I really don’t care”! Europe’s assistant captain, the great Annika Sorenstam, opted for her own way to motivate the European girls by taking a punch bag into the team’s locker room and pinning a picture of Dottie Pepper’s face on it!! I suppose girls will be girls. After all the pre-match bellicosity, the event itself produced a great tournament, fantastic drama and a terrific victory for the European ladies. After the first two days foursomes and fourballs, the USA led Europe by eight points to seven. This is usually a situation from which the Americans march on to victory with the twelve singles matches on the third and final day. The USA suffered a set back when Christie Kerr had to concede her match against Karen Stupples because of tendonitis in her wrist. Given that Rosie Jones, America’s captain, knew of Kerr’s wrist strain before the competition started, it was surprising that she picked Kerr to play in four matches. The USA also lost the first singles match when Catriona Matthew defeated Paula Creamer, a leading whooper and hollerer in Solheim Cup matches, by 6 & 5. Nevertheless, after nine singles matches, including the Stupples/Kerr match, the scores were level at 4 ½ points each; the USA led Europe by 12 ½ points to 11 ½. Three matches remained on the course. Michelle Wie led Europe’s Suzann Pettersen by one hole with only three to play; Ryann O’toole led Europe’s Caroline Hedwall by two holes with only two to play whilst Europe‘s Azahara Munoz was all square with Angela Stanford with three to play. At this point it looked to be a fourth consecutive American victory but Pettersen fought back to beat Michelle Wie with a spectacular birdie on the last hole and Hedwall unbelievably came back to win the last two holes against O’toole to gain a winning half point for the Europeans as Munoz was at that point one up with one to play ensuring at least another half point for Europe. In the event Munoz won by one hole giving the Europeans an 8 - 5 victory in the singles matches and a 15 - 13 points victory to win the Cup. Other of the singles matches also produced great drama. Laura Davies, in her last Solheim Cup, halved with America’s Julie Inkster; Sophie Gustafson beat Morgan Pressel 2&1 and Christel Boeljon beat the higher ranked Brittany Linicome 2 up. Finally, just a word for an American team player who could demonstrate that winning golf matches is less important than facing some of life’s more serious problems. Twenty six year old Stacy Lewis was a victim of scoliosis when she was young and had to wear a back brace for
thirteen hours a day for seven and a half years. She may have lost her singles to Gustafson but she was the girl who showed everybody real bravery, a determination to defeat adversity and how to be a true winner. Tennis The end of season finals for the top eight ranked men and women produced some excellent tennis. At London’s O2 Arena Roger Federer was back to his majestic best winning all five matches to be crowned champion for a record sixth time. With Djokovic, Nadal and Murray all failing to reach the semi-finals (Murray retiring after his first round robin match defeat) it was left to Federer and Tsonga to contest the final which Federer won 6-1 6-7 6-3. Federer has his eye on an Olympic gold at Wimbledon next year, but who can doubt that he could yet regain his number one ranking in the world. At thirty years of age he remains physically fitter than Djokovic, Nadal and Murray and his shot making at the O2 was back to his powerful and graceful best. In the women’s tournament, Wimbledon champion, Petra Kivitova, confirmed her current dominance by defeating in the final Azarenka to take the ladies’ crown. Rugby Union What can be said about England’s performances at the World Cup in New Zealand? Embarrassing!! A quarter final defeat to France was probably the least embarrassing memory of a disastrous tournament. Poor performances on the field were, nevertheless, overshadowed by the antics of some of the players off the field, most notably that of the latest member of the royal family, Mike Tindall, who is married to the Queen‘s granddaughter, Zara Phillips, and who was caught on CCTV hugging and kissing a blonde woman in a bar. A hotel worker in Dunedin complained of “lewd” and humiliating behaviour towards her by three England players who were reprimanded by the England management and made to apologise to the hotel worker, and following England’s exit from the tournament England’s Samoan born star, Manu Tuilagi, was arrested for jumping off a ferry in Aukland and swimming to pier three on the waterfront! Did he not have a ticket? Why do they do these things? They are representing their country in the biggest tournament in world rugby and too many set about embarrassing their country, their team and themselves. It was an absolute disgrace and those involved should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves - but they won’t be! Since the England team’s return home, the England coach, Martin Johnson, has resigned and the Rugby Football Union is now seeking a replacement. Jim Mallinder, the Northampton coach,
Eddie Jones at Suntory and Sir Ian McGeechan at Bath are all in the frame as is Graham Henry the successful coach of New Zealand who retired after the All Black’s world cup victory. In the meantime, Stuart Lancaster has been appointed as caretaker Head Coach for the 2012 Six Nations Tournament. Many people believe that the whole structure of the RFU needs to be reformed but any such action will not disguise the fundamental problem of the current England team - they are an ill disciplined group of guys who do not deserve the England jersey. It was once said that rugby was a hooligans game played by gentlemen whilst soccer was a gentleman’s game played by hooligans. The present England rugby team have redefined the game as a hooligans game played by hooligans!! Soccer Starting with the England national team, we have been drawn with Ukraine, Sweden and France in the Euro 2012 finals to be played in the Ukraine and Poland in June 2012. Not a bad draw - we could have got Spain, Italy and Germany!! England have been building a younger team in recent games and I hope that Capello, the England manager, perseveres with the crop of talented youngsters that have emerged in the last year or so. Many successful club teams over the years have been built on a combination of talented youth and experienced players. In two recent friendly matches England have defeated World and European champions Spain 1-0 and Sweden (for the first time in 43 years!) by the same score. In the European Champions League, the Premiership has suffered an unexpected loss of two of their four contenders in the Group stage. Whilst Arsenal and Chelsea finished top of their respective Groups, disaster has befallen the city of Manchester! Both United and City crashed out in the final round matches. United needed only a draw away to Basle but lost 2-1 whilst City did all they could, defeating Bayern Munich 2-0, but Napoli’s victory at Villarreal eliminated the most expensive team in the Premiership. One wonders what Nasri and Clichy, who both left Arsenal for Manchester City in the summer, think of that! City and United now drop down into the Europa Cup competiton. In the Premiership, Manchester City with their expensive blend of high cost internationals are setting the pace and, at the present time, it would seem that they will be hard to catch. Unbeaten this season and seeking to emulate Arsenal’s unbeaten “invincibles” they gave City supporters an early Christmas present beating deadly rivals Manchester United 6-1 at Old Trafford. United themselves remain in second place, five points behind City at the time of writing, but are not looking the attacking, goal
scoring United of old. Newcastle United have been a surprise entrant in the top four for many weeks but, having recently played Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea in three consecutive games and secured only one point, have lost some momentum. Tottenham Hotspur continue to impress whilst Arsenal, after a dreadful start to the season including an 8-2 defeat at Manchester United, have regained their style and have moved to fifth position. Chelsea, with new manager Andre Villas-Boas and his more attacking style of play, are having an inconsistent season. Three consecutive home defeats (3-5 to Arsenal, 1-2 to Liverpool in the Premiership and 0-2 to Liverpool again in the Carling cup) will not have pleased the Chelsea owner or the fans. At the wrong end of the Premiership, a relegation battle is already developing between Wigan Athletic, Bolton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Sunderland and Swansea City. Sadly, for some of these clubs, avoiding relegation is the most exciting thing they can offer their loyal supporters each season and it’s a dire offering! Our congratulations go to Sir Alex Ferguson for his twenty fifth anniversary as manager of Manchester United. It is a shame that this has coincided with United’s premature exit from the European Champions League but his achievements over the last twenty five years have been exceptional. In this time, United have won two European Cups, twelve League (the old First Division and current Premiership) titles, five FA Cups, four League Cups (currently the Carling Cup) and one European Cup Winners Cup. Such longevity of management with one club and such a record of trophies in such a time is unlikely to be equalled. By the time of our next issue (Spring 2012) the January transfer window will have opened and closed. How much more money will be spent trying to buy success and trophies or avoiding the dreaded relegation to the Championship league? Whilst Manchester City’s recent massive spending has not bought them success in the European Champions League this season they are dominating the Premiership. Chelsea’s massive spending over the past few years has yet to buy them success at the top European table whilst Manchester United’s investment last summer in some talented youngsters has yet to really bear fruit. Arsenal’s more frugal attitude to the transfer market may prevent any silverware again this year but they still compete for the FA Cup, Europe and the battle to finish in the top four for qualification for the 2012/13 European Champions League. Keep an eye on Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool in the battle for that fourth qualifying place, assuming the two Manchester teams and Chelsea take the first three places. n
Free Seminars at The 2012 Corporate Relocation Conference & Exhibition Monday 6th February 2012 Hotel Russell, Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London Chaired by Martin Humphrys, Humphrys’ Education Winner of Relocation Personality of the Year 2009
10.30am - Third Culture And Cross-Cultural Kids – Who They Are And How We Can Help! 11.30am - Relocating Successfully 12.30pm - Tax Planning Essentials For Expatriates In The UK 1.30pm - “All You Wanted To Know About Corporate Immigration But Were Afraid To Ask?” 2.30pm - Strategic Partner: The Next Move For Global Mobility 3.30pm - Setting Competitive Expatriate Management Policies: Current Trends And Best Practices Places at these seminars are free, but visitors must pre-register as there is limited availability. To register your free place, please email firstname.lastname@example.org We look forward to seeing you there!
US Sports Myles Hollenber, An ACS Student, Reviews US Sports
he MLB, NFL, and NHL sports leagues have always been a place of upsets, rivalries, dedicated fans, and greatness. This year was no exception, in the MLB the St. Louis Cardinals, led by the powerful first baseman, Albert Pujols, showed great persistence against the Texas Rangers to win the World Series. With the NHL season just nearing the quarter mark, teams have to try to keep building the momentum of play, and get ready for the playoffs later in the year. Heading into week 14, teams in the NFL are looking towards the light at the end of the tunnel-the playoffs. In the weeks still to come, NFL teams will have to play hard to earn a chance to enter the playoffs. The MLB season Playoffs are always exciting. It is a time when underdogs can pull ahead of the big teams, and players put their teams on their back and carry them through the playoffs. This year the St. Louis Cardinals, after barely winning the wild card, had to face the Philadelphia Phillies, who had made it far into the playoffs for the last 4 years. Much to everyone’s surprise the Cardinals won three out of the five games they played against the Phillies, putting them through to the NLCS, NL championship series. Down
south in Texas, the Rangers were facing the Tampa Bay Rays, who had just come off a great season, but Texas prevailed winning three out of the four games they played. The Rangers then travelled up north to face the Detroit Tigers in the AL Championship series. Though the Tigers were favoured to win, The Rangers out-played them and managed to win four out of the six games they played, putting the Rangers through to their second world series in two years. The NL championship was fought between the Milwaukee Brewers and the St. Louis Cardinals. Again the Cardinals were not the favourite, but they showed great determination and beat the Brewers. The Cardinals were in the World Series and the Texas Rangers were a wall that the Cardinals were going to have to try and bring down. The World Series is fantastic, because every player has a chance for greatness. Every homerun is considered a godsend, and every error could be the end of the series. After six games each team had won four games, both teams only needed one win. Game seven was to be held at Busch Stadium, giving St. Louis the home field advantage, and after nine long innings it was all they needed to get the edge over their opposition, finally beating the Rangers six to two. This exciting post-season gave many teams a chance to think about the previous season and make the appropriate changes for improvement and future success. Usually if a team does particularly badly in the regular season, they will try and rebuild their team from within, starting with a new manager, or logo. If there is a belief that they will do better somewhere else, they might relocate or build a new stadium. The pre-season next year will be an interesting and exciting one, due to the amount of changes that have happened so far in the offseason. Many teams will have to learn to adapt to new mangers, or players, and many teams may not do well at the beginning of next season. The NFL, this season, has been halted by injuries. In week 13 alone, 239 injuries were recorded, with only three weeks left in the regular season these injuries will play a crucial role deciding which teams make the playoffs. The 2011-2012 season opened with an exciting game between the Green Bay Packers and the New Orleans Saints; the final score stood at 42-34. This was the eighth consecutive time that the Super Bowl champion team has won on the opening day. This win was followed by 10 consecutive wins, making the Green Bay Packers the only undefeated team in the NFL. Should the Packers win their next two games, they will be only the third team in NFL history with a perfect regular season. (The other teams being, the Miami Dolphins in 1972, and the New England Patriots in 2007). This year in the NFL, as always, there are some standout rookies, perhaps the most obvious being Cam Newton. Cam Newton is unlike any rookie quarterback ever. Until week 4 Cam Newton not only had more passing yards than Aaron Rodgers of
the Green Bay Packers, but Cam also had more rushing touchdowns than Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings. Matthew Stafford, from the University of Georgia, led the Detroit Lions to an impressive start to their season, winning their first four games in a row. Sadly both these phenomenons were unable to continue their streaks. The Lions currently have seven wins and four losses, and, at the other end of the spectrum, the Carolina Panthers have four wins and eight losses. The post-season is always exciting, with teams struggling to get the win that will put them to the top of their division, others trying to win every game to stay on top just long enough to clinch their division. The only team that seems unfazed by the end-of-seasondrama is the Green Bay Packers having already clinched their division, they seem set to repeat what happened last year and bring back the Vince Lombardi trophy to Green Bay. Next season is still just a glint in most coaches eyes’ right now, except those who have no chance to make the playoffs. These teams will have to undergo huge transformations in the off-season, and the coaches of these teams will have to look at the next class of rookies to try and find the perfect fit for their team. The NHL season started with the resurrection of the Winnipeg Jets, and the NHL board decided to bring the Phoenix Coyotes up to the great white north. The NHL, for a long time had been the centre for frightful fights, terrific teamwork, and an awesome show of skills, but this year the NHL has a new name, the ‘home of concussions’. This season alone, players have been out for a total of 286 games due to head injuries, and 56 players have been suspended because of illegal checks to players. One player who has comeback from a concussion recently is the Pittsburg Penguin’s centre Sidney Crosby, after playing on and off for the last part of the season last year. He played in his first game back against the New York Islanders; he scored 2 goals and received four points to his name. He is just one of the many lucky players who have come back from bad head injuries. Sadly, some players do not play hockey after a bad concussion, and some players never make the comeback, no matter how hard they try. The rest of the season should be full of thrills, and general excitement. The GM’s of the league will still have to find a way to lessen head injuries. As for the teams, most are still trying to get an identity, so far no one team is way ahead in their league. The Minnesota Wild, so far in the season, have won 17 games and only lost seven giving them the best record in the NHL, the Wild could very possibly be the team to beat this year. n Written by Myles Hollenberg Edited by Ben Rejali, and Christina Stuart
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You are cordially invited to
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Come along and meet our 42 exhibitors who have produas and services that support Expatriates, International HR professionals and those advising the expatriate communi There are also free seminars running throughout the day and the seminar programme will be announced very soon. You will need to pre-registerfir the seminars as places are limited so please email email@example.com If you would like complimentary invitations fir your _friends. club men2bers or colleagues, please email belenOtheamericanbouncorn with the quantio.,and where you would like them sent to, For fierther information on this event please call Helen Elliott on 020 8661 0186. We look firward to seeing you there,
Theatre Some Reviews Of London's Theatre Blood Brothers London is famous for many things, some of the best restaurants in the world, amazing heritage and sights including Buckingham Palace and my personal favourite, the Tower of London, but what I saw last night at the Phoenix theatre is part of what I think is London’s crowning glory. The number and diversity of musicals and plays you can see in London is incredible, and Blood Brothers is right up there with the best. Blood Brothers was written by Willy Russell and is loosely based on the 1844 novella 'The Corsican Brothers' by Alexandre Dumas. It first came to the stage in 1983, and it is tribute to the quality of the story that it is as relevant today as it ever was. The story revolves around a nature vs nurture scenario where twins, separated at birth, have very different upbringings and how their lives intertwine over the years leading to an explosive ending. At the start Mrs Johnstone, played superbly by Amy Robbins, tells innocently about her early life and her ‘dancing’ and the life she wants ‘Like Marilyn Monroe’, but this soon ends when she falls pregnant. She marries and soon after her husband leaves her to bring up
her two children alone. Life is hard and paying the bills is difficult, so she takes a cleaning job in an upmarket house owned by Mrs Lyons. Soon after taking up the role Mrs Johnstone discovers she is pregnant, and with twins! She confides to Mrs Lyons that she can’t afford to look after both and Mrs Lyons begs her to give her one of the twins when they are born. This deception is sealed by swearing on the bible. When the twins are born Mrs Johnstone has second thoughts, but after a visit from the bailiffs who take most of her possessions, she agrees to hand over one of the twins. The relationship between the two ‘mothers’ deteriorates and Mrs Johnstone is dismissed and warned not to tell anyone, as she is reminded of the superstitions surrounding separated twins. When we catch up with the story seven years have passed and we are treated to a moving and totally believable performance by both Stephen Palfreman (Mickey) and Simon Willmont (Edward), as they perfectly portray what it was like to be 7 years old and be stopped from doing things. They meet and find out that they were born on the same day so become blood brothers. The story continues apace through school and then onto university, and although there is a tough storyline, there are delightful and touching moments, especially surrounding Mickey’s hidden love for Linda, and Linda’s not so hidden love for Mickey! Mickey and Linda marry but as Edward goes to University Mickey gets Linda pregnant and they marry. Soon the recession hits and Mickey is made redundant and cannot get a job so takes up an offer from his older brother to be lookout on a robbery which goes horribly wrong. Mickey is caught and goes to prison where he falls into a deep depression. The contrast between the carefree 7 year old and the husk of a man just a few years later could not be greater, and Stephen Palfreman
makes this dramatic transformation totally believable. I will leave the ending, but suffice to say the twins are inextricably drawn to each other again with tragic consequences. Throughout the play the narrator, played by Brit and Ivor Novello award winner Marti Pellow, lurks menacingly on stage, not only narrating, but acting as the conscience of Mrs Johnstone and for those who know Marti Pellow from his pop days, this new persona shows how versatile he is. I loved this show and with marvellous songs like ‘A Bright New Day’, ‘Marilyn Monroe’ and the emotionally charged hit ‘Tell Me It’s Not True’, along with a powerful story and exceptional acting, this is a must see. Phoenix Theatre, Charing Cross Road, London WC2 Box office: 0844 871 7629 www.kenwright.com Marti Pellow
Free Seminars at The 2012 Corporate Relocation Conference & Exhibition Monday 6th February 2012 Hotel Russell, Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London Chaired by Martin Humphrys, Humphrys’ Education Winner of Relocation Personality of the Year 2009
GHOST the Musical Who could possibly forget the amazing movie of 1990; GHOST, one of the biggest grossing films in the UK ever? With such a successful film, starring an excellent cast, including Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg, not to mention the fabulous track by The Righteous Brothers-Unchained Melody, I wondered how the musical could follow? For readers not familiar with the story, Ghost is a timeless fantasy about the power of love. Walking back to their apartment one night, Sam and Molly are mugged, leaving Sam murdered on a dark street. Sam is trapped as a ghost between this world and the next, unable to leave Molly who he learns is in grave danger. With the help of a phony storefront psychic, Oda Mae Brown, Sam tries to communicate with Molly in the hope of protecting her. Ghost the Musical is directed by Matthew Warchus, and the songs are written by Dave Stewart, of Eurythmics fame, and well-known and acclaimed producer/songwriter, Glen Ballard. Sam is played by ex-Coronation Street actor, Richard Fleishman, and Molly is played by Caissie Levy, and both are cast well. Both actors have superb voices and Richard’s American accent is perfect! Whilst I may have felt slightly sceptical about Ghost the Musical, my fears were soon put to rest, with the opening and the first few songs. The show, despite its theme, lovers separated by death, is fast paced and entertaining. The first half comprised some show-stopping numbers, whilst the second half continued with impressive choreography and special effects – which I am still wondering how they achieved! The use 26
of clever state-of-the-art video and visual effects also help conjure up the different locations – the best being the subway stations and the Wall Street offices. Of course the highlight of the show was always going to be Oda Mae Brown, the eccentric psychic, played fabulously here by Sharon D Clarke. She is funny and a great singer, and really puts her own stamp on the role, which would seem so difficult in the light of Whoopi Goldberg’s Oscar winning performance. She also performs my personal favourite number from the show, I’m Out of Here – a colourful, loud and visual number. Her role adds much needed humour and entertainment to what would otherwise be a heavily emotional story. The villains also met my expectations as menacing and troubled characters, with some impressive songs and routines. The subway ghost is scarier than in the movie and performs one of the most exciting visual performances I have enjoyed on a West End stage. This musical has been superbly adapted to the West End stage. I would be lying if I said I didn’t shed a tear, and where the conclusion could have been tacky, it was handled cleverly and sensitively. Ghost the Musical is opening in Broadway in 2012, and in Australia in 2013 – and deservedly so. It will enjoy broad global audiences for years to come. I have since listened to the soundtrack a number of times, and have recommended this musical to a number of people. Oh, and Unchained Melody is included! Piccadilly Theatre, Denman Street, London W1 Box office: 0844 871 7618 www.ghostthemusical.com n
10.30am - Third Culture And Cross-Cultural Kids – Who They Are And How We Can Help! 11.30am - Relocating Successfully 12.30pm - Tax Planning Essentials For Expatriates In The UK 1.30pm - “All You Wanted To Know About Corporate Immigration But Were Afraid To Ask?” 2.30pm - Strategic Partner: The Next Move For Global Mobility 3.30pm - Setting Competitive Expatriate Management Policies: Current Trends And Best Practices Places at these seminars are free, but visitors must pre-register as there is limited availability. To register your free place, please email firstname.lastname@example.org We look forward to seeing you there!
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Property Focus On Elizabeth Street
lizabeth Street in London’s Belgravia is a focus for the discerning shopper and is definitely a major draw for those who prefer the finer things in life, with exclusive luxury fashion and life style brands combined with an excellent wine bar, coffee shop, boulangerie, gastro pub, delicatessens and wine shops. Elizabeth Street is one of the main shopping streets in the exclusive Grosvenor Estate. The Grosvenor family, headed at present by Gerald Grosvenor, the 6th Duke of Westminster, has owned the 80 hectares (200 acres) of Belgravia since 1677, when Sir Thomas Grosvenor married Mary Davies, heiress to part of the Manor of Ebury. At that time, the southern part of the manor bounded by Chelsea, Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace, known as the Five
Fields, was open land – a mix of swamp, pasture, orchards, a few scattered houses and the haunt of vagabonds and highwaymen. Wild ducks provided sport for shooting on two far from salubrious ponds. More cautious travellers across the area often took the precaution of forming a convoy with others before setting out across the wastes. At the other side lay Bloody Bridge, which spanned the Westbourne stream at the site of what is now Sloane Square. The Westbourne stream is now enclosed and the pipe can be seen suspended across Sloane Square Underground station. All this changed with the end of the Napoleonic Wars which brought a much increased need for housing in London. The conversion of nearby Buckingham House into a palace for George IV in 1826 was the driver for the development of the Five Fields into one of the most fashionable and desirable residential and commercial areas of Central London. Under the direction of Thomas Cundy, the Grosvenor Estate Surveyor, and Thomas Cubitt, the master builder, the development of Belgravia, including Elizabeth Street, into an elegant estate of classic Regency style squares, streets and crescents was begun. Belgravia is today recognised as the largest and best preserved urban Regency Estate in the world.
Elizabeth Street runs between Eaton Square to the north and Buckingham Palace Road to the south. The street has attracted high end niche fashion brands as well as offering an exciting mixture of exclusive food, drinking, dining and local amenities. It is very close to all of the transport facilities of Victoria but is far removed from the hustle and bustle of the Station, with its appealingly different shops and variety of places in which to sit and watch the world go by. Under the Realm Improvement initiative between Westminster Council and the Grosvenor Estate, Elizabeth Street was the subject of a multi-million pound refurbishment project in 2010, which improved the surface of the roads and pavements, added new trees and improved the street furniture. The results are obvious for all to see. Elizabeth Street is quite unique in that many of the retailers are regarded as the best that they can be. Elizabeth Street provides their signature outlet in London and provides an eclectic choice of goods and gifts. For fashion lovers, perhaps the most well known retailer in Elizabeth Street is Phillip Treacy, the bespoke milliner, whose creations were such a talking point after the Royal Wedding in April. Elizabeth Street has its own bridal wear designer in Jenny Packham who was described by Vogue as the “Queen of the red-carpet gown”. Less formal clothing outlets can be found with Allegra Hicks, Allison Roger, Donna Ida, Hawick Cashmere and Veronica Moncho Lobo. Shoes for children are provided by Papilion and for ladies by Cleo B. Gentleman can amuse themselves by browsing in Tomtom Cigars or a wine tasting at Jeroboams or the Market Quarter. Elizabeth Street also features the oldest shop in Belgravia which is celebrating an amazing 150 years in business. H R Stokes, which has been based at 58 Elizabeth Street for the last century and a half, sells books, cards, toys and gifts. It also offers a printing service for letterheads, business cards, invitations and other stationery. The shop was opened in 1861 by a Mr Henry Stokes, who was employed by members
of Queen Victoria’s household to print their calling cards and invitations. It is still popular today with local people, royalty and even rock stars. The printing was once all done in house, but sadly that is no longer the case as printing presses in Belgravia would nowadays not be popular. Poilane Bakery opened on Elizabeth Street in June 2000, it took over two years to get planning permission to be able to bake their traditional sour dough loaves in a wood fired oven. The Great Fire of London in 1666 began in a bakery after all! Poilane bake large round off-white crumb sour dough bread, which is the traditional French bread. The stone ground flour is imported from France and made only with sea salt from the Guerande. This bread is so popular it is exported all over the world and can be bought by the slice in other outlets such as Waitrose. Poilane is not the only bakery on Elizabeth Street. The corner building with Ebury Street is now baby pastel pink courtesy of Peggy Porschen, which is a bespoke cake company. It is renowned for stunningly pretty and elegant designs of cakes which taste delicious. Peggy Porschen has an enviable client list and has baked cakes for such headline occasions as Elton John’s White Tie and Tiara Ball, Stella McCartney’s wedding, Sir Anthony Hopkins’ 70th birthday and parties for Sting and Trudie
Styler. Peggy Porschen also offer cupcakes and a selection of own blend teas. Baker and Spice is a unique food shop where almost everything that is sold is made from scratch daily. It offers informal al fresco dining and is rightly admired for the quality of its delicatessen and traiteur food which can be tailored and delivered to suit almost any occasion. An in-flight catering service for the discerning customer is also offered. For those who prefer their liquid intake to be slightly stronger, the Market Quarter and Jeroboams offer an excellent selection of fine wines. Both of these shops offer regular wine tasting sessions. Jeroboams’ collection of Cru Classe Claret is one of the best in London. The Ebury Restaurant & Wine Bar is one of London’s oldest wine bars and has now been trading for over 50 years. It offers a wide selection of wines and spirits, along with very reasonable bar snacks and a lovely air conditioned restaurant which features wonderful trompe I’oeil wall decorations. These have recently been extended with a new dramatic Provencal view behind the service area, painted by Roberta Gordon-Smith. The Thomas Cubitt is Elizabeth Street’s gastro pub and its constant bustle is a testament to the popularity of the food and drink on offer. Sunny afternoons pack out the pavements with drinkers and diners enjoying the
weather and the atmosphere that Elizabeth Street offers. Other restaurants include the local upscale pizza restaurant, Oliveto which has sister restaurants Olivino and Olivomare close by. Pets are catered for by the designer dog and cat outfitter Mungo & Maud which has everything the stylish pet could need. In fact, the model Yasmin Le Bon has just launched a range of dog walking accessories for Mungo & Maud, based on her experience whilst walking her own dogs. The Elizabeth Street Veterinary Surgery is on hand with a qualified vet and nurse on the premises continually to offer round-the-clock care if needs be. Other local facilities are provided by the Walden Chemist and estate agents John D Wood & Co. and Best Gapp. For those who would like to live on or around Elizabeth Street, property does not come cheap. For example, a typical 2 bedroom flat on Elizabeth Street for rent would cost at least £1000 per week. Off Elizabeth Street, Eaton Square and Chester Square are even more expensive, where two bedroom lower ground floor maisonettes start from approximately £2500 per week. To buy, a pretty house on the corner of Eaton Square and Elizabeth Street is being offered for the relatively inexpensive sum of £3.95 million. A bargain you may think? In actual fact, the house is only available on a short lease and is yours only until 2045. Houses on Boscabel Place, a pretty mews off Elizabeth Street, sell for £4.5million - £5million. In the summer months, Elizabeth Street really comes into its own, culminating in the annual Elizabeth Street Party, with a band, stalls and celebrations (all in aid of charity), which run on until midnight. At Christmas, Belgravia Shopping Sunday showcases all that the retailers of Elizabeth Street have to offer, and includes a visit from Santa Claus, his elves, reindeer, Three Wise Men and their camels to help the festivities get under way. n For further information on living on or around Elizabeth Street, please contact Rachel Askew on 020 7824 7928 or firstname.lastname@example.org www.johndwood.co.uk 29
The Not-SoLazy Days Of Summer
ummer schools and camps can fulfil many functions. They provide opportunities for students to receive additional academic support in a particular subject, to take the time explore their interests in a way that the school year does not allow, or to hone their sports skills. These programmes can give structure to the summer months, keeping children and teenagers busy and active. They are a help for working parents, and a bonus for any parent who has heard the words, “I am sooooo bored!” Some summer schools and camps offer a range of options, including the arts, technology, drama, languages, and more. Programmes that integrate excursions and activities into the daily schedule make the learning more interesting and fun. And having fun should be an important part of the experience, since the social benefits are often the greatest reward. 30
MAKE NEW FRIENDS In particular, relocating parents often worry about managing a child’s transition, especially if the family is arriving from a different country and culture. The stress of adjusting can be difficult for children and teenagers, and attending summer camps in the area will give them a chance to meet other kids their age. Even if a child is extroverted and confident, these programmes can offer a bit of “social insurance”, as making new friends is an important part of the experience. Better still, if the summer programme is held at their new school, they may even meet a few of their future classmates. Without the academic pressure of grades, young people get to know each other quickly in a camp environment while interacting, learning, and playing together. These fledgling friendships can help to reduce their apprehension and anxiety, and make starting school far less daunting. Children may not be the only ones who benefit. Driving to and from camp can help parents of newly relocated families become familiar with the local area. The opportunity to meet other parents can also provide a welcome social connection. FIND YOUR FOCUS In addition to fun and fresh air, summer schools and camps can provide focus, nurturing your child’s talents or developing their interests. A wide variety of programmes are available, so a bit of research may be needed to help you to choose the type that most suits your child. Some sports camps may be useful to young athletes who want to improve on particular
TASIS The American School in England
skills or overall fitness; others will be more suitable for kids who just love running around and kicking a ball. For younger children, multi-activity camps that integrate games, arts and crafts, and excursions into the programme might be the most appropriate option. SHOW OFF YOUR TALENT Older children of a more artistic temperament may prefer to pursue their interests in an enrichment class that focuses on theatre, art, photography or writing. The best of these courses will encourage students to learn by doing, providing plenty of opportunities for hands-on experience. It’s worth remembering that young people often take pride in sharing their accomplishments. Drama and theatre programmes that culminate in a production, or photography and art courses that end with an exhibition, allow students to “show off ” the results of their work, which can motivate them to participate with real enthusiasm. SPEAK LIKE A NATIVE Adolescents interested in language studies can benefit greatly from an immersion experience; however, studying abroad for a term may be impossible because of the disruption to their academic progress. Participation in a summer programme provides a great alternative. The opportunity to live in a different country for a few weeks is an exciting and fun way to enhance language studies. But the learning doesn’t stop there. Many programmes will also provide continual opportunities to learn about the history and heritage of the country in which they are living. Students will broaden their cultural as well as their linguistic horizons as they participate in daily life, eating new foods, conversing with native speakers, and opening their eyes and minds to new experiences. Whether it helps your children make new friends, gives them the opportunity to improve their skills, allows intensive study in an area for which they have a passion, or provides an insight into a foreign culture while living abroad, a good summer programme can provide an unforgettable and rewarding experience. And best of all, they'll have fun doing it! n Mary Mitchell is an Advancement Associate at TASIS The American School in England, which offers a variety of summer programmes in England, France and Spain. Academic year programmes include the American high school diploma, a wide range of AP courses, and the International Baccalaureate Diploma. For more information, see www.tasisengland.org or call 01932 582316.
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Third Culture Kids The Value Of Transitions Programmes For Third Culture Kids
n the dozen or so years that I have contributed to 'American in Britain' on the subject of the impact of mobility and transition on families and children, known as ‘third culture kids’, I have occasionally written a more personal reflection. This happened when I wrote about my own move to the Costa del Sol to take up the headship of a small British international School, and when my father passed away and I considered the impact his international
career had on my own childhood of mobility. Changing jobs and moving into a school that is culturally very different from previous ones where I have worked has given me cause to consider how schools manage transition, and more importantly, whether transition management is institutionalised by schools. Families who are relocating to a new country can spend long hours worrying over selection of the right school for their children. In the UK, families have choices and therefore decisions to make. In much of the country, the choice is between state schools or independent schools mostly offering a UK curriculum. For families relocating to the greater London area, the independent international schools, or the state/independent national schools such as the French Lycee, German School, Swedish School or Japanese School, amongst others, become additional options to consider. Discerning families, including families who are experienced multi-movers, use a variety of criteria to select the right school: curriculum on offer, class sizes, location, ESL support (in the case of non-English speakers) or SEN provision, facilities, extra-curricular activities, teacher qualifications, university offers made to students; all of these criteria are suggested by numerous relocation ‘how-to’ guides as important points to consider. But, how many parents ask about the school’s transition programme? Transition programmes are becoming an increasingly important feature for international schools. For four years, as Deputy Executive Director of the European Council of International School (ECIS), I managed a programme by ECIS in conjunction with the University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) entitled the International Teacher Certificate Program (ITC). This programme addressed those specific qualities, characteristics and skills that are particularly critical for international school teachers. One of the five standards addressed in the ITC was dedicated to ‘Transition and Mobility’, and required that teachers engage with the theory and practice surrounding Third Culture Kids (children who move internationally by virtue of a parent’s occupation) and the impact that relocation has on students, teachers and parents in the school community. ECIS and CIE regard an understanding of the experience of transition as an essential prerequisite for the exemplary 21st Century international school teacher. Through my own research on this subject and my four years observing ITC teachers worldwide – from Poland to Panama, Thailand to Togo, and The United Arab Emirates to the United States of America - engage with this subject, anecdotal evidence suggests that in most international schools the management of transition is a somewhat hit and miss,
with individual teachers or constituencies within the school community doing their bit, but often without a strategic or holistic integrated institutional approach. PTAs are often the champions of transition services, perhaps because parent volunteers have time to give to supporting these matters, but also because they are often the ones who feel first-hand the stress, confusion and bewilderment that can arise from the experience of mobility. In some schools there are teachers who are very attentive to helping their pupils adapt to the new school or country. Many schools organise one-off events such as orientation, days or weeks when new classes can bond and get to know one another; or seminars from collegebound students. Counsellors may work oneon-one with conflicted students responding negatively to the transition experience. But often these approaches are not consistent and are reliant on the very laudable initiative of individuals and not driven by the policies of the institution as a whole. Most international school educators who have an interest in transition programming would acknowledge that the most impressive model is the one developed by the American School of the Hague (ASH). With some early financial support from grant awarded by Royal Dutch Shell’s Outpost (family support services) and developed by a passionate team from the ASH counselling department, the programme was eventually named ‘Safe Harbour’. According to the Safe Harbour website, The purpose of A Safe Harbour is to help students, parents and staff cope with the challenges and maximise the opportunities that are inherent in the experience of international relocation and cross-cultural mobility.’ Safe Harbour features publications, events, mentoring programmes, speakers, celebrations and rituals, with lines of responsibility and timelines clearly designated. The strength of Safe Harbour is that it is aimed at the entire school community; that is the parents and the staff as well as the pupils, and not merely at the point of arrival (whenever ‘arrival’ occurs) but also at the preparation for departure. The Safe Habour diagram includes everyone and gives everyone a task. It is institutionalised so that the ebb and flow of transient staff and families do not pose a threat to the continuity of the programme. Both as an admissions director in an international school, and working for a time with my friend and colleague Martin Humphrys, a leading educational consultant serving expatriate and British families seeking school placements in the UK, I was always quite frank with parents. ‘The local English schools are not there to serve international families. Don’t go expecting them to make all of the accommodations your child may require to
fit in to their system.’ But, most of the international schools are there to serve expatriate international transient families. London boasts some fine international schools, yet none of them appears to have a programme that quite matches up to the Safe Habour model, a complete ‘soup to nuts’ comprehensive programme with roles and responsibilities for everyone in the community. Many overworked administrators and prudent school boards and governors question the value of a transition programme in their schools, and consider them to be a frivolity when there are so many demands on staff and budget. But, the justification is there. While the children are the focus in schools, we know that the way children settle in is influenced by the way their parents are managing the challenges of relocation and transition; that children pick up on the ‘vibes’ of the parent. But, the educators, too, are an important part of the process for children, and it is important to consider that many international schools in London are enriched by teachers who themselves have worked internationally, bringing a wealth of experience and motivation to share these culturally rich perspectives with their student. But this can come at a price as these educators, too, experience culture shock and must
manage their own transitions. Research has shown that when newly relocated international school teachers are given support by the school, they, in turn, are better prepared to help their pupils adjust, and understand the concept of ‘transition education’. This is why bodies like the European Council of International Schools and University of Cambridge International Examinations have included this as a feature of their prestigious International Teacher Certificate programme which is gaining currency worldwide in a number of ways, and why teachers who have completed the programme are now working in their own schools to help institutionalise the transition activities they provide. According to the Safe Harbour website, it is about doing everything possible to help children make the needed adjustments as quickly as possible. Best stated by Carol Mecklenberg and Doug Ota, founders of the programme, ‘Learning happens best in a community of emotional safety and in a climate of mutual support, as "transitions" are challenges that face us all. Whether you are coming, staying or going, a student, parent or staff, A Safe Harbour seeks to help every member of the community feel welcome to "sail forth" to enjoy his or her own international experience. You may not notice that the Harbour is
here, but when you need to "pull up your boat and dock", someone will always be there to catch the line!’ n Mary Langford was recently appointed Head of Primary at the King Fahad Academy in London, an IB World School with an Islamic ethos offering the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme. Her Master’s research at University of Bath centred on how international schools respond to internationally-mobile pupils.
Mary Langford will be hosting a free seminar at The 2012 Corporate Relocation Conference & Exhibition on Monday 6th February, at Hotel Russell, Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London If you would like to attend this seminar that is free of charge, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your place. For further information please see page 41
American Women’s Clubs News AMERICAN WOMEN’S CLUB OF LONDON The American Women’s Club of London finished 2011 with a bang and are gearing up for a great 2012! In the late autumn, AWC hosted the third annual Holiday Bazaar, which once again was a huge success. With vendors who offered everything from cashmere dresses to antique maps and 19th century pottery to the finest chapeau, there was something for everyone! Also at the Holiday Bazaar, the winner of the Wells for Cambodia raffle was drawn. The prize was an amazing weekend at the London Syon Park, Waldorf Astoria Hotel, (including accommodation, dinner, breakfast and treatments in the Kallima Spa). In 2012 AWC is ramping up with all the timehonoured activities! In the new year the stitchers are still stitching, the readers are still reading, the writers are still writing, the hikers are still hiking, the cinema and theatre lovers are still in love, 34
American Women's Club of London Veteran's Day Service at Brookwood Cemetery
American Women's Club Discovering London tour of Thames Barrier
the bridge and mahjongg players are still playing, the health and fitness fanatics are still, well fanatics, the volunteers are still volunteering, the photographers are still photographing, the ladies who lunch are still lunching. A new wine tasting group will be added to the line up! So much to do and the days are so short! The AWC is made up of about 350 women of all ages and interests. There are professionals who are taking a break from their career and others who are working full-time. Some members are fulfilling life long dreams like pursuing acting or writing a book. Other ladies are new mothers with the excitements and challenges of raising a little one. Some of our members never imagined living in a foreign city. For some, London is just one on a long list of places they’ve lived around the globe. For all of us London is home now and it’s a richer experience for having each other. If you are interested in joining in on the fun and friendship, just call the office (0207 589 8292) or check out the brand new website www.awclondon.org. There are so many ways to drive away the winter blues with the American Women’s Club! The Junior League of London The highlight of the autumn season for the Junior League of London (JLL) was Boutique de Noel (BdN), the organisation’s largest annual fundraising event. Held on the 9th and 10th of November, BdN is a Christmas
American Women's Club Evening Book Club
shopping fair with over 100 unique merchants offering clothing, homewares, stationery, art and gourmet treats as well as live and silent auctions and Santa’s grotto for the kids. This year, BdN raised more than £75,000 for the League’s charitable activities. The JLL’s current community focus is on poverty and the membership invests more than 20,000 hours of volunteer service each year. The JLL’s Centrepoint committee, which helps the youth charity re-integrate residents into society through a programme of events, workshops and mentoring, had a busy autumn packed with cooking workshops, career discussions and social activities. In the coming months the committee will be supporting 'Centrepoint’s Got Talent' competition and is exploring hosting a special event for Centrepoint’s mums. Learning Club, which provides classroom support for the students at Colville Primary School, spent the autumn conducting regular one-on-one reading tutoring and getting the teacher-led homework clubs, from which the committee gets its name, up and running. The committee will also be helping to launch a lending library for the school this year at the suggestion of Colville’s head teacher and has already collected more than 600 books for the children. LEAD, the JLL’s learning, education and development committee, conducted monthly training events for members. The committee’s September session was titled "The World of
Junior League of London volunteers at the annual Boutique de Noel fundraiser
Non-Profit in London: A Panel Discussion." It focused on women interested in exploring other volunteer opportunities in the UK and featured an overview of the UK non-profit sector. Panellists were former Junior League President Meredith Niles, Anne Hartley of the Arts Council and Venetia Barton from Eaves Women’s Aid. LEAD also hosted a public speaking training and a session exploring the inner-workings of the JLL in autumn. In autumn, the Events Committee hosted a crowd-pleasing Halloween party, a private tour of Buckingham Palace and a Tory Burch shopping event, where a portion of proceeds on the night were donated to the League. The committee’s next event was dreamed up to help you shake off the January blues: Tarts & Tartans! Scheduled to take place at Beaufort House on the King’s Road on Friday, 20th January. All proceeds from Tarts & Tartans will go to the mission of the Junior League. What other excuse do you need to dress up in your most scandalous plaid? Tarts & Tartans is open to non-members as well as members and tickets can be purchased on the JLL’s website. To join the JLL and get involved with any of our exciting voluntary committees, please visit jll.org.uk or email us at email@example.com for more information.
Kensington Chelsea Women's Club welcomes newcomers to London KCWC has 30+ Activity Groups catering to its membership with diverse nationalities and interests. Some of the activities are open to the public; however, in order to attend some others, you need to become a member. Here is a selection of their activities in the months of January, February and March, including the ones that are Members Only, just to give you an idea in case they tickle your fancy and you’d like to become a member. The AFTER HOURS group is dedicated to social gatherings that take place outside the 9 - 6 working day. They meet once a month for an evening event. Friends are welcome to join. One of this group’s ambitions for 2012 is to experience different national cuisines and a selection of diverse entertainments in this wonderful city. Send an email if you are interested in the following activities and want to know whether they are open to non-members: firstname.lastname@example.org JANUARY: POSH CURRY AND STUNNING COCKTAILS - Set in a grand old city-banking space in Angel Court, the Mint Leaf Lounge Restaurant is an oh-so-chic venue, decorated with textured stone walls, über-sized chandeliers and a shiny cocktail bar giving the place an understated, organic vibe. The restaurant is a popular spot for postwork cocktails and the restaurant's modern Indian menu includes everything from spicy bar snacks to moreish main courses. FEBRUARY: COMEDY, BURLESQUE, CIRCUS AND MAGIC - Fancy brightening up a dreary February? Throw on a feather boa and come to Bête-Noire where you’ll thrill at the variety entertainment featuring comedy, beautiful burlesque, breathtaking circus skills, mystifying magic and a healthy dose of the
unexpected. After the show we’ll have a late dinner nearby for all those interested. All of the ANTIQUES & DESIGN group’s activities are Members Only, but you can have a glimpse into their ever-popular Style and Design series which have already started in 2011: HISTORY OF STYLE AND DESIGN IN BRITAIN AND EUROPE FROM 1660 TO PRESENT January: The Arts and Crafts Movement evolved out of William Morris’s ideal that there should be truth and honesty in design. As a result of this, in the 1880s, young architects and designers started working in groups known as guilds all over the country, producing plain and simple furniture, textiles, silver, glass, metalwork and jewellery. Liberty opened in 1875 and catered for middle class tastes in this style. February: Art Nouveau, which was named after a shop – Le Maison de L’Art Nouveau – in Paris, was the last international elitist style. During the period 1900-1914, furniture was created in curling organic shapes by designers such as Guimard, Gallé and Horta; glass by Gallé and Tiffany; jewellery by Lalique, and posters by Mucha. Collectively they created a unified style of ornament and decoration. March: Art Deco takes its name from the Decorative Arts Exhibition, which was held in Paris in1925. It is often referred to as the “Moderne “or “Jazz Age “. Many influences contribute to this style: Abstract Art and Cubism, the vibrant colours of the Ballets Russes, the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb, Aztec and Mayan art, and African art. Some of the striking creations produced in this style include furniture by Rhulmann and Eileen Gray, lacquer work by Jean Dunand, glass by Lalique, and jewellery by Cartier. Painters such as Sonia Delaunay, Tamara de Lempicka and Marie Laurencin epitomised Art Deco. KCWC’s ART HISTORY is one of the most successful groups over the years and all their activities are Members Only. In January and February they will have several Art History series starting, one of which is always sold-out - the Western Art Survey Course. In March they are going on an Art Trip to Belgium. WESTERN ART SURVEY COURSE Starting on 11 January and finishing mid-June for a total of 18 lectures and 10 guided museum tours. This is the 16th year that KCWC will be offering this extremely popular course. Under the guidance of top lecturers at Sotheby's Institute, members will look at each major stylistic period including Ancient Greece and Rome through to the Modern Era. VENETIAN ART SERIES - Venice in the spotlight! Explore the history of Venetian religious and secular painting: Bellini, Titian, Veronese,Tiepolo as well as viewing painters 35
such as Carlevargis and Canaletto. FAVOURITE LECTURERS / FAVOURITE PICTURES SERIES - A few of this group’s best loved lecturers will talk on their favourite paintings and artists. What is most enjoyable is that the members will be surprised at each lecture since the lecturers’ top picks will be revealed on the day. TRIP TO THE ART CITIES OF BELGIUM - Art History group is travelling to Brussels, Antwerp and Ghent, together with the Travel group members. BRITISH HISTORY group is learning all about the history of London in January and February before they move on to an exclusive visit to the Supreme Court and the Gentlemen’s Clubs of St James’s in March. Their activities are Members Only. JANUARY - FEBRUARY: DISCOVERING THE HISTORY OF LONDON - This group explores the history of London with lectures and slide shows while looking at the development of the city from Roman times to the present. Lecture subjects include historical and cultural trends, changes in the church and monarchy, and momentous and unexpected events that affected the people and geography of the metropolis. Group members get to know the place where they live so they will be ready to go out and explore once winter is over. MARCH: VISIT TO THE SUPREME COURT - The UK has only had a Supreme Court since 2009. A few years before that, Tony Blair took the decision to transfer judicial authority away from the House of Lords. The newly created Supreme Court needed an appropriate home and there was an historic building waiting in a perfect place – the former Middlesex Guildhall on Parliament Square. THE GENTLEMEN’S CLUBS OF ST JAMES’S - What is behind the impressive buildings that line St James’s Street and Pall Mall? Many of them are exclusive Gentlemen’s Clubs – traditional bastions of the leaders of empire, industry and society. St James’s is the masculine area of central London, as Bond Street, with its world class fashion and jewellery shops, is the feminine area. KCWC’s GENERAL MEETINGS are open to the public. There is no need to RSVP, just turn up if you are interested in the following meetings. Here is what is on offer in January, February and March: Thursday 12 January 9:30 am – 12 noon Royal Geographic Society No.1 Kensington Gore (Entrance on Exhibition Road) London, SW 7 2AR (Nearest tube: High Street Kensington) Guest Speaker: TRACEY LAWSON on A Year in the Village of Eternity High in the Aurunci Mountains in Italy is 36
the village of Campodimele. This rural idyll has for some time attracted the interest of the medical community and scientists from around the world because its inhabitants live extraordinarily long and healthy lives. The World Health Organisation has studied the low blood pressure and low cholesterol of the inhabitants which is reflected in the absence of cardiovascular disease: not only do the villagers live to an extraordinary age, but they also enjoy healthy and active lives at a time when many people in the UK have succumbed to general infirmity, cancer, heart disease or diabetes, which are the three major plagues of Western life. What is it about this area that makes it so easy for its inhabitants to live long and active lives? What is their secret? Thursday 9 February 9:30 am – 12 noon Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) 66 Portland Place, London (Nearest tube: Oxford Circus and ten minutes’ walk up Regent Street) Guest Speaker: Dr LUCY WORSLEY on TV Series “If Walls Could Talk” In this talk Lucy Worsley will take us on a journey through domestic history, exploring developments in the British home from Norman times to the present day. Through quirky and apparently trivial details focusing on social structure, cleanliness, family life and technology, she highlights revolutionary changes in society. Dr Worsley aims to explore what people really did in bed, in the bath, at the table and in the kitchen – leaving no intimate stone unturned. Lucy has recently presented her television series “If Walls Could Talk” on both BBC 2 and BBC 4 and also has written a book by the same title to accompany the series. Dr Lucy Worsley is Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces. Thursday 8 March 9:30 am – 12 noon Royal Geographic Society No.1 Kensington Gore (Entrance on Exhibition Road) London, SW 7 2AR (Nearest tube: High Street Kensington) Guest Speaker: Dr NICK SHEPLEY on The Origins of the One-Day-Novel Dr Shepley is Honorary Research Associate and Lecturer in English at UCL. His current research explores the origins of the one- daynovel and his talk will cover examples of this genre ranging from Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol to David Nicholls’ One Day. Dr Shepley is currently organising a literary and cultural festival, “One Day in the City: 15 June 2012” which will bring together some of the best writers, poets, and academics to celebrate London and the work it inspires. SCHEDULE FOR THE GENERAL MEETINGS:
9:30 am - Coffee and activity sign –ups 10:30 am – 12 noon - Announcements followed by Guest Speaker 12:15 - 2:30 pm - Hospitality luncheon at a nearby restaurant REMINDER: Spouses, partners and friends are welcome. Please note that we cannot accommodate babies and small children at General Meetings. Out of respect for our speakers, if you must leave early, please be seated at the back of the lecture hall and kindly exit discreetly only during breaks between talks. As a courtesy to fellow members, please switch mobiles OFF or ON SILENT. Coming Soon -The Annual KCWC Easter Party Children of Members and Non-members are welcome! Saturday 24 March 1 – 4 pm Chelsea Hall of Remembrance Sponsored by KCWC Kids – for more information: email@example.com The LIFESTYLING group is another example of diverse activity groups within the creative and supportive network of KCWC. They explore and develop new personal and professional trends and solutions for a balanced and happy lifestyle. Their events are Members Only unless otherwise stated. Have a look at what they will be doing in January, February and March! Send an email if you are interested in the following activities and want to know whether they are open to non-members: firstname.lastname@example.org JANUARY: FABULOUS IN HIGH HEELS – Can you walk in high heels easily? Nobody said being a woman was easy! But don’t we love our high heels! Sarah Toner will teach the group how to walk with grace and elegance, showing the techniques she teaches in her master class, ‘Fabulous in High Heels’. She will also help them learn how to improve their posture, walk tall and look confident. FEBRUARY: HONEY MONEY: THE POWER OF EROTIC CAPITAL! – Dr Catherine Hakim, sociologist, will present her groundbreaking and controversial book Honey Money: The Power of Erotic Capital! In her book, she reveals how erotic capital is just as influential in life as how rich, clever, educated or well-connected we are. She examines how women and men learn to exploit it throughout their lives, how it differs across cultures and how it affects all spheres of activity. MARCH: TURNING PASSION INTO PROFESSION: CREATING YOUR OWN BUSINESS - Four professional women will share their experience in combining challenges of setting up and running a business, family and making a difference. OPERA APPRECIATION is a group for anyone who is interested in and wants to learn
Assunta & Fabrice on their wedding day
Pierre Tony Mondello and me on Assunta’s wedding day
Please help us raise money to build a nursery school in loving memory of Assunta and her family As many readers know, my late business partner Assunta Mondello, with whom I presented The American Hour Radio Show, managed The American Hour Online and the networking events we held, sadly and tragically passed away with her husband Fabrice and their two young children Pierre 5, and Claire 3, due to carbon monoxide poisoning in their home in France in January 2010. As a tribute to them, and Assunta's brother Tony, who sadly also passed away last year at the age of 34, I am going to raise £20,000 to build a nursery school in Uganda that will be named the Comard-Mondello School, in their memory. Assunta's two children were both at school, and Assunta was a big supporter of children's charities, so after months of trying to decide what to do in their memory, I am delighted to say that I now have a project which I know Assunta would have been proud to be associated with, and a financial target to reach. The North of Uganda has enjoyed peace for the last few years and the effects can be seen as people leave their temporary mud huts that housed them for up to 20 years, and head back to the land they once farmed. Joseph Kony has not completely left their minds as he continues his destruction in Congo, but, for now, for this community, there is hope. The children of this area have had more years of war than peace and many only know fear and danger. They have witnessed things that no child should observe. There are no professionals to explain the nightmares, or why they only draw guns. The schools in this area have a massive job ahead. There are at present a few primary schools in Uganda, but my aim is to build a nursery school attached to one of these schools, which seems fitting as Pierre was 5 and Claire was 3 when they passed away. I started the fundraising campaign in October last year by walking a marathon in London (I still have the remains of the blisters to prove it!), and so far I’ve raised nearly £10,000 which is great, but I still need to raise another £10,000. I have set up a Just Giving Page so that those who would like to contribute to this project, can. People will also be able to see how close to the target we get, and then once the project is underway, I will publish pictures in future issues of American in Britain. The address if you would like to make a donation is www.justgiving.com/Assunta-Comard-Mondello-and-family For further information on the charity that will be building the nursery in their memory, please visit www.abaana.org I would like to thank you for your support and look forward to letting you know how this worthwhile project, in memory of a beautiful family, is coming along. Best wishes, Helen xx
more about opera. This group plans operatic excursions, recitals and series of lectures designed to make opera more understandable and enjoyable. Their activities are Members Only unless otherwise stated. RECITAL IN JANUARY: JETTE PARKER YOUNG ARTISTS AT THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE - For a decade, the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme has given talented young singers from around the world intensive coaching balanced with the practical experience of singing with The Royal Opera on the main stage. Many former Young Artists have already become established international stars. KCWC has arranged an exclusive opportunity for its members to attend a recital by Pablo Bemsch, an Argentinean tenor, with a pre-performance talk given by one of the Programme’s music staff, Jean-Paul Pruna. The holidays are over, the weather is COLD. It’s time for tea at the KCWC! Help ring in the New Year, the Chinese New Year that is, with an unusual twist on a Club favourite. It’s the ‘Year of the Dragon’ and here is your chance to learn about more exotic Chinese teas and see a traditional tea ceremony in a beautiful environment. And, of course, have some delicious food, catch up with friends and most importantly, make new ones! Wednesday 1 February 1 – 3 pm Grand Imperial London Restaurant £40 Limit: 50 Send an email for more information: email@example.com KCWC’s WINE SOCIETY caters to wine buffs and novices alike. Events take place in the evening at different oenological venues around London. They are Members Only events unless otherwise stated. Send an email if you are interested in the following activities and want to know whether they are open to non-members: firstname.lastname@example.org JANUARY: WINE TASTING STROLL – This is a friendly casual wine event. It’s just an excuse to reunite after the holidays and get together with new friends and old. The group will walk around the 5 wine stations at Whole Foods Market, pop into the cheese room and end with a charcuterie platter for those who’d like to linger and share those pressing New Year’s resolutions, calories excluded. KCWC members and guests are welcome. FEBRUARY: A VALENTINE’S TREAT FOR HIM AND HER: REAL MEN DRINK PORT … AND LADIES DO TOO! - Books, Bonbons and Port - a Valentine’s Celebration! Bring your partners to this fine love affair of an evening matching succulent port with scrumptious chocolate bonbons. What could be more stimulating for Valentine’s? Ah, yes 38
a literary twist! The group will have great pleasure in meeting one of London’s leading wine authorities, Ben Howkins, whose book Real Men Drink Port … And Ladies Do Too!, has recently been published. Passionate about Port, he is a member of the Confraria do Vinho do Porto and the Vintners’ Company. This is a rare opportunity to meet such a notable Port professional who will lead the group through evocative chapters with perfectly paired Ports and chocolates. FEBRUARY – MARCH: CHRISTIE’S EDUCATION - WINTER WINE SERIES Is 2012 the year you want to finally do a deep dive into learning about wine from London’s (and the world’s) best Masters of Wine? Look no further! Christie’s is partnering with KCWC to welcome a small group of members to participate in Christie’s Education winter wine course. Sessions include the Burgundy Grapes: Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, the Bordeaux Blends; Sauvignon-Semillon and Cabernet-Merlot, the Sunshine Grapes: Rhône Valley and Mediterranean Grape Varieties, and Sparkling Wines, Champagne and Dessert Wines. Northwood Area Women’s club The new season of the Northwood Area Women’s Club has got off to a flying start. The new board has not only welcomed back a large number of returning members but has also been privileged to greet 12 new members from a number of countries including Italy, South Africa, USA, Canada, Spain, France, Uganda and India as well as the UK. The general meetings have been well attended and the members have enjoyed the variety of presentations. In response to requests from members we have expanded the number of interest groups on offer this season. In addition to the existing one dozen groups,
members can now enjoy a shopping group, bridge group and a several language conversation groups. Two themed dinner parties have been held by the couples dining group where feasts from the Mediterranean and France have been enjoyed. The first Bunco party of the season themed “Autumn Colours” was a huge success with numbers reaching maximum capacity. There was a great deal of fun and laughter throughout the evening with an interlude for delicious refreshments. As the game progressed and participants scored “travellers” gifts were won and stolen but by the end of the evening everyone returned home with a gift. Those skilled in the game also won prize money as did the loser. Additionally a handsome sum was raised for our charity “RAFT” (Restoration of Appearance Following Trauma). The next Bunco party will be held in February and will be especially for couples. The theme of the evening will be 'Just what I've always wanted.” In addition to our usual activities a specific fundraising evening will be held at The Comedy Bunker early in 2012. The December general meeting set the scene for the festive season with an abundance of Fun, Food and Fundraising. Sales of pre-read books; delicious Belgian chocolates; handmade jewellery, soap and greeting cards all boosted our fund raising efforts. A nail biting auction of tickets for a tour of the historic St Pancreas Renaissance hotel was held and the star raffle prize was a huge hamper of chocolate goods. December activities also allowed members to enjoy a concert at St Martin in the Fields and participate in a private guided tour of Two Temple Place and the William Morris exhibition. The New Year will bring the opportunity to visit both new and familiar venues. Events include guided tours of the local Bushey museum and Tate Modern, walking tours of Historic Pinner Village and the South Bank, as well as an
Lora DeSemple (President), Jonnie Dorman (Founding President) who opened the Fayre 30 years after she helped establish the club, and Leanne Evans (Event Chair)
evening lecture by a well-known local artist and teacher Martin Smith: “Not the Golden Mean”. Ladies who lunch will be enjoying a variety of cuisines at local restaurants and afternoon tea at the Grimsdyke Hotel, the former home of W S Gilbert, (English dramatist, librettist, poet and illustrator best known for his fourteen comic operas produced in collaboration with the composer Sir Arthur Sullivan). At our general meetings we will be looking forward to a return visit by David Callaghan who will be speaking about the Alternative Crown Jewels, Wallace Simpson’s jewellery and being entertained by the Ricky Ringers which will give members an opportunity to try their hand bell ringing. If you are in the Northwood Area don’t forget to come along and join in the fun. A warm welcome awaits you and you will soon feel amongst friends. See our web site for further information www. northwoodareawomensclub.co.uk or contact us on email@example.com AMERICAN WOMEN OF BERKSHIRE AND SURREY 10,500 Cheers for Charity A record £10,500 was raised for Berkshire and Surrey charities at the American Women of Berkshire and Surrey’s 28th Holiday Craft and Gift Fayre on Friday 4 November 2011. This figure was 30% more than the previous best total in 2007 and almost double the £5,475 from last year. Two factors played a part in event’s success: The historic Pavilion ballroom complex Ascot Racecourse drew a record 1,000 people and the quality of crafts and gifts on offer resulted in record donations from vendors who donated 10% of their sales. Event Chair Leanne Evans said, “We started the day with low expectations due to overnight rain but once the sun came out, our mood lifted as crowds of people started to arrive. Everything went smoothly and people were impressed with the venue and our superb range of art, ceramics, gifts, home ware and woodwork. There were so many positive comments that confirmed our focus on hand made and UK designed products was the right
way to go. People were amazed by what was on offer and surprised we had managed to attract so many of the best artisans in their field from London and the south east.” “With many of our vendors from Berkshire, the event had a distinctly local feel and the work of Ascot area artisans stood out. Hand crafted items from jewellers Mette Hoj from Windsor and Alejandra Cerrillo from Maidenhead were well received. Sunningdale artist Sarah Briggs did well with her ink drawings. People liked having local vendors and we will be working hard to find more for next year”, Leanne Evans said. Several charities took part in the Fayre, including Sebastian's Action Trust which operates a holiday home for sick children and their families brought their hand-made Bluebell Bears. Leanne Evans said, “We always invite our charities to the Fayre as way to promote themselves and raise funds directly. It adds another dimension to the Fayre when people can connect to some of the charities we support.” New records were set for the bake sale with AWBS volunteers raising more than £930 with their wonderful range of cakes, pies and biscuits. Leanne commented, “Two new members, Caroline Cochran and Janet Murray led our bake sale team and cooked up a storm. They packaged and presented all our baked goods beautifully and people responded
accordingly by buying everything in sight!.” Close to 80 AWBS members volunteered and Leanne praised their hard work and commented, “The Fayre really was a celebration of our club and everything that we can accomplish together. Our members’ efforts showed how dedicated they are in wanting to touch the lives of others and support local Surrey charities. It shows what a wonderful community of women we have. Club members will start nominating their favourite charities shortly so funds from the Fayre can be given out in the spring.” AWBS members are planning next year’s Fayre already and have started looking for new vendors at various local and London fairs. www.awbs.org.uk/philanthropy/craft-fayre Founded in 1981, the American Women of Berkshire and Surrey is a not-for-profit club that provides social, cultural, educational and philanthropic opportunities for over 300 expatriate and local members from over 20 countries. Since 2004, over £86,000 has been distributed to Berkshire charities, including Assisting Berkshire Children (ABC) to read, East Berkshire and South Bucks Women's Aid, Mothers4Mothers, Paul Bevan Hospice (now merged into Thames Hospicecare), Sebastian's Action Trust, and Windsor Ascot Maidenhead District Sports Association for the Disabled (WAMSAD). n
Hollis Kelly, Jan Mix, Gretta Flint and Elizabeth Rasmussen
The 2012 Corporate Relocation Conference & Exhibition
Monday 6th February, Hotel Russell, Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London, WC1B 5BE
FREE SEMINARS Chaired by Martin Humphrys, Humphrys’ Education Winner of Relocation Personality of the Year 2009 10.30am — Third Culture And Cross-Cultural Kids – Who They Are And How We Can Help!
International mobility continues to increase with the profiles and experiences of international and globally-mobile families becoming more diverse. Understanding the benefits, challenges and potential long-term effects of third culture and cross-culture children is important for parents, educators, counsellors, educational consultants and relocation specialists, human resource managers, and any others who influence important decisions, particularly school selection and language learning, as these choices have a lasting influence on learning, academic outcomes and the formation of personal identity. Our speaker is Mary Langford, formerly Deputy Executive Director of the European Council of International Schools and now recently-appointed as Head of Primary at the King Fahad Academy in London. A US/UK dual national with over 30 years’ experience of international education as Admissions Director, Teacher, Communications Director, and Head, she frequently writes, speak, and teaches on this topic.
11.30am — Relocating Successfully
As an expatriate living in the UK, or a professional liaising with expatriate, it is vital to communicate effectively. Join FOCUS for an insightful and informative talk on setting expectations and tailoring communication to meet individual needs.
12.30pm — Tax Planning Essentials For Expatriates In The UK
This seminar covers residency and taxation for non-domiciled individuals living in the UK, including an overview of what is meant by non-domicile status and the taxation choices available annually. It looks at the interaction between tax systems in the UK and other countries, particularly the USA. Recent changes and proposals will be covered, including strategies to minimise taxes and manage the complex compliance burden. Presented by Frank Hirth plc.
1.30pm — “All You Wanted To Know About Corporate Immigration But Were Afraid To Ask?”
“In the current economic climate governments around the world are reviewing and amending their immigration rules. This compelling seminar will focus on UK corporate immigration and provide a useful and interesting guide to the current UK immigration system, a review of recent changes, the challenges faced as a result as well as providing some practical solutions to help companies work effectively with the new system. Hosted by Emigra.
2.30pm — Strategic Partner: The Next Move For Global Mobility
This session will provide the results of ground breaking research undertaken by Deloitte to establish the key challenges facing global mobility in this ever changing world. In a recent global survey of HR and business leaders of Fortune 500 businesses we sought to establish the extent to which global mobility, as a function, is aligned to business strategy. The increasing challenges that international organisations are facing, from both a business and talent objective perspective, call for a more strategic approach to Global Mobility and the function as a whole. Is your Global Mobility function ready for its next assignment?
3.30pm — Setting Competitive Expatriate Management Policies: Current Trends And Best Practices
HR professionals in charge of managing expatriate employees must continually balance competing interests. Management wants to curtail costs, yet geographic talent imbalances require some mid-level to senior managers spend some time outside their home countries. A global economy that seemed to be improving, then appeared to stall, has made this balance even more precarious. Come and learn what other global employers are doing to adjust their expatriation policies to balance macro and micro forces now buffeting talent management. Hosted by Mercer.
Places at these seminars are free, but visitors must pre-register as there is limited availability. To register your place on any or all of these seminars, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone Helen Elliott on 020 8661 0186 We look forward to seeing you there.
Arts And Antiques ART in Winfield House - The US Ambassador’s Residence in Regent’s Park by Abby Cronin
magine what it would be like to live in a home furnished with your favourite contemporary American art. Well, that is exactly what the American Ambassador and his wife, Mr. Louis and Mrs Marjorie Susman, have done at the US Ambassador’s residence in London. Their residence, Winfield House in Regent’s Park, is one of the grandest mansions in London. Set in twelve and a half acres, it features the second largest private garden in central London after Buckingham Palace. When Louis Susman was appointed Ambassador in 2009, he and his wife were thrilled to represent the United States in the United Kingdom. Among many things, they felt this was an opportunity to showcase post-war American art, and Mrs Susman undertook this important task. She wanted to communicate the greatness of American art produced in the last half of the twentieth century. Working with the State Department’s ART in Embassies programme, Mrs Susman set about consulting with museums directors, gallery owners, art dealers and collectors, to share her vision. They responded with enthusiasm and generosity, and the result is the current exhibition at Winfield House, entitled Americans Abroad: Masterworks by Modern and Contemporary Artists.
Winfield House was formerly owned by the Woolworth heiress, Barbara Hutton, who built this neo-Georgian home in the 1930s. The house suffered extensive damage during the Second World War and after the War Hutton offered the lease on the grounds and house to the United States Government to be used as the official residence for the American Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s. She did so for the princely sum of $1, and President Truman wrote to thank her for this “most generous and patriotic offer”. Since 1955 Winfield House has served as the private residence for the American Ambassador. Between 1997 and 1999 the house underwent extensive renovation to bring the basic utilities and interiors up-to date. Today it is both a magnificent home and a venue for diplomatic meetings and social occasions. American Presidents, the Queen, the Prime Minister, his Cabinet and many important diplomats enjoy gracious hospitality here. I had the privilege of meeting with Mrs Susman at Winfield House on a beautiful bright October day. Sunshine poured through elegant French windows and enhanced the ornate period furnishings and textiles, especially the glorious Green Room with its stunning 18th century Chinese hand-painted wallpaper. It was a perfect day for a personal tour of the exhibition, and Mrs Susman’s knowledge of the house, its history and the art is a special story in itself. In her own words Mrs Susman told me: *(1) “There is a programme called ART in Embassies run by the State Department…the programme helps ambassadors to bring art to whatever country they’re going to and each embassy has a budget. Your interest can help drive the selection….For us, the point was to bring the best art and use it for cultural outreach-- the art of diplomacy, if you like. We began by making
a wish list. I sat down with a pencil and wrote Mark Rothko, Ellsworth Kelly, Jasper Johns, Brice Marden, Andy Warhol, and so forth. That is how we started.” “There were certain considerations that had to be taken into account in selecting the art. While it is a private home for the Ambassador and his family, it is also a public place. It serves as a venue for facilitating international diplomacy - so the art must be sensitive to various peoples’ culture and life and not be offensive. It is also a highly decorative home, so we have chosen carefully to ensure that the modern and contemporary American art both challenges and compliments its ornate setting...” So much of the artwork would normally be viewed in a modern white cube gallery; here it is hung alongside intricate draperies and antique furnishings. “Prior to arriving in the post, I had seen the house and we knew we had a limited number of large walls to work with. The house has wonderful rooms – the Reception Hall with its floor to window ceiling has marvellous light, yet not light which damages the works.” In the Reception Hall there are “two really extraordinary masterpieces by Rothko. They are wonderful, serene works – one in warm ochre/orange…..the other acid green with a more subtle orange. Both were loaned by the National Gallery in Washington DC. These colour-field paintings are as good as it gets. And between them we have hung a minimal, wooden sculpture - Untitled (1987-88) - by the Black American artist, Martin Puryear”. “You sense the same contradiction about Claes Oldenberg and Van Bruggen’s Tied Trumpet (2004) and John Chamberlain’s abstract sculpture Foxymily (2007)”. Tied Trumpet rests comfortably on a giltwood and marble top pier table in the Reception Hall. It seems to greet guests as they enter the home.
Tied Trumpet 2004 Oldenberg & Van Bruggen
Foxymily, 2007-John A. Chamberlain
“Chamberlain works from wrecked cars, metal fenders, and pieces of damaged cars. Then he paints them as you would an abstract painting.” Foxmily is a homage to America’s industrial might and longstanding love-affair with the automobile.*(2) “To me, the collection reflects America’s greatness. This is all postWWII and that was when American art really came into its own with abstract expressionism, followed by minimalism, pop, and beyond. It’s when America quit painting like Europeans, and began to paint in their own way how they saw the world.” The State Dining Room, a highly formal room, features two huge chandeliers and six crystal sconces which complement the gold gilded moulding. Here “we placed a Brice Marden, Untitled No.3 (1999-2000), a wonderful layered painting with bold, strong geometric lines. Now it feels like we’ve brought the garden and the room together. The Main Stairwell is very important and we have Ellsworth Kelly’s Dark Blue Curves, (1997) on the wall going upstairs. He’s one of my favourite artists - he got the key spot. This is one of our own paintings.” The Green Room is decorated with original Chinoiserie 18th century wallpaper. Ambassador Annenberg’s decorator found it in Ireland, had it restored and brought to Winfield House. Above the fireplace, in bold contrast to the leafy trees, birds, butterflies and flowers depicted on the wallpaper, is a bold monochromatic red painting, Abstract Painting Red, (1953) by Ad Reinhardt. Our time was nearly up and the tour ended when Mrs Susman escorted me into the magnificent garden. Standing on the lawn outside the back door and facing the house is a remarkable Anish Kapoor sculpture, Untitled (2010), in black granite with three central circles: two concave and one convex. The convex middle circle mirrors the back of the house, but the view is upside down. We moved off to a site nearby where a Louise Bourgeois Spider (1995) resides, looking very contented. The Spider, a well known sculpture, was donated by the artist as a Gift To The Nation. Mrs Susman’s enthusiasm for outreach work
extends in many directions. She has given dozens of tours of the exhibition to diverse groups of young people – ranging from sophisticated MA curatorial students from the Courtauld, Sotheby’s and the Royal College of Art, to younger groups of refugee pupils aged 12/13 years. Some groups have travelled from Birmingham and Nottingham. As Mrs Susman says, “It’s important to open the doors of Winfield House to a diverse, broader group of people, and art is one way to do it. It’s a part of the many activities that we do. Sometimes they’ve invited me to visit their art works and I’ve gone. It’s a whole way of forming relationships. It’s a different introduction to America.” A final point helps to place the exhibit: Americans Abroad: Masterworks by Modern and Contemporary Artists in Winfield House in perspective. “Established in 1963, the US Department of State’s ART in Embassies Programme (AIEP) plays a vital role in our nation’s public diplomacy through a culturally expansive mission of temporary, permanent collections, artist programming, and publications….Now with over 200 venues, AEIP produces temporary exhibitions of original works of art by American artists, on loan from a variety of sources, for the representational spaces of US chief-of-mission residences worldwide.”*(3) n *(1) Mrs Susman is quoted from a transcript Abby Cronin made from the recording of her tour of ART in Winfield House on 19th October 2011. *(2) United States Embassy in London: Art in Embassies Catalogue, p. 6 *(3) United States Embassy in London: Art in Embassies Programme, p. 1 Images of art in Winfield House: Courtesy of the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies (FAPE) Washington, DC. USA Image of Mrs Susman with students studying L. Bourgeois’ ‘Spider’ sculpture, Courtesy US Embassy, London Contact: Abby Cronin email@example.com Website: www.abbycronin.co.uk Mrs. Susman & students
Mrs Susman and Abby Cronin 45
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The American Church In London Revd. John A. D’Elia Senior Minister Of The American Church In London Winter 2011
Happy New Year! Hard to imagine that it’s come to this again so soon, but, well, Happy New Year! For many Americans New Year’s Day is a celebration of football, as the big-time college teams slug it out for the national title. For others it’s the wrap-up of the Christmas holiday-one last chance to enjoy a party or meal together. I’m originally from the Los Angeles area, so New Year’s was always about the Rose Parade in Pasadena. We’d bundle up and go in the pre-dawn hours to stake our claim to some frigid sidewalk. Later we found out that the parade is much better on television!
Many people make resolutions that begin on January 1st, though just as many (if not more) will joke about how quickly those resolutions are abandoned. I think it’s a good thing that we use the start of a new year to try to establish new habits - or lose some old ones. It’s a reminder that we’re entitled to a new start every once in a while, a chance to reset some part of our lives and see if we can’t do it better this time. The start of a new year gives us a chance to be creative with our lives, and that’s definitely a good thing. Being creative is an essential part of what it means to be human, and it’s certainly an important part of the life of faith. Creativity is one way we tap into the mind and heart of God. I went to a church service a few years ago and saw something amazing. As the pastor started his message, an artist began to create a piece of art behind him. The artist was responding to the narrative of the sermon, and the painting expressed in images what the preacher was saying in words. It was a beautiful, memorable experience powerful in so many ways - and it reminded me of how central creativity is to the way we’re meant to live. The Bible begins with not just one, but two stories describing God’s creative power, and the creating continues straight through to the end of the book. When we talk about the power of God, what we’re really talking about is his creativity - his desire to make and remake and renew. The practice of forgiveness is a great example of that. We find so many ways to break our relationships with God and with each other, but through confession and forgiveness those connections are restored and given a chance to start again. That kind of power is truly creative, because it brings to life - it brings back to life - something that was in danger of dying out. It’s one of the ironies of the life of faith that God’s mighty power is found most intimately in the vulnerable act of saying we’re sorry, and in the equally gentle response of forgiveness. In one of my favourite Christian hymns we
John A. D’Elia
sing “the mighty power of God.” The last line of the hymn says that in every part of creation, “thou, God, art present there.” Maybe that’s the clearest way that God demonstrates his power for us. It can happen in a joyful moment or even in a time of sadness - to be aware of God’s presence in our lives is to be aware of his power to keep his promises. But what about that painting? Watching that artist create something beautiful alongside the words of the preacher that day gave me a glimpse of God that I might not have had otherwise. It reminded me that God has been creating and re-creating throughout human history. The Bible begins with creation, but it ends with the promise to “make all things new.” I believe that God’s creative power never stops - it restores and rediscovers and redeems each one of us, every single day. Keep that in mind as you make your New Year’s resolutions this time around. Be creative and adventurous, and if it doesn’t work out just regroup and give it another try. Life isn’t about being finished until it’s, well, finished. Until then it’s just one restart, one do-over after another. Happy New Year to you, and may the Creator God, the God of all creativity, bless you today and always. n 45
Useful Numbers AMERICAN EMBASSY
24 Grosvenor Square, London W1A 1AE Telephone: 020 7499 9000 Website: www.london.usembassy.gov Travel advisories: www.travel.state.gov An officer is available via the switchboard all day, every day for a life-or-death emergency involving a US citizen.
AMERICAN FOODS & PRODUCTS
PANZER’S 13-19 Circus Road, St John’s Wood, London NW8 6PB Telephone: 020 7722 8162/8596 Fax: 020 7586 0209 Email: email@example.com Website: www.panzers.co.uk We deliver groceries and fruit & veg daily to St John’s Wood, Hampstead, The West End, Kensington, Chelsea and Knightsbridge. Phone, fax or email and we’ll send your delivery home the same day. We offer the best selection in London of groceries from the USA, and specialities for seasonal events. 46
COURIER & POSTAL SERVICES
Personal Mail International, Inc./PMI Expatriate Mail Services 5 Cold Hill Road South, Suite 28, (PO Box 311), Mendham, NJ, USA 07945 (973) 543-6001 or 800 548-3622 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.pmipmi.com Contact: Lisa Calimano Cannon PMI Expatriate Mail Services has provided professional mail and package forwarding services for Americans abroad since 1987. Use our box or street USA address for reliable, confidential shipments world-wide. MAIL BOXES ETC. 123 stores across the UK and Ireland Telephone: 0800 623 123 / or +44 (0) 1608 649230 (for international callers) Email: email@example.com Website: www.mbe.co.uk Contact: James Simmons At Mail Boxes Etc. we offer a choice of globally trusted couriers from any of our 120+ stores across the UK & Ireland. We'll advise you on the best carrier, from FedEx, UPS, DHL, TNT and Parcelforce Worldwide, for every consignment, for urgent documents, gifts, eBay sales, personal belongings and freight. We’re experts in customs know-how and country-specific requirements and we’ll pack, despatch and track your packages to delivery across North America and around the world.
CLOKE DENTAL Pall Mall Dental Clinic, 15 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5LU Telephone: 020 7766 7150 Contact: Dr. Laura J. Cloke DDS Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Dr. Laura J. Cloke is an American Dentist. With over 15 years’ experience in Family and Cosmetic Dentistry both in the US and Europe, she welcomes new patients to her Central London location. Member of the American Dental Association, New York State Dental Association, British Dental Association and American Dental Society London.
EDUCATION - SCHOOLS
ACS International Schools Heywood, Portsmouth Road, Cobham, Surrey, KT11 1BL Telephone: 01932 869721 Email: email@example.com Website: www.acs-england.co.uk Contact: Fergus Rose Three superb locations close to London,
ACS provides a stable environment, high educational standards and a happy social life for relocated youngsters. ISL Group of Schools Two UK schools: Old Woking Road, Woking, Surrey GU22 8HY 139 Gunnersbury Avenue, London W3 8LG Tel: +44 (0)1483 750409/+44 (0) 20 8992 5823 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.islschools.org Contact: Heather Mulkey The ISL Schools offer an international education with an important addition: mother tongue or modern language training from an early age. Academic research increasingly points to the importance for English as an Additional Language learners of gaining a solid language and literacy foundation in their own language. For English speakers, research supports the value of language learning in overall academic success. Looking towards our students' global future, multiple language facility will become increasingly valuable. ISL London is one of the first schools to offer the IB Diploma. TASIS THE AMERICAN SCHOOL IN ENGLAND Coldharbour Lane, Thorpe, Surrey TW20 8TE Contact: Karen House Telephone: +44 (0)1932 582316 Email: email@example.com Website: www.tasisengland.org TASIS England offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma, an American college preparatory curriculum, and AP courses to its diverse community of coed day (3-18) and boarding (14-18) students from 50 nations. The excellent academic program, including ESL, is taught in small classes, allowing the individualized attention needed to encourage every student to reach their potential. Outstanding opportunities in art, drama, music, and athletics provide a balanced education. Extensive summer opportunities are also offered. Located close to London on a beautiful and historic 46-acre estate. THE NORTH LONDON INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL 6, Friern Barnet Lane, London, N11 3LX Telephone: +44 (0)20 8920 0634 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.nlis.org Contact: Alison Miley, Admissions The North London International School (NLIS) is a leading international, independent school, only a tube journey away from the centre of London. NLIS is an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, and it was one of the first in the UK to offer the full IB Programme.
John D Wood & Co. 140 Kensington Church Street, London W8 4BN Telephone: 020 7908 1109 Email: email@example.com Website: www.johndwood.co.uk Contact: Nik Madan John D Wood & Co. is a long established and highly regarded firm of estate agents handling residential sales and lettings in London and the South of England.
Cigna International 1 Knowe Road, Greenock, Scotland, PA15 4RJ Telephone: 01475 492 222 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.cignaenvoy.com Contact: Mark Coleman, Director, International Sales Looking for health insurance that meets your needs? As the largest provider of international healthcare benefits, you can be confident that we offer cost effective and comprehensive cover around the world. We provide a wide range of core and supplemental corporate and individual healthcare plans that are tailored to your exact requirements.
IMMIGRATION Legal Services
FRAGOMEN 4th Floor, Holborn Gate, 326-330 High Holborn, London WC1V 7PP Contact: Charlotte Slocombe Telephone: +44 (0)20 3077 5250 Email: email@example.com Website: www.fragomen.com As the world's leading provider of immigration legal services and advice, Fragomen has served the immigration needs of clients ranging from individuals to the world’s leading multinational corporations for 60 years. With 36 offices in 15 countries worldwide, Fragomen has the resources and the reach to provide strategic and effective immigration solutions for over 140 countries around the globe.
XN FINANCIAL SERVICES (UK) LTD 8-11 Crescent, London EC3N 2LY Telephone: +44 (0) 207 480 1077 Contact: David Ghiglieri Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.xnfinancial.co.uk XN Financial® provides insurance and financial products designed specifically for the needs of international assignees, high net
worth individuals and corporate directors and officers. We support our growing portfolio with powerful technology, access to personalised international service, and valuable health, safety and security tools.
DT MOVING 49 Wates Way, Mitcham, Greater London CR4 4HR Tel: 020 7622 4393 Email: email@example.com Web: www.dtmoving.com Contact: Tim Daniells DT Moving is a long established and awardwinning international moving company. Founded in 1870 as Davies Turner, DT Moving has vast experience in moving Americans to and from the United States and to other worldwide destinations. With a customer satisfaction rating of 96% throughout 2010, DT Moving offer a quality service at competitive rates. 1st class storage facilities are available.
BDO LLP 55 Baker Street, London W1U 7EU Contact: Andrew Bailey Telephone: 020 7893 2946 Email: Andrew.firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.bdo.co.uk Whether you are a business with expatriate employees, or a high net worth US person (resident, citizen, green card holder), BDO’s London-based US tax team can help with both US & UK personal tax matters. We provide tax return preparation services together with specialist consultancy advice. Frank Hirth plc 236 Gray’s Inn Road, London WC1X 8HL Telephone: +44 (0)20 7833 3500 Fax: +44 (0)20 7833 2550 Website: www.frankhirth.com Email: email@example.com Contact: Mark Walters Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Frank Hirth is a leading international taxation and accounting practice, offering advice on UK and US cross-border taxation on individuals, corporations, partnerships and trusts. INGLETON PARTNERS LLP Berkeley Square, Berkeley Square House, London, W1J 6BD Email: email@example.com Telephone: 020 7183 2251 www.ingletonpartners.com Ingleton Partners is a boutique US/UK tax consultancy advising on expatriate taxation matters for individuals, trustees, corporations
and partnerships. Included within our service is UK and US tax return preparation. WESTLETON DRAKE LLP 9 Devonshire Square, London EC2M 4YF Telephone: +44 (0)20 3178 6041 Fax: +44 (0)20 3178 4083 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.westletondrake.com US and UK tax advisors who specialise in assisting Americans living in the UK, and corporations and partnerships doing business in the US and UK.
RÊVE DES ALPES Telephone: 020 8133 8248 Email: email@example.com Website: www.revedesalpes.com Contact: Ed Shellard Rêve des Alpes is the exclusive, upmarket holiday service that specialise in creating tailor made travel itineraries for families that wish to explore the Swiss Alps. Once abroad we can discretely accompany our clients and eliminate all the effort and stress associated with travelling in Europe.
If you would like to advertise your company’s products or services in this Useful Numbers section, please call Helen Elliott on 020 8661 0186 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Entries cost £175 per issue, or £600 for the year. For further detailed advice and information on many aspects of relocating to, or living in the UK, please refer to our extensive resources highlighted on the ‘Useful Advice Pages’ of www.theamericanhour.com. As we continue to develop this website as an invaluable resource, we are also highlighting up-to-date Events & Activities, plus some fabulous Competitions & Offers. If you would like to receive The American Hour Monthly Email Newsletter, please email Helen@theamericanhour.com and put ‘Newsletter’ in the subject.
Your Vote Counts! The 2012 US Elections SUBMIT YOUR REGISTRATION AND BALLOT REQUESTS FOR UPCOMING JANUARY, FEBRUARY AND MARCH 2012 PRIMARIES. Don’t miss out - submit your Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) with enough time to meet your state’s election date requirements. Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) website at www.fvap.gov to download your FPCA and the complete 2012 Voting Assistance Guide with each state’s requirements. The following states allow you to submit a registration/ballot request form (FPCA) now for the 2012 Primary, but to ensure your request is valid for other 2012 elections, including the November General Presidential election, you must submit ANOTHER FPCA after December 31st!: New Hampshire: January 10 South Carolina: January 21 The following states allow you to submit a registration/ballot request form (FPCA) now, which will be valid through the 2012 November Presidential election: Florida: January 31; Missouri (Republican Presidential Preference Primary): February 7 - NOTE: No delegates to the Republican National Convention will be selected based on the outcome of this primary. Arizona: February 28
Georgia: March 6 Ohio: March 6 Oklahoma: March 6 Tennessee: March 6 Alabama: March 13 Mississippi: March 13 Louisiana: March 24
Virginia: March 6
For the following states, the FPCA is valid only in the year it is submitted. To ensure your request is valid for all elections in 2012 submit a registration/ballot request form(FPCA) AS SOON AS POSSIBLE after December 31st: Michigan: February 28
Massachusetts: March 6
Vermont: March 6
Illinois: March 20
Texas: March 6
All members of the US Uniformed Services, their family members, and citizens residing outside the US who are residents from the above listed states should submit an FPCA for these elections. If you do not vote in one of the states listed above, you simply need to wait until December 31, 2011 to submit your FPCA in order to receive all ballots you are entitled to for 2012 elections.
What is the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB)? The FWAB is a backup ballot. It can ONLY be used if you have ALREADY submitted an FPCA by your state’s deadline and, if 30 days before the election, you think you will not receive your state ballot in time. This is especially true in states holding January primaries. The FWAB can be found at www.FVAP.gov. The FWAB is also available in embassies, consulates and military installations around the world and on www.fvap.gov. You may submit the FWAB any time after submitting an FPCA. Information is also available on the Embassy’s website under the overseas voting tab at http://london.usembassy.gov/cons_new/acs/scs/ voting.html or on the Department of State’s website at http://www.travel.state.gov/travel/living/overseas_voting/overseas_voting_4754. html. You can also request your FPCA and state instructions by sending an email to email@example.com. If you do not have internet access, send a written request to: American Embassy, Voting Unit, 24 Grosvenor Square, London W1A 2LQ. Provide your name, full UK mailing address, your current or last state of residence in the US along with the number of applications you require.
Stay Connected with PMI Expatriate Mail Services: The Expat's Partner Personal Mail International, Inc. — your link to the States since 1987 Keeping a strong connection with life back home is important, and mail and packages are a big part of that connection with life in the States.
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PMI' EXPATRIATE MAIL SERVICES
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The quarterly, glossy A4 magazine distributed to Americans living in the UK. Features inlcude: News, UK&US Sports, Travel, Immigration, Ins...