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September 2009

THE ESSENTIAL MONTHLY FOR ALL AMERICANS

Est. 1976

®

£2.00 WHERE SOLD

www.theamerican.co.uk

WHAT’S ON GUIDES RESTAURANT REVIEWS ARTS • SPORTS • POLITICS

JUDE LAW’S HAMLET Among our theater reviews

Back to School

Avoid the relocation pitfalls

Football Previews 2009’s teams and themes


25 OCTober at WEMBLEY STADIUM The Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the New England Patriots

For For Hospitality Hospitality Packages Packages please please visit visit www.nfl www.nfluk.com uk.com or or call call Club Club Wembley Wembley on on 0844 0844 980 980 0038 0038


The American Issue 677 – September 2009 Published by Blue Edge Publishing Ltd. old Byre house, east Knoyle, Salisbury SP3 6AW, UK Publisher: Michael Burland +44 (0)1747 830328 theamerican@blueedge.co.uk Please contact us with your news or article ideas Advertising & Promotions: Sabrina Sully, Commercial Director +44 (0)1747 830520 sabrina.theamerican@blueedge.co.uk Subscriptions enquiries: Phone +44 (0)1747 830328, email theamerican@blueedge.co.uk Correspondents: Virginia Schultz, Wining & Dining virginias@blueedge.co.uk Mary Bailey, Social maryb@blueedge.co.uk Cece Mills, Arts cecem@blueedge.co.uk Jarlath o’Connell, Theater jarlatho@blueedge.co.uk Richard Gale, Sports editor richardg@blueedge.co.uk Dom Mills, Motorsports domm@blueedge.co.uk Jeremy Lanaway, hockey jeremyl@blueedge.co.uk Riki evans Johnson, european rikie@blueedge.co.uk

Welcome A

s this issue of The American went flying off to the printers, so the new Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Louis Susman and his wife Marjorie Susman, touched down at Heathrow on a direct flight from Chicago. “Marjorie and I are delighted to be here in the United Kingdom. And I am grateful to the President for the confidence that he’s shown in asking me to represent the United States with our most trusted ally,” Ambassador Susman said as he arrived. “I’m ready to get to work on issues such as our mission in Afghanistan, climate change and the global economic recovery, which are important to all of us.” The Ambassadorship in this day and age is a job for an intelligent, hardworking and innovative person, and Mr Susman’s resumé shows that he is all of that. We would like to welcome him to Britain on behalf of the American expatriate community. Enjoy your magazine.

Michael Burland, Editor

SOME OF THIS MONTH’S CONTRIBUTORS

©2009 Blue edge Publishing Ltd. Printed by Advent Colour Ltd., 19 east Portway Industrial estate, Andover, SP10 3LU www.advent-colour.co.uk Main cover image: Jude Law in hamlet (photo: Johan Persson). Inset: Maurice Jones-Drew (Photo: harry Scull/Jacksonville Jaguars)

Richard Gale is our Sports editor. he won’t be sleeping for the next few months while he brings you news and analysis of the wall-to-wall football experience.

Jarlath o’Connell is an olivier Award judge and The American’s theater reviewer. his theater reviews tell you what’s hot – and what’s not.

Cece Mills is The American’s Chief Arts Correspondent. She rounds up the best of British arts events for us and introduces us to Illustration and Installation Art.

Don’t forget to check out The American online at www.theamerican.co.uk The entire contents of The American and www.theamerican.co.uk are protected by copyright and no part of it may be reproduced without written permission of the publishers. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information in The American is accurate, the editor and publishers cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions. The views and comments of contributors are not necessarily those of the publishers.

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The American

In This Issue... The American • Issue 677 • September 2009

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News A hearty welcome to the new Ambassador and a fond farewell to a much-loved broadcaster. And that’s the way it is.

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Diary Dates There is always so much to do in the UK, any time of year. Here’s The American’s selection of the most interesting this month.

12 Music Yes – it’s Steel Panther in the UK. Lock up your womenfolk! Meanwhile one old master bows out while another (slightly younger) starts a new career. 15 It’s Skeeter Time! Mosquitoes are making inroads into the British countryside, while Scotland has always had its midgies. Here’s what to do about them.

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16 David Riordan Riki Evans Johnson continues her series of interviews with American expats who have chosen to live in Europe 18 School Daze If your kids are going to a new school in Britain they may be worried or worse. Here is some sound advice from American doctors to help you help them.

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The American

21 Let the Good Times Roll Currency rates are changing rapidly. Is this a good time to buy pounds sterling? 22 Coffee Break Take a break and have fun with our cartoon, quiz and fun facts 27 Wining & Dining The best restaurants, reviewed by Virginia E Schultz, and the best recipes from the best chefs. Mmmm... Black Cod and Eton Mess

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32 Arts Cece Mills continues her alphabetical exploration of art genres and Estelle Lovatt has the arts news selected for you

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38 Reviews Major new works in theater, cinema, dance and books are reviewed by our team 45 Politics: State of the States Montana and North Dakota are the only states not in deficit. All the others are breaking their own rules. What’s being done? asks Sabrina Sully 46 Drive Time Take care not to be charged with a motoring offence. Even if you’re innocent it could cost you a small fortune. 51 Sports Overviews of the forthcoming NFL and NCAA football seasons, and a glance ahead to the UK’s ice hockey season

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56 American Organizations Your comprehensive guide and a profile of the American Civil War Round Table UK 64 Paw Talk Rebel’s French vacation goes from bad to worse – but she gets her own back 3


The American AMERICAN EMBASSY IN THE UNITED KINGDOM Switchboard: +44 (0)20 7499 9000 Visa Information (£1.20/min): 09042 450100 Mon-Fri 8.00am – 8.00pm, Sat 10.00am – 4.00pm Passport Unit (American Citizen Services): +44 (0)20 7894 0563 24hr assistance for genuine emergencies: +44 (0)20 7499 9000

Embassy News

Ambassador Susman is sworn in by Secretary Clinton, watched by Mrs Marjorie Susman

New US Ambassador to the Court of St. James

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he United States Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s, Louis B. Susman, was sworn in on July 29 in Washington, D.C. by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The US Senate confirmed Ambassador Susman’s nomination on July 9, 2009. He arrived in London to take up his duties in mid-August, just as this issue of The American went to press. We hope to bring you an interview with the new Ambassador soon. During the swearing in ceremony, which was attended by UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband and the British Ambassador to the US, Sir Nigel Sheinwald, Ambassador Susman said, “There exists a very special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom, which I intend to nourish, enhance and strengthen. This relationship is deeply rooted in our enduring values of democracy, rule of law and tolerance, and a shared history, culture and language. America has no better friend or more dependable ally than the United Kingdom.” A banker and a lawyer with extensive experience, Ambassador Susman was the Vice Chairman of Citigroup

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Corporate and Investment Banking. He is also a former member of the Citigroup International Advisory Board. Prior to joining Salomon Brothers, Inc. in June 1989, Mr. Susman practiced law in the City of St. Louis for 27 years and was a senior partner at the St. Louis-based law firm of Thompson & Mitchell. Ambassador Susman has long been active in the public sector. In 1988 he was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, which provided oversight to the US Information Agency. He was a Director of the Center for National Policy in Washington, D.C., a non-partisan organization that exam-

www.usembassy.org.uk

ines national public policy issues. Mr. Susman is also a member of the Chairman’s Circle of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and a member of the Board of The Art Institute of Chicago and The Northwestern Children’s Memorial Hospital. Latterly he has been best known to the general public as a major fund raiser for various Democrat presidential candidates. Ambassador Susman received his A.B. from the University of Michigan in 1959 and his LL.B. from Washington University in 1962 where he was elected to Phi Delta Phi. He is married to the former Marjorie Sachs. They have two children and three grandchildren. H

Warden Message: Worldwide Caution Update

The Department of State has issued a new Worldwide Caution to update information on the continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence against American citizens and interests throughout the world. In some countries, the worldwide recession has contributed to political and economic instability and social unrest. American citizens are reminded to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness. For detailed information, see http://travel.state. gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_1161.html.


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The American

Peter Gabriel, speaking at the WITNESS Gala in 2007 Joi iTo

The Hub for Human Rights

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he State department is helping to bring to wider notice a social media website that allows users to upload video, audio and photos of human rights abuses. Human rights activists are finding that easy-to-use technologies such as cell phones, digital cameras and the internet expand their ability to document and discuss human rights abuses. Now they have a central platform on which to place their material for the world to see, as a catalyst for positive social change. The Hub, launched in November 2007, allows concerned citizens worldwide to upload videos, audio or photos. The Hub (http://hub.witness. org) is a project of WiTNESS, an independent, nonprofit international human rights organization put together by Peter Gabriel, the British musician and former Genesis singer, in conjunction with the Reebok Human Rights Foundation and the US-based lawyers Committee for Human Rights. WiTNESS has worked with some 300 organization in more than 70 countries. A number of its video campaigns have met with considerable success. An example is Crying Sun, a film which documents the abuses inflicted on villagers living in Zumsoy, Chechnya, because of the fighting between separatists and the federal government. in 2008, following screenings of Crying Sun to decisionmakers in Chechnya and globally, Human Rights Center Memorial was able to help secure Chechen government funding to rebuild damaged homes in Zumsoy.

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PTSD can have effects that last long after the battlefield PHoTo: STAFF SGT d MYlES CUllEN USAF

Drug-Free Treatment Hope for PTSD Sufferers

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non-drug treatment may offer relief to sufferers of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). If so it could reduce the soaring number of military suicides, which have nearly tripled. 41 military personnel killed themselves in January and February 2009, compared to 16 in the same period of 2008. In recent congressional testimony, Gen. Peter Chiarelli, vice chief of staff, pointed to stress and anxiety as a prime cause of suicide and a RAND study suggested that as many as 300,000 troops may be diagnosed with the disorder. The Soul Medicine Institute, Fulton, California, believes that Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) can help. EFT is an innovative treatment which pairs the recall of traumatic memories with physical stimulation of specific points on the body to discharge stress. It is effectively a needle free form of acupuncture that deals with the emotions. The Institute says it has funded two pilot studies using EFT treatment which showed statistically significant improvements. Many veterans became PTSD-free, and remained so when re-tested one year later. Senator Carl Levin, Chair of the Senate

Armed Services Committee, has urged the Veterans Administration and Defense Department to study EFT as a way of coping with veterans returning from combat with PTSD. Bob Culver, a veteran who had suffered from intrusive memories since the Vietnam war, is reported as saying, “The changes in my life are 110 percent totally different. Once you start EFT it’s a totally different way you handle things. Everything like sleep and nightmares and even suicide thoughts all come into a place where a total turnaround happens.” Second lieutenant Olli Toukoulehto, an Iraq veteran and a medical student who is now on the research team, says, “I regained the quality of life that I had prior to deployment. We worked through every single memory and emotion that I was not in peace with. I have been using EFT on myself whenever something new has emerged from my past.” The Soul Medicine Institute is now recruiting veterans for a national trial of EFT in the U S. Register at www.StressProject.org. The Iraq Vets Stress Project is at www.StressProject. org and the Soul Medicine Institute at www.SoulMedicineInstitute.org


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The American

Walter Cronkite November 4, 1916 – July 17, 2009

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alter Cronkite, anchorman and managing editor for CBS Evening News between 1962 and 1981, was the media figure of his time. He set a standard for accuracy and honesty that no journalist has had before or since. He was family to his listeners and when he said in his deep authoritative baritone voice at the end of each program, “That’s the way it is,” people believed him. Cronkite was born in St. Joseph, Missouri, the only child of Helen Lena (née Fritsche) and Dr. Walter Leland Cronkite, a dentist. His journalist career, he once said, began at the age of six when he ran through his neighbourhood spreading the news of President Warren Harding’s death. When he was ten his parents moved to Houston, Texas where he attended local public schools. After graduating from high school, he went to the University of Texas at Austin where he first performed, appearing in a play with fellow students, Eli Wallach and Ann Sheridan.

Dropping out of college in his junior year, he became a radio announcer in Oklahoma City. In 1936, while working as a sports announcer in Kansas City, Missouri, he met his future wife, Mary Elizabeth Maxwell (Betsy). He joined United Press and became one of the top American journalists in World War II, covering battles in North Africa and with the US Third Army at the Battle of the Bulge, and bombing raids over Germany in a Flying Fortress. After the war, he covered the Nuremberg Trials and served as the United Press main reporter in Moscow. In 1950, Cronkite was recruited by Edward R. Murrow and joined CBS’s growing television division. On July 7, 1952, the word “anchor” was coined to describe Cronkite’s role at both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. This was the year that television replaced radio as the dominant force in broadcast journalism. Cronkite hosted CBS’s The Morning Show where he was paired with a puppet named Charlemagne. He covered the 1952 and 1956 political conventions and narrated the documentary series Twentieth Century. In 1961 he anchored CBS Evening News. When the program expanded to thirty minutes he was able to add more depth and variety and became a serious contender to NBC’s HuntleyBrinkley Report, then number one in the ratings. Walter Cronkite interviews a scientist at the Goldstone Apollo 11 Tracking Station in July 1969 Bill Wood



Cronkite took his viewers through some of the greatest events of the 20th century. It was a visibly emotional Cronkite in his shirtsleeves who broke into the soap opera As The World Turns to announce President John F. Kennedy had been shot. After that came the Beatles’ first American broadcast, the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, the battles of the 1968 Democratic National Convention, the Vietnam War – President Lyndon Johnson famously said, after Cronkite’s critical report on the Vietnam War, “if we’ve lost Walter Cronkite, we’ve lost the country” – Watergate and the moon landings. After his retirement, he stayed busy, narrating a number of specials and documentaries on PBS and cable channels and reflecting on recent history in a series of essays broadcast by National Public Radio. His 1996 memoir, A Reporter’s Life soon became a best seller and he co-authored two books about sailing the waters of the East Coast. Although he kept a lower profile in his later years, his voice has been used during the opening of CBS Evening News with Katie Couric since its debut in 2006. In 2005, Cronkite’s wife Betsy died after a long battle with cancer. His two daughters and a son survive him. As he said in his final broadcast as anchorman on March 6, 1961, “Old anchormen, you see, don’t fade away, they just keep coming back for more. And that’s the way it is.” H


The American

Diary Dates

Your Guide To The Month Ahead

Get your event listed in The American – call the editor on +44 (0)1747 830520, or email details to editor@theamerican.co.uk Blair Castle International Horse Trials and Country Fair Blair Castle, Blair Athol, Perthshire, Scotland PH18 5TH A three-day event. Demonstrations of falcons, terriers, gun dogs and vintage tractors. A tented village with over 200 shops with bespoke furniture, jewelry and fine art mixing with horse ware and veterinary supplies. www.blairhorsetrials.co.uk info@blairhorsetrials.co.uk 01796 481543 August 27-30 An Evening with Sharon Olds The Hampstead Theatre, 98 Avenue Rd London, NW3 A unique poetry event with ‘America’s greatest living poet’ (The Guardian). A fundraising evening in aid of this year’s 21st Aldeburgh Poetry Festival. Sharon Olds is VERY rarely available

in London, and hardly ever in such intimate circumstances – so this really will be one of those ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunities. www.thepoetrytrust.org msmyth@ thepoetrytrust.org Tel. Mary Smyth at The Poetry Trust on 01986 835950 August 27 Upstairs Downstairs at Georgian Cowdray Cowdray Heritage Trust, Midhurst, West Sussex GU29 9AL An 18th Century Re-enactment Group portrays life between 1730 and 1760, all levels of society from high to low. Meet servants and staff, the housekeeper, footmen, nursemaids, gardener and dairymaids, spinsters and seamstresses. www.cowdray.org.uk 01730 810781 August 30-31

The Story of The Supremes From the Mary Wilson collection Assembly Rooms, Bath More than 50 outfits worn by the Motown legends in this year’s 50th anniversary of Motown Records. The exhibition will also feature the group’s music, album covers, photographs, archive footage and a specially commissioned video interview. visitbath.co.uk 01225 477173 to August 31, 2009

Suzahn Fiering Pizza Express Jazz Club, 10 Dean Street, London, W1D American jazz artist Suzahn Fiering (vocalist, composer, guitarist) will partner with some of the UK’s best talent for a live concert featuring Suzahn’s vocal stylings on songs from “The Great American Songbook” as well as a number of her original pieces. Fiering’s music is an elegant entrée into a romantic world of dazzling virtuosity. The listener is transported to a place of smoky-smooth vocals, impressive guitar work, masterful scatting, critically acclaimed original songs and unique interpretations of jazz standards. Live Suzahn delivers all this intertwined with tidbits of jazz history and humorous tales of her travels. www.pizzaexpresslive.co.uk 020 7437 9595 August 30 World Gravy Wrestling Championships Rose & Bowl Inn, Bacup, Rossendale, Lancashire Part of the Pennine Lancashire Festival of Food & Culture. Teams slip and slide about in luke-warm gravy. Team members win points for pinning the opposition down in the gravy. www.penninelancashirefestivals.com August 31 Canary Wharf Film Festival Museum of London Docklands and Cineworld, West India Quay, London Four UK premieres, six world premieres and a whole host of international award winning short films. www.cwff.org.uk/09/ enquiries@cwff.org.uk September 3-7 Burghley Horse Trials Nr. Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9 2LH Three day eventing (over four days!), plus social and countryside activities inc. good food and drink, an off-road 4x4 course, canoeing, scuba diving. www.burghley-horse.co.uk September 3-6




The American

Duxford Air Show Cambridgeshire CB22 4QR The Duxford Air Show (Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 September) presents the very best in historic and modern aviation, both civil and military. Whether your preference is for jets, propellers or helicopters, the flying displays on both days will fill you with a sense of awe and wonder. Imperial War Museum Duxford is delighted to announce that the world-renowned Red Arrows will be closing the flying programme on Saturday 5 September. www.iwm.org.uk/duxford 01223 835 000 September 5-6

Bletchley Park 70th Anniversary Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes MK3 6EB The largest ever exhibit of Enigma and other wartime cipher machines, talks by VIP guest speakers, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight flypast by a Lancaster on Saturday, a World War Two RAF plotting table, World War Two re-enactors the opportunity for the children to have a go at making and breaking codes in Spy Workshops. www.bletchleypark.org.uk 01908 640404 September 5-6

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Braemar Gathering Braemar, Aberdeenshire, Scotland There have been Gatherings at Braemar for 900 years. The Gathering as we know it, with Highland Dancing, Piping, Tossing the Caber, Putting the Stone, and much more, has been run at Braemar since 1832. There are Highland Games across the country – for more details see www. visitscotland.com/guide/see–and–do/ events/highlandgames/ www.braemargathering.org info@braemargathering.org 013397 41098 September 5 Bedtime Solos Old Red Lion Theatre, 418 St. John Street, London EC1V 4NJ A new play from American playwright Jakob Holder and directed by Samuel Miller, Bedtime Solos is a unique play exploring a relationship from the inside out. We see and hear a couple’s most intimate thoughts over the course of an apparently normal evening together, becoming privy to their deepest, darkest secrets of their subconscious minds. September 8-27 Annual Symposium Benjamin Franklin House, 36 Craven Street, London WC2N 5NF This year BFH collaborates with Kew Gardens, celebrating their 250th Anniversary. Franklin and Joseph Banks, Kew’s Founder, were close friends; Paul Smith, Director of Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank will show what’s become of their mutual botanical passion. 6.30pm. £8/£5 www.benjaminfranklinhouse.org September 9 Blenheim Palace Horse Trials Woodstock, Oxon OX20 1PS Another major horsey event, close to Oxford. www.blenheim-horse.co.uk 01993 813335 September 10-13

Herbs, Horticulture and Health: Franklin and Botany Benjamin Franklin House, 36 Craven Street, London WC2N 5NF Benjamin Franklin was influential in developing horticulture in America. He spent a number of years in Paris, and arranged an exchange of roots and seeds between French and American gardeners, promoting various European plants for their economic value. 6.30pm £5/£3.50 www.benjaminfranklinhouse.org September 14 The American Scene: Prints from Hopper to Pollock Manchester, Whitworth Art Gallery 150 outstanding prints by 74 leading modern American artists, including George Bellows, Edward Hopper, Grant Wood, Josef Albers, Alexander Calder, Louise Bourgeois and Jackson Pollock. www.britishmuseum.org September 19 to December 13 Big Sky International Kite Festival Main Sands, Margate, Kent Invited flyers from the around the world will be flying magnificent large inflatables, soft kites and single line kites in a daily line-up that includes aerial ballet displays, stunts, competitions and club displays. www.bigskykitefestival.org.uk September 19-20 The Brother Gardeners: Botany, Empire and the Birth of an Obsession Benjamin Franklin House, 36 Craven Street, London WC2N 5NF In this beautifully illustrated talk, Andrea Wulf will tell the tale of a small group of 18th century naturalists that made England a nation of gardeners, starting when Benjamin Franklin’s good friend, the American farmer John Bartram sent hundreds of boxes filled with seeds that would transform the English landscape forever. www.benjaminfranklinhouse.org 020 7839 2006 September 22


Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Bernard Haitink Royal Festival Hall, London one of America’s most highly regarded orchestras performs some of the greatest works in the classical repertoire with the legendary conductor, including Haydn’s Clock Symphony, Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony, Bruckner’s Symphony No.7 and Brahms Symphony No.1. Southbank Centre invites you to enjoy free pre-concert talks and post-concert opportunities on both concert dates. The talks explore what life is like as part of one of America’s greatest orchestras and discuss the four Classical and Romantic works performed at these concerts. www.southbankcentre.co.uk September 23-24 The NAACP: A Centennial Appraisal Conference The NAACP: A Centennial Appraisal Conference University of Sussex, Brighton This year sees the 100th anniversary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the US’s oldest and arguably most effective African-American civil rights organisation. it has contributed consistently to the ongoing black freedom struggle in America through its hard-fought campaigns against lynching, discriminatory housing, disfranchisement, unequal employment and, most famously, segregated public schools. This two-day conference explores the NAACP’s complex, evolving and always surprising history, bringing together leading scholars from the US, UK and Germany to discuss and debate the NAACP’s first hundred years and map out new areas for study beyond 2009. Speakers will include: Professors david Garrow (Cambridge), Manfred Berg (Heidelberg), Carol Anderson (Emory), Peter ling (Nottingham), Greta de Jong (Nevada-Reno) and dr. Stephen Tuck (oxford). For a full list of presenters and paper titles, registration forms

and details about accommodation please see the program listing on the conference website: www.sussex.ac.uk/cunliffe/1-7-3.html September 24-25 Moctezuma: Aztec Ruler British Museum, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG Explore Aztec civilisation through the divine, military and political role of the last elected ruler, Moctezuma ii (reigned Ad 1502 to 1520), in the next major exhibition on great rulers. www.britishmuseum.org September 29 to January 24, 2010

The American Museum in Britain American Museum in Britain Claverton Manor, Bath BA2 7BD The American Museum in Britain is home to a unique collection, in a breathtaking setting, at the only museum of Americana outside the US. There are permanent exhibitions, Quilting Bees every Tuesday, and special events:

THIS MONTH September 4th

Talent for Textiles

Annual sale of vintage textiles and quilts 12noon-5pm September 13th

International Autojumble Beaulieu, Brockenhurst, Hampshire, SO42 7ZN The biggest Autojumble in Europe. With well over 2000 stands its the largest outdoor sale of motoring items this side of the Atlantic! Plus Bonhams Auction. includes admission to the Beaulieu Attraction. www.beaulieuevents.co.uk 01590 612888 September 12-13

Corinne West

live music, combining the energy of bluegrass, the backbone of hard country, and the smooth silky richness of progressive folk, Bob Harris of BBC Radio 2 says of West, “she has spirit, integrity and talent. i am a massive fan”, 2pm September 20th

Lecture & Demonstration, Wildfowl Decoy by Robin Reep A brief history of duck carving from an American viewpoint, an explanation of how modern carvings are produced, and a demonstration of feather texturing. A few in the audience will even have the opportunity to try their hand.

Open 12.00-5.00pm. Closed Mondays except Bank Holidays and month of August Claverton Manor near Bath. 01225 460503 www.americanmuseum.org

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The American

Chess Opens New Label

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ho would have thought that a venerable name from the American recording industry, a British mod who set up a jazz funk label and a Scandinavian record executive would get together to reinvent the soul music they love? That’s what’s happened with the launch of Tri-Sound Records. The American is Marshall Chess, the son and nephew of the founders of Chess Records, the iconic Chicago-based record label that was home to blues legends Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf. Marshall ran the label for sixteen years then managed Rolling Stones Records. After that Chess produced artists such as KRS oNE, worked with Sire and island Records and produced two movies about Chess Records. Chess’s partners are Acid Jazz founder Eddie Piller and Fredrik Ekander, formerly European Vice President of A&R at Sony /ATV “i’ve always liked the way the British have taken American soul, twisted it and sold it back to us, “ explains Marshall Chess. “it’s a fresh approach and more classically orientated then contemporary R’n’B”. “Marshall is a bona-fide legend – one of the last great record men. i can’t wait to get stuck into his phone book and see who we can make some music with,” added an enthusiastic Piller.

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Les Paul L

(June 9, 1915 to August 13, 2009)

ester William Polfuss, known to all as Les Paul, is best known for the invention of the solid bodied electric guitar. Frustrated by the limitations of acoustic instruments, in 1941 he invented “The Log”, a piece of solid four-by-four wood with steel strings. Years of refinement culminated in 1952 when Gibson Guitars produced the first Les Paul guitar. To quote ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, “Les Paul brought six strings to electricity and electricity to six strings.” Although not as glamorous, Paul’s influence was possibly greater in the field of recording technology with inventions like tape delay, phasing and most importantly multi-track

recording, without which most popular music recordings of the last forty years would not have been possible. Despite this he said, “Honestly, I never strove to be an Edison. The only reason I invented these things was because I didn’t have them and neither did anyone else. I had no choice, really.” Les Paul was a performing and recording star too. Les and his wife Mary Ford had a series of hit records in the 40s and 50s including eleven Number 1s, using the unique sound that his technology allowed. At the age of 90 he won two Grammys and to the very end he played a regular weekly residency.

Helping The Heart of Music

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o celebrate its 75th Anniversary and its unique history, the music charity PRS for Music Members Benevolent Fund will put on a very special fund-raising concert at the Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, london on Sunday october 25th. The lineup includes Jan Akkerman, Melanie C (Spice Girls), Paul Carrack, Kiki dee, Chris difford, Georgie Fame, Robin Gibb, Mark King and Mike lindup (level 42), and some very special guests. PRS for Music has over 60,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members. it collects and pays royalties to them whenever their music is played, performed or reproduced. its charity helps those who fall on hard times or become ill.


The American

ALBUMS theof MONTH Indigo Girls

Poseidon And The Bitter Bug IG Recordings/ Vanguard Records Its an extraordinary 22 years since Amy Ray and Emily Saliers released their debut album Strange Fire. After ten major label albums they are putting out Poseidon on their own imprint. Spontaneity is the name of the game. Elvis Costello/Paul McCartney producer Mitchell Froom handles things with delicacy, allowing Rae and Saliers enough space to explore the emotions of their songs. The album was recorded in just three weeks, including a second CD of acoustic versions of all the songs plus a bonus song. The Indigo Girls are touring the UK in October

The Dead Weather Horehound Sony

The Dead Weather is Jack White’s latest …baby? venture? band? none of these seem quite right… His latest expression sounds like a rehearsal band in a 1979 New York loft heard from the street. That’s a good thing. It’s murky, echoey, rough and raw. You may immediately wonder why White is lurking at the back behind the drums, instead of unleashing the incendiary, idiosyncratic guitar that he is best at/known for. The simple answer surely is that he wants to. White is so full of musical ideas that he must feel he has to pursue the various strands with different collaborators, hence The White Stripes’ blues rock, The Raconteurs’ prog-ish rock, and now the Stooges/grunge rock of The Dead

Weather – actually an alt-supergroup formed with Alison Mosshart of The Kills on vocals, Dean Fertita of Queens of the Stone Age on keyboards and ‘Little’ Jack Lawrence of The Raconteurs and The Greenhornes on bass. All four play guitar, and you can tell when ‘Big’ Jack’s guitar kicks in. Standout tracks 60 Feet Tall, Cut Like a Buffalo (most like the Stripes), Treat Me Like Your Mother, and the slow blues Will There Be Enough Water? The Dead Weather are also touring the UK in October.

Richmond Fontaine

We Used To Think The Freeway Sounded Like A River Decor/El Cortez Records Richmond Fontaine are an alt/countryAmericana band with a difference. Their music sounds OK in the background, in the car, while you’re doing something else, but nothing special. Take some time. Sit and listen to the words. Something special happens. RF main man Willy Vlautin is more a storyteller than a singer or songwriter. Each song on ‘Freeway’ is a gem of a short story. And these tiles piece together like a

jigsaw into a greater whole. Not a concept album exactly, but the subtitle is ’14 songs written around and about the Pacific Northwest’ (the band are from Portland, Oregon. Sometimes the music seems to fade to a soundtrack while the story comes to life and pictures come into your head. It’s a clever trick; gentle but hard-hitting at the same time. Vlautin has provided one liner descriptions of each song – my favorites are for Lonnie – “Running into your friend’s aunt at Safeway and having her give you a list of all the horrible things her nephew has done” and for A Letter To The Patron Saint Of Nurses: “A nurse having a nervous breakdown while drinking wine coolers and listening to Mariachi music.” Richmond Fontaine are over here in September (are there no bands left in the USA this Fall?).

George Strait

Twang Humphead Records (in UK) What is there to say about George? He doesn’t delve too deep in to introspection or soul searching, but still makes us feel that he’s our good old buddy in a barroom. His arrangements are slick but never trite. A Strait album is like a night out in a honky tonk, but one that has been cleaned up for a better class of customer, not a tough roadhouse where the clientele might knife you for your car keys. On Twang (the title track opens things nicely with a celebration of the best jukebox songs) you won’t learn a lot about George, but you will have a modern country album that covers all the geographical bases – Nashville, Memphis, Louisiana Zydeco, the Appalachians and, surprisingly, the Tex-Mex border with the closing song, the mariachi classic El Rey, sung in (to these ears) perfect Spanish.

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The American

LIVE AND KICKING

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ummer is over and so the glut of festivals is over and it’s time to get intimate for a whole evening with a particular act of your choice.

Dean Martin (!)

First up it’s Deano himself. Well almost. Mark Adams, one of the acclaimed stars of the West End’s Rat Pack Live From Las Vegas production, is taking his own Dean Martin show, based on Dean Martin’s massively successful TV specials of the 1960s, out this Autumn. It’s been said that if you close your eyes you’ll think it was the man himself. Even Dean’s daughter, Deanna Martin, has said that Adams’ was the most honest portrayal of her father she’d ever seen! Dates run from September 9th Bristol Hippodrome; 11th Eastbourne Congress Theatre; 13th Northampton Derngate; 17th Manchester Palace Theatre; 29th Sunderland Empire; October 1st Croydon Fairfield Halls; 2nd Southend Cliffs Pavilion; 8th Dartford The Orchard; 12th Wycombe Swan; 17th Basingstoke The Anvil; 18th Worthing Pavilion Theatre; November 4th Birmingham

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Steel Panther Goes Large

Steel Panther’s shows this September have been moved to larger venues (except Birmingham) to accommodate the overwhelming demand for tickets. The spoof metal maniacs, who have weekly residencies on the Sunset Strip, at the Green Valley Resort and Casino and in Las Vegas, have slotted in these September shows in the UK to support the release of their new power ballad, Community Property, on Island Records on September 14th. All tickets for previous venues are still valid. September 13th Birmingham O2 Academy 2; 14th Manchester Academy 2; 15th Glasgow Garage; 16th London Shepherds Bush Empire

Alexandra Theatre; 5th Dunstable The Grove; 7th Swindon Wyvern Theatre; 11th Chichester Festival Theatre; 12th Newark Palace Theatre; 16th Liverpool Empire.

Headliners

The London Paper and the Mean Fiddler venue group are launching a new two day live music event, set to take place across thirteen London venues in September. The two day festival will see acts including Doves, Biffy Clyro, The Lemonheads and Chipmunk perform at an array of Soho locations from legendary music venues such as the 100 Club to record stores. The venues are the 100 Club, Heaven, ICA, Madame JoJo’s, Borderline, The Fly, HMV, Fopp, Bar Rumba, Leicester Square Theatre, Orchid, Punk and Sound. All the gigs take place on September 16th and 17th and entrance will be by a wristband exchange system with single day and two-day tickets on sale.

Depeche Mode Update

The rescheduled dates for 4 shows, which were cancelled due to singer Dave Gahan’s recent illness, have been announced. Zagreb Arena originally scheduled for May 21st will now take place on February 14th, 2010. London O2 Arena (May 30th) is now February 20th, 2010. Dusseldorf Esprit Arena (originally June 4th and 5th) is now slated for February 26th and 27th, 2010. All tickets for the original dates will be valid for these new, rescheduled shows. Fans who cannot make the new date should return their tickets to the point of purchase for a refund. It was not possible to keep the concert planned for Graz Messehalle on 4th December 2009 in the schedule, and that show is now cancelled. Ticketholders should return their tickets to point of purchase for a refund. Austrian fans are reassured that the Vienna Stadthalle concert on December 3rd, 2009 will go ahead.


The American

It’s Skeeter Time! Asian Tiger Mosquito

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s temperatures in the UK have risen due to global warming, the potential threat from mosquitoes has grown. The wet spring and early summer has made the situation worse. There is anecdotal evidence that the level of mosquito bites to humans has risen in the UK. The UK Health Protection Agency is currently concerned about the West Nile virus, which can be carried by birds and mosquitoes. in 2001/2 it was found that 14.7% of UK birds (in East Anglia) had positive antibodies indicating that they had been exposed to West Nile disease. in humans, the virus has been found in Africa, West Asia the Middle East, the US and Europe. Humans can catch it from a bite from an infected mosquito but generally recover, however more serious health problems and even death can result. There have been a few anecdotal sightings in Britain of one particularly aggravating critter, the Asian tiger mosquito. The Chartered institute of Environmental Health’s National Pest Advisory Panel has set up Mosquito Watch in the UK, so keep your eyes open. And in Scotland there’s a small relative of the mosquito, the midge (AKA midgie) that is not poisonous, but infuriating david Mizejewski, a naturalist at the National Wildlife Federation in the United States, has 10 tips to avoid summertime swarms. Understanding the mosquito’s life cycle and ecology can help you avoid getting bitten, Mizejewski points out.

Mossies, skeeters, whatever you call them they’re a summertime pest. In rare cases they can be a serious health risk too. And they are increasingly found in Britain. Mosquitoes start life out as aquatic larvae in standing bodies of water such as ponds, swamps and marshes, and larvae can live in as little as an inch of water.

Ten Tips To Keep Mosquitoes At Bay 1 Remove unnecessary standing water around your home. Typical hotbeds for mosquito reproduction are clogged gutters, flower-pot drainage dishes, children’s play equipment, tarps and any debris that can hold water. 2 Share this advice with neighbors. Mosquitoes that emerge in their yards will easily travel to yours. 3 Empty and refill birdbaths every few days. it takes a minimum of a week for the metamorphosis from egg to larva to pupa to winged adult to be completed, so this eliminates any chance that your birdbath will serve as a mosquito nursery. 4 Attract mosquito predators. Add plants to water gardens to attract frogs, salamanders and dragonflies and put up houses for birds and

bats. Fish feed on mosquito larvae, just don’t release goldfish or other exotic species into natural areas. 5 Don’t use insecticides or put oil on the surface of bodies of water. This kills beneficial insects, mosquito predators and causes air and water pollution. 6 “Mosquito Dunks” containing natural bacteria that kill mosquitoes can be added to water gardens without harming fish, birds or other wildlife. (Closely related insects, some beneficial, could be affected). 7 DEET-based repellants are effective. if you want to avoid synthetic chemicals, aromatic herbal repellents also work if applied frequently. 8 Avoid going outdoors at dusk, which is peak mosquito time, or wear long sleeves to minimize exposed skin that could be bitten. 9 Bug zappers aren’t effective on mosquitoes. Zappers do kill thousands of beneficial insects a night. 10 Mosquitoes are not strong flyers and the breeze created by a fan is often all you need to keep a patio or deck mosquito-free so you can enjoy the outdoors. H

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The American

AMERICANOS EN ESPAÑA Riki evans Johnson talks to another American expatriate who has found a new way of life in southern Spain

DAVID RIORDAN Coastline Radio Presenter S

pain holds special meaning for many visitors, who return again and again. Two Americans travelled to the Costa del Sol and stayed. over a café con leche, the gregarious david Riordan told me how the Mediterranean lifestyle turned the tables on the rat-race of major city living. Riki: Frigiliana is one of the ‘White Villages’ of Andalucia. It reminds me of sugarcubes clinging to the mountainside; lovely, but walking the hills are a killer! How do you view this area? David: This is a very lovely place. One can walk anywhere in the small town and always meet people they know, and it is wonderful to be accepted as ‘one of the locals’. Frigiliana attracts many tourists with its white buildings, well-known hills, historical background and fabulous views. My wife, Diah and I moved here 15 years ago after spending our honeymoon in Andalucia. This is a terrific area in which to raise children, a lot less worries and much less paranoia than in the States.

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Did you find letting go of your previous lifestyle difficult? Although relocating here via New York, California and Chicago, I seemed to fit right in. I was a lawyer back in the States and felt it was not the career for me. Here, I delved into real estate, tourism and radio, and have found my true self in this culture. I have been with English language station Coastline Radio seven years now, starting with an Astrology Hour on the morning show. It grew from there. I now present the Afternoon Show with music, quizzes and community news. Frigiliana.com is my holiday-let business which I have run for 15 years, as well as having a relocation agency. Diah opened a fashion store a year ago and is doing extremely well, having doubled the original size of the store in only a short time. The store draws from the large amount of visitors and locals alike. I’m very proud of her success.

Diana through this clique of friends. Great time and lasting memories!

You have a bit of a claim to fame regarding Princess Diana. Details? My mother rented a house in London in 1979 and I was set up with Princess

david and his family have shown that taking the gamble and seeking out opportunities can improve one’s quality of life in a foreign culture. H

Your Walking Tour of Frigiliana is terrific, you can even make The Inquisition humorous! i am not an ‘official’ tour guide. it’s more theatrical than your average tour. it is a bit of acting in an unscripted and upbeat manner offering the stories behind the famous Frigiliana wall plaques, plus a ‘ghost tour’ and a magic show. i also run similar style tours of Almuñécar and Nerja, neighbouring white villages chock full of history. Finally, where do you see yourself in future years – here in the Mediterranean or back in the good ol’ USofA? Probably within six to eight years moving back to the States for the children’s college education and returning to family ties.


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The American

School Daze

Going to a new school can be traumatic for any child. Imagine how daunting it is when it is in a new country, with a new culture. Here’s some advice from American doctors

“T

aking time to talk with and listen to children about the upcoming school year is one of the best ways parents can help them make the transition to school life,” says David Smith, Ph.D., clinical child psychologist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Dr. Smith advises parents to begin talking about school a couple weeks before it starts. How parents talk to their children is as important as what they say, and they should catch the moment when fears or worries are expressed, empathize with them and reassure children that the parents will be there to help them. Dr. Smith suggests parents help

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their children adjust by taking their children to visit their school, playing on the school’s playground, meeting their teacher and talking about what happens in a school day, which may be very different to what parents and children know from the US.

Tears For Fears

Tears are often part of younger children’s return to school, but Dr. Smith advises parents to let teachers comfort their children. “Teachers are pretty skilled at helping children make a good transition,” he says. “Teachers are the ones who should decide how long the parent remains. Usually when the

parent leaves, the crying stops quickly.” If crying continues for more than a few days, parents can tuck some small tokens such as photos of the family or parents into their children’s backpacks. John Gasko, Ph.D., a director at the University of Texas Health Science Center’s Children’s Learning Institute says it is very important for a parent to be engaged with the child’s teacher: “From day one, make sure they know about any difficulty your child may have, the experience in a school setting to date and your expectations. If time permits, attend the open house that most schools host before the school year begins”. Cathy Guttentag, Ph.D., a child psychologist at the Children’s Learning Institute, believes it’s a good idea to drive by the school and show children where you will be dropping them off and picking them up, or where they will catch the bus. “You can talk about how the teacher will know it’s everyone’s first day, that the teacher knows children need help with things like finding the bathroom, and that they will make sure children get to their families, the bus or an afterschool care program at the end of the day,” she says. “You don’t want a child to wonder if a parent will be able to find them. Providing this concrete information helps children feel more secure.” Dr Guttentag also suggests reading books to young children that center on a character going to kindergarten for the first time, like “The Kissing Hand”


The American

Healthcare Helps

by Audrey Penn, Katie Davis’ “Kindergarten Rocks!”, “Franklin Goes to School” by Paulette Bourgeois or “The Berenstein Bears Go to School”. Television shows like “Blues Clues,” “Dora the Explorer” and “Sesame Street” can help too. At the end of that first day, give your child a big hug and congratulate them for making it through. This is a big milestone to celebrate! Ask your child how the day went and pay attention to body language. “If you think your child is struggling, talk with the teacher and get help early. It’s also important that children are enjoying school,” Dr Gasko says. “They should feel proud.” David Smith advises making starting, or returning to school something special. “Take them shopping for new school clothes,” he suggests. An outing to buy new school supplies can be fun. Even if school supply lists include specific items, parents should allow children some freedom to buy something they want, such as a particularly cool pencil pack, he says. With older children and teens, parents should emphasize that going back to school is a new beginning. “If there were some trials from the prior year, rather than encouraging negative thinking, talk about how it will be a new teacher, a new set of things

to learn and, likely, new friends,” Dr. Smith says. The notion of a fresh start is usually appealing to children, and can help neutralize bad feelings about school. For adolescents, it may be helpful to set goals, turning a negative school experience into a positive plan. If teenagers dread school because they were disorganized last year, parents help by buying a daily planner, showing them how to use it to meet class assignments and monitoring it for the first couple of weeks, For parents who didn’t like school themselves, it may be hard to be positive about school with their children. “Parents have to acknowledge that,” says Dr. Smith. “Tell the child, ‘You know, I didn’t like school work, but I did it because it was a means to an end. I did the best I could.’ ” As children grow older, parents may notice their growing independence and believe their children need them less. Dr. Smith points out that surveys have found that teenagers wish for more time and more contact with their parents. “Offer to be there for your children, if it means going along for the first day at middle school or simply helping them with schoolwork. I can see teens feeling a wonderful sense of hope to know that their parent is available,” he says.

You’ve made all the preparations, visited the school, bought notebooks, pens and a new set of clothes. But don’t forget to prepare for your child’s health. Dr. Luz Adriana-Matiz, pediatrician and medical director of Win For Asthma at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital and assistant professor of clinical pediatrics at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons advises “Children spend the majority of their days in the classroom and the first step to achieving a healthy school environment is to have healthy students.” She has a checklist to help your kids get a smart start to the academic year. l Are your child’s immunizations upto-date? If you have recently moved from one country to another, check with your child’s doctor to see if your child meets any new regulations. l Has your child been vaccinated against influenza? Your General Practitioner will advise whether your child should have a ‘flu jab’ or any swine flu treatment. l Has your child been scratching his or her scalp since summer holiday or camp? It may be a case of head lice. Check your child’s head. If you are unsure, contact the school nurse or your child’s doctor. Head lice can be treated with over-the-counter remedies. l Does your child receive medication on a regular basis for diabetes, asthma or another chronic problem? School nurses and teachers must be made aware of your child’s needs before school begins, especially the ones who administer the medicine. Work out an emergency plan in case of a problem.

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The American

Backpacking

Most children and teenagers use backpacks to carry schoolbooks. However misusing backpacks sends thousands of children to hospital emergency rooms, doctor’s offices and clinics. “When used correctly, backpacks are the most efficient way to carry a load and distribute the weight among some of the body’s strongest muscles,” says Eric Wall, director, orthopaedic Surgery division at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. He recommends these simple guidelines: l Choose a lightweight backpack with two wide, padded shoulder straps, a cushioned back, and waist straps. Use both shoulder straps and make sure the straps are tight. l Ensure the heaviest items are closest to the center of your child’s back and all compartments are used. l Persuade your child to stop at their locker often so they’re not carrying all of their heavy books throughout the day. l When wearing or lifting a heavy backpack, remind your child to bend using both knees. Watch out for your child’s posture changing while wearing the backpack or any pain, tingling or red marks. dr. Michael Vitale, chief of pediatric spine and scoliosis surgery at New York - Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital. adds, “They often carry much more than they should with extra shoes, toys and other unnecessary items,. A backpack shouldn’t weigh more than 15 percent of the child’s weight. Sometimes heavy textbooks can be left at school.”

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l Have your child’s vision and hearing screened. Children should have an annual vision screening - young children, especially, often don’t know if they can’t see adequately. And if your child is listening to the television or music at a very high volume, or favors one ear when listening to you speak, it may be a sign of hearing loss. l Eat breakfast! Studies show that children who eat breakfast are more alert in class. Also, be sure that your child has a balanced, nutritious lunch, whether it is one you send or one provided by the school cafeteria. Snacks should avoid junk food and focus on fruits and other healthful food. l Be equipped for sports. For children who wear glasses, the American Academy of ophthalmology recommends one-piece wraparound polycarbonate frames for all contact sports, including soccer, field hockey and basketball. l Do you suspect a learning disability or dyslexia? if you suspect that your child is not processing information as he or she should, speak to their teacher as soon as possible. l Are your emergency phone numbers up-to-date? Make sure that the school and your child know how to reach you or another caregiver at all times. And if you are sharing lifts with other parents, get their cellphone as well as landline numbers.

John Cmar, M.d., an internist at Baltimore’s Sinai Hospital, says “i often joke that the ways to not get sick are to wash your hands and don’t eat at questionable restaurants, but there’s a lot of truth to that. There aren’t any magic pills or mega doses of vitamins that protect us from cold and flu viruses. it comes down to just this: wash your hands, and don’t rub your face.” According to Northwest Hospital infection Control Manager Mary Wallace, bacteria and viruses live on many surfaces found in a school environment such as desks and tables, computer keyboards, clothing, locker room benches, coins, and doorknobs, to name a few. “it is critical that students wash their hands after using the restroom, before and after eating, whenever they are soiled, and periodically throughout the day,” she says. Sometimes sickness is inevitable. if your child contracts a bug and you’re wondering if the illness warrants a sick day, dr Cmar recommends that you ask your child’s doctor. “People should have a low threshold about when to call their doctors to ask if their sick kids need to stay home or if they need professional medical attention,” he advises. in most cases, sick people should stay home to ensure they get rest to aid recovery and to avoid coming into contact with others so they don’t pass along the virus. dr Cmar adds that the length of time that someone is contagious varies from illness to illness, another reason to consult your doctor. H


The American

Let the good times roll It’s a good time to use your dollars to buy sterling, says James Hickman

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quity markets have enjoyed a remarkable rally recently. Last month, the DOW Jones Industrial Average broke through the 9,000 level for the first time since January, as investors took heart from stellar corporate earnings results from some of Wall Street’s giants. Together with an uplift in key economic data, most noticeably from the beleaguered US housing market, this recent rally further buoyed investor confidence that a global economic recovery could soon be underway. Just as falling equity markets dragged the pound down at the height of the financial crisis, so too have they had the opposite effect as the recovery begins. The US dollar has always traditionally been seen by investors as a “safe-haven” in troubled times, and therefore as optimism returned last month, they looked to the “riskier” pound instead. Over the period, sterling gained 2.58% against the greenback to $1.65, capping a remarkable rise from the $1.30 level it fell to in March. What makes this rise even more impressive is the fact that there were some very poor figures out in the UK at the time. In particular, the country’s preliminary second quarter GDP reading of -0.8% was well below analyst forecasts, but sterling rose nevertheless. At Caxton FX, we are forecasting for this run to continue into the autumn. If equity markets continue

their recovery, as they should do as European banks are reporting positive second-quarter earnings, then the pound will gain as a result. Moreover, if the UK and US housing markets continue to show signs of improvement, then sterling will strengthen as confidence returns. In the latter’s case, a return to near normality would be particularly poignant as its dramatic decline was one of the root causes of the global economic crisis. Of course, there will be short-term dips along the way, but the general trend will be upwards as we believe a lot of the negative news has already been factored into sterling’s price. So, how best to protect yourself against sterling’s rise if you are looking to sell dollars in the near future? If there is no particular pressure on the funds, then forecasts

would suggest you should exchange sooner rather than later. If there is pressure, however, say if you were waiting for a payment in America, an option to consider would be a forward contract, whereby you lock into a rate now and settle at a future date, either set or flexible. This would protect you against future sterling movements upwards, therefore saving you money. We appear to be on the cusp of a recovery at the moment. Data on both sides of the Atlantic is tentatively improving and the dollar’s “safe-haven” appeal is waning. Now is the time to buy sterling before its recovery really starts in earnest. H James Hickman is the managing director of Caxton FX, one of Britain’s leading foreign exchange companies, which offers services including some of those mentioned. www.caxtonfx.com

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The American

Coffee Break COFFEE BREAK QUIZ 1 Prince Michael & Prince Michael ii are two of Michael Jackson’s children, name the third? 2 What is the largest fresh water lake in North America? 3 What is the only Central American country in which baseball, not soccer, is the people’s favourite sport? 4 What was the third last state to join the USA? 5 What was the name of the rocket used by Yuri Gagarin for the first manned space flight?

6 Name the river that flows through the city of Albuquerque, USA 7 Who assassinated John lennon? 8 What is the only monosyllabic American state name? 9 The author of Dracula, Bram Stoker’s first name is short for what? 10 The name Wendy was first made up in which famous book? 11 What is the collective name for a group of sea cucumbers? 12 What is the only native North American marsupial?

13 Mount Wilson in California, Siding Spring in Australia and Mauna Kea in Hawaii. What’s the scientific connection? 14 When world boomerang throwing championships were held from 1981, which country won it in 12 out of the first 13 years? 15 How many legs does a lobster have? 16 What was the name of the craft in which John Glenn first orbited the Earth? 17 How many teeth make up a full adult set? 18 The song ‘Killing Me Softly With His Song’ was written about which American singer-songwriter? 19 Mark Snow had a hit single in 1996 with the theme from which TV series?

Answers below The Johnsons

Coffee Break Quiz Answers: 1 Paris. 2 Lake Superior. 3 Nicaragua. 4 Arizona. 5 Vostok 1. 6 Rio Grande. 7 Mark Chapman. 8 Maine. 9 Abraham. 10 Peter Pan. 11 A pickle. 12 The opossum. 13 They are astronomical observatories. 14 USA (Australia only won it once). 15 Ten. 16 Friendship 7. 17 Thirty-two. 18 Don McLean. 19 The X-Files

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It happened one... September September 1, 1752 – The Liberty Bell arrives in Philadelphia

September 2, 1901 – Vice President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt utters the famous phrase, “Speak softly and carry a big stick” at the Minnesota State Fair. September 3, 1995 – eBay founded.

September 4, 1888 – George Eastman trademarks Kodak and receives a patent for a camera using roll film. September 5, 1882 – The first United States Labor Day parade is held in New York City. September 6, 1901 – Anarchist Leon Czolgosz shoots and fatally wounds US President William McKinley at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. September 7, 1776 – World’s first submarine attack: the American submersible craft Turtle attempts to attach a time bomb to the hull of British Admiral Richard Howe’s flagship HMS Eagle in New York Harbor. September 8, 70 – Roman forces under Titus sack Jerusalem.

September 9, 1791 – Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States, is named after President George Washington.

September 10, 1846 – Elias Howe is granted a patent for the sewing machine.

September 11, 1297 – Battle of Stirling Bridge: Scots jointly-led by William Wallace and Andrew Moray defeat the English. September 12, 1609 – Henry Hudson “discovers” the Hudson River.

September 13, 1814 – The British fail to capture Baltimore, Maryland. Turning point in the War of 1812. September 14, 2008 – Lehman Files for Bankruptcy; Merrill Lynch Is Sold; a gloomy confirmation of unfolding global credit crisis. September 15, 1916 – World War I: Tanks are used for the first time in battle, at the Battle of the Somme.

John Paul Jones fights – and beats – the British Royal Navy off the coast of England in 1779

September 16, 1863 – Robert College of Istanbul-Turkey, the first American educational institution outside the United States, is founded by Christopher Robert, an American philanthropist.

September 24, 1664 – The Dutch Republic surrenders New Amsterdam to England.

September 17, 1630 – The city of Boston, Massachusetts is founded.

September 26, 1789 – Thomas Jefferson appointed as first US Secretary of State, John Jay appointed as first Chief Justice, Samuel Osgood as first Postmaster General, and Edmund Randolph as first Attorney General.

September 18, 1679 – New Hampshire becomes a county of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. September 19, 1692 – Giles Corey is pressed to death after refusing to plead in the Salem witch trials. September 20, 1891 – The first gasoline-powered car debuts in Springfield, Massachusetts. September 21, 1981 – Sandra Day O’Connor is unanimously approved by the U.S. Senate as the first female supreme court justice. September 22, 1776 – Nathan Hale is hanged for spying during American Revolution. September 23, 1779 – A squadron commanded by John Paul Jones on board the USS Bonhomme Richard wins the Battle of Flamborough Head, off the coast of England, against two British warships.

September 25, 1846 – U.S. forces led by Zachary Taylor capture the Mexican city of Monterrey.

September 27, 1956 – USAF Captain Milburn G. Apt becomes the first man to exceed Mach 3 while flying the Bell X-2. Shortly thereafter, the craft goes out of control and Captain Apt is killed. September 28, 1928 – Sir Alexander Fleming notices a bacteria-killing mold growing in his laboratory, discovering what later became known as penicillin.

September 29, 1650 – Henry Robinson opens his Office of Addresses and Encounters – the first historically documented dating service – in Threadneedle Street, London. September 30, 1927 – Babe Ruth becomes the first baseball player to hit 60 home runs in a season. H

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The American

Dining out at

HI SUSHI  IZAKAYA T Hi Sushi’s Black Cod Miso Here is the recipe for Head chef Eric Fu’s and Geoff Leong’s ‘Masterpiece dish’, black cod miso.

Serves 5 Ingredients Five slices of black cod, around 200g each. 80g of white miso 20g of red miso 200g of sweet white miso 100g of white sugar 5 egg yolks 500 ml of mirin (sweet rice wine) 100ml of sake 50g of prune slices 10ml of Kikkoman soy sauce Method Hand mix all the ingredients apart from the fish into large dish. Add the slices of black cod. Marinate for 60 hours in cold fridge of 1 degrees. Turn every 12 hours. Then grill in salamander grill (heat on top) at 200 degrees for 15 minutes. Serve.

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he first time I ate Japanese food was in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I sometimes partnered the Japanese ambassador’s wife when playing bridge and not long after we met she invited my husband and me to a banquet at the ambassadorial mansion. We became friends after that and often got together with the Ambassador and her to play bridge and have dinner at each other’s home. Unfortunately, their chef was taking a course on western cooking and whenever we ate at the ambassador’s residence, he’d create some French, Italian and even American dish in order to have my opinion. As a result, what I know about Japanese food could probably be written on the back of my hand. Which was the reason I asked my friend, Marjorie Wallace, whose late husband had been an English diplomat and had lived in the Far East for many years, to join me Thursday evening at Hi Sushi Izakaya in Covent Garden. Located across from the Theatre Royal where Oliver is playing, this is the seventh and latest restaurant in the Hi Sushi group and is modelled on a traditional Japanese eating and drinking house with a distinct identity from the other venues in the chain according to publicity. With its dark oak, bamboo and floor to ceiling waterfall, the interior is old fashioned kitsch mixed with modern Asian chic that is appealing. Having declined a drink at the sushi bar on the ground floor, we were led upstairs where we were seated at a

By Virginia E Schultz

‘tatemi’ style sunken seating in front of the window overlooking the theatre. It was rather disconcerting when we were handed an illustrated laminated menu, but then I reminded myself their executive Chef Eric Fu previously worked at Roka in Charlotte Street and at the Lisboa Hotel in Macau and this had nothing to do with the food. Because Marjorie is more knowledgeable about Asian cuisine than I am, she did most of the ordering. To start, she suggested we have edamame (£4.00) which are wonderful to nibble on with drinks...she champagne, me saki...but these, sadly, were disappointing. Noting the look on my face, our lovely waitress whizzed away the beans as soon as she served Marjorie champagne and me the warm saki I ordered out of my duty as a restaurant critic, I admit. To my surprise, I enjoyed the saki. The wine, which is made from rice, was soft, smooth and slivered gently over my tongue and down my throat and I wouldn’t hesitate to order it again. The edamame were forgotten when the plate of sashimi matsu (£20.00) arrived. Fifteen pieces of 5 kinds of sashimi (or raw fish) which included sea bass, salmon, thinly sliced octopus, squid, sea bream and decorative dabs of wasabi and small dishes of soy were to use a phrase I use too often, absolutely delicious. We tried as well the Bento, a small tray holding salmon teriyaki and beef teriyaki (£11.50)


The American

which would be the perfect combination to share with a friend before going on to a nearby theatre or seeing an opera at Covent Garden. or afterwards for that matter. Japanese food, unlike many cuisines, is filling but doesn’t leave you feeling as if you can’t get up from the table because you ate more than you should. Now came the irresistible dish. i can’t recall tasting better Black Cod Miso Yaki (£17.50) and Marjorie agreed. Marinated with miso, perhaps, me guessing, saki, a bit of sugar and ginger, it was grilled to soft perfection. if i hadn’t enjoyed anything else i had that evening, i’d go back for that alone. Hi Sushi izakaya might be part of a chain, but their black cod is a masterpiece dish that couldn’t be improved on in a higher priced restaurant with white clothed tables and black tie waiters. For dessert, Marjorie had the dark chocolate pudding (£5.50) with vanilla ice cream and me the Yuzu almond cake with pineapple ice cream. Both desserts were good, but perhaps too much after all we had eaten. Next time i’ll have the green tea ice cream or perhaps try the red bean ice cream (4.00). Many of the Hi Sushi outlets have an eat as much as you can for one price policy, but this is not offered at Convent Garden. i might add, thankfully, but then if i were taking children i’d wouldn’t think that way i’m certain. Prices are reasonable, especially when i remember the freshness of the raw fish. i might add, if you’re unfamiliar with Japanese food and don’t have any one with you as knowledgeable as my friend, Marjorie, there is always a waiter or waitress more than willing to give advice on what to order. Just, please. don’t miss having the black cod. 27 Catherine Street, Convent Garden, London WC2B 5JS 020 7836 9398 www.hisushi.net/

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W

hen a restaurant is called The Restaurant at St. Paul’s, one can’t help thinking of a gloomy atmosphere with Georgian chants coming over a crackling intercom. But, what a surprise Jennifer Atterbury and i were in for when we walked through the separate entrance on the north side of the cathedral and took the steps down to the crypt. The cafe, which we passed through first, appeared to have mostly casually dressed tourists in jeans and shorts, but entering the light-filled restaurant with cream-coloured walls that faintly reflect the sage-painted woodwork, we discovered the majority of the diners appeared to be locals. Jennifer, an interior designer, quickly gave her approval to the Wegner (captain) oak chairs at the wooden tables laid out with mismatched antique silver cutlery, wonderful red salt and pepper grinders, and rough linen napkins. And both of us admired the reproductions of cartoons of the cathedral’s Quire mosaics by Sir William Richmond adorning the walls. Stylish, yet at the same time casual, a combination that is harder to achieve than most of us realize. Were the food just ordinary, the restaurant would still be a pleasant

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The Restaurant at

St. Paul’s

place to lunch, but our next surprise was Candice Webber, the young and attractive Australian chef put at the helm by caterers Harbour and Jones. My first course of heritage tomato and lovage salad with tomato jelly tasted as if it had just been picked from the garden. Simple, but absolutely delicious. And Jennifer couldn’t praise her Scottish squid, peas, mint and chilli highly enough. Things became even more cuisine creative with our main course. Jennifer loved her stuffed Norfolk chicken, potato and shallot salad. And my Tymsboro goats’ cheese, pine nut, broad bean and aubergine with pasta ambulated my taste buds with a harmony few vegetarian dishes achieve. The two of us couldn’t help but compare our lunch that afternoon to a very expensive one we had a few days before that was disastrous from start to finish to say the least. At thirty-two, this Australian chef is very much one to watch. For dessert, Jennifer had the summer berry Eton Mess roulade which was, frankly, the only disappointment of the day. However, the Regent’s Park honey ice gingerbread sandwich, (The park is where the honey comes from) took me back to my junior high school

days and afterschool tea at Granny leister’s, her warm gingerbread cake baked in an ancient wood burning stove. Sitting here at my computer, i yearn for it again. There’s a short wine list with a small selection of English wines. My Bramley apple and rhubarb sparkling English wine cocktail (invented by Brian Martin, the restaurant and cafe manager), was delicious and definitely one i’ll repeat the next time i’m there. We were fortunate to be served a glass of Three Choirs Winchcombe downs 2008 white wine (£18.50 a bottle) as well as their Rosé from the same year (£20.50) because ordinarily you can’t buy by the glass, a shame because English wine is getting better and better. From Gloucestershire, this is a winery i hope to visit in the next few months. Happily, you do not lose the feeling of warm contentment when you receive the bill. Fixed price for two courses is £16 or three for £20. The restaurant also serves afternoon English tea and for extra indulgence, do try a glass of English sparkling wine. St. Paul’s Cathedral, St. Paul’s Churchyard, London, EC4M 8AM 020 7248 2469 www.restaurantatstpauls.co.uk


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Elephant Walk S

tepping into Elephant Walk was as if Maxine Howe and I had been zapped back to the 1970s when Asian restaurants were first beginning to make their mark in England. The decor is simple, clean and uncluttered, albeit slightly in need of fresh paint, and the subtle scents from the kitchen strange and exotic. Elephant Walk suffers, if anything, from the fact that it isn’t decorated with gold and rich colours and the diners are not expensively dressed in the latest designer outfits. It is for want of a better word ‘old fashioned’ …in the nicest sense of the word. The type of Asian restaurant that first introduced us to the variety and imaginative cuisine from the various countries in the Far East. Now, I know little about Sri Lankan cuisine. Traditionally, it is known for its fiery seasoning and from the dishes I tasted at Elephant Walk closer to Thai than Indian. Cinnamon is grown off the

coast of southern Indian and spices such as clove and cardamom which are native to Sri Lanka are subtly integrated. The dishes Maxine and I enjoyed were gentle to protect our western palate. If you prefer them hotter, then just ask. The string hopper Bururlyi (thin noodles mixed with vegetables and cooked in a wok) accompanied by the dry aubergine curry, Vambatttu Moju, was delicious. It was, however, the chicken Sri Lanka, Kukulmus, (chicken marinated in ground and roasted cumin, fennel and coriander seeds cooked with lemon grass and a pinch of red chilli) that I’d go back for. Coconut milk is often used and the King Prawn Curry (Rall Kari) prepared with spices and chillies in coconut milk was delightful. With our assorted dishes we had tiny side dishes of sambol (coconut and chilli relish), mango chutney and wonderful leavened bread that was mouth-

watering enough to eat on its own. Connoisseurs consider the tea from Sri Lanka the finest in the world and the selection offered at Elephant Walk is as varied and diverse as you could find in the top tea rooms in London. The restaurant may not be fancy inside, but prices are reasonable, and the service attentive. One last note: Elephant Walk has a cookery school and food can be ordered and delivered within selected areas. 98 West End Lane, West Hampstead, London NW6 2LU, 0207 328 3308 www.elephantwalk.co.uk

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“D

o you always eat in top restaurants?” I was recently asked. The truth is, no. Not that I have the opportunity to do so, but even if I could I still wouldn’t want to. Very often, I prefer to have a simple but well made sandwich and a bowl of soup or perhaps a wonderful mixed salad like my friends Maxine and Jennifer make. You know, the kind that’s has everything in it and topped with a dressing you can’t imitate no matter how often you try. It’s using good ingredients that matters most, not fancy presentation.

FERNANDEZ & WELLS Or sometimes, when I’m shopping or going to an afternoon matinee on Shaftesbury Avenue in London’s West End, I wind my way to Fernandez and Wells on Lexington Street. You can’t miss this branch, or the other belonging to this small but interesting chain around the corner on Beak Street, where you can have tea or coffee with the most delightful pastry which is guarantee to add a pound or two if you aren’t careful. There is also a third branch on St. Anne’s Court where you can indulge in similar but different sandwiches which means, even in the same small group, you have a choice. And while enjoying your food, you can sit on a stool and indulge in conversation or read a book or just stare past the huge hams hanging in the window at the interesting folk going about their various business. Of course if the weather is nice,

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you could wander to Grace Square and watch the world go by. Ah, and those sandwiches. Vegetarians and meat lovers alike will go mad over their ciabatta buns and stone baked baguettes filled with cured meats, traditional hams, roasted red pepper, cheese etc. etc. etc. Take your choice and Mr. Fernandez and Mr. Wells have it. Yes, the owners are both handsome real men and they do serve quiche as well as soups and stews which change every day and according to the seasons. At night the Lexington Street branch turns into a wine bar and is the perfect place to enjoy wine and platters of fish, cheese and meat depending on your druthers. Prices are reasonable and service is polite and efficient. My toasted cheese (Montgomery’s Cheddar with chopped leak and onions between

By Virginia E Schultz slices of Poilane bread) (£4.50) whisked me back to my summer holiday in the south of France as did the Jambon “Le Noir de Bigorre” which is 24 month cured French ham (£5.50) that a friend and I enjoyed a few days ago. Oh, yes, their coffee is lovely too! The only negative thing about Fernandez & Wells is they aren’t located in my part of London, but then again, with all the tempting sandwiches, salads, soups and even stews they offer it might be best – weight wise – they aren’t. 43 Lexington Street, 73 Beak Street and St. Anne’s Court (between Dean Street and Wardour Street), all in London W1. http://fernandezandwells.com


The American

The American Recipe:

Eton Mess By Virginia E Schultz

O

liver Peyton is a renowned restaurateur and the founder/ chairman of Peyton and Byrne Limited. He is not a cook as he’s the first to admit, but, as Matthew Fort once described him, the Phineas T Barnum of restaurateurs. Now he has put together a cookbook, Recipes from the National Dining Room at the National Gallery (published by The National Gallery Company Limited, price £25 in hardback, ISBN: 978 1 85709 427 5), with recipes by a number of chefs including Shaun Gilmore, Kris Kirkham, Oliver Smith, Tim Payne, Jennifer Meakin and Jayne Cross. The majority of the recipes are British and every one I’ve tried and served so far has been thoroughly approved by my British friends. Inside there are wonderful photographs of many of the most important paintings in the gallery as well as pictures of the food in a number of recipes. From fish and chips with mushy peas to Toad-inthe-Hole to Eton Mess, you’ll find

The National Gallery’s Eton Mess: Virginia’s favorite Dan Jones

Ingredients: Oliver Payton, restaurateur extraordinaire. Kris Kirkham

easy and simple instructions on how to make it. I love to cook, but I’m lazy and I need a simple explanation on how to cook Lavender Ham & Cider and Lancashire Hotpot, which this cookbook does. There are only a few complex recipes and even these are not that difficult for an experienced cook. The recipes are divided into spring, summer, fall and winter which is perfect for anyone trying to buy food according to the seasons.

Eton Mess

The best Eton mess I’ve eaten for a long time was in the restaurant in The National Gallery. I’ve been assured this is the recipe they use. Old Etonians claim this pudding was originally made with bananas, but as for the rest of us it couldn’t be made with anything other than strawberries and cream – two ingredients that epitomise the English summer. Without a doubt it is one of my favourite puddings.

200 g ripe strawberries 150 good quality bought meringues 150ml whipping or double cream For the sauce: 100g overripe strawberries, hulled and halved Caster sugar (optional) Make the sauce. Purée the strawberries in a blender, than pass through a sieve into a bowl to remove all the seeds. Taste for sweetness and only add sugar if you think the sauce is too tart. Wash and dry the whole strawberries, then remove the hulls and cut each fruit lengthways into quarters. Break the meringues into pieces the same size as the strawberries. Whip the cream in a large bowl until it will just hold its shape. Gently fold the strawberries and meringue pieces into the cream. Serve straightaway, drizzled with the sauce. Or chill the Eton mess and sauce separately in the fridge for up to two hours until you are ready to serve.

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Cellar Talk Libations by Virginia E. Schultz

Left: TV Munson, Texas horticulturist, saved the vineyards of Europe from destruction by phylloxera

Phylloxera

I

n 1876, Texas horticulturist, T. V. Munson, was the man responsible for saving the vineyards of Europe from total destruction by phylloxera. According to his journals, Munson travelled some 75,000 miles by horseback from home in Dallas throughout the United States and Mexico collecting native American grape varieties. Using these as parents, he developed more than three hundred disease-resistant varieties of grapes which he wrote about in his book, Foundation of American Grape Culture, in 1909. When phylloxera struck native European stocks, Munson shipped supplies of these Texas grown native rootstocks to European vintners. By grafting these rootstocks onto European vines, the vineyards were ultimately saved.

Phylloxera, or its original name Phylloxera vastatrix, is a tiny yellow aphid one-thirtieth of an inch long and one sixtieth wide that was so swift in its destruction of vineyards around the world many vintners began to believe wine would eventually cease to exist. This insect, now identified as Dactylasphaera vitfoliae, feeds on a vine’s roots, ultimately sucking life out of the vine. In the 1860s when native American vines were sent to southern France for experimentation, phylloxera attached themselves to the roots and within two decades most of the vineyards of Europe were destroyed. Countless remedies were tried, but it wasn’t until Munson came along before the destruction ended. Because native European rootstocks were so susceptible, native varietals were never replanted and instead more disease-resistant grape vines grown. Fortunately, some of those native varietals have managed to survive and could, many feel, be the saviour of the French wine industry. Author and winemaker Robert Plageoles believes that winemakers who continue to compete against each other for the same thirty Left: Winemaker Robert Plageoles is following Munson’s example by saving ancient varietals  vins-plageoles.com

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or some varietals will eventually die out. In fact, so convinced was he that he tore up his Gamay and sauvignon vines to replant ancient Gaillac varietals like Fer Servadou and Verdane. Other vintners are becoming interested as well. In Champagne, growers like Michael Drappier and Pierre and Philippe Aubry are hunting down the noble varietals of two centuries ago. Of course, some may turn up their nose at these ancient varietals and they could end up being labelled by authorities as no more than vin de table. I’m not one of them. I’d love to taste the rare Loire varietal introduced under Francois I in 1519 that winemaker Henry Marionnet is growing. Not only would I be tasting an unusual wine, but I’d be sipping history in a glass.

WINE OF THE MONTH: OSPREY’S DOMINION Sauvignon Blanc North Fork of Long Island 2007      Inexpensive A friend brought this back from his holiday in New York for me to try.  The flavors are subdued, but it went perfectly with the roast chicken, last of my balcony grown tomatoes and boiled parsley potatoes while we watched two swans lazily floating along the Thames.  A lazy kind of wine to drink when you’re in the same mood.


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CECE’S CHOICE

Cece Mills picks her Arts and Exhibitions for September and continues her alphabetical look at art forms. ‘Every good painter paints what he is.’ – Jackson Pollock

Starting With a Photograph Michael Hoppen Gallery, Chelsea September 10th to October 12th In collaboration with the Saatchi Gallery, Michael Hoppen Contemporary is showing this exhibition of Saatchi Online Artists, hand picked from the Saatchi website. There is a clue in the title of the exhibition – starting with a photograph – which tells us that all works must evolve from a found or made photographic image. The gallery is a showcase for existing and emerging photographic artists from all over the world, and is fast becoming the most prestigious place to search for new talent. It is instrumental in bringing to light new talent.

Blue Lake Revisited by Robin Cracknell © the artist, courtesy Michael Hoppen Contemporary and Saatchi Online

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A Dogu Fertility Goddess

The Power of Dogu The British Museum September 10th to November 22nd [caption] Emeka, motorcyclist and Abdullahi Ahmadu, Asaba, Nigeria 2007 © Pieter Hugo, Courtesy of Michael Stevenson, Cape Town and Yossi Milo, New York

Animalism Gallery One at National Media Museum, Bradford Until September 27th An insightful and interesting look at how we portray animals in film, photography and television. For some time we have been used to seeing animals at the cinema in films with very human characteristics and human ways of seeing things. Now, this show encourages us to try to see how animals might truly see us, and each other, instead of projecting our feelings onto them. After all, to an animal, we are just another type of animal. If you have pets, take a visit to this exhibition and you might just learn a little more about what makes your animal tick.

Sixty-seven almost human, almost animal, figures make up this amazing collection of ancient Dogu, or clay images. The Japanese figures evolved in about 12,500 BC. An astounding period of prehistoric Jomon people, who lived at one with nature and the seasons in the forests of the Japanese archipelago. It is thought that Dogu mark the earliest form of pottery manufacture in the world. They are surprisingly detailed in their form, with clay appliqué, markings and the addition of twisted fibres from plants, as well as red dye or pigment and a type of varnish or lacquer. The shapes seem to represent every type of human and animal situation, from childbirth to hunting. Since the Jomon people lived in such closeness with the spirits, it seems likely that the Dogu were part of that ritual, embodying and representing the spirits in tangible form. Nowadays, Dogu appear in many art forms from Manga to Playstation games. The ancient form has provided inspiration to a new generation of artists.


The American

Henry Moore Textiles Henry Moore at Perry Green, Herts Until October 18th

Francesca Woodman, Eel Series, Roma, May 1977 - August 1978, Photograph on paper, 21.90 x 21.90 cm © THE ESTATE oF THE ARTiST, PHoTo A REEVE

Henry Moore was a master sculptor but few people know that he was also a very competent textile designer. Under the persuasion of Czech manufacturer Zika Ascher, who came to Britain as an exile in 1939, Moore and other leading artists were commissioned, in the early 1940s, to produce designs for fabric and silks to spike up the post-war wardrobes. This prompted Moore to fill several sketchbooks with bright, zany ideas which were later made into clothing and upholstery fabrics.

Artists Rooms Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art Until November 8th This collection, donated both to the National Galleries of Scotland and The Tate, by Anthony d’Offay, consists of over 700 works by 32 artists. Items from the collection are touring the country this year, and in Edinburgh you can see a wonderful selection by American artists Vija Celmins and the late Agnes Martin. Celmins photographs and adapts ethereal images of seas, skies, deserts and other natural things including delicate spider’s webs. The images are breathtaking and delicate.

Above right: Henry Moore designing fabrics in around 1944 Right and below: Moore’s fabric designs

Perthshire Open Studios

(including Cece Mills exhibition – Ed.) September 5th to 13th Finally, if you happen to be in Perthshire, come and enjoy Perthshire Open Studios. The venues are spread far and wide but the guide has different coloured route maps so

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that you can make the most of each area. I shall be exhibiting in a gallery in Blairgowrie at the taster show to open the event, as well as in our local village exhibition. With Perth as the central focus of the Open Studios, the venues range from Crianlarich in the west, Pitlochry in the north, Coupar Angus in the east and Kinross in the south. September is an excellent month to visit Scotland – children are back at school and the weather perks up. See you there! www.perthshireopenstudios.com

Peter Randall-Page Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, Yorkshire Until January 2010 British artist Peter Randall-Page exhibits fabulous and monumental works in the ever-inspiring environs of Yorkshire Sculpture Park. In the Underground Gallery are two massive sculptures over two metres high made of Kilkenny Limestone and weighing more than 13 tonnes.

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Randall-Page’s work centres round the natural world and the geometric patterns which occur in nature (think honeycombs and pinecones), with intricate carvings on marble, granite and limestone. Below: Peter Randall-Page, In Mind of Monk, 2008, Marble, 1.85m each, Private collection, England. Photo: the artist, Courtesy Eleven Fine Art, London

Above: New York’s Mabou Mines company performs Peter and Wendy Scott Suchman

Edinburgh Festival Specials Quite a few interesting things to see continue after the Festival officially ends, such as an exhibition at The Fruitmarket Gallery of German-born American, Eva Hesse, who specialised in rather weird materials to use for her sculptures, such as wax, latex and cheesecloth. Not so exotic now perhaps, but at the time she was working, the 1950s and 1960s, it was revolutionary. Also Peter and Wendy, performed by New York’s Mabou Mines company. A different take on the familiar story of Peter Pan. One performer is joined on stage by 7 puppeteers and a band. At the Royal Lyceum Theatre from the 2nd to 5th September. Californian artist, John McCracken, is showing at Inverleith House, in the middle of the lovely Botanic Gardens. The Discovery of Spain is on at the National Gallery of Scotland and is full of wonderful paintings, watercolours, drawings and photographs depicting Spain, by Spanish artists and in general celebrating Spain. This goes on until October 11th, so plenty of time to catch it.

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Looking at:

Installation Art & Illustration I

nstallation Art – has become popular since the 1970s and usually consists of the transformation of ordinary, interior spaces using three dimensional, everyday things – such as Tracey Emin’s unmade bed, or Marcel Duchamp’s infamous urinal. It tends to be inside, since a subtle name change occurs once the ‘piece’ is sited in the open (it becomes land art), and installations are very often created particularly for a specific site, museum or gallery. Installations can include, as well as objects, music, video, performance and light.

Right: Tracey Emin’s homage to her father, The Perfect Place to Grow

Roger Hiorns fabulous transformation of a dreary, abandoned, derelict one-bedroomed apartment near Elephant and Castle, London, into a Merlin’s Cave full of blue copper sulphate crystals, becomes a very site-specific installation and inevitably somewhat temporary. Inevitably only because the site is on the list for demolition, not because the crystals will vanish in a puff of smoke. You can now visit this again since it re-opened on 23rd July. (Admission free. Thursday to Saturday 11am to 7pm and Sundays 11am to 5pm.) The work prompted his nomination for this year’s Turner Prize. ‘Seizure’, as the crystal apartment is called, involved pumping 75,000 litres of copper sulphate solution into the building which formed a lovely, crunchy blue crystalline surface over literally everything. Like any art form, the installation is designed to provoke the audience into reaction, to allow the artist to express themselves and send some sort of message to us, the viewer. Left: Roger Hiorns’ crystalline installation, Seizure Photo by Marcus Leith

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A

s everyone learns when they have to write their first university dissertation, and later on in life too, a picture is worth a thousand words. Illustration is oftentimes those thousand words. It is the interpretation of the illustrator, who could be painter, draftsman or photographer, of the words which accompany the picture. It is their visualisation of the story. But it can also be technical, illustrating, for example, complex assembling instructions for that new set of posh Ikea shelves. It can also be diagrammatically and representationally informative as in books about the night sky star formations. It enhances the story, aids assimilation of the text and decorates the book. If you look at newspapers in the early 1900s, pictures were noticeable by their absence. It made the papers look very dry and dusty. One of the best examples of illustration can be found in children’s books, and none more so than at the

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Arts News

estelle Lovatt rounds up the latest news in the arts world

Picasso and the Rosenbergs Along came a spider… Arthur Rackham’s illustration for Little Miss Muffet

lovely exhibition of books from the library at Castle Howard. Unfortunately this show ends at the end of August, but you can have a taste here of the lovely work that has been on show. These exquisitely illustrated children’s picture books are usually firmly behind glass in the castle’s library. ‘Sing a Song of Sixpence’ shows a gorgeous wealth of imaginative drawing and painting in Victorian children’s books, both inspiring and delighting adults and children alike, and giving us a potted history of the time both in technology and social change. one of Britain’s best-loved illustrators featured in this exhibition is Arthur Rackham, while the cover for the A Picture Song Book was painted by George Howard himself. The 9th Earl of Carlisle, he was a keen artist and while living at Castle Howard with his 11 children he became adept at entertaining them with his wonderful illustrations, as well as gathering a huge collection of lovely books. H

Next Month, Looking At: JEWELRY 36

P

icasso said of his purpose to paint, that “painting is not there merely to decorate the walls of flats. it is a means of waging offensive and defensive against the enemy.” This became evident when Picasso became involved with the ‘Save the Rosenbergs’ campaign in America. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, outwardly an ordinary American married couple, were Communists. in 1950 they were accused by the US government of operating a spy network providing the Soviet Union with classified secret military information and plans for the atomic bomb. The Rosenbergs were condemned to Sing Sing’s electric chair in 1953. it was the first execution of civilians for espionage in American history, orphaning their 6 and 10 year old sons. Cables from the USSR, decoded since, have confirmed the courtroom testimony that Julius Rosenberg did indeed act as a courier and recruiter for the Soviets, but serious doubts still remain about the level of Ethel’s active involvement. Picasso was a staunch supporter of theirs. As a fellow Communist, he held regular meetings at his house to discuss their plight, and made pen-and-ink portraits of the pair.

Pablo Picasso, Women with a Dove (Femmes à la colombe), 1955, Indian ink on paper, 26.5 x 20.5 cm © CollECTioN CENTRE PoMPidoU, diST. RMN / dRoiTS RESERVES © SUCCESSioN PiCASSo/dACS 2009

in May 1951, Picasso wrote for the French newspaper L’Humanité, that, “The hours count. The minutes count. do not let this crime against humanity take place”. He subsequently condemned their execution. All will be explained when the Tate Gallery, liverpool, hosts Picasso: Peace and Freedom in May 2010. This major exhibition, with over 150 works, will give a fascinating insight into Picasso’s involvement with political events in America.


The American

Bill Viola to create altarpieces for St Paul’s Cathedral

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Isis, the first major artwork in a London Royal Park for a century, will also help fund an education centre in Hyde Park © SiMoN GUdGEoN

Isis Rises In Hyde Park I

have recently finished an interesting project. A major statue, ‘Isis’, is the first major installation to a London ‘Royal Park’ in 100 years. It will be unveiled at the Serpentine in London’s Hyde Park this month (September) at a gala ceremony. The commission, together with a commemorative book in which I was asked to write an essay/profile on the sculptor, Simon Gudgeon, has been arranged by The Halcyon Gallery. You can take a look at the book online and find out much more about Isis at www.halcyongallery.com. The books – with a foreword written by Prince Charles – are not for sale but you can get one by joining Zac & Sheherazade Goldsmith and Trudie Styler & Sting and sponsoring, for £1,000, a personalized plaque that will be permanently inlaid around the base of Isis. The money raised will help build a new Look Out Education Centre which will encourage city children into the natural world, helping them appreciate wildlife and look after the environment.

merican artist Bill Viola has been commissioned to create two permanent altarpieces, on the themes of Mary and Martyrs, for St Paul’s Cathedral, london. The two multi-screen video installations will flank the High Altar of the Cathedral and the American Memorial Chapel, where American Service men and women who gave their lives in World War Two are commemorated. designed like historic altarpieces, they will be mounted on hinged panels, enabling them to be closed. Viola has been a pioneer in the medium of video art for over 35 years. Focusing on universal human experiences (life, death and rebirth), he has roots in both Eastern and Western art. He said of this commission, that “The two themes of Mary and Martyrs symbolize some of the profound mysteries of human existence. one is concerned with birth and the other with death; one with comfort and creation, the other with suffering and sacrifice. if i am successful, the final pieces will function both as aesthetic objects of contemporary art and as practical objects of traditional contemplation and devotion.” The project will begin production soon, and be completed in 2011.

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The American

By estelle Lovatt and Sabrina Sully

Pictures at an Exhibition Sara houghteling

$24.95 US, 256 pages

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et after World War ii in Paris, Vichy France, young American writer Sara Houghteling’s debut novel tells the historically factual story of a son’s mission to get back his family’s lost art, looted by the Nazis during the French occupation. Son of an art dealer, Max Berenzon is forbidden by his father from entering the family art gallery business. Unenthusiastically he goes to medical school to become a doctor, saving his enthusiasm for his father’s gallery assistant, the beautiful Rose Clément. This story is based on the real life heroine Rose Valland, who worked at the louvre, and behind its closed doors kept detailed trails on all the art that was looted by Hitler, in such great account that her records helped ensure authorisation for much of its recovery. This interesting story will appeal to everyone who has an interest in art from impressionism to Picasso. As Houghteling explains, “the artist has suffered for his art. And yet still he is generous, because he offers us a new language that permits us to converse outside of words.” Artists, crooked art dealers, black marketers and Résistants collaborate in the story, making this an exciting tale. EL

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Passchendaele (UK rating: 15) The odeon Panton Street London W1 from September 4

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ith the passing of Harry Patch, our link with World War i is broken, and i’ve been thinking about my grandfather. He had stretchered the wounded from No Man’s land, amputated limbs and dressed wounds in field hospitals, and the horror and futility of war haunted him to the end. He was at the 3rd Battle of Ypres – Passchendaele. This film debuted last Fall in Canada and opens here on September 4. i watched it with trepidation, hoping it wouldn’t let grandfather down. i’m glad i saw it. Paul Gross writes, directs and stars as decorated, shell-shocked, badly wounded Sergeant Michael dunne who is shipped home and falls for Sarah Mann (Caroline dhavernas), the nurse who helps him recuperate. declared medically unfit for the front line, he joins a recruiting office and encounters Sarah’s asthmatic younger brother david (Joe dinicol). When, for love of his fiancée, david signs up by lying about his condition, dunne, for love of Sarah, and although now a cynic about war, returns to the Front to look after him. As he says, “in love, there is only one rule... don’t die.” This is an epic work of passion; Gross’s grandfather was psychologi-

cally damaged by an incident depicted in the film. The movie was made in honour of Canada’s 16,000 soldiers killed or wounded at Passchendaele, one of the bloodiest, muddiest, most horrific conflicts of WWi. Gross packs in a myriad of detail: the recruitment methods, the petty snobberies of the time, the importance of how to light a cigarette in the trenches, the sheer ignorance and lack of understanding of those back home. Shot over forty-five days and involving over 200 actors, including Canadian soldiers who’d fought in Afghanistan, the film has extremely realistic battle scenes and conveys some of the horrors of the trenches. Credit also goes to Gregory Middleton, director of Photography. The combination of color and black and white footage is seamless, and the clever use of silence draws the viewer in. The love affair between Sarah and Michael reveals that many participants were damaged by the war. Even Sarah has a drug habit. dunne’s philosophy has a chilling ring of truth. Just as the sea ebbs and flows, we do war “because we’re good at it: we’re good at it because we’re used to it, we’re used to it because we do it all the time”. SS


The American

Reliving the Spirit of The Ballet Russes S

ergei Diaghilev formed Les Ballets Russes in 1909. So shocking and new was his work it caused riots. One hundred years later, four exceptional modern choreographers pay homage to Diaghilev when Sadler’s Wells produces the world premier of In the Spirit of Diaghilev. There will also be an associated lecture, panel discussion and artists’ talk at the Lilian Baylis Studio. Sadler’s Wells Artistic Director Alistair Spalding says; “With the Ballets Russes, Diaghilev altered the perceptions of who and what ballet could attract. It became a multidimensional art form and Diaghilev’s approach forged the way for generations of artists and producers to come. For this centenary I felt it was important for Sadler’s Wells to create

Javier De Frutos

by Michael Burland

new work, and to ask the question, if Diaghilev were alive today, what would he do? So I’ve asked Wayne McGregor, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Russell Maliphant and Javier de Frutos, to each create pieces inspired by some aspect of that period and most importantly Les Ballets Russes’ spirit of collaboration.” Each choreographer, working with his own company and a host of world class designers, composers and artists, will present their own original response to the famous challenge that Diaghilev once issued to Jean Cocteau: “Surprise me!”. Wayne McGregor’s creation Dyad 1909 is inspired by Shackleton’s Nimrod expedition to the South Pole in 1909, the year that Les Ballets Russes was founded. McGregor has collaborated with artists and filmmakers Jane and Louise Wilson and costume designer Moritz Junge. Costumes are embellished by Swarovski, make-up is by Kabuki and a newly commissioned score by Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds. Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui examines the animalistic nature of human movement and the power of mythology in Faun, a new duet which takes an alternative look at the eponymous creature from Stéphane Mallermé’s poem, originally using Claude Débussy’s music and Vaslav Nijinsky’s choreography. Additional music is by

One of Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s Fauns

Nitin Sawhney, and costumes are by fashion designer Hussein Chalayan. Using hundreds of studio photographs of Vaslav Nijinsky taken during his time with the Ballet Russes, plus geometric drawings and paintings suggesting Nijinsky’s idealised form of dance, Russell Maliphant has created a AfterLight, designed by Es Devlin with animation company onedotzero. Music is by Andy Cowton, composer of the award-winning Two and Push. Javier De Frutos, choreographer and Olivier Award winner, joins forces with theatre designer Katrina Lindsay to create Eternal Damnation to Sancho and Sanchez, a piece inspired by Jean Cocteau’s scenarios and designs for the Ballets Russes. The musical heart of the work is Maurice Ravel’s La Valse, the epitome of a Danse Macabre, and a composition originally commissioned for the Ballets Russes by Diaghilev, who then dismissed it for its eerie poetry which he deemed “undanceable” and not suitable for a ballet. H October 13-17, 0844 412 4300 www.sadlerswells.com

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The American

Hurricane Katrina Hits London

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t is four years since Hurricane Katrina damaged the levees around New orleans, allowing the waters of lake Pontchartrain to flood the historic city. The story, played out on the television news, of how the inhabitants had to wait a week without food or clean water before the government came to their aid, shocked the world. Katrina, a new production by The Jericho House, is composed entirely of the accounts of survivors and relief workers. Written and directed by Jonathan Holmes, Katrina will be performed by a British cast, Andrew dennis, Andrea Harris, Stephanie langton, Wunmi Mosaku, Joe Speare and orlando Wells. A newly composed score and immersive sound design, featuring indigenous New orleans music, is by Peter Readman and Peter Nash. in the show, Virgil, a decadent old New orleanian, dies during Hurricane Katrina. Trapped by the rising floodwater his partner Beatrice determines to take his body to safety at City Hall. during her journey she encounters a number of other survivors; New orleans residents Miranda, daniel and Cal as well as trapped visitors larry and lorrie Robinson; and hears their stories. As a promenade production, the whole of the Bargehouse is transformed into a New orleans which the audience inhabits. Katrina will be performed at the Bargehouse at oxo Tower Wharf in Bargehouse Street, london, SE1 9PH. Previews start on September 1, in a strictly limited season that lasts until 26 September 2009. Tickets are a reasonable £17 (£14 for previews, 25s and under, and 60 and over). Call the Young Vic box office 020 7922 2922 or go to www.youngvic.org

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Hamlet By William Shakespeare Donmar Season in the West end

TheATeR ReVIeWS BY JARlATH o’CoNNEll


The American

Following sold out runs in London and in Elsinore Castle itself, this production arrives at the Broadhurst Theatre New York on 12 September

Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Ophelia, Jude Law as Hamlet, in a production bound for New York Photos: Johan Persson

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he hottest ticket in town this summer has been Jude Law’s Hamlet. Competing with Helen Mirren’s Phédre and Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen’s Waiting for Godot, he defeated them all and set the cash registers ringing, to bring the Donmar’s West End season to a triumphant close. DKNY’s Elsinore store is bare. The royal court of Denmark has descended and stripped it of the latest ladies and gents smart-casual suits in every colour, so long as it’s grey. This means Gertrude – Queen of Denmark, ends up looking like a middle manager in HSBC. The set too is grey and by the end one is gasping for colour. This obsession with modern dress Hamlets has always puzzled me. It’s a play about kings and ghosts and sword fights after all and where, in an Armani jacket, could one conceivably hide a ‘bare bodkin’? While Jude’s grasp of iambic pentameter may not have detained the trendy young things in the audience very much, they will have come away from this show benefiting from the trademarks of all great Michael Grandage productions – pristine dramatic clarity, beautiful stage pictures and a swift paced and unreverential approach to the classics. Surrounding Law with stage veterans such as Penelope Wilton, Peter Eyre and Ron Cook, he has given the play some ballast and by cutting it down to 3hrs 10mins, we are mercifully saved the worst excesses of the boring, I mean, strolling players.

In all he has crafted a slick production out of this theatrical warhorse and it will bring new audiences to Shakespeare. Law, who needs no help in the charisma department, took a great risk with this. Critics always like to cut tall poppies down to size and he has to be commended for putting himself through this eight times a week and for supporting the commercial theatre. For the most part he succeeds admirably. He brings a great physicality and energy to the part and is totally believable as the swashbuckling young prince of the second half of the play. Where he falls down however is with the great soliloquies. The problem with Hamlet is by the time you are experienced enough to play it you are too old to be convincing, so there is always a trade-off. Two of the best Hamlets in recent memory, Alex Jennings and Simon Russell Beale, may not have had Law’s swagger but they made up for it by conquering the language and unearthing the treasures hidden within its brilliant poetry. Here, Law’s take is a bit more monotone, rather like the suits. The soliloquies are central to the

play’s success as they underpin it all. The young prince ponders his fate and berates himself for his inaction. They explore the ambivalence within all of us about what we are and where we are going. Law declaims them as if he was in a Greek tragedy (he’d be good in Phedre!) and we don’t believe for a second that this young man would dither about anything. The part of Ophelia has launched many a career and the same should happen for Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who plays the part here. She brings a solid humanity to a part, which is often far too ethereal. Gugu is going places, so to speak! If you are in New York this fall, check it out. H

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The American

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t is late on 3 March 1968, the Memphis rain is pelting down and a tired Dr Martin Luther King Jr. retires to a grungey motel room for the night. He has just delivered a speech at Mason Temple in support black sanitation workers, who are striking for better pay and conditions, the speech that would come to be known as the “I’ve been to the mountaintop” address. He orders coffee from room service and it arrives via a stunningly beautiful, and plain-speaking young black maid called Camae. They get talking and she turns out to be more than what she seems. Katori Hall’s excellent new play is therefore a familiar staple in modern theatre. Two unlikely people brought together in a room, one often famous, who gets to be interrogated by the everyman character thus allowing the audience to debunk or to celebrate of myth of the Great One. It keeps the costs down for the producers and although it limits the options for drama, if the script and casting are right and it doesn’t outstay its welcome, it can often succeed admirably. Working within these limitations and coming in at just 85 minutes, Ms Hall succeeds perfectly here. The dialogue just sings and it has more one-liners than a boulevard comedy – “them Civil Rights gonna get you long before them Pall Malls” quips Camay, as they share one more of her much prized cigarettes. The dialogue is robust enough too to encompass preacher King’s verbosity and Camay’s more earthbound street talk. In one wonderful set piece she dons his jacket

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David Harewood plays Martin Luther King Jr. alongside Lorraine Burroughs as Camae Tristram Kenton

The Mountaintop By Katori Hall • Trafalgar Studios 1, Whitehall, London SW1 and shoes and gives the speech she would give if she were him. Let’s just say, she ain’t ‘in’ to Mahatma. Hall, herself a young and incredibly talented African-American writer, is from Memphis and has her personal link to the story. Her mother grew up one block from the Lorraine Motel and always regretted staying away from Mason Temple that night, because she had feared the church would be bombed. The play brings right home to us just how incendiary those times were and shockingly too, it reminds us how recent it all was. At the end of the play a video montage brings us bang up to date, ending with Obama’s “Yes, we can”. The play asks us just how far America has come and has it made it to that mountain top yet? Central to the play’s success are two towering performances. David

Harewood totally inhabits the part of King, capturing the vocal mannerisms and the undoubted charisma of the man. Harewood’s lumbering physicality is contrasted with the Lorraine Burroughs, in a real star turn as Camay. With the grace of a dancer and lightning quick responses, she is more than a match for the great man and surprises both him and us. This is crucial because the play hinges on a plot twist delivered by her, which I won’t be cruel enough to disclose. This twist sets the play off on a wrong direction. After sitting through a totally engaging examination of King’s legacy and the humanity of the man suddenly we are cast adrift as it undermines all that went before it. One of the co-producers of the play is Jean Doumanian, who produced most of Woody Allen’s best work (before his recent European decline!). It won’t be long therefore before this play hits Broadway and indeed the big screen. This is an amazing achievement for the little Theatre 503 in Battersea, where the play began. H


A sweeping drama of the world’s greatest city from the modern Michener ‘New York’s magnificent gift to the storyteller is a four-century history as exciting as that of any place on earth. It is a place echoing with stories, from old Manhattan’s Indian trails and Dutch settlements, to the dramatic construction of the Empire State Building and the tale of John Lennon’s Dakota. Larger-than-life historical characters abound: Stuyvesant; Lord Cornbury, the transvestite British governor; Ben Franklin in London; Washington; Lincoln; the banking titan, J.P. Morgan; and the legendary socialities, Mrs Astor and Mrs Vanderbilt. Above all, for me, this novel is a tale of ordinary people – local Indians, Dutch settlers, English merchants, African slaves, German shopkeepers, Irish labourers, Jews and Italians arriving through Ellis Island; Puerto Ricans, Guatemalans, Chinese, innkeepers and gangsters, society ladies and sweatshop workers – frequently based upon real people I discovered in my research and whose lives moved me, all of whom came to America in search of freedom, and usually found it.’

For further information about New York and Edward Rutherfurd, visit www.edwardrutherfurd.com Available from

C CENtuRY A Random House Group Company

www.rbooks.co.uk


The Black Album By Hanif Kureishi • A Tara Arts production with the National Theatre, Cottesloe Theatre, London SE1

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hen Hanif Kureishi first hit the big time with his great Oscar nominated screenplay for My Beautiful Laundrette, audiences for the first time got an insight into how it felt to grow up Muslim in Britain. Hitherto the experience of British Asians had been sidelined by film and television but from here on they were no longer content to be in the shadows. His films such as Sammy and Rosie Get Laid and My Son the Fanatic continued to explore this territory and he adapted his first novel The Buddha of Suburbia for TV in 1993, turning it in to a landmark mini-series. Published in 1995, his second novel The Black Album is set in 1989 and explores the growing tensions between increasingly fundamentalist young British Muslims and a city confused about multiculturalism in the wake of the street protests over the fatwa against Salman Rushdie. With a backdrop of lively pop culture (Prince and Madonna at their height) it also foregrounded Kureishi’s great skill at presenting lusty Muslim youth, who are caught between the conservative hold of their

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parents and their own desire to plunge headlong into the hedonistic delights of London. In this story young Shahid begins college in London and falls in with a motley collection of young fundamentalists (high on their newfound power), his bohemian wide-boy brother, a dope smoking girlfriend and a white Marxist lecturer who condemns Rushdie for ‘attacking’ the Muslim working class. The last hurrah for the Marxist diehards, as the Berlin Wall falls. The possibility of revisiting this novel of social ferment 14 years on, and post 9/11, had great potential and to assist him Kureishi engaged the acclaimed director Jatinder Verma. Verma is the co-founder of the pioneering cross-cultural theatre company Tara Arts, and has produced, among others, a number of Asian treatments of the classics at the National Theatre (Tartuffe, Cyrano de Bergerac). He seemed therefore the perfect collaborator for this but, sad to say, he botches the production. The trouble starts with the dialogue. What might have worked on the page

comes across on the stage as clunky and polemical and totally lacking in Kureishi’s characteristic wit. Sadly, too, none of the actors deliver these lines and the whole thing has the air of a school play where the casting options were limited. There is an inept doubling up of roles, where young actors come on with comedy beards to play the elders. A devious Labour Council Leader from Yorkshire turns up with a ‘tache and bow-tie, looking like a spiv from a Terry-Thomas comedy. A director’s basic skill for blocking the action and getting the line readings right seems to have deserted Verma. The actors flail around and sit awkwardly wherever they find a spot, the entrances resemble a bad sitcom and the accents are all over the place. I even detected an Irish one. Key dramatic or comedic moments – such as the recreation of God being ‘revealed’ in the aubergine, or the burning of the book lose impact through inept staging, and the video montage fails to enliven the dreary set because its images are poorly chosen and edited. When the lights came up I discovered that the acclaimed choreographer Shobana Jeyasingh was credited on this production. What exactly she did, baffles me still. H


The American

In Memoriam

Merce Cunningham (April 16, 1919 – July 26, 2009)

Pina Bausch

(July 27, 1940 – June 30, 2009)

“D

ancing is the art of the present tense” Merce Cunningham once said. He could have been talking about Pina Bausch, as much as himself. There are arguably only three names that matter in modern dance: Cunningham, Bausch and Martha Graham. Graham died in 1991 and recently, within a month of each other, we’ve lost both Cunningham and Bausch. Cunningham, who studied with Graham, inherited her mantle as the great pioneer of dance, inventing a new language of movement. Into his eighties he kept pushing the boundaries, collaborating with bands such as Radiohead and Sigur Ros. He was a leader in utilising new technology, one of the first to embrace video art and (crippled with arthritis) a computer programme which allowed him to animate virtual dancers using a cursor. Trained in ballroom and tap in his native Washington State, Cunningham moved to New York to study with Graham. He excelled as a performer, but soon set off on his own path, aided by his friend and collaborator, the composer John Cage (who later became his life partner). He eschewed storytelling or explorations of relationships, the staples of dance up until then. His most radical idea was that dance,

music and design (designers who collaborated with him included Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Frank Stella and Andy Warhol) should be performed at the same time but prepared separately. Dancers often did not know what the costumes, décor, or even the music would be until the dress rehearsal. He was fascinated by experimenting with chance as a compositional tool and dealing a card or a throwing a dice would determine which part of the body would be used, which directions they would go in or how many dancers there would be. This had nothing to do with being sloppy or improvisational, instead he wanted to avoid predictable habits in performance. Bausch took dance in another direction. Less concerned with pure form and more about getting to the heart of what makes a theatrical moment, she infuriated dance purists who considered her too theatrical. Her dancers often talked or sang and eclectic music choices, repetition and startling use of design were integral to her creations. Anyone who witnessed the astonishing field of pink carnations with its prowling militia and guard dogs in Nelken or the wall collapsing in Palermo Palermo, will know what I’m talking about. Bausch trained at Julliard where

she worked with Anthony Tudor and Paul Taylor. After returning to Germany in 1973 she set up Tanztheater Wuppertal, a close-knit family of dancers, most of whom stayed with her for decades. She created some of the signature theatrical works of the last 50 years: Café Muller, Rite of Spring, Viktor, Kontakthof. The company toured the globe constantly. For many years she confined her UK visits to Edinburgh, but with the re-opening of Sadlers Wells she found a welcoming home in London. Pedro Almodovar, a huge fan, included excerpts from Café Muller in his film Talk to Her, bringing Bausch’s work to a wider audience. On its opening night Channel Four televised one of her pieces and Jeremy Isaacs (then Chief Exec), recalled how the switchboard lit up with the inevitable complaints. One ‘colonel from the shires’ fumed “what is this utter rubbish…..and more importantly, why am I still watching it”. Pina would have smiled. Cunningham and Bausch’s influence can be seen in every major choreographer working today, but more importantly, their presence is also felt in theatre, opera, music video and film. Their companies were inseparable from their personalities, so how their legacies will fare without them, will be interesting to watch. H

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The American

States in a State W

hilst Germany, France, Hong Kong and even Japan trumpet that they’re officially out of recession, and the UK looks on enviously, America is apparently showing cautious signs of health. This seems strange when US interest rates may be coming down, but the United States set another record for public debt in July. The July deficit brings the fiscal year deficit to about $1.27 trillion, largely ballooned by the $787 billion stimulus package to jump-start the US economy and the $700 billion bank sector bail-out. The Obama administration forecasts a record $1.84 trillion deficit for this year and $1.26 trillion for the next fiscal year beginning October 1, 2009. In the year 2007-2008, the US government posted a then-record $454.8 billion deficit. (The government last ran a surplus during the 2001 fiscal year, posting a $128 billion surplus in the last year of the Clinton administration.) Liberals argue that Congress should not be thinking in terms of deficit reduction right now, but toward efforts to further stimulate the US economy. Conversely, Conservative thinkers say Congress should

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How will the President’s stimulus package fill a US fiscal deficit the size of the Grand Canyon, asks Sabrina Sully take steps to decrease the deficit, primarily by spending cuts, arguing that high debt levels will both increase interest rates and quintuple net interest costs over the next decade. But the financial/economic sector think of it as another in-line, monthly budget deficit - and one that US stock and bond markets will ignore, for the most part. The market’s blasé attitude may seem strange, given a triple-digit monthly deficit, but the markets had already factored-in, or discounted, the total. The prevailing psychology driving the stock market now is the approaching recovery. Institutional investors are receiving data on housing, manufacturing, job layoffs, and auto sales that points to not only a bottoming recession, but also an approaching recovery. Those are the major reasons investors have bid-up stock prices in the past four to five months. As long as the economic fundamentals point to economic growth, the markets will look past the budget deficit data. Investors know

that a growing economy will do its part to increase federal revenue and decrease outlays, cutting the deficit even before likely, targeted Congressional action next year. The debt mainly comes from Treasury bonds (how most Governments borrow money and how the UK is doing its ‘Quantitative Easing’). US treasury bonds are now mainly owned by Asian economies, China (the top holder with over $800 billion-worth) and Japan leading the field. China’s premier Wen Jiabao has urged Washington to safeguard their value. But it doesn’t look like a quick recovery. In June, while US exports rose, rising oil prices widened the balance of trade deficit . “The global business cycle is in a state of repair and that involves trade building itself back up, even if it means a modest widening of the deficit,” said Steven Wieting, chief US economist at Citigroup. Good news came from the Federal Reserve on August 12 as


The American

© Tobias Alt

it said it saw signs of a more stable economy within the July figures. The Fed said in the latest statement, which followed its decision to leave interest rates unchanged at record low levels, that economic activity is “leveling out.” The Fed also said it would gradually slow the pace of its program to buy Treasury securities. Although consumer spending has stabilized, sluggish income growth, job losses, tanking home values and still hard to get credit could make Americans cautious in the months ahead, the Fed said. The trouble filters down to the individual states. California is well publicized as being on the brink of bankruptcy, and may use a little known municipal ‘Chapter 9’ filing, similar to Chapter 11. And Arnie can’t rely upon businesses to refill the coffers: Southern California has seen a much bigger increase in bankruptcy filings compared to the rest of the nation, with the number of personal and business bankruptcies and Chapter 11s reaching its highest level in four years. Shockingly, Montana and North Dakota are the only states not in deficit. Although none are quite as bad as California, the states have between them racked up a vast $166 billion in total. And they’re all breaking their own rules - only Vermont

is actually allowed by its constitution to have a deficit at all – all the others must balance their budgets. How has that been allowed to happen? (Perhaps they have taken a leaf from the European Union’s books, as the EU’s Court of Auditors have not cleared its budget for fourteen years.) President Obama’s stimulus package may fill some of the holes, but the only way they’re going to move in the direction of a balance is with big cuts, especially in education and health. Teachers are already being sacked in some states, Arizona has cut $175 million from the schools and universities, and $44 million in

reductions to the state’s health-care system, including increased charges for Aids tests, Michigan has cut Healthcare by 8% and opened new revenue streams from gambling. And there are more inventive revenue generation methods being implemented: New York City fined 9,000 people in a day for using their cell phones while driving. Although always illegal, the sudden crackdown is seen as a bare-faced money earner. And one Democrat politician says that California may legalize and tax marijuana. There’ll be more municipal snake oil before we’re the other side of the canyon.

Obama – looking for international cooperation to navigate a rocky path

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The American

The British (Bikes) Are Coming

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arley aficionados all across the States must have choked on their Wheaties when they heard that the prestigious ‘Cruiser of the Year’ award given by US bike magazine Cycle World has gone to British manufacturer Triumph’s all-new Thunderbird. The 1600cc parallel twin, which starts at £9,499 on the road in Britain, has been well received by the world’s media since its press launch in Barcelona in June. Unusually for a cruiser, its riding dynamics are reportedly outstanding. its classic cruiser looks could perhaps have been a little more unique, although maybe the cruiser buyer needs something Harley-esque. Certainly, Triumph’s marketing strategy since its relaunch in the 1990s by construction industry entrepreneur John Bloor cannot be faulted. Triumph has won at least one category in Cycle World’s ‘Ten Best Bikes’ awards every year for the last five years for its roadster and sports bikes. “This award is particularly significant as it comes from the biggest publication in the biggest market for this type of motorcycle, which is, of course, the home of the biggest cruiser manufacturer in the world. To be accepted so quickly as a credible alternative to Harleydavidson is a fantastic boost for everyone involved in the project,” said Paul Stroud, Triumph’s director of Sales and Marketing.

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Goodwood Revives Minis

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he Goodwood Revival racing meeting, September 18-20, is linking two British design classics, the Mini car and the mini skirt. The Mini – always known by its model name rather than its manufacturer – celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. A large number of rare and famous Mini cars of all shapes and sizes will be on show and on track at the famous Revival meeting at Goodwood, in beautiful West Sussex, and the saloon car race will be dedicated to original Mini Cooper S models. As well as Mini saloons, you can expect to see Riley Elf and Wolseley Hornet derivates as well as Mini-

based ice cream vans, motor homes, vans, pick-up trucks and bizarre publicity machines. The Revival meeting recreates the race meetings held at the circuit before 1968. Visitors are encouraged to dress in period fashions and this year Goodwood celebrates the mini skirt, designed by British fashion designer Mary Quant in the mid-1960s. Female visitors can wear their mini skirts and stroll down a recreation of the Swinging Sixties Carnaby Street. On Ladies Day, Saturday 19th, prizes will be awarded to the best dressed ladies donning mini skirts and other Sixties ‘gear’.

Win The Case But Lose The Cash

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rom october it will be best not to be accused of any motoring offence in the UK – even if you are innocent. Under new legislation, drivers who defend themselves against a motoring charge will have to pay the bulk of their costs, even if they are found not guilty. Until now, in such circumstances, their costs would be reimbursed, as for any other kind of offence. Now they will only be able to reclaim costs equivalent to the rate for legal aid, considerably lower than that solicitors charge private clients. drivers who know they are innocent now face the choice of pleading guilty and being punished for a crime they did not commit, or take the risk of going to court and proving their innocence but still be punished financially. A spokesman for the Association of British drivers, Nigel Humphries, said, “This is like the way witches were tried in the Middle Ages – throw them into a pond and, if they float, they are guilty and burned at the stake. if they drown they are innocent, but they’re just as dead! This type of justice has no place in the 21st century.”

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Sideline Reclaim that remote and kiss the family farewell until february – it’s football season! Richard L Gale is on his very best behaviour

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his month I have mostly been cleaning up vomit. (Sorry, I probably should have given you some warning before opening with that). I should clarify that the aforementioned hurl was not the result of too many beers, nor a by-product of last month’s experiments with barbequed chicken (which never happened thanks to August’s fickle moods), but merely my one-year-old daughter getting a bit excited and out-ofroutine about Grandma staying with us for a couple of months. I’ve been doing other things too – somewhere between now and however long it takes to write 35,000 words, our website will host at least a ‘100-word dash’ for every FBS team, longer previews for some, and NFL previews too (visit www.theamerican. co.uk). We have our college football intro and NFL divisional preview capsules awaiting you just over the page there, plus our own preseason top 25, compiled with the help of our irregular sports writing team. So, writing, designing, clearing up you-know-what (yes, and the other you-know-what) at all hours, and dashing between screen and screams like a ‘new man’ possessed, I am the very picture of industry. This is impressing my mother-in-law greatly, perhaps because she doesn’t realize the incentive for this activity is the inactivity I have planned for September. If I’m being one heck

of a father and husband right now, it’s because I know football season’s going to be wearing pretty thin by Thanksgiving, and I know I’d better earn some bonus points.

Inert but comfortable

As regular readers may recall, I refer to my wife as Mrs Football not because she’s a big football fan (she isn’t – she’s barely 5 feet), but because marrying me meant marrying the sport. Luckily, it’s American football, not soccer, so she does at least rent me from the NFL for seven months each year. Come Fall, it’s a rare treat if she actually joins me on the couch, though more often than not when she does it’s because she’s tired, I’m comfy, and she knows I’m not likely to move for several hours. I’m planning on moving even less this season, with the acquisition of a mini-fridge to sit next to the sofa (£19.99, Argos, capacity six cans). It’s a garish pink, so I should be able to sneak it in amongst my daughter’s pile of toys without anyone noticing. At time of writing, there’s no confirmation who’s going to show the NFL this season, but Sky will almost certainly be a major part of it, maybe with ESPN stealing back SNF and MNF? We’ll see. What we’re not seeing right now is the preseason, so a big ‘boo’ to everybody involved

...And the whole family celebrated! Meanwhile back in the real world...

there. At least ESPN America has been reborn on Sky 430, which was not assured this time last month, so college football has been saved!

Making an occasion of it

Not having preseason on ‘the box’ does allow the season kickoff to be something of an event, rather than the next stage of a staggered start. So, in accordance with John Madden’s calls for football bunting, I have included some on this page. A bit of careful scissor-work (okay, you may need several copies of this issue) and the top of your screen should look suitably seasonal come the start of the regular season, September 10. However you watch your sports – with or without family, with or without bunting – enjoy your football. You’ve probably earned it. H How does your family adapt to football season? Does dad get together with his rowdy friends or is football a family occassion? Perhaps you watch it at an alumnus club. We’d like to know. Write to me at richardg@blueedge.co.uk

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The American

Winners, Whingers and Gatecrashers i

t doesn’t require non-BCS affiliated teams to start a championship game whinge. The Texas longhorns defeated oklahoma, and then had to watch as the Sooners advanced to the Big 12 and National Championship games. Meanwhile, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff has turned Utah’s nonappearance in the BCS title game into a legal matter to discuss access for all to the most lucrative postseason games. While calls for a playoff get

The arguments in favor of a playoff grow louder, but for now the SeC and Big 12 championships remain the semifinals louder, nobody seems to have an issue with Florida’s status as BCS national champion. They were convincing enough that they start this year as no.1 in most preseason polls. Perhaps Texas can take consolation in the fact that they top our preaseason poll of contributing writers. Florida, Texas and

Heisman Replay? A

nd the Heisman award for best QB of a two-or-less-loss team from a major conference goes to... (see previous ballots for suggestions). Last year’s winner, Sam Bradford of Oklahoma, joins 2007 winner Tim Tebow of Florida in a bid to become only the second two-time winner. In their way: Texas QB Colt MCoy, who came second in the voting in 2008. Those three will probably be the names at the top of the ballot again, barring injury. If Ohio State’s Terrelle Pryor doesn’t make it four QBs at the ceremony, Pac-10 running backs Jahvid Best (California) or Jacquizz Rodgers (Oregon State) could be there too. Our best guess: McCoy will outfling Bradford, but Tebow’s unbeaten streak cannot be overlooked.

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Sam Bradford of Oklahoma seeks to become the second ever two-time Heisman winner PHoTo: oU ATHlETiCS dEPARTMENT

oklahoma again enter a three-team scrap, as 2008 spills over into 2009. it shouldn’t take long to wreck the preseason top 10. Virginia Tech and Alabama face each other September 5, the same day oklahoma State plays Georgia, and USC visits ohio State one week later. Prospective BCS gatecrashers Boise State and TCU could enjoy an early rise in the polls with the losers falling ...if Boise State can prove themselves in a season opener against oregon. The Sooners and longhorns meet october 17 in what we may dub a college football ‘quarterfinal’. However, college football may not need Boise State or the staunch defense of TCU to bring the BCS-haters out in force. Too many unbeaten BCS teams could be the story this season. Either USC or ohio State could roll to an unbeaten record after their early meeting, and neither have conference title games to extend their seasons, while ACC, SEC or Big 12 teams have the leverage of their conference championships. Florida, the winner of Texas-oklahoma and possibly Virginia Tech could enjoy an inequality of opportunity. All TCU and Boise State ask for is an opportunity. Could an unbeaten ohio State end up asking the same thing?


The American

Nine More Stories for 2009 MWC: something’s gotta give

The only problem with TCU, BYU and Utah busting the BCS? Each other. locked in the Mountain West, a divisional sweep is their best strengthof-schedule path to a top-5 finish.

FSU winning for Bowden

FSU and Bobby Bowden may lose 14 wins from their record because of academic violations, nixing Bowden’s rivalry with Paterno for most ever. Expect FSU to come out angry.

Can USC avoid Pac-10 slip-ups? Are Southern Cal careless? The past 3 years, they’ve lost to oregon State twice, UClA, and Stanford, all while a national championship contender.

Are Irish BCS-worthy?

They have a comparatively easy schedule, and they’re starting most polls ranked. it wouldn’t take much to qualify for a BCS bowl. But are they really that good? Expect non-”Big Six” contenders to keep raising the issue.

Boise State to go unbeaten?

Their schedule gives Boise State a great chance of going unbeaten. Voters care, but will the computers?

Can Gators survive SEC?

Alabama and ole Miss aren’t on the schedule, but one of them will likely still be there in the SEC title game.

Can Vols survive Gators?

After lane Kiffin suggested the Gators might not be playing fair, expect the Gators to bring a heavy dose of payback September 19.

Toughest schedule?

obviously SEC and Big 12 South teams, but spare a thought for oregon: at Boise State and vs Utah before they even start Pac-10 play.

A boy called Suh

if you can’t pronounce Ndamukong Suh yet, pay attention to Nebraska this season as the dT tries to secure the no.1 pick in the 2010 draft.

Every fBS team previewed online: www.theamerican.co.uk

We’re expecting a Texas team in the National Championship game. But could it ever be Texas Christian? PHoTo: TCU ATHlETiCS MEdiA RElATioNS.

The American Preseason Top 25 1. Texas 2. Florida 3. oklahoma 4. USC 5. ohio State 6. Virginia Tech 7. Mississippi 8. Alabama 9. lSU 10. oklahoma State 11. Penn State 12. California 13. oregon 14. TCU 15. Boise State 16. Georgia 17. Georgia Tech 18. iowa 19. Florida State 20. Nebraska 21. North Carolina 22. BYU 23. Utah 24. Notre dame 25. oregon State (compiled by our sports panel)

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The American

Prepare for

a wild ride!

A rule change on kick returns could require more momentum-shifting plays from the ‘wildcat’ ...or an emphasis on smash-mouth football? Richard L Gale previews the NfL season

T

he three-quarterback formula – one starter, one backup, one understudy – may be challenged by a new formula this season: starter, backup, and wrinkle (understudies are ‘emergency only’). The wrinkles are players such as Miami rookie Pat White, and Philadelphia’s Michael Vick: wildcat players, change-up pitchers. Most teams will have somebody, whether a versatile non-QB who can throw or a QB who has the athleticism to tuck and run. Teams will use any edge they can in the hunt for the playoffs. Last year, nine teams finished within two plays of a postseason berth. According to my projections, there could be ten missing by that margin this year. A big play here, a big play there... the kind of stuff a wildcat formation might allow. This year should prove whether there’s a further trend towards spread option style offenses, or whether the wildcat is exposed as a passing fad, with its more frequent use diluting the surprise factor. A couple of decades ago, the run-andshoot was the future, but there’s still plenty of two-back sets out there. None the less, a new rule change preventing more than four players clustering together for kick returns (a re-emphasis of the rule against the flying wedge) could result in return averages going down, and the field

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becoming longer for offenses. Big momentum-shifting plays from the wildcat may try to replace big special teams plays, but that longer field could as likely result in increased talk about teams who can sustain drives. That might be the quick-passing Cardinals or Patriots (both with the added luxury of deep threat talent), or else the hard-running backfields of the Titans, Panthers, or Jaguars. The wildcat may turn out to be misdirection after all: it will be a team which runs hard and has a staunch defensive line that will outpace the competition. AFC EAST 12-4 9-7 8-8 7-9

New England Patriots* Miami Dolphins New York Jets Buffalo Bills

Matt Cassel was good, but he wasn’t Tom Brady. Is Tom Brady still Tom Brady? Stopping the Pats offense is a puzzle no rival has solved, but the defense seems to wear a little every year. And how long can they get away with a sub-par running game? // Miami gets a tougher schedule, and last year’s smoke and mirrors must be replaced with some genuine hard-nosed football. Defensively at least, it’s there. The offense is merely tidy with moments of inspiration. // After last year, everybody thinks a rookie QB can work miracles, but the Jets’ Mark Sanchez probably comes close because

of a savvy supporting cast and coach Rex Ryan unleashing defensive aggression. // The Bills? The defense isn’t special, and special teams – usually good – looked sleepy in preseason. Can Terrell owens’ arrival really change a team’s fortunes so radically. It’s never happened before. FANTASY FACTORS Top Studs: Tom Brady, Randy Moss, Wes Welker Value Picks: Trent edwards, QB, Buffalo Bills; Thomas Jones, RB, New York Jets Breakout Player: Dustin Keller, Te, New York Jets AFC NORTH 11-5 10-6 10-6 3-13

Pittsburgh Steelers* Baltimore Ravens* Cincinnati Bengals* Cleveland Browns

Baltimore QB Joe flacco looked destined for a sophomore slump until WR Derrick Mason unretired. Baltimore could still fall, and it’s fashionable to mention the age of defensive stars such as Ray Lewis, Trevor Pryce, and Samari Rolle. // The champion Steelers are not short of old guys – James farrior, Deshea Townsend and fernando Bryant. Anybody there sound pensionable? The rape allegation against Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger has to be something of a distraction, and the offense needs second year players WR Limas Sweed and RB Rashard Mendenhall to energize and contribute. The schedule’s weak, with the Raiders, Broncos, Chiefs, Lions, and two against the Browns. // The Bengals share those opponents, and with Carson Palmer genuinely fit


The American

Left: Maurice Jones-Drew – the Jaguars’ key to postseason or pure fantasy?

HARRY SCUll/JACKSoNVillE JAGUARS

AFC SOUTH

again, optimism permeates Cincinnati. They could be ready for a jump. // The Browns aren’t. Whoever the QB is, WR Donte Stallworth is suspended, Braylon edwards seemed gimpy in camp, and Te Kellen Winslow was traded. And the offense was on a 24-quarter non-TD-scoring streak with them. FANTASY FACTORS Top Studs: Carson Palmer, hines Ward, Santonio holmes, Steelers Defense, Chad ochocinco Value Pick: Laverenues Coles, WR, Cincinnati Breakout Player: Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore Ravens AFC WEST 11-5 6-10 5-11 4-12

San Diego Chargers* Kansas City Chiefs Oakland Raiders Denver Broncos

Last year we picked the Chargers to reach the Super Bowl. our confidence remains because as jinxed as they seemed last year, they still won the

11-5 9-7 8-8 7-9

Tennessee Titans* Houston Texans Indianapolis Colts Jacksonville Jaguars

West. This year shouldn’t even be close. Ignore the nay-sayers, LT is still at least a good back, and Philip Rivers a franchise QB whose time will come. // Closest rivals Denver blew up spectacularly in the offseason, with WR Brandon Marshall an ongoing saga, and franchise passer Cutler gone. New coach Josh McDaniel must prove he can bring the chaos to order. Kyle orton was steady – and a winner – in Chicago. RB Knowshon Moreno needs to be an immediate star quality workhorse. // The Raiders have some good pieces, but do they have the first idea how to arrange them? If only they’d let Darren Mcfadden get in rhythm instead of sharing the ball around. // Kansas City have a chance to climb the division, if only on raw talent, Matt Cassel, and perhaps a better route map than the Raiders or Broncos.

The Titans are deep at RB, Chris Johnson and LenDale White backed by Chris henry and Javon Ringer, and QB Kerry Collins’ targets were upgraded by ex-Steeler Nate Washington and rookie Kenny Britt. With Cortland finnegan and Michael Griffin in the secondary, the only question is how much losing Albert haynesworth may affect a good defense. // houston’s neverending saga of protecting the QB continues, but QB Matt Schaub has a very solid set of receivers including emerging star Te owen Daniels. If the defensive picks of the past four drafts hit form together, the Texans D could be a wow. houston’s much like the Cardinals used to be – always teasing to break through; the year you give up, they’ll do it. // Could the Colts slip back? A change of coach, the departure of Marvin harrison, and continued susceptibility to hard running suggests they’re vulnerable. // Beyond the MJD fantasy bandwagon, the Jags need to rediscover the chemistry of the 11-5 2007 season. If not, coach Jack Del Rio will be gone before the turnaround begins. But this division is squeaky-tight. Anything’s possible.

FANTASY FACTORS Top Studs: LaDainian Tomlinson, Philip Rivers, Brandon Marshall, Matt Cassel Value Picks: Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City Breakout Player: Darren Mcfadden, RB, oakland

FANTASY FACTORS Top Studs: Maurice Jones-Drew, Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne, Andre Johnson Value Picks: Anthony Gonzalez, Matt Schaub Breakout Player: Donald Brown, RB, Colts

53


The American

NFC EAST 13-3 10-6 9-7 6-10

New York Giants* Philadelphia Eagles* Dallas Cowboys Washington Redskins

Photo © Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Giants lose WRs Burress and Toomer, but the next layer is so good David Tyree may not make the team. Running game and D-line still as good as it was two years ago. What’s not to like? // The only way Michael Vick is the key to an Eagles’ Super Bowl run is if he plays MLB! – the loss of Stewart Bradley hurts. That aside, depth is a strength, so the Eagles are sure to compete. The line is in a state of change, but with brothers Shawn and Stacy Andrews, and Shawn’s college roommate Jason Peters three of those starters, chemistry shouldn’t be a problem. // Has the wind gone out of the Cowboys? (No, I don’t mean T.O.). Are Williams, Crayton really a winning combo at WR? Maybe not, but Barber and Jones are at RB, so ’Boys will be in the wildcard hunt. // Washington signed Haynesworth, but they’ve made splashy signings before. Nothing changes until they find a franchise QB. FANTASY FACTORS Top Studs: Tony Romo, Brian Westbrook, Clinton Portis, Jason Witten, Giants Defense Value Pick: Santana Moss, WR, Washington Breakout Player: Miles Austin, WR, Dallas NFC SOUTH 10-6 9-7 8-8 3-13

54

Atlanta Falcons* New Orleans Saints Carolina Panthers Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Matt Ryan didn’t just survive as a rookie, he belonged, and TE Tony Gonzalez makes him slumpproof. Rod White’s new deal stopped a potential derailment. With Michael Turner one of the top 3 backs in the league, the Falcons will post back-toback winning seasons for the first time ever. // New Orleans will stock people’s fantasy teams, but the defense is still suspect. Rookie CB Malcolm Jenkins’ hold out limits him as an early factor. // Carolina took a serious blow with the training camp injury of DT Maake Kemoeatu. RBs DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart practically guarantee .500+, but keeping pace with Falcons, Saints could be tough. // Tampa Bay face a year of adjustment – new coach, new quarterback. Josh Freeman (pictured below) may not see action quickly, but by October’s game in London, they’ll be breaking him in. FANTASY FACTORS Top Studs: Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez, DeAngelo Williams Value Pick: Pierre Thomas, RB, New Orleans Breakout Player: Dwayne Jarrett, WR, Carolina NFC WEST 10-6 7-9 6-10 3-13

Arizona Cardinals* Seattle Seahawks San Francisco 49ers St Louis Rams

Surprise participants Arizona must avoid any postSuper Bowl hangover. Rookie RB Beanie Wells’ injury issues flared up already in preaseason, but they can get by with Tim Hightower if necessary. Anquan Boldin refuses to be distracted from his opportunity, so he and Fitzgerald will be snatching the passes from Kurt Warner again. // Michael Crabtree’s negotiating moves help the 49ers sidestep 2009 advancement, and even Mike Singletary can’t bully more that 8 wins from them. // They’ll be in a dogfight with Seattle, who should easily double their 4 wins of 2009 with TJ Houshmandzadeh aboard. // Ten years on from the Fastest Show On Turf, the Rams have the worst passing offense attack I can ever remember from a Rams team.

FANTASY FACTORS Top Studs: Anquan Boldin, Larry Fitzgerald, Kurt Warner, Steven Jackson, Frank Gore, TJ Houshmandzadeh Breakout Player: Shaun Hill, QB, 49ers NFC NORTH 11-5 10-6 8-8 2-14

Minnesota Vikings* Chicago Bears* Green Bay Packers Detroit Lions

Sage Rosenfels is going to have the last laugh in the Brett Favre story if he can just let Adrian Peterson and the rest of an excellent squad do their work. But the Vikings could sure do with resolving any suspension of their DTs in time for the easy first month of the schedule. // Jay Cutler may find the Bears receiving corps a shock after Denver, but watch for rookie Juaquin Iglesias. They can’t match up with the Vikings, but Cutler is a legitimate franchise passer, and workhorse RB Matt Forte’s share of the workload should drop. // Don’t blame things on Aaron Rodgers – the Packers have to resolve their defensive front seven. With the Bears getting better and the Vikings getting no worse, advancement will be difficult. // In that case, pity Detroit. Expect a lot of intereceptions from Matthew Stafford in 2009, and a lot more wins on 2010. The win-loss will still be horrible. FANTASY FACTORS Top Studs: Adrian Peterson, Matt Forte Value Pick: Devin Hester, WR, Chicago Breakout Player: Sage Rosenfels, QB, Chicago THE PLAYOFFS Colts and Cowboys to miss the playoffs, and the Bungles to improve by six games after losing Houshmandzadeh? The Favrefree Vikings in the NFC Championship, and the New York Giants beating the San Diego Chargers in the Super Bowl. How do I justify such madness? See our more detailed NFL previews online:

www.theamerican.co.uk


© MARK TREdGold

A Slice of the Ice I

ce hockey returns to the UK this month, with both the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) and English Premier Ice Hockey League (EPIHL) seasons getting under way. The Sheffield Steelers will be defending their crown in the EIHL, having finished 11 points ahead of the Coventy Blaze and Nottingham Panthers. The Blaze had won the league three of the four previous seasons. Fourth place, only four points further adrift, were the Belfast Giants, who enjoyed a league title four years ago behind the stick of Theo Fleury (yes, that Theo Fleury). A team to watch this year in the 8-team Elite would be Edinburgh, who have amassed a fine corps of defensive players. After an 8th place finish last year, the Capitals could leap into the thick of the action. Two teams not to watch in the EIHL this season will be Man-

chester and Basingstoke, who both defected to the rival EPIHL in search of lower operating costs – the EPIHL’s teams are more clustered in the south east of the country, whereas Elite includes teams from England, Wales and Scotland. Both leagues feature a host of North American talent, and the relationship between the two leagues is less like Division 1 and 2 (they are seperate entities with no promotion or relegation arrangement) and more like ‘1 and 1a’. In the EPIHL, the Peterborough Phantoms face a stern test this year from the Guildford Flames, league champions in 05-06 and 07-08, and perhaps newly arrived Manchester. The Premier league’s marketing may not be quite as slick as the Elite league’s, but in these times of financial stress, the Premier league could be the safe harbor to see out the ecomonic storm. 10 teams think so.

PHoTo CoURTESY oF GUildFoRd FAlMES/AlAN BoNE

As Sheffield prepares to defend their elite Ice hockey League crown, Manchester and Basingstoke join ‘1a’ league ePIhL

US English Spoken Here it isn’t all Brits and Canadians in the UK’s top ice Hockey leagues. Coventry’s left wing dan Carlson (top of page, far left) had 23 goals and 54 assists last year, and after six seasons, the American is a stalwart of the Blaze roster, and one of three US passport holders on the Blaze. likewise, Guildford’s British American Rick Skene (pictured above) will suit up for the Flames for a fifth season.

Find your local ice hockey team: www.eliteleague.co.uk www.eiha.co.uk (incl. Premier and National leagues)

55


The American

Tail End

Paw Talk, or My Life as a Dog in London by Rebel.

“T

here I am in the ancient Land Rover sitting next to Fiona in her golden cage on my way to a weekend in France. In front of us, Fiona’s mistress, Cookie, and Lady Max are talking away while behind the wheel Irwin, the chauffeur, is driving thirty miles an hour, holding up the traffic behind us. Other than the blowing of horns as cars pass us, all seems peaceful until we are circling the driveway in front of a huge French chateau. Cookie suddenly becomes ill. “It must have been that ham sandwich you had,” Lady Max suggests. “You go to your room and rest and I’ll take care of Fiona for you.” “Thank you, thank you,” Cookie gushes and the next thing I know Irwin has hold of my lead in one hand and Fiona in her gold cage in the other and we’re off to the suite. Irwin puts Lady Max’s suitcase down, sets Fiona’s cage in the middle of the room, ties me to a chair, announces, “I must take care of Miss Cookie,” and leaves. “What about my water and kitty litter,” Fiona meows. “And I’m starving.” “I need a walk desperately,” I bark. “And I’m starving!” There we sit. We wait. The room is pitch black when Lady Max finally appears. “Oh, Rebel, I met one of the most famous actors in the world who still remembers me from a film we did together. And he’s invited me for a drink in the bar.” She opens her suitcase then stops and

64

looks at us. “Oh, dear, I’d better feed you two.” Then she gasps. “Oh, no, I left your dog food on the kitchen table. You can share Fiona’s food”. She opens two cans, puts one in Fiona’s cage and the other on the floor. “Mackerel in cod liver oil with hints of catnip. Doesn’t that sound delicious?” It can’t get worse, I tell myself as the awful smell of fish fills my nose. Oh, yes, it can. Lady Max fills Fiona’s water dish with her special water and then takes a bottle of sparkling water sitting on the table next to the bed and fills a bowl with it. “She forgot to put out my kitty litter,” Fiona cries as the door slams behind Lady Max. “I can’t believe this!” “And I need to be taken for a walk” I add. “What are we going to do? I can’t have an accident on the rug or she’ll kill me.” “Unless we hide it,” Fiona suggests, with a Cheshire smile on her face. “Shoes are a great place to hide things, you know.” Going to the suitcase, she takes tissue paper from a pair of black patent shoes with diamante buckles. “With Cookie ill, she won’t be using these.” What choice do I have? I join Fiona. “Just put the tissue paper back when you’re finished and it won’t be

Perhaps these strappy high heels would have been safer, Lady Max!

noticed”, she orders when we’re both finished.” Starving, but at least relieved, I curl up on the bed and fall asleep. Suddenly, the door opens and Irwin rushes in. “Black shoes, diamond buckles,” he murmurs over and over. “Lady Max is dining with her actor and his friends. Ah, here they are.” Grabbing the shoes from the suitcase, he rushes from the room. I look at Fiona, she looks at me. “It’s Lady Max’s fault for not putting out my kitty litter or taking you for a walk,” she says with a shrug. Crawling under the pillow, I hide my face in my paws. “Stop worrying, Rebel,” Fiona orders. “She’ll notice before she puts on her shoes.” But, Lady Max didn’t! H


Martha Jesty

Life Coaching & Counselling Services IRUZRPHQ

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coUntDoWn to tHe pLaYoffs tHis montH

tune in today

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american for sports

The American September 2009  

The American has been published in Britain since 1976. It is the only monthly magazine / website / community for Americans visiting and livi...

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