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The American Issue 679 – November 2009 Published by Blue Edge Publishing Ltd. Old Byre House, East Knoyle, Salisbury SP3 6AW, UK Publisher: Michael Burland +44 (0)1747 830328 firstname.lastname@example.org Please contact us with your news or article ideas Advertising & Promotions: Sabrina Sully, Commercial Director +44 (0)1747 830520 email@example.com Subscriptions enquiries: Phone +44 (0)1747 830328, email firstname.lastname@example.org Correspondents: Virginia Schultz, Wining & Dining email@example.com Mary Bailey, Social firstname.lastname@example.org Cece Mills, Arts email@example.com Jarlath O’Connell, Theater firstname.lastname@example.org Richard Gale, Sports Editor email@example.com Dom Mills, Motorsports firstname.lastname@example.org Jeremy Lanaway, Hockey email@example.com Riki Evans Johnson, European firstname.lastname@example.org ©200 Blue Edge Publishing Ltd. Printed by Advent Colour Ltd., 1 East Portway Industrial Estate, Andover, SP10 3LU www.advent-colour.co.uk Main cover image: Toby Keith gets ready for four dates in the UK and Ireland. Inset: Kansas should be a major factor in this year’s NCAA hoops championship (photo © Jonathan Daniel-Getty Images)
ovember is a strange time of year for Americans in the UK. It’s Thanksgiving, of course, the time to be with family. The long-termers, those who have put down roots here, have to decide whether to up the ante and buy flight tickets back home – James Hickman’s financial article may help you decide whether it’s a good time to be converting those pounds to dollars. This is also the time when many Americans are arriving in Britain to start a new life here. Whether it’s for a set period or indefinitely, for work or personal reasons, through the diplomatic corps, business, the military or just because you’ve decided you like Britain, the American community here welcomes you. One of the best ways to settle in is to join a community group. I hope our directory of American Organizations at the back of the magazine can help you find like minded people and new friends in your new home. Enjoy your magazine and website,
Michael Burland, Editor
SOME OF THIS MONTH’S CONTRIBUTORS
Carol Gould is an American author, columnist and film-maker who fights antiAmericanism wherever she finds it… even in the House of Lords
Brian Jones is a genealogist. This month he combines that with another interest of his and looks at the family history of the teddy bear!
Jay Webster is a senior editor for ESPN America, the American sports network. Based in Dublin, Ireland, he brings an international eye to Basketball writing.
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.
In This Issue... TheAmerican•Issue679•November2009
Reader Oﬀer Two-for-oneoﬀerforShakespeare’sGlobeExhibitionandTour
11 Diary Dates ThereisalwayssomuchtodointheUK,anytimeofyear. Here’sThe American’sselectionofthemostinterestingthismonth 12 Music AninterviewwithtopsellingcountryartistTobyKeith andSirTomJonesripsitupathishomecomingconcert 17 Competition AliceCooperisback,scarierthanever.Winticketstoatheatergig
20 Finance Thepoundisweak,thedollarisﬂuctuating–isittimetobuyorsell? 22 Letter to Lord Heseltine CarolGouldisvery,veryangrywithHisLordship
24 The Vanishing of the Bees MaryBaileymeetsAmericanapiaristDavidHackenbergtotalkabout hisnewdocumentaryonthedemiseofthehoneybee
Cut Out to Do
25 Teddy Bear Tales Justwhataretheoriginsofthatmost familiarfurryfriend 26 Coﬀee Break Takeabreakwithourfunfacts,quizand TheJohnsons,thecartoonexpatfamily
28 Wining & Dining ReviewsofTheLandaurestaurantatThe LanghamHotel,freshfroman£80million reﬁt,Palm,andInnThePark.Andweﬁnd thetruehomeofbaseball–inSurrey 34 Arts CeceMillsroundsupthebest intheartsworldforyou
PHOTO: TriSTraM KENTON
9 40 48
40 Theatre Reviews DavidHare’snewﬁnancialworkThePower ofYes,thehottestticketintownSpeaking inTongues,PrickUpYourEars,Ayckbourne’sBedroomFarce,RobynPetersonin CatwalkConﬁdentialandKevinSpaceyin InheritTheWind. 48 Drive Time IanKerrgoesthelongwayupinSouth America
56 American Organizations Yourcomprehensiveguideandaproﬁle oftheInternationalSchoolinLondon’s newSurreyestablishment
PHOTO: EMMaNuEL BOuTET
50 Sports JayWebsterpreviewstheNCAAhoops season,RichardLGalegetsreadyfora Shaqattack,plusalookatthechanges afootintheNFLseasonsofar
64 Paw Talk Rebelgetsparticularaboutdinner– nooysters,please! 3
PHOTO: MEGaN LYON
The Last Column is being delivered back to the site
9/11 Last Column Comes Home
he significant ‘Last Column‘, the last steel beam to be disconnected from the World Trade Center site, has been returned to the site for eternal fitting in the 9/11 Memorial Museum after seven years in storage, says the Port authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the site. The huge ‘Last Column‘, which weighs 60 tons, was wrapped in tributes from members of the construction trades, rescue personnel, and family members before the column was taken from the site, marking the end of the nine-month recovery efforts in May 2002. it was one of the 47 main beams that held up the South Tower of the World Trade Center. The return of the ‘Last Column‘ marks a major milestone in the construction of the Memorial and Museum as it is the first artefact moved from conservation at JfK airport’s Hangar 17 to the Museum. installation is 80% complete and will be complete by the end of the year.
Lakenheath Letter Arrives 64 Years Late
he Royal Mail may not be delivering much these days, but it has delivered a letter sent by a young British soldier during World War II, 64 years late. Serviceman Charles Fleming wrote the letter to his ‘dearest’, believed to be his mother, on March 20, 1945. Staff at RAF Lakenheath found it inside a new envelope with a note from the Royal Mail stating it had been ‘Found loose in post, please direct if possible’. The original envelope had been damaged and lost. There were three photographs alongside the letter. A portrait of the young soldier, a photo of his regiment and one of Fleming in Florence, Italy. It is thought that an employee at Royal Mail’s Peterborough sorting office forwarded the letter to Lakenheath, someone who knows the postal arrangements at the base as it was addressed to the correct building. The two-page letter, signed ‘Charles’, was written on American Red Cross paper. It describes life in a military camp in Italy. Fleming offers to buy his ‘dearest’ a pair of reading glasses to help with her night work. He tells her that he
has lost weight, down to nine stone (126lb). He also says that he is writing the letter on ARC paper because he has left his at another base. ‘Don’t get the idea I am hors de combat with an American nurse holding my hand!’ he jokes. The RAF Commander at Lakenheath, Jerry Neild, said the letter was beautifully written and should be returned to the veteran’s family. He said: “It’s a really lovely letter representative of the age. We believe it came from a British serviceman but it is a complete mystery as to who he is. It appears to be part of a series of letters and was posted to us here randomly, simply because it didn’t have its original envelope and we have an American connection. This letter and photographs really are part of history and we are appealing to the public to help us track him or his family down so we can pass it on.” A Royal Mail spokeswoman said that it was impossible for the item to have been in their system for more than 60 years. She said, “The item would not have been in our system for that length of time and the most likely explanation is that it was recently reposted into Royal Mail.”
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american women’s groups offer bargains in kids’ clothing and the best in holiday season shopping
KCWC Nearly New Sale
The Kensington Chelsea Women’s Club’s annual event offers a fantastic opportunity to receive HuGE discounts on gently used clothing from birth to 12 years, baby equipment (strollers, bjorns, sterilizers), maternity clothing, sports gear, and loads of toys, books and puzzles. Proceeds from the sale go to the KCWC supported local charity, My Generation, which helps kids and teens on the World’s End Estate. it’s at the Brompton Oratory Church Hall, Brompton road, London SW7 2rP (next door to the V&a museum, enter through the gates, it’s the building to the left). it’s on Saturday November 7 at 1 to 4pm. free entry to KCWC members with membership card, £1 for everyone else.
AWS Annual Gift Fayre
On the Sunday of the same weekend, November 10, the american Women of Surrey will be hosting their 19th annual Gift fayre at the Cobham Hilton Hotel, Seven Hills road, Cobham, Surrey KT11 1EW, from 9am to 2.30pm. This annual fayre, a seasonal favourite, has more than 60 fantastic vendors and a delicious bake sale. Shoppers can browse the fabulous tables and start their holiday shopping while sharing in the season’s goodwill knowing that a portion of all sales will benefit the aWS 2009-2010 Charity Slate including action for Carers (Surrey), Leatherhead Night Hostel, Home Start Woking and Momentum. for more information about the fayre or the aWS please see the website at www.awsurrey.org.
Vote in US Elections
he federal Voting assistance Program reminds eligible voters to get their votes in for the forthcoming New York and Massachusetts ballots.
New York District 23, November 3, 2009 Special Election New York will hold a special State election to fill the congressional vacancy left by the appointment of army Secretary John McHugh. a list of candidates is available at http://www. elections.state.ny.us. The 23rd Congressional District includes the following counties: Clinton, franklin, Jefferson, Hamilton, Lewis, Madison, Oswego, St. Lawrence, and parts of Essex, fulton and Oneida Counties. Look up your voter registration and find your polling place at https://voterlookup.elections. state.ny.us/votersearch.aspx You can check your registration status at https://voterlookup.elections. state.ny.us/votersearch.aspx. Your absentee ballot application needs to be postmarked by October 27, 2009. Ballots must be postmarked no later than the day before Election Day (11/2/09) and are due back to your local election official by November 16, 2009. More information: http://www.elections.state.ny.us/ or www.fvap.gov.
Massachusetts, December 8, 2009 Special Primary Massachusetts will hold a special primary election followed by the special State election on Tuesday, January 19, 2010 to fill the vacancy left as a result of the passing of Senator Edward M. Kennedy. a list of candidates will be available by November 13, 2009 at: www.sec.state.ma.us. The online version of the fPCa and Massachusetts’ instructions on how to fill out and submit the form are available at: www.fvap.gov. although the deadline for your voted ballot to be received by your local election official is 8 pm on December 8, 2009, you should mail your ballot by the following dates to account for mail delivery times: from Overseas Military installations: November 23, 2009. from Other Overseas Locations: November 9, 2009 (or earlier, depending on foreign mail service) You may use the federal Write-in absentee Ballot (fWaB) in this federal election. an online version of the fWaB and Massachusetts instructions on how to fill out and submit the form are available at: www.fvap.gov. for More information: Go to the Massachusetts election website at: www.sec.state. ma.us or visit fVaP at: www.fvap.gov.
Erratum: The picture of Merce Cunningham on page 45 of the October issue, was actually one of John Cage. Our apologies for any confusion or embarrassment caused.
Battle of Ideas
We don’t do McDonald’s: America and World Culture
laire Fox of BBC Radio Four’s ‘The Moral Maze’ and Director of The Institute of Ideas has invited American author, journalist and contributor to this magazine Carol Gould to speak at the upcoming ‘Battle of Ideas’ Conference in London October 27 to November 1. Carol and Claire appeared together in August 2009 on BBC Radio Four’s ‘Woman’s Hour’ in a debate on women and war. Carol’s appearance is on October 27 at University of Notre Dame, 1 Suffolk Street, London SW1 at 7PM. Tickets cost £7.50 (£5 concessions) and are available from the Institute of Ideas website. The theme of the
debate is: Despite President Obama being heralded as an urbane new leader whose multicultural background symbolises a nation more at ease with itself, much of the world remains suspicious of American culture. For a long-time caricatured as ‘Coca-Colonisation’, the cultural influence of the US is often seen as little short of ‘cultural imperialism’.... Carol will also be appearing as a panellist alongside Vince Cable MP on BBC Radio Four’s ‘Any Questions?’ from Hartlepool on Friday 6th November at 8PM and repeated Saturday 7th November at 1PM, hosted by Jonathan Dimbleby.
Beat Seasonal Flu
he National Health Service is reminding people at risk of flu to protect themselves by getting free jabs. Everyone aged 65 and over is routinely offered the jab, as are younger people with long-term conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, serious kidney and liver disease. Seasonal flu (different from swine flu H1N1) changes every year as does the vaccine. You can protect yourelf carrying tissues, covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue, disposing of the tissue after one use and cleaning hands as soon as possible.
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 www.usembassy.org.uk
Ambassador Susman Signs In
Ambassador Susman presented his diplomatic credentials to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, on Tuesday, October 13, 2009. The new Ambassador of the United States of America to the Court of St. James’s, Louis B. Susman, presented his diplomatic credentials to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, at Buckingham Palace, on Tuesday, October 13, 2009. The Ambassador was accompanied by his wife, Marjorie, and four senior members of the Embassy staff – Richard LeBaron, Dorothy Lutter, Gina Haspel, and Adm. Ronald Henderson. Ambassador Susman is the 70th representative of the United States in Great Britain.
Are You Filling In Your Passport Application Forms Correctly? When submitting passport applications, American citizens in the UK should be aware that as applications are processed differently outside the United States, you should follow the instructions outlined on the Embassy’s website as opposed to those found attached to the application forms. For example, did you know that failure to provide your Social Security Number, if you have been issued one,
Ambassador Susman Signs In
can result in a $500 fine enforced by the IRS? For more information on how to correctly fill out your forms, please visit the Embassy website at www.usembassy.org. uk/americanservices/?p=1046
President Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize It will not have escaped your notice that President Barack Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize. Much has been made in the media about the fact that the President’s peace initiatives have not as yet borne much fruit, but it is fair to point out that the Nobel committee’s parameters for choosing the peace laureate include efforts currently being made to promulgate peace, not just for achievements already concluded. In case you have not seen it, here is the President’s response. “This morning, Michelle and I awoke to some surprising and humbling news. At 6 a.m., we received word that I’d been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009. To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who’ve been honored by this prize – men and women who’ve inspired me and inspired the entire world through
their courageous pursuit of peace. But I also know that throughout history the Nobel Peace Prize has not just been used to honor specific achievement; it’s also been used as a means to give momentum to a set of causes. That is why I’ve said that I will accept this award as a call to action, a call for all nations and all peoples to confront the common challenges of the 21st century. These challenges won’t all be met during my presidency, or even my lifetime. But I know these challenges can be met so long as it’s recognized that they will not be met by one person or one nation alone. This award – and the call to action that comes with it – does not belong simply to me or my administration; it belongs to all people around the world who have fought for justice and for peace. And most of all, it belongs to you, the men and women of America, who have dared to hope and have worked so hard to make our world a little better. So today we humbly recommit to the important work that we’ve begun together. I’m grateful that you’ve stood with me thus far, and I’m honored to continue our vital work in the years to come. Thank you, President Barack Obama”
The American ®
Reader Offer SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE
EXHIBITION & THEATRE TOUR Two Tickets for the Price of One Shakespeare’s Globe Exhibition is the world’s largest and most comprehensive exhibition devoted to Shakespeare and the London in which he lived and worked. Housed beneath the Globe Theatre, the Exhibition uses modern technology and traditional crafts to bring Shakespeare’s world to life. Throughout the year, a fascinating tour of the theatre is included in a visit to Shakespeare’s Globe Exhibition.* Guides bring this extraordinary space to life in a half-hour tour of the auditorium, with colourful stories of the 1599 Globe, the reconstruction process in the 1990s and how the auditorium works today as an imaginative and experimental theatre space.
*During performances in the theatre, visitors will be taken to the nearby site of Bankside’s first theatre: The Rose.
SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE SHOP
Open every day, Shakespeare’s Globe shop sells a wide and exclusive range of merchandise connected to our theatre season, alongside unique gifts, jewellery, CDs, DVDs and books. Shakespeare’s Globe Bankside London SE1 9DT www.shakespeares-globe.org
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To take advantage of this fantastic offer, simply cut out the voucher below and present it at the exhibition admission desk.
2-for-1 entry to the Shakespeare’s Globe Exhibition & Theatre Tour Please present this voucher at the Shakespeare’s Globe exhibition box office from 2nd November-18th December to receive two passes for the price of one. Terms and conditions: Offer valid from 2nd November–18th December 2009. Open from 10am-5pm. Visitors are advised to phone in advance of visiting The Globe to be advised of the timings of the tours. Tours take place at 30-40 minute intervals.
Moctezuma double-headed serpent at the British Museum’s Moctezuma exhibition
images © Trustees of the British Museum
History Comes Brilliantly Alive
Mary Bailey visits two new museum attractions in London Prince William Opens Darwin Centre
he new Darwin Centre at London’s Natural History Museum has been opened by HRH Prince William, accompanied by the great British naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough. The permanent exhibition centre is really quite astounding. It cannot be fully described in print, there is the grandeur of the cocoon building itself, the thousands of specimens, some yet unnamed, the fascination of seeing scientists actually at work, identifying, naming and seeking knowledge of things that will lead to enormous benefit to the world such as a cure for malaria. You should plan your visit. Masses of information online will help you decide which areas to concentrate on. Entrance is free except for temporary and special exhibitions. However it is essential to book on line when you have decided on your main interests. The instructions on tickets given are very easy to follow… they really are, even I could do it.
The Last Aztec In the early 16th century, overlapping the reign of Henry VIII, a very different sovereign ruled. The mighty Moctezuma II is brought to life in the British Museum’s new exhibition. Moctezuma’s territory stretched from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific with some 10 million subjects. Aztecs worshipped the sun, the moon and their emperor. Human sacrifices were made to ensure that the sun would traverse the sky each day. They were rich, their palaces glittering with turquoise and gold (it is said they valued turquoise more highly due to its rarity) and towns and buildings were elegantly constructed and were beautiful. If you were not on the list for sacrifice life must have been good.
Then from Spain came the soldiers of another King who worshipped a different God and whose aim was conquest and gold. The exhibition shows the artifacts, the gold and jewels and gives the history of the years of friendship and betrayal until, finally, the death of Moctezuma and the end of the Aztec reign. Horses terrified the natives and gun powder was unknown, however what wiped out 9 out of 10 Aztecs was something more terrible the Spanish brought, small and invisible – smallpox. This exhibition is thrilling with a wonderful collection of beautiful and terrifying objects. There are lunch time debates and lectures at the Museum, always attractive in the winter season. Information and tickets are available online, at the ticket desk in the Great Court or by phoning 020 7323 8181.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org Drawing Attention: Rembrandt, Tiepolo, Van Gogh, Picasso and more Dulwich Picture Gallery, Dulwich Over the last couple of decades, the Art Gallery of Ontario has put together arguably the greatest collection of master drawings in Canada. This glorious group of around 100 of the best works ranges from Renaissance Italy to 18th Century France, from English watercolours to masterpieces
by Picasso and Matisse, from German Expressionism to Canada’s own Group of Seven and David Milne., featuring some of the greatest draftsmen who ever lived, including Carracci, Boucher, Gainsborough, Ingres, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Turner, Leger, De Kooning, and Canada’s remarkable Emily Carr and David Brown Milne www.dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk October 21 to January 17, 2010
Frank Lloyd Wright El Museo Guggenheim, Bilbao, Spain The most extensive and comprehensive exhibition ever in Europe on American Architect Frank Lloyd Wright. www.guggenheim-bilbao.es to February 14, 2010 Wear It Pink Across Britain People all over the country will be wearing pink to support Breast Cancer Campaign. Contact the website to donate or get a kit containing all you need to host your own event. www.wearitpink.co.uk October 30 Life Behind The Wall Imperial War Museum North, Trafford, Manchester To mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on the 9th November 1989, IWM North presents a photographic display showing how a city was cut in two. The first time that many of the photographs have been on public display. www.iwm.org.uk 0161 836 4000 November 01 to February 28, 2010 Day of the Dead The British Museum, London Celebrate this annual Mexican festival with free family performances, dance, workshops, carnival parades & Mexican specialities in the cafes.11.00-17.00 www.britishmuseum.org November 01
Open Air Ice Skating The Natural History Museum, London SW7 For the 5th year, the East lawn will be transformed once again into a magical setting with the biggest rink to date and 76,000 Christmas lights in the nearby trees. There’s a children’s rink for younger skaters and a classic fairground Carousel. So, whether you are a novice or an expert, wrap up warm, savour the atmospheric setting and finish by enjoying a hot chocolate or a glass of Mulled wine while relaxing in the ultra stylish surroundings of the open-air balcony at the Café Bar overlooking the Rink. Open from 10.00 to 22.00 on weekdays and 08.45 to 22.00 weekends. Late night and early morning sessions tba. www.nhmskating.com 0844 847 1576 November 05 to January 17, 2010
Architecting The Pit, Barbican Centre, London A requiem for modern America, this exhilarating saga rockets from a condemned bar in post–Katrina New Orleans to the deep south of Gone With The Wind, Architecting tells the story of Americans trying to survive as the world changes under their feet. 7.30pm Ages 13+ (contains strong language & some nudity) www.barbican.org.uk November 04 to November 14
Classic Motor Show 2009 NEC, Birmingham Over 1,200 spectacular cars from all over the world and a separate Classic Bike hall plus trade stands selling a wide range of parts, spares, tools, motoring services and memorabilia. www.necclassicmotorshow.com November 13 to November 05
Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday Every year at the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month Britain remembers the end of the First World War and all who gave their lives then and since, with a two minute silence that is observed everywhere. The nation also unites in commemorating Remembrance Sunday, the nearest Sunday to the 11th. This year it is on Sunday 8th. Nearly every city, town and village has a war memorial at which people gather in remembrance, usually after a church service. The biggest and most well known is the Cenotaph Parade in Whitehall, London. November 08 and 11
Family History Weekend Imperial War Museum North, Trafford, Manchester Free event to help visitors trace their own family histories; performances, tours and activities for all the family. 10am-4pm www.iwm.org.uk/north November 07 to November 08 UK Jewish Film Festival cinemas across London The best international dramas, comedies and documentaries exploring Jewish culture and experiences worldwide. www.ukjewishfilmfestival.org.uk November 07 to November 19 A Serious Man Odeon, Swiss Cottage Special Preview of the Coen Brothers’ 2009 film, a focus on an every day
sort of man who witnesses the world turning against him. Part of the UK Jewish Film Festival. 8.30pm www.ukjewishfilmfestival.org.uk November 07 A Christmas Carol Arts Theatre, 6–7 Great Newport Street, London WC2H 7JB When Christmas–hating Sidney and his nephew Danny accidentally get locked in a theatre, the last thing they expect is to have to perform A Christmas Carol on stage in front of an expectant audience, aided by two out–of–work actors, the resident theatre cat, and a mouse with stage fright. A sumptuous sprinkling of festive charm is about to transform this Dickens classic like never before... www.christmascarolthemusical.co.uk 0845 0175584 November 11 to January 10, 2010
Record Breaking British Steam Car To Tour UK The car that smashed the 100 year-old world land speed record for a steampowered car is now on a tour of the country. First stop is Saxon Square, Christchurch, Dorset on Saturday November 14 between 11am and 2pm. See the team’s website for full details of dates and venues. www.steamcar.co.uk November 14 The Winter Fine Art & Antiques Fair Olympia, London Top–quality stock in every conceivable antiques category and price–range, from 150 exhibitors, ranging from fine furniture, maps, books, prints and from early china to rare Old Master paintings. www.olympia-antiques.co.uk November 16 to November 22 The Hoerengracht Sainsbury Wing, National Gallery, London American artists Ed and Nancy Kienholz, transform the Sunley Room into a walk–through evocation of Amsterdam’s red–light district, recalling the Dutch masters of the 17th century. www.nationalgallery.org.uk information@ng–london.org.uk 020 7747 2885 November 18 to February 21, 2010 Designer Jewellers Group + Foyer, Level G, Barbican Centre, London A wide variety of contemporary jewellery. Ideal for gifts, all of the works
are for sale for as little as £25. Or meet the designers to commission a piece. 12noon-8.30pm. www.barbican.org.uk November 19 to January 05, 2010 (closed December 24 –26) London Children’s Film Festival barbican Centre & other cinemas a mix of films, animated features, workshops, events and hands–on film fun, premieres, classics, animation masterpieces, and workshops inc. silent film play-a-long, Make a film in a day, animation and dance. www.lcff.org.uk November 21 to November 29
Celebrities and Competitions. www.motorcycleshow.co.uk November 27 to December 06 After Hours natural history Museum Visit the Natural History Museum after hours: the Environment Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition. the new Darwin Centre, jazz, Latin and world music, champagne and cocktail bar , tapas style food. To 10.30pm. www.nhmshop.co.uk/tickets/eventslisting.html 020 7942 5000 November 27
Antiques are Green Antique shops & Galleries across uK Green self–indulgence, what could be more attractive? Events and displays for the new National antiques Week. www.nationalantiques.co.uk November 23 to November 30
International Motorcycle & Scooter Show national Exhibition Centre, birmingham b40 1nt The uK’s biggest bike show, complete with Karting, MiniMoto, Touring, adventure, Classics, Custom, Drag Bike, Training, indoor and Outdoor Off road and Supercross zones, a Wall of Death,
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 1st: Theodor de Bry: First Views of America (last day of exhibition). Closed from 2nd but reopens on 21st for Christmas at Claverton: flights of fancy.
The Crown Jewels: The Inside Story the old Cyder house, the Chantry, berkeley, Gloucestershire Talk by Keith Hanson (Chief Exhibitor Crown Jewels), 7.30pm www.jennermusuem.com 01453 810631 November 26 Bury St Edmunds Fifth Annual Christmas Fayre the town Centre, bury St Edmunds With Victorian theme this year. it attracts visitors from all around and is probably the most popular in East anglia. 10 –5pm (Sunday to 5pm) November 27 to November 29
The American Museum in Britain
21st-22nd: Handmade dolls and Toys. a special sale and demonstration of extraordinary handcrafted items hosted by the British Toymakers Guild.
The Advent Procession — From Darkness to Light the Advent Procession — From Darkness to Light Salisbury Cathedral, Salisbury Beginning with the cathedral in total darkness and silence as the advent Candle is lit at the West End. The service is a mix of music and readings during which two great processions move around the entire building which is, by the end, illuminated by almost 1300 candles. arrive early for seasonal refreshments in the Cloisters. www.salisburycathedral.org.uk November 28 to November 29
25th: Berries and Bird Wreath Workshops. using a variety of american quilting fabrics, make a circular wreath of textile ivy leaves, berries and chirpy red birds. Materials provided, but do bring any of your own to add to ours, plus fabric scissors. 28th: Workshop: Knitted Flower Ring. Make a knitted circle adorned with vibrant knitted flowers. Materials and basic designs provided, but feel free to bring your own colours, textures and ideas to create a unique Christmas wreath. Bring your basic knitting kit. [Workshops £55 NonMembers, £50 Members.]
Open 12.00-5.00pm. Closed Mondays except Bank Holidays and month of August Claverton Manor near Bath. 01225 460503 www.americanmuseum.org
The Show Dog Hits Britain Michael Burland talks to Toby Keith about his remarkable success Stateside, and bringing America’s Toughest Tour across the Atlantic in November
irst of all, congratulations on winning the Songwriter-artist of the Decade award from the Nashville Songwriters Association International. That’s some achievement. Thanks. When it’s voted on by your peers, other songwriters, it’s a huge award because there’s no politics involved. A decade is a big body of work, and for them to notice that… You can’t believe how much that means to me. I’ve won a box of awards, but nothing came close to that. It wasn’t always like that. You could say you’re the archetypal blue collar American hero – oil worker, football player, playing in a band on the side for many years. What kept you going through the years without a record contract? Yeah, I played a little bit of football, I worked in the oilfields on the drilling rigs during the week. I tried to play as much as I could at the weekend. Song writing is what I did best, I was really gifted and blessed in being able to write music, so I tried to stay with it at all costs. If I was working doing something else, I would still be writing songs today. I don’t know
if I had it tougher than anybody else, it’s just a tough business to get into. I didn’t have it easy, but I don’t know if anybody does. After all those years, when you got success the first album went platinum and Should’ve Been a Cowboy, the debut single, went platinum and was the most played country song of the 1990s too. Was it different to the music you’d been playing? I had been playing that song in the bars. When I got a recording contract I got to play it on the radio! It was exhilarating. I went from working in bars for $260 a week instantaneously to $5,000 a night, then in a few months, a lot more than that. Did you have any problems adjusting to it? No, I went through a little bit of a growth period, but my Dad and Mom had me pretty well grounded, and the record company exec that opened the door for me, Harold Shedd, told me, “Tend to your business, don’t get complacent, now you have to work harder than you ever have!”.
You talk about writing more than performing – is it more important to you? No question. I just write for myself. Harold Shedd signed you at Mercury and he was your mentor, really. But after 5 years with various divisions of Mercury you signed to DreamWorks Nashville in 1998. The good times still rolled with them – Number One singles and multi-platinum albums – but why did you move, after such a successful time with Mercury? Harold was no longer at Mercury and I was having a difficult time with the powers that be there. I couldn’t play my music. I’d turn albums in and they would reject them because they “couldn’t hear a hit on here”. I was thinking I’d written the best album of my life! I asked how I could get out of there and they said “You can’t.” Record deals are for a life and a day. Eventually they agreed and I bought the album for a six-figure check, took it across the street to DreamWorks and that very album sold 28 million copies over the next few years. What happened next? They sold the label to Jimmy Iovine and ironically I was bounced back to Mercury. I still couldn’t work with the guy running things there so I just quit. I said I wanted to start my own label, I’d fund it and they could distribute it. They agreed and I started Show Dog Nashville. Did you always want to run a label? No, it was the only thing left for me to do. But I have three acts on Show Dog now, Trailer Choir, who are sitting at Number 20 this week on the charts. I have a young lady named Mica Roberts whose single has just been released, and three girls, Carter’s Chord who’ve released one single and there’s another
“War is a terrible thing, but the people we call on do a great job when the government makes them do it.” coming out this Fall. They’re people I’ve found and wanted to record. You have a chain of restaurants and a clothing line. Was that your idea? We knew we had a popular brand. Some friends of mine who own a bunch of casinos wanted to put in some restaurants and we called them Love This Bar & Grill after one of my songs. Then we tied it into the military – anyone who shows their military ID card gets a free burger and beer on me. You do a lot for the military, how did you get into that? I’ve always done a lot of shows for them. They and their families make tremendous sacrifices for freedom. War is a terrible thing, but the people we call on do a great job when the government makes them do it. You say ‘makes them’. Would it be fair to say you support the troops but not necessarily the wars? It depends. There’s always going to be conflicts. Since the beginning of mankind we’ve had wars. You don’t support every single one but there are times that we have to defend ourselves. Thank God for the military in World War I and World War II. It’s a different day and age now, you can’t support every one of them, but right or wrong the military people do what the government thinks is right.
Your new album, American Ride, is continuing the trend for hits. You didn’t write the title track (also the first single)? No, it’s one of only five singles that I’ve released in 50-something, but it’s so humorous and so much fun to sing I had to record it. There’s a lot of humor in your songs. Yeah… we try to have a good time. Cryin’ for me is more serious and it’s very moving. It sounds very much from the heart – is it about a real person? I lost a really good friend, Wayman Tisdale. We were from Oklahoma. He was three-time All American player in college the first ever first team All American in college as a freshman. He left school a year early to go to the NBA, second player taken behind Patrick Ewing, the Hall of Famer. Wayman was
a jazz bass player. When his basketball career was over after 12 great years he started playing bass again. He had a different sound, because he took a right handed bass, strung right handed, flipped it over and played it left handed. Really strange. He broke his leg one day, 43 years old, didn’t know why, went to the doctor who said he had cancer. A few months later they removed his leg at the knee. Couple of months after that he was diagnosed with leukemia. He called me one Wednesday night in May, wanted to lease a few buses off me to take a little trip and play some jazz music. I called him back Thursday and couldn’t get him. Friday morning he passed away. Cryin’ is a goodbye song to him. With the rest of the album are there any developments in your style? Every year I do a tour of 60 major cities. I get 90% of my writing out here on the road. Whatever I’m writing right now
“I’ve been through Europe but I’ve never played there ... Finally we had a platinum album in Norway and some record sales in other parts of Europe so we’re coming over.” is what I’ll record next year. It’s what I’ve always done. I don’t have a road map. I’m just a songwriter. I write ‘em, I cut ‘em in the Spring and release them in the Fall. You have some dates in Europe in November, four in the UK, are you looking forward to playing over here? I’ve been through Europe but I’ve never played there. We’ve tried for 15 years but every time we hit an obstacle where we’re told we had to put a song out, but take the fiddle and steel off it, make it more pop and get it on the radio. I always said, if people in Europe want to find me they will. I’m not going to be represented by something I wouldn’t play. Finally we had a platinum album in Norway and some record sales in other parts of Europe so we’re coming over. It’s like starting over for us. For 15 years it’s like I’ve had the cruise control on my vehicle here. I show up, there’s 25,00 people there and I play. This is like going back to the bar rooms. I’m very excited. If it goes real well hopefully we can do it every year. H Toby Keith is playing on November 9th at O2 Glasgow Academy, 10th London Hammersmith Apollo, 12th Dublin Olympia Theatre and 13th Belfast Odyssey Arena Belfast.
THEY KEEP KILLING HIM...AND HE KEEPS COMING BACK! We have TWO PAiRS OF TiCKETS to send to the winners of this month’s competition. THEY KEEP KILLING HIM...AND HE KEEP’S COMING BACK!Just answer the following: QUESTiON
When members of Alice’s band left him in 1974 they started a new group named after one of the hits they had enjoyed together. Which song?
WIN TICKETS TO SEE
A Billion dollar Babies B School’s Out C Hello, Hooray
HOW TO ENTER
Alice Cooper’s shows have astounded, shocked and terrified those in the front row… alice’s theatre of Death tour is set to surpass all previous spectaculars. This time the King of Shock rock has specifically chosen smaller more theatrical venues for the first time in many years, in order to offer fans a closer look at the gruesome action. alice says, “I ALWAYS prefer to play theaters because it makes the theatrics of our show so much more intense. With this being a new show, with things we’ve never done before, we’re proving that Alice is totally indestructible. “
Send your answer with your name, address, daytime telephone number and email address (optional) to reach us by mid-day, November 27, 2009. Email it to theamerican@blueedge. co.uk with ALiCE COOPER COMPETiTiON in the subject line. Or send a postcard to: ALiCE COOPER COMPETiTiON, The American, Old Byre House, Millbrook Lane, East Knoyle, Salisbury SP3 6AW, UK. Tickets are for the December 6th, 2009 performance at London Hammersmith apollo. You must be 18 years old or over to enter this competition. Only one entry per person per draw. Prize tickets are non-transferable. The editor’s decision is final. Tickets are available from www.livenation.co.uk £33.50 in London and £32.50 regionally (subject to booking fee). Prize tickets are non-transferable.
Support for the tour will be Man-raze – Def Leppard’s Phil Collen (vocals, guitar); Sex Pistol Paul Cook (drums), and Simon Laffy (bass).
Live review by Michael Burland • Pictures by Sabrina Sully
t was cold and dark, fog was enveloping the Severn Bridge, and we had eighty miles to go. Logic dictated we stayed indoors, poured something soothing and put our feet up. Logic, however had nothing to do with it. The name on the tickets said Tom Jones. And the venue was the Cardiff International Arena. Jones the Voice? In his homecoming concert? It had to be done! The fog-crawl meant we missed support act Florence Rawlings, a class act with a big voice. And a big voice was what this evening was all about. Jones’ ten piece band fired up with a fat groove that proved to be the intro to Sugar Daddy. Tom strode out and, for a 69 year old, frankly rocked. Was it brave to kick off a gig with a song from a new album? Not when
LIVE AND KICKING
it’s this good. It was written for Tom by Bono and The Edge from U2 and Jones had a gag about them offering to write him a song and being perplexed when it arrived entitled Sugar Daddy. A romp through his Bond theme Thunderball followed. Then came more tracks from his latest album, 24 Hours, which, he told us, he was proud to have co-written for the first time in his career. The hits kept coming, Delilah (with the loudest audience participation of the night), Mama Told Me Not To Come, Kiss, The Green Green Grass of Home, Save The Last Dance For Me, She’s a Lady, It’s Not Unusual, What’s New Pussycat... Jones is one of those artists that you remember for two or three songs but when confronted with the catalogue has you exclaiming ‘Ohmigod, he did that one too!’
Jones could coast on the familiar and the audience would leave satisfied. But the mark of a true musician, rather than just an entertainer, is that he challenges the crowd with some unfamiliar sounds. The fact they lapped it up shows both his confidence and his taste in selecting the right numbers. Jones has stage presence to spare but it is unpretentious and laced with such good humour that he feels like a charismatic uncle rather than an untouchable god. The obligatory flinging of female undergarments is more a light hearted ritual these days than the manifestation of lust. The one item he did pick up and mop his brow with was, thankfully, not lingerie but a Welsh flag face flannel – returned to the delighted fan complete with priceless Jones perspiration. H
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Hold on to Sterling Convert pounds to dollars later, unless you really have to, says James Hickman
ver the past month the dollar has broadly weakened against the major currencies as evidence mounts over the strength of the global recovery. The notable exception is the pound, which has been heavily burdened recently following comments from the Bank of England and its governor, Mervyn King. Having hit a one month high of $1.6740 in early September, the pound has fallen some 4.2%, currently trading below the important $1.60 psychological level. In an interview, King stated that he was in favour of maintaining a weak UK currency, given the potential benefits for economic recovery. The markets responded strongly to the news, with investors pulling the plug on UK assets in the knowledge that UK interest rates are likely to
be held at record lows for some time. Indeed King continued to burden the pound when he mentioned the possibility of actually reducing the interest rates further in order to encourage lending, and, in effect, outlining the current weakness of the UK recovery. For most Americans living in the UK, I would advise them to hold onto Sterling and convert into US Dollars at a later date when the exchange rate improves. This means that ex-pats will have less spending power Stateside – something to consider when planning vacations to see friends and family for Thanksgiving or Christmas. However, the US dollar has fared less positively against other currencies. The euro has made substantial ground over recent weeks, posting an annual high of $1.4841 near the end of September. Economic data from around the world has continued to show signs of improvement, which has reduced the appeal of the relative safety of US assets. Additionally, dollar weakness has been compounded through speculation that that the greenback could be used to fund carry trades in the future. Questions have also been raised over the status of the dollar as the global reserve currency, given its current value, which has spurred further decline. This speculation has allowed the Japanese yen to continue advancing, with the Fed chairman Ben Bernanke says there’s no “immediate risk to the dollar” as long as we “get our macro house in order”
pairing recently dipping below 90.00 cents. Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, however, said at a Congressional hearing recently that he saw no “immediate risk to the dollar,” but that “if we don’t get our macro house in order, that will put the dollar in danger.” Last week certain nations were beginning to express anxiety over the relative strength of their own currencies to the dollar, stating that it was hampering recovery. Indeed Jean-Claude Trichet, president of the European Central Bank, argued that the US needed to do more to reiterate its strong dollar policy. Last weekend’s G7 meeting though, brought no surprises, which the market took as a signal policymakers are comfortable with a gradual dollar decline as part of global economic rebalancing. Bearing this in mind, over the short term, the US dollar is unlikely to make gains, particularly against the higher-yielding currencies where central banks are considering raising interest rates as early as this year. Against sterling, the dollar is set to continue trading around current levels, though the tone of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting later this week should have a significant impact on the pairing’s near term direction. 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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Dear Lord Heseltine... Carol Gould has a bone to pick with the former Conservative cabinet minister
s September came to a close Lord Heseltine, the man who held high office under Margaret Thatcher and John Major, appeared on the popular BBC prime time television program Question Time and promptly made a pronouncement that floored me. The show had been focusing on the supposed “snubs” shown to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown by President Obama since the release of the convicted Lockerbie terrorist Abdelbasset Ali al Megrahi from a Scottish jail. The question posed to the panel was whether the “special relationship” had been damaged. Heseltine, his face filled with misery and rage, told the millions watching that there never actually was a special President Obama and Prime Minster Brown may not see eye to eye on some issues, but yes. there is still a special relationship says Carol Gould White House/Pete Souza
relationship, that it was a creation of some fanciful Britons and that the only special relationship the United States had was with Israel. The way he vomited out “Israel” was special. It was a sort of “I am talking about human excrement” expression on his face. He added that the heinous behavior of Americans who supported the IRA added to the absence of a special relationship. I decided to answer his Lordship’s accusations in this op-ed in the form of an open letter:
Dear Lord Heseltine, I understand you think there is no special relationship between the United States and Great Britain. Well, going back to the two world wars which were started by tribal, internecine strife among the peoples of Europe, the USA did not have to come in to bail you out. They could have chosen to remain isolationist and tell all sides to go to hell.
Ten-thousand young men buried at Omaha Beach and thirty-thousand dead pilots commemorated at RAF Duxford, not to mention the thousands of American men remembered at Madingley cemetery, died to help keep Britain free from Hitler. The idea that there is no feeling of a bond between us is preposterous if not deeply hurtful. From the day any American sets foot in England, many a conversation will invariably turn to “the guilt the United States must bear” for the atrocities committed on the British mainland by the Irish Republican Army. The participation of NorAid, the American organization, in decades-long campaigns to end the Troubles, is seen by an overwhelming majority of Britons as a ruse to send funds and arms to the IRA. You were seething when you mentioned American support for the IRA. This is a fury I have seen many times. It cancels out any gratitude you Britons might wish to proffer for all the good America has done in the world. And what of Israel? Just as Israelis celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut (their Independence Day) with barbecues and fireworks, so do Americans on July 4th. Just as Israelis observe the major Festivals, so do Americans enjoy the four-day weekend feast of Thanksgiving. (All one has to do is see the African-American, Jewish, Latino and Vietnamese families passionately organizing their respective turkey banquets in the film What’s Cooking to appreciate the universality of American Thanksgiving.)
Israel, like the American colonies, spectacularly threw off British rule with considerable force and bloodshed. In Palestine, the departure of the British triggered the war initiated by the Arab countries against a tiny, ragtag Jewish State already in existence as a sovereign nation but with pitiful resources. Americans feel a bond with a small country that excoriated the rule of a large colonial power. It is also of significance that the legacy of the Emma Lazarus “Give me your tired, your poor...” poetry runs parallel to the Israeli Right of Return laws. Nearly a million Soviet refugees have become Israeli citizens, as have hundreds of thousands of Jewish asylum seekers from numerous Muslim countries. The “nation of immigrants” concept appeals to Americans, their history books now acknowledging with sorrow the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Native Americans, just as Israelis, still painfully only one generation from the Holocaust, have been forced to reflect on the issue of displacement of indigenous peoples in 1948. From the days of Benjamin Franklin, the American tradition of a free press has been its salvation; over and over again it has rescued the United States from the grips of its own folly, from slavery to Prohibition to the McCarthy witch-hunts to the Vietnam War. It was the American press that exposed the Watergate scandal, saving the nation from endless pursuit of “Dean’s List” subversives. Israel’s press has always been dynamic and brutally critical of its successive governments; in the Arab regimes nearby, such freedom would result in beheadings. Israel and the United States afford women equal rights with men; women are not vassals of their
Staunch allies: Barack Obama and Gordon Brown at 10 downing Street in April WHiTE HOuSE/PETE SOuza
husbands nor must they be covered lest they be stoned to death. The United States and Israel have a grand tradition of farming and technological advances. Like the American pioneers, the early Jewish immigrants turned a desert into an orchard under unspeakably harsh conditions and under constant attack from terrorists (as the pioneers were in conflict with the native Americans.) Lord Heseltine, would you rather Americans coveted a special bond with Zimbabwe, Somalia, Venezuela or Sudan? Finally, your Lordship, I suggest you look at a tape of recent years’ Emmy Awards. Presenters, nominees and winners are often British. There IS a special relationship. If you want to be helped in your darkest hours, Lord Heseltine, don’t insult your staunchest ally, and next time your grandchild is saved from illness by the work of an American or Israeli scientific genius be grateful for that flawed but friendly buddy across the pond. H
If you have anything to add to this debate, please email editor@ theamerican.co.uk or write to us at the address at the front of the magazine
t would seem that the White House is singing from the same song sheet as Carol, at least where the special relationship is concerned. in a statement dated September 23, 2009, Office of National Security Council Spokesman Mike Hammer said, “any stories that suggest trouble in the bilateral relationship between the united States and uK are totally absurd. as is evident by the tight and extensive work our countries carry out together to address common challenges across the globe, including in afghanistan, on non-proliferation, promoting peace and economic prosperity. The uS-uK special relationship is strong and doing well. We would add that President Obama and Prime Minister Brown enjoy a terrific relationship, they speak regularly on a range of the most difficult challenges facing our two nations and meet frequently.”
Mr Hackenberg is Concerned And maybe we should be too, writes Mary Bailey
couple of years ago I wrote a small piece in The American about the decline and death of honey bees in various parts of the world. Their demise was a mystery. Professional bee keepers would find their hives empty. The bees had gone... or were dead. This plague become known as Collective Hive Disorder (CHD).
BEE SUPERSTITIONS ● ● ●
if a bee enters your home, you will soon have a visitor. it’s bad luck to kill a bee a bee landing on your hand foretells money to come. On your head means you will rise to greatness. Bees sting those who curse in front of them and unchaste people. Bees should be told about deaths (some say births, marriages and other notable events too) that occur in the beekeeper’s family. if not, they will die or fly away. Bees should not be purchased for money, as bought bees will never prosper, but you may barter for them or pay with gold. Some believe bee-stings may prevent or cure rheumatism.
Above left: david Hackenberg with his honey bees Above right: Beekeepers at work
One man trying to do something about this is American apiarist David Hackenberg. David has raised bees for over 40 years and has belonged to or headed all the important national and international organizations concerning their welfare. I met him while he was on a visit to London to encourage research into the cause of this disaster and attend the preview of the documentary film The Vanishing of the Bees. The demise of the honey bee is very serious, David told me. 30 per cent of our food depends on bee pollination. Bee-keepers are trying to strengthen bees’ immune systems with food such as eggs, which they would not ordinarily need. A recent disadvantage to the honey bee is the modern farming method of monocultures, huge acreages of one plant. Blossom is seasonal and the bees, lacking the variety of plants natural to them, feast and then starve. To survive, beekeepers have to transport their bees to other areas. Another possible cause of CHD could be pesticide spraying. David is not against all insecticides, there is nothing of the fanatic about him, but he says that a neonicotinoid manufactured by Bayer appears to have a disastrous effect on bees. Tests have been carried out by moving bees to an
unsprayed area and others to a sprayed area. The results seem clear, he says, but are not acknowledged by Bayer. David’s son wants to continue the family business – this is so with many bee keepers – but they both fear that the impact of the loss of bees on the world’s food supply is not yet fully appreciated. Above all, says David, “Bees are nice, they give more to the world than they take. There are small things that ordinary people can do. Make sure any land you own has a variety of plants on some portion of it. Choose plants these busy little creatures seem to favour. It all helps. I asked David if he had ever been stung and he cheerfully replied, ‘So often it no longer has much effect. I prefer it to a mosquito bite!’. The Vanishing of the Bees is distributed by The Co-Operative and Dogwood, who have partnered to help socially conscious films reach mainstream cinema audiences. Released in the UK on October 9 this year, this beautifully shot film certainly should be seen. Co-operative Food has prohibited the use of neonicotinoidbased pesticides in own brand fresh products. In the meantime, whatever the solution, we hope it comes soon... for the bees and for us. H
Teddy Bear Tales Brian Jones discovers the history of the teddy bear
urchased for ourselves, or a gift from a well-wisher, the arrival of a teddy bear brings delight. But how did they become the favourites that they are today? One of the earliest soft toys is a rag doll dating from the third century BC, discovered at Oxyrhynchus, Egypt in the tomb of a child. However, commercially-produced soft toy animals didn’t appear until the late-19th century. a prominent figure in this area was Margarete Steiff. Born in 1847, Steiff was confined to a wheelchair for most of her life after contracting polio during childhood. Determined to maintain her independence, she developed skills as a dressmaker, opening out into mail-order and expanding the business to take on more staff. There was often material left over which Margarete was keen not to waste. She started making novelties for children, including soft toys in many animal shapes including, in 1899, a Steiff polar bear and a dancing bear. These early bears were unjointed and quite stiff, not what we would consider as toys. in the early 1900s the company designed a soft plush bear cub with movable legs and arms, a number of which were taken to america, although they didn’t sell well. They were expensive but during a toy fair at Leipzig in March 1903 the New York department store owner Hermann Berg was delighted with the bear and ordered a large number for the following Christmas. They sold well and teddy bears were here to stay! The Steiff company
quickly developed their toy bears gradually making them less realistic with more of the now-traditional characteristics that appeal to children such as softer fillings, pads without claws and more-attractive faces. america can lay a similar claim to be the birthplace of the teddy bear. in late 1902 a stuffed toy bear was displayed in the window of Morris Michtom’s store in Brooklyn, New York. Michtom named it Teddy’s Bear’ after President Theodore ‘Teddy’ roosevelt. President roosevelt was keen on the outdoor life and was instrumental in the creation of the country’s national parks. On a political visit to Mississippi during November 1902, time had been set aside for a hunting expedition. The day wasn’t going too successfully. as the President hadn’t managed to kill a single bear, his fellow hunters chased down and stunned a black bear and tethered it to a tree to give the President an easy target. However, because the animal was tied up and helpless, he refused to kill the animal. Naturally, the american press made much of this story, Morris Michtom’s wife had been making soft toys for sale in the store and inspired by the story she made a bear. although the story that Michtom wrote to the President, enclosing a sample bear and asking his permission to call them ‘Teddy’s Bears’, remains unproven, the description has remained with us since then. in any case, Michtom’s toy bears became so popular that the couple gave up their store and formed the ideal Toy and
Novelty Company (later the ideal Toy Company), which became one of the most successful toy businesses in the united States. Teddy bears are as popular today as ever, with children and with collectors who actively seek out early examples by Steiff and other contemporary companies which can fetch high prices at auction. Too, there are many bears made today that have appeal to collectors. Bear artists produce individual one-off bears as well as limited editions to cater for collectors. Each has its own characteristics and features that make it unique and often reflect the tastes of the artists who have created them. H
A replica of one of the famous early Steiﬀ bears, photographed at Steiﬀ ’s museum in Giengen, Germany MaTTHiaS KaBEL
Coﬀee Break COFFEE BREAK QUIZ 1 Why did many radio stations around the world observe two minutes of silence in late July, 1937? 2 Why did many americans turn off their lights for one minute on the 21st of October 1931? 3 robert, aurore, apple, White, Mornay, ivory and reform are all examples of what? 4 On a ship, what is a dead head? 5 What company was formerly known as Computing Tabulating recording Company?
6 What is the name of the famous statue by Edvard Eriksen, unveiled on the 23rd august, 1913? 7 The phrase a ‘green-eyed monster’ originated in which Shakespeare play? 8 The name of which European capital city is derived from the names of two towns on either bank of its main river? 9 in which year was the corkscrew patented? 10 in which country is the highest mountain in South america?
11 What did albert Parkhouse invent that is hopefully in every hotel room? 12 How many floors high is Chicago’s Sears Tower (renamed Willis Tower this year)? 13 after the investigation into its crash, why was the wreckage of the Challenger Space Shuttle buried under 50 tons of concrete? 14 in what year was Walt Disney born – 1892, 1896 or 1901? 15 What was frankenstein’s first name? 16 in which city were the 1916 Olympic Games scheduled to take place before being cancelled due to the war? 17 Known as the rio Grande in the uSa, what is it called in Mexico?
Answers below The Johnsons
Coﬀee Break Quiz Answers: 1. A tribute to Marconi after his death; 2. A tribute to Edison on the day of his funeral; 3. Sauces; 4. A non paying passenger; 5. IBM; 6. The Little Mermaid (in Copenhagen); 7. Othello; 8. Budapest (from Buda and Pest); 9. 1860; 10. Argentina; 11. Coat hanger; 12. 110; 13. To prevent the parts being sold as souvenirs; 14. 1901; 15. Viktor; 16. Berlin; 17. Rio Bravo.
It happened one... November November 1, 1683 – The British crown colony of New York is subdivided into 12 counties. November 2, 1783 – In Rocky Hill, New Jersey, US General George Washington gives his “Farewell Address to the Army”.
November 3, 1783 – John Austin, a highwayman, is the last person to be publicly hanged at London’s Tyburn gallows.
November 4, 1922 – In Egypt, British archaeologist Howard Carter and his men find the entrance to King Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings.
November 5, 1831 – Nat Turner, American slave leader, is tried, convicted, and sentenced to death in Virginia. November 6, 1869 – In New Brunswick, New Jersey, Rutgers College defeats Princeton University (then known as the College of New Jersey), 6-4, in the first official intercollegiate American football game. November 7, 1872 – The ship Marie Celeste sails from New York, eventually to be found deserted
November 8, 1960 – John Fitzgerald Kennedy is elected the 35th President of the United States defeating Richard M. Nixon.
November 12, 1892 – William “Pudge” Heffelfinger becomes the first recorded professional American football player, participating in his first paid game for the Allegheny Athletic Association. November 13, 1956 – The United States Supreme Court declares Alabama and Montgomery, Alabama laws requiring segregated buses illegal, thus ending the Montgomery Bus Boycott. November 14, 1957 – The Apalachin Meeting, a ‘Mafia summit’, outside Binghamton, New York is raided by law enforcement, and many high level Mafia figures are arrested.
BJØrN CHriSTiaN TØrriSSEN
November 22, 1963 – In Dallas, Texas, US President John F. Kennedy is assassinated.
November 15, 1926 – The NBC radio network opens with 24 stations.
November 23, 1963 – The BBC broadcast the first ever episode of Doctor Who starring William Hartnell.
November 17, 1558 – Elizabethan era begins: Queen Mary I of England dies and is succeeded by her half-sister Elizabeth I of England.
November 25, 1833 – A massive undersea earthquake, estimated magnitude between 8.7-9.2 rocks Sumatra, producing a massive tsunami all along the Indonesian coasts.
November 16, 1821 – Missouri trader William Becknell arrives in Santa Fe, New Mexico over a route that became known as the Santa Fe Trail.
November 24, 1966 – New York City experiences the smoggiest day in the city’s history.
November 18, 1883 – American and Canadian railroads institute five standard continental time zones, ending the confusion of thousands of local times.
November 26, 1922 – Toll of the Sea debuts as the first general release film to use two-tone Technicolor (The Gulf Between was the first film to do so but it was not widely distributed).
November 9, 1872 – The Great Boston Fire of 1872.
November 19, 1863 – U.S. President Abraham Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address at the dedication of the military cemetery ceremony at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
November 11, 1926 – U.S. Route 66 is established.
November 21, 1877 – Thomas Edison announces his invention of the phonograph, a machine that can record and play sound.
November 10, 1871 – Henry Morton Stanley locates missing explorer and missionary, Dr. David Livingstone in Ujiji, near Lake Tanganyika, allegedly greeting him with the words, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”
The boy king’s tomb, discovered this month in 1922
November 20, 1969 – The Cleveland Plain Dealer publishes explicit photographs of dead villagers from the My Lai massacre in Vietnam.
November 27, 1924 – In New York City, the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is held.
November 28, 1582 – In Stratfordupon-Avon, William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway pay a £40 bond for their marriage license. November 29, 1910 – The first US patent for inventing the traffic lights system is issued to Ernest Sirrine.
November 30, 1783 – A 5.3 magnitude earthquake struck New Jersey. H
Dining Out at
t is Saturday, 10 June 1865. You have arrived by boat from New York then taken a train to London to attend the grand opening of The Langham Hotel and hopefully meet the Prince of Wales amid Victorian high society. But it is staying at the hotel with its 36 bathrooms, 100 water closets and the first hydraulic lifts in England that most impresses you. The hotel has come a long way since then, but there is still the same feeling of elegance and sophistication that first visitor had, i mused as i headed for The Langham’s Landau restaurant with Jennifer atterbury. an interior designer, Jennifer was impressed by the Langham’s recent £80 million refurbishment. The Landau is a circular room with a huge bay window where one can view a world that, automobiles excepted, hasn’t much changed since the opening. The staff, and they had not known who we were when we entered, greeted us warmly and impressed us with their knowledge of the menu. There was none of that superior attitude that can make one uneasy when dining in a luxury restaurant. Too often, hotel fare cannot com-
pete with that of a restaurant run by its owner, but head chef andrew Turner, having worked for two of London’s most noted chefs, insists that his ingredients are mostly British and from top producers such as Merton farm and the Castle of Mey Prince of Wales estate. Bread is home made and came warm which pleased me. Perhaps not as good as at 1881 (The Bentley) where he previously worked, however. as good as the grazing menu (£72.50) looked, we decided to pick and choose. Jennifer started with the Carpaccio of angus Beef with green beans, chicory and white balsamic (£15.50). it was beautifully presented and tasted as expected, but my Sweet Pea Veloute with beaufort cheese and a touch of thyme (£10.25) was show stopping. Having mentioned that the Breast of Quail (£13.50) sounded interesting, the gently fried leg suddenly appeared sitting atop a green spread of perfectly cooked asparagus. Envy settled over me. i’ve never been able to cook quail it turning out dry and tasteless – this certainly wasn’t. for the main course, Jennifer chose the fillet of Beef “rossini” (£26.50) and me grilled Dover sole (£34.00). The
Restaurant reviews by Virginia E Schultz
beef was good, but the Dover sole was excellent. The side orders of vegetables (£4.00) were perfectly cooked, but i especially enjoyed the herb salad which tasted as if it had just been picked from the garden. andrew is mad about cheese so there is a wonderful selection with biscuits and jellies (£9.00) that was too good to refuse. although the french cheeses were wonderful, it was the English selection i’d go back for. We sometimes forget just how good English cheese can be. We just couldn’t turn down the Toffee cheese cake (£7.50). We shared, but did they have to give us such a large piece? Head sommelier zack Saghir helped select the wine for our courses. zack previously worked at The Savoy and is used to the idiosyncrasies of us americans. He will not suggest the most expensive wine as too often happens. it is not cheap to dine at The Landau, but it is magnificent.
The Langham Hotel, 1 Portland Place, London W1B 1JA 020 7965 0165 www.thelandau.com 28
Dining Out at the
y friend, Nelly Pateras, didn’t order the uSDa steak i recommended when she ate with a french friend at another steak restaurant recently. it was obvious she still didn’t believe me when she joined me for dinner at the Palm and i suggested if she wanted to taste really great beef she order an american born and bred steak instead of having the Jumbo Sea Scallops (£15.00). fortunately, my rib eye aged uSDa Prime was large enough to feed the two of us – or even three people with average appetites – because after one hesitant bite she proceeded to eat more than i did. and she’s model thin in that way only french women seem to be despite what they eat. Later, i’d hardly left to get my car before she was arranging a luncheon for her gourmet group. The original Palm restaurant in New York City was opened in 1926 by italians John Ganzi and Pio Bozzi and there are now twenty-eight restaurants throughout the States. Entering what had once been Drones restaurant in London, where my late husband and i use to dine regularly during the eighties, brought back memories – the walls covered with caricatures of sports personalities and celebrities, the
wooden floors and the long bar with eight stools so reminiscent of that era. Palm’s owner and chairman, Walter Ganzi, is the third generation running the business and it was obvious he wasn’t about to change the interior to ‘pseudo ye olde English’ as many restaurants from out of the uK have too often done. Most of the diners were English or arab. There could have been americans in one of the other two rooms, but with the credit crunch and a rib eye steak costing £45.00 it’s almost cheaper to take an economy flight to the States. The service was impeccable, something that doesn’t always happen in New York City where service can be as sangfroid and rude as any restaurant in france. Our lovely Californian waitress assured me that doesn’t happen outside the Big apple, and she knew her cuts of meat and explained the differences to Nelly far better than i could. it wasn’t only the steak that had our approval. The broiled crab cake starter (£11.50) took me back to Maryland and a favourite fish restaurant outside annapolis. Happily, chef Jason Wallis didn’t add asian spices and kept to the traditional recipe. The Tomato Capri (£11.50) tasted as if the chef was at the
market that morning and the mozzarella di bufala as if it had just landed from italy. i was slightly disappointed in the french fries which weren’t as crisp as i prefer; next time i’ll have the hash brown potatoes (both £7.50). if you’re concerned about your carbon footprint, you can have British filet mignon (£33.00) or lamb rib chops (£17.00). a few days later i went in for lunch with a friend and had the Palm burger (£12.00) with aged cheddar, lettuce and tomato. Now i know where i’ll go with my daughter next time we need our ‘hamburger fix’. My friend had the luncheon menu which included a Caesar salad, blackened sirloin steak salad, and a vegetable and potatoes. This was a bargain at £15 and i wouldn’t be surprised if the price isn’t eventually raised. Yes, my English friends, i’m sorry, but american corn fed beef is far better than English or Scottish grain fed and as soon as i save up more carbon footprints, Nelly and i are returning and sharing that rib eye.
1 Pont Street, London SW1X 9EJ O20 7201 0710 www.thepalm.com 2
Dining Out at
INN THE PARK Y
ears ago, on a visit to London, I was staying at a hotel near Buckingham Palace and on a morning walk, with guide book in hand, I came upon St. James’s Park for the first time. Of course, then as now, there were no camels, crocodiles or an elephant roaming through the 58 acres as I might have found when James I was on the throne. Nor was there much evidence of the elaborate French garden design created by André Mollet for Charles II. The people enjoying the sunshine that morning were mostly middle class like myself and I certainly didn’t spot any one participating in acts of degeneracy as John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, wrote about in his poem A Ramble in St. James’s Park.
Perhaps because of its history, this former swampy marshland purchased by Henry VII in 1532, remains one of my favourite places to walk. Sitting on the terrace of Inn the Park in the Hopkins designed building overlooking the lake, surrounded by brightly coloured flowers with the view of the London Eye in the distance, I find myself imagining all those famous rogues and members of royalty who once roamed the grounds. It’s the perfect place to have breakfast before going on to watch changing of the guard or a tour of Buckingham Palace as I did recently with friends from the States. Oliver Peyton, the restaurateur, prides himself on presenting seasonal British fare and reading the breakfast menu had the taste buds of my two guests trembling with delight. Charles ordered the full breakfast (£13.50) which included bacon, sausage, eggs sunny side up and tomatoes. Ric started with half a grapefruit (£2.95) then went on to have a fried duck egg (£2.50) and black pudding (£2.20). I, on the other hand, stuck to mixed seasonal fruits (£6.50) and muesli and yoghurt with grated apple (£6.50). With this we had crumpets and toast, all, our delightful waitress informed us, baked by Inn the Park. After breakfast, the two men went on their sightseeing tour. I agreed to meet them in the afternoon for tea before we went to the theatre that evening. Ric and Charles chose the luxury tea (£22.00) with champagne (£25.00) which included crab on toast, smoked salmon and
caviar, finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and tarts. The Peyton and Byrne tea was served loose in pots, no tea bags here, with Ric acting as mother. Having decided even a cream tea (£6.50) might make me fall asleep at the theatre, I ordered tea alone but, I cannot tell a lie, I did have a nibble of my friends’ sandwiches which were delicious. Afterwards, we went to the roof of the building to sip our champagne. The theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue was within walking distance, although admittedly it had Charles and myself huffing and puffing by the time we arrived. Dinner at Inn the Park is also available and there is a self-service canteen which would be less expensive, especially with children. The service we had was excellent, something I couldn’t have said of the restaurant a few years before. Charles and Ric decided it was a better idea to have something light rather than dinner before the theatre and three days later they returned to have a Bellini (£6.00) and the charcuterie Platter (£9.50) for two.
St. James’s Park, London SW1A 2BJ 020 7451 9999 Email: email@example.com
La Capanna For the finest Italian dining experience in the most picturesque of settings, perfect for that romantic dinner for two, a family celebration or business entertainment.
La Capanna Special Menu, 2 courses only £31.95 Sunday Lunch, 3 courses only £25.95 Children’s Menu – £12.00
Lunch at La Capanna 1 course £11.50 2 courses £15.50 3 courses £19.50 Available lunchtime Mon – Sat; 7 – 8pm Mon – Fri.
Book Your Christmas Party Now
48 High Street, Cobham, Surrey
With riverside Italian Garden for al fresco dining
Book your table online on our website: www.lacapanna.co.uk Business account customers and party bookings are welcome. all major credit cards accepted.
“La Capanna must boast the prettiest interior of any restaurant I have ever dined in”
FULLY AIR CONDITIONED • PRIVATE CAR PARK
– David Billington, Hello Magazine
Cellar Talk Libations by Virginia E. Schultz
Matching Wine with Food
n seeing the film “Julie & Julia” recently, I realized just how much I had been influenced by Julia Child’s 1961 best seller, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. My 1967 copy is well worn with added notes written at the side of the various recipes on the addition of certain ingredients. In the section on wine, I recall the emphasis she and her two fellow writers made on using only a good wine in one’s cooking. In supermarkets all over the States at the time, one could buy what was known as cooking wine, a cheap, fruitless concoction whose smell should have been the first warning that it could ruin any dish you might be preparing. Matching wine with food has gone a long way since that time. Julia Child was quite specific on what wine should go with food; she preferred French, while today there is a more laissez-faire attitude on what goes with what. My rule of thumb, if indeed I have any, is to match the weight of the wine with food. A light wine with a heavy dish will taste thin while a heavy wine can overpower the flavours in a delicate dish. One rule I always follow, however is making certain I fill the wine
glasses only half way. This is to leave room for swirling so that the aromas can develop. Usually three to four inches proves to be a good measure which means I can serve five to seven glasses per bottle.
The perfect winter salad
Although Julia Child was my first god in the kitchen, there was another woman who influenced me just as much. I was living in California in the 1970s when Alice Waters opened Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. While many restaurants in the States were emulating three star Michelin restaurants, Waters showed a Provencal dining room with southern Rhone wines to match. I will never forget the salad I had on my first visit which included the word mesclun. Mesclun is a French word for “a mixture” and in that salad she included dandelion, chicory, wild rocket and chervil. In supermarkets today in the States the name mesclun on a package can be a mixture of just about anything which is why I prefer making up my own combination of different kinds of lettuces. In handling greens, I first wash in lots of water and then dry in a spinner or lay the green out in a single layer on a
Julia Childs at a book signing in 1989 MDCarchives
paper towel. Then I wrap the salad carefully in a towel and put into the refrigerator to chill while I make the vinaigrette. Some people say one part vinegar to two parts oil while others prefer half and half. I put the olive oil in at the last, always spooning it on little by little as I toss until it tastes right to me. And I always use my hands. During the winter I use puntarelle heads when I can find it. Puntarelle can be found in specialist green grocers and once in a while in supermarkets. The season starts in November and ends in February. No one, I might add, serves a better Puntarelle Alla Romana than Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers at River Cafe. Like Waters, Gray and Rogers emphasize using only the finest of greens and ingredients. This is the perfect salad to have the day after Thanksgiving when even the thought of eating is almost unbearable.
WINES OF THE MONTH: Shoofly Shiraz Adelaide 2007 Around £8 Maybe it’s the name that fascinated me (I grew up in the Pennsylvania Dutch region in the States), but I had to try this Australian Shiraz. Tangy citrus with a hint of Coca Cola cherry. Perfect with the beef sandwich I made from the Sunday roast.
PUNTARELLE SALAD By Virginia E Schultz
INGREDIENTS 2 heads of Puntarelle Salted anchovies – 3 to 5 salt packed 2 tbsp red wine vinegar. 1 garlic glove 2 dried chillies 1 tsp black pepper 1/8 tsp sea salt (optional) Extra virgin olive oil (about ¼ cup) 1 lemon
To prepare puntarelle, fill a bowl with cold water and ice cubes. Pull the hollow buds from the puntarelle heads. using a paring knife, slice the buds very thinly length wise. Place in the water to crisp and curl and then put into refrigerator. Takes about an hour. Place the garlic, anchovies and chillies in a mortar and add the salt if you’re using it. Whisk in the vinegar and season with pepper and let sit for ten minutes. Now whisk in olive oil until emulsified. adjust seasonings to your taste. instead of puntarelle, i sometimes use a mixture of greens such as dandelion, chicory or argula leaves and even tiny potatoes and quail eggs. i always add the vinaigrette by the spoonful, tossing the salad gently by hand after each addition. With the salad i serve a rosé wine. recently, a friend served a similar salad with a pink zinfandel which frankly, couldn’t have been more perfect with this dish.
VIRGINIA’S FAVORITE THANKSGIVING CORN BREAD
2/3 cup corn or saﬄower oil 2 eggs, lightly beaten 1 carton of sour cream 1 can creamed corn 2 tablespoons minced or grated onion 2 tablespoons chopped pepper 1½ cup cornmeal 2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp salt 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees. • Oil a baking dish, preferably metal. • Mix oil, eggs, sour cream, and creamed corn. add onion and Peppers. • Mix the dry ingredients and slowly add the liquid ingredients to this. • Mix quickly, leaving a few lumps. • Pour half the batter into the pan, top with half the cheese, cover with rest of Batter and top this with rest of cheese. • Bake about 45 minutes. • Let cool.
Seek out puntarelle for a sophisticated post-Thanksgiving salad – just add rosé wine
Thanksgiving at the ‘Home of Baseball’
he charming village of Shere, near Guildford in Surrey, is so quintessentially English that it is regularly used for blockbuster ﬁlm location shoots such as “The Holiday”. The William Bray is a newly opened bar and restaurant in Shere with an extraordinary claim to fame. It is named after a local diarist and one time Lord of the Manor who has just been authenticated as the ﬁrst person ever to document the game of baseball. Until the discovery of Bray’s diaries, Baseball’s history was thought to begin in Jane Austen’s 1817 novel Northanger Abbey, but over 50 years earlier William Bray wrote of a visit to his neighbour to play the game on Easter Monday 1755. The William Bray is sure to reach fame soon for another reason: its excellent food, wines, ales and welcome. Chef Mark Routledge’s delicate touch is dedicated to bringing out the very best in his locally sourced fare. The William Bray’s American connections will be endorsed further this November when a Thanksgiving Menu, rejoicing in everything this important festive season stands for, is presented for the ﬁrst time. The £32.50 menu comprises Honey Roast Ham Hock Terrine, Pomeroy Mustard Dressing & Apple Jelly, Clam & Sweetcorn Chowder, Roasted Ballotine of Turkey with Sweet Potato Gratin & Cranberry Jus, Baked Pumpkin and Chocolate Chip Pie with Hot Chocolate and Pecan and Maple Syrup Cookies with Coffee. We are conﬁdent readers will give thanks for having secured a table! www.thewilliambray.co.uk
Cece Mills picks her Arts and Exhibitions for November and continues her alphabetical look at art forms. ‘When I work, I work very fast, but preparing to work can take any length of time.’ – Cy Twombly
Terrible Trenches imperial War Museum, London Until October 2010 This brilliant interactive exhibition at the imperial War Museum is a must for your children and you to visit. Based on Terry Deary’s Horrible History books published by Scholastic Ltd. and illustrated by Martin Brown, the exhibition plummets you right into the horrors of the trenches during World War 1, picking out the details that everyone, child or adult, really wants to know about. The food, the loos, the bugs, the smells. You can actually experience everything about the trenches and find out how you would survive. Do you dare? British Soldier and Rat © MarTiN BrOWN
The Land Girls: Cinderellas of the Soil hove Museum & Art gallery, sussex Until March 14th, 2010 The courageous story of the wonderful job the land girls achieved during World War 2. Over 75,000 women joined the Women’s Land Army and knuckled down to dig for their country. With all the men fighting in the trenches, the girls were left to provide the country with food. Ladies from all walks of life were
Women’s Land Army Hostel, 1939-45, Evelyn dunbar © THE rOYaL PaViLiON & MuSEuMS, BriGHTON & HOVE, COurTESY THE ruSSELL-COTES arT GaLLErY
transformed into effective farmers, not only tilling the soil but milking cows, threshing, tractor driving and rat catching too. They were all trained for the job, and the girls from Sussex were trained at Plumpton Agricultural College. Arrest that Rat: Land girls enjoy a hot cup of tea after a hard day of rat catching, as part of their training on a Sussex farm, 1942 © THE rOYaL PaViLiON & MuSEuMS, BriGHTON & HOVE, COurTESY THE iMPEriaL War MuSEuM, LONDON
War stories hove Museum and Art gallery, sussex Until January 10th, 2010 This is an interesting look at what it was like in Brighton and Hove during World War Two, with some marvellous photographs from the archives of the Brighton Herald. The exhibition builds up a picture of what it was like, not only for the soldiers, but for the public too. From air raid precautions, images of bomb damage and on a more cheerful note, victory celebration pictures, the exhibition also includes press cuttings and articles, as well as correspondence, to help us build up the picture.
Combat Paper Project Fabrics of War Birnam Arts, Birnam, Near Dunkeld, Perthshire November 7th - November 25th Birnam Arts Community and Conference Centre is about an hour north of Edinburgh, or 20 minutes from Perth. Their winter season of events is very impressive, with dance, music, theatre and visual arts exhibitions, some fresh from the Edinburgh Festival, others Birnam favourites and regulars. I have chosen this exhibition as being something American readers might particularly be interested in seeing. The group Combat Paper Project, made up from non-partisan US war veterans, came up with a very unusual idea. They mashed up their uniforms and turned them into paper. Out of this paper, they created art works which best portrayed their individual experiences during the conflicts they had been involved in. This show is a touring exhibition, so you may be able to check it out nearer to your home later next year.
JMW Turner, Snow Storm – Steam-Boat oﬀ a Harbour’s Mouth
Turner and the Masters Until January 31st, 2010 Tate Britain i will never forget one art lesson at school,. We had to copy one of Turner’s paintings, then create our own artwork based on Turner’s. His was The Burning of the Houses of Parliament in October 1834, a wonderful painting full of oranges and reds, with fiery, smokey bursts of colour and the shadowy outlines of the grand buildings looming through the smoke and flames. it was a hard job, but introduced me to the work of Turner in a way i can never forget. J M W Turner, 1775-1851, was known as ‘the painter of light’. He started painting aged 14 when he joined the royal academy School. Here at Tate Britain you can see about 50 of his masterpieces – he was remarkably prolific in his painting and drawing – side by side with other great names. Constable, Lorrain, Jacob van ruisdael, Canaletto, rembrandt, Poussin and Titian all have their places alongside Turner. He was a great admirer of these artists and was always striving to be better than them, more famous and widely acclaimed. He took on almost any artist, modelling his work on theirs but with his own particular branding.
This competitive streak was the result of his humble upbringing. The son of a Covent Garden barber, he had a strong Cockney accent and was no great shakes to look at. uneducated in grand manners and social graces he succeeded on his talent alone. it just goes to show – Britain’s Got Talent!
The Sight of Sound Until January 3rd, 2010 National Museum, Cardiﬀ Have you ever thought that music influences artists? and also that the visual arts inspire musicians? This exhibition shows just how much of art has its roots in music. The exhibits are accompanied by the very sounds that inspired the art. We are familiar with the language of music: words such as ‘composition’, ‘symphony’ and ‘nocturne’ which describe aspects of visual art too. Nowadays, artists collaborate with musicians to create installations, film and video, as well as performance art. The thought that most film, TV thriller or natural history programme can be brought to life through the suspense, mystery or restful cadences of music, makes me realise that it is not surprising that artists seek inspiration from music.
Maharaja: The Splendour of India’s Royal Courts Victoria and Albert Museum, London Until January 17th, 2010 Yet another spectacular exhibition filled with gold, jewels, and gem studded stuff from the past. Wow! Those Royals certainly lived it up. Moctezuma at the British Museum is just as gold-studded, while the Magnificence of the Tsars exhibition back in March at the V & A was a dream of opulence! And remember Shah ‘Abbas at the British Museum? Anyway, here are yet more examples of the fabulous wealth and high living of the Royals, this time the Indian Maharajas. Apparently the Indian Royals were almost half god and half king, and must therefore shine out as befits this role. And like all half gods and half kings, they must patronise the arts and make sure they possess a little (or a lot) of everything going. Thus everything in the Royal Palaces was top notch, specially commissioned and studded with as many
jewels, lined with ermine and gold, and generally beefed up to the hilt. Not only the things were top notch, but the court performers, the singers and dancers, the poetry and music, were all of the highest possible calibre. All of this to impress and show off their status. The V&A’s exhibition begins in the early 18th century and moves forward right into the 1940s, charting the changes in the wealth of the Maharajas and the changes in the types of lavish possessions they chose to spend their great wealth on. Many of the artefacts are from the V&A’s own collection and the whole thing serves to show us another way of life completely. A magnificent howdah, a carriage borne on an elephant’s back, at the V&A’s exhibition Victoria and Albert Museum
Above: Beoga – dubbed by New York’s Irish Echo as ‘the most audacious Irish band rooted in trad today’
Perthshire Amber Festival From October 30th to November 8th At various venues around Perthshire, including Pitlochry Festival Theatre, Blair Castle in Blair Athol, and Dunkeld Cathedral. If you are a fan of Dougie MacLean then this is the event for you. But I have to warn you, tickets are selling fast for the evening concerts. With a wonderful line-up of guests including Malinky, Eddi Reader, Beoga and Heidi Talbot, to name but a few, this is a really foot tapping collection of the finest Celtic musicians from all over the world, gathered together with their host, Dougie MacLean. During the day, there are related events for you to enjoy at selected venues, such as jamming sessions with Dougie, spotlit autumn colours in the spectacular woods around Pitlochry, music workshops and more. Pitlochry Festival Theatre has a permanent and spectacular display of artworks by local artists for you to enjoy before and after the show.
ARTFORMS A-Z Fantasies, Follies and Disasters Until January 31st, 2010 Manchester Art gallery Francisco de Goya was the master of etching. He was Principal Painter to King Charles IV and also Director of Painting at the Spanish Royal Academy. Not only was he an accomplished painter, particularly of portraits, but also ahead of his time in the art of etching. This exhibition brings together about 90 first edition etchings from the Art Gallery’s own collection, and these reflect Goya’s preoccupation with the political and social conditions in Spain in the late 18th century. Lots of these were unpublished during his lifetime, due to their disturbing and controversial nature – the horrors of war, famine, and violence. They are dark and mysterious, but well worth a look.
Kilims and Kaleidoscopes E
very month i feel as if i may have got myself into a hole when it comes to the next letter of the alphabet. However, there is always something to say and some sort of art-related medium to look into. This month i thought i would tell you about the old art of making carpets. The word Kilim denotes a type of woven carpet with two sets of threads crossing at right angles – the warp and the weft – as for weaving cloth. The finished carpet is pile-less and often slits can occur where two colours meet along the vertical line in the pattern. The word is Turkish. No-one quite knows the exact root of the word, but it has been around since the 13th century. Kilims come in many different designs or makes, such as sumak or cicim, which tend to be named after the tribes, villages or families that wove them, and all reflect the rich anatolian heritage. Because of the way of weaving, the designs tend to be geometrical and strongly stylized. They can be woven in wool, silk, or wool and cotton mix. The designs on the rugs have rich cultural significance, and are many and very varied. To give you an example of a couple of fairly common motifs – the Tree of Life, symbolising long life;
Francisco de Goya, Tragala Perro (Swallow it, dog), 1799 MaNCHESTEr CiTY GaLLEriES
The Horns, symbolising power; and the Hanging Candle, symbolising the holy or eternal light. So the Kilim represents a very particular type of carpet art. Look around at your local Turkish carpet shop and check out all the various designs and colours – each will have its own origins and meanings. So each area will have it’s own style, as I mentioned. A Kalardasht (made in Kalardasht) carpet is very coarsely woven and in rich reds, deep almost brown reds, and with small areas of black. Like Kilims, Kalardasht rugs are very geometric in pattern. Now the Kashan carpet – from Kashan in Iran, and usually woven in wool and silk – differs in that the cotton wefts are blue, and the knotting is very fine. They tend to have intricate all-over designs including the Kashan medallion, usually blue, at the centre, making them distinctive rugs to spot. The borders are also distinctive in that the edges are small red and blue triangles. There are numerous other carpet designs – Kashkuli, Karabagh, Karadja, Kazak, Kerman, Konya and Kurdi – what a plethora of Ks!
Kaleidoscope is part art, part science. The intricate patterns are art, and the word itself, which comes from three Greek words meaning basically ‘looking at beautiful shapes’, sounds arty! The actual gismo, the kaleidoscope, was known to the ancient Greeks, but was reinvented by Sir David Brewster in 1816. His original design was a tube with mirrors at one end, translucent discs in the other, and coloured beads in the middle. The principle was that you looked through a hole at one end of the tube, light entered the tube from the other, and the several mirrors inside created a multiple symmetrical reflection of the coloured beads. Nowadays, they are slightly embellished to give a twisting action which dislodges the position of the beads and thus gives a changing pattern. The number of images reflected onto the eye depends on the angle of the mirrors. H
Next Month, Looking At: Lithographs
Arts News By Estelle Lovatt
rt is a priority in the Obama White House, especially for the First Lady. It also featured at the recent G-20 summit in Pittsburgh when President Obama gave a gift of art to the world leaders in attendance. Enthused by an exhibition at the Phipps Conservatory, Pittsburgh, the Obamas, who held a reception night there at the start of the summit, chose a sculpture of a tree created out of glass by flamework glass artist Hans Godo Frabel at his Frabel Studio in Atlanta. The tree, with its leaves pointing upwards, shoots towards success and co-operation. An emblem of strength, wisdom and endurance, the tree is formed out of glass; beautiful and fragile, yet environmentally sound, its natural shape signifying unanimity travelling towards a familiar universal objective. H
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THEATER REVIEWS AUTUMN ROUND UP Jarlath O’Connell rounds up the best of a cluster of recent openings
avid Hare’s new play for the National Theatre is dubbed “a dramatist seeks to understand the financial crisis” and that’s exactly what it is. Hare, having brought his documentary skills to bear on the clergy (Racing Demon), the judiciary (Murmuring Judges), the Labour Party (Absence of War), the railways (The Permanent Way) and the Iraq War (Stuff Happens), was asked by director Nicholas Hytner to produce a response to the amazing events of September 2008 when, in the words of Hank Paulson, “the world’s financial system went into cardiac arrest”. He gives us a chronology of what occurred and eschews any idea of making it into a well-made play. There are times, after all, when truth is stranger than fiction. Designer Bob Crowley uses a bare stage enhanced with simple projections to lend the piece an immediacy. In a rapid succession of short, neatly written, scenes we gradually meet the figures from the news headlines of the past year. A cast of twenty portray characters such as George Soros, Adair Turner, Howard Davies, David Freud and John Cruddas MP as well as a long list of hedge fund managers, lawyers, journalists, financial head hunters, private equity investors, and mortgage lenders some of whom wished to remain anonymous.
Above: Bruce Myers as George Soros Below: Malcolm Sinclair as Myron Scholes
The Power of Yes By David Hare • National Theatre, London
To anchor it all we also meet the Citizens Advice Bureau official who details the proper way to respond when the bailiffs come to the door. The structure of the piece is beautifully simple. We follow Hare’s alter ego “The Author” played by Anthony Calf as he researches the story and interviews the key players. Like a well crafted documentary he lets them talk but he also keeps it moving at a cracking pace. The piece can’t avoid being didactic at times but then it is not easy to explain “sub-prime mortgages” and “securitized credit arrangements”. George Soros, the wise old owl of hedge
funds, railed against the crazy notion that you could eliminate risk by using mathematical modelling and Jon Cruddas concluded sagely that “if you are being paid £20m a year, you are not incentivized to read your own statement of accounts”. At the heart of this crisis for Hare was the fact that regulators, government or the media never stopped to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. He also singles out bankers’ pay as a factor. “If I get paid this much I must be worth it” went the logic. The worst example of course was RBS’s Fred Goodwin. He remains unrepentant, holds on to his fat pension and took great exception to being dragged before a Parliamentary Select Committee. Such vanity and hubris brought the world to the brink of an abyss. Hare’s play is a timely summary of this amazing story.
The American Ian Hart, John Simm © Johan Persson
Speaking in Tongues
roduced at the Hampstead Theatre in 2000, Andrew Bovell’s play has been seen in over 20 countries and has finally landed in the West End in a rather starry production. A big name ‘down under’ Bovell also wrote two modern Aussie film classics Strictly Ballroom and Head On and his latest play When the Rain Stops Falling has just had a run at the Almeida. Leading an exciting young cast is Life on Mars star John Simm who is joined by Ian Hart (Backbeat), the great Kiwi actress Kerry Fox (An Angel at My Table, Shallow Grave) and relative newcomer Lucy Cohu (The Queen’s Sister, Forgiven). The men are good but the ladies steal the show here. Each playing two characters they inhabit their roles totally and Cohu in particular gives a star making turn as the sultry psychiatrist Valerie, whose disappearance ties up the various plot strands. Cohu, up against a great scene stealer in Kerry Fox, commands the stage making one fully understand why anyone would commit adultery. This intricately structured plot is often a struggle to follow and some-
times Bovell’s theatrical devices end up being too clever by half. (Flattened out in the film version the narrative had more room to breathe and was better for that. The movie, titled Lantana and well received internationally, was made in 2001 and starred Barbara Hershey, Anthony La Paglia and Geoffrey Rush.) Basically it’s a story of various infidelities amongst a group of young married couples. Hart and Simm play two men attracted to the idea of an affair but one yields and the other does not. Reminiscent of Altman’s Short Cuts in linking seemingly disparate characters in a chain of events it explores modern relationships with great sensitivity and examines how a simple infidelity gone unchecked can lead to the unravelling of a once solid romance. It has echoes of Pinter and Mamet at its best and Bovell is certainly a writer to watch. Up and coming young director Toby Frow gives it all a wonderfully fluid staging and he is ably assisted by designer Ben Stones, whose spare but clever designs enhance the rapidly overlapping stories.
By Andrew Bovell Duke of York’s Theatre, London
any of the young Little Britain fans turning up at the Comedy Theatre had probably not heard of Joe Orton or his plays and so were in for a shock. Instead of the loveable rogue Matt Lucas, they were confronted with the thoroughly dislikeable Kenneth Halliwell, the lover and murderer of Orton*. Orton’s tragically shortened life was first brought to public attention in John Lahr’s biography and the subsequent film of the same name. Here, playwright
Prick Up Your Ears Simon Bent has worked with hot young director Daniel Kramer to recreate the doomed relationship of the Svengalilike Halliwell and the cheeky young upstart. They have taken some poetic licence by adding the delightful landlady Mrs Corden to the mix. She did live downstairs from the boys but for the
Chris New as Joe Orton © Catherine Ashmore
By Simon Bent inspired by John Lahr’s biography of Joe Orton Comedy Theatre, London
play her part has been beefed up to a combination of comic foil and Greek chorus. Always running in with “it’s only me” and anchoring their pretensions which her no nonsense cockney take on things, Gwen Taylor creates a comic archetype worthy of one of Orton’s own plays. Set entirely in the tiny flat in Noel Road in Islington (cleverly recreated by designer Peter McKintosh) we see the gradual growth of the boys work of plastering every wall with a mad collage of images stripped from the library books and magazines they so notoriously pinched from Islington Library. This act of criminal damage was the reason for the flat remaining empty for 6 months while they both served time in prison. It was also this period away from Halliwell, which gave Orton the confidence to find his own voice as a writer and which consequently of course sealed his fate. From the moment they got back together and Orton’s career
started to take off Halliwell’s feeling of inadequacy and jealousy grew and grew. Lucas perfectly captures the pomposity and self-centredness of Halliwell, a failed actor and writer, but one also gets to understand how the cheeky waif Orton would have been bowled over by this urbane and witty character. Chris New as Orton has the requisite looks and charm and there is a real chemistry between the two. The play doesn’t shy away from the gory ending but prior to it this trio of lively wits wholly entertain us before the madness took hold. * Matt Lucas is to be admired for taking on this challenge . It is sad that a personal tragedy of his own has meant he has had to withdraw from the play. From 22 October, Con O’Neill replaced Lucas in the role of Kenneth Halliwell. Olivier award-winning and Tony award-nominated O’Neill played maverick musical genius Joe Meek in Nick Moran’s Telstar on stage, and on screen alongside a cast including Pam Ferris, James Corden and Kevin Spacey.
yckbourn’s great 1976 play Bedroom Farce, which won Tonys for Joan Hickson and Michael Gough when it played on Broadway, demonstrates the writer at his best, as the bard of suburbia. While his plays usually present painfully accurate depictions of the English middle classes, their form is always different. With each new play he challenged himself to come up with new theatrical devices to spur his imagination and to better engage his audiences with stories which on the surface might appear mundane. Here his trick was to confine the action to a single night in three different bedrooms with all three bedrooms on the stage at once. Four couples offer us a chance to look at four different stages of marriages. Ernest and Delia (the glorious Jane Asher and Nicholas Le Prevost) are going through the well-worn motions of an anniversary dinner. Jan and Nick (Lucy Briers and Tony Gardner) are stressed because Nick has injured his back and can’t accompany Jan to the party where he knows she will meet up with old flame Trevor. Malcolm and Kate (Daniel Betts and Finty Williams) are the newly married and relatively happy ones and finally there are Susannah and Trevor (Rachel Pickup and Orlando Seale), who don’t get a bedroom of their own but cause havoc in all the others when they descend with their marital traumas. The play is lovingly re-staged by Sir Peter Hall who first presented it at the National and who wisely sticks to the mid seventies setting (the costumes and décor are a joy). It has all the mechanical perfection necessary for farce and yet, like the best comedy, is totally serious. Asher and Le Prevost stand out as the older couple, creating a beautifully touching portrait of a happy marriage and
Bedroom Farce By Alan Ayckbourn • Rose Theatre • Kingston upon Thames Above: Orlando Seale, Tony Gardner, Lucy Briers. Below: Nicholas Le Prevost © Chris Pearsall
both actors display impeccable comic timing. Delia was a dying breed even then, a resolutely sensible denizen of Surrey who bemoans how people talk far too much about their emotions instead of “getting on with it”. The kind of women who, to borrow a phrase, “makes one wonder how we ever lorst India”. This cast by the way is littered with theatrical dynasties with the offspring of Judi Dench, Richard Briers and Ronald Pickup on stage. Any thoughts of shouting nepotism are quickly dispelled however when you see just how good they all are. Hopefully this will transfer.
Catwalk Conﬁdential C
atwalk Confidential is a onewoman show by 1970s top model robyn Peterson, which has arrived via La and the Edinburgh festival to the off-West End, arts Theatre. riding on the coat tails of The Devil Wears Prada and Ugly Betty, one might have expected flippancy and tartness but, instead, one gets a beautifully crafted, witty and intelligent piece of theatre. Now, i guess, in her mid fifties, Peterson is still stunning as her catwalk
with Robyn Peterson Arts Theatre, London WC2
finale clearly attests. Her story begins in Miami Beach of the 60s. raised by a mother-from-hell, for whom she can do nothing right, she gets street-smart pretty quick and after one night too many of dramas involving mother’s boyfriends, she flees on a Greyhound to New York City. She paints a glorious word picture of the ingénue arriving at the Port authority bus terminal and sleeping in a dingy hotel, where she has to barricade the door with the wardrobe. at a nearby pizza joint she soon attracts the attention of a handsome photographer. He convinces her she could be a model and before long she has outwitted him into providing a limited but effective portfolio she can use for her first casting call. Before she knows it she is in Paris, mixing with YSL, Lagerfeld and Helmut Newton and living the champagne and drug fuelled existence of the haute couture set. The glory days of Vogue shoots in the early seventies are beautifully realised using some excel-
PHOTOS: TriSTraM KENTON
lent video design by Duncan McLean, and aided, in no small part, by a Donna Summer soundtrack. Some critics have said the show doesn’t tell us anything new. i suspect there actually isn’t more to tell - and that is exactly the point. The key is that robyn survives it all, comes out stronger and when confronted with the awful All About Eve moment – when she meets the young girl on the way up who is going to usurp her – she has the self awareness to realise that it’s time to move on. following this, and after quickly losing an unsavoury English husband on the way, she went on to establish an acting career for herself. Her credits have included The Sopranos and LA Law on TV as well as the premiere of Eric Bogosian’s Talk Radio at the Public Theatre. Produced by the James Bond producers Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli the show benefits from great production values but what makes it work is the woman at its core. Warm and engaging and with a talent for mimicry, she has above all the ability to tell a great story.
Inherit the Wind By Jerome Lawrence and Robert E Lee • Old Vic Theatre, London SE1
ood old Kevin Spacey. He has hung in there and survived the transition from being bête noire of the West End to an establishment favourite but how a clunker like this play got put on and then got a warm reception is baffling. I think it just goes to show that reputation is as much to do with riding a wave of sentiment, as it is about anything you actually do. The play dates from 1955 and is a fictionalised account of the famous “Scopes Monkey Trial” from 1925, when the legendary trial lawyer Clarence Darrow took on the case of defending at 24 years old science teacher in Tennessee who was accused of teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution to a high school science class. At that time this was prohibited by law in all public schools in the South. The trial became famous as much
for the participants as for the content. The prosecuting lawyer was William Jennings Bryan, a tub-thumping populist politician and three-time Democratic Party nominee for President, who had made it his life’s work to have the theory of evolution banned. The trial owed its notoriety to the great H L Mencken who covered it for the Baltimore Sun, bringing it to worldwide attention. Most will associate it with the 1960 film version though, which pitted Spencer Tracey against Frederic March. Actors, who never shy away from a bit of courtroom grandstanding, have been drawn to it like bees to honey ever since and it has been remade for tv no less than three times with Melvyn Douglas vs Ed Begley, Jason Robards vs Kirk Douglas and Jack Lemmon vs
George C Scott. Each time they win awards. Here Kevin Spacey and David Troughton step up to the bench. Marred by stilted dialogue and a declamatory tone, today the play seems intellectually rather feeble in how it presents the arguments. The courtroom scenes have no tension, the arguments resemble shooting fish in a barrel and it reeks of self-importance. At a time when Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens face-off against Karen Armstrong or Marilynne Robinson or Margaret Atwood in public spats about science vs faith, this seems hopelessly facile. The historical parallels, which had some resonance in 1955, no longer do and what’s left of the play isn’t strong enough to hold it up. When you consider that the Church of England has formally apologised
© MaNuEL HarLaN
Jacqui Dankworth T
PHOTO: SaM JOSEPH
to Darwin and when a significant minority in the uS still aren’t buying the Theory of Evolution, it is time for a more contemporary take on all this. We are also so spoiled today by a plethora of top knotch tv court room dramas (Criminal Justice, Law and Order, Boston Legal). Our expectations are therefore higher and this play could only resonate with people who don’t have a tv, haven’t watched it since Perry Mason or who think rumpole is cutting edge. Trevor Nunn directs the enormous cast as if he is doing Porgy and Bess again. There are clamorous crowd scenes of fervent gospel singing. rob Howell has designed it all lavishly and we are even treated to a walk on from a perky rhesus monkey. The usually brilliant David Troughton struggles with the clunky script and “Bryan” ends up a cardboard cut-out. Spacey, always riveting to watch, plays “Darrow” stooped and in a white wig he seems to be channelling Jack Lemmon, a hero of his. With this ‘look’ he’s mapped out a future for himself getting all the great the Lemmon parts. Clever man.
he daughter of legendary British jazz figures Sir John Dankworth and Dame Cleo Laine I have always felt sorry for Jacqui. What a lot to live up to! The only person I pity more is Chiara (Deneuve) Mastroianni, who has turned out rather plain! Jacqui began her career in the theatre at the RSC and progressed to musicals such as the West End premiere of Into the Woods. After launching her solo career she begun to emerge from the parents shadow and quickly gained a reputation as an emerging jazz vocal star, making appearances with the likes of the BBC Big Band, LSO, BBC Concert
Pizza Express Soho, London
Orchestra to name a few. Her versatility allowed her to work with artists as diverse as Elvis Costello, Bjork, Courtney Pine and the Brodsky Quartet and her first major crossover album As the Sun Shines Down on Me was exceptionally well received. Now she has released Back to You her first album in five years, where she explores her singer songwriter persona. To launch the album she appeared last month at Pizza Express Jazz club in Soho, the start of a European tour. To a packed and appreciative room she sang with a slick 4 piece combo led by Malcolm Edmonstone and presented the album comprising six songs which she has either written or co-written herself and six carefully selected composition from her favourite songwriters. Her own songs explore broken hearts in a confessional mode but after a series of these soul-gospel infused mid tempo pieces they began to lose definition. However, when she explored songs such as James Taylor’s “The Secret of Life” or standards such as “Blame It On My Youth” one could appreciate her breathy intimate voice even more. She also treated the audience to an unorthodox rendition of “On the Street Where You Live” given a major jazz overhaul and ended with a birthday treat request for an audience member, Duke Ellington’s “Unlucky So and So”. H
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‘Must Do’ Machu Pichu Ian Kerr, The American’s two-wheeled correspondent, goes way down south and way up high on a trip of a lifetime
nce you start travelling it is hard to stop. It is like reading the first chapter of a good book, you just have to finish it. Travel… well there is no last chapter or page, it is infinite, its only controlling factors being time and money. Travel can be good or bad depending or your point of view. If you just want to reach a destination, then it is probably the latter. However, travel by motorcycle is all part of the experience as most touring/adventure riders will tell you. You are exposed, but that makes you accessible to locals who are more inclined to greet you and help you in many ways and of course you get to experience the smells and atmosphere that makes each location/destination unique. As you gradually work your way further afield you become hooked
to the point you probably just want to sell everything, pack your bike up and just go touring the world for a few years. Nice thought, but for the vast majority of us there are restraints like family and business that make it just an idle thought. That said, it never stops you looking for destinations to put on your ‘must do before I die’ list. If you have one, then you will probably find quite a few similarities between your list and Compass Expeditions’. Like many other companies what they offer is the chance to take time out to reach those locations without the hassle of a year’s planning, hours on the internet, the hassle of shipping bikes and all the other things that normally go with exploration of some of those not so close ‘mustdo’ destinations. Unlike some other companies, the places they go are not
ones that you would want to consider doing on your own without some background support. It all looked good on the web, so I signed up for ‘Highlights of Peru’ trip which takes nearly three weeks, because unlike other operators they do not include travel time. So fourteen days is riding time, there are extra days either side not included in the riding tour time, but forming part of the experience. A comprehensive briefing pack arrived beforehand by email including a useful potted history of South America, which set the tone for a well organised tour that left nothing to chance. When I arrived at La Paz in Bolivia, (our starting point) there was the cab driver with my name on his card as promised. The following morning tour leader Brendan introduced himself and gave me a rundown on what was to follow including the need to acclimatise to the altitude. A gentle tour of the city had been arranged to help
me unwind and get to grips with the culture and rare air. Early evening saw all my fellow tour participants meet up in the hotel for a comprehensive briefing and some inevitable paperwork, before we headed out to an excellent restaurant to get to know each other. After a reasonable breakfast we caught a cab to the BMW GS 650F bikes garaged on the outskirts of town and again went through a thorough briefing and a short familiarisation ride to ensure we were all happy. Originally we should have headed out and towards the border with Peru and continued onto Puno on the banks of Lake Titicaca, but Brendan had heard that the political situation in Peru was a little volatile and re-routed us to Copacabana on the Bolivian side of the lake. A stop for lunch along the way in the middle of nowhere had us scratching our heads until Leo our back up driver pulled up and tables and fresh food appeared from the cavernous trailer and Toyota. This was to be the standard for most days and it must be said ‘hungry’ was never a word uttered on the tour, morning noon or night! This rescheduling meant we would not be able to take in the floating Uros reed islands, so instead we had a pleasant two hour cruise on the lake to the Isla Del Sol (Island of the Sun) and a chance to start learning about the Inca civilisation that would be central to our travels. . An early start was called for the next day in order to clear the border crossing into Peru. An amazingly quick three hours had us on our way to Cusco the original capital of the Inca civilisation with a free day after to explore while the bikes were checked over, something that happened every day.
“An amazingly quick three hours has us on our way to Cusco the original capital of the Inca civilisation” The next day it was back on the bikes for a ride out through the Sacred Valley to Ollantaytambo and yet another amazing Incan ruin set into the side of the mountain. We then left the bikes and boarded the train to Aguas Calientes at the base of Machu Picchu. After a short nights sleep we rose at 4 am to queue for the bus that was to take us up to Machu Pichu and a chance to climb the mountain Waynapichu which dominates the area. Just like the Grand Canyon, until you stand at the location you cannot comprehend its size and being, no matter how many pictures you have looked at. After an energetic morning it was back on the train after lunch to pick the bikes up and ride back to Cusco and another free day. The following day saw us head out of town on the Pan American Highway, before turning off onto hard packed gravel and head for the remote settlement of Yauri. This small town was totally devoid of the trappings of tourism and gave a real feel to Peru. An early start saw us head back on hard packed gravel roads to Chivay, regarded as the gateway to the Colca Canyon, the world’s second deepest canyon. The next day saw us up early to ride up the canyon to watch the massive Condors ride on thermals. From there is was just case of winding our way down to Arequipa the second largest city in Peru on some excellent roads, gradually descending from the altitudes we had become
used to. This led to another free day to explore, before heading off to the coast for the last leg of the tour and one of the best biking roads in the world. Precariously hugging the Peruvian coastline, continually twisting and turning as well as climbing and dropping, it lead us to the overnight stop at Puerto Inca. The last day saw us head further up the coast dodging sand drifts and heavy winds towards Nazca our final destination. After lunch, a flight over the famous Nazca Lines seemed a fitting end to the trip and a last look at some of the totally unique history of Peru, before heading to Lima the following day and starting the trip home. Fourteen days excellent riding on bikes that had performed faultlessly and a camera full of excellent memories that should keep dinner tables entertained for the next few years thanks to some excellent work by Compass Expeditions! H
Hardwood, Hoops With a new year of NCAA basketball and a fresh crop of talent, promise and controversy seem to be the hallmarks of some of the top teams heading into the season, writes Jay Webster
his time a year ago, all eyes were on Chapel Hill, North Carolina, as the Tar Heels were a consensus pick to run away with the title. There were a few stumbles along the way, but once March rolled around there was no holding the Heels back, and they rumbled through the field to take the championship, defeating Michigan State in the title game. But with the college ranks little more than a pit stop for top talent on the way to the NBa these days, one year’s steamroller is the next season’s road kill. North Carolina sees Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington and Danny Green all plying their trade on the professional level this year. While things won’t be all bad down Tobacco road way, that does means the Tar Heels will not appear at the top of any preseason polls this year. The teams appearing atop the pile this year are a couple of teams that held on to talent from last season and one that landed a couple of the biggest fish from the recruiting pool. Kansas may not be a consensus pick, but you’ll see them atop many polls to start the season. They will rely heavily on Sherron Collins and Cole aldrich as their cornerstones, and return plenty of talent from a team that won 27 games and advanced to the Sweet 16 last season. But controversy is also creeping up in Lawrence as members of the
basketball team brawled on campus with Jayhawk football players on two separate occasions before the season, leaving one of the basketball players, Tyshawn Taylor, with a dislocated thumb. The Jayhawk program got more unwelcome press when guard Brady Morningstar was suspended for the first semester following an arrest for driving while intoxicated. Hopes in Kansas are that coach Bill Self can get his team’s focus back on the court where it belongs before it’s too late. a team that is making waves with a crop of new talent, and also not completely avoiding controversy, is Kentucky. With the NBa now forcing high school players to wait at least one year being drafted, players that might otherwise have jumped straight to the professional ranks spend a year on campus waiting for their big payday. Players like Kevin Durant, Greg Oden, Michael Beasley and O.J. Mayo did their time in recent years, and this year’s on-and-done class looks likely to be headed by John Wall. Let’s stop for one minute to think what college basketball would look like if players played all four years of their NCaa eligibility. The likes of Durrant, Oden, Beasley, Mayo, Lawson, Kevin Love, Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon would all still be playing college basketball. There was a time when the majority of players stayed in college, but those days are long gone. Because so many players leave
college early for the professional ranks, incoming freshman now make a much bigger impact on the college game. Wall is this year’s impact frosh, a 6’3” man-child point guard who reminds many people of Derrick rose, another one-and-done prodigy now playing for the Chicago Bulls. There are those who feel that if the NBa did not have its current age restrictions in place, Wall would have gone second behind Griffin in the past NBa draft straight out of high school. Kentucky also managed to land another coveted recruit in 6’9” DeMarcus Cousins and suddenly the Wildcats are one of the top teams in the country. Controversy comes by way of Kentucky’s new head coach, John Calipari. The coach was lured away from Memphis by an eight-year, $31-million contract offer last april. Shortly afterwards, the NCaa announced that Calipari’s 2008 Memphis team, which set a regular-season record with 38 wins and lost to Kansas in the championship game, would have to vacate all of those wins due to violations involving a player widely reported to be rose. While he has never been directly implicated in any wrongdoing, it marked the second time a Calipari team suffered this ignominy. The university of Massachusetts was forced to vacate wins in their first-ever final four appearance back in 1996 while Calipari was head coach there.
& Headlines Kansas have their eyes on the big prize ...if the Jayhawks can focus on hoops and avoid oﬀ-the-field headlines PHOTO © JONaTHaN DaNiEL/ GETTY iMaGES
Controversy does not necessarily negate talent, however, and there is little doubt that Calipari is one of the best at attracting and molding young basketball talent, which is why such a storied basketball program as Kentucky reached so deep in their pockets to lure Calipari to Lexington. Wall and Cousins both followed Calipari to Kentucky, and they will give him another chance to go deep into the NCaa tournament come March. Whether either player stays around any longer than that remains to be seen. On the other hand, Michigan State is team experiencing high hopes on the back of a strong returning class. five of the six top scorers from the team that fell to North Carolina in the National Championship game will be back in East Lansing. Led by all-american guard Kalin Lucas, the Spartans are looking for big things in the Big Ten conference, and another deep run in the NCaa Tournament. Other top teams looking to make waves include Texas, who plan to make life difficult for Kansas in the Big 12 Conference. 6’-7” swingman Damion James had a chance to jump to the NBa
and take the big bucks, but decided he could use another year of seasoning on the college level and returns for his senior season. NBa evaluators indicated he would most likely go in the second round and convinced him he would be better off in college honing his game, which was music to the ears of head coach rick Barnes. The Longhorns lost point guard a.J. abrams, but added freshman avery Bradley, who was regarded as one of the top recruits out of high school last year. and with James, 6’-10” senior Dexter Pittman and 6’-6” junior forward Gary Johnson, the Horns have three returning inside players who averaged double figures last season. The top player in the Big 12, and in fact the country, last season was Oklahoma’s Griffin, who is now playing for the Clippers in the NBa. Willie Warren played second fiddle on that team, and still managed to garner all-american consideration. unlike Griffin, Warren elected to come back to Oklahoma, and the spotlight will fall squarely on him this time around.thenewseason Look for him to have a huge season, keep the Sooners near the top of the Big 12 standings, and move on to be a lottery pick in next year’s NBa draft. While most eyes are on Michigan State over in the Big Ten, Purdue thinks they can give the Spartans all they can handle. Michigan State used the fact that the final four was held in Detroit last season as a rallying cry to reach the final four and play Kalin Lucas
for a title in their own back yard. With the 2010 final four taking place at Lucas Oil Stadium in indianapolis, the Boilermakers are hoping for some of the same medicine. Purdue returns six players who have been starters at some stage from a team that went 27-10 last season, won the Big Ten Tournament and advanced to the Sweet 16. This year’s team will be let by junior forward robbie Hummel, who averaged 12.5 points and 7.0 rebound per game while playing with a hairline fracture in his back. He is healthy this season and will team up with first-team all-Big Ten center JuJan Johnson, who averaged 13.4 points per game in a breakout sophomore season. The Boilermakers may feel they have the talent to play in indy in early april, but a program without a final four appearance since 1980 and a team that had trouble proving it could compete with elite teams from outside the Big Ten last season will have a long way to go to prove they belong with the big boys. and that’s a look at several of the teams who have a chance to make an impact this season. Whether it will be one of these teams, or someone flying under the radar who cuts down the nets in indianapolis in april remains to be seen. regardless of the talent drain on the college game by the NBa, there is plenty of talent and a wealth of storylines to keep basketball fans on the edge of their seats this season. H
Jay Webster is Website Editor for ESPN America. ESPN America has J>;FB7O;HI"J>;FB7OI"J>;=7C;I"J>;J7BA exclusive coverage of College american for sports IAO*)&rL?H=?D+)'@E?D7JeSPnaMeRiCa.CoM Basketball throughout the 2009/10 season. For more information, visit www.espnamerica.co.uk
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Sideline As the NBA makes a welcome return to our screens, Richard L Gale readies for what may the final reel of Shaquille O’Neal’s Hall of Fame hoops story
n the fall of 1993, i walked into a florida sports memorabilia shop seeking a Demetrius DuBose rookie card. DuBose had been a standout defensive end for the fighting irish and i figured he could be a star for the NfL’s Buccaneers. The least said about that investment, the better. i also happened across a goldflecked limited edition double-header of Penny Hardaway and second-year sensation Shaquille O’Neal,1992/93’s rookie of the Year. Penny enjoyed a fine career, scoring over 25,000 points and ending his 15-year journey alongside Shaq at the Miami Heat. Shaq’s done pretty well for himself too. i hardly need give you the Wiki-fest of Shaq’s career, but as the 7-1 center heads into year 18 of his NBa odyssey, he has tallied 4 NBa titles, almost 40,000 minutes played, over 12,500 total rebounds, over 27,000 points, almost 11,000 fGs ... and one 3-pointer (this news just in: Shaq doesn’t play the perimeter much). His all-time free throw percentage is also back above .500, so there’s hope for him yet. What Shaq has brought to the NBa this past two decades is not just size – plenty of others have brought the height though few have matched the musculature, and he’s not even the tallest center on the Cavs roster – but elite star appeal. Shaq has translated his sports fame into film and music (if not eloquently, then at least ably), and like those that have made the most of
careers in those other trades, he appears to have a keen instinct for reinventing himself and investing in winning projects. How else to explain his latest blockbuster buddy movie, teaming up with the NBa’s top ticket, LeBron James? already this career, we’ve had O’Neal move up from partnering Penny in Orlando, to a run of hits with Kobe Bryant at the Lakers (netting 3 championships before creative differences), and on to another championship playing opposite Dwyane Wade in Miami. (We’ll stretch the metaphor and call Phoenix a bad case of miscasting.) The prospect of Shaq alongside King James in Cavaliers garb is as tantalizing a sports proposal as Brett favre – another ’92 pro sports arrival – and adrian Peterson in the Minnesota backfield. Only more so: while Brett wore down last season, Shaq played more regular season games than he had since his 99/00 season in La, while his accuracy was also back to Lakers levels. There’s little reason to expect O’Neal to retire after this season (he was going to retire after last season, i seem to recall), but this is likely his last stop, and LeBron James his last celebrated partnership. To add spice, Shaq’s former teams, the Lakers, Magic and Heat all look like contending this season. You couldn’t script it any better.
Conceding the Score Denver undaunted ... Tennessee in disarray ... and the New Orleans Saints find a defense. Richard L Gale adjusts to some strange realities so far in the 2009 NFL season
t takes five or six weeks, normally. Up to that point we throw around words such as ‘lucky’, or ‘fluke’ or ‘weak schedule’, but then as we reach the mid-point of the season there’s that jarring sensation that, yes, the NFL’s a different shape now. It’s time to concede some new realities. Turns out Terrell Owens won’t improve the Bills. Turns out the return of Tom Brady isn’t a bye to the AFC Championship game for the New England Patriots. Turns out the Denver Broncos are a better team without Jay Cutler. (What?) Denver’s defense has been the biggest of the surprises this season. With the benefit of hindsight, we’re adjusting our world-vision and pointing at Brian Dawkins as the catalyst for the improvement, but across-the-board contributions from a defense-oriented draft, and the arrival of defensive coordinator Mike Nolan have a team that was one of the worst in the NFL last year metamorphosized into one of the league’s stingiest in points allowed. We’re also having to revisit that notion that coach Josh McDaniels is out of his depth. Rather, he’s floating high above the effluent of the AFC West and threatening to make Denver a playoff team in one season. There’s still that niggle that Kyle Orton’s his quarterback, but Orton is, and always has been, a winner. The Patriots game aside, he doesn’t earn style points, but Mark Rypien and Trent Dilfer had rings in the late ’80s and ’90s, so flair doesn’t
seem to be a pre-requisite for success. An emerging defense has been the centerpiece of change in New Orleans too. Beyond Drew Brees’ Marinoid numbers, a defense that always looked capable on paper has undergone a massive improvement at corner, where ex-Bill Jabari Greer and second-year man Tracy Porter have taken over the start roles. With top rookie prospect Malcolm Jenkins and former starter Randall Gay also available, the Saints have turned weakness into a strength. When many of the early front-runners of the NFL (NY Giants, Eagles, Broncos, Colts) are looking strong despite – or indeed because of – young or rookie receivers the Saints seem to have timed their improvement just right. As yes, the Colts. Given the departure of Marvin Harrison and the injury to replacment starter Anthony Gonzalez (as well as the temporary absence of safety Bob Sanders), it would have been reasonable to expect the Colts record to slip back, rather than have second year backup Pierre Garcon and rookie Austin Collie break out. Even without the injuries, I was expecting the Colts to have a down year. Then again. my inability to predict the AFC South is officially an annual event. I had the Titans to win the division again and look at them now. The terrible start that Tennessee has endured is one of biggest surprises of the season. It isn’t just Albert Haynesworth’s departure (his injury in
For now, pundits will continue to cling to the idea that this is Adrian Peterson’s show – Favre’s just lucky to get the gig Washington being one of the least surprising developments of the season) – they are managing to lose in lots of subtle ways. Kerry Collins is just a little bit off, but he hasn’t played terribly, and Chris Johnson is still headed for 1500 yards (a remarkable anomaly on a team with one of the league’s worst records, and yet, the Rams can claim the same with Stephen Jackson). We might also point to the Steelers as an example of the unexpected. After a peculiarly average performance for a Super Bowl run, their offensive line has taken media comments to heart and come out with a chip on their shoulder; Ben Roethlisberger is putting up career numbers (he’s headed for a 4000 yard season) after being more an inspirational passer than franchise gunslinger in the past; and Rashard Mendenhall has shrugged off the first hints of ‘bust’ talk to stake his first claim as Willie Parker’ successor.
Photo courtesy of Miinesota Vikings
Some individual performances also require a reality check: much written-off Cedric Benson leading the league in rushing and powering an AFC North-leading Bengals team; Ray Rice becoming the do-everything workhorse at Baltimore; the Jets’ Jerricho Cotchery as a top ten receiver despite a rookie passer; and Brent Celek as a top 5 tight end in receptions?
So, new world order? Not quite. Aside from their humbling October visit to the Saints, when their secondary was made to look like Swiss cheese, the New York Giants have seemed like the juggernaut we believed them to be at the start of the season, even with some rookie receivers. We might not have expected Steve Smith (at least not this Steve Smith) to be top of the yards receiving, nor Mario Manningham threatening the top ten, but the
pass protection, pass rush and running game have the Giants amongst the elite teams as we expected. The Super Bowl remains the realistic goal, as long as their route doesn’t take them via the Super Dome again. Also sprinting out of the gate: the Minnesota Vikings. Much as the fact that his arm hasn’t fallen off so far causes some column writers to grumble under our breath to the effect that how dare the NFL not be the way we wrote it up in preseason, the Vikes’ wishy-washy first month schedule was always going to make them look like contenders. So far, so good, Mr Favre. As the first half of the season draws to a close, his real task arrives: taking Minnesota beyond contender, and setting those longboat sails towards a postseason run. For now, pundits will continue to cling to the idea that this is Adrian Peterson’s show, and Favre’s just lucky to get the gig.
There are adjustments to our perceptions, but so far, few shocking developments. The Raiders still appear disfunctional, the Rams still stink on a weekly basis. Even those hard-rushing, aggressively defensive Bengals still haven’t convinced us this isn’t just the set-up for some second-half pratfall. Here’s some hard conclusions as we head for the second half of the season: LaDainian Tomlinson really has passed his best-before date, not just on the slide, but crumpled in the shadow of the 30-something wall; Mike Singletary’s powers of motivation really are worth several more wins a year than the 49ers deserve; Matt Cassel won’t make the Chiefs a contender; Eli Manning really has become as-good-a-quarterback-well-almost as his brother; and Michael Vick is the non-story of 2009. Really, deep down, we knew all this stuff anyway, didn’t we? H
Paw Talk, or My Life as a Dog in London by Rebel.
ecently, She-Who-Must-BeObeyed-Usually, accused me of choosing the friends of hers I like by the food they give me. Although I wanted to deny it, I cannot tell a lie, it is true. When Nell Nell comes to our flat, she often brings fois gras and never forgets to sneak me a piece. Of course, it’s terrible for my diet, I know, but let me tell you if that’s the last dish I have before I go onto doggie heaven, it’s worth dying for. With Jen Jen, it’s lamb. Like Nell Nell, she makes certain she saves a small slice for me to enjoy. It is superb. Then there’s Lady Max’s meat loaf. She-Who-Must-Be-ObeyedUsually calls this dish the national peasant dish of the USA and Lady Max adds all kinds of meats like beef, veal, pork and lamb in her recipe. When Lady Max serves her meat loaf at a luncheon, She-Who-MustBe-Obeyed-Usually always brings me some home. Ah, pure bliss! This was why I was so excited when I stayed with Lady Max a few days ago. My little mouth was watering as I watched her prepare the meat loaf and I even tolerated her singing songs from “Tosca”, although the high notes hurt my ears. But, did she offer me even a sliver of the meat loaf when it was baked? No! There I sat on my hind legs in her kitchen, paws out, and looking at her with my sweetest West Highland terrier grin and she kept eating the meat loaf without even glancing at me until there was no more left. Can
you imagine anyone more selfish? Then, she goes to her refrigerator, takes out some oysters and almost as an afterthought, cuts two up and mixes it in with my organic dog food. Oysters! I mean, honestly. “It’s a Tsarkaya oyster, named for the wife of the 17th century tsar for whom they were imported to Russia,” she informs me. “I love them in their raw, naked state.” Frankly, I don’t like oysters raw, naked or fully dressed. Watching Lady Max eat them had me hiding under her bed. I can’t think of anything worse than perhaps chocolate cake or lemon posset. Fortunately, Lady Max knows chocolate isn’t good for dogs and never gives me any. But, not only does she offer me lemon posset, but moistens my dried dog food with the pudding because “lemon has lots of vitamin C and is healthy for your fur”.
Oysters! Naked or fully dressed they are definitely not a dog’s dinner, says Rebel PHOTO: KaMEL
Another food I love is turkey. However, because She-Who-MustBe-Obeyed-Usually will be in the states for Thanksgiving I won’t be having any. “But don’t worry,” I’m told, “Lady Max is having our writer’s group for our annual Thanksgiving lunch and knowing how much she loves you, I’m sure she’ll send some turkey home with me.” I cringed inwardly at that announcement when I recalled that last Thanksgiving Lady Max filled my dog dish high with roast turkey and then piled on top of it left over cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. H
(Hampstead School of Art, BBC Radio 2 Art Critic, Art of England Magazine, The American magazine)
MARK ROTHKO: HIS LIFE, HIS WORK, HIS INTERNAL WORLD Estelle Lovatt will deliver an illustrated lecture on the life, work and death of Mark Rothko, one of the world’s most famous artists, The first of a series of workshops exploring the interface between art and psychoanalysis. Followed by Q&A session and group discussion.
£35 per person (to include tea, coffee and biscuits) Places are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment. Continuing Professional Development Event: CPD certificates will be issued on completion of the event.
Sunday 29 November 2009, 10am – 1pm The Manor House Centre for Psychotherapy and Counselling, The Sternberg Centre, 80 East End Road, London N3 2SY 020 8371 0180 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Published on Jan 1, 2010
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