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May 2015


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©2015 Blue Edge Publishing Ltd. Printed by Manson Group Ltd., ISSN 2045-5968 Main Cover: Jim Dale; Circular Inset: Jordan Spieth, courtesy Under Armour; Square Inset: ©401(K)2012



big month, May 2015. It’s the UK General Election, the one where they replace all the Members of Parliament (the House of Commons that is, the Lords aren’t voted for). We have a couple of features that tell you what it’s like taking part, and what the result’s likely to be. For Americans living here, it’s heading fast for the final annual tax filing deadline. US taxpayers have to file tax returns and pay any taxes due by April 15. Most expats qualify for an automatic two-month filing extension, so your return would be due by mid June. In certain circumstances you can request an extension until mid October, but don’t count on it. If you think you might be eligible to pay US taxes, or know that you should and need help sorting it out, now is the (final) time to act. Just as well that we have a series of articles that can help. More lighheartedly we’ve interviewed the great Jim Dale, the Englishman who’s made his home in New York, on Broadway and in America’s heart. This month he makes a rare return to the London stage. Enjoy your magazine, Michael Burland, Content Director

Among this month’s contributors

Miss Patricia Our wicked expat blogger runs up against British real estate agent terminology, cat wee and employee abuse - it’s all in a day’s work

Sir Robert Worcester As the UK General Election arrives, the doyen of psephologists takes a hard look at the numbers and the effects of the ‘7 dwarfs’ debate

Kader Ameen Joining our team of financial experts is Kader, a US expatriate tax specialist who can help you through the blizzard of forms the IRS throws your way

Read The American online at The entire contents of The American and 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 or any loss arising from reliance on it. The views and comments of contributors are not necessarily those of the publishers.

May 2015 1

The American






in this issue... 8  10

12 16 18 19 21

Magna Carta Trail: The South West FINANCE SPECIAL: How the Budget affects expats Financial Planning Principles Tax forms and filing requirements US tax while living in the UK General Elections UK-style A Good Walk Improved: Golf History

24 26 28 39 44

50 52

Miss Patricia: Dancing With Realtors Re-enchanted - Getting Out of Town Star Interview: ‘Just’ Jim Dale COMPETITIONS 3 music giveaways American Sports: Golf Masters, NFL Free Agency, NHL Playoff Preview Why Isn’t America Done with Racism? UK Election 2015: Worcester’s View

4 News

35 Arts

55 US Social Groups

6 Diary Dates

38 Music

62 A-List Products & Services

31 Food & Drink

40 Theater

64 Coffee Break

2 May 2015

Black Cab Tours

Buying & Selling presents USA Stamps, Covers ‘The American Connections Tour’ & Postal History From Runnymede and the


YORK STAMP & COIN FAIR American constitution’s adoption Grandstand,ofYork Racecourse, York the Magna Carta, to Sulgrave YO23 1EX ManorJanuary where the16-17 Washington’s lived since the time of Henry VIII

- GeraldT. Nathanson Stephen Taylor can take you on a fascinating tour of America’s 5 Glenbuck Road unique connections with Britain. Surbiton, Surrey KT6 6BS Phone: 020 8390 9357 Fax: 020 8390 2235

Your American Dealer in Britain e-mail or call +44 (0)20 8502 7205 and ask for Gerald

Buying & Selling USA Stamps, Covers & Postal History EUROPHILEX STAMP SHOW BDC, 52 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 0QH May 13 - 16 Stephen T. Taylor 5 Glenbuck Road Surbiton, Surrey KT6 6BS Phone: 020 8390 9357 Fax: 020 8390 2235 Your American Dealer in Britain


NEWS Seeking Best State Dept. Employees


merican Citizens Abroad wants your help in finding State Department officials giving outstanding service to US expats. ACA’s Thomas Jefferson Award commemorates the birth of the US’s first Secretary of State, who lived outside the new republic for years while promoting the political, economic and intellectual interests of his country. The winner receives a framed certificate, and their name is engraved on a plaque displayed at the State Dept. Mention of their nomination is also added to all nominees’ official service records. To nominate someone whose personal commitment, creativity and enthusiasm has served, inspired and united ‘their’ US communities abroad, send your nomination to (subject: “Thomas Jefferson Award nomination”) or via mail to American Citizens Abroad, Inc., Attention: Thomas Jefferson Award Committee, 11140 Rockville Pike, Suite 100-162, Rockville, MD 20852, USA. Include one or more letters of recommendation from individual Americans or groups, citing examples of outstanding service to the local community; an outline of the nominee’s career to date; a recent photograph of the candidate, ideally showing him/her ‘in action’ among the community served; your name, organization and email/phone/Skype address. The deadline is May 31, 2015.

4 May 2015

From left: Boris Johnson, Mayor of London; Peter Rosengard; historian Simon Schama; Ambassador Matthew Barzun and Admiral, Lord West

9/11 Artwork Unveiled in London


mbassador Matthew Barzun attended the unveiling of New York artist Miya Ando’s 9/11 commemorative artwork at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park London March 17. The 28ft-tall, 4-ton sculpture artwork, entitled Since 9/11, was built from the wreckage of the Twin Towers. It was gifted to the UK by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The Ambassador told Peter Rosengard, founder and chairman of SINCE 9/11, which arranged the permanent exhibit, that it had been: “hard work and, let’s be honest, frustrating work. But. Ultimately. It worked. And for that I, the Embassy, and the entire American community in the UK is most grateful.” He added, “Look at this memorial. It does not celebrate high ideals or cherished values. It commemorates an attack on them. It does not summon in us pleasure, but pain. More than anything this steel – mangled and mauled though it is -- represents resilience and renewal.”

The American

The Love Boat

A Lt. Gen. Brad Heithold PHOTO: USAF

Mildenhall Redesignation


he US Air Force’s 352nd Special Operations Group was redesignated as the 352nd Special Operations Wing at RAF Mildenhall, March 23, reflecting its increased responsibilities and capabilities. Lt. Gen. Brad Heithold, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, said that the 352nd SOW “not only support Special Operations Command – Europe, but we will also support Special Operations Command Africa, to combat the challenges we see and the struggles we have against violent extrem-

ism. And that is not going away anytime soon.” The Wing now comprises six squadrons: the 67th Special Operations Sq. (flying MC-130J Commando IIs); 7th Special Operations Sq. (CV-22B Ospreys); 321st Special Tactics Sq. (combat controllers, pararescuemen and weathermen); 352nd Special Operations Support Sq. (command and control support); 352nd Special Operations Maintenance Sq. and 352nd Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Sq.; and more than 1,200 Air Commandos.

young couple who met while volunteering on the world’s largest civilian hospital ship (Africa Mercy, operated by Mercy Ships) are set to marry in Britain in September. Vanessa Thomson from Devon and Seth Schaben from Kansas, met in Texas, shared their first kiss in Haiti, had their first date in Tenerife, got engaged in Cape Town and celebrated Valentine’s Day in Madagascar. After the wedding, the pair will return to Madagascar with Mercy Ships. Vanessa said, “Although the ship may not be the easiest place to date someone, the Africa Mercy is a magical place to fall in love. It is such a wonderful environment to meet someone who has the same passion as you; someone who has a desire to serve the world’s forgotten poor in such a unique setting. I can’t think of a better way to begin married life together!”

American Civil War Britons Remembered


housands of Britons fought on both sides in the Civil War. The American Civil War British Memorial Association, set up by Basil Larkins (below), has raised funds for the first memorials in their memory.

One plaque was dedicated April 2 at The Museum of the Civil War Soldier at a well attended event in Pamplin Park, VA. The second will be erected in Rumford Place, Liverpool, England on May 14.

May 2015 5

The American

List your event in The American: email or call us on +44 (0)1747 830520

Highlights of The Month Ahead

There’s much more online at American Museum in Britain Claverton Manor, Bath BA2 7BD The only museum outside the USA to showcase the nation’s decorative arts. 2015’s exhibitions ‘Spirit Hawk Eye’ and ‘Hatched, and Matched, Dispatched – & Patched!’ are joined by a musical Tribute to Woody Guthrie, Classic American Dance Classes, Dry Stone Walling, the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary, a Bayou musical odyssey, and lots of family fun. Émigré: From Hollywood to New York Cadogan Hall, 5 Sloane Terrace, London SW1X 9DQ 020 7730 4500 May 2

Set in a fantastic location in the heart of Chelsea, just two minutes from Sloane Square tube station, Cadogan Hall is one of London’s leading concert venues. Join City of London Sinfonia and their Principal Conductor, Michael Collins as they return to Cadogan Hall to bring to life music from the Hollywood classics, North by Northwest and The Adventures of Robin Hood alongside Dvorák’s Cello Concerto performed by YCAT artist, Michael Petrov. This concert forms part of CLS’s Émigré series exploring the journeys travelled by composers throughout history (cls. Tickets from £15, concessions available.

6 May 2015

Ely Eel Festival 2015 Ely, Cambridgeshire CB7 May 1 to 4 An annual festival all about eels with artisan markets and the now traditional ‘World Eel Throwing Competition’! Downton Cuckoo Festival Village Green, Downton, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP5 3LY May 2 Not to be confused with the TV series, Downton is a picturesque village just outside Salisbury, which celebrates its Cuckoo Fair, in which the community comes together with over 250 stalls, entertainment including maypole dancing, music and street entertainers. Weymouth Kite Festival Weymouth, Dorset DT4 8DQ May 2 to 4 International teams bring an impressive array of kites to the Weymouth seafront.

Rochester Sweeps Festival Rochester, Kent May 2 to 4 Medway recreates the chimneysweeps’ traditional holiday of May 1st, with this celebration of British history. Well Dressing Various, UK to September 19 This ancient custom, possibly from pagan roots, remains a feature of many a town calendar through the summer. Dorset Knob Throwing Cattistock, Dorset May 3 Knobs of bread are the focus of this festival with a difference. Events include Knob eating, Knob painting, a Knob & Spoon race, guess the weight of the Knob, Knob darts, even a Knob pyramid! Part of the Frome Valley Food festival. Blackawton International Festival of Wormcharming Blackawton, Devon TQ9 7BG May 3 This year’s festival has the theme of the “Wild West Worms” so dig out your Ten Gallon hat and compete to be the best at luring worms from the ground. Pucklechurch Scarecrow Trail Pucklechurch, Gloucestershire May 3 to 4 How many ways can you dress a scarecrow? Quite a few, as it turns out, as proven by the villagers of Pucklechurch.

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Newbury Crafty Craft Race Kennet & Avon Canal, Newbury, Berkshire May 4 Home-made boats race from Kintbury to Newbury along the Kennet & Avon Canal. To make things even tougher, competitors have to carry their boats around the locks! Penny Black 175 Exhibition The British Postal Museum & Archive, Freeling House Phoenix Pl., London WC1X 0DL May 6 to August 7 Celebrating the 175th anniversary of the world’s first postage stamp. Helston Flora Day Helston, Cornwall TR13 May 8 For hundreds of years, Helston has celebrated the beginning of Spring. The colorful pageant, known as Hal an Tow, tells the history of the town, which is decorated with flowers and greenery.

VE Day Anniversary Air Show IWM Duxford, Cambridgeshire CB22 4QR May 23 to 25 At the wartime home of USAF 78th Fighter Group. Free entry for WWII Armed Forces & Home Front Civilian Forces vets.

Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling Coopers Hill, Gloucester, Gloucestershire May 25 This ancient tradition of chasing a whole cheese down a steep hill was won in 2013 by America’s own Kenny Rackers.

Memorial Day in Britain All are invited to remember US armed force members who died serving their country. May 24 at 3pm at Brookwood US Cemetery, Surrey GU24 OBL, and May 25 at 11am at Cambridge US Cemetery, Madingley Rd, Coton, CB23 7PH

Ace Cafe American Cruise-In North Circular Rd, London NW10 7UD May 25 With a 60th anniversary celebration for the Chevy V8.

Tetbury Woolsack Races Tetbury, Gloucestershire GL8 May 25 Competitors race through the Cotswolds carrying heavy sacks of wool. Also a fair.

Cotswolds Olimpick Games Dovers Hill, Aston Subedge, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire GL55 6UW May 29 The 400 years old games, the forerunner of the modern Olympic movement, feature Tug of Wars and Shin Kicking!

VE Day 70th Anniversary London & Bristol May 8 to 10 Events include a 2 minute silence (May 8th, 3pm), a chain of 100 beacons across the UK, a Thanksgiving service at Westminster Abbey, a parade and a flypast of historic and current aircraft including the RAF’s Hurricane, Spitfire and Lancaster. Bath International Music Festival May 16 to 26 Jazz, folk and world, all in beautiful settings around the city, plus Party in the City, the biggest free show in Bath. RHS Chelsea Flower Show Royal Hospital, Chelsea, London SW3 4SL May 19 to 23 The must-go-to event for lovers of horticulture and gardens.

Forest Live Bedgebury Pinetum, Cannock Chase Forest, Dalby Forest, Delamere Forest, Sherwood Pines Forest, Thetford Forest, Westonbirt Arboretum June 19 to July 12 The Forestry Commission transforms seven forests into concert arenas hosting top artists in stunning locations with an amazing atmosphere. This year’s headliners are: Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters (pictured) Sam Smith, The Vamps, James, Paloma Faith, Tom Odell, Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott, McBusted, Spandau Ballet, and The Script.

May 2015 7

The American

Magna Carta Trails Salisbury and Wiltshire A

s part of the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, The American takes you on through the Magna Carta Trails. This month, Salisbury and Wiltshire.

Salisbury Cathedral

The home of one of the four original 1215 Magna Cartas, Salisbury Cathedral has a full and energetic calendar of events to celebrate this historic year. An exhibition placing the document in its historical context is being accompanied by musical concerts, theatrical performances, lectures and workshops. Salisbury’s links to Magna Carta stretch back to its sealing in the 13th century, where it was likely that the Earl of Salisbury, William Longespée, who was also King John’s half-brother, attended Runnymede during the occasion. It’s thought that Salisbury’s copy of Magna Carta was originally taken to nearby Old Sarum, the Cathedral’s Iron Age predecessor. Both the Cathedral and Old Sarum are worth visiting this year, with plenty of history to uncover and things to do.


Although Stonehenge has no direct links to Magna Carta, it is nevertheless a stunning sight to behold, and a must see when visiting the region. Whilst Magna Carta speaks to the development of a judicial order, Stonehenge points to the development of society, commu-

8 May 2015

nity, religion, and even engineering, amongst Neolithic societies. In other words, if you’re fascinated by the role of history in the development of civilization, both Magna Carta and Stonehenge tick the right boxes!

Henry du Bohun © KJ HARTLEY


One of the 25 Baronial Towns which were involved in the initiation of Magna Carta, Trowbridge’s connection to the Great Charter is via Henry du Bohun. In 1212, du Bohun’s claim to the Lordship of Trowbridge was disputed by Longespée, which led to King John taking the Lordship from Henry. This led to du Bohun’s support for the rebellion against the King, and thus Magna Carta. Among Trowbridge’s year-long celebrations is an exhibition which includes a maquette of du Bohun, loaned from Canterbury Museum Services. The town will also host a traditional Medieval fair in July, whilst Trowbridge Museum has a range of events for the whole family.

can all be found in the area, whilst independent, high quality hotels are a plenty. Woolley Grange, a luxury hotel designed for families, ( situated near Bradford-upon-Avon and close to Trowbridge, also offers easy access to another historic gem of the South West, Bath. There are also tour trips which take in many of these sights and scenes, particularly Salisbury and Stonehenge.

Travel, and where to stay

There are regular trains from London Waterloo to Salisbury, with regular connections between Salisbury and Trowbridge, whilst coaches run often from London Victoria to the South West. There are plenty of good quality B&Bs and hotels to stay in whilst visiting Wiltshire. Chains such as Premier Inn, Best Western and Travelodge

For more Magna Carta events go to www. and click on ‘Events’

Royal Albert Hall presents

Royal Albert Hall Friday 12 June, 7.30pm Saturday 13 June, 2.30pm & 7.30pm


Philharmonia Film Orchestra Conductor Justin Freer

Film with live orchestra

Call: 0845 401 5005


Have fun with your nearest and dearest, yet still have some grown-up time for yourselves. We offer our guests an unstuffy mix of elegant yet comfortable interiors, fantastic seasonal food, pampering spa treatments, extensive gardens and even a complimentary crèche. Bliss!

0844 482 2152 Search for us socially The Ickworth, Suffolk / Fowey Hall, Cornwall Moonfleet Manor, Dorset / Polurrian Bay, Cornwall Woolley Grange, Wiltshire / The Elms, Worcestershire New Park Manor, Hampshire.


The American

Budget 2015 A Summary For Expats

By Andrea Solana


eorge Osborne delivered his sixth budget on 18 March 2015 and announced tax breaks for savers, a planned reduction of the Pension Lifetime Allowance with future plans to index this to inflation, an increased tax-free personal allowance and the additional flexibility in accessing ISA savings among other things. Here are the most relevant highlights for expatriates.


Osborne stated that the central theme of the budget was to use all additional resources to further reduce debt. More Britons are working and households on average will be around £900 better off in 2015 than they were in 2010. The Office for Budget and Responsibility (OBR)

10 May 2015

expects unemployment this year to fall to 5.3% – down 3% from 2010. OBR forecasts GDP growth in 2015 at 2.5%, up from the forecast of 2.4% at the Autumn Statement. OBR believes that the economy will expand by 2.3% for the next three years. Inflation is now forecast to fall to 0.2% this year compared to the December forecast of 1.2%.

Borrowing and Spending

The IMF recently stated that the UK has achieved the largest, most sustained reduction in their structural deficit than any major economy. The OBR confirmed that it now stands at less than half the deficit that the government inherited. The National Debt as a share of GDP will fall in 2015/16 for the first time since 2001. It is projected to

be 80.4% in 2014/15 and 80.2% in 2015/16. By 2019/20 it is forecast to fall to 71.6%.

Small Business

Corporation tax is set to be cut to 20% for TY2015/16. In order to make self-employed tax affairs simpler for individuals, the Chancellor announced that the government is removing the need to complete a self-assessment tax return every year in favour of the ability to automatically upload information into new digital tax accounts.

Personal Allowance

The Personal Allowance for TY2015/16 will be £10,600 with a rise to £10,800 in TY2016/17 and £11,000 the year after. Additionally, Osborne announced that the high

The American

rate tax threshold will increase to £43,300 by TY2017/18 as well. These changes represent a commitment to ultimately raise the personal allowance to £12,500 and raise the Higher Rate threshold to £50,000.

Savings and Pensions

It was announced that the pension lifetime allowance will be reduced from £1.25 million to £1 million in April 2016. There are plans to index the Lifetime Allowance to inflation in 2018. From April 2016, a new Personal Savings Allowance will be introduced. This allowance will entitle the first £1,000 of interest earned on all savings to be tax-free. Higher rate taxpayers will have their allowance set at £500. It was announced that the New

ISAs, along with their increased contribution limits, will be made more flexible, allowing savers to maintain the UK tax-free entitlement if you take a distribution from the account and subsequently put the money back in later in the year. Additionally, the range of investments that are available within an ISA is expected to be expanded later this year. This could potentially spell good news for Americans who hold ISA accounts and need to avoid holding PFICs due to the detrimental US tax treatment. In addition to the increased flexibility within New ISAs, a new Help to Buy ISA has been introduced to help first time home buyers save for a down payment. For every £200 saved, the government will top up the account with £50.

Andrea Solana is Head of Advanced Planning at MASECO Private Wealth. Andrea graduated from University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce with a degree in Finance and Management, completed her MBA at Imperial College London and holds her US Series 65 license. MASECO Private Wealth is not a qualified tax adviser and you should seek separate advice on your tax position with a suitably qualified tax adviser. MASECO LLP trading as MASECO Private Wealth is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate tax advice.

Have you been living in the UK for more than 7 years?

Are you American? Do you own US mutual funds or ETFs? If so, you may be paying too much in taxes. For more information, please visit our website. MASECO LLP trading as MASECO Private Wealth is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom. The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate tax advice.

MASECO LLP is an SEC Registered Investment Advisor in the United States of America.

T: +44 (0)20 7043 0455 E: W:

The American

Financial Planning Principles By David Costello


hen I sat down and wrote this headline, financial planning principles for Americans in the UK, it did not take long to feel disingenuous. Quite honestly, these principles, like all principles, are timeless and without borders. One does not break a principle, you break yourself against it. Adherence to the below principles will ensure that you give yourself the best chance to attain your financial goals and financial independence.

Establish SMART Goals

Goals and financial independence are not so subjective. Your attitude and behaviour toward savings cannot be perceived as either positive or negative until you have goals.

12 May 2015

Goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Accountable, Realistic, and Time Bound. Retirement or what we call Financial Independence are almost always chief among our clients’ goals. Our definition of financial independence is this: The point in time when you have acquired enough assets and income sources to provide for 100% of your preretirement living expense. That is the point when you can go to work because ‘you want to’ not because ‘you have to.’ No subjectivity. Once you have clearly defined goals, you can apply the planning principles.

Principle 1: Cash is King

Or, since we are in England, Queen. For our clients, we recommend

no less than three months and no more than six months of gross income as a cash reserve. Your individual sensibilities will dictate. Some argue that six months is too much cash and that there is a lost opportunity cost to holding this much capital as a conservative asset. Your cash position is there for the proverbial rainy day, but it can also serve as an opportunistic fund. The rate of return of a missed investment or business opportunity, due to a lack of available capital, can be very high.

2: Save 15-20% of your income

That’s each year. You have to put money away for the older person you are going to become. It will be the responsibility of those dollars to ensure an enjoyable retirement. As

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23/05/2014 14:49

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your income goes up, your savings percent should go up as well.

3: High Quality Savings

Save in high-quality and compliant products. High-quality does not mean expensive. You should always look to control costs. Costs are one of the things that you can absolutely control. Compliant. As an expat living in the UK, there are a number of financial landmines you can step on. This is a topic which merits its own discussion. Take note that the savings experienced from avoiding these ‘toxic for American’ investments, will far outweigh any benefit received.

4: Protect Your Money

That means both your wealth and income. Most people understand the concept of insuring tangible items, such as their cars, homes, and personal property. Unfortunately, many leave the financial engine of the household fully exposed. To turn to an American sports’ analogy: You have to step up to the plate of your financial responsibility and protect your income with the proper amount of life and disability coverage. Your family is counting on it. For business owners, your partners and employees are counting on it. Expats should discuss with their advisors as to where is the best country to make this purchase and the impact of that decision.

5: Up-to-date Legal Documents A will should be regarded as a living document. How many people can honestly say that they have updated their will following a major life event? The birth of children,

passing of parents, divorce, increase in assets, for example, should all trigger a review of a will. Don’t forget trusts, insurance policies, etc, etc. The cost of doing this will pale in comparison to the cost of not doing it. Should you have documents in each country?

not exist. You can, however, formulate 20 one-year close-to-perfect financial plans. You need to reassess your progress toward your goals annually and your strategies should be dynamic enough to change as your life changes.

6: Monitor and Reassess

Although not a principle, my last point is this: Surround yourself with a world-class team of advisors. This is incredibly important. Navigating the two tax regimes and investment landscape can prove to be confusing, time consuming, and frustrating. This means that advice from tax advisors, specialist attorneys and financial advisors is of the utmost importance when deciding what investments to choose together with the most appropriate wrappers to help chase down those financial goals.

Ben Franklin, a fellow American expat, is attributed with stating that: “The only two certainties in life are death and taxes.” An astute and widely re-quipped quote, but it is also incomplete. Change is also a certainty in life. Financial planning is a bit of a misnomer. You cannot really “plan” your finances. There are far too many things that can change. For starters, markets are volatile. Those that retired (or tried to) in 2008 when markets fell 30% were no less well-intentioned than those who did a year later when the markets were up over 50%. Your plan should work in every scenario; not just in the scenario which shows a market increasing at 7% per year with little volatility. Failure is not an option. Health changes. Your plan could be sailing along fine and someone in your household could suffer from a premature death or disability. In this vein, a parent with deteriorating health could become dependent on you. Unless these scenarios are taken into consideration and well-planned for, one can absolutely remove success from their financial life. See Principle 4! It is imperative to have targets. It is also vital to recognize that these targets can change and move. Better to be a heat-seeking missile of financial success than a thrown dart. A perfect, one-time, forward looking, 20-year financial plan does


David Costello came to the UK as a trailing spouse having been a financial advisor for 13 years in Boston. As well as a liking for Boston sports teams, David is an experienced financial planner who has quickly grasped the issues that fellow American expats in the UK face. David specialises in building financial plans for UK-based households that include US taxpayers.

Tanager supports The Anglo-American Charity Ltd and its US parent, the AngloAmerican Charitable Foundation, established in 2003 as dual qualified US-UK donor advised funds to facilitate transatlantic gifting. Find out more at May 2015 15

The American

Which US Tax Forms?

Are you a US Citizen or a Green card holder living in UK? Are you confused as to whether you still have a US Tax Filing or FATCA Filing Requirement? Here are answers to some of your most common questions about 2014 US tax and FATCA forms and filing requirements

I am an American living and working in United Kingdom. Do I need to file a US tax return? All US Citizens and Green card holders are required to file a US return, no matter where they live, as long as their income earned in the USA and abroad (UK/other foreign country) is just over $9,350 (roughly £5600). Many expatriates wrongly assume that they live and work in the UK and only owe taxes to UK revenue (i.e. HMRC) and do not owe any taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the USA. Some people mistakenly believe that as an expatriate they are eligible to claim the foreign earned income exclusion, which is around $99,200 for the 2014 US tax year, and if their income level is below this threshold limit, and do not have to file a US tax return. It’s a partially correct understanding that you would not owe taxes under certain circumstances when claiming foreign income exclusion and foreign tax credits. However in order to claim the valid exclusions and foreign tax credits you still definitely have a US tax filing obligation. Don’t think that just because your US taxes would be zero, you don’t have to file a US tax return.

16 May 2015

I already pay taxes in the UK. Can I take the benefit of these taxes paid via PAYE and Self-Assessment on my US tax return? Yes, certainly you can: tax you owe to the US on foreign income can be substantially reduced or even zero if you have already been taxed on the same income in your country of residence. You can claim these paid taxes as foreign tax credits on your 1040 Federal return. However careful tax planning

needs to be done by expatriates who are US citizens and Green card holders who are not employed individuals and who run their own limited company or partnership with directorship and/or shareholding positions. Self-employed individuals run a much higher risk of being double taxed and you should contact an international tax professional tax advisor for optimal structure of your entity set up and to claim the appropriate treaty posi-

What forms do I need to file with my tax return? (these are the most common) US Citizens/Green Card holders/ Resident Aliens

Foreign Nationals/ Non Resident Aliens (NRA)

-Form 1040 (income/exemptions/credits/taxes)

-Form 1040NR

-Form 2555 (for foreign income exclusion) -Form 1116 (for foreign tax credit) -Form 8938 (FATCA since 2011 tax year - if financial assets value exceeds limits)

-Form 8833 (for treaty claim)

The American Apart from the forms in the previous table, which others do I need to report/file?

Form Number

Who needs to file

Due Date

Penalty for not filing

Form 4868

Extension time to file tax return by 15th October

15th April 15th June

If you owe tax on 1040 late filing penalty applies on 1040 tax return. Minimum $135 or (5% to 25%) of unpaid taxes

30th June every year

Minimum penalty of $10,000 or up to 50% maximum balance held in foreign bank accounts. If this action was wilfully done by taxpayer then criminal procedures charges apply


Form 3520/3520A

Form 5471

Form 1040 Form1040NR

Foreign Bank Account Reporting/FATCA Reporting This filing is required if combined total balance at all of the foreign bank accounts exceeds $10,000 or more.

Foreign Trust Reporting

15th March 15th September (Extended)

US Person with Foreign To be filed when the tax Corporation (for example US return is due. Citizens with a 10% or more shareholding in a UK incorporated or limited company or partnership) US Personal Tax Return

Non-Resident Tax Return

tion and elections (Entity classification/Check the box elections) to avoid double taxation of the same income being taxed by different countries. I am an American married to a British National. Can I claim my spouse as my dependent on my tax return, if I opt to file a Married filing joint tax (MFJ) return? Yes, certainly you can if this would be an optimal tax filing option with your income levels. If you are married to a foreign national and if your spouse is not eligible to get a Social Security

15th April 15th June (if living outside of US) 15th October extended deadline date

Number (SSN) then you should apply for an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) by filing a Form W-7 application along with tax return. However when you file the Form W-7 application, your spouse’s foreign national identity proof document (i.e. passport) copy needs to be certified by a CAA (Certified Acceptance Agent) or the issuing authority. If you do not wish to use a CAA you will have to send the original passport along with the application. The normal ITIN application processing time by the IRS is 6-8 weeks.

$10,000 plus interest and penalty for taxes due (if any)

$10,000 plus interest and penalty for taxes due (if any)

Penalty on unpaid taxes varies in range of 5% to 25%. If extension not filed in time, then late filing additional penalty charges apply

This article was supplied by Kader Jawali Ameen, EA, a US Expatriate Tax specialist, and founder of Tax And Accounting Hub. Prior to joining TAH Kader worked for Big 4 Accountancy firms based in India, Macau, Hong Kong and London, and has handled complex US personal tax compliance issues for leading investment bank employees, private HNW clients, and helped many expatriates with delinquent tax returns and streamlined Foreign Offshore Filing procedure and compliance work. Based in London, Kader is also a CAA (Certified Acceptance Agent) approved by the IRS who can assist individuals with completion of any IRS tax forms. You can contact Kader on +447914 393 183,

May 2015 17

The American

Taxation of US Income When Living in the UK I

f you are one of the many Americans living in the UK who are employed by a US employer, you may be wondering just how you will be taxed in both countries. Let’s take a look at the top questions Americans in the UK have about their US and UK tax requirements. 1. How are UK residents and non- residents taxed in the UK? If you are a US person living in the UK, you have the option of being taxed on a worldwide basis or not.  For those US citizens living in the UK on a more temporary basis, you can choose to pay on a “remittance basis”, which means you are only taxed on your UK income. Essentially, your US salary would be ‘taxfree’ in the UK—but of course, that’s not tax-free in the US. If you are non-resident, you only pay taxes on UK-based income generative assets, such as UK property, UK broker accounts, UK bank interest, etc. Non-residents are generally those who reside in the UK for less than 183 days per year, but you must also follow the new Statutory Residence Test rules, as well.

18 May 2015

2. How are UK residents taxed in the US? Whether you choose the remittance basis or not, you may be able to exclude your income from US taxation using the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE), which allows you to exclude up to $100,800 of foreign earned income from US taxation. Even though you are receiving money from a US-based company, you are earning it while physically abroad so it is considered foreign earned. If you periodically return to the US for work, the income you earn while on US soil can NOT be included in the income you offset with the FEIE. Even if all your income will be excluded from US taxation, you are still required to file a US tax return and report the income and your eligibility to use the FEIE. 3. Can the Foreign Tax Credit help offset your US taxes? If you are a resident of the UK and don’t choose the remittance basis, you open your income to UK taxation. The Foreign Tax Credit (FTC) can be used to offset the taxes you may owe by using the taxes already


paid to the UK, dollar for dollar. Example: You earn $120,000 and exclude the first $100,800 with the FEIE, leaving $19,200 of income subject to US taxation. That $19,200 will be taxed at the same US rate as the full $120,000 (as you can’t take the FTC on the portion of income that has already been excluded from your total income). If the UK taxes you paid on that $19,200 is greater than the US taxes on it, you won’t owe the US anything. Since the UK tax rates are generally higher than in the US, you would likely eliminate your US tax liability. You may also be able to use the FTC alone to lower your US tax liability, if you are not eligible or choose not to take the FEIE. This article was written by David McKeegan, CoFounder of Greenback Expat Tax Services, which specializes in the preparation of US expat taxes for Americans living in the UK and around the world. Our UK Chartered Accountant will work alongside your Greenback accountant to prepare your UK taxes. To have Greenback prepare your US and UK taxes, simply visit to get started and receive a $25 off discount.

The American

Election, UK-Style



f you’re new to Britain you might not be familiar with the strange goings on on General Election day. Mary Bailey reports on this special constitutional event, from her experience in the lowly ranks of a volunteer helper to one of the parties in 2010. Here is what happens. British MPs represent around 68,000 people, their constituents. That includes you - even people who are not eligible to vote have representation by their local MP. It is easy to meet them during their tenure by attending their regular ‘surgery’ within their Constituency (their allocated areas of land), making an appointment or going up to Parliament and asking to see them in the Lobby. Every five years – since 2010 Britain has a fixed term parliamentary system – there is a General Election in which all 650 Members of Parliament (MPs) are up for re-election. This includes Her Majesty’s Ministers and the Prime Minister, but not Members of the House of Lords, who are appointed or hereditary but not elected. There is one MP per Constituency. Candidates can be chosen by a political party, or

stand independently. Qualifications required to stand include being British and sane (yes, really). General Elections are ‘first past the post’ as in the US, so the candidate with the largest number of votes cast is the winner in that constituency. MPs represent far fewer people and smaller land areas than their American counterparts in The House of Representatives, which only has 435 members, each representing over half a milion people. It means we are much more likely to bump into our MP at the local Agricultural Show or on the Tube. The new (or re-elected) MP goes to the House of Commons and ‘takes their seat’, which is why it is best not to sit down in the House if you are being shown round. They swear allegiance to the Sovereign, and start governing the country... at least the Party having the most MPs governs the country, the rest are called the Opposition. Some of them will support the government on occasion but their basic aim is to cause a winning vote against the Government side which will bring them down so the Opposition can take over and probably make all

the same mistakes themselves. For this a basic MP was paid, in 2014, £69,050 per annum plus generous (and sometimes abused) expenses. A day for election is chosen, usually a Thursday. Polling stations are decided upon, public libraries, school or church halls and the like, and a note put through the door of every registered voter indicating where they should vote. Polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm and staff of 2 or 3 people selected by the local Council are in attendance. These trusted apolitical warriors hand voters a sheet of paper on which are written the names of all the candidates. They indicate a corner in the room where they go to put a tick or cross beside their chosen candidate. The voter then puts their ballot into a large metal box - that’s their vote made! A simple thing, but for this people have fought and died. During the election day when I volunteered, all was silent. Within several yards of the polling stations, no alcohol is allowed, nor political canvassing. There are some small excitements though. The legal obligation of visiting police is kept.

May 2015 19

The American In the days before secret ballots, voter intimidation and bribery were rife. The Polling by William Hogarth (1755)

They arrive, are given a cup of tea (how very British) and then move on to next polling station, in my case after reproving one voter who asked if there are any bets on. The policemen are helmeted but, of course, unarmed. Sometimes the candidates themselves arrive - after all they may vote too, and this may be their designated station to do so. It may also provide a good photo opportunity! During the day, candidates can be a bit of a nuisance driving round in a car exhorting last-minute undecided voters to cast their ballot for them. More experienced ones just have a jolly good lunch. The Brits do not often worship politicians. They have known too many! Helpers work all day, getting people to vote is their job. They lie in wait at railway stations to catch those who have not yet voted, or call while they are trying to eat dinner to persuade them. My helping hand at the polling station meant being a teller. I minded a huge dog and a scream-

20 May 2015

ing child while their voter/owners went inside to vote, and I talked to tellers of other parties who all seemed very nice. The job of a teller is to ask people as they come out for their voting number or name. This is fed back to the various Parties who mark them off their lists of pledges, preventing them being called on to vote later in the day. This is called being knocked up (yes!) and the procedure is dying out now as there are more modern methods of communication. Driving people to the Polling Station and telephone canvassing are all jobs for volunteers. Other ways of voting are by Postal vote, getting more popular, and Proxy which is appointing another person to vote on your behalf and as you wish. Polling stations close on the dot of 10pm and the ballot boxes containing the votes are transferred to the Town Hall to be sorted and counted. The counters are employed by the Town Hall. A certain number of the public are

present as the counting is done, chosen by the candidates and their teams. Among them are observers who closely watch the counters who, if they get tired, could slip a vote onto to the wrong pile, or drop one. Voting slips with anything untoward on them are taken away to be judged whether they are naughty enough to be withdrawn from the count. At last it is over. The candidates arrive for the count. The winner is announced, cheers and short speeches follow. It is now maybe 2am and the winners leave the Town Hall, some desperate for a drink and most seeking the best party. A few constituencies prefer to count next day. That is how the UK system works. It is not perfect. As the half-American Winston Churchill said, ‘democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others’. And indeed it helps create the bond between our two enviable countries and the respect in which we are both held.

The American

A Good Walk -Improved Hole 17 at Royal Blackheath Golf Club, with the 18th in sight


ontrary to Mark Twain’s comment, an afternoon round of golf isn’t a good walk spoiled. It can be the perfect way to enjoy the Spring sunshine, especially if the course is special. There are plenty of courses to choose from in the UK, each with their own unique challenges and features. Equally as fascinating as the sporting pedigree of these courses, though, is their place in golfing heritage. You might normally associate a historical day trip with a museum, perhaps a castle or a stately home, but an equally inspiring way to explore British history is through the medium of golf! Here are just a few courses which can cater for your golfing and historical tastes.

Near London

Royal Blackheath, located just nine miles from the City of London,

is one of the UK’s oldest golf clubs with a history stretching back to the 1600s. Bernard Darwin, one of the grandsons of the naturalist Charles Darwin and a well respected golf writer, actually wrote that Royal Blackheath “is the oldest club in the world”. It’s thought that the club was developed in line with the movement of James I’s entourage from Scotland to England when he was declared the King of England in 1603, which has led the club to refer to themselves as a “Scottish club by birth”! The course is currently undergoing a redevelopment to return it aesthetically to its 1920s state, breathing new life into a real gem of golfing history in the UK. You can find out more details on their developments at To the south west of London, in Surrey, Hindhead Golf Club has its own interesting history. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sher-


lock Holmes, was one of the club’s founding fathers, and became its first President between 1905 and 1907. Another regular golfer in subsequent years was former British Prime Minister David Lloyd George. During the World Wars, the club also developed a relationship with Canadian soldiers who were stationed at nearby Bramshott. Throughout World War One, Canadian Forces were offered temporary membership for a guinea - half was returned if they were called to the front whilst in the Second World War they played for free. In North London, Verulam Golf Club’s contribution to the history of golf comes via the Ryder Cup. Samuel Ryder joined the club in 1909, and despite being over 50 when he first took up golf, developed his skills and was eventually appointed Captain. Samuel Ryder’s early suggestion of a match between American and British professionals materi-

May 2015 21

The American

Amateur heroics from American golfer Bobby Jones

alised in a match on the East Course at Wentworth, Surrey, in 1926. This isn’t considered to be the official inaugural Ryder Cup, however, as the American team included 5 players who, though living in the USA, were not American born. 1927’s match in America is considered the first official Ryder Cup, and the legacy continues to this day.

Outside London

The Ryder Cup provides its own unique list of historic courses to visit across the UK. The biennial event swaps between US and European venues, although up until 1979, the matches were formally between the USA and Great Britain & Northern Ireland. The US were the dominant force in the first 50 years of the Cup, winning at courses in the UK including Wentworth, Royal Birkdale, Muirfield, and Royal Lytham & St Annes. The latter is in fact hosting the Walker Cup this year (September 12–15), the biennial competition for amateur mens golfers, which continues to be played between America

22 May 2015

and Great Britain & Ireland. Royal Lytham and St Annes is an ideal location for this year’s Walker Cup, as it was the venue for the fascinating story of amateur heroics from American golfer Bobby Jones. Having played in America’s victory in the Walker Cup on the old course at St Andrews in 1926, Jones went on to play below his usual standards in the following amateur tournament, and lost in the Quarter Finals. Instead of returning to the States, however, he remained in the UK to play the Open Championship, which he won, becoming one of the few Amateurs to win the Open beating fellow Americans Al Watrous and Ben Hagen. Jones went on to win two Open Championships. Although America dominated the Ryder Cup during its early years, one notable victory for Great Britain was technically their last, in 1957 at Lindrick Golf Course – Britain as a team would not go on to win the Ryder Cup again before the team became Europe in 1979. The victory followed 24 years of defeat at the

hands of the US Team, and was all the more surprising as America had led 3-1 after the first day. Roared on by the home crowd, Britain completed a remarkable comeback on the second day, winning 6 of the 8 singles matches, and claiming the Ryder Cup with 7.5 to America’s 4.5. US captain Jack Burke Jr described the course as a “golfing paradise”. The US team beat the British and Irish team in the 1960 Curtis Cup competition for amateur women, so this special golf course retains a rich Transatlantic connection which can be relived today. There is a rich tapestry of history for golf in Britain, on both a personal and professional level. The British Golf Museum is set to re-open this year at St Andrews, but whether it’s the legacy of the Ryder Cup, stories that Frank Sinatra enjoyed a round at Muswell Hill, or the many courses played by Eisenhower during his time in the UK, there are stories to uncover and footsteps to follow when playing golf in Britain.

“ class holes...fantastic condition.” Golf World, June 2015 edition

Hindhead Golf Club

Churt Road, Hindhead, Surrey. GU26 6HX 01428 604614

The American

Miss Patricia

Gets a Cool Reception - again I

have a new job as a knackered hooker!...with grimy torn lace sagging out from beneath my dress. With smeared mascara coagulating in my wrinkles, I am forced to dance yet again with estate agents: another cynical relocation waltz. But estate agents legally act on behalf of the owners; pretend to act on behalf of the tenants, and actually must act on behalf of their commissions or else go out of business, so this is just a romance faked

for the duration of the war. Daily, I sigh over Zoopla. My Twinings cools like the Parisian waiter my friend’s son addressed as ‘mate’ ‘Hello! And thank you for reading this ad! Deceptively spacious garden flat boasts sought-after feature fireplace with path to front door, fitted kitchen with matching wall and base units and complimentary worktops.’ The phrases underlined are real. ‘Deceptively spacious’ is my new favorite phrase. I replied:

‘Hello! And thank you for reading this email! I am responding to the advert for the nearly windowless basement “space of deception”. I do not need a “place of fire” where one cannot have a fire. However, a path to the front door and free countertops sound enticing, so I wish to book a viewing.’ The English reception room is the equivalent of a living room, to Americans. Stateside, the nouveau riche build giant living rooms with space inside for 4 x 4 parking,

24 May 2015


English houses are a little different to Stateside - Bignor Cottage, West Sussex


leaving baffled interior designers to group furniture within let’spretend walls, because otherwise the residents would have to use cell phones to call from one sofa to another. But in England, the homes of the rich are littered with normal-sized reception rooms all over. This enables them to read The Times in the clear light of day and The Telegraph in the setting sun of the Empire, saving The Daily Mail for the conservatory where it can blow off steam. I pottered about one property with a lovely young agent who seemed embarrassed to be presenting the house barn as a dwelling. No one believes in preserving wildlife habitat more than I…but still. It was a wee cottage. And you are correct in surmising that I mean the fire brigade had hosed a 44-imperial-gallon drum of kitty wee into the carpets, but the smell wasn’t actually that bad, because there was plenty of fresh air where the previous tenants had cut holes for animals. I recall once staying in a US guest cottage with pet doors into the porch, where we awoke to find an entire family of baby raccoons snorfling up cat food. They agreeably humped back out when we objected…I mention this merely as a caution to ex-pats reassigned to anyplace with large native snakes. All the Mr Patricias threatened to cut off funding if I rashly pursued this adventurous new future as Woman Embracing Nature, so I crossed it off the list with little reluctance. One of these gentlemen visited recently! Alas: he was called away on business after I made helpful suggestions about how his physique, grooming, spelling, driving, income and demeanor could be

The American

House hunting is such a difficult business ...

improved with only a little work. If you have moved here on assignment, you no doubt already know that property search features don’t work for foreigners. There is no way to command: ‘Find nice place near London’. As the locale is the first question, you must already be British to know which areas are posh and which areas are takeaway betting pits, and if you just use the ring road as a guide it narrows your choices down to about 1,392 towns, including those that prompt unwelcome thoughts about being toasted inside a wicker man and fed to wing-eared villagers, with your car shredded and woven into boot wipers. I got a cool reception from one agent who sharply asked me: ‘Oh, you’re looking at more than one location?’ I never heard from her again. Shamefacedly, I crept out of her office clutching the crinkled application form (with the space for my husband’s maiden name marked ‘mandatory’). Hardly any reception is going to be cooler than the one I would receive at my local Waitrose. When I last reached their register, I remembered that I had forgotten my free newspaper, a benefit providing

absolute proof that my Mayflower ancestors were misguided in their departure. The dark-haired checkout girl kindly gestured to the rack behind me. I quickly snatched one up and turned back again, only to find that her shift had ended and a fair-haired woman stood in her place. We both laughed a little at my awkwardness, peering into my basket to verify its identity. Startled, I exclaimed: ‘Oh! You aged while I had my back turned!’ You never saw a pleasant smile fall so quickly. Since then I’ve been skulking over to Sainsbury’s, but they don’t have the wonderful lemon soup I once deserved before the humiliating Employee Abuse Episode. One may be reduced to cooking, which I found during marriage to the first Mr Patricia, who relegated me to the servant class, so when the second Mr Patricia came along I told him I was a terrible cook and even went on to prove it. My clever plan backfired though, when he announced that he was terrible at gardening and then went on to prove it, leaving the secateurs and me alone together in a green and pleasant land.

May 2015 25

Re-enchanted The American

Words and pictures by Peter Lawler


owe most of my ideas about England to Ang Lee and Emma Thompson. Or at the very least, to that explosion of Jane Austen adaptations in the mid-90s that dominated the only independent cinema to ever open in my town. I was in high school then and became quickly convinced that that island across the sea known as England was a series of Downton-style drawing rooms, leafy pastoral splendour, bodices, bonnets and gentle social satire. A decade in gritty, sophisticated London disabused me of these fairytale illusions; a few days in the Suffolk countryside, specifically in a fine hotel called The Ickworth just outside of Bury St Edmunds have subsequently cured me of my urban cynicism and restored in me the tranquility of this nostalgic image, at least for now. A modern miracle? Not really, just a hotel that seems to really know how to look after the world weary urban dweller with a warmth and well judged, hospitable, generous atmosphere for the whole family. It is more a feeling than anything else though that draws you into this calming establishment. The feeling that you really are a casual guest of one of the Earls of Bristol who owned and built the manor house in which the hotel is situated back in 1702. With its continental architec-

26 May 2015

ture and rooms named with familial or locally historical significance (we stayed in the ‘Francesca’ room, named for the fourth marchioness, but there was also a ‘Louis’ room as in Phillipe, the French King who also stayed as a guest), as well as the 1800 acres of well looked after grounds and gardens by which you are luxuriously surrounded from the moment of check in, everything coordinates to subtly suggest to your unconscious mind that you’ve floated upwards a couple spaces in the social stratosphere, at least for the duration of your stay. There were other deft, seemingly casual touches that make you feel especially welcome. From our hostess, Emily, who checked us in and went out of her way to make our stay comfortable, to the book cases in the hallway and in the rooms with what seemed to be the most whimsically random collections of reading material – our eight year old was delighted to find a couple of Horrid Henrys, my design aficionado Missus was delighted to find a volume by Sarah Beeny, I was just pleasantly surprised that they dropped The Guardian outside my door every morning – to services offering a kids’ cinema or sitting services while adults do adulty things like dining in the haute cuisine in-house Frederick’s; the only thing that could have made us feel more

at home would have been that tea set from Beauty and The Beast bursting into song in the conservatory during our evening meal on our first night and I’m pretty sure that had we stayed any longer, they could have pulled that off too. It helps that the Suffolk countryside is gorgeous and there’s so damn much of it. We spent a sun dappled but cool morning cycling the verdant beauty of the walled garden, past St Mary’s Church, which dates back at least a thousand years, and exploring, before meeting some friends and their younger ones in the on-site adventure playground, clearly a favourite spot with guests as well as all the local yummy mummies. The sheer freedom of not feeling paranoid about maintaining visual with the boy, an unheard of luxury for the urban parent, was liberation itself. Having coffee and just allowing our child to wander and frolic in the greenery with other children. Because, how far can he go before he runs into… well… more grass and more trees? We felt transported. And could have spent the days whiling away our time on two wheels or wandering through the Italianate garden or floating down the 15 meter heated indoor pool, but Bury St Edmunds (or just ‘Bury’ as the locals seem to know it) and its environs



The American

Above & right: The Ickworth Below: Kentwell Hall & a corner of Bury

beckoned. A medieval market town of old, Bury bustles with over 1600 feet of vendage from bric a brac to artisanal food. We did well with a loaf of sourdough and a half a pound of Irish Cream flavoured coffee beans for cheaper than we’d get in any London market, though I did get the feeling that a lot of the stall owners were Eastenders or Essex geezers done good and looking to do even better up the country. Harriet’s on St John’s for an honest, proper English afternoon tea, hearty sandwiches, refreshing selections of blends to fill your cuppa and properly served scones with proper West Country clotted cream and jam, and home-made jams, chutneys and biscuits sold by the till. And in fact St John’s Street for what seems to have become for Bury a real renaissance in local, indie setups, including coffee and locally brewed beer. Delightful though Bury was, our most magical experience in Suffolk was Kentwell Hall, an impressively imposing manor house with a functional farm in nearby Sudbury. On the picturesque quarter of an hour that it took to get there, English literary heritage called to me yet again, as I felt as though I was driving a carriage right through Middlemarch or Silas Marner, snatches of The Lark Ascending floating through my head. Nor did Kentwell

disappoint. Interactive, historical, theatrical, and a splendid tearoom to unwind in, it was everything you could ask for with a tired eight year old on the last day of your country mini break. Not only was the air filled with the bleating of the lambs that crowded the enclosures as you first walk in, allowing my son to get within kissing distance of a young lamb for the first time ever before squealing in delight, but this stately mansion had actors maintaining the illusion that you were walking through a living breathing monument to Tudor times. Ren Faires cross ‘Merica, eat your heart out. The real deal right here. In truth, Patrick and Judy Phillips, who bought the 16th century estate in desperate condition back in 1971, have done a marvellously sensitive job of interpreting and developing an enchanting monument to Englishness, infinitely capable of instilling English pride quicker than any UKIP sermon or tirade. I would happily return to be enchanted again and again. Should you be seeking a similarly nostalgic feeling of warmth, I would highly advise a trip to the Suffolk countryside. Get the London out of your lungs and become enchanted with England again. A few days just wasn’t long enough. tel: 01284 735350

May 2015 27


he apparently British-asBritish-can be Jim Dale, star of Carry On Films and Barnum, and an MBE honored by the Queen for promoting English literature for children, is actually about as Transatlantic as you could wish for. Jim has lived in New York City for 35 years, winning countless awards for his work and has enjoyed dual US-UK nationality for six years. The American talked to Jim in New York just before he headed east, bringing his one man show Just Jim Dale to the London stage. He tells us how it happened: I first came over for the Academy Awards in 1966 for writing ‘Georgy Girl’, the song from the film. [He was nominated for an Oscar.] Then I came over with the Young Vic – I was in their first production in 1970, Scapino, and we took it to America in 1973. Because of that I was offered work in the States. Three Disney films (Pete’s Dragon, Hot Lead and Cold Feet and Unidentified Flying Oddball) came along very quickly then towards the end of the ‘70s I was invited to go back to America to create the role of Barnum in the big Broadway musical. The work was constant in America, I just kept going back, which was rather nice. Do you go back to England often? I used to when my grandchildren were much younger. I have three sons and five grandchildren and they live in London. But now they

28 May 2015

come over to see me more than I go over to see them. They love New York as well - I think they know it more than I do - and we spend weekends in the country fishing and boating. The last time I worked in London was when I played Fagin in Oliver at the Palladium in 1996 and when I do visit I’m there to see the family. Was it work that finally decided you on settling in the USA? Well, I find it’s always a good idea to live where your wife lives! She [Julia Schafler Dale] is an American, she lived in New York and she was the owner of a beautiful art gallery on Madison Avenue. We got married 35 years ago so we got a nice apartment in town. Did you find it easy to migrate to New York? Oh yes. If you’re interested in a career in television or films then you do not you live in New York, you move to Los Angeles where all that action happens, but since moving to America I’ve had no interest in them. I just love theater so much I’d rather do a small play on Broadway if I think it’s a good piece of material or a good director. New York, to me, is home because it has so many theaters and so much happening on the stage here, which is my forte. Incredibly Jim was born on August 15, 1935, making him 80 years old this year. He doesn’t look it, or sound it. He says he’s still 23 inside. But he’s never stopped working. At age nine he started appearing in Music Halls (the

UK form of Vaudeville) touring around Britain for 52 weeks a year. To illustrate his longevity, he was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 2009 and he has just finished a play on Broadway, The Road To Mecca by Athol Fugard, in which he starred with Rosemary Harris. In the UK Jim is best known for the Carry On films, a series of 31 low-budget British comedy films made between 1958 and 1992 from the rich British tradition of music hall comedy and risqué seaside postcards. They were ‘naughty’, rude but never explicit or offensive, with double-entendres a specialty. Jim appeared in 11 of the 31. That was a joy – I enjoyed working on all of them. They made two and a half Carry On films a year. It was only eight weeks work on each film, but it was absolutely eight weeks of fun, working with such comedic talent. In the US Jim is probably most famous for his star roles on Broadway and, outside NYC, for narrating the Harry Potter audio book series, for which he’s had two Grammy nominations and as the narrator of ABC’s Pushing Daisies. Is he treated differently by the public in Britain and America? When I do my one man show out of town over here in America, I find that a lot of the audience have never ever seen me in a Carry On film or even on Broadway. They’ve only been listening to my voice for

The American

the last eight years. But they come to the theater to find out who this Jim Dale is. It’s a joy, to have them come up afterwards and say they didn’t know I did this or that or they were surprised when I did Shakespeare. In New York people sometimes stop me and say they saw the show last night, and in England they know my face from Carry On, but I’m not in a movie star situation. I can go to my home in the country, only about 50 miles from New York, and no-one will know who I am. Jim is one of the most multitalented people in showbiz. After school he trained as a dancer but his professional debut was as a comedian in 1951, at the age of seventeen and a half. He had an ‘eccentric dancing’ act (useful for later slapstick comedy), he’s a

talented singer & songwriter and he has been a radio DJ – all apart from the stage, television and movie acting, audio books and video games voice-overs. Which is his favorite? This is 60 years you’re talking about – a lot can happen in that time! My favorite? Whatever I happen to be doing at the time, because it will have been selected very carefully. I do not jump head first into things I know nothing about. I take the advice from Christopher Logue’s poem: “Come to the edge. We might fall. Come to the edge. It’s too high! Come to the edge. And they came. And we pushed, And they flew.” I’ve gone through my career in the hands of people I respect, in the way of directors, producers, other

actors... I’ve taken their advice and the challenges they’ve thrown at me. I accept it because I have such respect for their talent. I don’t think there’s anything I’ve done over here that’s been a flop. I won’t say it’s luck, it’s being very careful to select the right material and listen to the advice you’re given. One of your early collaborators was Laurence Olivier. What was he like to work with? He asked me to join the National Theatre. He was wonderful – not only did I appear with him on stage in The Merchant of Venice, he also directed me in Love’s Labour’s Lost. Larry loved physical comedy, and I had a lot of experience of that and I brought that to the National. For example, Autolycus in The Winter’s Tale talks to the audience. Having

May 2015 29

been a stand up in music hall, I knew what that was like, but a lot of actors had never had that experience. That’s what I brought to my first play at the National Theatre, which was called The National Health, by the great Peter Nichols. Many times I didn’t know quite what the Shakespearean words meant, so I’d ask one of the cast, and they’d say, ‘I’ll tell you if you give me a bit of ‘business’ to do when I walk on – I was swapping comedy bits for the knowledge of what the hell it was all about! I was working with people like Derek Jacobi and Joan Plowright, Jeremy Brett and Ronnie Pickup and Charles Kay – Charlie’s still one of my greatest friends. And directors like Michael Blakemore and Frank Dunlop. I think Frank instigated it all, and he’s probably been most influential in my life, as a director and a friend. Theater’s a group effort. Take this ‘one man show’... forget it! There’s a team behind it: the director is Richard Maltby, who co-wrote Miss Saigon and wrote the musical Ain’t Misbehavin’. I gave Richard so much material, and over the years we’ve edited it down so every word is important. On that stage I will be speaking... just let me work this out... 13,096 words, every night. And Richard will come up to me

30 May 2015


The American

and, “You left a word out tonight!” It looks improvised – thank God! - but it’s not, it’s polished. I have a great pianist, Mark York, who used to be Cy Coleman’s second in command (Cy was one of the great Broadway composers, with Sweet Charity and Barnum) so I have that going for me. I also have the conductor of The Lion King, Aaron Gandy, as musical arranger. I have the very best talent round me. The unfortunate thing is, we’re all Leos – we fight all the time to be heard! Who wins? We all win! We allow each other to win – but I quite often throw them a line, “I’d like your opinion on something I’ve already decided about.” Was it more a question of what to decide to leave out of the show? Absolute right, I’ve got enough great material for two more one man shows, it just wouldn’t all fit into this two hour show. Is it a different show for London? I’ve had to change it slightly because there are words and expressions that people don’t understand – here in America nobody knows what you mean by ‘knackered’. I’ll also be incorporating a little bit more on the Carry On films – but this is NOT ‘Carry On Jim Dale’. It’s an evening of ‘Who the

hell is Jim Dale, what’s he become, who is the man behind all those characters?’. Is there a role you’ve never played that you would like to? Yes, this! I’ve never played this before. For forty years I’ve been saying I wanted to do a one man show. Finally at my age, I do it and I’m thrilled to bits. I couldn’t be happier. I so much feel at home when I’m on that stage. I feel more comfortable in front of 800 people in a theater than five strangers at a dinner party. Doing this show in London will be like a party for me, and old friends’ reunion – I have so many American friends who are coming over to see it, and lots of Americans who live and work in London. It’s only on for three weeks Finally, what is the best thing about being Jim Dale? Not knowing what’s coming next. Actors always think this is our last job – we’re terrified we’ll never be asked again. But after sixty years I know there’s always something else around the corner, even if I don’t know what it is yet. It may take a few weeks, but I’ll be turning that corner and thinking, Oh my God this is exciting! Jim’s one-man show, Just Jim Dale runs from May 26 to June 20 at the Vaudeville Theatre, The Strand, London WC2

The American Crab Salad Frescobaldi style

Reviewed by Michael M Sandwick

15 New Burlington Place, London W1S 2HX


f you are longing for the delights of Tuscany but haven’t got time for a holiday, this is a pretty good substitute. And it’s just off Regents Street. Perfecto! It’s owned by the Frescobaldi family who began their prominence in 12th c. Florence. That pre-dates the Medicis! They have been wine producers for over 700 years. The wine list is like a who’s who of Italian wine. The restaurant is a glorious combination of Tuscan tradition coupled with a modern sensibility. NeoRustico! The tables and chairs could easily be on a terrace. Fabulous tile murals, recalling Bacchus, the God of wine and Botticelli’s Dante line the walls. The lights are sculptures of batons with bulbs. The bellissima hostess greeted us with a blinding smile. That was just the beginning. Service all the way through was top and Italian with a capital I. Wine is poured with a flourish. Food makes an entrance. Teatro Toscano! Because the Frescobaldi’s are a wine dynasty of epic proportions, it’s not a bad idea to choose the wine first, which ranges from £26 to second mortgage. It also offers flights of

3 wines each from £16 to £68. Unless you go for the top, good value. White flight “Bianchi Friulani” (£20) consisted of 3 wines from the Attems Winery: Ribolla Gialla, very light and filled with minerals, Sauvignon Blanc, much more flowery and a delightful Pinot Grigio that had a beautiful blush and great depth. In the red flight “Sangiovese” the Campo Ai Sassi, 100% Sangiovese was one of the lightest wines ever, very smooth and easy, followed by a Santa Maria blend of Sangiovese with a bit of Cabernet Sauvignon, giving it a bit more berry and pepper and finally, a Nipozzano Riserva Chianti Rufina, filled with berry and tannin. These were all excellent wines at the low end. I think I will consider crowd funding for a bottle of Masseto 2006, Toscana i.g.t. - £1250. Head Chef Roberto Reatini does a great job keeping the food on a par with the wine. His food is classic with a tweak here and there to make it his own. Like all good Italian food, his is simple, fine quality and never overly complicated. Just the way I like it. Wafer-like flat bread with a pinch of salt and brushed with olive oil was a great start. I ate the whole basket.

Beef carpaccio with rocket and parmesan (£15) was pure classic. As good as I’ve had. Tuna carpaccio with avocado (£16) was even better. Perfectly seasoned and with a bit of orange. Far more delicate than lemon, a great touch. Magnifico! Osso Buco with vegetable gremolata and white polenta (£23) was rich and delicious but slightly under seasoned for my taste. Roasted Turbot with potato, samphire and lemon sauce (£24) was just right. Simple, well cooked and beautifully composed. For dessert a mille-feuille with raspberries (£9) was decomposed, the pastry crumbled on top like a Milano Mess. Tasty, but the “leaves” not as delicate as the classic. The cheese selection (£15) was enormous and wonderful with the glass of Chianti that was left. Gorgonzola, Pecorino Toscano, Parmigiano and best of all, Robiolo, a bit of cream Nirvana. A dollop of beautifully caramelized onion compote was inspired. I am looking forward to when the weather gets warmer and they start serving outside. I guess then they will call it … wait for it …Al Frescobaldi!

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Wild Game Co. R

unning parallel to Tottenham Court Road in the Fitzrovia area of central London, Charlotte Street is famous for being named after King George III’s Queen and for being the original homes of ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi (very ‘80s) and television channel Channel 4 (er, very ‘80s). You can now add to that list the London home of The Wild Game Co. Very now! This must be the ultimate culinary case of ‘it does what it says on the tin’. It’s so simple. The family who own the restaurant also own a large chunk of northern Scotland, where live the animals who form the menu. The best meat, aged properly, is then taken from the Highlands to an equally simple restaurant – stripped floors, trestle tables, bench seating – and cooked to perfection. Oftentimes, restaurants state that their menu is subject to change. That can mean anything,

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from seasonality to show-offability, ingenuity to profitability. Wild Game’s version of this is heartwarmingly simple: they’re “evolving menus based on what our family sends us from the Highlands.” Starters include Haggis Pops (£7.50). Forget frozen haggis, dragged out once a year for Burns Night. The Wild Game guys have one man up at the estate who is employed solely to make their own-recipe haggis. I’m glad he does. It’s luscious, gamey and rich. Try it – perhaps an acquired taste to newbies, but worth acquiring. And then there’s Stovies (£3.50), bits of meat trimmings fried up with potato and onion. Sounds basic, but if heaven isn’t vegetarian this will be on the celestial specials board. We tried both, and I’ll have Haggis Pops to start and Stovies as a main course next time (£5). Speaking of mains. Simple but enticing again: venison burgers or a beef alternative (£6 to £8.95 Left: Andy always wears his kilt Right: restaurant interior

65 Charlotte Street, London W1T 4PQ


Venison Salad

The American

Reviewed by Michael Burland

depending on meat and toppings). Venison or Aberdeen Angus steaks with homemade Bernaise sauce and beef dripping - no namby-pamby oil here - fries (£12.50 up to £76 for 600g of deer-based Chateaubriand). My venison steak frites (£12.50) was delicious, tender, perfectly cooked medium-rare in the French way (deep pink in the middle, nearblack on the outside) and a good sized portion. My guest’s Veni-Moo Burger (go on, guess!) was medium-well-done, the way she asked for it, with just the right amount of bresaola, béarnaise and their own, tangy, enigmatically named red-jon sauces. Even if you’re just after a quick burger, it’s worth finding Wild Game Co. rather than some of those swanky ‘gastroburger’ mini-chains. It’s the difference between a new band that you know is better than what’s on the radio but can’t quite describe why except they’re just more... real. I digress.

The American

Anything else? Side salad. That’s it. That’s all you need. It’s a little like one of those French country auberges where the Grandmère cooks whatever was the best meat, fish and veg in the market that morning... there’s no (or little) choice. Why would you want choice, when we have the best meal possible with today’s ingredients? In Wild Game Co.’s case, the venison and beef are always today’s best. Oh, almost forgot, a dessert of the day – yummy chocolate brownie with toasted oats, hazelnut and cream (£4). Over the top after all that meat? Yep. Would I do it again? Oh yes! The staff achieve the impossible, managing to be very cool and good looking, but remaining superfriendly - from manager Adam, to the waiters and even the wisecracking kilted chefs, cooking in the open kitchen. Maybe it’s because they’re Scots who’ve arrived recently... give them time to pick up that London hipster superciliousness! Staying true to their roots as a meat supplier, you can buy any of the meat (and haggis!), the ones that they cook with, from their own butchery. Take it away, or have it delivered. The prices are reasonable and you know exactly where your food is coming from. Currently the restaurant’s only open from Monday to Friday, and from 11:30am to 3:30pm and alcoholic drinks are not an option due to licensing restrictions, so no boozy dinners... yet. The team are planning another London venue, so check their website for news about evening meals and grown-up drinks. For now, for brunch or lunch, they’re serving the tastiest, most honest food I’ve had for a long time.

RECIPE: WILD GAME CO. VENISON BURGER Most important are the ingredients - you are only as good as your weakest link! There are 5 fundamental stages: 1. meat; 2. bread; 3. sauces; 4. veg and extras; 5. cheese


Venison is very lean so you’ll need some moist ingredients in there to keep things tasty: 1tbs x veg oil 1 x onion thinly sliced 2 x slices of smoked streaky bacon 2 x cherry tomato 150g x venison mince 1 x large sprinkle of sea salt 4 x twists cracked black pepper 1 x slice of Gouda 1 x brioche sesame burger bun (sliced in two) 1tbls x mayonaise 0.5 tsp x smoked paprika 0.25 tsp x cayenne pepper 2 tsp x red currant jelly 1 tsp x dijon mustard A couple of seasonal lettuce leafs


Cook the onion in a pan over a low heat for 25mins until they caramelise and turn golden brown - add a little salt to speed up the process. Keep to one side.

Whilst cooking the onion get the bacon ready - cook to a golden crisp and keep to the side with the onion. After the bacon is finished, throw in the tomatoes and soften them up. Place frying pan over a mediumhigh heat, add the oil when hot. Roll the mince into a tight ball and squash on the pan into a nice round burger. Sprinkle the burger with the salt and pepper and cook for 3-4mins, depending on how you like your burger cooked. Flip it over to the other side. Add a big spoon of caramelised onion and cover with cheese - add double the amount if you’re feeling cheeky. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for a further 3mins. Whilst the meat is cooking you can get the rest of the vessel ready: mix the mayo, paprika and cayenne together and spread on the bottom of the bun (toasted if you have the inclination). Cover the other half of the bun with the red currant and dijon. Take the meat out of the pan and place into the mayo - the cheese should be beautiful and melted. Top with the crisp bacon, then tomatoes, followed by the lettuce and stick the lid on top. Enjoy!

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Choc Bloc’s Beetroot salad

The American


helmsford. Deep in the heart of Essex. I made my way to Grays Brewery Yard by observing the night sky…and my satnav. Slightly nervous, I walked in, prepared for boisterous blokes and dizzy blondes clad in leopard skin and 10 inch stillies. What a let-down! It was just like Hoxton, only friendlier! The interior is an über cool conversion of an old brewery. 3 floors of exposed brick and designer light bulbs; chairs and banquettes of soft, supple leather. The design is carefully thought out to give maximum privacy to each table while maintaining a feeling of open space. The barstools on the third floor are to die for. That and the wizard behind the bar make this lounge a great place for drinks. We were met at the door by Justin. He made us feel like old friends. Indeed, the entire staff could not have been nicer. Smiling, happy, competent people. Essex was looking better and better.

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Chop Bloc is primarily a steakhouse and the highlight of the menu is grass fed Hereford beef. Our waitress began by showing us the different cuts available and gave an excellent presentation of each one. We chose the prime rib on the bone. £42 for 600 grams for two. That much meat required veggie starters. Beetroot salad and mushrooms with goat cheese, each at £5. Both were excellent. Red and yellow beetroot with greens, celery, feta and a light dressing was simple, tasty and refreshing. The mushrooms were packed with flavor. Bread crumbs gave a bit of crunch and the goat’s cheese did what an appetizer should. Stimulated my appetite. We had ordered a bottle of Châteauneuf du Pape for the beef but it was equally good with the starters. Light, with good fruit and still enough body for meat. The wine list is good and very reasonable: £17.50 – £60 with a nice selection by the glass. No vintages are listed

Reviewed by Michael M Sandwick Left: Dave, Steve & Head Chef Alexander Right: Choc Bloc’s Picanaha

8-9 Grays Brewery Yard, Town Centre, Chelmsford, Essex CM2 6QR

though, so if you are serious about wine, you will have to ask. Ours was a 2012 at £52. The meat made its entrance in a piping hot, cast iron skillet. Sensational! Perfectly charred, medium rare as we had ordered, tender and delicious. Couldn’t ask for more. Truffle parmesan fries (£3) were crispy and tasty though the truffle was a bit negligible. Spinach (£4) simply sautéed without fanfare was also a good accompaniment. I knew the prime rib would be a hard act to follow and it was. The dessert menu needs an upgrade. Chocolate brownie and raspberry cheesecake (£6) were neither inspired nor well executed. The rest of the menu is based on good quality food, served simply. The desserts need either the same level of quality or another level of creativity. I believe the kitchen is aware of this and will soon fix this one flaw. Hopefully they will invite me back when the proof is in the pudding. (I really just want another steak!)

The American

ARTIST ROOMS: Roy Lichtenstein William Blake, The Night of Enitharmon’s Joy (formerly called ‘The Triple Hecate’), c.1795 Polytype on paper, 41.60 x 56.10 cm © SCOTTISH NATIONAL GALLERY

Surreal Roots: From William Blake to André Breton Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art 75 Belford Road, Edinburgh EH4 3DR to July 5

Rare copies of publications by revolutionary writers and artists William Blake, Lewis Carroll and the Marquis de Sade, are part of a new display exploring the roots of the Surrealist movement, which started in 1920s Paris, led by French writer André Breton. The movement included artists Salvador Dalí and Rene Magritte, and was partly fuelled by the scepticism of the generation that went through the First World War. Surrealists drew on Freud’s work with psychoanalysis, The Marquis de Sade (1740-1814), Blake (1757-1827) and Carroll (1832-1898), who were controversial figures whose writings

challenged the religious and sexual taboos of their time. Some of the Marquis de Sade’s most controversial texts, including 120 Days of Sodom (1785) and Justine (1791) are on display with other rare works including Lewis Carroll’s original publications from the 1870s, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There. The works on show draw primarily from the library of Roland Penrose (1900– 1984), artist and patron, who was closely involved in the Surrealist movement and combines 18th and 19th century publications, rarely shown to the public, with 20th century publications by key Surrealist figures such as Salvador Dalí.

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern One) 75 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DR to January 10, 2016

This newly-assembled collection of American artist Roy Lichtenstein’s (1923-1997) works, courtesy of a long-term loan of 16 large-scale prints by New York’s Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, forms the jumping off point for a group exhibition entitled Reflections. Lichtenstein, a pioneer of the early 1960s’ New York Pop Art movement, is one of the most influential artists of the post-war period. His instantly recognisable style, particularly his signature version of the Benday dot technique used in commercial printing, (think ‘comic’), blurred the boundaries between high and low culture. These works explore some of his major themes, focussing on his fascination with reflections and mirroring. Reflections: Art (1988), an important large oil painting on loan from a private collection, will be complemented by five prints from the eponymous Reflections series of images based on comic book stories of romance and war. The Reflections exhibition also at the SNGMA, includes recent work by American artists Louise Lawler and Taryn Simon.

Roy Lichtenstein, In the Car, 1963 Oil and magna on canvas, 172 x 203.50cm


May 2015 35


Jo Baer: Towards the Land of the Giants Camden Arts Centre, Arkwright Road, London NW3 6DG to June 21

Artist Rooms: Jeff Koons

Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery Castle Meadow, Norwich NR1 3JU May 9 – September 6 American artist Jeff Koons (b. 1955) is widely regarded as one of the most important, influential, popular, and controversial living artists, and the most expensive, of our time. This landmark exhibition showcases Koons’ remarkable career from 1981 – 2003 and includes significant examples from each of the series created during this period: The New, Equilibrium, Banality, Made in Heaven, Easyfun and Popeye. Among the works featured are his breakthrough pieces with vacuum cleaners and basketballs from The New and Equilibrium; Winters Bears (1988) and Art Magazine Ads (1988) from Banality – the series which established Koons; a marble portrait bust of Koons and his former wife, from Made in Heaven; mirrored animal silhouettes from Easyfun as well as his inflatables cast from aluminium created for his Popeye series. This exhibition, in partnership with Norfolk & Norwich Festival is the only opportunity to see his work in the UK this year.

36 May 2015

Amsterdam based, American artist Jo Baer (b.1929) emerged as one of the key figures in the Minimalist art movement during the '60s and '70s. Best known for paintings characterised by precise composition of line and space and her use of the peripheries of the canvases, in 1983, she dramatically announced ‘I am no longer an abstract artist’, turning towards figuration and symbolic imagery. Her first major show in a UK public gallery centers around her most recent series of paintings, reflecting her life-long interest in history and science. Inspired by Palaeolithic cave paintings, and depicting esoteric and evocative imagery from her years living in the remote countryside of County Louth, Ireland, springs, stone alignments and phases of the moon are montaged against a backdrop of vast rolling green landscapes. The works trace her fascination in Neolithic innovation and eschatology, convergences between humans and nature, and timelines of thought and memory.

Grayson Perry, Sex and Drugs and Earthenware, 1995 Glazed ceramic, 21.28 x 9.65 inches COURTESY THE ARTIST AND VICTORIA MIRO, LONDON ©GRAYSON PERRY

Grayson Perry: Provincial Punk

Turner Contemporary, Rendezvous, Margate, CT9 1HG May 23 – September 13 Provincial Punk explores Perry’s uniquely subversive practice, from a young artist forging his own artistic language in 1980s Britain to his status today as one of the most prominent and incisive commentators on contemporary society and culture. More than 50 works from 1981 until 2014 will be presented, including ceramics, tapestries, drawings, prints and films and includes previously unseen collaged and watercolor painted sketchbooks from the 1980s that mix confessional diary, sexual fantasy and political critique. These are shown alongside the artist’s rarely seen super-8 films, including Bungalow Depression (1984) and The Poor Girl (1985), set against a backdrop of Thatcherite Britain. A number of recent tapestries are showcased, such as The Walthamstow Tapestry (2009), which depicts a journey from birth to death told through consumer brands, alongside etchings including Map of an Englishman (2004) and Print for a Politician (2005). Jo Baer, Spirals and Stars PHOTO ©GERT JAN VAN ROOIJ, COURTESY THE ARTIST AND GALERIE BARBARA THUMM

The American

Ryan Hewett, JFK Oil on canvas



Glenn Ligon: Encounters and Collisions

Nottingham Contemporary, Weekday Cross, Nottingham, NG1 2GB Nottingham to June 14, then Tate Liverpool June 30 - October 18 Curated by American artist Glenn Ligon (b. 1960), one of the most significant American artists of his generation, this exhibition brings together artworks and other material he references in his own work and writings, or work with which he shares certain affinities. His practice, especially his painting, is deeply involved in the legacy of Post-War American art, which he enriches through references to American history, especially African-American experience. This exhibition features many major figures such as Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock and Jasper Johns alongside Ligon’s near contemporaries including Chris Ofili, Lorna Simpson and Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Wider cultural phenomena such as the photojournalism of the Civil Rights struggle and Sun Ra’s seminal film Space is the Place also feature alongside the work of the artist. Glenn Ligon, Malcolm X #1 (small version #2), 2003


The UK Society of Wood Engravers 77th Annual Exhibition Kevis House Gallery, Lombard Street, Petworth, West Sussex GU28 0AG - May 20

Ryan Hewett: Untitled

The Unit London, 9 Earlham Street, Covent Garden London WC2H 9LL – May 24 A debut European Solo exhibition for South-African painter Ryan Hewett, who is fast becoming one of South Africa’s most distinguished living painters. Focussing on world leaders in history - both good and bad - his pictures have an incredibly bold and challenging narrative. Hewett’s portraits rely principally on the free-flowing processes of memory and creative imagination, rather than capturing an external likeness of a subject. In the twelve years that he has practiced as a full-time artist, his techniques have evolved from tightly wrought pencil drawings into the looser, layered surfaces of his present work. With his quick, almost brutal splashes of the palette knife, and through blending, building, edging, detailing and scraping off painterly layers, Hewett’s imagery is textured and richly hued, conveying both complexity and raw emotion. It includes portraits of Obama, JFK, Abraham Lincoln and Hitler, and has already had purchasing interest from The National Portrait Gallery and the South African High Commission.

John Bryce, Millennium Bridge 16 x 22 cm. £210 ©JOHN BRYCE

The Society of Wood Engravers is the principal organisation for the art of wood engraving in Britain. The Society’s Annual Exhibition tour is coming to an end, and the Petworth show is the penultimate stop. It’s the first time for many years that the exhibition has been held in the South East of England, other than in London. This gem of an exhibition features a mixture of wood engravings, woodcuts and linocuts - all original prints - by some of the Society’s 70 members, as well as work from selected international artists. Artists with work in the show include Hilary Paynter, Neil Bousfield, Colin See-Paynton, Howard Phipps and Harry Brockway. Although often intricately detailed, prices range from £45 to £550. The final stop on the tour is The Marle Gallery, Axminster, Devon from May 30 to June 27.

May 2015 37

The American

Joe Bonamassa


Live at Eventim Hammersmith Apollo, March 19, 2015

Reviewed by Charlie Ingram


John Henry’ at the climax of the set did you have time to stop and think. If the songs themselves weren’t enough to get you moving in your seat (and why wouldn’t they be?), there were the solos. With Bonamassa often giving way to the other musicians to show off their skill, the show never stopped flowing. Every instrument got special attention though Reese Wynans on the keys really stood out, even having a small battle with Joe in the encore. The brass and percussion also Bonamassa really takes you on a tour of the world of blues. Every branch, every fusion, all masterfully presented to you in a two hour set that was truly magical. For any music fan, Joe Bonamassa, is a must see. So is blues dead? So long as Bonamassa is playing, it definitely is not.

ome would say that blues is dead. And sadly they wouldn’t be totally wrong. Take a look at the Billboard 100 or the UK charts and there is not a single blues artist to be seen. It is a tragedy that this vibrant and diverse genre is so under-represented. But there is a vanguard. A group of musicians that refuse to let blues – the American genre that went on to spawn British acts like The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Eric Clapton, who in turn inspired a new generation of US artists – fade out of existence. At the head of this vanguard is Joe Bonamassa. Currently rounding up his tour in the UK, Bonamassa has shown his mettle as a world class live performer and technical player, selling out venues and even deciding to come back to the UK in October later this year for some extra tour

38 May 2015

dates. And given the performance he gave at the Hammersmith Apollo recently, I’m not at all surprised. In total darkness, the band built tension for an eager crowd with an ever intensifying instrumental prelude until Bonamassa exploded into ‘Hey Baby’ and spoiled the audience with over an hour of uninterrupted sound. The performance was as emotionally expressive as it was technically awesome, with Bonamassa clearly feeling right at home at the front of an equally impressive band. The roller coaster of feelings and the expression in his playing were enchanting, ranging from the funky upbeat rhythms of ‘Trouble Town’ all the way down to the slow and sullen melodies of ‘Sloe Gin’. This barrage was enough to keep you on your toes for the whole show, and only at the end of an intense performance of ‘Ballad of

The American


With three music competitions this month there’s something for everyone Take a look at these great prizes, choose which ones you’d like to win, answer the questions and send your answer to us with your contact details (name, address and daytime telephone number). Either email it to theamerican@ with LINCOLN CENTER, PAUL BRADY or ROYAL ALBERT HALL in the subject line; or send them by postcard to: The American, Old Byre House, Millbrook Lane, East Knoyle, Salisbury SP3 6AW, UK. You must be 18 years old or over to enter. There’s only one entry per person per draw, but you can enter all three competitions if you wish. The editor’s decision is final. No cash alternative. Tickets are not transferable and you are responsible for any travel, accommodation or other expenses.

Chamber Music Society of Paul Brady and Star Guests Lincoln Center at Wigmore The Vicar Street Sessions Hall, May 8 - Win Tickets Win His New Album

Royal Albert Hall Presents... American Cinema Win Tickets

The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, New York (including David Finckel and his wife and coartistic director Wu Han) are coming to London’s Wigmore Hall. Continuing the long-standing cross-Atlantic partnership these two pillars of chamber music enjoy, they have co-commissioned a special piece by British composer Helen Grime. This new string trio will be premiered alongside a thrilling programme of Schumann and Brahms.

Singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Paul Brady has been revered as one of Ireland’s top musicians for 40 years. His songs have been sung by the biggest stars in the business, and now a new album, recorded live in Ireland, features a host of Brady’s friends including Bonnie Raitt, Mark Knopfler, Van Morrison, Sinéad O’Connor, Ronan Keating, Curtis Stigers, Gavin Friday & Maurice Seezer, Eleanor McEvoy, Moya Brennan, Mary Black and Maura O’Connell.

The famous Royal Albert Hall hosts a series of American cinema screenings this year with a live orchestra, recreating the evocative soundtracks of Hollywood classics. The movies include Breakfast at Tiffany’s on June 12 and 13 and Back to the Future on July 4. You can find out more details on these memorable shows at For your chance to win a pair of tickets for either show, just answer this appropriate teaser:




Deadline: May 4, 2015

Deadline: May 31, 2015

Deadline: May 31, 2015

May 2015 39

The American

KING LEAR By William Shakespeare Theatre Royal, Bath and Tour Reviewed by Michael Burland PHOTO © NOBBY CLARK


his is a Lear unlike any you’ve seen before. It comes from Northern Broadsides, a theater company from Yorkshire which specialises in taking Shakespeare and other classical plays and shaking new life into them, most obviously by performing them in northern accents, stripping them of much pompousness and exposing the text to a new appreciation. The group, born in 1992, was the brainchild of the accomplished National Theatre actor, Barrie Rutter, who was a lead actor in two of Tony Harrison’s groundbreaking plays in the 1980s: The Mysteries and The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus. He is still its Artistic Director, but here he has not attempted to combine that with his other in this production; taking the title role, one of Shakespeare’s most testing. Instead he had put himself in the hands of director Jonathan Miller. A veteran of all forms of the stage from the satire clubs of the Swinging Sixties to grand opera, Miller says that Lear is “The most interesting play Shakespeare ever wrote”. In order to show it, he has done the opposite of many productions which robe the ailing king and his court in grand fineries. This king is a man, not a demigod monarch. He, his family and retainers are all

40 May 2015

dressed (in the Elizabethan style of Shakespeare’s time) sparely and simply – as is the stage itself, unusually a large riser, a stage upon a stage so the whole audience can see the actors full-length. The story is similarly stripped to the core. Lear’s tribulations flow from his own mistakes. First in deciding to divide his strong, erstwhile happy kingdom between his three daughters. And second, disinheriting Cordelia, his true and loving daughter, after misconstruing her reaction to the news. The acting is universally fine: The villain, Edmund, is half snake, half wolf, hiding evil intent behind ostensible weakness. Sean Cernow’s portrayal starts as near-’panto’, almost sparking booing and hissing from the audience. Equally, Catherine Kinsella’s Cordelia is Cinderella-like, with Regan (Nicola Sanderson) and Goneril (Helen Sheals) as her Ugly Sisters, but they all evolve, becoming more complicated and involving. The Fool is beautifully played by Fine Time Fontayne, a well respected Yorkshire actor and not, as his name (which derives from time spent as a musician) suggests, a high stepping dude from New Orleans, although his white facepaint here lends him a voodoo

Mardi Gras look. The traditional character who points out the king’s follies and gets away with it, he is also an old and trusted comrade of his master as the king drifts into madness. Gloucester’s (John Branwell) devotion to his king is touching and Jack Wilkinson’s Edgar engaging, while Jos Vantyler’s highcamp Oswald (Goneril’s steward) brings a refreshing humor you won’t have seen before. The joy of Shakespeare is that the retelling of his tales constantly brings out new meanings, and this is a great example. See it for many reasons, but mainly for the great Barrie Rutter’s Lear: the man behind the crown. King Lear opened in Halifax, then toured to Hull, Bath, Cheltenham, Leeds and Scarborough. It can still be seen at: Liverpool Playhouse (April 28 to May 2); The Lowry, Salford Quays (May 5–9) www.; York International Shakespeare Festival (May 12–16); Rose Theatre, Kingston (May 19–23); New Vic Theatre, Newcastle under Lyme (May 27 to June 13) www.

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By Jonathan Tolins Menier Chocolate Factory Theatre, London Reviewed by Jarlath O’Connell


ell who knew that Barbra Streisand has her own private mall in the basement of her Malibu estate? The truth came out in 2010 when she produced a lavish coffeetable book entitled My Passion for Design. This impeccably art-directed guide to her home and tchotchkes revealed that Barbra likes to hoard. So do people in reality shows but this is hoarding on a different plateau. To be fair, she at least devised a way of displaying her collection of antiques and costumes so she could regularly visit them. The rest of us just make do with Big Yellow Storage. This gloriously endearing one-man play by Jonathan Tolins uses these amazing facts as a springboard for a flight of fantasy.

Imagine if she hired someone (it would have to be a gay man) to be the shop assistant? There would only be one customer and she may not get there every day but so what. When she does appear she’d probably haggle over prices... ...She does! What lifts this 100 minute monologue above the level of a flimsy Edinburgh Festival type sketch show for the gay-friendly crowd is the quality of Tolins’ writing, the direction of Stephen Brackett and an effervescent central performance by Michael Urie (late of Ugly Betty). Off-Broadway, Urie (interviewed in The American, April 2015) has deservedly won a Drama Desk, a Clarence Derwent and a Lucille Lortel Award for this. Tolins imagines that a gay out of work actor named Alex Moore, fired from Disneyworld after telling some brat to stick his churro where the sun doesn’t shine, is employed to service this subterranean grotto. In the process he develops a relationship, of a kind, with The Customer. For any gay Barbra fan (and there are a few) such a gig might be akin to dying and going to heaven and the piece explores the star and her relationship with her fans and her fame. Tolins cleverly deflects the

frequent and typical criticisms of Streisand by putting them into the mouth of Alex’s boyfriend, a struggling screenwriter who has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the star but who combines this haughty expertise with more than a hint of jealousy. Urie, who plays all the parts, is expert at delineating each character and as well as the boyfriend we get Sharon (the star’s hardboiled PA) and a charming James Brolin (Mr Streisand). He never impersonates Streisand (no drag show here), but with voice and gesture he carefully evokes the star and renders her a sympathetic character. The piece deftly explores her loneliness (what 55 years at the top can do) and the constant disappointment of the perfectionist. Urie bounds around the stage with a camp energy, which is totally beguiling and the gay, Jewish, New York wit is side-splittingly funny. His tart deconstruction of the plot of The Mirror Has Two Faces is worth the price of admission alone. The piece though is so subtly crafted that even an audience of Barbra agnostics should totally get it. Neither a hagiography nor a hatchet job, it is rather a gloriously witty homage to a flawed but eternally fascinating woman.

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By Arthur Miller Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-uponAvon, until May 2, then Noël Coward Theatre, London from May 9 to July 18 Reviewed by Jarlath O’Connell

Antony Sher (Willy Loman, left) and Alex Hassell (Biff ) PHOTO : ELLIE KURTTZ


he RSC has hit gold dust with this powerful revival of Arthur Miller’s compassionate portrait of the deeply flawed dreamer Willy Loman. This production, by RSC supremo Gregory Doran, will long be remembered for two remarkable central performances, Antony Sher as Willy and Harriet Walter as his stoic wife, Linda. It will be a real surprise if it doesn’t transfer to London and beyond. [It did, announced shortly after our review.] Surprisingly, according to a New York Times interview, Doran is new to the text, not having seen previous stage or film versions. It has paid dividends though, as his fresh approach has altered the focus somewhat, moving it away from the central message about the collateral damage of capitalism, to giving us instead an intimate portrait of a family, albeit one debased by an American Dream gone sour. From his first entrance, when he wearily trudges across the stage dragging two suitcases of samples, Sher presents us with a little old man crushed by life. Cruelly cut down by

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his cocky young employer to a commission-only basis, after 34 years of loyal service, he’s drifting in and out of a dream world and slowly falling apart. But Sher’s achievement is not to present us with a tragic hero but rather a tetchy, irritating, old man, albeit one trying his damnedest. For the first time in a production of Salesman you actually sympathise with the kindly, long-suffering, neighbor Charlie, who has to endure Willy’s tantrums and whose final act of kindness (a job offer) gets rebuffed out of vanity. This Willy never listens or learns, shuts everyone up (especially Linda) and deludes himself about his situation and that of his sons. He has crushed their spirits with the weight of his expectations. This is perfectly illuminated in a moment when Willy boasts of Biff that “He has a greatness in him, you know” while we see Biff ’s haunted face as he overhears it all from an adjacent room. Harriet Walter’s Linda, too, is no saintly doormat but a rather fiercely loyal woman, valiantly trying to hold it all together. All this makes her great

“Attention must be paid” speech to the feckless sons and her final oration at his graveside, all the more emotionally wrenching. Stephen Brimson-Lewis’ set pays respect to the text but is not stymied by it. Miller’s precise stage directions had replicated those used in Elia Kazan’s original production. Here the cramped two-level house remains in the background while other settings are lifted in downstage. The house, like its mortgage payments, is ever present and encroaching on it are the new high rises, which Willy bemoans. A world literally crushing down on him. The supporting roles are perfectly cast. Alex Hassell (who was Prince Hal to Sher’s Falstaff last year) personifies the boyish, athletic, swagger of the restless Biff while Sam Marks has all the attitude for the careless philanderer, Happy. Joshua Richards is perfectly laconic as the ever-patient Charlie and Sarah Parks brings a maturity to the part of the mistress, again a welcome departure for this role. Doran’s careful attention to detail draws out some beautifully painful ironies - Willy supplying his mistress with new silk stockings, actually intended for Linda, while she is at home eternally stitching her own. The play’s revolutionary interplay of past and present in the same “strata” (as Miller put it), which was then revolutionary, remains as powerful as ever. It underlines how for all of us, the past is always with us, no matter how hard we might try to deny it.

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Godspell The Broadway revival in concert By Stephen Schwartz Hackney Empire, London and on Tour Reviewed by Jarlath O’Connell


f you staggered along with a flower in your hair to Godspell at The Roundhouse back in ’71 (it starred David Essex and Jeremy Irons) you’ll be in for a shock with this pumped up make-over, which re-imagines it for the X Factor age. Since Wicked, composer Stephen Schwartz’s career has undergone a phenomenal transformation, which has rekindled interest in his glorious back catalogue. Godspell and Pippin confirmed his place among the greats of Broadway, but with a book adapted from the St Matthew Gospel and Episcopal hymns, this particular musical has always been a hard sell. It also seems to have suffered the ravages of much theatrical re-interpretation and one wonders if part of the reason for this was the early demise in 1985 of the book’s writer John-Michael Tebelak, who might have defended it. He had conceived and directed it for his Masters thesis project at Carnegie Mellon University in 1970 and, while alive, he oversaw the numerous revivals and the movie version. Originally what defined it was how its Christian message sat so easily with the hippie counterculture of the time. Since then interpretations have veered into the treacly piety of ‘Up With People’ but the piece is what it is. It was true to its era and directors need to

respect that and not fight it. Would you update The Sound of Music to make it “relevant”? Here, Kenneth Avery-Clark has re-vamped it for a contemporary youth demographic, playing up the shtick and losing the piece’s soul. What we’re served is a cross between a hysterical panto and Saturday morning teen TV. The (very) broad comic acting style resembles a school play and this doesn’t sit easily with its urban hipster aesthetic. Beanies and trainers and breakdance, topped off with gimmicks like selfie-sticks and digs at Jeremy Clarkson and Gordon Ramsey all strain for ‘relevance’. All this certainly speaks down to its intended audience. Whether they’ll appreciate the gesture remains to be seen. Avery-Clark misses a key point, that this is a classic ensemble show and not a collection of star turns. The ‘look-at-me’ vamping from the soloists might be encouraged on X Factor or The Voice but here it is out of place – the antithesis of Ensemble. The musical highlights need to be earned but not enough attention is paid to what happens in between them. The pumped-up

arrangements may give it a stadium feel, but too often the lyrics get lost, drowned out by screechy choruses. Arrangements of the up-tempo numbers are all of a piece and lack any real color or shading. Use of handmics actually distances the audience further and one wonders why they just didn’t go all out for a full concert staging and dispense with the challenges of the book. It already has the steel scaffolding and onstage band and choir. This vocally talented cast including popular recording artist and X Factor runner up Andy Abraham and The Voice finalist Leanne Jarvis could certainly do justice to such an approach. Tom Senior, as Jesus, ticks all the leading man boxes in terms of voice, looks and stage charisma and in ‘Beautiful City’, where it’s just him and a piano, he really connects for the first time with the material. Dominique Planter does the same in a beautifully plaintive ‘By My Side’. To beef up the cast the producers have had the very admirable idea of engaging a local choir in each of the 28 towns and cities they will visit.

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The American

Spieth Marks T

iger Woods may still be the golfing hero America wants, but Jordan Spieth is the golfing hero America needs, says Darren Kilfara. These are Spieth’s tournament results going back to the Australian Open last November: 1st (by 6 shots), 1st (by 10 shots), tied for 7th, missed cut, tied for 7th, tied for 4th, tied for 17th, 1st (won in a playoff ), 2nd, tied for 2nd (lost in a playoff ), 1st (by 4 shots). Those are Tiger numbers, and following Spieth’s wire-to-wire triumph in Augusta this April, Spieth and Woods are of course now the only golfers to win the Masters at age 21 and the only golfers to finish the Masters at 18 under par. The easy comparisons ought to stop there. When Tiger destroyed the field by 12 shots in 1997, only 16 players finished under par. In 2015, 32 players finished under par, and Tom Kite’s runner-up score of six under par in 1997 would only have tied for 12th this year. Simply put, Augusta National was far too easy in 2015: repeated overnight humidity kept the greens soft and slow and the fairways lush and forgiving, and too many miss-hit shots on holes 11, 12 and 15 perched on banks instead of bouncing into ponds. This was the Augusta National I dream of playing, not the Augusta National which ought to be testing the world’s greatest golfers.

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Jordan Spieth: a very humble hero


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But if the golf course was this year’s unexpected villain, Spieth proved himself to be a decidedly un-Tigerlike hero. Tiger could easily be from a different planet: from his Mike Douglas Show appearance at age two to his 15-shot US Open triumph at Pebble Beach to his current post-divorce soap opera, everything about him has felt otherworldly. Woods is and has always been a star and a celebrity as much as a golfer, and even now in the long autumn of his career, he cannot stop drawing attention to himself. I mean, through sheer force of will Woods conquered his chipping yips and overcame some of the most squirrely shots ever hit in Augusta - who else could duck-hook a tee shot less than 150 yards and still birdie the 13th, like Tiger did on Saturday? - to reach the first page of the third-day Masters leaderboard. And then, just when his driver deserted him and he seemed on the verge of Sunday afternoon irrelevancy, he hurt his hand swinging through a tree root and kept us breathlessly wondering if he’d finish his round, never mind crack the top ten. For how many more years will he keep transcending golf? Tiger’s way is not Spieth’s way. I wrote about Spieth in this column 12 months ago, praising his demeanor as well as his skills, and somehow he seems even more grounded now than he did then. Spieth attended a Jesuit high school and grew up with a special needs sister, and he always seems to know - and act like - golf isn’t as important as real life. He’s kind and deferential to his elders, asking a reporter in Augusta if by “Ben” he was referring to “Mister Crenshaw”, and when someone else commented last year about how humble he is, he responded, “Me speaking about humility is very

difficult because that wouldn’t be humility.” What kind of 21-year-old multi-millionaire talks like this? Even his foibles seem endearing: whereas Tiger curses and bangs his clubs in frustration after missing a shot, when Spieth falls short of perfection he begs his golf ball for forgiveness, pleading with it to follow its original instructions. During the 2015 Masters, more often than not the ball seemed to listen. To whom should we compare Spieth, then, if not Tiger? Rory McIlroy, now the only golfer above Spieth in the world rankings, offers an interesting counterpoint. McIlroy is just as charming and likeable as Spieth in many ways, but unlike Spieth he tends to act his age: some of his off-course decisions - the highprofile engagement and break-up with Caroline Wozniacki, the legal battle with his former management company, even his occasionally alarming candor in the press room - betray a youthful immaturity. On the course, McIlroy may be marginally more talented and noticeably more powerful, but Spieth’s relentless consistency probably makes up the difference. They certainly have the makings of a great rivalry, and with the likes of Adam Scott, Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler and many others at, or yet to reach, their primes, we could be on the cusp of another golden era of competitive golf. In historical terms, I’m tempted to compare Spieth to Jack Nicklaus, another well-grounded and mature-beyond-his-years product of middle America who won majors early and often in his career: Spieth feels more to me like Nicklaus’ proper heir than Woods or McIlroy ever have. But a better compari-

son may be with Pete Sampras, whose youthful maturity and professionalism contrasted with showy, loud-mouthed stars like John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors and the long-haired version of Andre Agassi when he burst into the tennis world. Sampras set a standard which Agassi eventually embraced and others like Federer, Nadal and Djokovic ultimately followed. If Spieth continues to grow as a person and a golfer and can remain a star who doesn’t need to act like one, he might be able move the world of golf away from its dependency on Tiger Woods and toward the ideal of Bobby Jones. After Spieth sank his final putt and clinched his first major championship, he did what many young tournament winners do: he went into the gallery and hugged his parents and the other members of his family waiting behind the green. Then he did something very few golfers ever do: he returned to the green and applauded the crowd, thanking them for being there and acknowledging their rapturous reception. Jordan Spieth doesn’t transcend golf - he is golf, exactly as it was meant to be played. Long may he reign at the top of the game.

Darren Kilfara formerly worked for Golf Digest magazine and is the author of A Golfer’s Education, a memoir of his junior year abroad as a student-golfer at the University of St. Andrews. His latest book, a novel called Do You Want Total War?, is also now available online at Amazon and elsewhere.

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The American

Free Agency There is no off-season any more... Gary Jordan explains how Free Agency keeps the NFL frenzy alive and who the biggest movers were on FA opening day


here’s a saying in the National Football League that has gathered momentum over the last few years, in the same way that Social Media whips up a rumour until it becomes common knowledge, then it’s eventually confirmed by a reliable source. That saying is “there is no off-season”. This was born out of the media frenzy that now surrounds and supports events on the NFL calendar like the Combine, an annual scouting parade of the best College talent which is soon picked off one by one, and slotted into the 32 teams around the country. Players get poked and prodded, told to jump and run as high and as fast as they can possibly go, and then have the media spotlight thrust into their faces. This is all good grooming for the Draft, which for those lucky enough to get chosen is ample reward for their hard work and endeavor. These two events are roughly 3 months apart, so what does the NFL do to keep our football hunger keen? Free Agency is the answer. If you can imagine the summer, and the hype and money spent on soccer players switching teams, and then multiply that by one hundred, then you come some way close to what this amounts to for the NFL and its fans.

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The Free Agency period is a time for players who are out of contract with their existing teams, and are free to negotiate with others. In some cases a bidding war will start between teams for players’ services. Sometimes there is the outside influence of a player’s agent to negotiate, and that can be a bigger issue than getting a player to sign on the dotted line. Teams, of course, do their best to hold on to highly valued players, and this is where the team’s General Manager starts to count the beans and slide the balls across his abacus so he can stay within the league’s salary cap. This year there was a lot of activity in the market before the official day that Free Agent signings can begin; this is now being looked into by the League office to make sure nothing underhand was taking place. When the opening day did arrive there were some big moves and trades.

Significant Deals

Two starting Quarterbacks found themselves swapping jerseys, as the Philadelphia Eagles and St Louis Rams switched Nick Foles and Sam Bradford respectively. This was a big move and shows the Eagles intent on making headway in the NFC race, as they later went on to secure the services of 2014’s leading rusher DeMarco Murray from the

Dallas Cowboys. Many experts believe that the Eagles will have something extra up their sleeve come Draft Day as Coach Chip Kelly has his Oregon College QB Marcus Mariota firmly on the radar. Another big name and big personality that was free to be picked up was Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. He was on the pages of a handful of teams as a priority choice, but when Miami threw $114m his way he became a Dolphin purely on the fact that no one else would match that figure. It’s always hard to say who the winners and losers are of Free Agency as you can only really tell when the games start to roll in September, however you could say a big win on paper was in Indianapolis where the Colts acquired Frank Gore from San Francisco, and Andre Johnson from Houston. These two weapons will make their potent offense even more mouth watering. Brandon Marshall has had controversy follow him wherever he lands, but the Jets will be hoping he can stay out of trouble after landing the dynamic receiver. New York has also claimed back the shutdown cornerback Darrelle Revis, maybe the Jets could be a dark horse next year under new Coach Todd Bowles. Another big move was that of all-pro Tight End Jimmy Graham

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Big move – Nick Foles (seen calling a play against the Washington Redskins in 2012) leaves the Eagles for the Rams.. IMAGE © MATTHEW STRAUBMULLER

to the Seattle Seahawks. The twotime NFC champion already gaining a psychological edge over the rest of their opponents. To soften the blow of their star player leaving the New Orleans Saints did get center Max Unger and some draft picks, but this seems little compensation for a player that finds the end zone with regularity. LeSean McCoy was another move that caused ripples across the NFL shores, as he unceremoniously left the Eagles to end up in Buffalo, linebacker Kiko Alonso exiting the Bills and going the other way in a sweetener to clinch the deal. The deals mentioned here are just the tip of the iceberg, as many more players have either moved or re-signed on with their current franchise. After the initial month of trading the activity tends to slow as teams prepare for the Draft and maybe use any unacquired players as leverage so they can move up and down the draft order. This all proves that for the teams, coaching staff, players and fans “there is no offseason.”

Free Agency continues: check out and next month’s The American for a roundup of the most important deals.

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NHL Q & A The playoffs promise to answer the season’s key questions, Jeremy Lanaway explains


he 2014-15 NHL season saw the lowest scoring output in recent memory, with Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn capturing the Art Ross trophy as the league’s top scorer with a relatively modest 87 points - the last of which came with nine seconds left in the season - but the ebb in offense didn’t limit the storylines to come out of the schedule. If anything, it shifted the emphasis from individuals to teams - a trend that seems likely to carry over into the post-season. The team-first refocusing has given rise to a number of questions that will find their answers in sixteen teams’ attempt to build upon the fruits of their 82-game labor in the annual pursuit of the Stanley Cup.

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Will the New York Rangers translate regular season success into post-season glory?

The Rangers finished the regular season at the top of the league’s points ladder with 113, building upon the success that they enjoyed last year under head coach Alain Vigneault, who took them all the way to the Finals in his first season as the club’s bench boss. The Rangers have bought into Vigneault’s system, which operates on a four-line, puckpossession model, but despite the efficacy of their game-plan, their hopes of getting past the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round - as they did last season - will live and die with two of their top players: forward Rick Nash and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. Nash finished the season with a career-high 42 goals, but has struggled to maintain his offensive output in post-seasons past. For the Rangers to get over the hump and return the big prize to the Big Apple, Nash will need to continue

leading the team - which otherwise relies on scoring by committee - in lighting the lamp. At the back end, Lundqvist will need to return to form after losing a large chunk of the season to injury. Despite getting only 46 starts, King Henrik still managed to amass 30 wins in the regular season, and hasn’t had any trouble re-acquiring ownership of the crease as the team’s starter, but his durability remains a question mark. Luckily, the Rangers have Cam Talbot to fall back on if Lundqvist suffers a setback. They relied on the backup netminder for a lengthy stretch in the regular season - without losing any points in the transition.

Will the Montreal Canadiens return the Cup to Canada?

As the league’s second-place team, with 110 points, the diminutive but determined Canadiens remain Canada’s best hope of returning Lord Stanley’s chalice to the Great White North. The Canadiens were the last Canadian team to win the Cup - way

left: New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist will need to return to form after losing a large chunk of the season to injury

back in 1993 - and although the Calgary Flames, the Edmonton Oilers and the Vancouver Canucks have all had notable kicks at the Cup in the intervening years, no team has managed to return the prize to Canadian soil. The Canadiens might be the best bet to get the job done in 2015, but they’re not alone in representing the red maple leaf in this year’s Cup chase. In fact, five of Canada’s seven teams - the Canucks, the Flames, the Winnipeg Jets, the Ottawa Senators and the Canadiens themselves have all earned playoff invites, giving Canada nearly a 30 percent chance of winning the Stanley Cup. Like the Rangers, the Canadiens score as a group and rely on their collective work ethic and a worldclass goalie. Carey Price tallied a league-leading 44 wins to solidify his position as the odds-maker’s choice for the Hart Ross award. However, the Canadiens’ first-round opponent, the ‘Cinderella’ Senators, have ridden the league’s biggest wave of success since February, going 23-4-4 over their final 31 tilts. To bring midnight down on the Senators and turn their chariot into a pumpkin, the Canadiens will have to solve the riddle of goaltender Andrew ‘Hamburglar’ Hammond, who somehow managed to turn a fledgling AHL career into a starter role by stepping into the Senators’ vacant goalmouth down the stretch and polishing off a logicdefying 20-1-2 record.

Will the Anaheim Ducks live up to expectations and keep the Cup in California? The Ducks have been building toward another Cup win for several seasons, finishing first in their divi-

sion for three consecutive years. They’ve advanced their cause by finishing atop the Western Conference with 109 points, earning home-ice advantage in the first three rounds. On paper, they should roll over the upstart Jets, who eked out their playoff spot over the final weeks of the regular season, but having an advantage in theory comes with the cost of high expectations. The Ducks will need to endure the pressure and prevent the Jets from capitalising on their nothing-to-lose position and the seventh-player passion of their fans, who haven’t attended a playoff game since 1996. The Ducks owe much of their success to having one of the top offensive corps in the NHL, led by Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Ryan Kesler and Matt Beleskey - all twenty-plus goal scorers on the season. Head coach Bruce Boudreau will also rely heavily on his top defensive pairing - Francois Beauchemin and trade-deadline acquisition James Wisniewski - to seal up scoring lanes in their own zone. Neither the Ducks nor the Jets have a franchise goaltender to shoulder the load, but both have a solid goaltending tandem capable of keeping their respective team going when the going gets tough. Frederik Andersen and rookie John Gibson will puck-stop for the Ducks, while Ondrej Pavelec and Michael Hutchinson will divide duties for the Jets.

Will the Chicago Blackhawks maintain their playoff dominance?

The Blackhawks have earned a seat at the playoff table for the seventh straight season under head coach Joel Quenneville. During their

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remarkable run of dominance, they’ve won the Stanley Cup twice (in 2010 and 2013) and reached the Western Conference Finals two other times (in 2009 and 2014). In a déjà vu of 2010, the Blackhawks’ first-round foe is the Nashville Predators, returning to the playoffs after missing out on the tournament last season. The Blackhawks dispatched the Predators in six games in 2010, but this year’s Predators are a much more complete threat, evidenced by the fact that they finished the season with two more points (104) than the Blackhawks, a feat that will award them home-ice advantage in the series. For the Blackhawks, success will hinge - as always - on the team’s ability to keep the puck moving north and getting their defencemen to join the rush. The offensive push will be led by the usual suspects - captain Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa and Antoine Vermette - although the team boasts one of the most potent three-four punches in hockey courtesy of their third and fourth lines. Their net-threat will be dampened slightly by the absence of right-winger Patrick Kane, who’s still recovering from a broken clavicle but is projected to return to play at some point in the opening round, and you can expect Predators captain Shea Weber and his fellow defenders to exert heavy coverage on Toews and company. The series promises to be a classic offenseversus-defence war of attrition, and the winner will likely be the team that manages to maximise their strengths at the expense of their opponents’.

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The American

Why Isn’t America Done with Racism? I

f we know that race (and its evil cousin racism) are ‘social constructs’ – why do we persist in building and shoring up the constructs that support the practice, asks Alison Homes? Like Katrina and its aftermath, the name Ferguson, Missouri, has become a watchword for racism in America today where, under the talk of a post racial society, lies what appears to be a country that is far from post racist. In higher education specifically, this accusation has been recently highlighted by two events, one at the University of Virginia and the other at the University of Oklahoma. The first incident at UVA involved a town police officer arresting a black honor student using what appeared to be excessive force. The second involved videos capturing students at a fraternity event shouting racist chants. In some ways the second incident is more clear-cut from the perspective of the university in that the campus (though undoubtedly to be protested at length) had sole jurisdiction and is arguably more interesting given that the university’s president is David Boren - a former governor of Oklahoma and US Senator for 15 years known for his creation of scholarships for students studying foreign languages, support for studying abroad and depth of international programming at his university. Bearing that fact in mind, it becomes less surprising that, unlike many university or even

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local spokespeople in similar circumstances, his immediate actions and statements sounded more like they came from his days on a soap box or speaking from a bully pulpit than a spokesperson in the PC world of higher ed. One of the longest serving chairmen of the Senate Intelligence committee, he surely knew from the outset there would be many legal battles over whatever he did, but Boren wasted no time expelling the students, calling them racists and closing the fraternity, saying they were not welcome and would not be back as long as he was president. It is the reactions to these events; from the community, the university hierarchy and particularly the students themselves that speak about race and racism in America more than the events themselves ever could. They tell us more because they speak to the frame we have given the discussion on race in the United States and particularly on university campuses which, one could be led to believe listening to these discussions, is unlike anywhere else in the world. Race is a social construct, but as in so many areas Americans tend to think that how they frame the issue - any issue - is universal. The American insistence on the applicability of its own exceptionalism to the rest of the world knows few bounds - a view encouraged by the fact that Ferguson found fellow protestors as far away as Port Harcourt, Nige-

ria. However, neither history nor politics supports such a universalist approach to race. This is not to suggest that there aren’t themes or policy approaches that can be examined across countries, regions and even hemispheres, and the evolution of race has gone through at least three stages. The first is the relatively straightforward tension between races as a basis for a nation, or the converse view that nations can make a new race or identity. This biological vs political view of race has played out throughout time as empires both ancient and modern struggled with the building process through force or integration. The second stage was based on the argument that both of these approaches were without foundation and then morphed into the third phase and the growth of the use of ethnic and ethnic identity in an effort to avoid the now negative connotation of race. The policy implications produced by these concepts can be broadly termed either multicultural or assimilationist in approach, with different countries taking very different views. If presented in the most favorable light, both could be supported as part of a government attempt to create social cohesion and political space for communities other than their own. For example, the UK has relied on a multicultural approach that tried to engage groups and create stakes for each in the wider society. Unfortunately,

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this only served to divide interest groups and produced power struggles, evidenced in the riots of 2005. In contrast, France has pursued an assimilationist policy that attempted a form of color blindness, but only succeeded in being blind to racism. The United States, and particularly higher education, was once a place of both forced and voluntary assimilation. This was clearly not conducive to an inclusive environment for students, but is now shifting to a form of limited multiculturalism; multicultural in that, by undertaking important efforts to redress the traditional imbalance between different groups able to take advantage of education, universities track ‘diversity’; limited in that this kind of diversity does not embrace all difference equally or even take into account the variety of difference, but only the diversity that meets institutional definitions. Asians are not diverse. International students from whatever background are not diverse. Only under-represented minorities ‘count’ and more to the problem, but in keeping with notions of trying to privilege diversity through multiculturalism, students are given more (or fewer) resources and support by virtue of their identity, often as determined by the university not the students themselves. Effectively, multiculturalism ends at the boundary of their identity or minority status and ethnic and cultural boxes are built and reinforced to produce what Amartya Sen called ‘plural monoculturalism’, reifying a specific form of identity when we clearly know that the social construction process is constant. Policy solidifies fragmentation and isolation while resources and benefits accrued through identity


University of Oklahoma President and former governor of Oklahoma, David Boren in 2008

create competition and rivalry. Thus, it is the reactions to key events that give us better clues as to the current face of race or identity in American life. Students who identify with the person at the center protesting; other students, not of the group, but seeking to place themselves alongside the perceived target group; leaders and parents seeking to maintain calm, while appealing to the wider/social media/internet audience; those in authority wanting to maintain authority while also identifying with the perceived victims. The fracturing along group and identity lines, the irony being that there are no ‘lines’, only an endlessly shifting sense of what are and are not ‘valued’ aspects of a culture and only so far as such features coincide or intersect with our interests. Being a native of Oklahoma - but making no claim whatsoever that being an Oklahoman is to belong to a ‘race’ - it was nevertheless sadly predictable to me that the reaction to the incident at OU was: ‘What do you expect? It’s Oklahoma’ only to be followed by the even more

depressing observation that people seemed genuinely surprised by President Boren’s strong reaction. Racism is a social construct based on stereotype and ignorance. As long as we continue to build structures in higher education that reinforce division and conflict rather than supporting cooperation and mutually reinforcing forms of identity we will find that there can be no post racial society - only students confused and embittered by a system that does not understand or respond to their needs. Dr. Alison Holmes is Asst. Professor of International Studies and Politics at Humboldt State University, CA. She lived in the UK for over 20 years and worked at the BBC, ran BritishAmerican Business in London and was speechwriter to the US Ambassador. A PhD in International Relations from the LSE, she has been an Associate Fellow at the Rothermere American Institute at Oxford, a Churchill Memorial Trust History Fellow and the Transatlantic Studies Fellow at Yale.

May 2015 51

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UK Election 2015: Worcester’s View

Sir Robert Worcester, the founder of MORI and a Kansas City-born expert on UK and US politics, looks at the state of play as the General Election looms


he British election is coming to the half way point as this is being written, and it’s just what it’s been for months, a muddle. The country and financial markets around the world are focussing on Scotland, which is where the action is, with Scottish voters likely to be the ‘kingmaker’ of who will take possession of the keys to No. 10 Downing Street: David Cameron returning, or Ed Miliband? Or perhaps, the Liberal Democrats? Or, a combination of all or any of the parties who elect a Member of Parliament on May 7th? The tables summarise the state of play. Table one, the national polls which show that YouGov in The Sunday Times 12 April, has the two principal parties at 34% each, while Opinium in the Observer shows a two point Conservative lead. These are not statistically different. Nor are the leads in any other polling firm’s. This strengthens the ‘received wisdom’ that this is an election too close to call, and also that it is oddson to conclude with no party having an overall majority of MPs. There are 650 MPs representing some 42 million adults eligible to vote in United Kingdom elections. A majority of the House of Commons (defined at half plus one) is not 326 MPs but 323, as in Table 2, as five of them, representing Sinn Féin in Northern Ireland constituencies, do not take up their seats in Parliament.

52 May 2105

Turnout shows the percentage of people on the Electoral Role and thus eligible to vote in General Elections (Members of the House of Lords are not) who cast a ballot either by postal ballot or in a designated voting site. Turnout at recent elections has ranged between 59% to 64%. Because of the close contest, some expect turnout to be slightly higher this time. This is important when forecasting British elections, as in recent elections older voters’ votes (from 60 up) are ‘worth’ four times the youth (18-24 year olds) as there are twice as many of them, and they are twice as likely to vote. In these polls’ findings, the number saying they are ‘absolutely’ certain that they will turn out, is expected to be in the mid 60s. Table 2 reports the calculations

made by five different electoral models, all of which project a ‘hung parliament’, with no single party reaching the required 323 elected MPs to form a majority. They range from 264 to 289 wins for the Tories, and from 266 to 279 for Labour, and in Scotland for the Scottish National Party from 41 to 55 MPs. Their consistent forecast is not in doubt, a hung parliament. If these forecasts are correct, on the day after the election no party leader can go to the Palace and say that he or she can form a government, and so the horse trading begins. It took five days in 2005, it could take two weeks or longer this time. Table two goes on to show which party, the SNP or the Liberal Democrats can ‘do a deal’ with first the sitting Prime Minister’s party, in

Table 1 GB




06 April

07 April










08 April

10 April

10 April




AVERAGE 6-11 April






























































Table 2 Forecasts


Elect’s Etc

El. Forecast








Hung Par.

Hung Par.

Hung Par.

Hung Par.

Hung Par.

Hung Par.

Hung Par.
















































SNP Party Lead 12-Apr Forecast Short Forecast
































































-12 15 -35 -8

-13 0 -20 -7

-32 -4 -18 10

-23 1 -23 1

-31 -4 -18 9









Analysis by Sir Robert Worcester

N.B. The Conservatives in the UK are shown in blue, Labour in red

SNP Leader, Nicola Sturgeon

this case the Conservatives. While the LibDems won’t have sufficient Members to support the Tories, one forecaster has suggested that David Cameron could shoulder on for another five years with the support of the SNP. The snag? The SNP say there are no circumstances in which they could support a Tory Government. On the other hand, with SNP support, Labour could. Things are clearing, as they do in this country of short actual election periods (around 21 to 30 days, unlike the USA’s nine weeks). For the past three years I’ve been saying that it looks like a hung Parliament result in 2015, no one party with a majority, and not likely to be a coalition either, with another election following within a year. It is difficult to match egos, ‘redlined’ policies and the numbers to add up to a 323 MP overall majority. The result, only ‘easy’ legislation will get through, and a Labour Government would be forced to lurch to the ‘old Labour’ left. Or the Conservatives would get their ‘soft balls’ through while straddling the pulls from the left (LibDems) and the right (UKIP) and try to meet the

Northern Irish DUP’s asks. I said at the Liberal Democrats’ Party Conference in Glasgow in 2013 that from 57 seats in 2010 the LibDem’s “bad news” would be they’d get 25 to 30 seats. A year later, in 2014 also in Glasgow, the audience appreciated the irony when I told them in October 2014 that the “good news” was that they’d get... 25 to 30 seats. My views haven’t changed and in researching others’ forecasts, all but one now agrees. I also said then, at all three conferences, that UKIP would be lucky to get as much as 9% share and five seats. My best guess was 8% and three seats; now that their candidate in Folkestone & Hythe (among others) has disappeared in a puff of smoke, that may have been overly optimistic, although recent polls have UKIP at over 10, and some as high as 15. I also forecast the outcome of the Scottish Referendum two years out at the three party conferences. In 2013 I said 44% yes / 56% no. In 2014 I said the same. When it happened, I was just a point out. It was 45% / 55%. I’d have demanded a recount - if I could.

The Debate

The results of the ‘7 dwarfs debate’ was much misreported. The Daily Telegraph’s splash was “Miliband flops as outsiders shine” on the basis of YouGov’s ‘poll ratings’ of Sturgeon’s 28%, Farage’s 20%, Cameron’s 17%, Miliband’s 15% , Clegg’s 10 %, Bennett’s 5, Wood 4%. The Times’ headline was “Enter the outsiders”, although they were only talking about two: Sturgeon (SNP) and Farage (UKIP), as both Bennett (Greens) and Wood (PC) crashed. But The Guardian didn’t agree: its headline read “Labour buoyed as Miliband edges Cameron in snap poll.” Its blog said “Average of all four polls suggests Cameron and Miliband joint winners”, and came out with “Five things we’ve learnt: 1 – No one really ‘won’, 2 – Miliband does seem to be rated as a credible prime minister, 3 – Nicola Sturgeon’s appeal goes way beyond Scotland, 4 – Nigel Farage is outperforming his party (no surprise there), 5 – Nick Clegg, Natalie Bennett and Leanne Wood failed to make an impact.” I watched the whole debate and

May 2105 53

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ranked the leaders using marks out of seven based on six ratings: opening statement, economy, health, immigration, education, young people, and closing statement. (I claim no political bias, of course.) With a perfect score of 42, I rated the leaders as follows: Nigel Farage (UKIP) 38 (oozing confidence, brazen, people’s man); Nicola Sturgeon (SNP), 36, (articulate, clear, knowledgeable); Nick Clegg (LibDem) 34 (cheerful, but too aggressive at times); David Cameron (Tory) 32 (reserved, well rehearsed, but little passion); Ed Miliband (Labour) 32 (eager, overly direct, used same phrases too often and ‘the men with staring eyes’ comes back to me from the 1975 EEC Referendum); Leanne Wood (PC) 30 (Unsure and out of depth, 14 times glancing at her notes on one question); Natalie Bennett (Greens) 26 (shaky, on one question looked down at her notes 17 times, including when naming the countries within the UK). YouGov tested their panel on each of the four topics, finding a wide variety of ‘winners’. Cameron led his closest competitor on the Economy with 33%, 22% for Miliband. On Health, Miliband scored 25% to Cameron’s 20%. On Immigration, Farage 41%, Sturgeon 12%, and on Education Miliband 22%, Cameron 19%. Interestingly, Nicola was ranked in either second or third place on all four. Adding the scores, Cameron won narrowly with 83 points to Miliband’s 79, Farage 71, Sturgeon 62, Clegg lagging with 40, Bennett 22 and Wood the wooden spoon, only 17.

The Unicorn Hypothesis

In doing the research for this article, and thinking about my Sunday morning psychologising for

54 May 2105

BBC Scotland for the next six weeks, I’m scouring the net for useful data and analysis to get a ‘little help from my friends’. I’d like to share my take on the best sources of internet site coverage of this election. My first tip is May2015 (, A ‘zingo’ slick website, fairly well up to date, done with political nous, especially as it’s aligned with an American consultancy. The second is Dr. Mark Pack ( Pack has been collecting all the opinion polls from every recognised polling organisation since 1945. One of his (serious) blogs is ‘The myth about 1 million people being wiped off electoral register: it’s not true’. His writing style is anything but ‘academic’, but substantial in content, as this opening to his latest writing, complete with a unicorn picture, indicates: “This is a unicorn. It is as real as the ‘ 1 million voters wiped off electoral registers’ figure. One thing I’m sure about is that stories about 1 million voters being lost (wiped out/obliterated/exterminated, pick your word of choice depending on editorial leanings and tabloid nature of publication) are false. “And the truth? Nobody knows. “Rather, the one million statistic is another of those cases that shows the stultifying conformity and metoo-ism of much of the media and politics, where everyone is confined to a tiny island of half-knowledge that gets transmuted into false claims without anyone venturing out more widely to discover the truth.” These sites carry on from the very useful www2.politicalbetting. com and www.ukpollingreport., the former from Mike Smithson, the latter, Anthony Wells, have been holding forth for years.


The polls had varying results, but there are common themes, one of which is Nicola Sturgeon’s performance: impressive for someone whose party is not standing across the whole UK. She did not bang on about independence. She made the case for a strong set of SNP MPs at Westminster and positioned her party as one with an alternative agenda to ‘Westminster austerity’, something which appears to have chimed with many respondents. The polls show the closeness between Miliband and Cameron, but also how badly the Green’s Natalie Bennett came across. Her performance was not terrible, there were no massive car crash mistakes, but she failed to impress. Just being there was a win for Plaid Cymru’s Leanne Wood. Plaid’s representation in Wales is nowhere near the same extent as the SNP’s in Scotland so her performance will help get the message out there. The polls do not tell us who will win the election, and the debate will not change the course of history, but it may all have an impact on some voters. The seven-way debate was a first and will likely continue in elections to come. I’ve been saying that our next book in the Explaining series* might well be titled Explaining Why Nobody Won. That just about sums up the result of the leaders’ debate, everything in the campaign since, and what may well be the outcome on 7 May: a muddle. * Explaining Labour’s Landslide (Worcester & Mortimore, 1997), Explaining Labour’s Landslip (Worcester & Mortimore, 2001), Explaining Labour’s Landslip (Worcester, Mortimore & Baines, 2005) and Explaining Cameron’s Coalition (Worcester, Mortimore and Baines, 2010)


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58 May 2015

Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States Commander: Ernest Paolucci, 00 33 (0) 24, rue Gerbert, 75015 Paris, France

Reserve Officers Association London Col. B.V. Balch, USAR, 72 Westmoreland Road, Barnes, London SW13 9RY

British Patton Historical Society Kenn Oultram 01606 891303

Joint RAF Alconbury/Molesworth Retiree Affairs Office 423, ABG/RAO, Unit 5623, RAF Alconbury, Huntingdon, Cambs., PE28 4DE, 01480 843364 (Tues only 10:30-14:30)

Marine Corps League Detachment 1088, London, England. Commandant Mike Allen, Creek Cottage, 2 Pednormead End, Old Chesham, Buckinghamshire HP5 2JS

Navy League of the United States, United Kingdom Council Council President: Steven G. Franck

Bentwaters/Woodbridge Retirees’ Association President: Wylie Moore. 2 Coldfair Close, Knodishall, Saxmundham, Suffolk, IP17 1UN. 01728 830281

USNA Alumni Association UK Chapter Pres: LCDR Tim Fox ’97, Vice Pres: Miguel Sierra ’90, M’ship: Bart O’Brien ’98, Secretary: Matt Horan ’87,

Military Officers’ Association of America

American Overseas Memorial Day Association To remember and honor the memory of those who gave their lives in World War I and II, whose final resting places are in Europe.,

Madingley American Cemetery Cambridge The American Battle Monuments Commission Madingley Road, Coton, Cambridge CB23 7PH 01954-210350

Joint RAF Mildenhall/Lakenheath Retiree Affairs Office Co-Directors Dick Good & Jack Kramer Unit 8965, Box 30, RAF Mildenhall, Bury St. Edmonds, Suffolk, IP28 8NF 01638 542039

Retired Affairs Office, RAF Alconbury Serving Central England POC: Rex Keegan Alt. POC: Mike Depasquale 423 SVS/RAO, Unit 5585, Box 100, RAF Alconbury, Huntingdon, Cambs PE28 4DA. 01480 84 3364/3557 Office Hours: Tuesday and Friday, 10:30am–2:30pm Emergency no. 07986 887905

Benjamin Franklin House 36 Craven Street, London WC2N 5NF. 020 7839 2006

Boston University – London Graduate Programs Office 43 Harrington Gardens, London SW7 4JU. 020 7244 6255,

2nd Air Division Memorial Library The Forum, Norwich, Norfolk, NR2 1AW 01603 774747

British American Educational Foundation Laurel Zimmermann, Executive Director BAEF, 520 Summit Avenue, Oradell, NJ 07649 USA (201) 2614438

USAF Retiree Activities Office Director: Paul G Gumbert, CMSgt (USAF), Ret 422 ABG/CVR, Unit 5855, PSC 50, Box 3 RAF Croughton, Northants NN13 5XP 01280 708182

BUNAC Student Exchange Employment Program - Director: Callum Kennedy, 16 Bowling Green Lane, London EC1R 0QH. 020 7251 3472

US Merchant Marine Academy (Kings Point) UK Chapter President: Allison Bennett, Facebook: Kings Point Alumni - London/United Kingdom

Butler University, Institute for Study Abroad 21 Pembridge Gardens, London W2 4EB 020 7792 8751

The American

Centre Academy London 92 St John’s Hill, Battersea, London SW11 1SH Tel: 02077382344,

Harlaxton College UK Campus, University of Evansville, Harlaxton Manor, Grantham, Lincs. NG32 1AG. 01476 403000 Huron University USA in London 46-47 Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 4JP Tel +44 (0) 20 7636 5667

Centre Academy East Anglia Church Rd, Brettenham, Ipswich, Suffolk IP7 7QR Tel: 01449736404

Institute for the Study of the Americas Director: Professor James Dunkerley. Tel 020 7862 8879

Central Bureau for Educational Visits Director: Peter Upton, The British Council , 10 Spring Gardens, London SW1A 2BN, 020 7389 4004. Wales 029 2039 7346. Scotland 0131 447 8024.

International School of Aberdeen 296 North Deeside Rd, Milltimber, Aberdeen, AB13 0AB 01224 732267

Council on International Educational Exchange Dr. Michael Woolf, 52 Portland Street, London WIV 1JQ Tel 020 7478 2000

International School of London 139 Gunnersbury Avenue, London W3 8LG. 020 8992 5823,

Ditchley Foundation Ditchley Park, Enstone, Chipping Norton, Oxon OX7 4ER Tel 01608 677346

International School of London in Surrey Old Woking Road, Woking GU22 8HY, 01483 750409,

Dwight School London Formerly North London International School 6 Friem Barnet Lane, London N11 3LX 020 8920 0600

Ithaca College London Centre 35 Harrington Gardens, London SW7. Tel. 020 7370 1166

European Council of International Schools Executive Director: Jean K Vahey Fourth Floor, 146 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 9TR 020 7824 7040

Marymount International School, London Headmistress: Ms Sarah Gallagher George Road, Kingston upon Thames, KT2 7PE 020 8949 0571

European-Atlantic Group PO Box 37431, London N3 2XP 020 8632 9253

Missouri London Study Abroad Program 32 Harrington Gardens, London SW7 4JU. 020 7373 7953.

Florida State University London Study Centre Administrative Director: Kathleen Paul 99 Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3LH. 020 7813 3233 Fordham University London Centre Academic Coordinator: Sabina Antal 23 Kensington Square, London W8 5HQ 020 7937 5023 Fulbright (US-UK Educational) Commission Dir. of Advisory Service: Lauren Welch Battersea Power Station, 188 Kirtling Street, London SW8 5BN 020 7498 4010 Halcyon London International School Co-educational International Baccalaureate (IB). 33 Seymour Place, London W1H 5AU +44 (0)20 7258 1169 ,

Regent’s University London Inner Circle, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4NS. 020 7486 9605.

Richmond, The American International University in London Queen’s Road, Richmond-upon Thames TW10 6JP Tel: +44 20 8332 9000, Schiller International University Royal Waterloo House, 51-55 Waterloo Road, London SE1 8TX. Tel. 020 7928 1372 Schiller International, Wickham Court School Layhams Road, West Wickham, Kent BR4 9HW. Tel 0208 777 2942,

Sotheby’s Institute of Art Postgraduate Art studies, plus day /evening courses 30 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3EE Tel: 0207 462 3232, Southbank International Schools Kensington and Hampstead for 3-11 year olds; Westminster campuses for 11-18 year olds. 020 7243 3803, Syracuse University London Program Faraday House, 48-51 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AE, TASIS England, American School Coldharbour Lane, Thorpe, Nr. Egham, Surrey TW20 8TE. 01932 565252, UKCISA - Council for International Education 9-17 St. Albans Place, London N1 0NX 020 7354 5210 University of Notre Dame London Program 1 Suffolk Street, London SW1Y 4HG 020 7484 7811, Warnborough University International Office, Friars House, London SE1 8HB. Tel 020 7922 1200 Webster Graduate Studies Center Regent’s College, Regent’s Park, Inner Circle, London NW1 4NS, UK. 020 7487 7505, Wroxton College Study Abroad with Fairleigh Dickinson University, Wroxton, Nr. Banbury, Oxfordshire OX15 6PX 01295 730551,

ALUMNI ASSOCIATIONS Alliant International University (formerly United States International University) England Chapter Alumni Association Chapter President: Eric CK Chan c/o Regents College London, Inner Circle, Regents Park, London, UK. Amherst College Bob Reichert, Andover/Abbot Association of London Jeffrey Hedges ‘71, President 07968 513 631, Association of MBAs Leo Stemp, Events Administrator Tel 020 7837 3375 (ext. 223),

May 2015 59

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Babson College Frank de Jongh Swemer, 020 7932 7514 Barnard College Club Hiromi Stone, President. 0207 935 3981, Berkeley Club of London Geoff Kertesz groups/223876564344656/ Boston College Alumni Club UK Craig Zematis, President +44 7717 878968 chapters/home.jsp?chapter=41&org=BTN Boston University Alumni Association of the UK Will Straughn, Snr International Development Officer, University Development and Alumni Relations, 43 Harrington Gardens, Kensington, London SW7 4JU 020 7244 2908 020 7373 7411 Brandeis Alumni Club of Great Britain Joan Bovarnick, President Brown University Club of the United Kingdom President: Tugba Erem. Communication: Patrick Attie Alumni Club & Liaison: Vanessa Van Hoof Brown Club UK, Box 57100, London, EC1P 1RB Bryn Mawr Club Lady Quinton, President. Wendy Tiffin, Secretary/Treasurer, 52 Lansdowne Gardens, London SW8 2EF Claremont Colleges Alumni in London Hadley Beeman, Colgate Club of London Stephen W Solomon ‘76, President 0207 349 0738 Columbia Business School Alumni Club of London 6 Petersham Mews, London SW7 5NR Columbia University Club of London Cornell Club of London Dartmouth College Club of London

60 May 2015

Delta Kappa Gamma Society International,

NYU Alumni Club in London Jodi Ekelchik, President

Delta Sigma Pi Business Fraternity London Alumni Chapter. Ashok Arora, P O Box 1110, London W3 7ZB 020 8423 8231,

NYU STERN UK Alumni Club

Delta Zeta International Sorority Alumna Club Sunny Eades 01543 490 312

Ohio University Alumni UK & Ireland Frank Madden, 01753 855 360

Duke University Club of England, regional-programs/groups/london

Penn Alumni Club of the UK w home.jsp?chapter=4&org=UPN

Emory University Alumni Chapter of the UK Matthew Williams, Chapter Leader 079 8451 4119,

Penn State Alumni Association

Georgetown Alumni Club Alexa Fernandez, ,

The London Association of Phi Beta Kappa @phibetakappaldn

Gettysburg College Alumni London Britt-Karin Oliver,

Princeton Association (UK)

Harvard Business School Club of London

Rice Alumni of London Kathy Wang 07912 560 177 a,

Harvard Club of the United Kingdom, Indiana University Alumni club of England

Skidmore College Alumni Club, London w

KKG London Alumnae Association w

Smith College Club of London

LMU Loyola Marymount Alumni Club London Alumni Relations: 310.338.4574

Stanford Business School Alumni Assn. UK overview/?group_id=0038990048

Marymount University Alumni UK Chapter President: Mrs Suzanne Tapley, 35 Park Mansions, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7QT. 020 7581 3742 MIT Club of Great Britain Mount Holyoke Club of Britain Notre Dame Club of London

Syracuse University Alumni UK Texas Tech Alumni Association - London Chapter Scott Dewar 077754 35877 Texas Exes UK (UKTE) England: Carra Kane 0778 660 7534 Scotland: Corey Cripe

The American

Texas A&M Club London The John Adams Society Tufts - London Tufts Alliance UConn Alumni Association UMass Alumni Club UK President, Renu Singh, University of California 020 7079 0567 University of Chicago Alumni Association, w University of Chicago Booth Alumni Association President: University of Colorado Alumni University of Georgia Alumni Association 07919 057 538 chapters/london_chapter

US Merchant Marine Academy (Kings Point) Alumni UK Chapter Facebook: Kings Point Alumni - London/United Kingdom USNA Alumni Association, UK Chapter President: Tim Fox ‘97 Facebook - USNA Alumni Association, UK Chapter Vassar College Club Sara Hebblethwaite, President 020 8788 6910 Warnborough Worldwide Alumni Association 01227 762 107 Washington University UK Alumni Club Steven Leof, Wellesley College Club wellesley_uk_club Wharton Alumni Club of the UK 020-7447-8800 Williams Club of Great Britain Ethan Kline:, alumni., Yale Club of London President, Secretary

University of Illinois Alumni Club of the UK Amy Barklam BUS 1994, President, 07796 193 466

Zeta Tau Alpha Alumnae Kristin Morgan 07812 580949

University of North Carolina Alumni Club


University of Michigan Alumni Association 0788-784-0941, University of Rochester/Simon School UK Alumni Association Julie Bonne, 0118-956-5052,,

American Civil War Round Table (UK) Civil War historical soc., Southern Skirmish Association (SoSkan) The oldest American Civil War Re-enacting Society outside the USA.


University of Southern California, USC Alumni Club of London Walter Ladwig, President

American Actors UK 07873 371 891

University of Virginia Alumni Club of London 020 7368 8473

Savio(u)r Theatre Company Britain’s American theatre company

SPORTS English Lacrosse Wenlock Way, Manchester M12 5DH 0843 658 5006 British Baseball Federation / SoftballUK 5th Floor, Ariel House, 74a Charlotte Street, London W1T 4QJ 020 7453 7055 British Morgan Horse Society 01981 500488 Ice Hockey UK 02920 263 441 Infinity Elite Cheerleading (founded by CAC) 077 9132 0115 Herts Baseball Club Adult & Little League Baseball Lakenheath Barracudas Swim Club Open to all military affiliated families. LondonSports American flag football, baseball, basketball and soccer, boys/girls, 4-15 all nationalities, new or experienced players. London Warriors American Football Club

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May 2015 61

The American To find out whether you’re eligible to advertise your products and services here, and for rates, call Sabrina Sully on +44 (0)1747 830520. You’ll reach Americans living in and visiting the UK as well as Britons who like American culture and products. Jaffe & Co., incorp. American Tax International



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Comprehensive tax preparation and compliance service for US expatriates inbytheBruce UK and Europe. Established in 1981 and managed L Jaffe, BA JD, we provide a full range of US UK tax services for US America House, 54 and Hendon Lane, London N3expatriates 1TT residing in the UK and have over 55 years of cumulative 020 8346 5237 experience preparing tax returns for US taxpayers. daniel@jaff Please contact us today to see how we can help you. & Relis LLC 0 2 0 8 3 4 6- Koutoulas 5237 54 Hendon Lane, London N3 1TT

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Certified Public Accountants specializing in tax planning and preparation, retirement planning and consulting for American expatriates and foreign nationals. Also offer a program to assist human resource professionals in serving the needs of the their expat employees. 1776 N. Pine Island Road, Suite 316, Plantation, Florida, USA 33322 +1 954-332-1345

Montage Services, Inc.

For all your US tax needs in Europe: individual & corporate, international & domestic. Offices in San Francisco, Houston, London, Toronto and Berlin. 020 3004 6353

62 May 2015

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Tax & Accounting Hub


H&R Block Expat Tax Services

One H&R Block Way, Kansas City, MO 64105 USA 1-816-504-1665 Our secure, remote service has a dedicated team which includes CPAs, enrolled agents, and tax attorneys, who focus on expat taxes and can handle all types of U.S. tax returns, including FATCA and FBAR.

For Stress, Anxiety, Depression Insomnia, Sleeping Disorders, IBS, Panic Attacks, Fears & Phobias, IVF, Natural Childbirth, OCD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Stop Smoking, Pain Control, Weight Management, Sport Motivation, Anger Management, and more Seymour Place, London W1 and Bath 07944 647 978

Bow Lane Dental Group

Professional service at affordable prices. Fixed fee U.S. Expatriate tax preparation service in London. Federal/ State, Foreign bank account/IRS audits response 152 Burford Wharf, 3 Cam Road, London, E15 2SS +44 (0)20 3286 6445. M: +44 (0)79 1439 3183

For all you and your families dental needs visit the award winning Bow Lane Dental Group in the City of London. We have been making the City smile since 2001. 020 7236 3600

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Penningtons Manches LLP

Independent education consultancy that works with families on school and university search. 50 Scholars Drive, Penylan, Cardiff CF23 9FE 02920 214424


Family, international private wealth, immigration and residential property teams advise international families and expatriates on relocation, wealth management, tax, immigration and all aspects of family law. Abacus House, 33 Gutter Lane, London EC2V 8AR T: +44 (0) 20 7457 3000 F: +44 (0) 20 7457 3240 @penningtonslaw


Notting Hill Gate Branch: 49 Cottesmore Court, Stanford Road, London W8 5QW 07511-895090

VISAS & IMMIGRATION US Visa Solutions - Law Office of Janice A. Flynn


Tanager Wealth Management LLP

108 Medical Chambers

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108 Medical Chambers is a leading Consultant led and delivered independent out-patient and diagnostic centre with clinical teams specialising in breast disease, dermatology, groins and hernia surgery, colo-rectal problems, sports injuries and thyroid and ENT problems. 0207 563 1234


Rolando Luci

US-licensed immigration lawyers advising on US citizenship, green cards, visa and US entry issues. Honest, straightforward advice and a high level of bespoke service. Third Floor, 6 & 7 Hatton Garden, London EC1N 8AD UK +44 (0)20 7092 6830 US +1 (312) 361-0581 Twitter: FlynnUSVisaLaw

WEDDING PLANNING Extraordinary Days Events

Edward Young LLP Edward Young LLP (inc. Kober-Smith & Associates) is a full practice Notary Public in London. We can solve your problems. Full notary service. 9 Carlos Place London W1K 3AT (nr US Embassy) Appointment only. 00 44(0)20 7499 2605

Luxury lighting, including American brands, some unique to the UK 01778 218121

Coffee Break Answers


















































































An American wedding planner in London creating elegant, sophisticated, and unique weddings in England. Bespoke services ranging from full service planning to day-of coordination. 020 7433 0300

1.b) Korean War; 2. c) Paul Newman; 3. b) 1982; 4. a) Sir Charles Chaplin (for the soundtrack of his 1936 movie Modern Times); 5. c) Mexico City; 6. Nevada; 7. a) Herbert Hoover, who with his wife Lou learnt it when living in Tianjin, China as a mining engineer. They often subsequently conversed in it for privacy, including in The White House; 8. Howler Monkey; 9. a) skateboarding – the International Skateboarding Championships were held at La Palma Stadium, Anaheim, California; 10. McDonalds (Happy Birthday Ronald!); 11. Babe Ruth; 12. A train robbery – The Great North Bend Train Robbery of 1865. About a dozen men tore up tracks to derail an Ohio & Mississippi train that had departed from Cincinnati. More than 100 passengers were robbed at gunpoint of cash and jewelry. The robbers then blew open 3 onboard safes said to contain over $30,000 in U.S. Bonds. The robbers were pursued but never caught. Frank and Jesse James were suspected, but it’s more likely it was Confederate soldiers fleeing the South. May 2015 September 2013 63

The American

Coffee Break QUIZ ➊

The word ‘brainwashing’ was first coined during which war? a) WWII b) Korean War c) The American Revolution

Which US actor once podiumed in second place at the Le Mans 24-hour Race? a) Lee Marvin b) Steve McQueen c) Paul Newman

CDs first became commercially available in October of which year? a) 1978 b) 1982 c) 1984

Which English ‘Sir’ wrote the music of Nat King Cole’s hit song ‘Smile’? a) Charles Chaplin b) Michael Tippett c) Paul McCartney

Which city has the largest taxi fleet in the world? a) New York b) Mumbai c) Mexico City?

➏ ➐

Area 51 is in which US State?

Found in Central and South America, what is the (appropriate) name of the loudest land animal in the world?

Which 20th century US President could speak fluent Mandarin Chinese?

6 9

6 9

May 22nd-23rd, 1965: The first ever championship of which leisure sport is held? a) skateboarding b) windsurfing c) water skiing?


9 5 7

2 8 5 4 6 3 5 1 6 7 2 3 8 It happened 75 years ago...

May 15th, 1940: A new restaurant opens in San Bernadino, California – the first of which chain?

May 6th, 1915: Which Baseball player hits his first career home run (off Jack Warhop), for the Boston Red Sox?

It happened 100 years ago...

It happened 50 years ago...

2 1 4 3 8 1 2

It happened 150 years ago...

May 5th, 1865: In North Bend, Cincinnati, Ohio, the first United States ‘what’ takes place?

Quiz answers and Sudoku solution on page 63.

64 May 2015

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The American May 2015 Issue 743  

The American has been published for Americans in Britain since 1976. It's also for Brits who like American culture.

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