It’s Rugby World Cup time, and across the land men and women are squeezing themselves into long forgotten rugby jerseys and practicing ‘Shosholoza’ in the shower. For the next few weeks, lounges all over the country will be governed by men holding beers telling annoyed partners (who are missing their favourite show, again) that they could have worn the green and gold “if only the old knee hadn’t packed in”.

In France, meanwhile, when not watching England get kicked out early (here’s hoping), thousands of fans will spend their time ordering something at a restaurant and being presented with something else entirely. The French are reputedly awful to foreigners, particularly those walking around with maps, moonbags and cameras and pointing at all the obvious buildings. And, what’s more, a lot of them don’t even speak English. I know, so rude. I spent the best part of an afternoon in Paris trying to order food, only to resort to drawing a picture of the sandwich I wanted. Apparently I draw tomatoes like potatoes and lettuce like cheese because, although strangely tasty, a cheese and potato baguette was not what I had in mind. (It must be said that after an hour of pleading I’d probably have enjoyed wool and bolts on toast).

So, about the rugby. I too could have been at the World Cup if it weren’t for an injury I sustained in high school – far worse than a torn ligament or a dislocated joint, mine was an incurable mental ailment that came about when I realised I wasn’t very good. You just can’t come back from that. There is one person who would disagree, but, sadly, my mom is not one of the Springbok selectors. She might do a better job than a few selectors have in the past, mind you.

This year, the pre-tournament talk is mostly about the quota system and whether or not Jake White should be sacked for effectively showing the two fingered salute to the Powers That Be and choosing fewer players “of colour” than was expected. If it is a rule at parties to refrain from getting drunk and talking about politics, then it is one even more enforceable in

editorials for Extra Virgin, so we shall politely reserve judgement.We would like to hear what you think, though, so email us. We’re the guy who throws a glass into the middle of a bar and then folds his arms to watch the ensuing mayhem while shrugging his shoulders and claiming to have had no part in it.

But back to my curtailed rugby career. Not interested? You haven’t even heard about the time I got man of the match for the U 14Cs against Rondebosch. Or the side-step that…ok, ok, I’m stopping. Be like that. I’ll tell you what’s in this month’s Extra Virgin instead. We talk to Cheri MacNeil, lead singer of the uber-cool band Harris Tweed about SAMA nominations, American tours and why she likes to make out to music by a guy named Willy. Elsewhere, we review new releases from Interpol, Paul Simon and Bruce Springsteen, a new film from the Crazy Monkey crew and wander the night markets in Seoul, Korea. There’s a story about an alien fish called Jimmy in our Environment feature and, to cap it all off, we suggest how best to waste (ahem, we mean “intelligently invest”) your money betting on the World Cup.

The Editor

Local indie pop band Harris Tweed’s lead singer reflects on a year in which the band has visited America, flooded the charts at home and been nominated for a SAMA award, and tells us she plans to release her evil side at age 78.

How big a deal was being nominated for the SAMA?

It’s a good feeling to know that they respect the work we've done. In the end, it's all about what 'the people' think, even if that is a cliché! It all depends on who was judging, but whichever way, it’s cool that they liked Harris Tweed.

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Click here to wish your friends a blooming spring day

By Arthur Christopher

Beneath the towering skyscrapers and flash hotels, Arthur Christopher, on his first trip to the Far Easy, finds the true magic of Seoul in the night markets and side-street restaurants.

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Our Love To Admire Interpol

Much has been said of the similarities between Interpol and Editors and, certainly, there is likeness in the baritone vocals, sharp guitars and gas-yourself-in-the-garage lyrics. Both bands released an album this year, and some competition was anticipated.

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The Essential Paul Simon Paul Simon

He’s often filed under ‘World Music’, but Paul Simon has always meant more to us South Africans than to, say, a Bulgarian audience. His collaboration with – and subsequent launch of – Ladysmith Black Mambazo on 1986’s ‘Graceland’ produced one of the most unforgettable albums of the decade.

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Live In Dublin Bruce Springsteen

Over 20 songs and no room for ‘Born in the USA’? Huh? It seems curious, but only to those who have never really understood Bruce Springsteen. When George Bush Snr. chose that track as his campaign anthem when it was released in the 80s, Springsteen baulked in horror.

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Footskating 101

First appearing in 30 second clips on MTV, the art of footskating has somehow excited its creators into stretching the gag into a 90-minute feature film. Vince (Rob Van Vuuren), a poor miner’s son, finds himself tasked with saving his grandmother’s lungs, his house from repossession and his entire town from an imminent mining explosion.

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Evan Almighty

This take on the story of Noah’s Ark finds Evan Baxter (Steve Carrell), who played the news anchor from Bruce Almighty, having to give up a career as a U.S. Congressman when God (Morgan Freeman) appears and requests the building of an Ark.

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Feeling brave enough to put R50 on Tonga for a semi-final? No, us neither. Here is a guide to the smart bets for the World Cup.

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Leonie Joubert explains how the story of an alien goldfish in Cape Town reminds us of how poorly the country has dealt with the invasion of alien vegetation.

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