Yellow Submarine

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The important bit first.

For the foreseeable future the following emails are working; volpe@talk21.com and adrian@volpesartoriale.com

The second one of these is where most of this drivel originates. It is written by me, and only me, I may borrow, I may beg and I may steal, but it does not originate from ‘bots’, although from what I can gather most of you appear to think this is where I talk out of!

The reasons why this has happened are also too mundane to burden you with. Meanwhile, please bear with me until volpe.adrian@talk21.com is working again. So anyone who has tried to contact me via this email, try one of the others please… ashes, phoenix and all that.

To business and beyond…

I am hoping that once the 15th June has arrived, there may be a way back for the shop. Until then, I will continue to be here, as always during the lockdown. Manning the battlements, moat filled with wine and the drawbridge up.

Over the next couple of weeks, I will try to outline my plans for re-opening if retail in any form is allowed. I will be following whatever guidelines our Government will impose and do my utmost to keep us all safe and sound.

All customers entering the premises will be required to take an eye test, walk a white line, covering their eyes, to avoid any confusion.

They used to stand four-square, and yet they were already looking for ‘The One’ who was to be next under the bus, even when the bus drivers have had more than enough to cope with. Politicians and the media lining up to see who they could nudge under the 24 bus as it weaves its way through Parliament Square and down Whitehall.

Ah, here he comes, rubbing his bleary eyes, step forward Mr Cummings… Knocked over by tumbleweed, before the bus could get there.

I imagine the chances are still greater that I will be knocked over by an angry cyclist, high on EPO in Regents Park, his Strava App will have him placed second, but he’s not Silver, he’s Gold through and through.

He will have been angry going into this crisis, and possibly, even more angry coming out of it. But he’s a winner, he knows that his drive, obsession and will to win will be what we need to take us forward when we come through, singlehandedly he is saving the world, sod the planet.

Perhaps if we joined up the hand-writing we could save the world and the planet.

We have all been affected.

Much as though people have expressed the faint hope that things may change, it is likely that we will spend most of our time and effort in an attempt to return to a state of normal. Not a combined leap of faith to something new. ‘New Normal’, what does that mean? Some form of new construct?

Normality is our comfort blanket, fear and repression have made a lazier society, lazier and for all our talk of disruption, and disrupters, we don’t like it, change is good, embrace change… we can’t, perhaps the life we have constructed has trapped us.

And now, we all need to be told what to do, where to go, when to go… In many cases too scared to go, so much for a new normal.

I promised myself I would use this opportunity to get regular newsletters out, continue to write my book, learn a new language, and yet I have spent the last 10 weeks consumed by trying to mitigate the loss of business, trying to generate new business, looking at ways to work once we can start again.

We should not be scared to fail, but what if the price of failure is greater than the price we can afford to pay or are prepared to pay. Can we borrow to offset the risk? Can we go into debt? And in neither case am I speaking in purely financial terms.

Copyright © 2020 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved

Locked down and locked out….

Polos 1 – Linen Polo Shirt £150 with cotton and linen stretch shorts £135

Polos 2 – Linen Polo Shirt £150 with cotton and linen stretch shorts £135

Polos 3 – Linen Polo Shirt £150 with cotton and linen stretch shorts £135

Polos 4 – Linen Polo Shirt £150 with cotton and linen stretch shorts £135

Polos 5 – Linen Polo Shirt £150 with cotton and linen stretch shorts £135

Polos 7 – Linen Polo Shirt £150 with cotton and linen stretch shorts £135

Polos 8 – Linen Polo Shirt £150 with cotton and linen stretch shorts £135

Polos 9 – Linen Polo Shirt £150 with cotton and linen stretch shorts £135

Polos 10 – Linen Polo Shirt £150 with cotton and linen stretch shorts £135

Polos 11 – Linen Polo Shirt £150 with cotton and linen stretch shorts £135

Polos 12 – Linen Polo Shirt £150 with cotton and linen stretch shorts £135

Polos 13 – Pure cotton and contrast trim polo shirt £135

Polos 14 – Pure Cotton polo shirts £150

Polos 15 – Pure cotton polo shirts with knitted front detail £150

 

Polos 16 – Pure cotton polo shirt with all over rib £150

Polos 17 – Pure cotton polo shirt with shawl collar £150

Polos 18 – Pure cotton, rice weave polo shirts with contrast trim £150

Polos 19 – Pure cotton polo shirts with all over jacquard pattern £150

Polos 20 – Pure cotton polo shirts with all over jacquard pattern £150

Polos 21 – Pure cotton polo shirts with contrast back and sleeves £150

Polos 22 – Linen polo shirts with open neck £150

Polos 23 – Pure silk polo shirts with open collar £150

Polos 24 – Pure silk polo shirts with open collar £150

Polos 25 – Pure silk polo shirts with open collar £150

Polos 26 – Pure cotton polo shirts with all over jacquard pattern £150

Polos 27 – Pure cotton open neck polo shirts with all over jacquard pattern £150

Polos 28 – Pure cotton polo shirts with all over jacquard pattern £150

Pure linen t -shirts £135

Pure cotton zip fronted cardigan £175

Pure cotton cable knit pullover £175

Water Repellent reversible blouson £370

Water Repellent reversible blouson £370

Water Repellent reversible blouson £370

Nylon short raincoat with removable cotton hood £375

Nylon short raincoat with removable cotton hood £375

Nylon short raincoat with removable cotton hood £375

 

Interview with a vampire

Firstly, a big thank you to Neil from Inkadelic Tattooing in Ibiza for the reminder of the sunsets I am missing.

Sat on his terrace looking at the sun going down, on the first real day of freedom that he has known in weeks.

Lockdown has been a good discipline for me. Isolation in particular. No one to bother me, the shop silent and undisturbed, my bed of Transylvanian earth to comfort me.

In the late 11^th Century I was living in Minehead; Mynheafdon as it was then known, and I would often meet our friendly landowner, generally as he toured his estate on horseback. The horse was always a little jittery around me, and yet there was a familiarity about EAlfgar, the Earl of Mercia, as if I had seen him before.

It was a likeness, something around the eyes, and as a vampire you remember faces, eyes; and necks in particular. Past faces often appeared as I dreamt, vivid memories, not haunting, but their puzzled faces looking at me as if searching for a reason. It was in one such dream that she appeared, as I had originally seen her years before.

That first time, she was astride a horse riding through Coventry clad only in her long hair. I was a tailor at the time, and the shop was shuttered that day to allow her to ride through the streets, unseen. However, from behind the shutters I had stolen a glance, mesmerised by the shape of her neck I hatched a plan to visit her after nightfall, she could be one of us, one of the twelve…

But, where would we be without coincidences? EAlfgar was her son, and she Lady Godiva! The tailor who stole a glance, was apparently, Tom, ‘Peeping Tom’!

These days I am out early in the mornings, and yes, I know that as a vampire I should be destroyed by the sun’s light, however like hangovers and due to some strange, genetic twist of fate, I remain unaffected.

Sadly, I am unable to fly at the moment, and it’s best that I don’t morph into a bat at this most difficult time for these delightful creatures. I use the quieter times of the day when there are fewer people, mainly so I’m not overwhelmed by temptation, it is much easier to eat when there is a chance I might not be disturbed. It’s not as though what I crave can be delivered by Deliveroo or Uber Eats…

I meander over past hunting grounds far from home. Hampstead Heath, Alexandra Palace, Highgate Cemetery, and the Parkland Walk which is London’s unsung highline, and in my opinion a much better version than the one in New York.

It’s not just exercise, but also to check that none of my past indiscretions have resurfaced, even along the canal. It is now so quiet and still, that you can see all the way to the bottom, scooters, Boris bikes, toilet seats and dozens of traffic cones… nothing to implicate or incriminate me.

Once lockdown has come to an end, I will return to the silence of Arizona and my home in Roden Crater. This year I will rest, take the opportunity to eat in a healthier fashion and save my energy for next year when Burning Man returns and I can make the journey to the big party in Black Rock City…

By then, it might may be business as usual… as if it never was!

Copyright © 2020 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved

The Man with No Brain

Following my admission that I am exercising prodigiously whilst in lockdown, I am grateful for all the support I have received.

With that in mind, I have decided to donate £1 for every kilometre I run, cycle or walk in April as exercise, to Charity. I haven’t as yet decided which one, but I will give it due consideration between now and the 30th, and keep you all updated. Currently I am at 276km, I hope to make at least 350.

That’s the serious bit done.

The Donald is back, and not in ‘The Man with Two with Two Brains’, not even a brain, but some object floating around in his head, that he always fails to engage before opening his mouth…

Why the film reference?

Simple, has The Donald morphed into ‘Merv Griffin the elevator killer’?

Will we find Melania slumped in a White House service lift, The Donald at her side, syringe in hand, still loaded with the remains of the Dettol…

What on earth stimulates the single cell organism doubling up as his brain? It can’t be possible for a single cell organism multi-task?

The makers of Dettol have had to hastily send out a press release warning people not to follow his lead, apologies, his advice. If it was his lead, he would have done us all a favour… And there will be those who will say ‘Simon said’, and as their head lolls from side to side, you can hear their pea sized brain roll from one ear to the other.

The lights are off, the grills are closed.

Whilst I am in shop during the day, I am sporting a pair of those natty little, white hotel slippers. I had hoped to be using empty Kleenex boxes, but they were in short supply, and my feet aren’t dainty enough to fit into that brown cardboard centre of a loo roll.

I could put on an extravagant dressing gown and wander round like the twisted love child of Howard Hughes, Hugh Heffner and Holly Hal****… (Please don’t look her up. No, I really mean it! Your browser may never recover, I used someone else’s… I only used her name to make the joke work!) Hahahahaha

I am doing my best to maintain a regimen, to keep myself clean, and neat and tidy… I did find a hair on the palm of my hand, realised that I had skipped the first sign of madness which is apparently looking for them, and now I’m wondering which of the nine circles of hell I will be cast into next.

At the moment, I am in Limbo. Days pass, I have no idea which day of the week it is. My mate Dante says he’s looking forward to the next one which is Lust, by all accounts Cleopatra and Helen of Troy are there, but who knows? The circles seem all mixed up, Dante clearly didn’t understand modern life.

Greed came at the beginning before Limbo, and at the same we got Gluttony and Anger, perhaps a little Heresy thrown in as well.

However, it is going to get better, we have only Violence, Fraud and Treachery to go!

Copyright © 2020 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved

Due Vecchi Scarafaggi

We’re a little over half way through the month, and I have racked up over 200km of walking and running as my essential exercise…

It’s not quite Captain Tom, by any stretch, I doff my cap to such a monumental achievement, and may his centenary hail a hundred more…

On the other hand, I’m seemingly on a road to nowhere…

All be it I have walked or run to the top of Hampstead Heath and around all the Central London Parks, several times at different times of day. Always at a safe distance, following the guidelines, a nod or a salutation to those walking in the other direction, yet it generally elicits no response and being a deeply social person, it worries me.

There will be at least three more weeks of where we are now. Let us ensure we keep hand washing, and avoid hand wringing, for the sake of all our sanity.

As a close friend said to me “Adrian, you and me are both akin to post nuclear cockroaches, to have travelled so far and survived in life…”

I have no idea what he means, we are both pillars of our community, with our skeletons respectively, and respectfully closeted; our paintings in the attic. Once again, when this is over and like many others, we will raise a glass together…

I can only assume he meant it as a compliment. We meet over Facetime, me in the shop, him in the Bahamas. For all I know it could be a backdrop, a green screen; and then the tan would be, ‘Fake’ as news. However, given how the weather here has been, anything is plausible.

My friend and I sit ‘come due vecchi scarafaggi’, half a world apart gazing at our tablets, as though it were a normal night out together. Conversation is like tumbleweed, drifting in the wind, ignorant of the dust whipping up around. He’s in finance, am I his tailor? Behind it all we share a similar world view. Sipping homemade Martinis, he has his mini-bar spread out around him. We can talk long into the night about ineffectual solutions to problems we do not have the power to solve. Who on earth has a minibar at home?

We know when things are going array when a Negroni becomes a Boulevardier… Mother’s Ruin is finished, and it’s time to put on the Tin Cup.

And no, it is not Perseus, his tan is always as fake as news. Seemingly, only the bits of his body he manages to properly apply the lotion to, is in essence only 50% of the bits he can see… no exfoliation or preparation, just a little slip, slap, slop! Patience is not one of his many, magnificent virtues! He does worry about featuring so frequently here. I can only hope that he is working out in his garden, keeping his bushes and hedges trimmed.

During this isolation we are all doing whatever it takes to keep us on an even keel, and it seems is that all those ‘memes’ are on the wane. Not being a user or connoisseur of them, I have seen the torrent, a veritable deluge, dwindle to a trickle, thankfully.

I have seen things people do and frankly I am worried. And as for Tik Tok, I have no idea. I suppose anyone can afford to lose 15 seconds, but the 15 seconds become a minute, and that becomes an hour… When you could be binge watching…. Fill in the blanks!

There is a little new stock to post, which I will do next week. Meanwhile I am in here every day, we have now sold out of 8 of the lines of the new t-shirts and polos, and I have been informed that there will now be no more!

 

We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.

‘Orson Wells’

Copyright © 2020 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved

Aesculapius and Salus

 

Washed Leather Belts £120 – Fringed Dark Brown and Charcoal – Punched Olive, Tan and Dark Brown

The Pink Moon, is resplendent in the night sky as it resides in Libra, the Sun is in Aries, and Mars has joined Saturn in Aquarius.

What does this mean?

I, have absolutely no idea!

However, I do know more than one person, who on being given the task to write Horoscopes for reasonably important publications, has made them up… Agreed, one of them was for a men’s fashion magazine which required them to outline a look, per Star Sign for an entire month.

I have never seen such a jumble of brands and looks, but at least I was able to work out people’s Star Sign just from what they were wearing, walking down street…

No wonder people dress as they do… Such dramatic influence must be used sparingly, even cautiously. It is not a good look to wander down to join the queue for Waitrose sporting a paisley, silk dressing gown, Chelsea Boots, a Daunt Books tote and Linda Farrow sunglasses, I guess he was a Virgo, and will remain that way for a time to come!

Agreed, you could go out looking like that, but given people’s struggle with self-isolation, such power must be restrained, measured even, like gently blowing on the brass ended tape measure. At least at no point did they waggle a wistful finger in the direction of the Emperor’s new clothes, with the warmer weather, the results could be catastrophic.

I remain through this, at the end of a phone…

STOP PRESS: Somehow unrelated to the Emperor’s new wardrobe. We are facing a condom shortage… Why? We are all supposed to be social distancing, and I am yet to see anyone, even the great William Wilde create anything made of latex that is 2 metres thick. Call me insensitive, but really! No, wait… with the shortage of surgical gloves, we can all wear them as mittens, after all we do have opposable thumbs and they come pre-prepared with hand sanitizer!

I had a conversation in the street yesterday evening, lasting 5 minutes and 37 seconds at a distance 4.6 metres, with a couple of very friendly neighbours, who may or may not be horrified with their inclusion, regarding the moon, the Italian village of Nerola, and my non-existent classical education.

Nerola sounds like a very pleasant Italian red wine.

However, after researching it on Google, The Sun and the BBC, I hasten to add not The Mail Online; to spare my sanity. It is a beautiful village nestling in hills close to Rome, and it seems that I am not the only one researching it. It’s 1900 inhabitants are locked down and the authorities have decided the residents are now part of a trial, Guinea Pigs in a human laboratory to be tested to discover how COVID-19 spreads between groups of people. Italy has suffered more than most, let us hope something wonderfully positive comes from this.

I will end with a thought for those amongst us who have become, Aesculapius and Salus, they are not one God or Goddess, but an army, let us be grateful for them.

And a battle prayer: O Lord! Thou knowest how busy I must be this day: if I forget thee, do not thou forget me.

Copyright © 2020 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved

 

The Grand Old Duke of York

You do remember Spud U Like? Apparently, the jacket had been making a comeback!

The grand, old Duke of York… he had 10,000 men? Heavens, poor Bunty!

Look carefully at the photo above.

Then, there’s something I had suspected all along, but was clearly being kept from us.

Apparently, Phillip Schofield has been doing his own make-up! But for how long? Why were we not told this earlier? Hadn’t it been obvious all this time? Did it take social distancing for this little nugget to shine in public? So many questions, so little reason to answer.

Perhaps it’s time for pantomime. There is nothing like a dame!

By the way, you could have knocked me down with a feather. I had no idea…

Apologies for any innuendo!

Consequentially, as the shop is closed, my glass is over half full with creative juices… and perhaps a drop or two of Mescal. I have a tried Absinthe, which although vigorously stimulating the cortex, any slight over-indulgence induces a trance-like state from which my memory is wiped and there is no Recycle Bin to restore them from!

Perseus, is wfh… in South Pacific. He is lounging on a marble bench surrounded by elfen creatures, supplicating to his every wish, whilst he is overdosing on carbs, apparently, he calls it carb-loading… In my world anything you over administer intravenously ends in an overdose!

He is not taken with the temptations of luxury chocolate, a slab of Diary Milk, or Fruit and Nut will suffice. But there have been Whispers amongst his flock that the Easter Egg Saga has reached his ears.

To Perseus, this is a Drama, not a crisis… However, if required he will invoke the wrath of his father Zeus, should the overzealous nature of officialdom continue.

Corner shops have been allowed to open as essential businesses to sell essential items. According to one or two oversensitive sorts, Easter Eggs are not essential items, and these premises have been threatened with closure if they do not remove the said items from sale… Could you imagine it? The Supermarket chains are allowed to control the Easter Egg market, futures, commodities, frozen orange juice, the Duke’s are trying to corner the market! Heavens to Murgatroyd!

The ‘Mainstream Media’, and ‘The Mail Online’ (Perseus is an avid fan!) have started to blame social media for spreading fear, over-exaggeration, untruths and ‘Fake News’. Where do I begin with that one? The chicken, the egg, the pot, the kettle? Let me cross the road!

Somewhere lies the truth, meanwhile for my daily exercise I have either been walking or running, sometimes I get close to the edge of the Earth, and as yet vertigo has not got the better of me. Mike and I sit there dangling our legs off the edge above the abyss, discussing the veracity of Donald’s Tweets.

I am flatly denying that the Earth is anything but round.

Anyway, back to the Easter Eggs… I am looking forwards to Christmas and a variation of Turkey Twizzlers… As a turkey, would you vote for Christmas? See the photo below… Sugar Babes – Push the button!

And don’t forget the new stock, it is selling out, as one or two of you are beginning to find out!

Copyright © 2020 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved