They think it’s all over…

Please don’t be alarmed, I know I am not sending this at five-to-five on a Friday afternoon.

I wanted to say a huge thank you all who took the opportunity to avail themselves of the offer in the last newsletter, and for all your amazing support over the last year. I am not always the easiest of bedfellows, but the messages of support, phone calls and memes, have meant that I am able to see the other side of this.

Regarding the use of bedfellows… don’t get your hopes up, it is a metaphor for the close nature of our relationship, nothing more!

I have fought long and hard; and I look back over more than 21 wonderful fun filled years.

Yet, as I write, my fingers drifting wistfully across the keyboard, we are arriving at the end of an era…

Covid has worn me down, I have done unimaginable things over the last year. Given in to temptations I didn’t realise I had; baking cakes, folding paper and staring at the ceiling.

I rose and fell with the tides and waves, and until now stood firm against the Hot Gates at Thermopylae.

I was not 300. Yet my friends, like me, held our shields aloft, stood firm, but unable to form a phalanx.

Perhaps, I was Richard in need of a horse, or Custer and the Cavalry at little Big Horn.

I fear, I can hold back the tide no longer.

Do I feel the breath of a fair wind on my cheek, the kiss of dappled sunlight upon my face?

The snowdrops have appeared in my meadow, daffodils and crocuses thrust their shoots through the earth in search of warmth. Eats, shoots and leaves… I can feel my sap rising…

Emboldened by this onset of Spring, I will fight on.

New stock is on its way.

And yet, soon; you will have no need of me…

Plans are afoot to cast me aside.

After long years of service, I was looking forward to that golden fleece.

We don’t do watches in fashion; and personally I always knew I was more Argonaut than Cyberman. I’d rather be stripped to the waist in a skirt, than dressed in a silver Lycra body suit and a helmet that looks like a surprised Toby Jug.

Yes, I went clubbing the seventies and eighties, and I am in no hurry to revisit that look.

I have, a new ‘sharper’ tool is at my disposal.

I was a dreamer, I thought I was destined to drive a van, and for years I have driven this van, but I went to a comprehensive school and stared out of a window.

Yes, dreamer. Finally, it has come full circle.

By the end of next week Volpe will have an online shop, the need for me will be gone.

I will be here, just as I have been through this crisis.

However, you will be able to click and forget, no thrust and parry of conversation, no glass of wine, no cheery wave as you leave, just the squeak of a mouse and all my delights will be yours.

I will return to becoming the person who carries the things to the van.

Cry God for Harry, England and Saint George, let slip the dogs of war, this is Sparta!

My apologies to Micky Flanagan and William Shakespeare!


In the time of Heliogabalus…

Please read to the end!

I have returned from Narnia, through the back of the wardrobe, as if it were no time at all!

And, my little keyboard warriors, I can feel your hands hovering above the keys, waiting for my next move and this has been a very, very long time coming. I have been sat in the shop warming my hands like Bob Cratchit over a candle, and that candle, like Texas, has been in a rolling power shutdown.

I spent this time mulling over various existential questions, such as; will we be ever able to play Twister again? Yet, smeared in hand sanitiser it could provide a safe, frictionless surface!

Before lockdown, I was contemplating taking up Shibari, a kind of vertical Twister for Boy Scouts. I have a very good friend who is a corsetier and she showcased this at one of her events. Gentlemen, if you have over-indulged during the lockdowns, she has some of the solutions you may have been looking for! Breathe in!

However, rather than make jigsaws I decided to learn how to fold a piece of paper in half. I thought it would be easier than Origami, I was proved wrong, there is someone in Pomona who has moved the world record from 8 to 12 folds!

I, of course remain at the beginner stage, and as such I am still learning to fight my way out of a paper bag!

Whilst this country has been locked in Mr Darcy’s wintery embrace, I have also been trying, and failing magnificently to make money for old rope. That’s the problem with slip knots, they do just that.

In the UK we are coming to terms with the Fisherman’s knot again, where as across the Channel they have engaged us with the European Death knot, and to make matters worse we appear to be hoist by our own petard!

Talking of making money, I’d rather forget the whole ‘GameShop Affair’, should I go long on April wheat Mr Valentine? Should I? Luckily it was the usual wager… one dollar!

Stick to what you know was the advice… Ah, knowledge! We all know a little knowledge is a dangerous thing!

What do we have to fall back on, experience? OK, chalk it up!

Neil my ‘tattooist’ in Ibiza has given me an idea…

You lot have a ‘tailor’ in Pimlico, each to their own!

I am going to speculate with limited edition “Dynamite Chilli Marmite”, if only I could find some. I know I like Marmite, some of you do, and some of you don’t! It’s an, each way bet…

On Saturday I had the Pfizer vaccination… when asked, I explained it was age, before beauty! There was no, ‘last thing I saw before I passed out moment’, and none of the usual mild side effects, the slight headache, or a bluing of my vision. They make you hang around for fifteen minutes, just to ensure nothing untoward happens.

I left swollen with pride.

But, even now, I can feel the leash straining, the reins are tightening in my hands, the pressure is building. Decadence is approaching, I can feel its warm breath on my collar, Heliogabalus is preparing the invitations. Will BJ be his Pretorian Guard and snuff out the glow in his embers?

I can only hope that when Etna erupts, you are ready… not stood at the bottom covered in ash.

To which point, it has been a year or so, and I am once again offering twenty made to measure 2- piece suits, or jacket and trouser combinations from our stock cloths, to those who are prepared to stump up the readies in advance. The price will be £1100 inclusive of VAT, instead of £1390. Any extras, like a spare pair of strides, can be negotiated… Negotiated, I said, no ‘agglin’, it’s demeaning.

Perseus has been sharpening his wit, readying himself for a return to normality.

Whatever normal may be in his strange enchanted world…

Copyright © 2021 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved

Only 16 sleeps to Christmas – DON’T PANIC…

If that was the information you needed, you can stop reading now.

Otherwise, welcome to my new online portal…

You can click on anything you like. There will be absolutely no response, none at all.

Why?

For exactly the same reason some of my neighbours order their ‘fancy Dan’ 500 calorie ‘Starbucks’ coffees (other brands of hot water, sugar and acorns are available); and then have them delivered by ‘Deliveroo’, ‘Ubereats’ or ‘JustEat’.
  
‘Justdelete’ as unapplicable…

Ergo, I am now far too lazy to get off my perfectly formed derriere to do anything. CBA for the CBD generation! Apparently, even accountants have feelings, I wait to be convinced!

The cushions upon which I sit, have become moulded to my precise shape. So, I suppose they could be used to form a bronze, and for most of the year normally it is, but that will have been by the gentle kiss of the sun’s rays, and this has been 2020. White lines, baby!

Please don’t get me wrong, and it is only my opinion, but I suspect we have made lazy people, even lazier. We used to peel couch potatoes, and now they cook them with the skin on, because, it’s healthier?

Even conversation has become a struggle; I am dictating this via Siri.

Siri? It’s just plain stupid!

I find that I am scheduling a one-to-one meeting with myself, where I move from one seat to another, sipping a double espresso and nibbling on a ‘jammy dodger’, KN – QR4… mate!

Then, pickings are so scarce that I am fighting squirrels on bird tables and now I am nursing a nasty cut from attempting that ‘Mission Impossible’ thing they do. Friday nights have changed a mite since we have been unlocked again.

Our illustrious leader is off to charm Ursula I’ll be Laying… So confident is he of his bedside manner, he knows ONLY he can get Brexit done! But it is only a matter of days away, not nine months!

Dinner and a night cap? Then it’s off to the city centre for a lad’s night with Gav and Dom. Then they’ll be on the number 10 Night Chinook home. Will he open the cargo door as he passes over France and mimic the Manneken Pis? He’s such an imp!

Whilst all this is going on, I have been dealing with the small matter of suit fittings. Zoom, zoom.

Perseus, always reminds me that he is the shape of a ‘Dorito’. I’m not sure what the chip on his shoulder is, but!

Please remember, that’s why you have two screens, caught off guard, or literally with one’s pants down! No virtual changing room, turn the camera off, please. And, some of you cannot be trusted with a tape measure. It’s like an honesty bar, you pay for what you consume.

I have been informed that one or two of you are also missing that moment of frisson when I blow on the end of my tape measure, before I go on bended knee, the sword touches me on both shoulders, arise… Sir! Yes, your Majesty. Oh, to be an extra in The Crown.

Finally, to my mother. I am always touched by how many people ask about her. She, on the other hand can’t work out what all the fuss is about.

I have bought her an Alexa for Christmas, that way she has someone that will talk back to her 24/7…

SCROLL DOWN TO SHOP… I am available by WhatsApp!

Copyright © 2020 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved

Olde Nick and the Daleks

As always, if you scroll down you will eventually find the stock!

Davros, the Dark Lord of Skaro has gone, taking Nyder with him, they appear to have returned to the Wastelands from whence they came.

We are left as Mutos. Hang on; I’m NOT a celebrity, get me the %$*! out of here.

Supremo and the Council of Twelve have been left incapacitated; as if that weren’t already the case. Even with the Cybermen gone, they seem to prefer to hide behind the sofa, rather than come out and face the music. I’ll name that tune in…

Wait, let me check the algorithm, I’ll forecast it… ooooh Shazam!

Nero, put your fiddle down, we don’t have time for this, speak to the soothsayer…

A career on ‘Strictly’ or ‘Bake Off’ beckon, if they can’t find the wads of PPE cash, stashed down the back of the sofa. Spin that wheel of fortune… put it all on Amazon… a Supermarket sweep!

The advert, will be clearly enunciated by the ever more cockneyfied Ray ‘Ackneycarriage! Not so much RP, as the missing ‘Limehouse Link’.

Such is life in the fast track!

For 14 days and 14 nights Supremo will wander the wilderness in isolation. Although equally haunted and tempted by ‘Olde Nick Farrago’ at every turn, as luck would have it, many of those bordellos of temptation are shut; closed, never to re-open.

No four and twenty blackbirds, no 24-hour tube, no unlimited buffet at Mr Khan’s, no suckling pig, only the remains of a long unfinished ‘Eton Mess’ for sucker, to break his fast.

The strains of Shostakovich haunting the air, which is so chilled you could cut it, only with the sound of a crying baby. Feed me, father… am I your father; Luke?

Anyway, back to me.

I woke on a Sunday morning a couple of weeks ago and took a long and very hard look in the mirror.

I dabbed at the corner of my eyes with hydroxychlorognt… and then plunged the syringe filled with a ‘serum’ distilled and supplied by Vlad the Lad into my left cheek. Downstairs, not upstairs, I am not yet that mad!

Then I phoned the Police.

A crime had been committed; a major work of art had been stolen from my attic…

Crisis, what crisis? This is a drama!

That will teach me to take all this for granted, where have the years gone?

Not that the painting was of any value to anyone but me, however the Polaroid was starting to show signs of the self-inflicted excess that apparently, I am well known for. I haven’t quite lived the life of Ronnie Wood, neither that of St Paul, but I suppose I stand closer to Stonehenge than the other end of the spectrum, but you’d guessed that.

In my youth, I wrote my hopes and dreams on both sides of a correspondence card, then added to it, as my knowledge of the world grew. I look back at the simple requests, realise how many of them I have fulfilled, and some I know I never will, but hope still springs eternal, and if my dreams start to come true, I really am in some serious trouble.

Long ago I surmised that the Devil would probably be a better bedfellow, and possibly more forgiving than Shakespeare. Will, would no doubt immortalise and eviscerate me in print simultaneously, and in equal measure. Anyway, Moloch and I are good friends, I am at a point in my life where I can replace longstanding with old.

I used to sit to the top of the stairs and stare down into Hades waiting for him to come out and play. These days he has taken to sitting upon my shoulder, whispering strange and odd missives into my ear, laying out our plans, as we watch the ships that pass by in the night. I quickly got used to the whiff of sulphur, you know the old saying, a rose by any other name!

He and I will celebrate our birthdays together another time.

Meanwhile, where did I put my bus pass…

Copyright © 2020 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved

My name is Otto, I am from the United States and reading Philosophy

Please do not concern yourselves, I still exist.

Over the next week there will be deliveries of new stock for Autumn and Winter, photographs will follow, and we already have new cloths for the made to measure collection.

Saturday, I will travel to Florence to purchase more of the finest of cashmere at the lowest of prices, so please register your interest with me.

 
I would also like to thank those of you who have stood by me in the most difficult of times, I am and will always be very grateful. I speak not of fiduciary assistance, many of you have continued to shop; which has been most kind, but a metaphorical arm around each other’s shoulders, sharing and caring.
 
So, settle back and enjoy the rant. Brace yourself Effie!
 
I have been awoken from my slumber by a kiss from… goodness that’s the last time I take one of those pills before bed. I thought they were to enhance my dreamlike state. Note to self, check the bottle… apparently, rather than ‘arise spritely from dream filled sleeping’. It read ‘arouse the sleeping demon’. More Bottom than Titania apparently!
 
Dark Matters are at work. My money and my mother’s, is on Trump, and it’s not an each-way bet! I wish it were different, but Biden makes my mother seem positively teenage. She’s waiting for this election with unbridled glee.
 
Then there’s Puppet Master holding the strings, he’s wearing that tiny, bright red tie duffel coat, talking with a heavy Russian accent and scurrying around the side streets like Yoda who’s lost the Force.

Anyway, I’ll come back to that closer to the time.

I did escape and travel for work.

If not, my business would wither and die on the vine. As it is, it is suffering from some horrible, terminal fungal disease. Oh, the magic of mushrooms!

I had quarantined my state of mind, an attempt to return purified, the chilly waters of the Atlantic swirled around my ankles?

A step or two further into that water for a man of my age would have rendered anything below the waist, useless, perhaps for months… And I am a man, never destined to go a step too far!!!!

Now back from a little R and R, and more than a little work, to ‘Six of the Best’, ‘The Joy of Six’, ‘Now That’s What I Call Music – Volume Six’ whilst sipping a ‘Six on The Beach’, toying with my six string, playing ‘Three is the magic Number’ twice, it seems for the foreseeable, there’ll be no ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers’.

There are the rules, and we are ruled, by rulers who are better than I. Yet we appear to be led by lambs, no matter much how he faintly reminds me of Aslan, I doff my cap, with a finger raised not so elegantly behind it.

Really, are we making this up as we go along? Can we have six people in a brewery?, Can we organise that? Oh yes, we can! Oh no, you can’t! And who remembers a Watney Party 7.

And then there is a new dance, ‘the workplace hokey-cokey’, I wish it could be Christmas Everyday…come on, sing along, you know the words, and meanwhile let’s all do the Conga. Time, gentlemen please, no East boys and West End girls! All on the banned practices list!

Then, what will a ‘relaxation’ mean, a semi or a doubling up to ‘The Glorious Twelfth’? Spiffing, I’ll have a brace, and make mine a faerie tale and a happy ending!Yet, I feel there is a GP somewhere, hammering away on someone’s knee with a mallet, whilst Thor is whacking away at a walnut! Whoa! Wait someone has startled the PushMePullYou!

Such are the mature and well thought out decisions, we are led to believe that are made for our benefit.

I am not and hasten to add, in any way a conspiracy theorist.

And please do not misunderstand me, my mother is 92 years old, and to lose her or anyone else for that matter, would be a tragedy.

I saw her a month ago for the first time since New Year, and she was in fine fettle. There were well thumbed Sudoku books strewn all about the place, but she is bored, her generation and ilk are now often too scared to go anywhere.

She takes daily walks to the top of her back steps and back down again, followed by a swift check of her wine cellar.

However, one thing that saddened me was that she thought she may never walk down into town again. Piffle. It will happen, but once I am able to take her.

We did use the car to go to Tesco and her favourite restaurant, Reeves of Dunster, (a little plug for Justin and Claire)! They were as amazing as always, and deserving of every success that has come borne of their kindness and charm, not to mention their fabulous cooking. Go and visit them.

I have become unsure of my mother’s position as a value to society, priceless to me, but despite all the platitudes, she like millions of others is a victim. This has become an unspoken consequence of our Governments measures, surely someone must have modelled this.

We are well on the way to solving the problem of conflict with minimal casualties (to the aggressor), because battles can be fought from afar with missiles and drones. Gone are the huge losses of the Somme and Normandy. Unfortunately, the nature of pandemic is different, it is indiscriminate, but if to reduce the transmission requires us to be locked away like Rapunzel, let me remind you, she found a solution.

My Uncle Harry worked on modelling the consequences of a nuclear explosion in or over major UK cities during the Second World War, that was 80 years ago. Given our vastly increased knowledge, and huge processing power; every single eventuality and scenario must have been explored. They said we are war with this virus, and yet we still manage to stumble around in the dark! Like Rambo without a jockstrap!

Don’t think for one moment the government haven’t put a value to the life of every single one of us, a risk assessment for a good day to bury bad news.

They may as well use the slogan: Comply or die, for now is our winter of discontent!

We have looked up to our leaders, despite the Churchillian glib comments, most of us will make it through the Winter, some will not. Life is not, and never will be a risk-free endeavour. Nor should it be, minimise it, certainly, but be mindful some now may never leave the sofa!

I shall leave you with a line or two from a film:
Wanda: You think you’re an intellectual, ape!
Otto: Apes don’t read philosophy
Wanda: Yes, they do Otto, they just don’t understand it!

Copyright © 2020 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved