Disco Inferno

PHOTOS OF NEW STOCK AT THE END, SO TRY TO PERSEVERE!

Am I alone in the dark again?

Apparently, I ramble, and not in the one foot in front of the other way. I shall leave that to mother, who is thriving.

I am also aware that you all care more about her, than you do about me!

The Government’s attempt to change the ‘Traffic Light System’ for travel has left us with something looking like the Pride Flag!

It reminds me of a line from Starman, where Jeff Bridges’s understanding of traffic lights is that red light, stop; green light, go; orange light, go very fast!

And yet, the Euros continue, on one hand the Pariah, the other the Saviour.

But, ‘Sleepy Joe’ is here, it will be shoes and socks off for barefoot stroll of the beach with our own Robinson Crusoe!

At this point, you must forgive me for playing around with French History, but it is the only way I can make this work, and it’s not as though anything that comes out of Hollywood is entirely factual and historically correct, and yes, it is only French history.

Faced with Monsieur Macron’s chagrin I will display my usual sang froid. Allez le Weekend!

Carrie Antoinette and the Sun In King tied the knot and retired to their Versailles.

I wonder what shape the champagne glasses were at their little gathering, and the garden was no doubt filled with confetti made from shredded super injunctions and NDAs.

Did I hear her say, “Qu’ils mangent de la Mr Kipling’s”!

In the Bois de Boulogne those exceedingly expensive net curtains are twitching, and the proletariat have become accustomed to Burnt Basque Cheesecake. (A recipe will follow at the end!)

One emissary returned from Lisbon; a trophy held aloft. Yet, no sooner had he planted himself on Terra Ferma when he received a note written in lemon juice from the Sûreté. He has been in contact with the inflicted.

Normally he would be expelled to the 16ieme arrondissement; but the Sun In King is clever.

He has devised a new challenge, 10 cunning tests for this transgressor, like Abraham, he is tested by a higher authority. A new one every day which will set him apart from mere mortals, yet he can move amongst us as if immune. This exemption elevates him to such a position of power he is unlikely to fail!

A friend asked for a similar dispensation, he was re-buffed.

It seems the rest of us will continue to tug our forelocks from under our flat caps, for we are not worthy.

Staycation, is whispered on the wind… with a knotted hankie for cover, my Bradshaw’s guide tucked under my arm, I may head for my childhood haunts of Crimdon Dene, Easington Colliery, Hartlepool and yes, Barnard Castle!

North of the ‘Red Wall’ to a place where the sun rarely shines and the foodie highlight will be Spam fritters, washed down with a pint of warm Newkee! Not much chance of romance soiree following that!

Burnt Basque Cheescake:

1kg Cream Cheese

6 eggs

400g of sugar

200ml of double cream

A tablespoon of plain flour

A splash of vanilla essence

Preheat the oven to 140C.

Whisk all the ingredients together by hand into a batter. Doing it by hand means you won’t over mix them.

Line a 10” spring form pan with baking parchment, and pour in the batter.

Place in the middle of the oven and cook for 20 minutes. Increase the temperature to 200C and cook for another 35 minutes, just keep an eye every so often and turn so it browns evenly on top.

The centre will still be soft.

Take it out, let it cool, and then remove the springform and place in the fridge overnight.

Copyright © 2021 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved

Around the Campfire

And when Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept, for there were no more worlds to conquer.

Well, it has been feeling a lot like… the Nakatomi Plaza.
 
We have been hostages held in an isolated location, no ways in, no ways out, more locks than Fort Knox, and at every turn, a devilish new twist created by a criminal genius… Apparently, India wants me, Lord I can’t go back there!

Hmmm! An exceptional thief sets his sights beyond the petty cash tin, and the curtains!

Plutarch had said to me… “Come out to the coast, we’ll get together, have a few laughs!” Throw in a little Helsinki syndrome, and then it’s welcome to the party, pal!

We are back! For the moment at arm’s length, but, is that short arms and deep pockets? We’ll soon find out.

At least I will now be able to enjoy a chilled glass of champagne. Somewhere, where the bottle needed to be placed in a fridge to keep it cold, and if I ask for a little water in my Scotch; it will not mean holding the glass out from under an umbrella! As for the food, it will have come via the kitchen from the freezer, not straight to the table…

Of course, I remain swathed in cashmere.

Yes, I remain a remainer…  Now, the vast majority of the restaurant staff have returned to/from whence they came, will the colour, passion and variety will be drained from our food, and hastily returned to the late 70’s and early 80’s. The exotica that are ‘Toad in the Hole and ‘Spotted Dick’ will be back, the Marie Rose sauce on our prawn cocktail will be as vacant as the ship itself!  

Unable to escape this ‘Sceptred Isle’, we will have search out the good, avoid the bad, and snuff out the ugly; eating like MPs in the House of Commons subsidised canteen, steak frites, could be, two mules for Sister Sara.

It may be for a few dollars more, but I will soon be availing myself of Jeremy King’s magnificent seven. Each one its own character, a Steve McQueen, a Coburn, a Bronson, a Brynner, a Vaughan or a Wallach.

This a deliberate plug to ensure I am able to gain a table at short notice!

Jeremy has remained eloquently vocal throughout this whole period, and I alongside the many of you who I know frequent his here’s and there’s, will be across the thresholds with haste.

I shall be attired head to toe, in Volpe. Apparently, I have to become a bigger, and better self-publicist, a more accomplished narcissist, a flaneur like never before. Ho-hum! If only I had something new to wear?

Meanwhile the painting in my attic has seen the writing on the wall!

I am wading through the new stock, and will be adding new photos in a post this week, but don’t hold back!

The promised jeans were sadly distributed amongst East London’s finest courtesy of FedEx, I hope the same fate doesn’t befall the casual trousers and the denim replacements!

I look forward to seeing you on a table next to mine, very soon.

Hugs, now we are allowed to!

Adrian

Copyright © 2021 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved

Haircare using a balloon…

The shop has re-opened.

Perhaps not a moment too soon.

In fact, I’ve been open a couple of weeks, but wanted to ease myself back into saddle as gently as possible. So, on this occasion, I will not make any political statements, no bucking bronco! No bruised egos, or NDAs.

There you have it, without embellishment. No fanfare, no tickertape parade, no red carpet, hardly a drop of blood on the dancefloor. All this time, I suppose, I’ve been keeping my powder dry.

I would say I’d been waiting for you to get your feet under the table, but the reverse is likely to be the problem, and you haven’t been anywhere else for the last year… and a bit.

I’ve just been waiting for the right moment to pounce, downwind from my prey, I am prone… to hyperbole and exaggeration!!

If I go too early, I might scatter you to the four winds. So, let’s break you in gently, it’s been a while.

Houdini finally found the key… On the top shelf in the fridge, next to the peach yoghurt and the P*rnstar Martini in a can.

The shackles are off, my chastity once again unbelted. Unbridled joy!

The hinges on the gates of Hades have been oiled, they swung open with reassuring ease. I have swapped my Thermos for a hip flask.

After such a long period, and I have become so accustomed to the fires that burn below; sitting outside a pub or a restaurant away from direct sunlight, as my pale demeanour requires, has meant I have come close to spontaneous combustion, just to keep warm in the Arctic conditions.

‘Flame On’… whoa, that’s a misinterpretation! U know there are 23 positions in one night stand!

Don’t you just love Prince…

I am finally back in the gym, after a winter of discontent. I may never be able to rid myself of HIIT classes with ‘growingannanas’. The interminable sleep deprivation and meditation, and the yoga, but I have learnt to fall asleep in the bat pose… must be that vaccine!

Yesterday, I used an App to successfully book a gym session, then navigated the maze that is their one-way system, which really does resemble the never-ending staircase. I filled my water bottle with something other than Tequila, manoeuvred a bench into position, then had to go back three times for a lighter weight that I could actually manage!

Muscle? ‘Tis but a distant memory.

Perseus on the other hand, is constantly reminding me he still resembles a Dorito. Although I am a close friend of Dorito, I dare not tell him he’s more of a Quaver, and a semi at that!

I will curate some pieces, create a series of still life photographs of the new stocks, in order that you may be tempted by my wares. I will warn you as soon as they are up. In fact, they follow this! This a beginning, more will be added over the next few days…

I’m off to brush my hair with a balloon!

OK, one last political statement, is it curtains for Boris? Or is he just blinds… it was sofa, so good, he tabled a motion, but he has a rattan in his cabinet. GROAN!

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!

Copyright © 2021 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved


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