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

mMmmmm Mmm M MMmm Mmmm…

“mMmmmm Mmm M MMmm Mmmm… “

“msssmSm ssm MSmm” was the reply!

Or so shall it be from the 25th July.

Make your f”*^ing mind up!

I shall learn to sign, and like learning any language, you know precisely the words you always learn first. I could have had 5 months to hone my signing, but no, it’s like the Okey Cokey… In, out, in, out shake it all about!

Hancock has had his half hour.

Put a sock in it! It is like a rubber mask, a form of facial covering, like handcuffs, our hands tied behind our backs, like… you get my drift!

After being in suspended animation for months, never knowing what the safe word, Boris has got us tied up in Shibari.

All you can do is hop, when you have both hands and one leg tied behind your back. Time for a Diamond Futomomo, don’t ask me how I know!

Travelling on the tube is like a Schwarzenegger movie. The announcements could have been lifted from Total Recall or Bladerunner.

It is now a legal requirement to wear a facial covering whilst travelling on TFL, punishment for failure to comply, will mean expulsion to a colony beyond the Tannhauser Gate, or Tottenham Hale.” Well, it might be better run than here!

And Boris wants to move our mistress of all Parliaments to York. Piffle. Look how well that has gone in the past! Since this winter of our discontent, has been made glorious by this sun of York. No wonder as in Titulus Regius Richard Duke of York became the rightful heir… sound familiar? No sweat!

They’ve fought off the Vikings, the Romans and Lancastrians, yet worse is to come, next it will be ‘The SPADS’. With their middle-class estuary accents, they will further pollute the regional accents of the north, which are apparently becoming more and more intertwined and indistinguishable. No longer just red or white, but every shade of pink in between.

Rant over…

A little levity…

Can someone help Perseus?

No, I am serious. He has lost his Bull Whip. Yes, I know, who’d have guessed?

He asked me if he’d left it here! What kind of establishment do you think this is?

Think, Samson and his locks, Thor and his hammer, Rod Hull and Emu! He’ll hate me for this, but around him I have the effect of a truth serum, with a little Pluteus thrown in for good measure.

Which is probably why his memory is so poor.

I can but imagine him, a la Putin, naked to the waist cracking it like Indiana Jones. A skill he informs me he did not learn; by all accounts, by which I mean hearsay, he was a natural.

I asked him playfully it he’d left it in the Temple of Doom. He pursed his lips, tossed his head to one side and fixed me with a look that would crush a grape.

Camp? I have to remind him to stop putting his hand on his hip. Only because he asked me to, it was his suggestion, for anyone who think I might be being a little unkind!

I can feel the bile rising, he will be in tomorrow to dispense vitriol. Lockdown has been the vessel through which he channels himself.

So, it’s half empty is it?

Copyright © 2020 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved

Nine Tenths Lie Below The Surface…

The panacea has been discovered.

From now on, I shall be wfh, wtf?

It’s the cure all. Have we found the solution to life’s most difficult and complex problems?

Amongst all the feverish media activity, hidden away in the back bedroom of a semi-detached house in a Carshalton cul-de-sac, they have split the atom.

We have been smashing the science. One friend has built a small Hadron Collider in his loft, out of jigsaw pieces, and another, a scale model in cardboard of the Titanic, illuminated from the inside. One feels that once it is launched, it may suffer the same fate as the original. I am hoping he may effect this, and films it on his phone! TikToc! He lives a luxurious lifestyle; his freezer has a built-in icemaker.

Who knows what we are capable of once we break out the Lego and the Meccano! Eccles here we come…

Apparently, we are up to 13% more productive whilst working from home, more disciplined, no Netflix and chill. Unless that’s the kind of Netflix and chill you like!

And, you do remember duvet days? Of course you do! I’m sure they were only made up by the makers of beds and bed-linen so their employees could work from home, or bed to be more precise!

Mind you given they state of some of you on our video calls, you’re not opposed to the odd lie-in yourselves.

However, I feel I should sing the Marseillaise, because The French are by all accounts 20% more productive than we are. That means that they have done our week’s work by Thursday night. Incroyable! Allez, a la plage mes amis.

Then, there are the odd ones who spent the rest of the week ‘Fillon’ in the blanks, it’s amazing the extra sums one could amass, what could go amiss?

But this, is under achieving by Germans standards of productivity, they were finished by 11am on Thursday, which explains why they always have their towels out there before us.

Le roast beef arrive; sweaty at Saturday lunchtime, hungover from our TGI Friday moment.

Your muzzer was ‘n ‘amster and your fazzer smelt of elderberries… Now go away, or I shall taunt you for a second time!

We Brits, have attained a level of sophistication which they can only dream of. It has taken decades of fish and chips dinners to achieve. I am in the middle of producing a range of knotted hankies, and I can be found, currently puncturing vest with a knitting needle, for that handmade effect. In order to promote this, I have also emailed our great leader to enquire whether he might be prepared to up his game and start to promote my ‘Staycation’ collection to wear in his relaxed moments.

If you are starting worry, that I may have developed some odd political affiliations, fear ye not. This is being written by a ‘holobot’. Looks like me, sounds like me, the lights are on, but no-one is home, and I’m going down like a cardboard Titanic.

Anyway, I’m not sure what the fuss is all about, I’m permanently out to lunch, an apparition, a vacant possession!

Yet, mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord! Now if I could only remember where I left the grapes. Unfortunately, I may have to admit that I might have drunk them… Not that once tipsy, am I wrathful, I am a gentle soul, more all things bright and beautiful.

Copyright © 2020 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved

Raising the Titanic….

Finally, Boris has found the key to the chastity belt.

Apparently, the hinges are a little rusty, but nothing a little libation and lubrication won’t attend to.

By all accounts, the key was with the remote control, hair clippers, and his droite de seigneur, down the side of the sofa in Downing Street. Let’s hope he also bagged and binned that tissue.

It’s that the sort of behaviour that affects your eyesight, no wonder dirty Dom had a spin around Barnard Castle, and as for Matt Han… I will leave you, to finish that. Anything unintelligible in Latin will do.

And it looks like it’s all to do with the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing, especially if you have been sitting on your hands all this time… Pass the Dutchie on the left-hand side. That was the music of my youth.

Early on, my dreams of a ‘speakeasy’ were dashed, not even shaken or stirred, I could serve nothing but neat hemlock, and not a dash of Angrystrura bitters here!

I am yet to use Zoom, but I did have a Fab, something I hadn’t enjoyed since the seventies, and I have sat down at the weekends to share dinner with friends from all over Europe via WhatsApp and Facetime, whilst Zoom numbers have soared from 300,000 users to 13 million in May.

In the main we have all been so virtuous, there has been the odd slip, but for some nothing that a trip to the dentist won’t sort. It is fortunate that the roads have been so quiet. All I want for Christmas, is my two front teeth… and yet his belle has found this look rather fetching. His playing of the Harmonica remains unaffected.

There is another good and very supportive friend, who might be surprised to find himself here. He has both past and present dated many beautiful women, even a mermaid… or so the photos would suggest, and then, there was the Unicorn… lest we speak about that the better it is for all of us. I put it down to his generosity of spirit, I raise a full glass in your direction.

One or two of you have continued to swipe left or right, and, there were the ones that got away, but two metres have now become one, if you measure success that way.

I have appeared on the far side, eyes blinking at the sun… I should be in Ibiza now, celebrating birthdays and the summer solstice.

But reports of vast, past illegal raves are starting to circulate. Near to Stonehenge they have found evidence of previous giant Government infrastructure projects, big spending on a huge scale. It appears to be a tool to stimulate the Neolithic economy during a depression, digging a great big hole and filling it in again. Yet these were never filled in apart from a few of those little silver bottles… Clearly not biodegradable.

I’m sure that life during the Neolithic period wasn’t a bowl of cherries, and if you have ever shared a room with a person on a ‘Paleo Diet’ you’ll know what that’s like. We all need a way to escape.

Let’s hope that Boris’s attempts to stimulate will be more successful in finding the G7spot…

Finally, a note of caution for all those of you who have shopped in Supermarkets over the lockdown… A Japanese checkout worker memorised the credit card details of hundreds of customers, and then used them to fund a lavish lifestyle… He’s a bit late on the scene, I’ve been doing it for years, how do you imagine these newsletters get written…

OK,Ok! You do get something in return!

Copyright © 2020 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved

Yellow Submarine

Please scroll down for stock

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

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