March 2011 – Volpe Newsletter

As you know I like to draw out the suspense with this newsletter vis a vis the end of the month.

However, I’ve been even busier than normal, what with it being my wife Gillian’s birthday on the last day of the month. So it’s only natural that I’ve been distracted by planning a lavish celebration with lots of gorgeous presents. (Gillian – I put this bit in anticipation of lots of gorgeous presents. There will be an update you on the state of our marriage next newsletter.)

Today I’ve cast aside the iPad. I’m rather hung over, and I was unable to focus on the keys. We spent an evening with the man “who is a suit short of a week” and his husband. At least with these two we’re never a glass short of a drink. However he is 6ft 6ins and the expression “hollow legs” was created with him in mind.

I am back travelling again. I had a couple of days in Rome and a bit of spring weather and a meeting with dear Silvio. Just to pick up a few tips mind you. Well you know old dogs, new tricks, and all that.

I spent the time with one of my best friends and his family, the ever youthful Pietroluccis. I’ve known Max 20 years and before you all say it, yes, I really am that old.

He, his brother Mau and father Sergio have not aged one bit. Max ‘Five Vests’ Pietrolucci is a bit of a Godfather name but he needed to keep warm while lodging in Wembley, studying English in London and working with me in Piccadilly in January.

Better than doing national service somewhere crappy in Italy. These days he keeps his temperature up with his voracious appetite for cheese. Vash at the Cork and Bottle has never known anyone eat so much cheese at one sitting!

Max reminded me about the egg box of a kit car I used to drive in those days. Small boys would point and stare in awe at it until dragged away by their mothers. Their dads would stand slack-jawed until dragged away too. Don’t say it; I know you were thinking it!

You could drive it under an articulated lorry to do a short cut on the Hogarth roundabout. I had the hood off in all weathers; well it would be after being driven under a lorry, but it did have a heater.

It was probably the fastest car to 50 mph I have ever driven, but then it would either breakdown or hit a metaphorical brick wall of acceleration, at which point everything I’d overtaken would get me back. But I’ve learnt to cope with the humiliation. I mean it wasn’t the first time and it won’t be the last.

There have been a large number of new subscribers to the newsletter, and hopefully some of you might do something worthy of writing about. I mean it’s not as if you all have gone into hibernation. Pulses seem to have slowed to a rate where it is hard to tell whether you are alive or not, but in some cases this seems the norm anyway.

The first rays of spring sun, and thoughts turn to, well you can keep those thoughts to yourself.

Anyway David is back in the shorts and driving shoes – green suede, very nice. Andre is sporting his Birkenstocks and not much else it seems, or so he likes to tell me. He’s just arrived back from Miami, no doubt after abusing some poor soul in first class. Perhaps they didn’t want a French wine.

Richard with his sylph-like physique stretches to a jean with a 26 inch waist. He can apparently buy these in Selfridges, either from Dior (so Richard), and Dsquared (so not Richard).

Their assistant was apparently just hangin’ in the department. I am unable to recount Richard’s story of trying on the Dsquared jeans as well as him. These were probably designed by MC Hammer, which once on, he was unable to get off over his feet, trying to stand up and holding on to a rotating rail, which apparently kept throwing him to the floor.

After an hour of struggle he removed the jeans he finally wandered off to Dior to purchase his bling.

Anyway back to the rays of sun. I bet you’ve all been keeping up with Wonders of the Universe on the BBC iPlayer, and Prof Brian Cox, a man who considers himself even more gorgeous than me.  (As if that were possible).

No, I hear you say, but yes; bestriding the universe with his floppy hair and moist lips. Traversing mountain tops, deserts and glaciers. Gazing at sunrises and sunsets. Experiencing weightlessness, flying at the speed of sound, and feeling the force of g (yes, I did have to think carefully how I worded that).

Vanity, thy name is Brian. You’re not the Messiah. Just a very naughty boy with a spectacularly good publishing deal, and great hair.

Sent from my iPad 4

 

Copyright © 2011 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

January 2011 – Volpe Newsletter

As we are well into January, how many of you made New Year resolutions? And did you keep them, stumble from the course, or fall spectacularly head first into the gutter?

So the iPad is perfect for my insomnia. I promised myself it wouldn’t take over my life, and yet here I am writing the newsletter on it. It just keeps me awake longer. OK, so I’ll sleep when I’m dead. You can spend the small hours searching for apps, most of which you’ll never use. But it means I can lie on the sofa tapping blindly at the screen, whilst watching the news in 15 minutes, every 15 minutes. So between 2.30am and 6.00am, I get to hear about Silvio’s Ruby blues 14 times, oh joy.

Now some of you have complained about the brevity of my January teaser. Shame on you, I had the VAT return to do, and some of you should know better. Yes Greg, I mean you. You begged to be on the mailing list only to complain bitterly that the teaser wasn’t long enough and then regularly bring your mother in to torture me. But what goes around comes around. She kindly explained how you had removed your trousers in front of an Upper Class Virgin, the words might be slightly jumbled, but worse was to follow: your mother mistaken for your Cougar? As you said, does she look younger, or do you look older?

Anyway back to Silvio, which seems the most unlikely side of him the Italians will see. It’s a case of the devil you know, but it appears that even Papa Razzi is starting to flag, or perhaps lose track of the indefatigable appetite of the diminutive ex cruiseship crooner. And I use the word diminutive with pride. I too, am diminutive. OK, I won that bet. I managed to use that word 3 times, so much for drinking games. I play them with decaff espresso shots (just ask Jake), rather than alcohol, just to keep me awake. It is rumoured that Kiefer used to play a similar game whilst filming 24, damn it Chloe! “I’ll have another Jack Daniels”, before wrestling a Christmas tree to the ground, trousers round his ankles. But he showed he was a gent, by offering to pay for the damage.

OK, it’s not quite in the league of Charlie Sheen, or my personal favourites Robert Downey Jr driving his Porsche naked and throwing imaginary rats out of the car, and my friend Martin snorkelling naked in the snow in Verbier, and yes there is photographic evidence. Guys, some of you have some serious catching up to do.

However I bumped into a friend, who we will call James (because that’s his name). I was leaving The Wolseley after a hearty breakfast with Don, a close friend who once nearly laid waste to Keira Knightley, but that’s another story. James was always a bit of a party animal and after having been “driven” in his Gallardo, driven been the description I will give the experience. James was in London for a 3 day bender, because:  “the bright lights of Geneva, just weren’t bright enough any more.” At this point he was starting to flag and was craving coffee and a large eggs Benedict, I could have stayed to see the outcome, but I just had to be somewhere else.

Like the drinking games, I could try to start each paragraph with a letter that in some special code would make a word. No, stop trying to work out some hidden meaning in mine, before long you’ll be trying to play your old LPs backwards in an attempt to conjure up the devil, and I left Silvio where he belongs, a couple of paragraphs ago. It’s 3.30am and I’m now too tired to even try and be clever. Settle down at the back. I know what you’re going to say and it’s neither clever nor funny.

Sam passed through London this week and managed to pop in for a few hours between flights.  Bangkok-London-Hong Kong back-to-back in less than three days. As you said mate, I wouldn’t normally use that expression, but he’s an Aussie, “living the dream”, or perhaps 11K a year and £2.60 an hour is just too tempting. Big up Willie Walsh and the new cabin crew contract. There you go, guys, I got your protest vote in.

As you know, I have been in Bologna. It is still the best city in Italy to eat in. However each day I took the train into Florence for the Pitti Uomo trade fair. A mere 35 minutes or that’s what they tell you, not quite time keeping to Swiss standards. In four journeys, no less than 10 minutes late each time, but as my friend Fabio told us over lunch, it’s the Italian way. Rome to Milan in three hours, or at least in three Italian hours, because it’s a matter of pride that it just has to be 3 hours.

At Drogheria della Rosa Emanuele did us proud. Greeted like long lost friends, fed and watered within the limits of my waistband. After Sunday lunch we staggered to the airport clutching a white truffle. Emanuele has made his special kind of dining experience: his food, wine and company of the highest order, all rounded off with a semifreddo. Excuse me, titter ye not, did I hear Frankie Howerd?

Product of the month is the X-mini speaker, which I use for my iPad. Jake’s bored with this, but they are awesome and I suspect he’s slightly envious.

December 2010 – Volpe Newsletter

I know you were expecting me to send this out before Christmas. OK, Sam, some of you weren’t. But then you’d have nothing to help you digest the turkey, and who knows, my sobering thoughts may even serve as a hangover cure.

And anyway, I expect a flurry of, ‘out of office’ replies by return.

Clearly, I know many of you don’t drink and those of you who tick the 21 units or fewer units a week option at the doctors will clamber on the wagon come January 2nd. You’ll all be back in the gym working off the last remnants of Christmas pud, not to mention the brandy butter, cream, etc. Starting to look a little green again, I see.

Well, hasn’t the year flown by?

There are those of you who ask how I manage to come up with this drivel month after month. To that I say: my friends, you are my inspiration. Meanwhile, keep doing what you’re doing and maybe you’ll get a mention. It’s just like the National Lottery but with better odds and the warm glow of recognition which is worth so much more than mere millions.

Between you and me there are things you could do to bump your chances and I’m keeping a Wikileaks-style file on the best. Naturally, it contains one or two items too depraved to mention here, but as Mae West said: ‘Keep a diary and one day it’ll be sure to keep you.’

Considering what I’ve posted in the past you’ll know that these will have been really bad, and in some cases involved a spell at Her Majesty’s pleasure. In the light of that getting a lifetime ban from an airline is nothing, so keep ‘em coming.

I suppose like those annuals you got as kids you’ll want a bumper Christmas edition full of goodies: things to tempt, things to shock, and perhaps the odd sugar mouse. Well that’s what I used to get, that and chocolate money. How do you think I manage to keep this business going? In the shop I have a two euro chocolate coin. It was left here three years ago and I’m surprised Carla hasn’t eaten it, but maybe she hasn’t found it. Meanwhile I’ve got a bet on which Euro will melt first.

I received a rather large tome for Christmas from my friend Karl. It’s a magnificent 35kilos of Ferrari Opus, so thank you to him. Now if only someone could help me move it. Any of you wanting to turn the pages will have wear gloves, hold your breath and probably take you shoes off too. And those of you thinking about presents for me, next year you’ll have to up your game.

I’ve been asked whether I’ll be Christmasing in Ibiza. The answer is no. Neil is in India, doing heaven knows what. He’s using Skype and the messages are intermittent so I can’t even pass on whether or not the new form of Buddhism he’s practising means he has to be kind to pigeons. But I do know he spent Christmas Day on a beach in Goa not wearing a pair of shorts I promised to have made for him in May. I will deal with the culprit in January.

This month it emerged that a family member is doing Sir Elton’s thatch. I can’t tell you any more than that because he signed a confidentiality agreement. But how much do you want to know about Elton’s thatch anyway? Unto Elton and David a child is born. And on Christmas Day too. What timing! And what a present! Wonder what they’re going to get next year? But truly, following my earlier comment, it’s not what I’m after.

Footie fans are never happy, even when they’re whining. I had poor Geordie Alan in here close to tears over the Alan Pardew affair – of course I mean the fact that he’s Newcastle’s new manager. I’d have a word with the owner, but he’d previously asked me to stay out of it when I intervened on behalf of the other Newcastle fan. I’d be crushed if I fell out with you, Mike. Possibly literally. Mike, you’re really quite cuddly and definitely misunderstood.

Now my other friend is starring in panto  playing Buttons in Cinderella at Abbott’s Bottom. I suppose he could be the Abbot’s Bottom, anyway, whichever way round it is, he will be convinced it’s the lead role. On another thespian note, stop giggling at the back, you’re not at school, this year we lost Barry, it was a great loss. Evenings with Barry and Ros were always entertaining, lively affairs, rarely sober and always raucous. Ros has continued to carry this torch forward, and at equally entertaining evening at The Attic, she said she’d given Barry’s clothes to the National Theatre. So, my panto friend is still no nearer to wearing Volpe.

They’ve been re running a load of old Robin Williams films on TV and it’s been like watching The Picture of Dorian Grey in reverse I admit there’s a small likeness…..no, Jake a small likeness, and if you say nanu, nanu again, there will be consequences.

Also before Jake brings it up, I am now to some degree an Apple convert. Obviously not as brainwashed as some, but I like my iPhone, and part of this newsletter was written on my iPad. Hopefully I’ll avoid chanting the mantra “Show me your Apps”. But the best part has been the X-mini speakers I bought, quite simply amazing. Highly recommended, I’ve bored everybody senseless about them. Once they get their hearing back. Only problem is I can’t get them to stay on in the gym. Look them up, you’ll understand.

Finally, I’d like to thank everyone at The Wolseley, my A list friend should be treated with the same disdain next year as this. Perhaps you could start turning him away. No room at the inn and all that.

Copyright © 2010 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.