Well, I suppose you thought I’d forgotten.
The truth is my hands are so cold that even a random striking of keys was not producing anything coherent. So I have employed someone to blow on my hands to keep them warm. Trust me it’s cheaper than heating the shop, and at a time when we are looking at every penny we spend, I am doing my bit by employing someone.
My friend Michael has recently joined the fold. He has proved to be a rich vein of anecdotes. My current “fave” is how he spent a small fortune on museum quality blinds for the back of his house, which is entirely made out of glass. You may have guessed where this is going. Lit from behind with low lights and soft candles, he has managed to produce his own perfect shadow puppet show, sometimes, more than once a night and even the “odd”, very odd matinee.
Enter stage left, Ian, a friend of longstanding.
Now that Rosie has relocated to Neuschwanstein and stable of Astons, Ian can park his cars outside without incurring her disapproval. Today he arrived with his Ferrari 360, he has a predominantly Italian collection at the moment. I have known him *%# years, stop it, you at the back, it reflects my failings, not his.
In those days he drove a Ferrari Testarossa. It used to infuriate my boss at the time. My boss only drove a Jaguar XJS, or the “Big Cat” as he called it. Meow. He would often unleash it, a la Alan Clark along Piccadilly, mounting the pavement outside Fortnums and pulling a handbrake turn in front of the Albany, just to get a bit of lunch. We only worked a couple of hundred yards away. I could have walked it in half the time.
It sported a number plate with the letters FOL in it. As a child on long motorway journeys, mother would always get my brother and me to play games. One of the games was to make a phrase from the letters in the number plates. I’ll leave you lot to play that one, and feel free to email your examples.
Many a time my boss and I would speed off to Heathrow to catch the early shuttle to Edinburgh at 7.00am. Like an automotive Arthur Daley, he would be dodging here, weaving there, and the taxi that had been alongside us outside Harrods would be in front of us by the time we got to Terminal 1.
However, my favourite Ian story is……Shall I save it? No I’ll take a punt. One of you might do something interesting in February worthy of a mention.
Oh, now look M*#k, put your trousers back on, it’s not big, it’s not clever and it’s not, February.
Sorry, it is big and it is clever. Do you feel better now?
Anyway back to Ian. He and his lovely family have a house in the hills, just outside Cannes, and a few years ago we were holidaying in Cannes. At this time Ian was keeping the Testarossa there. I asked him if we could meet up for dinner, but he explained that they wouldn’t be there at the same time as we were.
However, he enquired as to whether I had arranged for a hire car (second creative writing course, please note Richard). Ian explained that he would be driving the car to Nice airport on the Friday, before I arrived on the Saturday. He would send me the spare set of keys and I could use the car for a couple of weeks before returning it to the house…….
Lost for words, I dreamt of cruising “The Croisette” tanned left arm, hanging out of the window. Arriving at restaurants, eager valet parkers grabbing the keys from my hand to put a thousand kilometres on the car before dawn, only to meet Dawn and find out she was David from Droitwich…
Meanwhile I can hear Ian chuckling. He was offering me an elastoplast coloured Peugeot 309. I had been suckered, and not for the first time, by the dreams of riches beyond my wildest desires. I would be a Russian oligarch, call me Otto (It means eight).
The car was perfect, just the right shade, but the air conditioning was heaven sent, and wherever we went the valet parkers made sure the car was well hidden. Nobody was going to kidnap me and demand money for the release of my daughters.
When I returned the car to Ian’s house, the nice chap from next door waved as I parked it on the drive. He was holding a lighted taper and striding towards the cannon on his lawn. For once, I was unsure what to do next.
Hit lit the fuse, and began to run a flag up his flagpole. Oh stop it, it’s not a metaphor. It was his personal coat of arms. The cannon fired, fortunately only a blank. Time for lunch; what ever happened to gongs?
If this is what money does to you, then I want to know what happened to mine. Touched by madness, I may have frittered it away, here and there. But it seems more likely there, than here.
The sale is nearly done. Life will return to normal and I may regain my sanity. Unlikely I know, but……
Copyright © 2012 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.