June 2017 – A Newsletter of Sorts

Let’s begin with a little bit of business.

We are fast approaching Ferragosto where the whole of Italy disappears off like our politicians.

This means that our workrooms are also partly closed. Times are a changing and it is not as bad as years gone by, we can still make garments, it just takes a week or two longer. Somehow it has dawned on them that not everyone wants to take their holiday in August.

Newsletter:

Phew! What a scorcher.

Coffee consumption has doubled since 1980, I know mine has. I know, I know, I don’t look old enough. It’ll be all the coffee!

But the world of coffee is in turmoil, it is the third year in a row that consumption has exceeded production and the amount of land suitable for growing coffee is falling. Apparently this will reduce the quality of the coffee and the amount available. Should we blame gorgeous George for making coffee too ‘sexy’?

The numerous large coffee chains may reduce the number of beans in a cup to half a bean, and we will be grateful for it.

Luckily Theresa in her youth didn’t run through fields of Arabica, decimating the crop still further, she restricted her abandon for fields of wheat, creating crap circles and gluten intolerance.

At least we now know the answer to one of the world’s great mysteries, if only we could solve Fermat’s last theorem! What do you mean, we have! Damn that only leaves the riddle of the Pyramids…

You know when you’ve been warned not to do something, but you plough ahead relentlessly, Theresa had a 50/50 chance; and in her mind’s eye she would have changed her mind, but she went ahead and stuck with her original choice anyway.

Statistically you are likely to be more successful, having changed your mind, to follow that through rather than stick. Pay heed Theresa you were warned!

Boris is round the back of the bike sheds at school, puffing happily on a cigar called Titus Andronicus. He, Govesie, Huntie and Double D, are donning wet suits, rolling balls of tissue, and barrelling out their straws. PMQ’s look as if they going to return to the ribald times of the Bullingdon Club.

Clad in their figure hugging, neoprene suits, they will snipe from the safety of deep water, like fourskin divers, sniggering at their endeavours.

The Opposition bench will be no better. JC will be living the ‘Thug Life’, his chest puffed out like a Great Tit, John McDonell toying with the balls of his abacus and a logarithmic ruler, trying to formulate the budget.

Hammers across the way uses a more modern method, the latest Sinclair Scientific calculator, pocket sized and great for those tricky little Brexit deals, it works off the ancient witchcraft known as ‘Reverse Polish Notation’.

Politics has returned to the Westminster village. But, what do I hear you screech in unison? They’re off on a Parliamentary recess.

The Government called a game of Russian Roulette, shot their little toe off and dallied around spending £130 million going to the country. Once again monumentally messing up an election/referendum they decide to slink off for the summer. So from the 20th July, the ‘Dream Team’ will be in charge.

I have given up re-writing parts of this! After the sixth draft, and the removal of references to Trotsky, Stalin, Mao, Thatcher, and at one point 46 expletives, I will build a pontoon bridge and move on!

At least we are without The Donald. He exists in the Fifth Dimension, the Twitter-sphere, in the Twilight Zone where the edge of the Flat Earth meets the sky. The Oval Office is his Pangea, his family gazelles and antelopes. He is the hyena, the jackal in the pack. No, I don’t where I’m going with this either; suffice to say I’m jet lagged, after spending weeks circumnavigating the earth. High on a mixture of sleeping tablets, Melatonin, Rhodiola Rosea and champagne, my thumbs are a blur.

Clearly I haven’t insulted Donald enough, as he let me in all so briefly, under the radar so to speak. I even travelled on Raoul’s passport by mistake! Not that I pass for a transgender, bald Brazilian (isn’t that the point?) with suspect facial hair…. Think Azis!

The regularity of these tomes has been a cause of mild concern in one or two of you. However, even by my standards I have been travelling a great deal, and unlikely to stop in the near future, and before anyone asks, not a single trip has been to Ibiza!

I sought to have my future explained to me in a reading of my tea leaves in Hong Kong.

“A panda walks into a restaurant, sits down and orders a sandwich. After he finishes eating the sandwich, the panda pulls out a gun and shoots the waiter, and then stands up to go. “Hey!” shouts the manager. “Where are you going? You just shot my waiter and you didn’t pay for your sandwich!”

The panda yells back at the manager, “Hey man, I am a PANDA! Look it up!”

The manager opens his dictionary and sees the following definition for panda: “A tree-dwelling marsupial of Asian origin, characterised by distinct black and white colouring. Eats shoots and leaves.”

I will blame Darren!

Currently, I am writing this on an inflatable flamingo in the middle of the Bristol Channel, basking in Mediterranean heat and floating gently towards Hinkley Point. The umbrella in my cocktail is acting as my dongle, the water around me is about the same colour as my drink, which is worrying no matter which way round you look at it! I had decided to spend a few days in the presence of my mother.

She is on tip-top form and we once again enjoyed a lovely meal at Reeves in Dunster.

https://www.reevesrestaurantdunster.co.uk/

I shall leave with a couple of photos, one a photo of the largest wedding cake I have ever seen. We made the groom his suit in an unlined wool and mohair blend to cope with the Florentine heat, the bride is the daughter of a great friend, my very best wishes to the happy couple, Riccardo and Carlotta, my apologies for not being there.

And a panorama, because everyone loves a panorama. These are the Red Rocks on Hvar.

 

 

Copyright © 2017 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

May’s Newsletter – The Mugslinger – sic.

Silence is golden apparently, or it was.

Once you have waded through my latest dirge, you will be rewarded  with photos of some new stock, but go on give my eminent tome a go!

I have returned, refreshed, reinvigorated, replicated and 3D printed. I also wanted a hologram, but was told I couldn’t be in two places at the same time.

What do they know, I’ve been doing it for years; my special powers are a cross between Captain Scarlet and the Scarlet Pimpernel! The walking through doors was just an appetiser.

Seafood

And although technically not in the same place at the same time I have been both in Champagne and Arcachon this month.

The visit to Champagne involved tours of Champagne Vadin-Plateau, Nicolas Maillart, the fabulous Henri Giraud and Ruinart.

Now for a bit of promotion! I spent a day in the company of Eric Martin from La Vigne ru Roy on a private tour. Great fun and hugely knowledgeable, and I can’t recommend Eric highly enough, a brilliant way to enjoy Champagne from inside and outside the glass!

http://www.lavigneduroy.com

Ruinart – Stairway to Heaven

Ruinart – Magnum Cellars

Henri Giraud – Champagne made in an Amphora

I have climbed and walked the Dune de Pylar in bracing conditions. I had hoped to feel like Lawrence of Arabia, but ended up feeling more Scott of the Antarctica!

PLUG – I was kept dry by my fabulous Field Jacket…only 7 left!

Dune du Pylar

So Tresamme has set the hair running.

She has her rollers in, this lady’s not for turning… She has curling tongs, rather than straighteners.

Will she add a blue rinse before the big Day? May becomes June, a rose by any other name would be as fragrant.

Politics these days is all about the hair, The Donald, Lil Kim and Boris Godunov are all making a topiary statement worthy of a place on the fourth plinth. It’s a thumb in a digital world.

Jeremy Corbin is akin to an angry garden gnome that has found a voice, apparently the Labour front bench are all wearing t-shirts with ‘I’m with Mr Grumpy’ printed on the front. Unfortunately I can’t make out what is printed on the back… OMG is that ‘I Puffi’, which just happens to be Italian for The Smurfs!

Did Herr Juncker employ a food taster at that fractious dinner or did he just skip the amuse bouche? Did their eyes meet in time honoured fashion over the toast? Theresa has well-hidden talents, first she’s guiding Donald by the hand down a slippery slope; next she is fixing her steely gaze on Juncker over the lip of a goblet. There is many a slip between cup and lip!

Tough Theresa is dealing with her split ends and the unruly mop that is that upstart Johnson; he’s hoping to be head boy after prefecting (sic.) his behaviour, but has admitted that he has more chance of being re-incarnated as an olive than coming back as me!

I love the idea of the tittle tattle, the jockeying for position, like being back in the classroom, telling tales to mistress hoping to be chastised; good cop, bad cop, another 10,000 of them.

Diane has spent that Corporation Tax windfall three times over. Do I hear a clamour for more maths teachers on the street, one on every corner!

But let’s get straight to the crux of the matter, the core of the Brexit issue, the one everyone refuses to confront, the elephant in the birdcage. Those of you not interested in football wander off and make a nettle tea, those who like my style and prose, hang on my every word like a canary in a coal mine.

No one has spoken of the effect of Brexit on the Premier League. Are the players and managers going to be given special dispensations so they can stay?

Bournemouth have fielded more English players for more minutes than any other team in the Premier League this season, which would mean the team from the English Riviera would turn the Premiership into a passeggiata.

Then all the ‘jolly foreigners’ (thank you Boris, please stop interjecting) would have to prove their worth, and just how many of these the primping prima donnas would make it on merit? Acting, histrionics and throwing themselves to the floor are more Royal Shakespeare than Leyton Orient. As my friend Tony would say ‘It is theatre for the working man!’

They could all be banished beyond the pines.

My own coterie of staff are starting to get a little edgy, Raoul my ‘Epilation Technician’ as he now wishes to be called is talking to himself more often than usual and removed most of my left eyebrow whilst taking a selfie for his new Irish passport.

So I am now left looking no more odd than usual!

Finally I shall finish by promoting an event which as many of possible of you should take part in. If you own an Italian bicycle, motorcycle of car it will be the place to be!

The Best of Italy Race takes place on 16th September 2017

www.bestofitalyrace.com

Information: info@bestofitalyrace.com

Ferris Wheel’s Day Off

Arcachon by night

Copyright © 2017 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

Better late than never – Bacchanalian celebrations continue

For goodness sake, give me five minutes sojourn from travelling, and celebrating my birthday in order to write a newsletter.

I thought you’d all be glad of a rest from all this drivel, but I have been reminded more than once, that I hadn’t written anything in ages.

This has meant that I have had to break off from my Bacchanalian feasting long enough to press fingers on keys and give my own peculiar take on world events.

My birthday; if you were not aware occurs on All Saints Day, this was a source of mirth for one or two of you. Moi the third Duke of Pimlico in a vineyard in Bordeaux at 3am with my reputation?

But my thoughts are drawn to current affairs…. No, the news, not my private life. For heaven sake, do you have to look at everything from a juxtaposition? I tried it, my back has only just recovered, and I know there are some of you who will go home and try this tonight, I warn you it’s not what you think, so don’t blame me.

Politics on both sides of the Pond is starting to look like a really bad haircut, with politicians fighting for attention, like Donkey in the Shrek movies, pick me, pick me. Waiting for Simon to press his Golden Buzzer.

Unfortunately it seems our politics have never been more polarised and the speeches are being made from the wings each playing to their own gallery, too scared or unable to understand how to take the centre stage.

The Washington and Westminster villages are starting to look like bubbles where the people on the inside are the ones wielding the pins and seem set on trying burst them!

I leave it to the Bard to Prologue the scene:

Two households, both unalike in dignity,
In fair Parliament, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean….

After Shakespeare.

Jingoism Unchained, the people are set free, we are all headed for Candyland.

Europe meanwhile, has been enjoying an Indian summer, et ego quoque.

I decided that this year the celebrations would mirror those of Bacchus, but only after I had returned to the white isle for one last swim. I have a small secluded beach I run to, where I can guarantee that I will not be troubled by people requiring my sartorial advice, where I can be at one with nature.

S'estanyol

S’estanyol

Even in the middle of October the water in Ibiza was warm enough for me not to require a layer of goose grease, anyway it would be a terrible waste of foie!

Neil was on sparkling form, we were going to cycle together now that we have formed the Inkadelic Cycling Club, but a short, sharp shower put paid to that and Neil decided that I required a little more work. Raoul my ‘waxer’ was mortified, but he does scare easily and Halloween was just round the corner. He just kept muttering, is that blood, real blood?

It was my intention to post a photo of Neil at work, but it has been censored following several complaints after I had posted it on Facebook.

Inkadelic Cycling Club Ibiza

Inkadelic Cycling Club Ibiza

Neil has finally put down some serious roots on the island, and is looking forward to moving into his new pad in D’alt Villa next year.

We both made a new friend this year and our thoughts are with this new friend and his dad after Shifty came off worse in an altercation with a car. Shifty is a miniature pinscher and those of you who are that way inclined can follow him on Instagram ‘Shiftys_world’.

Instagram shiftys_world

Instagram shiftys_world

My life is full of rich experiences, whether someone is chucking pound coins at me and demanding that I dance, perhaps this is what it is like being at a West Ham game (it transpires that the rent on the Olympic Stadium is less than I pay for the shop, how does that happen?); or an older lady telling me how much she admires how I fill out my clothes, it appears I’m on to a winning streak!

Bordeaux by night

Bordeaux by night

My birthday celebrations took place in Bordeaux and Saint Emilion, swanning, not swaying round a couple of Chateaux.

My private tour was organised by ‘Bordeaux with Elodie’.

http://www.bordeauxwithelodie.com/

I cannot recommend Elodie and Laetitia highly enough.

They organised two wonderful days around Bordeaux.

A marvellous tour of two vineyards in Saint Emilion, Chateau Guadet, which is one of only two Chateau in the centre of the village, full of history and eerie limestone tunnels.

http://www.chateau-guadet-saintemilion.fr/

This was followed by a tasting of some magnificent wines, and before you ask, that is a bottle of Chateau Angelus, and yes we did taste 8 wines. Hic!

If I must!

If I must!

And I may have bought the odd bottle.

This was followed by lunch and a visit to a more modern set up, at the newly renovated Chateau Tour Saint Christophe, set in the beautiful rolling hills around Saint Emilion. Wonderful wines with a different structure.

www.vignoblesk.com

Laetitia drove us back to Bordeaux, via all the Chateaux of the area. The sun went down to end a perfect day.

Sunset over Chateau Angelus

Sunset over Chateau Angelus

The next day was spent at the Dune du Pyla, where I imagined I was Lawrence of Arabia… I can but dream, but by all accounts I have strange imagination and do not live in the real world.

Dune du Pyla

Dune du Pyla

And lunch…… You can see the weather was kind.

La C(o)rniche

La C(o)rniche

We have many new projects afoot including a 360 degree view inside the shop on both levels. Just drag the little dangly man on Streetview over the shop on Google Maps and by the power of the interweb you are beamed by Scotty straight onto the ground floor, press the lift button and the basement beckons.

There will be a new website, it will be attached to this blog and also as a separate entity and much more impressive presence on social media.

And if you have read all the way to the end, there will be a wine tasting soon, including some of the wines I brought back.

Copyright © 2016 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

June Newsletter 2016

Once again I am asked how I come up with these phantasmagorical tales.

Well let me tell you.

You leave a couple of politicians in charge of the magical lantern and suddenly they are projecting all sorts of frightening images onto the wall, playing with our imagination, fuelling our fears, creating a farrago, until in their frenzy to outdo each other, they knock the magic lantern over and then scarper, blaming each other for burning the theatre down.

I think we drew the short straw.

The Italians have opera, which is their theatre drawn from real life, the Japanese; Kabuki with their exotic make-up, masks and songs, the Mexicans have their wrestling with its exotic make-up, masks and songs, just ask Donald; and the Welsh have Gareth Bale.

We have on the other hand have got the “The Good Old Days” back, with Leonard Sachs and all the pathos of a smug pug singing the “Marseillaise”. Apparently we have our country back?

Long, lazy days of doing sweet FA, not unlike our premiership superstars. Drinking cider in the parks, fighting like the Inter City Firm, no grudge too small, no boots too big, all in the days before love and ecstasy. How bizarre to see a smile on everyone’s face.

I owned an Austin Allegro with its oddly shaped, square steering wheel and it didn’t matter if it was made on a Friday, it was a dreadful car on whichever of the 3 days a week it was made. I think it ran on coal, and the suspension was made out of elastic bands.

Now admittedly if I was dragged back to “The Darling Buds of May” and Catherine Zeta-Jones was my Cherie Amour I might view it as a lovely summer day, but 1976 was a long time ago, and there is only so much rolling around in the hay one can do. Quiet, anybody who thinks they know better!

How the nostalgia seeps up through cracks in the pavement, and it will, but we have moved on.

With the French in charge of EDF, the Germans owning nPower and Eon UK, the Spanish, Scottish Power, to paraphrase ‘The Sun’; “If common sense does not prevail, will the last person to leave Britain please blow the candle out!”

I am fascinated to see how nasty politics has become. Perhaps they have been trapped in the underworld for a very long time with Perseus, drinking absinthe and caustic soda, watching endless repeats of Eastenders.

Hades raised an eyebrow. When he sat forward in his throne, shadowy faces appeared in the folds of his black robes, faces of torment, as if the garment was stitched of trapped souls from the Fields of Punishment, trying to get out.

If only I could get him to give Boris’s bike puncture!

Now, is not the time for politicians to enter into philosophical discussion, it is time to run. The masses now have pitchforks and the politicians are looking a lot like Wicker Men.

Anyway I shall head back to Ibiza, and Hedonism not Hades, I know where my priorities lie.

I will not be staying in the new rural hotel bocadilloed between the club DC10 and the airport. It is called ‘In Flagrante’. So if you are spied in ‘delicto’ it will be by drugged up clubbers from 500ft landing at 3am. I supposed you might say. “Only in Ibiza”.

Since May’s newsletter I have visited the island a couple of times. The first trip involved Neil, Tony and myself spending the night in the DJ booth at Pacha with a young, up and coming DJ called David Morales. The best set I have ever witnessed, below are a couple of photos.

Can you call me back, I'm working

Can you call me back, I’m working

Needin' U

Needin’ U

It finished very late! As it did every night, and I will admit to falling asleep for 20 minutes at the bar, Itaxa at 6.30am, where they serenaded me into slumber with a Spanish guitar. The eighty year old lady, who owns it, gave me a tea towel for a pillow! Tony’s eyes were open, but don’t sharks sleep that way?

We visited a bar called Exis owned by Birgit a German friend and she has a wall covered in photos of clients over the years. It was a poignant reminder of losing my dear friend Richard, 5 years ago, and how many of the faces that stare out from these photos are still with us?

The photo speaks for itself.

The Wall

The Wall

We enjoyed the usual birthday celebrations on Formentera, and after 6 litres of vodka, this spider saw a fly and the hypnotic spray from the wake of the boat sped us from one paradise to another.

FLy

Fly

Spray

Spray

June is easily the best month in Ibiza, the sea not too crowded, nor the restaurants or bars, people are still calm. Neil is still drinking green tea, before the triple espresso, high octane ‘cafe caleta’ season starts.

As in the past I have used trips to Ibiza to avoid going to Pitti Uomo in Florence. This may be the final straw, and why I may never go again. I also re-iterate, this is not me. It is so wrong on so many levels and in what world does this person think this looks acceptable. There are moments in fashion where you realise that the vogue has reached a tipping point and those teetering on the brink will tumble into the sea to be dashed against the rocks, dresses made out of newspaper, anything with a medusa’s head, shoes that make you walk like Dick Emery and braces that look like a ‘Mankini’ for a dandy!

Brace yourself

Brace yourself

Lastly a sunset, because we have been bereft of suns a setting, lords a leaping, seven swans a swimming, I have been lucky with the ladies dancing, but one makes ones own luck? Unless you are sharing a table in a restaurant; some will know this story, the rest can only guess at how I might have been transformed!

Sunset

And a Jakeism to end – Christmas is now closer than the last New Year. Joy, thy name is Time!

Copyright © 2016 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.