June 2012 – Volpe Newsletter

This is a long one. Best to get that out of the way to begin with!

So much has happened this month. My, my, haven’t you all been so busy. It must mean the economy is on the way back, or you’ve all got so bored that some of you are actually doing something, asides from working.

Anyway, my plan was to meet up with Sam in the Cathay Lounge at Heathrow, we’d start drinking and continue until we were scraped onto the tarmac in Hong Kong. And if Mark had come along, we may never have survived the flight. Oh well, best laid plan of mice and men. Sam changed his plans and has headed for Paris. However, on the slight chance we both are in Hong Kong at the same time, we will try and do something en famile…

OK, slight problem, should I start again or just continue? Sam didn’t go to Paris, we are on the same flight, but as of yet we haven’t started drinking. I think we’ll take it easy and relax and catch up. We’re both going to have some work to do, and how else am I going to get the newsletter out? It is great to have Sam along, even if it’s so he can’t complain that it may be late. At least this time it might be his fault!!!

Anyway, I’m on the plane and only 11 hours to save the world! OK, OK to write the newsletter. It’s just that the former sounds so much more dramatic, and you know how I like a drama. And now the damn seat is broken, it’s completely flat and I’ve got to go and stand in the galley whilst they try to fix it at 2am, in the dark, with a toothpick. I should be catching up on my beauty sleep, wrapped up in my duvet, in my own individual little booth.

What am I doing in Hong Kong? I hear you all ask in unison.

Am I standing on top of a tall building in a typhoon? No really, you should see the video. A typhoon No. 8 signal passed through, so after dinner we strolled up onto the roof at David Tang’s Bank of China Restaurant to watch the passing typhoon. I was Batman to Hong Kong’s Gotham City. Oh, Adrian do get over yourself and the fantasy world in which you live.

No really; working is my response. Not to find new suppliers, as someone cruelly suggested. I am doing this for a friend who trusts my judgement. He has asked me out here to make suits for his wedding.  Mountain brought to Mohamed, perhaps. Fool? Clearly, but I won’t have a word said against him, and his fiancé has made it clear that she thinks I’m completely mad or worse. We’ve met, only the once, and since then she has avoided me. It was the pale blue suede jacket for a stag weekend he was going to in Ibiza that did it, very “Miami Vice”. Well it would, wouldn’t it?

I did put him Neil’s way if he was in need of a tattoo. Talking of Neil, there was a picture of him and Scratch (his faithful canine companion) on Facebook, sunning themselves on a beach. He said he was only there a couple of hours, but I did notice a darker hue to his skin whilst chatting on Skype. He can still be such a rebel. I shall try to get there at some point and have my name engraved somewhere so I don’t forget who I am. Neil doesn’t do “shades”, nothing beats a good glare, and Neil can glare with the best of them. Sometimes I think he really enjoys scaring prospective customers by staring at them, or it might be a test. If they can withstand his withering glance, then they are able to the pain that will follow as he wields his needle!

Sadly Neil will be in London this weekend, at some celeb wedding or other. So we will miss each other. He will arrive with Ryanair, and stay in a tent in a field, I will not. He didn’t like that. I didn’t realise he was getting married.

I was in Florence 2 weeks ago for Pitti Uomo, a menswear trade fair. Given my comments about the state and price of accommodation there in the past, I was pleasantly surprised. OK, I happened to be staying there at the same time as Madonna, who I must say made a real pest of herself, by knocking on my door all hours of the day and night, a la Peter Cook and Dudley Moore.

I stayed in a very inexpensive bed and breakfast called Relais del Duomo. It was great, even though it was 36C outside, I didn’t even need to use the air conditioning! Clean and tidy, central and importantly very quiet, well apart from the bells of the Duomo. Really, if I want to be woken at that time I have Sunil. He, who lives in a different time zone to the rest of the world, compiled of 24 hours of work and 1 hour of sleep. Except Sunil don’t live int shoebox int middle ot road (Yorkshire accent). I normally set the alarm to wake me, but Sunil can be guaranteed to pre-empt it by at least a couple of hours.

Now I have a recommendation for you if you are travelling to Florence, it is a restaurant called “Trattoria Gabriello” and it is in via della Condotta. The owner Rita is wonderful. It seems to be one of the few original trattorias left in the centre, and at least there were some locals eating there, and not just infested by tourists like myself. I’m a snob like that, always a tourist, never a traveller. I ate there on Tuesday and the food is simple, and well cooked. She was being helped by her best friend Alessandra. We should all have friends like Alessandra, she took the time to talk to, and make everyone feel very welcome, whilst helping Rita because she wants to. Perhaps “Ale” is not the best waitress in the world, but she has other skills, she says she is working on her English, I feel, that with a little practice she’ll be fine. She also says she is a great driver, the scar on her forehead and the photo of her “totalled” Porsche on her phone may tell a different story!

Dear Michael was in Italy at the same time as part of his gardening leave. He went to Naples to see some friends and improve his Italian. We would chat by text, his main preoccupations appeared to be the heat, and why he wasn’t going brown. The feet of an albino cadaver were the words he used on the day before he left. However, I feel the highlight of his trip was the fact that these feet and his legs made a cameo appearance alongside Rod Stewart and Penny Lancaster in the Daily Mail, now only if they lived next door to him, what treats would lie in store for them!

Michael also has a very sweet tooth, but he is a cheap choccie kind of man, more “Fruit & Nut” than “Charbonnet and Walker”, and that says more about Michael than you can imagine. But he arrived back in London clutching a box of chocolates for us from a shop in Naples called “Gay Odin”. As Gillian said, I’m not sure what the Norse God’s reaction to being called gay would be.

Now in every box of chocolates, there is always one! This box, full of Michael’s specially selected goodies contained the worst chocolate I have ever tasted. Each of us who tasted it, curious to the others reaction, was the same. It was made of dark chocolate, so no problem there, but when you bit into it, your mouth was filled with Brut 33. It tasted like the after shave and it smelt like the after shave, all that was missing was Henry Cooper saying “Go on son, stop coughing, it looks like you’ll splash it all over”.

In Italy they put liquers into all sorts of strange shaped bottles in order to trick you into buying them. Being from Naples I expected this chocolate to be filled with Limoncello, not Brut.

After reaching for and finding the wrong bottle to fill this handmade confection, perhaps Giacomo is out on a date somewhere, the faint smell of lemons upon his cheeks. I must ask Michael which he prefers.

And finally congratulations are in order to Eugenia for getting engaged, I know she will be very happy, and finally to Greg the “Cougar Magnet” as well. He has found someone younger to be with and Farah is beautiful. What did you put in her drink, I must try it myself…..

 

Copyright © 2012 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

March 2012 – Volpe Newsletter

This is not being written on my new ipad3, as it is currently taking a cold shower. Apparently it is running very hot, or so I’m told. So back to the original.

OK, after last month’s panic, I should clear up a few things for those of you that were worried. Jason is not leaving The Wolseley, he will always be an omnipresent being, and Jake isn’t leaving either. Although Jake applied, he was not accepted for the job as Mick McCarthy’s replacement, nor the vacant England position. Cue more ranting on Twitter. What did I tell him about the cover for his iphone? It is official, Wolves are going down……

This month’s big news? Shirley is moving house. Well, yes she is, but better than that, she is with child and looks radiant. This not how she feels, or so she tells me. Now, I am not laying the blame at Jason’s door, but this is the third young lady who has been affected in this way, by his mere presence. Hens and eggs! Perhaps Jason could be dropped into areas of low population density and left to roam the streets like a “Lynx” advert.

He sat Jake and me opposite my celebrity nemesis this week for brekkie. Best tables in the house. A veritable boxers staring competition, would I stoop so low, would I heck? You know me better than that, moi, pass up a fight? It was like Zoolander, I was Ben Stiller to his Mugato. Yes, I know the other character is Owen Wilson, but Mugato bears a closer resemblance. I think my “Blue Steel” needs a little work, but I was victorious. At least I can turn right, unlike someone I know. Whilst driving a car they are unable to turn right across oncoming traffic. This has led to some horrific detours, taking them miles out of their way, even into neighbouring countries, just to pop down to the shops.

Girls, I expect to see Duran today. He will bring me my new rollerblades. Yes, I know I’m too old, but the need for speed and all that. Oh, vanity thy name is Adrian. He will however have his shirt on given that summer has now been and gone, so form an orderly queue.

The new wheels coincide with a new App for my iphone “Endomondo”, which I use for running, it is excellent, and there is a free version. So I’ll be out tomorrow laying down some mileage, or just lying in the road just moaning. Siri could call me an ambulance, it will make a change from calling me darling!

Michael is back from Miami, where he had a fantastic time. I can’t go into all the gory details, but whatever he did has severely affected his memory. As far as I can ascertain, he can remember leaving his friend’s home every evening, but the return journey appears to be missing, a man after my own heart. One staff member was leaping for joy upon Michael’s return, running round the shop, shouting Michael’s back, Michael’s back. Well he’d promised to bring back “Jelly Beans”. He did not disappoint, bags full of them, we’re all feeling slightly sick now.

He is swapping jobs, and was hoping for a few months gardening leave. All kinds of extravagances were arranged. The release of a thousand doves, a week of intense massage on a beach in paradise, learning to make “Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut”, because, and I quote “I love cheap chocolate”. Well with his taste in other things, obviously he has to cut back somewhere. Unfortunately this story does not have a “happy ending”! He is being made to work his notice, not a happy bunny.

His mood improved after he was presented with a little gift I found him in Rome. As he said, “They are so me”! Fur-lined driving shoes, I was so hoping that he wouldn’t like them so I could have them for myself, no such luck.

Talking of Rome, I was back there last week. I realise that you all feel that I am solely a creative being and my hands have never seen a hard days work. I put it down to mild green “Fairy Liquid”. I stayed somewhere new, for the first and last time. The photos promised so much, and like an online dating site delivered so little. Considering traffic is barred from so many streets in central Rome, it is the noisiest place I have ever stayed in. It required 4 separate keys to enter the room from the street, the last of which to the room, was a wardrobe key. A further key was required to get into the breakfast area, which appeared to be run automatically, as I never saw another sole. Where on my attire I was going to find room for such a large bunch of keys, proved to be a massive challenge.

The bathroom was so dark, yes, even with the lights on shaving was a bit of a cut and thrust affair, and was the location of the only mirror. At no point could I view myself full length. Oh stop sniggering!

Don’t forget, if you would like to relive my past glories, or even find where you may (or may not) have been mentioned in a newsletter, visit www.volpeblog.wordpress.com for a trip down Memory Lane. Or Amnesia Avenue.

 

Copyright © 2012 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.