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.

June 2010 – Volpe Newsletter

We wuz robbed, I tell you. And I’m not talking about the Budget, of which more later.

Like Don Fabio, I’ll brook no dissent. Mi casa, my rules. We were much the better side. Just look at the statistics and you know my thoughts on that.

Apparently Capello sent the team on to the pitch with the rousing cry: ‘Let’s make English football history.’ I feel that got lost in translation.

It seems even Paul the psychic octopus from the Sea Life Aquarium predicted a German win. Yeah, well let’s see how he fares against Spain where they like fried squid rings.

But as I said we were so much the better side; even my wife agrees and as I know by now, she is never wrong.

There was a moment during England’s nail-biting journey to oblivion on Sunday night when she shouted: ‘Lamps’ at the TV.

I share Don Fabio’s dislike of infantile footballing nicknames, and unless she was describing what she wanted Fat Frank to do to the assistant referee, then divorce beckons if she ever uses such a word again. And I’ll sue for alimony if she says Wazza.

Still, there are upsides to Sunday’s match.

The WAGs were waiting until this week to go out so no pictures of them shopping and falling off bar stools.

And the James Corden’s World Cup Party may be in for an early bath which means an end to the canvassing of opinions of such football geniuses a Pixie Lott by a smug fat bloke in a suit two sizes too small for him. I’m with Patrick Stewart there.

As you know at the end of May I visited Rome again. This time it was just for the day to visit a shoe wholesaler who refused to deal with me over the phone or via email. What strange world we live in. It’s right up there with: ‘The donkey’s sick, so I can’t get the parcel to the UPS office.’ Yes, a supplier has used that excuse. However it wasn’t an entirely wasted trip, I ate a decent lunch and spent some of the day with one of my best friends Max Pietrolucci, and even did a little sightseeing.

However a journey I will be making this month will be back to Ibiza. Those of you who think I have a home there, sorry to disappoint, and if I did, no you couldn’t use it. Also for those of you who have attempted to photograph me under the influence of something that isn’t wheatgrass, waving glo sticks like a five year old would sparklers, again you’ll be disappointed. Neil “the tattooist” has informed me that he will go back to doing stars, geckos, dolphins etc, because as yet I have not agreed to have the roof of the Sistine Chapel in miniature on my back. He has also offered both Eugenia and Carla summer jobs as his receptionist, and I don’t believe it, they are contemplating accepting. Now Eugenia has “previous” for this kind of arrangement. All I can say to her is remember what happened last time.

Not that I’m not going to dwell on it but yesterday’s referee Jorge Larrionda also has “previous” for “over the line” incidents. In 2004 he deprived Brazil of a winner so they drew 0-0 with Colombia in a World Cup qualifier. He once told an interviewer “I hope I never see the day when technology arrives that can help or replace the job I do”. Also in 2002 he was suspended by Uruguay’s FA for unspecified alleged irregularities that meant he was unable to officiate at the 2002 World Cup. Not that I’m bitter.

A thank you is due to Matthew who bought me some chocolates back from Bologna, a kind and unnecessary gesture, but he is a kind and thoughtful chap. I thought he’d go far, but then flattery and presents always bring out the best in me. The latest 3D gadgets wouldn’t go amiss.

This month we also lost Sam to Hong Kong once more. The family soon to follow and I must admit I will miss Xavier’s Saturday morning attempts to total the Ferrari. Sam and Claire be warned, let him loose with a Playstation before he gets his hands on the real thing. The new Test Drive game will be based in Ibiza, so next year it will be full of kids, driving dad’s Nissan Micra lit from underneath with blue neon, ear splitting music blaring from open windows. So nothing will really change. Oh dear, I do sound old.

Now, my friend who has admitted in the past that he was a suit short of a week still is according to him. He feels that a racy little linen number to complete his collection of linens would fit the bill. Not that I want to turn away business or condemn excess in any way, because that would be commercial suicide. I just don’t think that he’s likely to have five consecutive days of sunshine in this country. Apologies, this week has proved me wrong, but mark my words it won’t last.

The customer is king has always been my motto; or one of them. Maybe I’ll make a list of my mottos and add them to next month’s newsletter.

So were you a winner or loser in the Budget – or more accurately, a loser or a really big loser?

I’m still mulling it over so I’ll hand over to Sheherazade Goldsmith, the gorgeous ex-wife of billionaire Zac, newly-minted MP for Richmond.

It would be vulgar to speculate on the sheer tonnage of Mrs Goldsmith’s divorce settlement but it’s clear that even she feels some belt-tightening is in order.

‘If you grow your own raspberries, pick them and make them into jam, it’s a very satisfying feeling,’ she said recently.

‘Much more satisfying than buying it from Fortnum & Mason.’

A sentiment with which we can all agree, and as English as a World Cup defeat.

For those of you who have asked about my mystery “celebrity”. Well, he is currently staying on at the World Cup owing to a promotional role. I felt it would be too cruel to ask which particular animal he would be dressed as, but it would certainly need to be one of the veldt’s larger inhabitants, if only to accommodate his ego. He has been muttering about how poor Brien Blessed’s contribution has been, well at least his voice will be heard above the vuvuzelas.

 

Copyright © 2010 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.