February 2011 – Volpe Newsletter

Well February has nearly been and gone, and I haven’t been anywhere. It’s a short month and I’m bang up against it to get this out. Blink and you’ve missed it, I could have done with a couple of extra days and perhaps another speech or two from Colonel Gaddafi, but I can unequivocally say I have never knowingly supplied him with items of clothing. Damn. Trapper hats all round next winter.

Finally the mornings are turning a little lighter, the evenings too, and if Dave has his way, those of us in London will have a binge culture of 24 hour daylight, drunk on everlasting sunshine, suddenly we’ll all feel better on the happiness index, or whatever he’s going to call it. No doubt it will make my insomnia worse, I may never sleep again, and everyone living north of Watford will suffer from rickets. The Scots will be more depressed about their football, they will blame us for stealing what light they get, and every game will need to be played under floodlights. The only players they will be able to attract will be moles, or three blind mice. So a step up on a few they have there now, we all know what you think of the refs north of the border.

Now, if only Dave could turn the thermostat up a few degrees, bring us the Aurora Borealis, we’d all be ‘staycationing’, waving glosticks and recreating foam parties. Oh well, looks like I’ll be holidaying abroad again this year.

And before the pedants amongst you tell me, that this not how daylight-saving works, I’ll remind you that it’s my newsletter and I’ll write it how I want.

Some of you have commented on my healthy glow, I suppose it’s politer than the Mr Orange remarks, and I am still many a shade of mahogany paler than Dave or David Dickenson. But after the long winter nights I have been known on occasion to visit the Costa Lampada, if only to get some heat into these tired old bones. If the therapeutic effects involve a ruddier complexion, so be it. Vanity, thy name is Adrian.

On a related note and in order not to make this a political issue, like every government I have found my way round the expenses problem. I paid myself double, dropped my bonus scheme and set up a complex system of offshore accounts on Sark. Whilst somehow finding a way to re-employ my coterie of advisors, pluckers and waxers, dressers and cross dressers, even Raoul has returned.

A friend’s spouse is on the Space Shuttle winging its way to the International Space Station. Going out to the shed to be on your own is understandable, but this is a little extreme. This makes the actions of a Japanese friend pale by comparison; when barred from the house by his wife, sleeps it off in his local church, such are the results of cheap white wine and the understanding nature of the local clergy towards a Buddhist.

My D-list celebrity friend is now headed for LA dressed in a gold costume. Apparently he will be on Hollywood Boulevard miming as Oscar. I fear he may get a little more than he bargains for. Obviously it’ll be all over bar the partying when you read this. If it were my party, top of my guest list would be Charlie Sheen, now more enfant terrible than hellraiser.

He’d be certain to create some sort of incident which I could write about, as many of my party animal friends have been so very quiet this month. I suppose after January’s abstinence I’d hoped that you’d all return to hard partying, but I have been disappointed unless it has been a month long event I am still to become aware of.  Alternatively, it may be that they know I am watching, stubby little fingers poised over the screen of my Ipad, just waiting for the merest whiff of scandal and impropriety. As if!

James who was here last month from Geneva, has gone home to clear his head in the fresh mountain air, it appears that they have had a recent delivery of powder and he’s gone off piste. I’m sure we’ll bump into each other again very soon. He’ll fix me with the gaze of someone who can’t quite place me, before staggering off in search of his next adrenaline fix. Somehow I think even stumbling onto the Cresta Run and sliding the whole course without a sled would fail to quench his need for speed, and now we’ve had the last Space Shuttle so few challenges remain.

Neil will be here from Ibiza next month, pigeons of Trafalgar Square beware, and I know the break in the weather will have you all reaching for shorts and Birkenstocks, no matter how 2 years ago they were.

Remember one swallow doesn’t make a summer.


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.