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 2010 – Volpe Newsletter

March has arrived and preparations, or at least media speculation for the World Cup is in full swing. I’ll leave discussing the General Election until next month. It will guarantee that I have something to write about, and perhaps someone on one side or the other will have decided what they might want to do once they have charge of the piggy bank and the hammer.

My apologies if you do not share our obsession with the failure with the English national side. If it makes it easier, Scots aside, it would be as easy to insert any national side instead of our own, and in place of the World Cup, your competition of choice. I am sure the sentiments would be the same. Unless of course you are Canadian, and contrive to ensure that the playing surface suits only your team, and in the case of Americans, games that only you play.

After all, we are talking of infighting in the squad, last minute injuries to key players and before long an incident in a nightclub involving, well I can only leave you to guess. Fingers crossed and just hope that Wayne Rooney’s monthly salary, which is far too large to write on the back of a postage stamp is enough to keep him motivated. What does sound greater the current rumoured £150,000 per week or £600,000 per month? We revel in the vain hope that we may win if only, everything and luck is on our side, that Stevie G and Fat Frank can play together because it’s clear that John and Bridgie can’t and now won’t, or only with each other’s toys. And of course that the WAGS stay in Sun City, perhaps, happy in the company of lifeguards, waiters and pool boys, apologies if these are among your chosen professions I do not wish this suffering upon you.

As you know from the last news letter I recently travelled to Milan. I stayed in some apartments close to the Duomo, and the Galleria. It’s many years since I have visited this fair city; more like, I’ve tried to avoid it as best I can. As I suspected Milan still has little to offer me, and I have oft complained that the cities in Italy empty in the evening leaving a weary visitor few places to enjoy, and the best places to eat are well outside the city. It was a great culinary festival known as Milan Fashion Week, Internationale versus Chelsea and the apartments next door were rumoured to be full of models. This offered a distant glimmer of fun. In a word: No. The trip only got better when the French air traffic controllers’ strike delayed my flight back and I spent a couple of hours on the tarmac at Malpensa, and what’s in a name?

Anyway, back to the burden of celebrity, I imagine that means “well known”. Well let me explain you’re not, and you know who you are. No I’m not being a bully, and talented means “offering a skill of some value”. Let me explain Panto doesn’t count, and in your case your best is definitely behind you, you know, behind you. Sometimes it just passes over their head.

Since it’s the first thing that most people discuss with me, and it is an English obsession: the weather. Yes, it has been cold, and no I can’t do anything about it. Of course I’d rather be on the beach in Ibiza, but the weather is no better there. If I was there I would have my friend Neil (The Tattooist), and his problems with his sciatica, for company. No, I’m not being selfish. I remember what I was like with my gout but I just wouldn’t want to sit around like a grumpy old gits discussing our health.

STOP PRESS: What did I say, poor little David now needs an operation and looks like he’ll miss the World Cup, but it does mean that now there’ll be no way of getting away from Victoria….

Whether the Weather:

1: As I said, I can’t do anything about it, and no, I’m not going to do that stupid dance, just in case. We have the Morris Dancers for that.

2: The first day of spring is March 21st, we’re not there yet….

3: British Airways are going on strike, so the chances of getting away now rely upon collective Willie waving.

4: The clouds on the horizon really are clouds, not some metaphor for the economic climate, which appears overcast and foggy, and the long term forecast has been dropped.

5: Don’t just look at holiday brochures: book something. You know a holiday at home isn’t going to be good enough and it won’t be any cheaper. You tried it last year and all you did was moan about the cost of things.

6: Look, I had a part time job at Butlin’s, trust me I know….

7: No, Pontins, Warners or Centre Parcs aren’t going to be any better. Get some vitamin D, rickets is thing of the past.

8: Sorry I just had to stop for a moment and warm my hands over the candle. Well you wouldn’t be able to read my scratchy handwriting.

9: And the first day of summer is June 21st, so try and hold back on the shorts and the Birkenstocks please, even though the sun might make an appearance today.

10: After all that lovely cold weather put paid to all those horrible germs that you carry around.

11: Boys and girls, spring also heralds the beginning of “Duran Watch”. You know you’ve been waiting for it, and those of you who know Duran, will be watching…

12: Soon it’ be time for those intimate waxings, named after faraway places, Hollywood, Brazil, Las Vegas and Land’s End.

13: Unless you really want to attract my friend Hogan, who is very hirsute in his pursuit

14: JLS will release a cover of Seasons in the Sun, and for Jake’s benefit we will be buying him a box set of Cafe Del Mar, he loves it so much…..

 

Copyright © 2010 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.