A Newsletter lost in time

So let’s STOP the PRESS.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (The World’s Greatest footballer) has spoken, he will stay at Paris St Germain if; if they replace the Eiffel Tower with a statue of him, the arrogance of the man. I admit I had to climb down from the top of my column in Trafalgar Square just to make sure my eyes weren’t deceiving me. Surely, the answer is in his name, it’s all about ‘him’.

Looking down on you?

Looking down on you?

It seems like and age.

Where have I been?

Writer’s block?

Have I been preparing for hibernation like a snake, fattened up for Chinese New Year, and Snake Soup?

Gong Hey Fat Choy.

Have I adopted the Northern European model of taking a mid-season break? Have I adopted a Northern European model?

Have I been travelling?

Is Donald Trump a catholic?

So since the last newsletter, it’s been Venice, Bologna, Florence, Rome and Hong Kong again, Rome, Florence,Bologna and The Wolseley!

I’d like to thank all of you I have shared a meal with, in each of those locations, hence the reference to snake soup, although they were eclipsed by Luk Yu Teahouse in Hong Kong and their house speciality Pig Lung and Almond Milk Soup.

I was discussing this with young Jason at The Wolseley this morning, as I tucked into my Marmite on toast; Jason prefers Bovril on his, because, and I quote, “I prefer something a little beefier!” Ooh, you are awful!

In Venice my favourite restaurant was shut for a month, as were so many others for a holiday. So pickings were scarce and the tide was high.

By the Rialto

By Rialto, not Canaletto

So I bought these interesting over-boots which had a half-life of 2 hours and sprung a leak in the middle of Piazza San Marco, leaving me to hop glamorously to the nearest duck board and dry land!

I love Venice in January. The streets are quiet, at night the mist comes down, the waters rise, an eerie silence pervades the canals and I can put on a little red cape and scare people all I want!

It’s assumed that Venice shuts down at about 9.30 in the evening, but there are little, late night bars tucked away all over Venice. So, just when you think everyone has snuck off back to Mestre, you can turn a corner and there it is, a bar glowing neon in a darkened alley way and a final cocktail to take the edge off the chilly night air, and cut through the mist.

I wonder is ‘Venice Mist’ the same as ‘Scotch Mist’, or can you get mist anywhere?

Booties!

New Boots and……

Gone Dollars?

Gone Dollars?

Day view from my window

Day view from my window

Night view

Night view

I prefer to arrive in Venice by train, but it was not to be this trip. I love the fact that you walk down the platform after ‘alighting’ from the train and step outside to be greeted by the Grand Canal, rather than Alan Clark (he of the dairies) in red trousers, hurtling past on a Boris Bike!

The next day I hopped aboard a train and headed for Bologna, Emanuele’s cooking and Florence for the Pitti Uomo Trade Fair.

There's nothing on TV these days

There’s nothing on TV these days

Emanuele never ceases, never rests, he continues to produce consistently excellent food and an atmosphere and conviviality only matched by Issy at About Thyme, and Vash at the Cork and Bottle. It’s not only about the food, but about the people, the camaraderie, the conversations, not forgetting the food, time stands still, and the glass remains full.

Hard Cheese?

Hard Cheese?

I was working on next Winter’s collection, and what goodies I have in store for you will have to wait until next winter we have to get through summer first.

The summer stock is starting to arrive, and some interesting new developments are afoot. These I will outline in a following emails.

I followed this up with a day trip to Rome, for nefarious reasons, a long way to go for lunch, but I had my reasons.

I must admit, it was a struggle.

It followed a Champagne tasting with Vash, where Ayala and Bollinger flowed as if it were a mountain spring, and a 1.30 am finish was followed by a dash in a taxi to the airport at 4.30 am!

But breakfast Pietrolucci style and lunch at Edy, had me functioning on all twelve cylinders again. I’m now chanelling my inner Alan Clark, who as we all know should have been Foreign Secretary, if only he could have got Maggie to listen to him, sadly he was too busy fantasising about her driving a tank!

He’d have told those damn Europeans where to go, put a portcullis, a draw bridge and a moat (all on expenses) at the end of the Channel Tunnel and had this country back on it’s feet whilst doing donuts in his XK120 outside Fortnum and Mason.

Is that Mrs T in the passenger seat looking a trifle green?

IMG_6960

Strawberry Fields forever

Strawberry Fields forever

On the Saturday night I headed for Hong Kong to look after my growing group of friends and clients there.

Once again home was The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, and they do there very best to make it feel like home. So much like home, that the room had a dessert fridge, doesn’t everyone have one?

Dessert Fridge?

Dessert Fridge?

Now back on Terra Firma, I shall be adding further cities to my list, so if anyone requires my services in another location, I will entertain the thought!

More emails to follow, with lots of new stock.

 

Copyright © 2016 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

End of September 2015 – Yoga Newsletter

A post with new stock will follow.

Sport appears to be imploding all around us and I wanted to wait a little for all the wailing, crying, backstabbing and recriminations to subside before commenting.

The strange game with the ball that is not round has finished, and we won what looks like a beautifully carved wooden spoon. So those of you who support other slightly less successful rugby teams, I can see you gazing on in envy…

A Welsh friend of mine who will remain nameless, Daffyd, his favourite flower being a daffydil, sent me a rather tasteless and pointless photo of a Welsh Dragon torching Twickenham. It makes a change of the last one he sent me of him surrounded by his sheep with the caption ‘My Hareem’. Revenge is a dish best served cold, apart from lamb, which I prefer pink!

I have spared his blushes and only posted the photo of the dragon.

Welsh Dragon?

Welsh Dragon?

And who’d have thought it 10/10 for the England footballers. Granted, not the most difficult group to qualify from, and my Nan’s Village Hall Eleven could have beaten Lithuania. Apparently Miles Storey may be spending his next loan session in my Nan’s team. So he will then have played at a City, a Town and a Village.

Young Mr Storey isn’t the only one getting around, Ibiza Neil is touring the Far East as ‘Emergency Tattoo Artist’ to David Morales and the crew. This I’m sure, is just in case mid set one of the DJs has a crisis of confidence and requires a little inkie touch up here or there.

I am a simple soul. So this made me smile.

Water on Mars

Water on Mars

I took the new, massively hyped iAdrianS on a gentle bender (test). No, not a gender test.

The current model’s power cells are topped up by solar power, which is obviously one of the reasons why I need to travel so much, I will chase the sun like Icarus. A ‘Supermoon’ every 30 years is not good enough.

Supermoon

Supermoon

I hope that we may be able to do away with the solar feature at some point in the future, otherwise we will struggle to sell any beyond the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer given the summer we have had.

Scorpio and my name is Adrian
Now I don’t like a woman that’s quiet
A woman who carries herself like Mr Universe

Mmm take my hand
Come with me baby, to Love Land
Let me show you how sweet it could be
Sharing loving with me
I want…………

Goodness me the absinthe is hanging around in my system! Float, float on…

Currently I am in talks with VW about a diesel powered version. They are little cagey about the data, but they have showered me with so many gifts, how could I say no?

A breakfast companion of mine is keen on getting her daily dose of Vitamin D, stripping off at the drop of a hat at the sun’s zenith, apparently whatever, wherever and whenever the moment takes her, she calls it her Martini moment, I know she’s not solar powered perhaps she’s just an exhibitionist, et moi?

Upward/Downward Dog - Regents Park

Upward/Downward Dog – Regents Park

This lady also thinks that I am some kind of exotic, international playboy!

I’ll have you know that this lady is not Lorraine Chase, firstly that was Cinzano not Martini, and secondly I don’t fly from Luton Airport unless I am sedated.

The iAdrianS test was to involve the unit taking part in yoga on Mallorca, so hopefully the hardware and software should work in unison, just in time to blow the bloody doors off in Ibiza, closing parties? Pah!

The yoga was organised through friends of mine who have Sardinia Yoga, they provide yoga breaks in various locations in the Med, not just Sardinia, just in case you thought the iAdrianS mapping system and location services weren’t functioning correctly.

www.sardiniayoga.com

Yoga View - Cala D'or

Yoga View – Cala D’or

Hotel View - Cala D'or

Hotel View – Cala D’or

The training aspect of the trip was to involve cycling, so I would have got my Lycra fix. Given how poor the summer has been, I’ve had to wear a fat suit under the Lycra to keep warm on the bike, not my usual svelte look.

And should I have a problem with the firmware, I’ve brought along a little Papa Smurf to help…

For those of you who think I may be losing it by taking up yoga, I will warn you that as always I have an ulterior motive. I have yet to work out what that is, but come the end I will have worked one out! I mean it’s not as if there will be semi-clad people contorting themselves into strange and exotic positions. So another night at the Piers Gaveston Society looks as though it is on the cards, and Dave will be having the Suckling Pig!

That is before he sinks his pearly whites into Jezza.

It’s not going to be a seven course menu degustazione is it? Or more likely, a particularly small ‘amuse bouche’, or one of those sorbets to de-glaze your mouth between courses. Given that all around him are laying into him with gusto he will be nice and tender. Grind his bones to make my bread.

No trip to Mallorca is complete without a visit to 4 kilos

No trip to Mallorca is complete without a visit to 4 kilos

The yoga went well between the thunder storms, yet the cycling and running didn’t happen, the weather put paid to that. I changed hotels and headed north towards Pollenca, bad idea, on so many levels…

I’d hoped for some good weather to put the iAdrianS through his paces, but it was dull and by the time I had finished dinner in a lovely restaurant called Marisco in Can Picafort it was raining, and then it began to properly rain. I made it back to the hotel to be greeted by International Line Dancing Week.

http://restaurantemarisco.es/

No really, it’s true. At any one time there were 100 German men and women shaking their thing to ‘My Achy Breaky Heart’; when out the line stepped Daisy Duke, or will his name be Duke Daisy, a transvestite of well over six feet tall dressed as a blonde cowgirl. OMG.

I was having a conversation on Whatsapp with a young lady at the time, she asked for photographic proof, now she wishes she hadn’t, and is still being treated for shock.

So this has turned into a rather long, rambling newsletter, and there is no stopping me now, gathering no lichen…

Florence in the Rain

Florence in the Rain

Storm clouds are building

Storm clouds are building

After a long, damp day in Florence, I hopped on a train and headed through the Apennines. I followed this with a very late night fighting over a steak with Emanuele Putin in a misty Bologna.

As I walked towards the mystic portal, light surrounded me, a wooden door creaked open and I was warmly greeted by Vladamir Addone. What happened next is the stuff of folklore that has become Drogheria della Rosa.

Mystic Portico

Mystic Portico

The Portico Opens

The Portico Opens

Comrade Addone

Comrade Addone

So “Blatter, Valke and Platini”, sounds like a pawnbrokers; have all been suspended for a short period. One of them is very short, period! A source tells me that they have been placed in a sack with a snake to fight amongst themselves, on a boat to Australia. Let them deal with the immigration fallout from that one, and again ooooooh Mr Bond once they run out of food they will only be able to eat one thing; rat.

Clearly I’m using the newsletter to gear up for the launch of SPECTRE.

A little bird has told me that the former Toronto mayor Rob Ford is being ‘lined up’ to succeed Cepp the mushroom. Once again I am just throwing jokes around like confetti. Oh, how you spoil us your Excellency.

As his Excellency I now have a Palazzo all to myself in Bologna.

Palazzo Volpe

Palazzo Volpe

Finally when travelling by air, look around you.

On our approach to Florence, the woman next to me started to get excited, talking in an animated fashion into to her earpiece, something about looking for a clue.

In a flash, the Lycra lady leapt to her feet, shouted “Eureka”, opened the door to the plane and jumped out. The last thing I saw was her rear disappearing into the fresh air.

At no point did I challenge Anneka!

 

Copyright © 2015 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

February Newsletter 2015

February is a short month, but I’ve been getting it out a lot. I think this is the third time, lucky you.

I was in Rome, Bologna and Florence at the beginning of the week.

Once again I must raise a glass and an empty plate to those who watered and fed me. Simone, Stefania, Edy and Emanuele thank you all.

Emanuele thought we’d found a symbol on the tablecloth of the infamous crime organisation SCHMEER (The Secret Company of Huge Male Egos, Eccentrics and Rogues), but it was in fact a wine spill that looked like a scorpion.

SCHMEER

SCHMEER

However I was in Rome on a top secret mission, well not so top secret now. They are shooting the new Bond movie along the banks of the Tiber outside Max’s office. Why was I there you might ask?

Well as you ask, as Monica Bellucci’s stunt double. I’d hoped it would get me closer to her, but it only involved me wandering round in a slinky dress and wig trying to look alluring before I was arrested, then told to take my business elsewhere. By all accounts from behind we could be twins, that’s if she walked like Dick Emery.

Phoaaarrr!

Phoaaarrr!

These mild mannered trucks contain Bond's Aston Martin and the villian's Jaguar

These mild mannered trucks contain Bond’s Aston Martin and the villain’s Jaguar.

I will be back there to shoot more scenes very soon, as soon as the restraining order that Monica has against me expires. Oooooh “Restraining Order”, that’s so 50 Shades…….

Talking of “That’s So!” I have been deeply disturbed by the Money Supermarket advert of the twerking man in denim shorts. My dear Sir, have you not heard of Spanx?

However it was made infinitesimally worse by having DC’s head transposed onto the video. I’m now waking up nights from a nightmare imagining all sorts of people twerking at the end of my bed in denim shorts. No of course it’s not what’s really happening. There is a list of miscreants at the end of the Newsletter!

DC.........

DC………

One of the items that the statistics offer me regarding these newsletters is the most popular searches and where the website has been opened from. No, not the exact address, but it allows me to see in which country on this planet it has been opened. So Sam, I have no idea if you are opening it on your way to Mars or just circumnavigating the globe.

Last week, imagine my surprise when one of the most popular searches for my newsletter, was “Bulging Tight Speedos”!!!

Well I wasn’t really surprised given my propensity for wearing Lycra. However at no point have I ever posted a photo of me in Speedos, not even in that Superman way of wearing his pants outside his trousers or undressing in a phone box.

However, closely related to the Speedo issue, a friend has been telling me because he wears designer stubble most of the time that he is starting to wear through the collars on his shirts fairly rapidly, but there is also a rather alarming side effect to this stubble beyond his problems with the collar.

Whilst swimming front crawl in his tight Speedos the stubble is giving him a nasty rash, on his shoulder, I hasten to add. Better that than a carpet burn on his chin. You know who you are, and in both cases, how it happened!

A friend, whose real name is not Natasha has moved back here from Germany to work once again for a friend of mine who is also not called Sergei. At this point I’ve lost track of where I am and who I am talking about, but I will bravely carry the story forward.

Oh yes, I remember! She shares a house with several gay men, goes to the gym and the sauna with the same said men who delight in pointing out the buff, semi-naked men around her are all of the same proclivity.

She has likened this to be being as frustrated as a kid in a candy shop with diabetes. Must be the German sense of humour!

But she has helped to solve the riddle about the whole beard thing, heavens I’m so stupid it’s all that hair around a pout, it’s so 70’s. Men move forward, try a Brazilian, a Hollywood, even a bit of glitter.

Finally before that list of people wearing denim.

A client from Texas has been telling me about their “Open Carry” Law. By that I thought that particularly ugly babies had to be wheeled round in closed top buggies. Apparently that’s not very nice and also incorrect. Well excuse me!

It pertains to the open carrying of weapons in public. He had been asking me if I could make him a walking cane with a thermal nuclear warhead in the tip. The handle is to house a trained Curare frog, which can fire darts made from its own poison, less of a killing machine and more of a personal statement.

Cute, but lethal

Cute, but lethal

By all accounts gun crime there is on the way down, but it would be when everyone is walking round with a Sherman Tank on a lead!

Now for that list:

At number 1: Dave and Gideon (George, to you commoners)

2: Dear Silvio

3: Vladimir P

4: Donatella Versace

5: Madonna – If she could stay on her feet.

6: Robbie Williams

7: Francois Hollande and now I’m feeling ill, so I’m going to draw a line under this…….

————————————————————————————-

 

Copyright © 2015 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

February 2013 – Volpe Newsletter

February is that kind of month, sneeze and it’s gone.

For those of you who have had a cold, bless you, gesundheit, tomorrow is the first of March.

This is my mouthpiece to the world. Somewhere, where you can glean the most intimate details of my life, and OK, that of some of my mates, but I must admit I did have fun with this one.

Thanks Sunil, for the photos of you and most of the world’s top twenty ladies tennis players. How did you get them to do that, and haven’t some of them got boyfriends? Please be so kind as to illuminate me about your silken charms, and don’t fob me off with the old knock-about remark about your backhand. Next time can you try to get them to do a version of “Call me maybe”.

Mark, thanks for the ones of you. How they got through the spam filter, I will never know. And Michael, the ones of your children were a pleasant surprise.

I spent Chinese New Year with Wolf. He has recovered from having his email hacked, I haven’t, but that’s so last month. We said goodbye to the dragon and ushered in the snake, enjoyed some excellent food and entertainment, and I didn’t lose my shirt at majong. You know me, always looking for the opportunity to take it off.

Congratulations to Al and Victoria. They are getting married in June. You’ll all be using their apps soon.

I had an NHS health check. This was to make sure I had a heart, and that it was still beating, but we’ll come back to that later. However the nurse did ask me to take my shirt off. I think the comment, “haven’t you been a bad boy and didn’t that hurt!” was a little forward, but after she’d been revived, and we’d taken her blood pressure, all was calm again. We are still waiting for the results of my blood tests, but I can tell you now, I’m not sleeping well, up all night, a horrible itchy feeling in my teeth, I can’t face looking at myself in the mirror, and I may never go in the sun again. Who thought you’d ever hear me say that, but that’s the problem with vampires, never invite them in.

I’m back from my travels again. A visit to Bologna to see Emanuele and 3am finish for dinner. I didn’t know you could eat for that length of time. There is a photo where Emanuele has made the island of Sardinia out of a drop of wine; we then proceeded to drink the island dry. Then a short stop in Florence before Rome. I felt like a UN observer, there to oversee the elections, to make sure that all was fair and above board. Don’t know why I bothered, it is Italy after all, and it’s not as though they haven’t had an election before, I was surrounded by a frenzy of apathy!

Emanuele created Sardinia from a drop of wine.

Emanuele created Sardinia from a drop of wine.

If “Dear Silvio” and Beppe Grillo get together, we’re in for a real treat, apologies an M&M, it really will be a cabaret of epic proportions. A singer and a comdeian, who’d have thought, we could end up with Robbie Williams and the Krankies, add a psychologist; a Geordie, an interfering wife, and it could be a farce. That should upset Sig. Napolitano, he’ll cross the road the next time he sees me coming.

Ah yes, how prophetic, bella Roma; home of “la bocca della verita”, and “Dear Silvio”. He’ll be back, because he can’t stay away. He’s always in the background interfering, never happy with his lot, always trying to play with other peoples toys, and only happy when he’s broken them, or damaged them beyond repair.

He’s like the kid in the playground whose friendships rely solely upon how much bunga he throws around. Oh baby, shower me with euros!

Then there is Ill Papa (Sic.), we wish him well, but I wasn’t in Rome for an interview, I was just making smoke. Max and I ate in a restaurant near Castell Sant’Angelo where we were the only people who weren’t priests. They kept staring suspiciously at us, two men lunching alone together, who’d have thought it. Between you and me, I hear they’re considering Jose Mourinho. That should sort them out at the back, and the balcony speeches should be a little more robust and dramatic, perhaps even a little swooning from some of the ladies at the front. I’m just not sure how they’ll cope with the Yorkshire Terriers running around the Sistine Chapel.

I did learn a couple of new words. The first was “ingovernabile”, which was used to describe the Italian political system, and is pronounced with a sigh, in a way that describes just how tired they are with the whole thing. Then there is “imperdonabile”, which is pronounced with such venom that it makes unforgivable seem like a slap on the wrist. It’s a shame because I thought I could always forgive anything.

It has been suggested that I write a book about my colourful life. I would of course need to make huge chunks of it up. Yes it’s true I could hire a ghost writer or get someone to do that for me, but that’s already happened, much of which, as I’ve said before you couldn’t make up.

The book would require a beginning, a middle and an end, not to mention a story; a sub plot, a twist or two and a little Machiavele. Then a character or eight, mine are like a bag of snakes. All flawed of course, but I suppose it’s better to have several that are flawed, rather than none at all; a modern Kind Hearts and Coronets. Then you have to develop them. Suddenly it doesn’t seem so difficult, if I could get each of my personalities to write a chapter, it could be “The Decameron” based around the seven deadly sins, I could throw in a little humour, and then a sting in the tail. Like Chaucer, these characters can live an eternity in print, every boil, pimple and carbuncle. O dio, be still my beating heart.

Recently I have been breakfasting with Marie. She is great fun, and Jason always smiles, perhaps slightly jealous at the company I keep. I admit she is a couple of years older than me, but she’s in diamonds. You see, I really am shallow.

If I’m feeling slightly cultural, which is of course is never; it’s way too cerebral for me. Sorry, I had to think about that. I head to Covent Garden Market and listen to the opera singers, sing various arias. Some are fantastic, but I struggle to understand why others attempt some pieces at all. However there is always a CD to buy if you want to be reminded which particular cat they were strangling.

I was there last weekend, and in the main square there was a large steel heart and LOVE spelt out in large letters. It belonged to the British Heart Foundation, and padlocked to the heart and each letter were thousands of tiny metal hearts, each with its own message of love written by people from all over the world. I spent an age reading them, and I found it incredibly uplifting that love could be expressed in so many simple, but beautiful ways.

LOVE - British Heart Foundation

LOVE – British Heart Foundation

Each hearts cost £3 and the proceeds go to the British Heart Foundation. There was one among you who was worried about the functionality of my heart. Well after my check up, I am pleased to say that everything is working properly; there was no need to worry. Don’t believe everything you are told.

BHF Padlock

Thank you one and all for your kind words regarding my Oscar. It was for best supporting actor in a foreign film. I didn’t realise that when we started filming it would turn out to be such a drama, but I was Rowan Atkinson to Daniel Craig, Johnny English to James Bond. Jake will hate that one. Anyone want to buy a t-shirt? I’ve had thousands printed.

I have listed other suggestions below.

Oscars as they should have been:

Best Baddie: Dear Silvio
Best Goodie: Me, me, me
Best Goody Bag: The ones I give away – Think about it
Best Film adaptation of a Shakespeare play: A Tale between 2 Birthdays
Best Screenplay: Mine, mine, mine
Best Adaptation from a book: Seneca’s tragedies 1682
Best Musical Score: La Wally – Ebben! Ne Andro Lontana – Maria Callas
Most Out of Office replies: Sven – 8 in the last 12 months.

However I didn’t tell the truth about one thing. It was always 24, not 22. Rocco, vincero.

I will now leave this subject alone. We live in a world of our own making. Along the way we make mistakes, ma speriamo che non finisca male per nessuno. It’s not that youth is wasted on the young, it’s just we don’t realise we’ve f^#+~d up until it’s too late.

 

Copyright © 2013 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

December 2011 – Volpe Newsletter

Well dear all. Let me get the pleasantries out of the way and wish you a merry Christmas and very best wishes for the New Year, to some of you Seasons Greetings, and the rest of you Bah Humbug.

This year the newsletter will double as a Christmas Card. So those amongst you who have scant regard for the environment can print this out. The paper folding instructions are on YouTube, if you search for origami Christmas tree. It’s got to be better than George Osborne made out of balloons, but almost anything has to be better than that. I can never remember, is it life imitating art or the other way around?

Being a Christmas Edition, it should be a bumper version, including a sugar mouse and chocolate money, or alternatively something cheaper like the Drachma: No matter what any of you think, the Euro is here to stay.

It has been rumoured that there will be an “Opus” edition of the newsletters, after my dear friend Karl was mentioned in the Sunday Times Magazine last week. The newsletters will be accompanied by hundreds of never before published photos of me in Polaroid form. Often I was unaware or in no fit state to know the photos were being taken, and because of their candid and graphic nature, some may have been used against me. I am even shocked at some of the images myself, but then my life is about to become an open book. Perhaps a “super injunction” beckons.

Jason from The Wolseley was unwell, struck down by “man flu”. Is there nothing you will not do to get a mention? Shirley and Jayne were left to cope in your absence, and how well they did. They even knew to give me a better table than, he who shall not be named. Some of you have asked who this is; sadly my lips are sealed; well in this format anyway, but face to face it is entirely different. In the past, amongst many others, I have sat next to Clive Owen. Girls, exercise a little control please. He spent the entire time exuding an air of “Please don’t recognise me”. It may be a simple solution, but The Wolseley is not the best place to go if you want to be incognito. I like it for precisely that reason, nobody knows who I am. Well until the “Opus” rockets me to super stardom. My late dear friend Richard would have agreed, but then he would have never ventured into an establishment where he was unknown.

I have received best wishes from far and wide, and I thank you all. The gifts have been a little excessive. Paul, Ines and Sophia ensured that I will be spending most of Christmas in the gym, after the enormous basket of pastries. Share, I think not, they’re mine, all mine. Hands off, Jake. Others of you have ensured that I will be spending the New Year in The Priory, with more alcohol than I usually see on a Friday night.

I have seen a fair amount of Neil from Ibiza, who has been up here quite a bit. Visits to family and all that. I’m currently making him a jacket, where the quilting is made from the feathers of the pigeons he has dispatched, and also from the “fallen” that have flown into dear Michael’s windows, dazzled by their own reflection, or in an attempt to mate with the glass. I’m sure Michael uses some sort of bait to attract them. He is still waiting for a door handle, which doesn’t sound like much, but the delightful way Michael tells it, it could be the entrance to Narnia. I am a little concerned that come summer Neil may launch himself like Icarus from the cliffs overlooking Es Vedra, hoping to fly into one of those perfect Ibiza sunsets. At least he’s forgotten about circumnavigating the world in a coracle.

I’m starting to feel a little queasy after my 6th muffin from the basket, perhaps it was the 3rd cookie or the mince pies that are taking their toll. I’m going to have to stop for a minute and monitor my sugar levels.

This week I ventured across St James Park and into Mayfair. My friend Trevor Pickett always complains that I never go and see him. Simple explanation Trevor, you are never in the shop. The last time I saw him, he was looking very glamorous, swathed in pashmina. No, not just pashmina, but he was hanging round the Palace, busy being Father Christmas, and no the pashmina was not red, but he was sporting some designer stubble. Now do you need to be a designer to wear stubble? Will he get one of those special trimmers for Christmas? I’m fairly certain Jamie uses one, but I wish he wouldn’t wear his trousers quite so tight on telly. Matthew, please don’t comment on that one! But then our recent conversations have been about fitting new male and female parts. Studs, if you must know, to his jacket! There is nothing like bawdy pantomime humour to usher in the festive period, or is there?

Talking of that, I should comment on one or two of the stars of the newsletters this year.

David, there is no mountain high enough for one man and his bike.

Peter, who ran the Jungfrau Marathon, please, there is no joke there. But even I could have told him it would be all uphill. He probably passed Neil studying the lichen on the way up.

Emanuele, will be cooking his fingers to the bone, but he likes to do nothing better.

Dear Silvio will be…? Perhaps I shouldn’t answer that.

Mark, I imagine, may drink the minibar at home dry, stagger into the street to hail a taxi driver and head to Heathrow. He may board a flight to somewhere hot, where he can lie on beach safe in the knowledge that British Airways will not be getting their hands on his money. Ever! He has since intimated that it is a fantasy to turn up at the airport and buy a ticket to the first place that took his fancy. Better that than being escorted to it, to an unknown destination in chains, but then perhaps that is the return journey from the ensuing bender!

Celeb D as he is now known has landed a role in panto; apologies, as a roll. From the photos the costume appears more like a bagel or a doughnut, and the tights he is wearing do nothing for his legs, and the make-up the icing on the cake!

Sunil has stopped texting before 5am, which is a relief, but he now may have now dispensed with sleep altogether.

Duran, best known for taking his shirt off, has disappointed the girls by dyeing his hair dark brown for a movie role. They still prefer him as a blond.

Last and by no means least is Richard. I’m sure he is looking down upon me as I write this, tut- tutting away at my grammar. He is greatly missed, but he will know that if he ever wants to make an appearance somewhere he remains known. If you believe in re-incarnation (I do not) Richard will only come back as himself: His chair will be waiting.

Finally, there are a number of you I’d like to take the opportunity to say a personal thank you to. I do consider that everybody who crosses the threshold of the shop a friend. However some of you may feel this is a little unwise, and yes, on the odd occasion I have had to revise my opinion. But this year, there are some of you who have proved to be great friends. I won’t embarrass you by naming you, but I hope you realise you have been. Thank you again and may I wish everybody the very best for the year to come.

 

If any of you are feeling sentimental (note the senti at the beginning of that word), feel free to wander over to www.volpeblog.wordpress.com to relive any newsletters you may have deleted, missed, or simply tried to erase from your memories.  Feel free to leave comments on any of the postings, but please try to keep it clean: I have a reputation to keep and I don’t need the competition!

 

Copyright © 2011 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

August 2011 – Volpe Newsletter

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the largest ever response to a newsletter: the tribute to my friend Richard Pulford.

There were so many kind memories and so many fond words. For this I thank all of you. Your words of comfort have been passed on to Richard’s family.

It’s that time of year when tumbleweed blows down London’s empty streets, and this year, I’m here instead of basting in Ibiza. Many of you have joked quite how much I don’t enjoy the Sale period, but you’d be wrong. It is important for me to quietly hide the mistakes I have made during the year.

Fortunately, I am learning, and after twelve long years there are only two pairs of the acid yellow cords left. Perhaps I could arrange a riot, a little looting, some lightning, and they might vanish off into the ether with my remaining stock of jeans. What else is August in London good for?

Anyway, Shane and family were here from Hong Kong (and at least his out of office reply meant he was coming to see me). And doesn’t he look boyish these days?  A new haircut and glasses in order to make him look more grown up? Perhaps I should explain to Katie (Shane’s wife) they have only made him look more angelic, although I’m not entirely sure it is a word I would normally use about Shane! They’re all off to some detox retreat in Ibiza but how detox and Ibiza go together I will wait to hear.

Ollie, who has also been in Ibiza, has just returned and he’s not happy. Left only with the clothes he was standing up in, he single-handedly boosted the Ibicencan economy, in order to feel that he fitted in at every event he was attending. He and his luggage parted company at City Airport on the way out, and were reunited only after his return to London.

The offending piece of luggage had visited seven European cities before its return, which is more than my wayward friend Mark will be doing with British Airways. Still barred, Mark continues to travel the world in search of new thrills. This leads him further and further afield, searching for a recently filled mini-bar and a maid that he hasn’t already unconsciously surprised in a strange and unusual way.

I have another friend who has taken to wearing glasses with normal lenses in order to lend him an air of intellect and gravitas. I’m not sure he wasn’t wearing specs before and has reverted to non-prescription lenses, because life through the correct prescription was just too frightening.

This year I have had to start wearing spectacles so I can thread a needle and it has added an entire new spectrum of accessories to my wardrobe. As you could predict with me, the collection is growing rapidly.

Soon I will have spex for every occasion. Perhaps even extra-spesh-spex that I will wear to choose which ones I will be wearing today or to look for the pair I’ve just put down or trodden on. I’m still searching for the pair that will make me look more brainy and more important. Andre calls it gravitas but he pronounces it in a vairy particular way every time we meet.

One or two of you are still trying so hard to get a mention: remember, actions always speak louder than words.

John kindly brought back a bottle of wine from Emanuele in Bologna, and Matthew sent me something made by Brasso to polish my gadgets. Oh, please!

But the prize is taken by the couple travelling to Venice on the Orient Express who were trapped in their cabin paralysed by OCD, only to be released once the number of railway sleepers they had counted exceeded the 1 million mark.

I sympathise, as I often feel I’m being followed, and the only way throw the stalker off the scent is to keep off the cracks in the pavement while shouting Macbeth. I have got used to people staring, but then, don’t they always?

However, let me finish on a positive note for Jake. Wolves have topped the table a few times already. The season is young, but Jake has handled his glee with maturity: the screaming and punching the air have been undertaken when customers are not present, or at least when he thinks they can’t see or hear.

If only he could share Mick McCarthy’s pragmatism, but that’s why Jake is a supporter and dreams of Europe next season. Sorry, buster, but if you think I’m giving time off to go to away games in Estonia, think again.

 

Copyright © 2011 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

July 2011 – Volpe Newsletter

I know you are still waiting, like Cinderella I have until midnight to get this out. And for those wags amongst you who might suggest that I am more, ugly sister than down trodden beauty, I’d thought I’d get the insult in first.

If you’re interested, and clearly you won’t be, my D list celebrity is doing Punch and Judy on the beach at Hastings. Punch and Judy is frightening enough, OK not quite clown level, but I’m sure he will make it his own. Although I think that “Now is the winter of my discontent”, is not going to appeal to a bunch of 8 year olds.

What an interesting month!

Firstly, congratulations are in order.

David Tait and his 5 friends completed the Etape stage of the Tour de France. A remarkable feat, and all in the aid of charity. Now if David could just stay off the bike, I’m fed up of taking his suits in.

You know how I like to rib our diminutive foreign leaders. First dear Silvio, and now, Monsiuer Sarkozy, brawling in public. I couldn’t imagine Dave Cameron fighting like this, I mean, he’d need his man in the corner, Marquis of Queensbury rules and by the time the anger was expressed on his heavily furrowed brow, the No 10 press office would claim another crushing victory. By all accounts he is looking to take on the huge Klitchko brothers in a tag fight. Not sure who’ll be behind him in his corner, but I’m sure little George (or his alter ego Gideon) will volunteer.

Summer is just around the corner or so I have been told, I’d go and look, but I’m not sure that I can be bothered to move all my blankets.

I dimly remember we’d had a day of warm weather and it looks as if it might last a few days. Oooops, slightly wrong there. Shorts and flip-flops as far as the eye can see. Do people not realise just how grubby their feet become wandering the streets of London?

And joy, the heady cocktail of alcohol and warm air. Last night two people attempted to urinate in our basement. The front of casa Adrian is now electrified and the next person to whip it out will be in for a shock, caught on film and posted on Youtube.

Not that this has been the first attempt to use our basement for anything but normal comings and goings. A particularly difficult neighbour, who felt my home was her castle, and dealing drugs has been popular, but they were always surprisingly easy to scare away. Shirtless and sporting a weapon, a la Putin has always worked. You should check out FPSRussia on Youtube. Goodness knows how Jake finds all these things, but whilst the football season is in repose, he’s nothing else to do.

As if risen from the dead, Mark is back. Still persona non grata with BA he has turned his attention to peace in the Middle East, but the thought of him trying to broker a deal between 2 warring factions, whilst trying to make money out of it at the same time, makes the alcohol in my blood run cold.

A friend has just returned from Bologna, with a visit to Drogheria della Rosa and Emanuele. He mentioned my name and was royally treated, not the normal response elsewhere when my name is mentioned, but I’ve learned to cope with this. However, it did elicit the gift of a very fine bottle of red wine from Emanuele. So come on the rest of you, get yourselves out there, my wine cellar is looking a little empty!

For those of you who have been asking, I have passed the baton of biggin’ it up in Ibiza to Ollie this year. I have known Ollie many years. He is getting married at the end of August, and as a wedding present to himself, has bought a Jensen Interceptor and a petrol station. As I recall, it is good for about 8 miles to the gallon. So, about what we can expect from Ollie in Ibiza. The carnage will be well documented, and I’ll make sure he visits Neil for a pre-wedding tattoo.

Jake, stop looking at me like that, a Jensen Interceptor is not a Star Wars prop.

Soon to be available on Twitter, or so it has been suggested.

PS Something about a SALE

Which I will be here for in its entirety.

Sent from my iPad or so it seems

 

Copyright © 2011 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.