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.

A Birthday Update

Thank you one and all, I am deeply touched, but then you knew that and it’s unlikely to change in the near future, unless of course I go back on the treatment.

I received birthday greetings from far and wide, some complimentary, others, well perhaps I did deserve a little of what was said. One of you, a man involved in the finance industry, though not allied to Greece, got his sums wrong. His workings were correct, but the correct answer is 21.

For those amongst you who used Facebook to wish me well, I will not be posting pictures of the other nights’ celebrations. The Chinese Lanterns were a bit of a mistake, but I thought the small fire at Battersea Power Station would only hasten its redevelopment.

For the fireworks my thanks go to Mario Balotelli. He has spent longer in the fitting room than any other customer I’ve had, the late Richard Pulford included. At least Richard finally came out with the clothes on in the right places. Dear Mario, you might have seen how he manages not to put the training bib on. Imagine him with a full wardrobe, not a look that any of you will be offered, it is a look he has made his own.

My D list friend gave me a vuvuzela, he’d even signed it, immediately devaluing it. The man is now quite mad, something about meerkats and insurance, and why he hadn’t got the work, even though he’d dressed in a full size meerkat outfit and perfected the accent. The up side is that he is now bonding with his children, but only as long as he has got the outfit on.

My thanks go to Sunil, who tested me the other morning with a text at 5.45am.The alarm had already gone off. It was early, but not quite early enough to catch me out. Please let’s not turn this into a game. He was in London for a day and wanted to catch up. I’m not sure how many people would want to catch up at that time of day, even the Wolseley was shut.

Neil will be here from Thursday for a few days and a party, I’ll keep you posted, and Mateo was here to return my mankini. Thank goodness he’d washed it.

As always in Mateo’s world, it is elegant, charming and beautiful. This visit was no exception.

Very best to you all, and don’t think you’re going to get any more before the end of the month.

Apparently it’s 52 sleeps until Christmas. Thanks Jake

 

Copyright © 2011 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

July 2010 – Volpe Newsletter

Welcome to the August blog, I hope you all enjoyed July’s.

It didn’t seem as well-read as the others and I’m surprised that none of you took me up on the special offer right at the end when you clicked on the Easter egg.

Oh well, back to July for those of you who didn’t get it.

Anyway, the month has quite flown by. Those of you who follow my every waking move, and I know who you are, will know that although I am on Facebook I don’t use it much. And as for Twitter, it has even passed Jake by.

Another weekend on Ibiza has been and gone, happily without incident and my tan, Mr McKenna, is a shade of orange that surpasses our bags.

By the way, it was great being in Spain for the World Cup Final. The admirable thing about the English is our stoic acceptance of sporting mediocrity twinned with our talent for co-opting celebrations from all over the world; particularly if they involve drinking.

St Patrick’s Day is just one example I can dimly remember. So, bring on the hierbas until about 3am when I want to go to bed.

July is a month of ducking and diving where suppliers who have promised the earth are caught out and the donkey is still sick and the cheque is still in the post. Promising to do what they said they would, would be a start.

Apparently, it will be better next September, which reminds me of school reports. What makes it worse is you know what’s coming. They know what they’re doing, and yet there isn’t a thing you can do about it.

In other news: my house-hunting mates Adam and Anne are moving in on Cuckoo’s Knob. It’s a cheap laugh but when has that ever stopped me?

Who knows what the house will be called. Judging by your previous replies to this newsletter, Anne, I quiver at response.

Sam, Claire and the kids are now long gone, and he’ll be complaining that this hasn’t arrived yet. Sorry mate, but dry your eyes, I’m the one having to come up with this. But we will miss you.

Most important news of the month is the birth of a child to Cristiano Ronaldo. I don’t know why but I keep thinking of Ricky Martin. Can anyone explain why that snake-hipped, entirely heterosexual image is burned on my brain? And why oh why, Victor, do you adore him so?

Ronaldo’s chat-up line is legendary but not to be repeated here because we’ve got those pay-as-you-go lawyers from daytime TV.

But when I used it on Gillian she hit me with her make-up bag. The edge of that tube of Clearasil is going to scar. Bitch.

My friend’s dispute with British Airways rumbles on Volpe passim. Are they incapable of settling anything quickly? He has promised me a sneak at the correspondence, however, he fears that I have a tabloid readership (and wife) and has warned me about touching the snake or some other reference I might have to ask her about. Since I consider him to be a close friend, I am starting to worry.

I note that the glorious Peter sent himself up in a really jolly way to flog his booky wook in the English London Times. I was going to read it but I was put off by the sinister nature of the ads. Do you remember The Singing Ringing Tree or Roald Dahl’s Tales of the Totally Expected? I am much disturbed.

And before you ask smoking jacket wasn’t Volpe. Crikey! Next you’ll accuse me of dressing Lawrence Llewellyn-Bowen! Not guilty, m’lud. What is the penalty for perjury? (I could help you with that one – Ed)

On to my celebrity friend: I won’t tell you who he is, but it’s not The Stig, though he hates Clarkson too. Apparently he’s importing 100,000 recycled vuvuzuelas. Why? He only needs one to blow his own trumpet, an act I’m not sure he’s flexible enough to do. But the sound is much like listening to him talk about his next big project.

So, to next month: I’ll be spending part of it in Ibiza, which means that after the sunbathing, partying, drug-taking (Nurofen and antihistamines before you get too excited) and did I say partying, there’ll be no time for the newsletter. Or will there?

For those of you who will be interested, we do start a SALE on the 30th of July.

Ps: Sale is a dirty word in France. But I’ll let you off.

 

Copyright © 2010 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.