May 2010 – Volpe Newsletter

It’s been an exciting month, jam-packed with, well, work, actually, so that’s the reason the newsletter is late  – before you ask, Sam.

God knows, my wife has tried enough times to get the News of the World to part with £500,000 for a meeting with me, but they weren’t interested so we have to fall back on conventional ways of paying the mortgage.

So, that’s why I’m off to Rome on a whirlwind visit next week and for the first time I’m flying Easyjet so I’ve sharpened my elbows and paid excess baggage in advance. At least I’m landing in Rome, not a different city or a different country.

It’s not that I don’t trust BA to get me there though they have just banned a friend for life. The way he tells it, it was over innocent joshing with a humourless stewardess over a request for a glass of water.

I believe him. Millions wouldn’t.

As he was being assisted down the aircraft steps at Abu Dhabi he queried whether the ban would be for his lifetime or that of the airline. But BA is tied up with other important matters and may never get back to him or the rest of us.

The stewardess should worry. This is a man often found by Housekeeping naked on the bed surrounded by empty bottles after drinking the mini-bar dry. They’ve never complained and have even commented on the thoughtful way he always passes out face down to spare any embarrassment.

What else. Oh yes, there was that election business which was interesting.

Who could begrudge the licence fee that was spent on the BBC’s election night broadcast from the Ship of Fools moored near the London Eye?  Andrew Neil mined nuggets of political gold from such top opinion formers as Joan Collins and Bruce Forsyth while the Pinot Grigio flowed.

But hats off to Sky for the most memorable coverage of the election for all the wrong reasons.

I’d have paid money for a ringside seat at ahem, heavyweight Adam Boulton slugging it out with Alastair Campbell. (Look it up on You Tube if you missed it).

Boulton nearly invited Campbell outside but then remembered they were. Outside the Mother of Parliaments. Made me feel proud to be British.

Boulton was transported to finger-jabbing, spitting fury as Alastair did his ‘I’m just a reasonable, stand-up kind of guy who never tells fibs’ routine.

‘Don’t you tell me what I think,’ shouted Boulton, stifling a belch, as Campbell told him what he thought.  Boulton looked close to creating an ash cloud that would have closed Westminster airspace when Campbell told him to calm down while smirking.

Later on in round two, poor Boulton was needled by the deceptively charming Ben Bradshaw, the Hugh Grant-lookalike and former Secretary for Culture, Media and Sport, who has a nicer tan than me at the moment.

Has Our Dark Lord been giving Ben tips and sharing yacht space?

Unconfirmed reports have it that Boulton was later wheeled off to a padded room where he could start an argument with the voices in his head. I’d love to see him interview Russell Crowe. Funny how you never see those two in the same room together.

So, Nick and Dave will be like good boys at a birthday party and play pass the parcel without any grabbing. How long will it be before Dave doesn’t agree with Nick and Nick cries over the meagre contents of his party bag?

Meanwhile Little George is still finding unopened final demands stuffed down the back of the sofa at Number 11.

I’ve noticed that in the words of that cheesy song, that it’s goodbye Sam, hello Samantha. The delightful Mrs Cameron has reverted to her proper name now the election is over and she doesn’t have to pretend she’s not posher than the Queen any more. Good for her. The poor woman’s facing the next five years having to pretend she actually likes wearing £19.99 shoes from New Look; she ought to be allowed some dignity.

Speaking of bargain basement shopping, as you can imagine, Primark is not my normal haunt, but I was told of an incident that shows the level of desperation to which our economic climate has driven people.

A young lady explained to me, how she had seen a man ejected by security staff for shoplifting….. I mean, why shoplift from Primark? They’re not far short of paying you to take the stock away. I know David (yes, he of the shorts) calls it as Primarni, so I can only assume that this poor fellow didn’t understand the irony.

I’ve just returned from a pleasant lunch in the West End, where I enjoyed a salad with tofu and a glass of freshly pressed wheatgrass, or also known as: ‘My usual, Landlord’. I’m always grateful for whatever is supplied, especially when Vash is the Landlord and the usual has a certain vintage.

On the bus back, yes, I know that you all expect me to travel everywhere by stretch Hummer, I was confronted by a man with a dog, who had obviously enjoyed an inferior class of wheatgrass.

He  was bothering an American lady who I doubt will ever travel on public transport in London again. The upshot being I assisted in ejecting him from the bus, with his long suffering chihuahua, Jackie, who the whole bus felt really sorry for and wanted to adopt. But she loyally followed her master. Dogs really are stupid. Bet he’s the sort to shoplift from Primarni.

Film reviews

This month Hardcore Mother In Law saw:

Lebanon: Das Boot in an Israeli tank

Hot Tub Time Machine: Cruder than the Gulf of Mexico but a lot of fun.

Cop Out: The worst film Bruce Willis has ever made and that includes The Last Boy Scout.

 

Copyright © 2010 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.