July 2012 – Volpe Newsletter

Before I start, it appears I have a lot to answer for, namely the weather. I shall quote from May’s Newsletter:

“The drought is back on. Put away your hosepipes, the paddling pool in the window remains empty. Do you know how long it will take to fill, one espresso cup at a time?

Scorchiooooo.

Of course no sooner will I have said this, than the clouds will gather, the rain will fall, and I’ll go off in search of some sunshine: Jake has always accused me of jinxing everything.”

Oooops!

I take it all back in the hope that summer might make an appearance. Currently I am suffering from “Trench Foot”, and I haven’t even been to any festivals. I pity those of you who have. No, not really, you’ll only have yourselves to blame. Off in search of drugs and alcohol, and a few cheap thrills.

Talking of this Jake went to see Bruce Springsteen, had his foot trodden on and headed for the exit before Paul McCartney. He curses about it to this day.

And Jake is finally taking a holiday. Wonders will never cease. He is headed for Spain, and a week of sun, sea and sand, and probably alcoholic poisoning. It will be an all-inclusive resort, which really means he will head for the pool, lie down and have a tube inserted into his mouth. Via this method his food and cocktails can be regularly administered without the need to voluntarily move a muscle. The gag reflex and peristalsis will see to that. Yes, I had to look them up as well. But hopefully he will return refreshed, ready to except the reality of life in the Championship , for a season before relegation means free fall to the Conference. At least he doesn’t support Rangers.

Sunil has been to see me, and we did lunch. I only do this about once a year, because I am a breakfast man, and yes, we all know where! However this time we went there for lunch and Jason nearly fell off his perch. Have you been away Jason? Private joke and it was not at Her Majesty’s pleasure. More a day release I think.

One of this month’s highlights was supplied by Sunil who kindly serenaded us in the shop on the piano, via the hands free speaker on our phone. The young man is clearly talented, or perhaps he has Jamie Cullum trapped in a box, not quite as implausible as it sounds. But a little Bach went a long way to soothing the savage beast.

I keep being drawn back to Italy; Florence, Pisa, Parma, Roma and Lucca, funny how they all sound like ****stars. Or perhaps the names of children from bohemian families who spend their summer basking in the villa in the hills outside Ibiza town; too spaced out to venture into the pool, let alone a trip (substance abuse related joke), to the beach. Do I sound jealous and bitter? Yes? Good because I am. I will not be in Ibiza this year again, the pressure of work will keep me here, and as they say, home is where the heart is.

The only consolation is that I am in Italy regularly to keep an eye on a current project, and I have stayed in some interesting places. I woke one morning to find a note pinned to my door, informing me in Italian to keep the noise down, I was embarrassing their children who couldn’t sleep.  It was signed off with an angry face! Perhaps the visit of the waxer to my room was ill advised, but I didn’t think my howls of pain weren’t anything that their children hadn’t heard before. They’d obviously got the wrong room, and I had to have the note translated by the hotel who found it rather amusing. At least time I’d managed to avoid Madonna, she was in the room the other side of the family. I told you they had the wrong room.

There’s nought so queer as folk.

Well I’ve held off as long as possible.

The Olympics have started (or as unofficial sponsors have to refer to it – The Big Multi-National Sports Day).

I thought the opening ceremony was fantastic.  We had Ken Branagh dressed as Abraham Lincoln (yes, some people were not listening to the commentary), The Queen doing her bit for herself and country (was she on her own secret service…?) and of course the dulcet tones of Macca to round off proceedings – I say dulcet as I had nodded off by this point.

I think we have won a Gold Medal in nearly every event but I am finding it hard to keep track, so dizzying is our success. All have been won by our illustrious leader “King Yong Cameron”. There was a moment, when instead of the Union Flag, the cross of St Andrew was displayed, but this was smoothed over like our great leader’s brow. His ability to be present at more than one event has meant that we lead the medal table. He has also been making up the numbers in the crowd at those events where there were empty seats, and he will be playing in the tennis doubles as well as handing the baton to himself in the relay. It is rumoured that he will hop the 100 metres with Gideon tied to his free leg to slow him down. His personal best for this event is 6.2 seconds, I pity poor Usain, who I am sure will withdraw to avoid the humiliation.

However the star attraction will be his appearance at the beach volleyball. He will stride like a lion from his back door, a young Sebastian Coe unable to keep pace with his majesty. DC’s tight Speedos enhancing his reputation as father to the nation, the sand between his toes, the sun on his back…….

Eeew, I can’t keep writing this, I’m feeling slightly nauseous.

Oh, by the way, in the midst of all this excitement, I completely forgot to mention to anyone that we’ve started our “Closing Down” sale. You know the one, the one where we’re not really closing down, but everyone thinks we are.  Blame Dave for this.

Anyway, the sale is going on for a while and for the second successive year, I will be here for pretty much the whole time. Hang on, I’ve just realised why Jake’s booked a week off…

 

Copyright © 2012 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.

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.

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.