April 2013 – Newsletter

So today was one of those rare ornithological moments. In the words of Monty Python, beautiful plumage, but it’s just resting. I could ask Jake to recite the rest, but he’s still in shock. Traitor, I hear you all shout in unison. Why because he won 60 squid betting against his own team, the mighty Wolves, however we’ll come back to that.

Ever with my binoculars at the ready, spotted in full flight this morning, in its natural surroundings, the lesser spotted Jason. So often now it seems to prefer a more secluded office environment, but Marie and I were treated to a brief view of his immaculate feathers in The Wolseley.  There was a brief courtship between him and the even rarer, lesser spotted Jayne, but if you know the history, Jason’s mere presence close to the nest may result in more than we bargained for. If you don’t know the history, you’re just going to have to look it up.

Michael is moving back home. After several months living away from his toaster, he is returning. Fresh Prince of Bel Air, with a new roof terrace, once again his neighbours can be treated to the kind of antics that would make Caligula blush. This time rather than from behind his blinds we all may be treated to ‘Babes in the Wood’ from behind frosted glass. Feed me another grape please.

Please note, Michael has been dieting and working out for his next performance. He has taken to walking round the shop in the tiniest of shorts flexing his muscles and shouting “Beefcake” a la Cartman. I’m really starting to worry what he may be putting in the protein shakes.

Really I don’t want a “Roid Rage” incident in the shop, someone suggested rohypnol. It’s bad enough with me when I’m highly strung. Yes I know, not highly enough I hear some or all of you say.

Except the truth is always blurred, and Michael is a delightful fellow.

My weekend was taken up once again with preparing the VAT. Oh yawn, but I did go and see Iron Man 3 in 3D. I really enjoyed it, however the 3D was rubbish, and Sir Ben stole the show as “The Mandarin”. Gwynnie looked great, but then there’s a little history there!

Inside us all, there is a thespian trying to get out. I’m sure Jake will have to go back to treading the boards. It looks like he will need something to distract him from the ignominy of League One football. I know that many of you like to strike up a conversation with him about football.

A suggestion; for the moment – don’t. You see he’s hurtin’ bad, on so many levels. He mourns the passing of the ‘Great McCarthy’, the money wasted on a new stand, where next season they’ll be shooting “One Man and His Dog”. He’s been hangdog enough for the last week, and to strike up a conversation may be a step too far.

But, let’s not forget spring is here. David has broken out the shorts. Now pale, even white legs I can understand, but David’s are still a worrying shade of blue and it’s not woad. He’s a Chelsea supporter and even that wouldn’t account for it, but like all football supporters it’s OK one minute and not the next.

Eventually the warm weather will get here and we can all warm our tired, old bones. I can turn that particular shade of orange that I always go. I will face the sun at noon, and chant in unison via Skype with Neil, and even Eugene, if he’s got time to stop partying.

Like all prayers, we’ll be asking for something, without actually asking for it. Let the summer be long, sunny and hot, like the shorts you all should be wearing.

Let’s hope that they get close to your knees, no “Daisy Duke’s” for the guys, and don’t forget to wash your feet and have a pedicure. Wear driving shoes in town and save the flip-flops for the beach or the park. Perhaps paint each of the toenails a different colour it’s a look I espouse, and it keeps people at more than an arms-length in the gym. Well when you’re in the kind of shape I’m in, all attention is unwanted and unrequired. Believe that you’ll believe anything, just give me a chance to rip my shirt off and run Matthew McConaughey style for a bus. Tony, don’t record that for YouTube, please!

Anyway, I’m a vain old sod, and I don’t care. They’ll come a time when I may have to resort to a Zimmer Frame, meanwhile I have 95 year old aunt who lives in a caravan in a field and hitch-hikes everywhere. No, it has nothing to do with longevity it’s about the madness in the genes.

At last the truth is beginning to surface.

Let’s round this off with a visit from Sunil. You know he’s the one who wakes me at all hours with a text to ask me what I’m doing. Well normally at that time of day I’m sleeping, like everybody else in my time zone. He picked up a cashmere cap to match his cape, I joked about a bobble for it in Chinchilla, and he shot me a look, as if to say “are you crazy”? When what he really meant was; why didn’t I think of that? He was happy with his blue cashmere over shirt. Sunil, you live in the Middle East, why?

Exactly, there is a little madness in us all. Sometimes it is more evident than others, but as long as we nurture it, never lose it, don’t let it run around unchecked, there won’t be too much chance that we’ll get arrested, or worse…….

Lastly, two quotes:

1: You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it. – Robin Williams (How did he get in here, separated at birth?)

Jake's handy work!

Jake’s handy work!

2: There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness. – Friedrich Nietzsche

Copyright © 2013 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

January 2013 – Volpe Newsletter

Well, for January I was going to give up writing newsletters, but I failed half way through, and now it’s an obsession. Perhaps that’s going a bit far, but I’ve started, so I will finish. My monthly stalking of my unsuspecting subscribers will continue

So, New Year’s Resolutions: Did I give up alcohol? No, is the simple answer. I tried, Oh how I tried, but I failed miserably, several times. Vash, you are to blame and you too Izzy. In these situations my glass was never half empty; you could say my cup runneth over. But of course it didn’t because I was never one to waste a drop. And then there was Terry, Michael and Tony who all valiantly assisted in my abstinence: or should that be downfall? Thank you to Spiked Milligan, I’m not sure how you make one, but it did the trick. I think the basement Spanish Bar in…. Do you know, I can’t remember!

Why did I take to drink? Well my personal email account was hacked. No, no not this one; have no fear you won’t be inundated with requests for money because I have suddenly been marooned in Asia. Thanks for that one Wolf, but we won’t raise much money for the round-the-world trip that way.

I know who, I know when and I know why, and it saddens me (although perversely I am also flattered by the attention I have received). Those of you who know me well, will know why, the rest; I will leave you to let your imagination run wild. You couldn’t make it up, except they did, trust me.

I have changed my password, my identity and according to what was done, my past, and they believed it? Look, if they have the ability to get in, they can make it say anything they want.

The next thing I will have Taylor Swift writing a song about me, or worse a medieval ditty by Gordon.

Those of you who have braved the cold and spent a large portion of January in the gym, I salute you; you are almost as dedicated as I am, but that requires a special type of obsession.

Although I do admit I have been a wimp with regarding to getting out on the bike. Sorry David, but it has been grim out there. So I consigned myself to the gym, firming the bits that needed toning, toning the bits that needed firming, and generally attempting to make myself more gorgeous than before. Tough I admit, but I shall not give in. I shall not wither with age; in fact I have now taken to sleeping in a bath full of cells cultivated from a small patch from behind my left ear.

The right ear was not deemed up to scratch. I haven’t told it yet, just in case it sulks because it thinks I have a favourite. (Layer Cake joke).

Neil has been in Beirut, doing his bit for Middle East relations. It’s strange how many of my friends have headed out east to try. He didn’t achieve what he had hoped, but I know he will soon be off to the Far East with superstar DJ David Morales. Poor Scratch, Neil’s faithful puppy will be pining again, but she will be living it up on her new blanket of recycled fur and cashmere. At least Neil can get his coat back. I shall make an effort to head to Ibiza for a tantric yoga retreat. Do I want to learn the art of being tantric and all it has to offer?

However first I shall hoist up my Monoski and head for the Alps, where I can put on my fagbag and ski from dawn till dusk.  Because of the cold, I shall be wearing my fur-lined boots. (See the blog site). Now I admit they are a little camp, but that is me all over. Oh please, not clad in fur and leather, I haven’t done that for years, well not in public anyway.

Those of you who have listened to my ranting’s and ravings, thank you. I hope you can stop laughing just long enough to spare my feelings. I am a sensitive soul. Yes, really.

Anyway, I shall move on, try to be an adult and wish those of you it applies to, a very happy Year of the Snake (oh, will you stop sniggering at the back). And “Danish”, get better soon.

So as we have mentioned another New Year, I suppose I’d better make another resolution: suggestions anyone?  And keep them clean… Please?

 

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.

December 2010 – Volpe Newsletter

I know you were expecting me to send this out before Christmas. OK, Sam, some of you weren’t. But then you’d have nothing to help you digest the turkey, and who knows, my sobering thoughts may even serve as a hangover cure.

And anyway, I expect a flurry of, ‘out of office’ replies by return.

Clearly, I know many of you don’t drink and those of you who tick the 21 units or fewer units a week option at the doctors will clamber on the wagon come January 2nd. You’ll all be back in the gym working off the last remnants of Christmas pud, not to mention the brandy butter, cream, etc. Starting to look a little green again, I see.

Well, hasn’t the year flown by?

There are those of you who ask how I manage to come up with this drivel month after month. To that I say: my friends, you are my inspiration. Meanwhile, keep doing what you’re doing and maybe you’ll get a mention. It’s just like the National Lottery but with better odds and the warm glow of recognition which is worth so much more than mere millions.

Between you and me there are things you could do to bump your chances and I’m keeping a Wikileaks-style file on the best. Naturally, it contains one or two items too depraved to mention here, but as Mae West said: ‘Keep a diary and one day it’ll be sure to keep you.’

Considering what I’ve posted in the past you’ll know that these will have been really bad, and in some cases involved a spell at Her Majesty’s pleasure. In the light of that getting a lifetime ban from an airline is nothing, so keep ‘em coming.

I suppose like those annuals you got as kids you’ll want a bumper Christmas edition full of goodies: things to tempt, things to shock, and perhaps the odd sugar mouse. Well that’s what I used to get, that and chocolate money. How do you think I manage to keep this business going? In the shop I have a two euro chocolate coin. It was left here three years ago and I’m surprised Carla hasn’t eaten it, but maybe she hasn’t found it. Meanwhile I’ve got a bet on which Euro will melt first.

I received a rather large tome for Christmas from my friend Karl. It’s a magnificent 35kilos of Ferrari Opus, so thank you to him. Now if only someone could help me move it. Any of you wanting to turn the pages will have wear gloves, hold your breath and probably take you shoes off too. And those of you thinking about presents for me, next year you’ll have to up your game.

I’ve been asked whether I’ll be Christmasing in Ibiza. The answer is no. Neil is in India, doing heaven knows what. He’s using Skype and the messages are intermittent so I can’t even pass on whether or not the new form of Buddhism he’s practising means he has to be kind to pigeons. But I do know he spent Christmas Day on a beach in Goa not wearing a pair of shorts I promised to have made for him in May. I will deal with the culprit in January.

This month it emerged that a family member is doing Sir Elton’s thatch. I can’t tell you any more than that because he signed a confidentiality agreement. But how much do you want to know about Elton’s thatch anyway? Unto Elton and David a child is born. And on Christmas Day too. What timing! And what a present! Wonder what they’re going to get next year? But truly, following my earlier comment, it’s not what I’m after.

Footie fans are never happy, even when they’re whining. I had poor Geordie Alan in here close to tears over the Alan Pardew affair – of course I mean the fact that he’s Newcastle’s new manager. I’d have a word with the owner, but he’d previously asked me to stay out of it when I intervened on behalf of the other Newcastle fan. I’d be crushed if I fell out with you, Mike. Possibly literally. Mike, you’re really quite cuddly and definitely misunderstood.

Now my other friend is starring in panto  playing Buttons in Cinderella at Abbott’s Bottom. I suppose he could be the Abbot’s Bottom, anyway, whichever way round it is, he will be convinced it’s the lead role. On another thespian note, stop giggling at the back, you’re not at school, this year we lost Barry, it was a great loss. Evenings with Barry and Ros were always entertaining, lively affairs, rarely sober and always raucous. Ros has continued to carry this torch forward, and at equally entertaining evening at The Attic, she said she’d given Barry’s clothes to the National Theatre. So, my panto friend is still no nearer to wearing Volpe.

They’ve been re running a load of old Robin Williams films on TV and it’s been like watching The Picture of Dorian Grey in reverse I admit there’s a small likeness…..no, Jake a small likeness, and if you say nanu, nanu again, there will be consequences.

Also before Jake brings it up, I am now to some degree an Apple convert. Obviously not as brainwashed as some, but I like my iPhone, and part of this newsletter was written on my iPad. Hopefully I’ll avoid chanting the mantra “Show me your Apps”. But the best part has been the X-mini speakers I bought, quite simply amazing. Highly recommended, I’ve bored everybody senseless about them. Once they get their hearing back. Only problem is I can’t get them to stay on in the gym. Look them up, you’ll understand.

Finally, I’d like to thank everyone at The Wolseley, my A list friend should be treated with the same disdain next year as this. Perhaps you could start turning him away. No room at the inn and all that.

Copyright © 2010 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.