Sad News

I was saddened by the news that Christopher Lee had died.

I have worked in the retail industry a very long time. In fact I started aged 15 at Butlins in Minehead where I grew up selling “Kiss me Quick” hats and printed t-shirts. It may appear that things haven’t moved on that much.

Later I joined a retail management training scheme at Harrods, and Christopher Lee, was the second celebrity I met, the first was Egon Ronay, both opposite ends of life’s rich tapestry in many respects.

I literally bumped into Christopher Lee on my way back from lunch one day.

Rushing upstairs to get back to my department I was head down, on a mission and not looking where I was going, when I caught him in the midriff with my head. I looked up apologetically only to see Dracula looking down on me. Imagine my terror, was I really that late back from lunch, would the mere contact with him make me one of the undead?

Having grown up with him as the Count, I must have looked terrified, I was mortified, and apologised profusely. He looked down at me and said “Are you hurt? There really is no terrible need to rush, it doesn’t save anything.” Even today I remember the calming tone, and the softness in his voice, I still hear that every time I hear him speak, and yet I scurried off still apologising.

By all rights I should be lying by a pool in Grasse this weekend with a Michelin starred chef preparing my every meal, quaffing a delightfully chilled rose from Bandol. A very big thank you for the offer btw (by the way).LOL!!!!!

However after being away the last couple of weekends and back to Ibiza next for a big birthday bash, there are people who are starting to ridicule me for my apparent ‘jetset’ lifestyle. Sadly I had to kick this trip into the long grass.

I was mocked in the gym this morning by a friend who suggested that I must be claiming benefits, because I clearly don’t work. Ouch!

Now there’s a thought!

He did admit that if he was re-incarnated, he would like to come back as me, too late my friend, I’ve grabbed that slot!

Look, would you rather read the ramblings of a couch potato?

Following the Fifi fiasco, and the scandal surrounding the voting and bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup, the former of which Wikipedia describes as follows:

“The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be the 21st FIFA World Cup an international men’s football tournament, that is currently scheduled to take place between 14 June and 15 July 2018 in Russia”.

Currently scheduled?

So we left it to the Italians to get the better of Vladimir Putin, I love this photo courtesy of Corriere della Sera.

I think Vlad the Impaler may have now “dealt” with guy in the background who is clearly laughing at his expense, but too late the photo is already out there.

And Renzi is only safe because Italy buys so much of Russia’s oil and gas.

Putin

 Copyright © 2015 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

January 2012 – Volpe Newsletter

Well, I suppose you thought I’d forgotten.

The truth is my hands are so cold that even a random striking of keys was not producing anything coherent. So I have employed someone to blow on my hands to keep them warm. Trust me it’s cheaper than heating the shop, and at a time when we are looking at every penny we spend, I am doing my bit by employing someone.

My friend Michael has recently joined the fold. He has proved to be a rich vein of anecdotes. My current “fave” is how he spent a small fortune on museum quality blinds for the back of his house, which is entirely made out of glass. You may have guessed where this is going. Lit from behind with low lights and soft candles, he has managed to produce his own perfect shadow puppet show, sometimes, more than once a night and even the “odd”, very odd matinee.

Enter stage left, Ian, a friend of longstanding.

Now that Rosie has relocated to Neuschwanstein and stable of Astons, Ian can park his cars outside without incurring her disapproval. Today he arrived with his Ferrari 360, he has a predominantly Italian collection at the moment. I have known him *%# years, stop it, you at the back, it reflects my failings, not his.

In those days he drove a Ferrari Testarossa. It used to infuriate my boss at the time. My boss only drove a Jaguar XJS, or the “Big Cat” as he called it. Meow. He would often unleash it, a la Alan Clark along Piccadilly, mounting the pavement outside Fortnums and pulling a handbrake turn in front of the Albany, just to get a bit of lunch. We only worked a couple of hundred yards away. I could have walked it in half the time.

It sported a number plate with the letters FOL in it. As a child on long motorway journeys, mother would always get my brother and me to play games. One of the games was to make a phrase from the letters in the number plates. I’ll leave you lot to play that one, and feel free to email your examples.

Many a time my boss and I would speed off to Heathrow to catch the early shuttle to Edinburgh at 7.00am. Like an automotive Arthur Daley, he would be dodging here, weaving there, and the taxi that had been alongside us outside Harrods would be in front of us by the time we got to Terminal 1.

However, my favourite Ian story is……Shall I save it? No I’ll take a punt. One of you might do something interesting in February worthy of a mention.

Oh, now look M*#k, put your trousers back on, it’s not big, it’s not clever and it’s not, February.

Sorry, it is big and it is clever. Do you feel better now?

Anyway back to Ian. He and his lovely family have a house in the hills, just outside Cannes, and a few years ago we were holidaying in Cannes. At this time Ian was keeping the Testarossa there. I asked him if we could meet up for dinner, but he explained that they wouldn’t be there at the same time as we were.

However, he enquired as to whether I had arranged for a hire car (second creative writing course, please note Richard). Ian explained that he would be driving the car to Nice airport on the Friday, before I arrived on the Saturday. He would send me the spare set of keys and I could use the car for a couple of weeks before returning it to the house…….

Lost for words, I dreamt of cruising “The Croisette” tanned left arm, hanging out of the window. Arriving at restaurants, eager valet parkers grabbing the keys from my hand to put a thousand kilometres on the car before dawn, only to meet Dawn and find out she was David from Droitwich…

Meanwhile I can hear Ian chuckling. He was offering me an elastoplast coloured Peugeot 309. I had been suckered, and not for the first time, by the dreams of riches beyond my wildest desires. I would be a Russian oligarch, call me Otto (It means eight).

The car was perfect, just the right shade, but the air conditioning was heaven sent, and wherever we went the valet parkers made sure the car was well hidden. Nobody was going to kidnap me and demand money for the release of my daughters.

When I returned the car to Ian’s house, the nice chap from next door waved as I parked it on the drive. He was holding a lighted taper and striding towards the cannon on his lawn. For once, I was unsure what to do next.

Hit lit the fuse, and began to run a flag up his flagpole. Oh stop it, it’s not a metaphor. It was his personal coat of arms. The cannon fired, fortunately only a blank. Time for lunch; what ever happened to gongs?

If this is what money does to you, then I want to know what happened to mine. Touched by madness, I may have frittered it away, here and there. But it seems more likely there, than here.

The sale is nearly done. Life will return to normal and I may regain my sanity. Unlikely I know, but……

 

Copyright © 2012 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

April 2011 – Volpe Newsletter

This is being written on my new gadget of the month, big up to Matthew for the ZAGGmate keyboard for iPad. But now the iPad2 is on the way, what shall I do?

WARNING: Contains offensive and cruel jokes, or so some of you have been telling me.

That Wedding has been and gone and I’m new man enough to say that I watched quite a bit with my wife and mother in law. I regarded it as my duty to be able comment here on matters sartorial. Can’t have too many hats, gloves and scarves! Besides, it was too dangerous to ask them for the remote, a kind of World Cup for the “ladies”.

All I want to know. Was Mike Tindall sitting next to Tara Palmer-Tomkinson?

My other duty was to hold the fort, repel boarders and generally not trying to think of those of you who took the three days in the middle to relax and enjoy yourselves. Hope you enjoyed yourselves. I was doing the VAT.

But anyway, I think it is time to introduce you to a new character. Oh yes, she is real enough. It seems Brenda has found her “hedge fund hubby” and probably chained him to a radiator somewhere, just feeding him Rich Tea biscuits (’cause she thinks they’re posh, well they were for me), whilst raiding his shrinking bank account.

So let me introduce Rosie to the fold. She’s a blonde and a fast piece, that’s for sure. Rosie lives opposite the shop and can be seen around Pimlico jogging, cycling and popping off for tennis just because she can. I was always fascinated by the array of supercars parked outside her flat. I felt taunted, I mean, they were just parked there: Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Aston Martins. It was like Harrods on a Saturday.

But no, Rosie wasn’t a member of the Qatari royal family but a member of a car club, though she did own several cars too.

Rosie was born to race, a kind of posher and prettier Vin Diesel in The Fast and the Furious. Rosie is now single and looking for a new man, but guys beware, her idea of fun is racing an Aston whilst naked around Silverstone. Apparently she’s misplaced her race suit so heaven knows what she’d do at the Nurburgring. She’s currently dating a guy with four Astons; do I hear any advance on that? I’ll keep you posted!

STOP PRESS. Rosie has met Mark. Well, he did have to go over and wipe the bonnet of his DBS after she’d dribbled on it. Introductions were made, but Mark, I don’t hold out much hope, after all you are only a one Aston man.

My good friend Ralph has put me in touch with a fragrance house in LA. We are in negotiations to supply Volpe with an aftershave though I”m not sure who’d want to smell like a fox. Their main scent is called “Gendarme”. So, do I go with Rozzer, Filth, Truncheon (stop sniggering) or “You’re nicked, me old son”?

It was Mike Ashley’s birthday this month, and the wife suggested I should send him a black and white teddy, but how would I know how to get the size right, I mean he’s a big fella.

And talking of that, a certain French chef has been explaining how we Ingleesh should choose our chickens. His expertise comes from a lifetime of looking at coqs. (Only way I could get it through the spam filters). Either that or he spent a great deal of time staring in the mirror. I rest my case m’lud.

No doubt I’ll now be slapped with a super injunction. It won’t be my first or at least attempted. My D list celebrity attempted to stop me taunting him in the newsletter, or posting the pix of him on Hollywood Boulevard dressed as an Oscar in flagrante delicto with a vuvuzela. And my A list “friend” has also attempted to have me banned from getting better tables. Loser.

Those of you who have wandered past the shop recently will have seen me working in the window. Vanity, I hear you all cry at once. OK, OK, I admit it, but not for the first time, my adoring public must be entertained. However the real reason, or at least the one I’m going to give you, is that you can actually see me working, because some of you had doubted me.

 

Copyright © 2011 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.