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.

May 2012 – Volpe 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.

Sam did rise to last month’s challenge. I was bombarded with page after page of boarding passes, like Leveson enquiry emails, I was starting to feel quite travel sick. However, if I was flying Ryanair, and you know I won’t be, there will be no sick bag. Michael O’Leary tells us that his flights are so smooth and on time, that this renders the sick bag redundant. Perhaps the majority of his passengers have been on “Stag” weekends in near flung places? Last night’s goulash, borscht, etc. are in a gutter somewhere, and they have nothing left for the flight.

Apologies to those of you enjoying breakfast, but I’m sure this saved Mikey a few euros. Excuse me for a moment, nature calls, and I have to give Jake a drachma to use the bathroom. Well, Wolves do need a new striker, midfielder, defender, or team? Please delete as appropriate.

Amidst all the turmoil, one or two of you are still managing to get out there and “splash the cash”. More than one of you has bought a new car, and one of you, a Ferrari California. This particular chap was mentioning to me that he had thought it would be a sedate and peaceful drive, and he was a little surprised at the noise it made, and the fact perhaps he was drawing a little bit too much attention to himself. A little like a Cheryl Cole tattoo. Did you not test drive it? Oh, come on, the car…. And really, I thought that was the point? I bet he’s a hit at the kind of party where you put your keys in a bowl!

I assure you, if you hand the keys in this direction, I’ll have no such problems, my right arm needs a little bit of tan. That goes for any of you who have tired of your wheels. Perhaps not you Izzy, a G-whizz is not quite what I had in mind. I have a friend of longstanding who we will call Bob, his idea of a romantic weekend away with his girlfriend at the time, was to hire a Ford Transit van, in white, of course, pop a mattress in the back and head for Brighton. No Mr and Mrs Smith needed there, then. However his idea of real fun was to be driven around Baghdad, by someone cackling manically at the wheel, live shells rolling around in the foot well, dodging bullets, the driver also turned out to be a customer.

My personal experience with someone with similar honed skills courtesy of our government meant we got lost in the Peak District. A gentle Sunday morning stroll turned into a route march in the most appalling weather conditions without the correct clothing. When I tried to explain to him that we were walking faster than he had calculated and had missed the path we were supposed to take, he held my head underwater for a very long time. OK, OK I made the last bit up, or did I?

Today I have been round to see Michael, he’s on gardening leave, and has decided to head for Naples for a month to learn Italian. I was helping him sort out his wardrobe for the trip. If I didn’t do this, he’d have need of a coterie of porters, a butler, and someone to mop his fevered brow. I did this because I like him, and he needs to keep his children properly covered from the harsh rays of the sun, clearly he needs all the support he can get. But I have keys to his place and if he runs short of shorts I am under instructions to courier him his every need. Knowing Michael as I do, he will return with more clothes than when he left.

Talking of clothes, many have been staring at my wonderful white cotton suit and wondering when I shall be wearing it.  Well in answer to this, when you’re in the queue for an ice cream over the Bank holiday weekend and someone asks if you’d like a flake with that, look up and see if you recognise the face… But I jest: the stretch denim suit that has been delivered will see me in good stead for the rest of the summer.

As my trainer OT has moved onto bigger and better things; we do continue to see each other and the project continues, but I have moved my training headquarters to the gym in Dolphin Square. This is in order to prepare myself for the beach volleyball at the Olympics, just in case they need a ball boy, a lucky mascot, anything, really anything, I can mop a fevered brow with the best of them.

We have started to play Christmas music in the shop. Early I know, but it appears to be the only playlist that Jake and I can agree on or aren’t bored of at the moment. We could of course play the entire Eurovision 2012 contest from start to finish on the BBC iplayer, including the Russian grannies on a loop. Aaaargghh, I hear Jake cry no more music with accordions in it, but then he did say Jedward were OK: perhaps it’s the heat.

Finally, it is official; I am too tall to be the president of France. Some good news then?

 

Copyright © 2012 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

February 2010 – Volpe Newsletter

Thank you all for the kind responses to the January Newsletter. For those of you who scoffed about it being a one-off, and you know who you are, here is the weather forecast for February down Pimlico way.

For me, January meant VAT and the year-end accounts. Oh joy. One of the benefits is to work out exactly what I have wasted my money on, apart from taxes, of course.

For those of you have asked, and the rest of you who couldn’t care less, my trip to Bologna went well. Emanuele, of restaurant Drogheria della Rosa, excelled in many ways, but the dish to end all was after I had explained that five courses twice a day every day was starting to get to me. The menu has not changed in all the time I have known him, five pasta dishes, five mains and four desserts, plus antipasti, nuts, tangerines and a rose for the ladies.

The first time you eat there it’s a little disconcerting because food and alcohol arrive in abundance without you ordering a thing. Not to fear, Emanuele will arrive to take your order, prosecco in hand, and he will at this point introduce to the odd special, which takes me back to the eggs fried in garlic and butter and covered in shaved white truffle. The diet starts soon.

He and dear Issy from About Thyme in Pimlico are such similar creatures and follow the same philosophy (is that all right Issy? Got to help push the locals).

With January over, gym memberships have swollen once more and you can hear the boasts of how muscle memory has kicked in and they’ll be ready for skiing/ beach/marathon, insert as applicable in no time. It does however appear that in most cases the muscles have developed Alzheimer’s.

February takes us on a collision course with cupid and St Valentine’s Day, so those of you who are posting cards to themselves again this year, put a bit of effort in and think of something original, and for God’s sake spend some money, chocolates, flowers, a tattoo or a romantic piercing. I’m thinking of you, Albert, your Highness.

To whoever sent the card I recently received; er, don’t bother again. The police are looking into it; with tongs.

But winter is still with us and it is always colder somewhere else, Krasnoyarsk in Central Russia has recently been as low as -43C, but I can’t imagine the grass will be any greener.

For those of you lucky enough to be skiing and also those thespians amongst you: break a leg.

I’m only bitter because any of you who have been following my travails with gout will know that it has made me a better person in so few ways, but thank you for your kind wishes and imaginative remedies. I now have it on the run after six months, but I will not be ready to return to my ‘80s dream of a mono ski and a fag bag until next winter.

The quip about the celebrity in last month’s newsletter struck a raw nerve with one individual and it probably serves me right for forwarding it to him. I’d love to quote the reply, but sadly once I have taken out the expletives, including several new ones I had to look up, it rendered the rest of his response rather worthless, which is what he is. Let’s see what that elicits! It’s an XKRed19 technique.

By the end of the month we will have received the initial deliveries of our new season merchandise, preparing us finally for Spring and Summer. The collection is based on a simple premise of the Emperor’s wardrobe of nothing for something, and less being more, if you like, a Ponzi scheme for clothes.

Soon we will see the first hairy feet of the season displayed in whatever Birkenstocks will passing off as footwear this year. However the barometer will be my friend, David, who will be back in his A&F shorts given the first pale shaft of sunlight to hit his even paler legs.

A “friend” said to me recently that on his next visit to London he would ask me to make him a new suit, because, and I quote: “he was one suit short of a week”. I had to explain that I’d known this for a while, but hadn’t felt I knew him well enough to comment on his general state of mind.

However confrontation isn’t always a bad thing, as anybody attempting to haggle has found out. Cheese the postman (no I’m not making it up), still hasn’t learnt that the price on the ticket is the price you are expected to pay. He explains that it is culture, I obviously need to explain that it is not mine in the politest fashion, after all it is my decision, and my decision is final. But my favourite is still the guy who whilst attempting to haggle with Jake about £10 found that his car had been ticketed.

This month I will be travelling to Milan, a city I have not visited for many years, and with good reason. The last time I was there I was involved in an incident in a bar, with two hookers and the hotel General Manager, Giovanni. Apparently my mistake was to go to bed too early…… I’ll leave you to work that one out.

Finally, attached below is a sign for a friend’s window. He is a butcher and I’m not sure if he is brave enough to display it! But hell, in for a penny, in for a pound of pork sausages.

 Fit as a butcher’s dog

1: Support your local butcher; otherwise you’ll be left with Jamie Oliver’s under hung meat!

2: It isn’t going to be cheaper by the pound, kilo, inch or yard, and I’m not talking about Jamie.

3: Don’t be scared to ask for advice, it’s free, but it’s the only thing that is, so don’t ask.

4: Don’t smirk when you ask for a pound of sausage, it’s not clever, and don’t you think we might have heard that one before.

5: F U M n X? The answer is S, V F M n X. For goodness sake we’re a butcher’s.

6: Yes, of course it’s cold in here, are you being serious? Come and stand in the fridge for a while. After an hour or two we might be able to pass you off as edible……

7: Free range, means free range, and organic, means organic. It means it runs around and eats properly, do you? Can we make it any clearer?

8: If it’s tough as old boots you haven’t cooked it for long enough.

9: Check the eggs before you leave the shop, just to make sure the chicken isn’t still attached.

10: Do we pluck, draw and hang birds? Only if you really, really upset us.

11: Does that make us pheasant pluckers, I suppose so……..

12: Four legs or two, vegetarians are welcome.

13: Only because 12 doesn’t make a dozen……… But then you should know this by now.

 

Copyright © 2010 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.