June Newsletter 2016

Once again I am asked how I come up with these phantasmagorical tales.

Well let me tell you.

You leave a couple of politicians in charge of the magical lantern and suddenly they are projecting all sorts of frightening images onto the wall, playing with our imagination, fuelling our fears, creating a farrago, until in their frenzy to outdo each other, they knock the magic lantern over and then scarper, blaming each other for burning the theatre down.

I think we drew the short straw.

The Italians have opera, which is their theatre drawn from real life, the Japanese; Kabuki with their exotic make-up, masks and songs, the Mexicans have their wrestling with its exotic make-up, masks and songs, just ask Donald; and the Welsh have Gareth Bale.

We have on the other hand have got the “The Good Old Days” back, with Leonard Sachs and all the pathos of a smug pug singing the “Marseillaise”. Apparently we have our country back?

Long, lazy days of doing sweet FA, not unlike our premiership superstars. Drinking cider in the parks, fighting like the Inter City Firm, no grudge too small, no boots too big, all in the days before love and ecstasy. How bizarre to see a smile on everyone’s face.

I owned an Austin Allegro with its oddly shaped, square steering wheel and it didn’t matter if it was made on a Friday, it was a dreadful car on whichever of the 3 days a week it was made. I think it ran on coal, and the suspension was made out of elastic bands.

Now admittedly if I was dragged back to “The Darling Buds of May” and Catherine Zeta-Jones was my Cherie Amour I might view it as a lovely summer day, but 1976 was a long time ago, and there is only so much rolling around in the hay one can do. Quiet, anybody who thinks they know better!

How the nostalgia seeps up through cracks in the pavement, and it will, but we have moved on.

With the French in charge of EDF, the Germans owning nPower and Eon UK, the Spanish, Scottish Power, to paraphrase ‘The Sun’; “If common sense does not prevail, will the last person to leave Britain please blow the candle out!”

I am fascinated to see how nasty politics has become. Perhaps they have been trapped in the underworld for a very long time with Perseus, drinking absinthe and caustic soda, watching endless repeats of Eastenders.

Hades raised an eyebrow. When he sat forward in his throne, shadowy faces appeared in the folds of his black robes, faces of torment, as if the garment was stitched of trapped souls from the Fields of Punishment, trying to get out.

If only I could get him to give Boris’s bike puncture!

Now, is not the time for politicians to enter into philosophical discussion, it is time to run. The masses now have pitchforks and the politicians are looking a lot like Wicker Men.

Anyway I shall head back to Ibiza, and Hedonism not Hades, I know where my priorities lie.

I will not be staying in the new rural hotel bocadilloed between the club DC10 and the airport. It is called ‘In Flagrante’. So if you are spied in ‘delicto’ it will be by drugged up clubbers from 500ft landing at 3am. I supposed you might say. “Only in Ibiza”.

Since May’s newsletter I have visited the island a couple of times. The first trip involved Neil, Tony and myself spending the night in the DJ booth at Pacha with a young, up and coming DJ called David Morales. The best set I have ever witnessed, below are a couple of photos.

Can you call me back, I'm working

Can you call me back, I’m working

Needin' U

Needin’ U

It finished very late! As it did every night, and I will admit to falling asleep for 20 minutes at the bar, Itaxa at 6.30am, where they serenaded me into slumber with a Spanish guitar. The eighty year old lady, who owns it, gave me a tea towel for a pillow! Tony’s eyes were open, but don’t sharks sleep that way?

We visited a bar called Exis owned by Birgit a German friend and she has a wall covered in photos of clients over the years. It was a poignant reminder of losing my dear friend Richard, 5 years ago, and how many of the faces that stare out from these photos are still with us?

The photo speaks for itself.

The Wall

The Wall

We enjoyed the usual birthday celebrations on Formentera, and after 6 litres of vodka, this spider saw a fly and the hypnotic spray from the wake of the boat sped us from one paradise to another.

FLy

Fly

Spray

Spray

June is easily the best month in Ibiza, the sea not too crowded, nor the restaurants or bars, people are still calm. Neil is still drinking green tea, before the triple espresso, high octane ‘cafe caleta’ season starts.

As in the past I have used trips to Ibiza to avoid going to Pitti Uomo in Florence. This may be the final straw, and why I may never go again. I also re-iterate, this is not me. It is so wrong on so many levels and in what world does this person think this looks acceptable. There are moments in fashion where you realise that the vogue has reached a tipping point and those teetering on the brink will tumble into the sea to be dashed against the rocks, dresses made out of newspaper, anything with a medusa’s head, shoes that make you walk like Dick Emery and braces that look like a ‘Mankini’ for a dandy!

Brace yourself

Brace yourself

Lastly a sunset, because we have been bereft of suns a setting, lords a leaping, seven swans a swimming, I have been lucky with the ladies dancing, but one makes ones own luck? Unless you are sharing a table in a restaurant; some will know this story, the rest can only guess at how I might have been transformed!

Sunset

And a Jakeism to end – Christmas is now closer than the last New Year. Joy, thy name is Time!

Copyright © 2016 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

Updated!!!!! – December Newsletter 2015 – Io Sono Amore

Io Sono Amore, I am Love.

An admirer sent me a film for Christmas.

Yes I do have an admirer. OK, OK, they are more of a stalker, but beggars can’t be choosers, and after Siri and Cortana anything is a bonus, but they did keep me company whilst updating to Windows 10.

Apparently in my apricot cashmere sweater I look like Tilda Swinton in the aforementioned film!!! Are you blind?

I am starting to get very worried, I suppose it could be worse, I could be the bunny in Fatal Attraction when I’d rather be dancing with Jessica Rabbit, or cuddled up under a throw with Pussy Galore.

If you are not interested in football, go off and make a cup of green tea now. Yes, I know it’s the written word so this will still be here when you get back, soldier on it’s not that bad.

Woe betide anyone who ventures across my path, Zoro has my back. Poor little Sepp appeared for his press conference sporting what could have been a duelling scar, or a souvenir from Saint Nick who takes no prisoners with the bad boys this time of year.

No one slaps me on the cheek with a white kid glove and gets away with it! On the other hand it could have been the spoke of an umbrella wielded by a very small person associated with Michel ‘The Bulgar’ Plantini. However as Sepp ‘The Mushroom’ is still with us, we will have to assume the former.

Zoro

Zoro

Player power seems to be putting an end to managerial careers here, there and everywhere. Jose, poor Jose, and Luis Van Gaal, both appear to be suffering or have suffered from this ague. To give you a special insight into the everyday struggles in their world I managed to sneak into the Chelsea dressing room, and the Manchester United car park to see what has been going on.

It has been suggested that Simon Cowell is being lined up by Roman to replace Jose in the long term, make-up artists to replace club doctors and Julio Iglesias will take over from Rafa Benitez at Real Madrid, “When I begin, the beguine…….”

Chelsea?

Chelsea?

 

Stretford End?

Stretford End?

Then there is the referee Howard Webb, who said that there were fewer poor decisions made by referees on Boxing Day because they were chauffeured to their games. So not having to make a decision whether to turn left or right on their way to the game meant they were less stressed and improved their performance. I refer to my earlier posts about referees and as Aristotle said, ‘Quod erat demonstrandum’.

Now we need to spare a thought for young Luke Jake. It’s not about the parlous state of things at Wolves which we will gloss over using a matt finish, but about his attempt in true ‘Likely Lads’ fashion to avoid any mention of what might have happened in Star Wars XXIII, ‘The Force goes back to sleep again’.

He’s been walking round for weeks wearing noise cancelling headphones customized to look like antlers, and if by some terrible twist of fate he’s not had them on, just at the mere mention of his name, Luke Jake has stuck his fingers in his ears and started singing La, La, La as if he were Naughty Boy.

He has now seen the film, he seems much calmer.

I have been a busy boy, and, please don’t choke on your Corn Flakes. By ‘boy’ I mean it as a turn of phrase, not that I view myself as such. Although between the ‘potions’ and the silken hands of Raoul my therapist, I resemble a young Liberace!

I have been circumnavigating the globe, Florence, Bologna and Hong Kong, in a week. So Sam, dry your eyes I now have enough miles for a free latte in Waitrose.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong was a ‘Coals to Newcastle’ trip, to catch up with several VIPs, see Chic and Niles Rodgers, rub Udderbelly, and see the Anthony Gormley sculptures. It was short, intense and fun.

Chic

Chic

All set for a little cocktail party in my suite, and some dealings with the Carnie Folk.

Martini

Martini

Macaroons

Macaroons

I would like to thank everyone at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental for their magnificent hospitality and incredible levels of service, which all made it a very enjoyable and successful trip.

I will be back….

Apologies to anybody who got a scarf  for Christmas, that was way off. I have spent the Christmas period sporting a production sample of our new ‘Rudolph Mankini’, complete with red nose.

Top 10 presents I was made aware of this Christmas:

1: Dry Stone wall building course.

2: A delivery bike for a Volpe be-suited friend whose job it is to deliver his wife’s exotic, baked creations to cafes around our great metropolis.

3: A month’s adoption of a Mayfly for September!

4: A second eighth of a Cow, which made it a quarter.

5: A pint of double cream, because apparently he always forgets to buy it for the Christmas pudding.

6: Also a recipe for Bubble ‘n Squeak, sorry, sorry, a signed copy of Macbeth. Double, double, toil and trouble, fire burn and caldron bubble…. Back to the Premiership I see.

7: A Fashion Magazine in Chinese for an 11 year old nephew.

8: The Sepp close shave, heal that nick kit!

9: A new songwriter for Robbie Williams. I know, who he?

10: A new pair of spectacles for a football referee, according to Luke Jake it’s any of them.

11: A scarf?

As always I like to help a friend, and he offered me the car in exchange for this little uplift, I’m now headed for the Manchester United car park!

http://verticalproductions.co.uk/portfolio-items/new-audi-r8-v10-promo-2015/

As you all wonder how these get written, here is a further insight into my wonderful world. I’d like to thank Lyle Lovett for writing some of my favourite lyrics, and for showing that anything is possible; he was after all married to Julia Roberts.

If I had a boat I’d sail out on the ocean, and if I had a pony I’d ride it on my boat.

 

Copyright © 2015 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

 

New Boots and Panties

In fact neither of those, I just wanted to use that title.

So a few little bits of prose, before the photos.

It is National Poetry Day.

I will also regularly post photographs of what I am wearing, or not, to bore you. In today’s photo I am wearing a suit, however what I am not wearing, is socks!

You get the gist, this isn’t Countdown.

Could be anyone!

Could be anyone!

So I was a guinea pig. No not in a previous life, however that would make a change from being an Egyptian Princess. It seems that everyone who has seen a ‘Shamen’ or tried Regressive Therapy will have been royalty of one type or another. I would settle for having been human.

Anyway, back to the guinea pig thing. I received an email from Jeremy of Corbin and King fame, offering dinner at The Colony Grill, how could I refuse? I’d get to sample dinner before the restaurant was actually open. Maybe they’d let me loose in the kitchen and I could wow them with my culinary skills.

So I emailed Jayne and begged. I explained that if I could come for dinner as a guinea pig, the gaping void left in my life by being left out of the trials for Viagra would be filled, once again I could hold my head up in public again.

Then I panicked and thought, what if I’d would have been given the placebo? Oh, the shamen of it.

No such problems at The Colony Grill. The Beaumont Hotel is beautiful, the bar; dare I say, sexy? The restaurant and food were everything you would expect from Chris and Jeremy. On hand to enhance the experience were Robert, Jason, Daniele and the fantastic Shirley.

I can highly recommend the experience.

I was chatting to a friend yesterday whose mother is in a Santuary for the Ederly (Old People’s home) in Rome. She is a little older than my mum, but a similar breed. She’s not happy being there, and her main gripes are as my mother’s would be; the quality of the red wine isn’t up to scratch and the Chippendales haven’t been booked to appear nightly.

I’m trying to think of something along the lines of “youth is wasted the young”, and all I could come with was “the mind is willing, but the flesh is weak”. So back to those trials again!

Anyway I have digressed; digressed, not regressed I am still here.

Some new stock, available in limited quantities, as always.

Email me if you have any questons.

BUT PLEASE, I can’t answer questions like:

Why Chelsea sold Daniel Sturridge to Liverpool and why Man. United sold Danny Welbeck to Arsenal or Wolves are doing so well? Sorry Jake, I’m sworn to secrecy and will take this knowledge to the grave.

Well OK, the real answer is; I don’t know!

Blue Gilet

Blue Gilet

Brown Gilet

Brown Gilet

Camouflage Gilet

Camouflage Gilet

Grey Gilet

Grey Gilet

Light Grey Gilet

Light Grey Gilet

Nylon ID Jacket

Nylon ID Jacket

 

 

Copyright © 2014 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

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.

Mid April 2013 – Newsletter

As the book is started, and the characters are developed, there is one who freely admits he hasn’t progressed beyond childhood, my cup now runneth over and my creative juices are flowing once again. I could crush a grape! Stop pouring Vash.

Looks like there is another book about me doing the rounds. In it, I am painted as something of a Peter Pan character, with the attributes of Captain Hook, and none of those of Mary Poppins. I’ve heard it is one of the greatest works of fiction ever written. I think its title is “The Life I Never Led”.  Tick – tock, tick – tock.

Ever the optimist I will wait for the sequel, it will be quite a challenge to improve on the last one, and I think most of the character development of those involved in the original has been exhausted. So as Tim Robbins said, perhaps I should write two (news) letters a week.

The book will easily transfer to a film. As always Tom Cruise will be aching to play me, but I will have to choose carefully. Perhaps this time, a gritty British actor, I see endless possibilities ahead. Gerard Butler almost has the body, but that inpenetr… accent of his, means that whatever I try to get across in my strange written style will be further lost by his delivery. Or Jason Statham, who comes close, but is always after my ideas for his next suit. I could choose Brando, but then the resemblance would be uncanny, and I love ice cream, especially the dark chocolate one, called Fondente from La Carraia in Florence. Oh, how I miss that.

Versions of the screenplay will appear, but it should have been written by Harold Pinter, sadly he is on a rather long pause; the music by? Certainly not, he’s really out of favour, and I couldn’t stand the wife constantly interfering in my life and affairs. And sadly Richard is no longer around to critique it. How I miss our chats together. He would have constantly corrected my grammar, but I would never have minded.

By now you’ve all read my Ibiza exploits, the tattoos are healing nicely.  Not like last time, when 6 hours in Lycra hot pants meant they took an age to heal. Perhaps wearing the mankini at the same time to travel back in didn’t help either. I don’t want to make Neil that angry again, but I’ll do anything to wave my glo’stick at the night sky.

The dog days of summer will soon be with us. Already people are casting off their winter shells, hibernation is over. The cast that has been attacking your cashmere has become a moth, and fluttered off to lay its eggs and destroy another garment. An exasperated customer told me recently that she had lost so much cashmere to moths, that she was going with her kids to the Butterfly House at Syon Park, to allow them to exact their own form of revenge!

That said we should go back to La Carraia. Oh, yes I should, oh no you shouldn’t, oh stop it. My life is not a pantomime no matter what you think. Anyway, on my last visit to Florence, I can’t say when, it was for legal reasons; they delivered a bath load of Fondente, to my hotel. It’s great for the skin, if not for the waistline. Well I did have to eat my way out.

Some are given to bathing in donkeys (yes I know it’s as*$#s) milk, well I couldn’t possibly comment? No really it would be rude to insult their intelligence. I preferred to bath in the rich cool chocolatiness of Fondente. Attached is a photo. Yes I know there is another flavour, it is Fior di Panna. There were photos of me in the bath, but I wanted you to read to the end of this, rather than swoon at this point, so they were omitted.

Fior di Panna e Fondente!

Ever reminded of Frankie Howerd, I always want to shout “Up Pompeii” each time someone crosses my path. Well OK, up something, but once again we must be sympathetic to spam filters, theirs is a joyless existence. Stopping this, restricting that, what has the world come to! Anyway that’s why I couldn’t post the photos of me in the bath.

My friends can post photos of themselves snorkelling without clothes in the alpine snow. It was absinthe, m’lud, not abstinence that did it. The little green light at the bottom of the bottle said, go, go, go. And so I did. At this point I will introduce a link to a friend’s blog. Gehan writes the Martini Mandate, give it a go, you’ll enjoy it: www.martinimandate.com

Perhaps the Ibiza exploits don’t seem quite so bad now. Eugene and Ina are back in Copenhagen. If you are ever there and are looking for a coffee, his is the place to go. We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when. Oh yes we do, oh no we don’t, oh give it a rest! We will reminisce, swap stories and then start the party all over again. Hopefully this time with a full compliment.

Real life continues no matter what fantasies I create for myself. Last weekend I went to see Oblivion, just to see if TC was up to playing me. Apparently it was shot in Iceland. The scenery was breath-taking, so I will be booking a trip to see the aurora borealis, be TC and eat whale blubber, any takers?

Eventually even I have to stop tapping the keyboard, but I do have to mention Jake. As many of you who follow football have sympathised with him, he is now sobbing gently under the stairs, when the mighty Wolves are meekly heading for oblivion.

Sent from my new super duper ipad

Copyright © 2013 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

 

February 2013 – Volpe Newsletter

February is that kind of month, sneeze and it’s gone.

For those of you who have had a cold, bless you, gesundheit, tomorrow is the first of March.

This is my mouthpiece to the world. Somewhere, where you can glean the most intimate details of my life, and OK, that of some of my mates, but I must admit I did have fun with this one.

Thanks Sunil, for the photos of you and most of the world’s top twenty ladies tennis players. How did you get them to do that, and haven’t some of them got boyfriends? Please be so kind as to illuminate me about your silken charms, and don’t fob me off with the old knock-about remark about your backhand. Next time can you try to get them to do a version of “Call me maybe”.

Mark, thanks for the ones of you. How they got through the spam filter, I will never know. And Michael, the ones of your children were a pleasant surprise.

I spent Chinese New Year with Wolf. He has recovered from having his email hacked, I haven’t, but that’s so last month. We said goodbye to the dragon and ushered in the snake, enjoyed some excellent food and entertainment, and I didn’t lose my shirt at majong. You know me, always looking for the opportunity to take it off.

Congratulations to Al and Victoria. They are getting married in June. You’ll all be using their apps soon.

I had an NHS health check. This was to make sure I had a heart, and that it was still beating, but we’ll come back to that later. However the nurse did ask me to take my shirt off. I think the comment, “haven’t you been a bad boy and didn’t that hurt!” was a little forward, but after she’d been revived, and we’d taken her blood pressure, all was calm again. We are still waiting for the results of my blood tests, but I can tell you now, I’m not sleeping well, up all night, a horrible itchy feeling in my teeth, I can’t face looking at myself in the mirror, and I may never go in the sun again. Who thought you’d ever hear me say that, but that’s the problem with vampires, never invite them in.

I’m back from my travels again. A visit to Bologna to see Emanuele and 3am finish for dinner. I didn’t know you could eat for that length of time. There is a photo where Emanuele has made the island of Sardinia out of a drop of wine; we then proceeded to drink the island dry. Then a short stop in Florence before Rome. I felt like a UN observer, there to oversee the elections, to make sure that all was fair and above board. Don’t know why I bothered, it is Italy after all, and it’s not as though they haven’t had an election before, I was surrounded by a frenzy of apathy!

Emanuele created Sardinia from a drop of wine.

Emanuele created Sardinia from a drop of wine.

If “Dear Silvio” and Beppe Grillo get together, we’re in for a real treat, apologies an M&M, it really will be a cabaret of epic proportions. A singer and a comdeian, who’d have thought, we could end up with Robbie Williams and the Krankies, add a psychologist; a Geordie, an interfering wife, and it could be a farce. That should upset Sig. Napolitano, he’ll cross the road the next time he sees me coming.

Ah yes, how prophetic, bella Roma; home of “la bocca della verita”, and “Dear Silvio”. He’ll be back, because he can’t stay away. He’s always in the background interfering, never happy with his lot, always trying to play with other peoples toys, and only happy when he’s broken them, or damaged them beyond repair.

He’s like the kid in the playground whose friendships rely solely upon how much bunga he throws around. Oh baby, shower me with euros!

Then there is Ill Papa (Sic.), we wish him well, but I wasn’t in Rome for an interview, I was just making smoke. Max and I ate in a restaurant near Castell Sant’Angelo where we were the only people who weren’t priests. They kept staring suspiciously at us, two men lunching alone together, who’d have thought it. Between you and me, I hear they’re considering Jose Mourinho. That should sort them out at the back, and the balcony speeches should be a little more robust and dramatic, perhaps even a little swooning from some of the ladies at the front. I’m just not sure how they’ll cope with the Yorkshire Terriers running around the Sistine Chapel.

I did learn a couple of new words. The first was “ingovernabile”, which was used to describe the Italian political system, and is pronounced with a sigh, in a way that describes just how tired they are with the whole thing. Then there is “imperdonabile”, which is pronounced with such venom that it makes unforgivable seem like a slap on the wrist. It’s a shame because I thought I could always forgive anything.

It has been suggested that I write a book about my colourful life. I would of course need to make huge chunks of it up. Yes it’s true I could hire a ghost writer or get someone to do that for me, but that’s already happened, much of which, as I’ve said before you couldn’t make up.

The book would require a beginning, a middle and an end, not to mention a story; a sub plot, a twist or two and a little Machiavele. Then a character or eight, mine are like a bag of snakes. All flawed of course, but I suppose it’s better to have several that are flawed, rather than none at all; a modern Kind Hearts and Coronets. Then you have to develop them. Suddenly it doesn’t seem so difficult, if I could get each of my personalities to write a chapter, it could be “The Decameron” based around the seven deadly sins, I could throw in a little humour, and then a sting in the tail. Like Chaucer, these characters can live an eternity in print, every boil, pimple and carbuncle. O dio, be still my beating heart.

Recently I have been breakfasting with Marie. She is great fun, and Jason always smiles, perhaps slightly jealous at the company I keep. I admit she is a couple of years older than me, but she’s in diamonds. You see, I really am shallow.

If I’m feeling slightly cultural, which is of course is never; it’s way too cerebral for me. Sorry, I had to think about that. I head to Covent Garden Market and listen to the opera singers, sing various arias. Some are fantastic, but I struggle to understand why others attempt some pieces at all. However there is always a CD to buy if you want to be reminded which particular cat they were strangling.

I was there last weekend, and in the main square there was a large steel heart and LOVE spelt out in large letters. It belonged to the British Heart Foundation, and padlocked to the heart and each letter were thousands of tiny metal hearts, each with its own message of love written by people from all over the world. I spent an age reading them, and I found it incredibly uplifting that love could be expressed in so many simple, but beautiful ways.

LOVE - British Heart Foundation

LOVE – British Heart Foundation

Each hearts cost £3 and the proceeds go to the British Heart Foundation. There was one among you who was worried about the functionality of my heart. Well after my check up, I am pleased to say that everything is working properly; there was no need to worry. Don’t believe everything you are told.

BHF Padlock

Thank you one and all for your kind words regarding my Oscar. It was for best supporting actor in a foreign film. I didn’t realise that when we started filming it would turn out to be such a drama, but I was Rowan Atkinson to Daniel Craig, Johnny English to James Bond. Jake will hate that one. Anyone want to buy a t-shirt? I’ve had thousands printed.

I have listed other suggestions below.

Oscars as they should have been:

Best Baddie: Dear Silvio
Best Goodie: Me, me, me
Best Goody Bag: The ones I give away – Think about it
Best Film adaptation of a Shakespeare play: A Tale between 2 Birthdays
Best Screenplay: Mine, mine, mine
Best Adaptation from a book: Seneca’s tragedies 1682
Best Musical Score: La Wally – Ebben! Ne Andro Lontana – Maria Callas
Most Out of Office replies: Sven – 8 in the last 12 months.

However I didn’t tell the truth about one thing. It was always 24, not 22. Rocco, vincero.

I will now leave this subject alone. We live in a world of our own making. Along the way we make mistakes, ma speriamo che non finisca male per nessuno. It’s not that youth is wasted on the young, it’s just we don’t realise we’ve f^#+~d up until it’s too late.

 

Copyright © 2013 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

Mid-January 2013 – Volpe Newsletter

So I thought I’d get one out early.

Struck down by ‘Norovirus’ for New Year, I can only expect better for the rest of the year……. Anyway I’ve washed my hands of last year. It’s over.

A little good news for the end of last year, Eugenia married Ricardo, and they have returned to married bliss in Nicaragua. Gen, I hope you did a background check on the young man. Is he in the import/export business?

For those of you reading this via the blog page on the website, you will be able to see a photo of the lovely couple.

Ricardo and Eugenia.....Aaaaahhhh

Ricardo and Eugenia…..Aaaaahhhh

Anyway, as you remember Eugenia is the young lady that I was able to pick up by her ears! But, Gen is best known for her affinity with animals, she brings out the best of them. Many when in close proximity to her have decided they can have a little nibble.

On a trip we will describe as her ‘hen do’, she got a little too close to a monkey. The monkey must have been on something (It was of course in Nicaragua), it sneezed and after opening its eyes, spied the innocent Eugenia. At this point it launched into a manic assault in that flappy, kind of ineffectual kind way that some creatures do. Realising that Eugenia was a bit of veteran to this kind of thing, it then bit her on the leg. All of this was captured on camera and is available on Youtube if you know where to look.

She offered to show me the bite, but I am a timid soul and declined. She seems OK, but I’m not sure whether Ricardo should worry, she was foaming slightly at the mouth when she said “I do”.

Ricardo did tell me that on the honeymoon, an elephant started to take an interest in her, but then she did that thing that she does with her hair, and seeing a relative, it went serenely on its way.

I feel that I have not lost a daughter, but gained another way of accessing the US.

Talking of animal confrontations, my mother who lives on a hillside in Somerset was walking in the woods just before Christmas, when she was startled by a squirrel. In the ensuing melee she fell and broke her right arm. I’m not sure I believe her version! Although this happened fairly early in the morning, I’m pretty certain she’d been out to the still to check on the latest batch of hooch, Scrumpy to those of you who have tried it. If not she would have dispatched the squirrel with her white stick.

Congratulations to Sam on your promotion. I didn’t think you could go any higher, but once again you have proved me wrong. The new position includes a private jet in the air 24 hours a day, 365 days a year circling above his current location in order to whisk of him to the other side of the world for a 15 minute face to face meeting. When does living the dream turn into a nightmare? Is it a “Dreamliner”?

I returned to the shop on the 27th to find Mark curled up asleep outside the front door, thumb gently lodged in his mouth. I didn’t have the heart to wake him, but he forms a formidable obstruction, and I had work to do. Christmas had turned into a bit of a bender. He’d run out of booze at home and knew that he had a bottle of brandy in the shop for his personal consumption. He is the only person I know who sobers up the more he drinks! At least one of his New Year’s resolutions was not to give up alcohol or partying.

Jake has already broken his resolution, not to talk about Wolves, but he was ecstatic to have won £15 betting against his own side. Then he had an attack of conscience and felt he couldn’t do it again. Son, you could be rich, rich, rich.

 

Copyright © 2013 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

December 2012 – Volpe Newsletter

OK. So I didn’t get this out before Christmas.

I could give you all sorts of excuses.

1: Duran’s pet Chihuahua, “Elvis” ate my first draught.

2: I was abducted by aliens.

3: Every single computer where the original version of this was stored crashed, deleting all my work.

But, the truth is that I have only just surfaced.

Why, you might ask? Well I hid under the bed for a few days. You can’t be too careful what with the end of the world and all that. I managed to finish the ark I was building out of matchsticks, but then I couldn’t get it out of the bottle I’d built it in.

On the outside of the bottle, it did say “drink me”, and some of you who know me, know I can’t resist a challenge. Suddenly I was the size of a sugar mouse and I didn’t like the look of the Cheshire Cat.

So there it is. I stayed there until the effects of the hallucinogens had worn off. I missed Christmas and all the trimmings. I can only be glad I didn’t think I was a turkey or the Parson’s nose. Oh, the ignominy.

But now I’m starting to worry about the fiscal cliff. We have only 24 hours to save the world. How many times must we cry wolf, before we are all eaten? When close to the edge, I always feel like jumping.

Please hasten in the New Year when all will be serene, and I will feel less like a lemming. Then I started to think what lovely coats they’d all make, and I began to relax, and all was right with the world again.

Michael has headed for a beach with “Old Wood” in hand. On this beach they have a strict dress code. I’d tell you where it was, but I know you’d all be on the first plane there. He has threatened to thwart the dress code; Speedos are banned, but he has been honing his entire physique for a moment like this, and woe be tide anyone who stands in his way. Whoa Michael, don’t scare the horses! It reminds of the joke about making a horse laugh. You can look it up if you want? I’m not telling you here!

Those of you I have seen this year, or spoken too, or emailed, thank you. Also those of you, who have commented positively on ramblings, thank you. Those of you who were less than complimentary, also, thank you. I was glad I could get under your skin.

Thanks to Jason, Jayne and all the crowd at The Wolseley, to Vash, Michael, Darren, Suhul, Sunil, Mark and anyone I might have forgotten (OK Jake), I could mention so many more, but I am starting to well up like an Oscar acceptance speech, and we do only have 24 hours to save the world.

I know President Obama and ‘Dear Silvio’ will be reading this and they both have more important tasks in hand. The former the fiscal cliff, and the latter, well let’s not go there, but he’ll be back.

Normally I would make a list of all the resolutions you have imparted to me, but this year I think I will wait until the end of January when so many will be covered in glorious failure, and I can selfishly recount each one writ large in the newsletter.

Whatever your resolutions will be I wish you luck with them. I only have my best interests at heart. Remember I have a newsletter to fill. So whatever wagon you fall off of, makes sure it is large and fast moving, in this way you are guaranteed a mention.

For those of you want to save the world. Perhaps follow a little advice offered to Bono at a concert. Whilst on stage he proclaimed that every time he clapped his hands a child in Africa died. A helpful fellow in the audience suggested in slightly more vulgar terms, that he should stop clapping. Thank you for that one Darren.

So wherever you are spending the New Year, I hope you will have a wonderful time, and I hope that next year allows me to continue to follow this ideal.

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.”

 

Copyright © 2012 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

November 2012 – Volpe Newsletter

Firstly, as you know the newsletter is available through the website, and now has the benefit of having photos to accompany some of the stories. As we progress these will be back-dated over the years. Yes, those of you that doubted me, the newsletter will soon have been running for two years.

Siena Sunset

Siena Sunset

Currently outside it is cold, cold, cold, and my hands are hovering above the keyboard numb and unresponsive. Like a Saturday morning, after Friday night with Vash. There are those of you who have either shared or encountered me on these nights, and you’ll know what I mean, because you will have been there too.

Now November has passed, the number of you sporting facial hair for good causes has been a revelation, but I suppose you’ll all be looking forward to a nice clean shave.

Partners and wives, I have been told will be much happier, although some of the facial topiary has been spectacular. Now I feel I can say it, but a friend who considers himself to be very masculine; the word “butch” comes to mind, has been rendered as camp as Christmas with his handlebars. I daren’t tell him, because he’s bigger than me.

I will of course revert from being a wolf man, as after every full moon to my primped, preened and polished normality. Ramone specifically has complained that he will have to use the clippers before applying the wax. Hollywood. Careful man!

Talking of handlebars, I have purchased a bicycle. I bought a “fixie”, but being a southern softie I am running it on a free wheel. I do of course value my knees, which when using a fixie, is the only way of stopping. Yes, by peddling backwards! Gnilddep. Oh, forget it!

Thank you, those of you who have made suggestions of what I should buy, and David especially. He has always been quick to point out where I might go wrong!  But the main reason for buying a bicycle was to get into fluorescent lycra again. As I no longer ski, or club regularly, it is the only way I can legitimately wear lycra in public without being arrested, well as long as I am on the bike. So very “Emperor’s New Clothes”.  Remember the mankini?

A friend is a little nervous about his first mention in the newsletter, but not as nervous as he was when he met Neil for the first time. Neil looked him over like a blank canvas tattoo needle at the ready, poised to tattoo the Sistine Chapel.

Anyway I digressed. Yes I know, I always do!

This friend has been complaining that he hasn’t been using his Ducati anywhere near as much as he should. So, yesterday he qualified this statement by saying that his new home will only be 4 miles from the office, rather than the current 6. As he is pretty fit, he could perhaps push it to and from work every day. Given the reliability of the bike, and the opportunity to keep fit, I think this is possibly a win-win scenario. He is also the only person I know that can out techie Jake when it comes down to pistols at dawn over their iphone 5s.

The UK economy, like many in Europe is now under the control of a former Goldman Sachs employee, and a Canadian to boot. Not that I have anything against either, but it looks that Europe may be turned into a very large investment bank. Oh! You mean it is already. Apparently a former GS cleaner is being lined up for a job in the Italian Finance Ministry, she by all accounts a bit of a stunner. Dear Silvio’s influence from afar continues uninterrupted.

Inkadelic in India

Inkadelic in IndiaNeil has returned to Ibiza, after a very big party in India and a couple of weeks telling the Dali Llama where he’s going wrong. Peace will return, imported from Nepal, no expense spared back to Ibiza. The photos he sent me were spectacular.

I shall finish with a true story, not a joke!

So a friend wearing a pair of £5 sale sunglasses was walking along the beach with his wife. Like many of us he is a tad vain, but on this occasion his is amazed by the reaction of people staring at him as if he had a new found celebrity status. Just to make sure he gazed down to ensure that he was still wearing his swimming shorts, such was the response.

At this point the gentle stroll along the beach had turned into a swagger with all the subtly of a “pimp roll”. His wife was starting to worry, and suggested they stop in a beach side café for a refreshing glass of wine. Here the response was the same, so my friend asks his wife if she has noticed anything about his new found magnetism.

She replies straight faced, that apart from a missing lens in his sunglasses he looked no different.

Remember, you buy cheap, you buy twice.

 

Copyright © 2012 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

October 2012 – Volpe Newsletter

Cast your mind back 12 months, or at least take a look at last year’s October Newsletter, and I draw your attention to the closing line.

Finally someone got there, but we will return to this rich vein.

Now one or two of you out there, and there are one or two of you out there, have said last month’s Newsletter was a little flat; that I could have tried harder, more studio in Kensal Rise, than penthouse in Mayfair, just going through the motions.

Well excuse me, I was trying, not that you thought so. So I am hoping this is my Skyfall, when on reflection Quantum of Solace wasn’t all that bad. Bond is the only person I know with more gadgets than Jake, he is our own personal “Q”.

Jake’s hoping that he may discover a way of predictive, predictive text, spotting the errors before he thinks of them, or reading my mind, so not much hope of that then as I thought of it first. I know your game sonny Jim, and it’s not going to save the Wolves.

So I will continue to blindly stab at the keys on my now ancient ipad. However to avert total blindness I have resorted to wearing spectacles, because that is what they are. Most people have been quite complimentary about them, but little did you know they have an x-ray vision mode. I always wanted a pair of them after I saw them in the back of a comic as a child, however trust me you don’t always want them switched on. Ewwwwweee.

Saturday afternoons are amongst my favourite moments in the shop. Normally I have Darren and Michael around for company. Darren knows as much about clothing as anyone I know, and Michael, well Michael is Michael. His favourite scent as you now know is Auld Wood (sic.), Darren described the smell as the essence of Viagra and crushed Werthers Originals, so once again we are back with Jimmy Savile.

Between Darren and Michael I think they have tried most of Mr Ford’s fragrances, and they agree that Auld Wood is the best. As I do not use a fragrance and prefer to air dry after a shower, I couldn’t possibly comment. Try and banish that thought from your memory, but the multi-coloured toe nails and tattoos always provoke a comment or two in the gym. As you can see my coterie of waxers and polishers are once again dutifully employed.

Michael is going to have to move out of his house for nine months, after being flooded by a neighbour. The flooding was so severe that they are going to have to rip out the concrete floors, because the water has penetrated the under floor heating system, turning the whole house into a giant toaster. I’m going round with the brioche and foie gras before he moves.

Neil has been and gone. He came to arrange his visa for India and get drunk with me. Once again he is off to sit atop a mountain and gaze upon the setting sun, perhaps after trying a natural herbal remedy it might resemble the setting sun. Take some more remedy Neil, the effect is wearing off.

Italy is now jailing anybody who has predicted anything. After jailing the seismologist who didn’t predict the strength of the earthquake in Aquilla, they are lining up cases against the weather forecasters, and if you are interested in your horoscope they may well burn you at the stake, as a witch. As we know the results of Italian football matches are predicted weeks in advance, giving you plenty of time to get a bet on. Where the offside rule is wilfully misunderstood, and the refs cover their mouths so you can’t see what they are saying once they have finally made a decision and informed the powers that be, of the details of their Swiss bank account. In fact I predict the word “predict” may have to be removed from the language altogether, along with “taxes”. Oh, sorry they have done that already.

This weekend I saw the first snow of the winter. I was at Montesenario, a convent on a hilltop just outside Florence. In the summer it can be a little crowded because of the beautiful views over all of Tuscany. On days like Sunday it is deserted and there is a strange, eerie silence when the clouds are low and the rain has turned to snow. However there is a cafe to stop, take respite from the weather and enjoy a glass of wine. Once again I have returned to my creative writing course and I have become Sean Connery to Jake’s, Christian Slater. In order to control nature, one must first learn to obey it. As yet I am no Umberto Eco, as some of you have pointed out.

Recently when I have returned from Florence, I have been smuggling in various Neapolitan tarts, supplied by Rita, and one or two of you who live locally have been very keen to sample them, along with an espresso with a little something in it, perhaps a Grappa or Sambuca. Close to Florence there is a town called Montecatini-Terme, and it has a certain reputation, where you can also relax and sample tarts of all descriptions. However there is a local expression, “finito solde, finito amore”, I can assure you the love of our tarts lasts a little longer.

Dimme tutto cara.

If you are reading this the day after I sent it, then today is my birthday. It is a national holiday in many countries, how thoughtful of them. I am beyond celebrating them. They are just a reminder of how well I misspent my youth. How I would love to go back and take that callow youth to one side and explain to him that it will all be OK in the end, and that you should never really worry about what other people think, be yourself, enjoy your life to the full. So to those of you who thought last month’s Newsletter could have been better, my answer is ” Yes I know, and I thank you for your input, and I accept the criticism gracefully, you were perhaps right. However it’s my Newsletter and like my life, it’s for me to mess up. So I’m off to do more legal drugs, have more tattoos and get very, very drunk. So who else is coming?” Vash (Who also had a birthday this week), open a bottle, your work starts now.

Seneca said, “If you wish to be loved, love”.

Well I think that had a bit everything, humour, self-pity, philosophy and pathos.

Oh, and I forgot a little Jimmy Savile, thank goodness, he never fixed it for me.

Copyright © 2012 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

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