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.

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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