A St Valentine’s Day Special

This particular newsletter is rated PG.

Which thankfully means there are no photos!

I have written this to all of those of you who have to be Jamie Oliver in the kitchen, David Gandy in the gym, as sensitive as Ted Zeff and a Christian Grey in the bedroom (or any other room, inside or out). Yes you get the picture, and I think to myself. Me? Me? Me?

I have been reliably informed that the restaurants of London will be empty tonight.

There’s a new boy in town and he’s wearing grey, quite a lot of grey, in fact to be precise 50 different shades.

Gone is the usual romantic dinner, where the last hour is spent fending off young men offering you roses in order that you can cement your love for the person who is sat opposite you. Or at least be like the cement, and get laid.

Apparently there are only two places to be this evening.

Firstly, at the Shadow Theatre Clarendon Street where a friend will be offering a Valentine theatrical treat in the form of a Kabuki production. A neighbour of his has been selling tickets ready for a play which can often involve grotesque masks and facial expressions, performed partly behind a blind with only the shadowy outline of the figures visible. I leave the rest to your imagination until the curtain comes up or down, depending on your perspective.

Secondly, and for the less squeamish amongst you, it seems that everybody else is off to see 50 Shades of Grey. Apart from someone who has now admitted to seeing it last night. Yes, you know who you are and despite stating the contrary I know you loved it!

Well, the things they don’t teach you round the back of the bike sheds at school these days.

Guys, I know one or two of you feel press ganged into this. No, I mean press ganged!

Oooh, the minds of some of you! Anyway, if you don’t want to be recognised wear one of the Kabuki masks, and then you can nip round to the Shadow Theatre later!

If the worst comes to the worst and you find yourself slightly incapacitated, imagine you are Bond. No, no, no.

Not tied to a chair being assaulted by a person with a length of knotted rope, which I know may work for one or two of you. Rather act out a scene from 50 Shades.

And if you are in real trouble it may be time to use the last resort of any spy worth his salt in this predicament and bite down hard on that molar. No, not the one containing the cyanide things aren’t that bad yet, but the one containing the emergency Blue pill, and ‘Hey Presto’ you are ready for action!

That is apart from J, I use only his initial, if I used his full name it would make it too obvious who this person is. J turns up in the shop every time he gets stood up by whichever boy or girl he has a date with, bottle of white wine in hand, telling me that I’m all he has left.

Now this is someone who should be press ganged aboard a boat, but this one needs no second invitation!

I personally will be auditioning for 50 Shades of Just for Men, the sequel, and yes it will involve my wearing 50 shades of Lycra.

I hope you all have wonderful evening with the one you love, and may cup of love runneth over.

Vash pour me another!


Copyright © 2015 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.