Tripping the Light Fantastic

I have, as I always have; been tripping the light fantastic.

There is some new stock, but this newsletter is merely window dressing, a little foreplay before the main event, call it a drip feed.

I could employ a ‘fluffer’ to keep you all entertained, plumping pillows, stroking cashmere, but already I can feel your minds starting to wander. In a future life I may come back as a goldfish, anyway, where was I? Whoa… stop: side of the bowl!

Empire State

Empire State

Lest we forget

Lest we forget

To begin the beguine, I would like to thank everyone for their support on my little trip to New York. It was a pleasure to see you all, some old friends, and some new.

And I fell in love, her name is Erica, she’s not yet 2 and adorable. Sorry Henry!

As you can gather I will be planning many more jaunts to quench my thirst for wanderlust, and for those of you who are unsure, ‘wanderlust’ is not a cocktail. I can already see this newsletter will be full of explanations, definitions and double entendres, and that’s starting to confuse the spell checker.

I could sit around all day reading philosophy, pretending I understood Seneca, but as a goldfish I swim in shallower water. The world’s sfumatore is a grey mist, I am a child of blue skies, and talking of blue skies, I was back in Ibiza at the weekend.

Neil world famous tattooist invited me out for a few days cycling, he is a changed man, his days of partying are behind him, now it’s all carbon fibre (fiber for the Americans amongst you), gear ratios and black Lycra.

Two great, long rides in two days, the first included a stop for lunch at Puertas del Cielo. I may have had a slight accident afterwards, whilst I was standing still. Why are there always paparazzi around at moments like this?

Tumbling Dice

Tumbling Dice

The second ride was on the beautiful island of Formentera. I had always assumed that the island was entirely flat! Well it is; apart from the long climb up to the lighthouse at Pilar de la Mola.

Creative writing moment… I climbed the hill up to La Mola, my legs still heavy from the previous day’s exertions and the tarmac was dragging on my tyres in the heat, I navigated bend after bend as I made swift progress towards the summit. My thighs were starting to burn and I changed through the gears to keep my cadence steady, beads of sweat forming on my forehead, each turn led to another, the air thinning and filled with the scent of the pine trees, the tight Lycra clinging to me, fifty shades of blue, not much further… OK that’s enough, my mum might be reading this!!!

Torpedoes away

Torpedoes away

The Hills have Hills

The Hills have Hills

The Hills of Formentera

The Hills of Formentera

Neil always carries a spare banana in his Lycra… Stop it!

On the way down to El Faro de la Mola he ate the banana and discarded the skin at the side of the road. We stopped at the lighthouse and took some photos, Neil drank a ‘Red Bull’, tucked the empty can into the pocket on the back of his shirt, we turned round to head back to the village, and a well-deserved beer.

We had cycled a few hundred metres when I was passed by a Police car, lights and siren on. There must have been some sort of emergency, perhaps a lost dog; you know one of those toy ones which live in a handbag, maybe it had locked itself out!

BUT no, they were pulling Neil over.

The older policeman who had been driving was lecturing Neil about the illegal dumping of a banana skin. Neil was saying as it was ‘residuos biodegradables’ (hablo español), he didn’t think there was anything wrong with it and then produced the empty ‘Red Bull’ can from his pocket which he was going to recycle!

The younger policeman in the passenger seat was laughing the whole time.

He’d noticed that Neil was smoking a joint.

This could only happen on Ibiza.

Neil was let off with a reprimand and offered to go back and pick the discarded skin up.

Meanwhile he had sent me the location of a dead hedgehog we’d seen at the side of the road; someone would be back for that later, to add to Neil’s menagerie in formaldehyde!

He was in London at the end of last week for a Tatttoo Convention, a great success and I know he was here to pick up a few special things!

Sadly we missed each other as I was preforming live on stage, well not on stage per say, more I was approached by a number of groupies to produce my best Robin Williams impersonation.

Judge for yourself!

Batman or Robin?

Batman or Robin?

 

Copyright © 2016 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

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.

May Newsletter 2016

Mothers!

Mine will be 88 in a few weeks. So I felt it might be a good idea to spend a few days with her because on the actual day I will no doubt be in Ibiza, celebrating it on her behalf!

However, the weekend did create a few interesting moments.

Some of you will have heard me tell of her epic levels of fitness, and the 80 steps she climbs at least once a day to her front door. It is not a pilgrimage worshipped, but a trip to recycle the empties! She’d raise a glass to that.

In my case, the grape didn’t fall far from the vine.

Living in Somerset, getting around can be problematic, the local bus company has just gone bust and taxis are few and far between. So if my brother and I are ‘Casa Mama’ she likes to get out and about.

This last weekend was glorious, long days, cloudless skies and warm sunshine.

On the Monday we went to the Valley of the Rocks in Lynton and my mother decided she was going to walk the South West Coast Path. The path although tarmacked, is only 3 feet wide with a sheer drop of 300 feet to the sea below on one side, and has no railing. Mum set off at a pace that would have Paula Radcliffe breathing hard.

Valley of the Rocks - The South West Coast Path

Valley of the Rocks – The South West Coast Path

What I have failed to mention is that my mother suffers from Macular Degeneration and carries a white stick at all times! It is known as the ‘Nutkin Slayer’ due to the number of squirrels that have perished at its hand. When I ask mum about the state of her eyesight she pulls the Donald Pleasance trick from ‘The Great Escape’, I can’t tell you how many damn pins I have stood on in her kitchen.

I jogged along at her shoulder for well over a mile ensuring she didn’t make a hasty Brexit, then she ignored my offer of directions and we ended up a mile from the car. This lady wasn’t for turning, so whilst she sat and sipped a cup of Earl Grey, I jogged back to fetch it.

Mother, you want to walk WHERE?

Mother, you want to walk WHERE?

We adjourned for lunch at The Black Venus in Challacombe, and before you ask she wasn’t the one of the ‘Three Graces’ that was banished for bad behaviour. It is a lovely pub, with wonderful food, and great service.

http://blackvenusinn.co.uk

I have oft complained that there is nowhere local to my mother for a decent meal, but it seems times have changed. OK, my mother doesn’t drive; thankfully, and Challacombe is too far to go for an evening meal, however it was a wonderful treat for us.

On the list next time for mum and a must, is Reeves in Dunster. Absolutely fantastic is all I can say; the fact the sun was shining and we were sat in a walled garden dating back to the Norman Conquest looking at Dunster Castle only added to the pleasure of it. I shall pack mum into a taxi, or worse still get one of her octogenarian friends to drive her, the Yarn Market opposite has been standing for nearly a millennium, what could happen?

http://www.reevesrestaurantdunster.co.uk
At least you’ll read about it here!

Before you ask, I have been abroad this month; I may have been to Ibiza. 

Yes OK, twist my arm, it’s where I started the month. But now you’ve got me started!

Haircut?

Haircut?

My friends had a suitable haircut after last year, the marina is still the tripping hazard it always was. Oh, come on; not like that.

Queen Scratch

Queen Scratch

Neil and Scratch are on amazing form. The master continues to ply his trade, and I am starting to see shoots of maturity in his behaviour. He has taken up cycling, although from our conversations, it seems he is cycling mainly downhill. We lunched at Puerto de Cielo, a chiringuito perched high on a cliff near to San Antonio, a far flung place, yet sat on the next table was a client of mine from Miami. I am now world famous (I know not for what!), but you are now reading this odd little ditty in 117 countries. Reading may be too strong a word, but the pictures do paint a thousand emoticons! 😉

The mighty man at work. His genius is his art.

Inkadelic

Inkadelic

We Club Tropicana’d it at Pikes for an afternoon before I allowed Neil to do a little work.

Is that the Bus Stop?

Is that the Bus Stop?

The following day I left Ibiza and headed for Mallorca for 24 hours, and our new cycling base. Adam you have duped me once too often, not satisfied with the Velcro running suit, you tempted me with…. I’d rather not say! Well OK, a spa and a Raki massage. The voice plays tricks on the ears on a mobile phone! It turned out to be 24 hours of Ikea, first in the store and then constructing chest of drawers, after chest of drawers and Adam stood over me, stop watch in hand. I left a broken man, but at least with all my parts intact!

However there is a German Schloss devoid of 15ft of BB Italia leather sofa, tables and chairs, how all that fell off the back of lorry I’ll never know!

My feet had barely touched the ground, when I headed for Florence and Milan. Cloth from Andrea for a lucky few and Milan for ties.

So ice cream… Ooops

Fondente!

Fondente!

Photos of Monica Bellucci. 

SPQR - Monica Bellucci

SPQR – Monica Bellucci

Try saying it.

Sapphire rings.

Should have put a ring on it...

Should have put a ring on it…

Wake up, I’ve not finished yet!

I stayed at Fifty Eight Suite in Milan. Guys, superb thank you so very much. Comfort and style in the centre of Milan.

http://www.fiftyeightmilano.it

On the way back

On the way back

So into the finishing straight.

May has also been cultural. An evening of Mozart’s Requiem, by candlelight in St. Martin’s in the Fields and a scary afternoon watching of watching a dozen Punch and Judy shows, tucked away in Covent Garden. Oh no you didn’t, Oh yes I did, and I have the mental scars to prove it!

Mozart - He shoots, he scores

Mozart – He shoots, he scores


Mental Scars

Mental Scars

A little stock, for those who are interested, the beach towels are back and at least you can dry the rain off, if you don’t get to lie in the sun! For those of you who are that way inclined, or prone to lying down…

Carp Beach Towel - SOLD OUT

Carp Beach Towel – SOLD OUT


Crane Beach Towel

Crane Beach Towel

As it was a Sundae I went to The Colony Grill at The Beaumont Hotel, and as if by magic this appeared.

Sundae Lunch

Sundae Lunch

Finally I leave with one of my mother’s gems. We were talking culture, well, mum was talking and I was nodding as if to show a faint understanding of what she was talking about. In discussion she spoke of Keneth Brannagh, and how he has moved on and his mantle is now being carried by the likes of ‘Cummerbitch’…

After those of you who thought last month’s photo was of me, this is not my Mother!

Not Mother!

Not Mother!

Copyright © 2016 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

Some new stock – mainly coats

There is some new stock…

But read on!

I would like to inform of a little trip I shall be undertaking at the end of the month.

From the afternoon of the 29th November I shall be in Hong Kong until late evening on Wednesday 2nd December.

I shall be looking after the sartorial needs of several of my friends either based, living or just passing through. If you would like me also look after your sartorial needs whilst I am there, please feel free to get in touch. Hopefully I will have enough time to catch up with everyone.

You will be able to find me at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, and not Christmas shopping.

I look forward to seeing you, sadly my suitcase is already full for those of you who were thinking of hitching a lift

Wool/Microfibre Gilet

Wool/Microfibre Gilet

Loro Piana Rain System Blouson lined in Faux Fur

Loro Piana Rain System Blouson lined in Faux Fur

My Football Coat: flannel parka lined with faux fur in Grey and then Blue

My Football Coat: flannel parka lined with faux fur in Grey and then Blue

In Blue!

In Blue!

Microfibre 3/4 Coat

Microfibre 3/4 Coat

Microfiber Coat with removable liner in Grey and then in Blue

Microfiber Coat with removable liner in Grey and then in Blue

Surprise!!!

Surprise!!!

February Newsletter 2015

February is a short month, but I’ve been getting it out a lot. I think this is the third time, lucky you.

I was in Rome, Bologna and Florence at the beginning of the week.

Once again I must raise a glass and an empty plate to those who watered and fed me. Simone, Stefania, Edy and Emanuele thank you all.

Emanuele thought we’d found a symbol on the tablecloth of the infamous crime organisation SCHMEER (The Secret Company of Huge Male Egos, Eccentrics and Rogues), but it was in fact a wine spill that looked like a scorpion.

SCHMEER

SCHMEER

However I was in Rome on a top secret mission, well not so top secret now. They are shooting the new Bond movie along the banks of the Tiber outside Max’s office. Why was I there you might ask?

Well as you ask, as Monica Bellucci’s stunt double. I’d hoped it would get me closer to her, but it only involved me wandering round in a slinky dress and wig trying to look alluring before I was arrested, then told to take my business elsewhere. By all accounts from behind we could be twins, that’s if she walked like Dick Emery.

Phoaaarrr!

Phoaaarrr!

These mild mannered trucks contain Bond's Aston Martin and the villian's Jaguar

These mild mannered trucks contain Bond’s Aston Martin and the villain’s Jaguar.

I will be back there to shoot more scenes very soon, as soon as the restraining order that Monica has against me expires. Oooooh “Restraining Order”, that’s so 50 Shades…….

Talking of “That’s So!” I have been deeply disturbed by the Money Supermarket advert of the twerking man in denim shorts. My dear Sir, have you not heard of Spanx?

However it was made infinitesimally worse by having DC’s head transposed onto the video. I’m now waking up nights from a nightmare imagining all sorts of people twerking at the end of my bed in denim shorts. No of course it’s not what’s really happening. There is a list of miscreants at the end of the Newsletter!

DC.........

DC………

One of the items that the statistics offer me regarding these newsletters is the most popular searches and where the website has been opened from. No, not the exact address, but it allows me to see in which country on this planet it has been opened. So Sam, I have no idea if you are opening it on your way to Mars or just circumnavigating the globe.

Last week, imagine my surprise when one of the most popular searches for my newsletter, was “Bulging Tight Speedos”!!!

Well I wasn’t really surprised given my propensity for wearing Lycra. However at no point have I ever posted a photo of me in Speedos, not even in that Superman way of wearing his pants outside his trousers or undressing in a phone box.

However, closely related to the Speedo issue, a friend has been telling me because he wears designer stubble most of the time that he is starting to wear through the collars on his shirts fairly rapidly, but there is also a rather alarming side effect to this stubble beyond his problems with the collar.

Whilst swimming front crawl in his tight Speedos the stubble is giving him a nasty rash, on his shoulder, I hasten to add. Better that than a carpet burn on his chin. You know who you are, and in both cases, how it happened!

A friend, whose real name is not Natasha has moved back here from Germany to work once again for a friend of mine who is also not called Sergei. At this point I’ve lost track of where I am and who I am talking about, but I will bravely carry the story forward.

Oh yes, I remember! She shares a house with several gay men, goes to the gym and the sauna with the same said men who delight in pointing out the buff, semi-naked men around her are all of the same proclivity.

She has likened this to be being as frustrated as a kid in a candy shop with diabetes. Must be the German sense of humour!

But she has helped to solve the riddle about the whole beard thing, heavens I’m so stupid it’s all that hair around a pout, it’s so 70’s. Men move forward, try a Brazilian, a Hollywood, even a bit of glitter.

Finally before that list of people wearing denim.

A client from Texas has been telling me about their “Open Carry” Law. By that I thought that particularly ugly babies had to be wheeled round in closed top buggies. Apparently that’s not very nice and also incorrect. Well excuse me!

It pertains to the open carrying of weapons in public. He had been asking me if I could make him a walking cane with a thermal nuclear warhead in the tip. The handle is to house a trained Curare frog, which can fire darts made from its own poison, less of a killing machine and more of a personal statement.

Cute, but lethal

Cute, but lethal

By all accounts gun crime there is on the way down, but it would be when everyone is walking round with a Sherman Tank on a lead!

Now for that list:

At number 1: Dave and Gideon (George, to you commoners)

2: Dear Silvio

3: Vladimir P

4: Donatella Versace

5: Madonna – If she could stay on her feet.

6: Robbie Williams

7: Francois Hollande and now I’m feeling ill, so I’m going to draw a line under this…….

————————————————————————————-

 

Copyright © 2015 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

You can never have enough hats, scarves and gloves………

Some last minute deliveries of new stock and some possible Christmas Gifts, if you may have forgotten….. Shame on you.

And no photos of Santa Lycra, this time!

Cashmere Scarves followed by silks if you would like to make them reversible.

IMG_4036IMG_4037

IMG_4038IMG_4039IMG_4042IMG_4043IMG_4044

 

Some new knitwear merino and cashmere blend.

IMG_4053 IMG_4055

Some cashmere and cotton blend.

IMG_4058

And some scarves and hats, and gloves.

IMG_4098 IMG_4099 IMG_4100

 

 

Copyright © 2014 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

For Aunt Kathleen

Kathleen Phelan

Kathleen Phelan

The other morning my phone buzzed at 5.30am; I was half-awake, and I rolled over to see who the email was from.

But it wasn’t an email, it was a reminder that it would have been my Aunt Kathleen’s 97th birthday. It would have been, but she died peacefully in her sleep the day before.

Kathleen was my mum’s sister, and those of you who know me well will have heard me tell of her bizarre and interesting life, and lifestyle.

She had always lived a nomadic existence and until she died, lived in a caravan and travelled around by hitchhiking, even if was just to go into nearby Cheltenham to place a bet on a horse; that was her life.

We were a close family, but as Kathleen got older the chances to see her became less frequent. She no longer really liked the hustle and bustle of life in London, as she had done in her youth. The Coach and Horses in Soho was her local, hanging out in Ronnie Scott’s or The French House, friends with Picasso and always staying with him as she hitched through the South of France.

Here are a couple of stories to try to explain how she lived her life, and hopefully there will be more stories that she will have written down and my brother, my mother and I can uncover to tell you in the future.

There was a time when you were required to list your occupation on your passport. Whilst I always dreamt of putting down astronaut, racing driver or secret agent, Kathleen’s occupation was described as “storyteller”.

Having this in her passport gained her access to all sorts of strange and wonderful places. During the time of the Shah in Iran, she turned up to register at the British Consulate in Tehran and was asked to explain what she meant by storyteller. Word got back to the Shah of this strange English woman and she was summoned to the palace to explain. My brother and I still have the book that she was presented with, a gift from the Shah.

Life was not all palaces, she just loved talking to people and being on the road where one story often led to a new one.

She could make going out for a pint of milk an adventure. Sometimes when staying with my mother this could be inconvenient and a tad frustrating.

Mum asked Kathleen as she was going to walk down in to town one morning to get the newspapers; The Daily Telegraph and The Racing Post, if she wouldn’t mind picking up a pint of milk.

So off Kathleen wandered, at the end of the road she stuck out a thumb and rather than walk the half mile into town, she’d hitch a lift.

As luck would always have it, a car soon stopped and offered her a lift. Conversation followed and as the driver was going to Exeter, some 60 miles from Minehead, Kathleen thought she’d go along for the ride.

She wandered around Exeter, bought the papers, the milk and hitched a lift back to Minehead although it would always be out of the driver’s way, she would keep them spellbound with her stories and they would always drop her at her required destination like a taxi.

By this time mum’s tea had gone cold.

I will always remember the moments sat spellbound as she recounted one story after another. We spent last New Year together with my mother and all got drunk together.

At the weekend we cleared her caravan of a lifetimes worth of objects, enough Elastoplast to stretch to the moon and back, pens so that one was never out of arms reach and most importantly more than 20 lever arch files full of stories and documents that will tell a remarkable story.

Her various caravans that served as home have been parked in fields and caravan parks all over the south of England, but in the last few years she couldn’t have found better friends than Peter, Jan, Adrian and June who ran the park where she lived.

 

As she would like to be remembered.

As she would like to be remembered.

 

Copyright © 2014 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

June 2012 – Volpe Newsletter

This is a long one. Best to get that out of the way to begin with!

So much has happened this month. My, my, haven’t you all been so busy. It must mean the economy is on the way back, or you’ve all got so bored that some of you are actually doing something, asides from working.

Anyway, my plan was to meet up with Sam in the Cathay Lounge at Heathrow, we’d start drinking and continue until we were scraped onto the tarmac in Hong Kong. And if Mark had come along, we may never have survived the flight. Oh well, best laid plan of mice and men. Sam changed his plans and has headed for Paris. However, on the slight chance we both are in Hong Kong at the same time, we will try and do something en famile…

OK, slight problem, should I start again or just continue? Sam didn’t go to Paris, we are on the same flight, but as of yet we haven’t started drinking. I think we’ll take it easy and relax and catch up. We’re both going to have some work to do, and how else am I going to get the newsletter out? It is great to have Sam along, even if it’s so he can’t complain that it may be late. At least this time it might be his fault!!!

Anyway, I’m on the plane and only 11 hours to save the world! OK, OK to write the newsletter. It’s just that the former sounds so much more dramatic, and you know how I like a drama. And now the damn seat is broken, it’s completely flat and I’ve got to go and stand in the galley whilst they try to fix it at 2am, in the dark, with a toothpick. I should be catching up on my beauty sleep, wrapped up in my duvet, in my own individual little booth.

What am I doing in Hong Kong? I hear you all ask in unison.

Am I standing on top of a tall building in a typhoon? No really, you should see the video. A typhoon No. 8 signal passed through, so after dinner we strolled up onto the roof at David Tang’s Bank of China Restaurant to watch the passing typhoon. I was Batman to Hong Kong’s Gotham City. Oh, Adrian do get over yourself and the fantasy world in which you live.

No really; working is my response. Not to find new suppliers, as someone cruelly suggested. I am doing this for a friend who trusts my judgement. He has asked me out here to make suits for his wedding.  Mountain brought to Mohamed, perhaps. Fool? Clearly, but I won’t have a word said against him, and his fiancé has made it clear that she thinks I’m completely mad or worse. We’ve met, only the once, and since then she has avoided me. It was the pale blue suede jacket for a stag weekend he was going to in Ibiza that did it, very “Miami Vice”. Well it would, wouldn’t it?

I did put him Neil’s way if he was in need of a tattoo. Talking of Neil, there was a picture of him and Scratch (his faithful canine companion) on Facebook, sunning themselves on a beach. He said he was only there a couple of hours, but I did notice a darker hue to his skin whilst chatting on Skype. He can still be such a rebel. I shall try to get there at some point and have my name engraved somewhere so I don’t forget who I am. Neil doesn’t do “shades”, nothing beats a good glare, and Neil can glare with the best of them. Sometimes I think he really enjoys scaring prospective customers by staring at them, or it might be a test. If they can withstand his withering glance, then they are able to the pain that will follow as he wields his needle!

Sadly Neil will be in London this weekend, at some celeb wedding or other. So we will miss each other. He will arrive with Ryanair, and stay in a tent in a field, I will not. He didn’t like that. I didn’t realise he was getting married.

I was in Florence 2 weeks ago for Pitti Uomo, a menswear trade fair. Given my comments about the state and price of accommodation there in the past, I was pleasantly surprised. OK, I happened to be staying there at the same time as Madonna, who I must say made a real pest of herself, by knocking on my door all hours of the day and night, a la Peter Cook and Dudley Moore.

I stayed in a very inexpensive bed and breakfast called Relais del Duomo. It was great, even though it was 36C outside, I didn’t even need to use the air conditioning! Clean and tidy, central and importantly very quiet, well apart from the bells of the Duomo. Really, if I want to be woken at that time I have Sunil. He, who lives in a different time zone to the rest of the world, compiled of 24 hours of work and 1 hour of sleep. Except Sunil don’t live int shoebox int middle ot road (Yorkshire accent). I normally set the alarm to wake me, but Sunil can be guaranteed to pre-empt it by at least a couple of hours.

Now I have a recommendation for you if you are travelling to Florence, it is a restaurant called “Trattoria Gabriello” and it is in via della Condotta. The owner Rita is wonderful. It seems to be one of the few original trattorias left in the centre, and at least there were some locals eating there, and not just infested by tourists like myself. I’m a snob like that, always a tourist, never a traveller. I ate there on Tuesday and the food is simple, and well cooked. She was being helped by her best friend Alessandra. We should all have friends like Alessandra, she took the time to talk to, and make everyone feel very welcome, whilst helping Rita because she wants to. Perhaps “Ale” is not the best waitress in the world, but she has other skills, she says she is working on her English, I feel, that with a little practice she’ll be fine. She also says she is a great driver, the scar on her forehead and the photo of her “totalled” Porsche on her phone may tell a different story!

Dear Michael was in Italy at the same time as part of his gardening leave. He went to Naples to see some friends and improve his Italian. We would chat by text, his main preoccupations appeared to be the heat, and why he wasn’t going brown. The feet of an albino cadaver were the words he used on the day before he left. However, I feel the highlight of his trip was the fact that these feet and his legs made a cameo appearance alongside Rod Stewart and Penny Lancaster in the Daily Mail, now only if they lived next door to him, what treats would lie in store for them!

Michael also has a very sweet tooth, but he is a cheap choccie kind of man, more “Fruit & Nut” than “Charbonnet and Walker”, and that says more about Michael than you can imagine. But he arrived back in London clutching a box of chocolates for us from a shop in Naples called “Gay Odin”. As Gillian said, I’m not sure what the Norse God’s reaction to being called gay would be.

Now in every box of chocolates, there is always one! This box, full of Michael’s specially selected goodies contained the worst chocolate I have ever tasted. Each of us who tasted it, curious to the others reaction, was the same. It was made of dark chocolate, so no problem there, but when you bit into it, your mouth was filled with Brut 33. It tasted like the after shave and it smelt like the after shave, all that was missing was Henry Cooper saying “Go on son, stop coughing, it looks like you’ll splash it all over”.

In Italy they put liquers into all sorts of strange shaped bottles in order to trick you into buying them. Being from Naples I expected this chocolate to be filled with Limoncello, not Brut.

After reaching for and finding the wrong bottle to fill this handmade confection, perhaps Giacomo is out on a date somewhere, the faint smell of lemons upon his cheeks. I must ask Michael which he prefers.

And finally congratulations are in order to Eugenia for getting engaged, I know she will be very happy, and finally to Greg the “Cougar Magnet” as well. He has found someone younger to be with and Farah is beautiful. What did you put in her drink, I must try it myself…..

 

Copyright © 2012 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

April 2012 – Volpe Newsletter

So just when I thought I would put pen to paper in the old fashioned way, the heavens opened, washed away my notes, in the dog ate my homework way. Then they opened again, and again. Oh, I’m fed up with this. First chance I get I’m off abroad. You know me, any excuse. These tired old bones are fed up with the drought, goodness it has to be monsoon season somewhere. At least I could squirrel away my millions in an offshore haven, where the negative interest alone would fund a small country.

Many of you have asked how we have survived the downturn. My answer is always to throw caution to the winds and buy, buy, buy. Those of you who have been persuaded to purchase the pink cashmere overcoats will know they were the must have item for this season, do you not read the fashion supplements? It’s all colour, colour, colour here. Even when the outlook is Prada, Prada, Prada. Apologies, black, black, black, you know this season Adrian will be mainly wearing, I’ll leave you to guess, but it will include a tan, and as yet I haven’t taken the stripper heels off. Nick (Sarkozy) likes the way they make my legs look. Teamed with lycra and lurex, and a splash of silicone, nobody would know me.

Anyway, dear Silvio continues to keep us entertained; really, nuns taking their clothes off, cliché, cliché, cliché. I had hoped he would have shown a little more imagination, perhaps an imp tossing competition, no not what you think, but how far could we throw M Sarkozy and the diminutive chap from Naples? Obviously I can get away with this joke, as I too am of restricted height. Well they say the grass is always greener; now, if I could just only I could see over the fence!

Perhaps those heels of mine will help, or I know: “Oi, Silvio! Can I sit on your shoulders?” On second thoughts, that won’t make any difference, so much for standing on the shoulders of giants!

The mayoral election will soon be upon us. Boris has been swearing (plus ca change), Kkken has been crying and Brian; well wasn’t he a snail in the Magic Roundabout? They are all equally impressive; goodness it’s going to be a tough choice. I shall think long and hard before doing my duty. Who knows someone must be capable of ticking all the boxes. Then thoughts turn to me, me and me……Hmmm next time perhaps?

One amongst you has spent 60 hours flying in the last 6 days, and for a change it wasn’t Sam. Do I hear any increase on this? Sunil this doesn’t mean you, or you Andre, your chosen professions preclude you from this game! And no Mark, not you either, you are still banned, and freebees are not allowed. One Saturday after drinking half a bottle of me best Napoleon, Mark explained where I was going wrong in life, and of course he was right, but then there weren’t 5 of us in the bed at the time. Who said that in these difficult times, hedonism was dead? Of course it’s not, it was just having a siesta.

Now, I like to think I have skin like a rhino, and a gsoh, unlike a couple of people who had scant regard for last month’s newsletter. Shame on you, you really should know better, but then you won’t because you haven’t got this months. I should explain, they are known as “jokes” and “anecdotes”, much of which I direct at myself, and as you have not done anything remotely amusing, obviously these were not directed at you. So you are barred and just in case you are reading someone else’s copy, you are still barred, even if your future does involve something that people may laugh at on Youtube. No, don’t go searching for it you won’t find it, because I haven’t used your real name.

And, no, I haven’t taken it personally, whatever would make you think that?

Joke of the week, or as it shall be known. “It made Jake laugh”.

Archaeologists digging in a pyramid in Egypt, have found a mummy covered in chocolate and hazelnuts. Experts believe it could be Pharaoh Rocher.

There was another we both laughed at, but it definitely wouldn’t make it through the spam filters. However, if you want to look it up, it involves steroids and a female body builder. Once again, me, me and me.

 

Copyright © 2012 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

February 2012 – Volpe Newsletter

Some of you appear a little bemused by the newsletters. In conversations recently, one or two of you have expressed concern over my well-being, and the fact that you don’t have a clue what the heck I am going on about. Has it crossed your mind, that I may not have a clue either?

But let me explain. In the universe where I live, the sky is always blue, the sea is always warm, the grass is never greener, snow doesn’t go slushy, Boris Johnson is London Mayor, Nick Sarkozy is 6’2” and baby sweet corn is banned. Why? Well for some people it is clowns, for me it is baby sweet corn, cracks in the pavement, and hairs on the palms of my hand. The list doesn’t stop there, but I can see that one or two of you at the back are starting to drop off.

Why do I think like this? Well, on a Friday evening when the temperature was -5C and the wind chill made it feel like -15C, I met Duran (underwear model). He was wearing shorts and rollerblades! OK he had a t-shirt on, for a change. No wonder I am, what I am.

As for poor M. Sarkozy, he has been getting some stick for spending 10K a day on food. Somehow I don’t think he’ll be eating baby sweet corn. Anyway back to the 10K per day. When I sit down to supper with Nick and Carla, they generally stump a week’s worth of cash on the wine alone. She and I may play footsie under the table, whilst she feeds me oysters. Sorry, did I just think that? Or did I really put pen to paper? It couldn’t be Nick’s feet, but I don’t think his legs are long enough, and the invite always say “no heels”, so what am I to wear? I’d taken up pole dancing to keep fit and I thought the stripper heels would be just perfect.

Sam is still living the life. This visit was sans famille, just between Mumbai, Dubai and goodbye. Apparently he’s off to Mars next year, lucky fellow, there and back in a weekend on Airmiles by all accounts. Let’s just hope he takes the family, if they will let the kids out of school.

Neil is in Norway staring at the Aurora Borealis. If I didn’t know better I’d think he was lying on his back in his flat in Ibiza surrounded by mushroom stalks. But photos of him exist outside Noma in Copenhagen, and he did go inside and eat with Eugene.

Greg, the cougar magnate, has been disciplined for sleeping overnight in the office after a particularly heavy session. I should hope so too. If the gutter is good enough for me, then it should be for him. No good falling asleep with your head on the keyboard. You’ll probably find when you wake up you’ve cost your employers several billion dollars. Anyway, he wanted me to get a table at The Wolseley for Valentines, then he didn’t, then he did, then he didn’t. Oh come on, I’ve got a newsletter to write.

On the quiet, The Wolseley has become my dead letter drop. I have a great friend in Marie, who I often see at breakfast. She doesn’t have an email or do the internet, so I supply her regularly with envelopes stuffed with the newsletter, usually via Jason or Shirley. They can then discreetly pass on the mighty tome. I am awaiting her feedback, but as she clearly thinks I’m mad already, I don’t think anything I have written will change her mind.

Jason may be moving on to greater things. He has intimated that I may have to learn an entirely new set of social skills to communicate with his replacement. Suddenly I am racked with self-doubt I think I may be too old to change. Surgery can only alter so much it may take years of therapy to cope with this.

But, I suppose this is what you’ve really been waiting for. The back pages, and Don Fabio and the saga of the invisible man ‘aka’ ‘Arry. Now I don’t care what you might think, but I feel sorry for Don Fabio.  At least he has been less colourful than some of his predecessors. Who can forget Mr Burns with Nancy, Ulrika et al, and Dutch my akshent ish schlipping. Perhaps Mourinho will throw his hat in the ring, buying a house in London. He’s never been known to play to the media, ever.

Don Fabio had a thankless task trying to marshal 11 hopeless narcissists into a team, with their ridiculous rivalries, quiffy hair and diamond jewellery. Suddenly I reminded of, me, me and me. I guess trying to manage eleven of me would prove too much for anyone. Fortunately no more than three of my personalities manifest themselves at any one time.

Stop Press: Big Mick has gone. I had told Jake to take the case off and leave it off, but no. Between games he’d put it back. It’s like England having a part time manager. In the end, I think it jinxed Mick. He’ll never forgive me for that one! But he has been on Twitter berating journalists about getting God the sack. However he is starting to accept the interim replacement. Thank goodness he keeps muttering, not Steve Bruce.

 

Copyright © 2012 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.