A little fun with Shakespeare… and one other

Give me a few hours on a train to while away, and my creative juices start to flow. So my apologies, I have taken a few liberties, I dreamt a dream tonight…

Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears.

How do all occasions form against me, and spur my dull revenge? Beware the ides of March. Full of vexation come I, with complaint.

If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?

What’s he then says I play the villain, blow wind and crack your cheeks.

He was my friend, faithful and just to me, and yet to be or not to be, takes arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing them? To die, to sleep; to sleep: perchance to dream and of that dream, for every trifle are they set upon me; and with all the infections the sun sucks up? My troublous dreams this night doth make me sad.

But a dream itself is just a shadow, and when I waked, I cried to dream again, as dreams are toys. Yet we are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with sleep.

How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank! Where sleeps Titania sometime of the night, lull’d in these flowers with dances and delight. Here will we sit and let the sounds of music creep in our ears, and music has the charms to calm my savage breast.

I am that merry wanderer of the night and sometime lurk I in a gossip’s bowl, a merrier hour was never wasted there! In that vessel, O thou invisible spirit of wine! If thou hast no name to be known by, let us call thee devil, and virtue a fig!

Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind?

She’s beautiful, and therefore to be wooed: she is woman, and therefore to be won. For where thou art, there is the world itself; and where thou art not, desolation.

I am one who loved not wisely, but too well, for my own part, I pray you, do not fall in love with me, for I am falser than vows made in wine; yet, I bear a charmed life. Be all my sins remember’d.

Say how I loved you, speak me fair in death…

 

 Copyright © 2018 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

August 2011 – Volpe Newsletter

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the largest ever response to a newsletter: the tribute to my friend Richard Pulford.

There were so many kind memories and so many fond words. For this I thank all of you. Your words of comfort have been passed on to Richard’s family.

It’s that time of year when tumbleweed blows down London’s empty streets, and this year, I’m here instead of basting in Ibiza. Many of you have joked quite how much I don’t enjoy the Sale period, but you’d be wrong. It is important for me to quietly hide the mistakes I have made during the year.

Fortunately, I am learning, and after twelve long years there are only two pairs of the acid yellow cords left. Perhaps I could arrange a riot, a little looting, some lightning, and they might vanish off into the ether with my remaining stock of jeans. What else is August in London good for?

Anyway, Shane and family were here from Hong Kong (and at least his out of office reply meant he was coming to see me). And doesn’t he look boyish these days?  A new haircut and glasses in order to make him look more grown up? Perhaps I should explain to Katie (Shane’s wife) they have only made him look more angelic, although I’m not entirely sure it is a word I would normally use about Shane! They’re all off to some detox retreat in Ibiza but how detox and Ibiza go together I will wait to hear.

Ollie, who has also been in Ibiza, has just returned and he’s not happy. Left only with the clothes he was standing up in, he single-handedly boosted the Ibicencan economy, in order to feel that he fitted in at every event he was attending. He and his luggage parted company at City Airport on the way out, and were reunited only after his return to London.

The offending piece of luggage had visited seven European cities before its return, which is more than my wayward friend Mark will be doing with British Airways. Still barred, Mark continues to travel the world in search of new thrills. This leads him further and further afield, searching for a recently filled mini-bar and a maid that he hasn’t already unconsciously surprised in a strange and unusual way.

I have another friend who has taken to wearing glasses with normal lenses in order to lend him an air of intellect and gravitas. I’m not sure he wasn’t wearing specs before and has reverted to non-prescription lenses, because life through the correct prescription was just too frightening.

This year I have had to start wearing spectacles so I can thread a needle and it has added an entire new spectrum of accessories to my wardrobe. As you could predict with me, the collection is growing rapidly.

Soon I will have spex for every occasion. Perhaps even extra-spesh-spex that I will wear to choose which ones I will be wearing today or to look for the pair I’ve just put down or trodden on. I’m still searching for the pair that will make me look more brainy and more important. Andre calls it gravitas but he pronounces it in a vairy particular way every time we meet.

One or two of you are still trying so hard to get a mention: remember, actions always speak louder than words.

John kindly brought back a bottle of wine from Emanuele in Bologna, and Matthew sent me something made by Brasso to polish my gadgets. Oh, please!

But the prize is taken by the couple travelling to Venice on the Orient Express who were trapped in their cabin paralysed by OCD, only to be released once the number of railway sleepers they had counted exceeded the 1 million mark.

I sympathise, as I often feel I’m being followed, and the only way throw the stalker off the scent is to keep off the cracks in the pavement while shouting Macbeth. I have got used to people staring, but then, don’t they always?

However, let me finish on a positive note for Jake. Wolves have topped the table a few times already. The season is young, but Jake has handled his glee with maturity: the screaming and punching the air have been undertaken when customers are not present, or at least when he thinks they can’t see or hear.

If only he could share Mick McCarthy’s pragmatism, but that’s why Jake is a supporter and dreams of Europe next season. Sorry, buster, but if you think I’m giving time off to go to away games in Estonia, think again.

 

Copyright © 2011 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

September 2010 – Volpe Newsletter

How quickly the summer passes. No sooner were you slipping on the shorts and Birkenstocks than you were forced to put your shirt back on.

All right, those amongst you who support Newcastle United from the Gallowgate end never wear a shirt to matches as a badge of pride preferring to daub yourselves in black and white stripes of body paint, the name of your favourite player mis-spelt across your shoulders. My friend Alan with his black and white cashmere scarf will be labelled a sissy. What japes!

But, I may never go onto a beach again. Note the use of the word may, because, as you know I worship the sun. But though I laugh in the face of skin cancer there are some things that scare even me.

A recent survey had Princess Beatrice tied with Jennifer Aniston for the fourth best beach body in the world. The bit about being tied to Jennifer I can understand, but how on earth can Bea, out of Her Fergieness and stablemate of Huge Knees, have ranked so highly or indeed anywhere unless it was bringing up the rear in the 2.30pm at Chepstow?

Who makes this stuff up? And for once it’s not the wife.

Once again sciatica has raised its ugly head in the tattooing brotherhood. This time it is not Neil, who appears to be making a recovery (update below) but his now less able assistant Pink, not that big, shouty girl but a compact bloke and the least Italian Italian I’ve ever met.

The injury struck following a night of drinking Ricard and hierbas involving Neil, Scratch, Gillian and me.

I feel the tipping point was when Pink’s landlady Charlene, who doubles as the waitress serving said alcohol, popped up in the small hours to extract the payment of rent in kind. Pink is now wearing Neil’s corset, Charlene still being busy with hers.

It’s a flattering garment if you have the personality to carry it off and I will be stocking a few for autumn.

September has brought relief to Neil. An operation in Paris seems to have done the trick and restored some colour to his pallid complexion. He really was the palest man in Ibiza. “I don’t do beaches, man,” he has often told me.

Neil and I will continue our discussions about Adidas, and that fact that I wear the wrong type. It is a style statement for him and I wear it for exercise and never the twain shall meet. So I will not be out “sniping”, sorry – cheating – him out of that vintage Ivan Lendl jacket on eBay.

I think it is time to introduce a new celebrity. My D-list friend is still stuck with his vuvuzelas but has a panto gig for Christmas. I wish him well, it’ll give me a chance to torture him with Macbeth, while he rehearses as an Ugly Sister. He is already complaining that the make up artist, J’son, feels he may only need a little touching up and is unsure exactly how to take that remark.

This new celebrity considers himself A list. What sauce! He currently crosses the street to avoid me and shuns me in my favourite breakfast haunt, The Wolseley.

The shunning is made easier by the fact that I always get a better table. This is not the only location we cross swords over table rights and he always loses. Big up, all at The Wolseley, Jayne, Claudia, Jason and welcome back Shirley, keep up the good work, I know it really gets under his skin. No, it’s not Michael Winner, who was charming if a little sqwarky the only time I sat next to him – like being next to a tanned parakeet.

Recently Gillian and I went back to an old favourite restaurant. T’was an interesting evening. It prides itself on service and the quality of its food. Note, I say quality, not quantity. The service was slow and haphazard as if to mimic the lazy french driving style of a post lunch 2CV, desperately clinging to the road when a strong gust of wind would puff you into a ditch, if not the heady mixture of bordeaux and calvados. My rack of lamb was a lonely lamb chop, a single rib, artfully arranged to look bigger than it was. OK, those of you know me well will know this is a technique I have often used myself. Perhaps someone swiped the rest from my plate on the way from the kitchen; some hungry soul who may have still been waiting for his main course since lunch.

And finally a plug; we now have a stock of new winter merchandise. Well you didn’t think I was doing this for my health, or just promoting other peoples businesses.

 

Copyright © 2010 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

April 2010 – Volpe Newsletter

OK Sam, I know it’s later than you want. At least I’m not stuck in some faraway land with no means of returning home. You’ll have to wait for June and my first trip to Ibiza for that.

STOP PRESS  Apologies – BREAKING NEWS – Winter over: David bares all: the legs are out of hibernation.

This month I have visited Rome, if only to take some tips from “Dear” Silvio on how to run the country. I had to postpone it from last month because of the British Airways strike, and have narrowly missed being brought down by a belching volcano expelling large amounts of hot air into the atmosphere. Well, I was going to leave the politicians out of this. OK, OK, but it’s a joke and everybody has used it! Thanks everybody for the Ashley and Cheryl Cole jokes, sadly you know I can’t put any of them in here.

The election has just been called and Sky has been wall-to-wall polls, the Skycopter is up, and I love statistics, because you can say what with you want with them and you’re not lying. As for the leaders’ debates, I have busied myself with other things if only not to look upon Gordon’s saddened face, Dave’s smoothed brow or Nick’s laconic approach. Have you noticed how much like one of my customers he looks? He’s not, but the resemblance is uncanny, I wonder if his wife knows? Anyway I feel that at this point the Dark Lord deserves a mention, only because he will be reading this, and I know he’d like me to mention that his bite is much worse than his bark, and yes, Peter you can take it as a compliment.

Anyways to take your minds off the manifesti, but enough of Italian, perhaps like mine a higher purpose calls me.

I do not disagree that Lionel Messi has little to prove as the world’s current greatest player, but he has learnt well, possibly at the knee of his mother or a maiden aunt, the skill of the swoon. CR9 may well have learnt well at the knee of an uncle, whilst feasting on a Werther’s Original, it’s those chubby cheeks, you know. He could stay down for hours, or just long enough for the Ref to brandish the card of his payee’s choice. In my day, (O, callow youth) what would revive you quicker was the application of smelling salts or a cold sponge with a spot of Ralgex to your tender parts (when I was young it was called Wintergreen. Such a stupid name because for a while after this it would be forever autumn). Stand down those of you who find this less of a punishment and more of a revival technique.

As the footie season draws to a close poor old Wayne wanted a rest from running around doing his job and Dimitar’s, and went down like a sack of spuds (nothing to do with his looks). Now I thought at the time that the acting was of quality seen only by my “celebrity” “actor “ “friend”. By now I think we can cross out all three, because come Panto time I’ll be off the Christmas card list.

Now you may have been following my one-sided correspondence with my “celebrity””actor” “friend”, and he has now said that what he did was not “Strictly Panto”. Now I can imagine production companies everywhere wondering if I they can get this scheduled and out by next Christmas. Me and my big mouth. He also pleaded with me to stop texting him “Macbeth”, well you must have seen Blackadder.

This month we will be featuring some film recommendations from my 86-year-old mother-in-law. Now stop with the jokes, that’s my domain. She’s now to be known as Hardcore Mother-in-Law.

Recently viewed:

1: Avatar – Good, long, but not nearly violent enough. She’s also worried about seeing everything with a blue tinge. Well it’s not likely to be Viagra.

2: Pimp – Enough violence and sex, and she liked the surprisingly happy ending for Danny Dyer.

3: Eastern Promises – going into the mens’ showers will never be the same again for her.

4: Marley and Me – Why didn’t they shoot the dog?

5: Alice in Wonderland – I’m not taking those drugs again, everybody looked like Madonna

6: The Bounty Hunter – Rubbish, I’m getting too old to waste my time watching this.

7: Gran Torino – Clint Eastwood, my kind of leading man, also Harrison Ford, George Clooney, Viggo Mortensen, the list goes on……

8: A History of Violence – Well she liked the title and whatisname.

9: Sexy Beast – Ditto

10: The Hurt Locker – Not like Eastern Promises

And as for “Kick Ass”, she’s been doing it for 86 years and isn’t likely to stop now.

 

Copyright © 2010 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.