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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December 2011 – Volpe Newsletter

Well dear all. Let me get the pleasantries out of the way and wish you a merry Christmas and very best wishes for the New Year, to some of you Seasons Greetings, and the rest of you Bah Humbug.

This year the newsletter will double as a Christmas Card. So those amongst you who have scant regard for the environment can print this out. The paper folding instructions are on YouTube, if you search for origami Christmas tree. It’s got to be better than George Osborne made out of balloons, but almost anything has to be better than that. I can never remember, is it life imitating art or the other way around?

Being a Christmas Edition, it should be a bumper version, including a sugar mouse and chocolate money, or alternatively something cheaper like the Drachma: No matter what any of you think, the Euro is here to stay.

It has been rumoured that there will be an “Opus” edition of the newsletters, after my dear friend Karl was mentioned in the Sunday Times Magazine last week. The newsletters will be accompanied by hundreds of never before published photos of me in Polaroid form. Often I was unaware or in no fit state to know the photos were being taken, and because of their candid and graphic nature, some may have been used against me. I am even shocked at some of the images myself, but then my life is about to become an open book. Perhaps a “super injunction” beckons.

Jason from The Wolseley was unwell, struck down by “man flu”. Is there nothing you will not do to get a mention? Shirley and Jayne were left to cope in your absence, and how well they did. They even knew to give me a better table than, he who shall not be named. Some of you have asked who this is; sadly my lips are sealed; well in this format anyway, but face to face it is entirely different. In the past, amongst many others, I have sat next to Clive Owen. Girls, exercise a little control please. He spent the entire time exuding an air of “Please don’t recognise me”. It may be a simple solution, but The Wolseley is not the best place to go if you want to be incognito. I like it for precisely that reason, nobody knows who I am. Well until the “Opus” rockets me to super stardom. My late dear friend Richard would have agreed, but then he would have never ventured into an establishment where he was unknown.

I have received best wishes from far and wide, and I thank you all. The gifts have been a little excessive. Paul, Ines and Sophia ensured that I will be spending most of Christmas in the gym, after the enormous basket of pastries. Share, I think not, they’re mine, all mine. Hands off, Jake. Others of you have ensured that I will be spending the New Year in The Priory, with more alcohol than I usually see on a Friday night.

I have seen a fair amount of Neil from Ibiza, who has been up here quite a bit. Visits to family and all that. I’m currently making him a jacket, where the quilting is made from the feathers of the pigeons he has dispatched, and also from the “fallen” that have flown into dear Michael’s windows, dazzled by their own reflection, or in an attempt to mate with the glass. I’m sure Michael uses some sort of bait to attract them. He is still waiting for a door handle, which doesn’t sound like much, but the delightful way Michael tells it, it could be the entrance to Narnia. I am a little concerned that come summer Neil may launch himself like Icarus from the cliffs overlooking Es Vedra, hoping to fly into one of those perfect Ibiza sunsets. At least he’s forgotten about circumnavigating the world in a coracle.

I’m starting to feel a little queasy after my 6th muffin from the basket, perhaps it was the 3rd cookie or the mince pies that are taking their toll. I’m going to have to stop for a minute and monitor my sugar levels.

This week I ventured across St James Park and into Mayfair. My friend Trevor Pickett always complains that I never go and see him. Simple explanation Trevor, you are never in the shop. The last time I saw him, he was looking very glamorous, swathed in pashmina. No, not just pashmina, but he was hanging round the Palace, busy being Father Christmas, and no the pashmina was not red, but he was sporting some designer stubble. Now do you need to be a designer to wear stubble? Will he get one of those special trimmers for Christmas? I’m fairly certain Jamie uses one, but I wish he wouldn’t wear his trousers quite so tight on telly. Matthew, please don’t comment on that one! But then our recent conversations have been about fitting new male and female parts. Studs, if you must know, to his jacket! There is nothing like bawdy pantomime humour to usher in the festive period, or is there?

Talking of that, I should comment on one or two of the stars of the newsletters this year.

David, there is no mountain high enough for one man and his bike.

Peter, who ran the Jungfrau Marathon, please, there is no joke there. But even I could have told him it would be all uphill. He probably passed Neil studying the lichen on the way up.

Emanuele, will be cooking his fingers to the bone, but he likes to do nothing better.

Dear Silvio will be…? Perhaps I shouldn’t answer that.

Mark, I imagine, may drink the minibar at home dry, stagger into the street to hail a taxi driver and head to Heathrow. He may board a flight to somewhere hot, where he can lie on beach safe in the knowledge that British Airways will not be getting their hands on his money. Ever! He has since intimated that it is a fantasy to turn up at the airport and buy a ticket to the first place that took his fancy. Better that than being escorted to it, to an unknown destination in chains, but then perhaps that is the return journey from the ensuing bender!

Celeb D as he is now known has landed a role in panto; apologies, as a roll. From the photos the costume appears more like a bagel or a doughnut, and the tights he is wearing do nothing for his legs, and the make-up the icing on the cake!

Sunil has stopped texting before 5am, which is a relief, but he now may have now dispensed with sleep altogether.

Duran, best known for taking his shirt off, has disappointed the girls by dyeing his hair dark brown for a movie role. They still prefer him as a blond.

Last and by no means least is Richard. I’m sure he is looking down upon me as I write this, tut- tutting away at my grammar. He is greatly missed, but he will know that if he ever wants to make an appearance somewhere he remains known. If you believe in re-incarnation (I do not) Richard will only come back as himself: His chair will be waiting.

Finally, there are a number of you I’d like to take the opportunity to say a personal thank you to. I do consider that everybody who crosses the threshold of the shop a friend. However some of you may feel this is a little unwise, and yes, on the odd occasion I have had to revise my opinion. But this year, there are some of you who have proved to be great friends. I won’t embarrass you by naming you, but I hope you realise you have been. Thank you again and may I wish everybody the very best for the year to come.

 

If any of you are feeling sentimental (note the senti at the beginning of that word), feel free to wander over to www.volpeblog.wordpress.com to relive any newsletters you may have deleted, missed, or simply tried to erase from your memories.  Feel free to leave comments on any of the postings, but please try to keep it clean: I have a reputation to keep and I don’t need the competition!

 

Copyright © 2011 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.