April 2013 – Newsletter

So today was one of those rare ornithological moments. In the words of Monty Python, beautiful plumage, but it’s just resting. I could ask Jake to recite the rest, but he’s still in shock. Traitor, I hear you all shout in unison. Why because he won 60 squid betting against his own team, the mighty Wolves, however we’ll come back to that.

Ever with my binoculars at the ready, spotted in full flight this morning, in its natural surroundings, the lesser spotted Jason. So often now it seems to prefer a more secluded office environment, but Marie and I were treated to a brief view of his immaculate feathers in The Wolseley.  There was a brief courtship between him and the even rarer, lesser spotted Jayne, but if you know the history, Jason’s mere presence close to the nest may result in more than we bargained for. If you don’t know the history, you’re just going to have to look it up.

Michael is moving back home. After several months living away from his toaster, he is returning. Fresh Prince of Bel Air, with a new roof terrace, once again his neighbours can be treated to the kind of antics that would make Caligula blush. This time rather than from behind his blinds we all may be treated to ‘Babes in the Wood’ from behind frosted glass. Feed me another grape please.

Please note, Michael has been dieting and working out for his next performance. He has taken to walking round the shop in the tiniest of shorts flexing his muscles and shouting “Beefcake” a la Cartman. I’m really starting to worry what he may be putting in the protein shakes.

Really I don’t want a “Roid Rage” incident in the shop, someone suggested rohypnol. It’s bad enough with me when I’m highly strung. Yes I know, not highly enough I hear some or all of you say.

Except the truth is always blurred, and Michael is a delightful fellow.

My weekend was taken up once again with preparing the VAT. Oh yawn, but I did go and see Iron Man 3 in 3D. I really enjoyed it, however the 3D was rubbish, and Sir Ben stole the show as “The Mandarin”. Gwynnie looked great, but then there’s a little history there!

Inside us all, there is a thespian trying to get out. I’m sure Jake will have to go back to treading the boards. It looks like he will need something to distract him from the ignominy of League One football. I know that many of you like to strike up a conversation with him about football.

A suggestion; for the moment – don’t. You see he’s hurtin’ bad, on so many levels. He mourns the passing of the ‘Great McCarthy’, the money wasted on a new stand, where next season they’ll be shooting “One Man and His Dog”. He’s been hangdog enough for the last week, and to strike up a conversation may be a step too far.

But, let’s not forget spring is here. David has broken out the shorts. Now pale, even white legs I can understand, but David’s are still a worrying shade of blue and it’s not woad. He’s a Chelsea supporter and even that wouldn’t account for it, but like all football supporters it’s OK one minute and not the next.

Eventually the warm weather will get here and we can all warm our tired, old bones. I can turn that particular shade of orange that I always go. I will face the sun at noon, and chant in unison via Skype with Neil, and even Eugene, if he’s got time to stop partying.

Like all prayers, we’ll be asking for something, without actually asking for it. Let the summer be long, sunny and hot, like the shorts you all should be wearing.

Let’s hope that they get close to your knees, no “Daisy Duke’s” for the guys, and don’t forget to wash your feet and have a pedicure. Wear driving shoes in town and save the flip-flops for the beach or the park. Perhaps paint each of the toenails a different colour it’s a look I espouse, and it keeps people at more than an arms-length in the gym. Well when you’re in the kind of shape I’m in, all attention is unwanted and unrequired. Believe that you’ll believe anything, just give me a chance to rip my shirt off and run Matthew McConaughey style for a bus. Tony, don’t record that for YouTube, please!

Anyway, I’m a vain old sod, and I don’t care. They’ll come a time when I may have to resort to a Zimmer Frame, meanwhile I have 95 year old aunt who lives in a caravan in a field and hitch-hikes everywhere. No, it has nothing to do with longevity it’s about the madness in the genes.

At last the truth is beginning to surface.

Let’s round this off with a visit from Sunil. You know he’s the one who wakes me at all hours with a text to ask me what I’m doing. Well normally at that time of day I’m sleeping, like everybody else in my time zone. He picked up a cashmere cap to match his cape, I joked about a bobble for it in Chinchilla, and he shot me a look, as if to say “are you crazy”? When what he really meant was; why didn’t I think of that? He was happy with his blue cashmere over shirt. Sunil, you live in the Middle East, why?

Exactly, there is a little madness in us all. Sometimes it is more evident than others, but as long as we nurture it, never lose it, don’t let it run around unchecked, there won’t be too much chance that we’ll get arrested, or worse…….

Lastly, two quotes:

1: You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it. – Robin Williams (How did he get in here, separated at birth?)

Jake's handy work!

Jake’s handy work!

2: There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness. – Friedrich Nietzsche

Copyright © 2013 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.

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.