September 2012 – Volpe Newsletter

What a busy month you have all had. It looks like things are back to normal.

My friend Mark had a birthday. The party, or should I say ensuing bender lasted for several days, and only ended when he remembered he should be working. However sleep deprivation has sharpened his reflexes, and on his way to work, he only fell out of the taxi rather than falling in. He is still not welcomed by British Airways.

Talking of birthdays, Sam had one and Jake is having his. If you are reading this on Sunday the 30th, then big up for Jake as he is 30 today, try not to choke on the Frosties. As an early adopter he has his hands on the new iPhone 5. However he is concerned about the size of his sim. Jake just how old are you? Oh yes, I forgot 30.

I shan’t mention the football to him, it’s not going well, but the way they are going, he’ll be playing for them next season, and then I really won’t get any work out of him on a Saturday afternoon.

This week I spent a day in Ibiza.  To cut a long story short…. No let’s not, I have a newsletter to fill, and I had an insistent customer who is desperate to have his shoes tattooed (his name is Charlie, how Ibiza is that?). As I had something I needed to do with Neil, and also to fit a customer for a couple of suits, I took the opportunity. The suits will be particularly sparkly, just the things for spinning the discs at Pacha or Amnesia. Now where was I, I’d forgotten.

Neil’s Leg

And then there was of course Neil’s special cargo, his skulls. I found these while I was poking around a flea market in Florence. His studio is full of strange objects stripped back to bare bones: monkeys, cats and lots and lots of skulls. I always expect to see him sitting in a corner running a gnarled nail over an old skull grinning manically into the middle distance. But then that’s his normal demeanour. Oh stop it Neil you’re freaking me out! His favourite piece of this delivery was an eagle skull which I am sure he will put to good use scaring off the pigeons.

I left London on Monday night with Easyjet and arrived at 1am. Neil and I went out for a drink and we didn’t arrive home until 6am. I can still do Ibeefa with the best of them. The night was been spent in the company of a man called Eugene and a couple of others, who were there for 5 days and had no intention of sleeping. However as I was breakfasting with Neil at 11am, Eugene appeared looking rather lost, not sure where the other two had got to, saying he wasn’t feeling so good, and about as pale as Michael’s cadaverous feet. It was taking its toll.

When I returned to Neil’s studio I met a very good customer of mine, who was with Neil for a marathon tattoo session, 6 tattoos in 7 hours. Oh, how I felt his pain.

I returned to the UK at 5am the following morning, after another Easyjet delay. No beach, no clubs and who says my life is fun…..

As I have mentioned my friend Michael, I should remind you of his trip to Naples and his adventures with male fragrance (see previous editions of these epic meanderings). His current “fave” is by Tom Ford, and called “Auld Wood”. Is someone having a laugh? Obviously not Michael, who hates the thought that he might be considered to be or to have old wood, but I know his bark is worse than his bite.

Well the joke wasn’t that bad!

The wedding of the year took place last week, and I was invited. A very beautiful, simple and elegant affair, but then the men were all dressed by me. Yes, you got it, forget the bride, it’s all about me, me, me. But she did look stunning.

Then on Sunday, the groom took his new wife on one of the most clement days this year, to White Hart Lane, to see the mighty Spurs defeat QPR. Yes, I know, I was slightly puzzled as to why? However he is a fanatic, and the wife, she will have to get used to it. Perhaps if she doesn’t enjoy it, she could buy the club, because she can, appoint AVB, and just wait for it all to implode. What do you mean that’s already happened? Now I’m not a Spur’s supporter and in fact I don’t support anyone (apart from Jake after yet another defeat), but I rather enjoyed the whole experience. My highlight was to have my photo taken with a couple of former Spurs players, Martin Peters and Pat Jennings. Now if only I was old enough to remember them. I was wondering if they had doubles that do the same thing at Arsenal and West Ham.

Martin Peters and Pat Jennings

If so could I get one to replace me, whilst I sail around the world.

Talking of which, Jason is headed for San Francisco, for yet another holiday. Does he ever work? I hear you all ask. Sorry Jason, have you been away?

Recently I have struck up a friendship with a chap. He is doing what can only be described as a “deal”. I can’t say what it is, but it’s legit’, although he and the other characters involved are doing their best to make it appear, otherwise. Clandestine meetings at Claridges or the Hotel Metropole in Monaco, lots of very large gentleman in tight suits, who don’t look like they are just there for show. Who might know how to dangle you out of a hotel window to see the colour of your money as it floats gently in the breeze towards the hotel pool. It’s beginning to resemble a Guy Ritchie movie, and my friend, who is also a well-built chap, is now known as “Danish”. It’s all in the name after all we had the character “Turkish” in Snatch.

Following last month’s newsletter, my friend phoned me from Tanzania to explain his spear was really quite impressive, and as I started to discuss this with him, he cut the conversation short, explaining this call was costing him 7 pounds a minute…. I thought he was a man of substance. His words are as shallow as his pockets…

That’ll have him back on the phone for impugning his credentials.

 

Copyright © 2012 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.

May 2012 – Volpe Newsletter

The drought is back on. Put away your hosepipes, the paddling pool in the window remains empty. Do you know how long it will take to fill, one espresso cup at a time?

Scorchiooooo.

Of course no sooner will I have said this, than the clouds will gather, the rain will fall, and I’ll go off in search of some sunshine: Jake has always accused me of jinxing everything.

Sam did rise to last month’s challenge. I was bombarded with page after page of boarding passes, like Leveson enquiry emails, I was starting to feel quite travel sick. However, if I was flying Ryanair, and you know I won’t be, there will be no sick bag. Michael O’Leary tells us that his flights are so smooth and on time, that this renders the sick bag redundant. Perhaps the majority of his passengers have been on “Stag” weekends in near flung places? Last night’s goulash, borscht, etc. are in a gutter somewhere, and they have nothing left for the flight.

Apologies to those of you enjoying breakfast, but I’m sure this saved Mikey a few euros. Excuse me for a moment, nature calls, and I have to give Jake a drachma to use the bathroom. Well, Wolves do need a new striker, midfielder, defender, or team? Please delete as appropriate.

Amidst all the turmoil, one or two of you are still managing to get out there and “splash the cash”. More than one of you has bought a new car, and one of you, a Ferrari California. This particular chap was mentioning to me that he had thought it would be a sedate and peaceful drive, and he was a little surprised at the noise it made, and the fact perhaps he was drawing a little bit too much attention to himself. A little like a Cheryl Cole tattoo. Did you not test drive it? Oh, come on, the car…. And really, I thought that was the point? I bet he’s a hit at the kind of party where you put your keys in a bowl!

I assure you, if you hand the keys in this direction, I’ll have no such problems, my right arm needs a little bit of tan. That goes for any of you who have tired of your wheels. Perhaps not you Izzy, a G-whizz is not quite what I had in mind. I have a friend of longstanding who we will call Bob, his idea of a romantic weekend away with his girlfriend at the time, was to hire a Ford Transit van, in white, of course, pop a mattress in the back and head for Brighton. No Mr and Mrs Smith needed there, then. However his idea of real fun was to be driven around Baghdad, by someone cackling manically at the wheel, live shells rolling around in the foot well, dodging bullets, the driver also turned out to be a customer.

My personal experience with someone with similar honed skills courtesy of our government meant we got lost in the Peak District. A gentle Sunday morning stroll turned into a route march in the most appalling weather conditions without the correct clothing. When I tried to explain to him that we were walking faster than he had calculated and had missed the path we were supposed to take, he held my head underwater for a very long time. OK, OK I made the last bit up, or did I?

Today I have been round to see Michael, he’s on gardening leave, and has decided to head for Naples for a month to learn Italian. I was helping him sort out his wardrobe for the trip. If I didn’t do this, he’d have need of a coterie of porters, a butler, and someone to mop his fevered brow. I did this because I like him, and he needs to keep his children properly covered from the harsh rays of the sun, clearly he needs all the support he can get. But I have keys to his place and if he runs short of shorts I am under instructions to courier him his every need. Knowing Michael as I do, he will return with more clothes than when he left.

Talking of clothes, many have been staring at my wonderful white cotton suit and wondering when I shall be wearing it.  Well in answer to this, when you’re in the queue for an ice cream over the Bank holiday weekend and someone asks if you’d like a flake with that, look up and see if you recognise the face… But I jest: the stretch denim suit that has been delivered will see me in good stead for the rest of the summer.

As my trainer OT has moved onto bigger and better things; we do continue to see each other and the project continues, but I have moved my training headquarters to the gym in Dolphin Square. This is in order to prepare myself for the beach volleyball at the Olympics, just in case they need a ball boy, a lucky mascot, anything, really anything, I can mop a fevered brow with the best of them.

We have started to play Christmas music in the shop. Early I know, but it appears to be the only playlist that Jake and I can agree on or aren’t bored of at the moment. We could of course play the entire Eurovision 2012 contest from start to finish on the BBC iplayer, including the Russian grannies on a loop. Aaaargghh, I hear Jake cry no more music with accordions in it, but then he did say Jedward were OK: perhaps it’s the heat.

Finally, it is official; I am too tall to be the president of France. Some good news then?

 

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.