June 2017 – A Newsletter of Sorts

Let’s begin with a little bit of business.

We are fast approaching Ferragosto where the whole of Italy disappears off like our politicians.

This means that our workrooms are also partly closed. Times are a changing and it is not as bad as years gone by, we can still make garments, it just takes a week or two longer. Somehow it has dawned on them that not everyone wants to take their holiday in August.

Newsletter:

Phew! What a scorcher.

Coffee consumption has doubled since 1980, I know mine has. I know, I know, I don’t look old enough. It’ll be all the coffee!

But the world of coffee is in turmoil, it is the third year in a row that consumption has exceeded production and the amount of land suitable for growing coffee is falling. Apparently this will reduce the quality of the coffee and the amount available. Should we blame gorgeous George for making coffee too ‘sexy’?

The numerous large coffee chains may reduce the number of beans in a cup to half a bean, and we will be grateful for it.

Luckily Theresa in her youth didn’t run through fields of Arabica, decimating the crop still further, she restricted her abandon for fields of wheat, creating crap circles and gluten intolerance.

At least we now know the answer to one of the world’s great mysteries, if only we could solve Fermat’s last theorem! What do you mean, we have! Damn that only leaves the riddle of the Pyramids…

You know when you’ve been warned not to do something, but you plough ahead relentlessly, Theresa had a 50/50 chance; and in her mind’s eye she would have changed her mind, but she went ahead and stuck with her original choice anyway.

Statistically you are likely to be more successful, having changed your mind, to follow that through rather than stick. Pay heed Theresa you were warned!

Boris is round the back of the bike sheds at school, puffing happily on a cigar called Titus Andronicus. He, Govesie, Huntie and Double D, are donning wet suits, rolling balls of tissue, and barrelling out their straws. PMQ’s look as if they going to return to the ribald times of the Bullingdon Club.

Clad in their figure hugging, neoprene suits, they will snipe from the safety of deep water, like fourskin divers, sniggering at their endeavours.

The Opposition bench will be no better. JC will be living the ‘Thug Life’, his chest puffed out like a Great Tit, John McDonell toying with the balls of his abacus and a logarithmic ruler, trying to formulate the budget.

Hammers across the way uses a more modern method, the latest Sinclair Scientific calculator, pocket sized and great for those tricky little Brexit deals, it works off the ancient witchcraft known as ‘Reverse Polish Notation’.

Politics has returned to the Westminster village. But, what do I hear you screech in unison? They’re off on a Parliamentary recess.

The Government called a game of Russian Roulette, shot their little toe off and dallied around spending £130 million going to the country. Once again monumentally messing up an election/referendum they decide to slink off for the summer. So from the 20th July, the ‘Dream Team’ will be in charge.

I have given up re-writing parts of this! After the sixth draft, and the removal of references to Trotsky, Stalin, Mao, Thatcher, and at one point 46 expletives, I will build a pontoon bridge and move on!

At least we are without The Donald. He exists in the Fifth Dimension, the Twitter-sphere, in the Twilight Zone where the edge of the Flat Earth meets the sky. The Oval Office is his Pangea, his family gazelles and antelopes. He is the hyena, the jackal in the pack. No, I don’t where I’m going with this either; suffice to say I’m jet lagged, after spending weeks circumnavigating the earth. High on a mixture of sleeping tablets, Melatonin, Rhodiola Rosea and champagne, my thumbs are a blur.

Clearly I haven’t insulted Donald enough, as he let me in all so briefly, under the radar so to speak. I even travelled on Raoul’s passport by mistake! Not that I pass for a transgender, bald Brazilian (isn’t that the point?) with suspect facial hair…. Think Azis!

The regularity of these tomes has been a cause of mild concern in one or two of you. However, even by my standards I have been travelling a great deal, and unlikely to stop in the near future, and before anyone asks, not a single trip has been to Ibiza!

I sought to have my future explained to me in a reading of my tea leaves in Hong Kong.

“A panda walks into a restaurant, sits down and orders a sandwich. After he finishes eating the sandwich, the panda pulls out a gun and shoots the waiter, and then stands up to go. “Hey!” shouts the manager. “Where are you going? You just shot my waiter and you didn’t pay for your sandwich!”

The panda yells back at the manager, “Hey man, I am a PANDA! Look it up!”

The manager opens his dictionary and sees the following definition for panda: “A tree-dwelling marsupial of Asian origin, characterised by distinct black and white colouring. Eats shoots and leaves.”

I will blame Darren!

Currently, I am writing this on an inflatable flamingo in the middle of the Bristol Channel, basking in Mediterranean heat and floating gently towards Hinkley Point. The umbrella in my cocktail is acting as my dongle, the water around me is about the same colour as my drink, which is worrying no matter which way round you look at it! I had decided to spend a few days in the presence of my mother.

She is on tip-top form and we once again enjoyed a lovely meal at Reeves in Dunster.

https://www.reevesrestaurantdunster.co.uk/

I shall leave with a couple of photos, one a photo of the largest wedding cake I have ever seen. We made the groom his suit in an unlined wool and mohair blend to cope with the Florentine heat, the bride is the daughter of a great friend, my very best wishes to the happy couple, Riccardo and Carlotta, my apologies for not being there.

And a panorama, because everyone loves a panorama. These are the Red Rocks on Hvar.

 

 

Copyright © 2017 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.