February 2013 – Volpe Newsletter

February is that kind of month, sneeze and it’s gone.

For those of you who have had a cold, bless you, gesundheit, tomorrow is the first of March.

This is my mouthpiece to the world. Somewhere, where you can glean the most intimate details of my life, and OK, that of some of my mates, but I must admit I did have fun with this one.

Thanks Sunil, for the photos of you and most of the world’s top twenty ladies tennis players. How did you get them to do that, and haven’t some of them got boyfriends? Please be so kind as to illuminate me about your silken charms, and don’t fob me off with the old knock-about remark about your backhand. Next time can you try to get them to do a version of “Call me maybe”.

Mark, thanks for the ones of you. How they got through the spam filter, I will never know. And Michael, the ones of your children were a pleasant surprise.

I spent Chinese New Year with Wolf. He has recovered from having his email hacked, I haven’t, but that’s so last month. We said goodbye to the dragon and ushered in the snake, enjoyed some excellent food and entertainment, and I didn’t lose my shirt at majong. You know me, always looking for the opportunity to take it off.

Congratulations to Al and Victoria. They are getting married in June. You’ll all be using their apps soon.

I had an NHS health check. This was to make sure I had a heart, and that it was still beating, but we’ll come back to that later. However the nurse did ask me to take my shirt off. I think the comment, “haven’t you been a bad boy and didn’t that hurt!” was a little forward, but after she’d been revived, and we’d taken her blood pressure, all was calm again. We are still waiting for the results of my blood tests, but I can tell you now, I’m not sleeping well, up all night, a horrible itchy feeling in my teeth, I can’t face looking at myself in the mirror, and I may never go in the sun again. Who thought you’d ever hear me say that, but that’s the problem with vampires, never invite them in.

I’m back from my travels again. A visit to Bologna to see Emanuele and 3am finish for dinner. I didn’t know you could eat for that length of time. There is a photo where Emanuele has made the island of Sardinia out of a drop of wine; we then proceeded to drink the island dry. Then a short stop in Florence before Rome. I felt like a UN observer, there to oversee the elections, to make sure that all was fair and above board. Don’t know why I bothered, it is Italy after all, and it’s not as though they haven’t had an election before, I was surrounded by a frenzy of apathy!

Emanuele created Sardinia from a drop of wine.

Emanuele created Sardinia from a drop of wine.

If “Dear Silvio” and Beppe Grillo get together, we’re in for a real treat, apologies an M&M, it really will be a cabaret of epic proportions. A singer and a comdeian, who’d have thought, we could end up with Robbie Williams and the Krankies, add a psychologist; a Geordie, an interfering wife, and it could be a farce. That should upset Sig. Napolitano, he’ll cross the road the next time he sees me coming.

Ah yes, how prophetic, bella Roma; home of “la bocca della verita”, and “Dear Silvio”. He’ll be back, because he can’t stay away. He’s always in the background interfering, never happy with his lot, always trying to play with other peoples toys, and only happy when he’s broken them, or damaged them beyond repair.

He’s like the kid in the playground whose friendships rely solely upon how much bunga he throws around. Oh baby, shower me with euros!

Then there is Ill Papa (Sic.), we wish him well, but I wasn’t in Rome for an interview, I was just making smoke. Max and I ate in a restaurant near Castell Sant’Angelo where we were the only people who weren’t priests. They kept staring suspiciously at us, two men lunching alone together, who’d have thought it. Between you and me, I hear they’re considering Jose Mourinho. That should sort them out at the back, and the balcony speeches should be a little more robust and dramatic, perhaps even a little swooning from some of the ladies at the front. I’m just not sure how they’ll cope with the Yorkshire Terriers running around the Sistine Chapel.

I did learn a couple of new words. The first was “ingovernabile”, which was used to describe the Italian political system, and is pronounced with a sigh, in a way that describes just how tired they are with the whole thing. Then there is “imperdonabile”, which is pronounced with such venom that it makes unforgivable seem like a slap on the wrist. It’s a shame because I thought I could always forgive anything.

It has been suggested that I write a book about my colourful life. I would of course need to make huge chunks of it up. Yes it’s true I could hire a ghost writer or get someone to do that for me, but that’s already happened, much of which, as I’ve said before you couldn’t make up.

The book would require a beginning, a middle and an end, not to mention a story; a sub plot, a twist or two and a little Machiavele. Then a character or eight, mine are like a bag of snakes. All flawed of course, but I suppose it’s better to have several that are flawed, rather than none at all; a modern Kind Hearts and Coronets. Then you have to develop them. Suddenly it doesn’t seem so difficult, if I could get each of my personalities to write a chapter, it could be “The Decameron” based around the seven deadly sins, I could throw in a little humour, and then a sting in the tail. Like Chaucer, these characters can live an eternity in print, every boil, pimple and carbuncle. O dio, be still my beating heart.

Recently I have been breakfasting with Marie. She is great fun, and Jason always smiles, perhaps slightly jealous at the company I keep. I admit she is a couple of years older than me, but she’s in diamonds. You see, I really am shallow.

If I’m feeling slightly cultural, which is of course is never; it’s way too cerebral for me. Sorry, I had to think about that. I head to Covent Garden Market and listen to the opera singers, sing various arias. Some are fantastic, but I struggle to understand why others attempt some pieces at all. However there is always a CD to buy if you want to be reminded which particular cat they were strangling.

I was there last weekend, and in the main square there was a large steel heart and LOVE spelt out in large letters. It belonged to the British Heart Foundation, and padlocked to the heart and each letter were thousands of tiny metal hearts, each with its own message of love written by people from all over the world. I spent an age reading them, and I found it incredibly uplifting that love could be expressed in so many simple, but beautiful ways.

LOVE - British Heart Foundation

LOVE – British Heart Foundation

Each hearts cost £3 and the proceeds go to the British Heart Foundation. There was one among you who was worried about the functionality of my heart. Well after my check up, I am pleased to say that everything is working properly; there was no need to worry. Don’t believe everything you are told.

BHF Padlock

Thank you one and all for your kind words regarding my Oscar. It was for best supporting actor in a foreign film. I didn’t realise that when we started filming it would turn out to be such a drama, but I was Rowan Atkinson to Daniel Craig, Johnny English to James Bond. Jake will hate that one. Anyone want to buy a t-shirt? I’ve had thousands printed.

I have listed other suggestions below.

Oscars as they should have been:

Best Baddie: Dear Silvio
Best Goodie: Me, me, me
Best Goody Bag: The ones I give away – Think about it
Best Film adaptation of a Shakespeare play: A Tale between 2 Birthdays
Best Screenplay: Mine, mine, mine
Best Adaptation from a book: Seneca’s tragedies 1682
Best Musical Score: La Wally – Ebben! Ne Andro Lontana – Maria Callas
Most Out of Office replies: Sven – 8 in the last 12 months.

However I didn’t tell the truth about one thing. It was always 24, not 22. Rocco, vincero.

I will now leave this subject alone. We live in a world of our own making. Along the way we make mistakes, ma speriamo che non finisca male per nessuno. It’s not that youth is wasted on the young, it’s just we don’t realise we’ve f^#+~d up until it’s too late.


Copyright © 2013 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

October 2010 – Volpe Newsletter

Ahh, November beckons – the month of bonfires and poppies and fireworks through pensioners’ letterboxes. But it’s not here yet and squeaking under the wire with moments to spare is the Volpe October newsletter. It’s like an episode of 24 here but with harsher curses than: ‘Dammit.’

I’ve been holding out because, erm, because it has taken until the end of the month for the one bit of good news to appear. After a month when sterling performed consistently against the Euro in a downwards motion, you might think that the bright star in the firmament was the growth figures.

Well, I must stop you there. Once again you have all jumped the gun. But logging into the BBC website to see those hillocks and Mariana Trenches is what makes business so very exciting.

Still, things are going well for the lad Rooney which is excellent news for someone or other – off the top of my head, Age Concern (Ladies’ Division).

Sticking with football: it was tragic to hear of the passing of World Cup guru, Paul the Psychic Octopus, who was found floating at the top of his tank in Germany this week. A moment’s respect and then pass the lemon juice.

Pop quiz: How many legs does an octopus have? Think carefully. Answer at the end.

In showbiz news: the Take That tour dates have been released if any of you were thinking of popping along for a bit of swooning. No, not me either. Truly, the gods of rock are back.  Those of you who know the windows will know that Robbie Williams has loomed large, scary. (No, not Robin Williams, but thanks Jake, for reminding everybody of the likeness). He hogged the limelight as usual, but at least he doesn’t owe me any money.

As for other Rock Gods I have known – Lee Ryan, he does owe me money, he owes me the pound I lent him for the parking meter outside the shop; George Michael, it’s okay mate, I don’t want anything for fixing your Walkman on the steps of Uomo Regine in 1983, not even one your funny cigarettes; and Nick Heyward from ‘80s chunky knits Haircut 100, you owe me more than mortal man can ever repay.

Back when a certain much-loved actress was just a fledgling rock chick I was Nick’s wing man and selflessly drew her fire on to me for friendship’s sake. What can I say except, that I’m a great mate?

At this point I have mention Jason at the Wolseley. He was a little miffed that he featured after other people in the last newsletter. Granted, he still features after several other people but this time I’m singling him out for special attention. We’ll make you famous, if you consider this news letter fame. Perhaps it’s infamy you’re after?

Jason, you are one of my top Jasons of all time, possibly joint top with Jason of the Argonauts. Anyway, infinitely better than Jason Orange from Take That and you even  pip Jason King from Department S which was one of my favourite TV programmes. Wikipedia it, you young ‘uns.

Anyway, just one of Jason’s legion strong points is that he continues to seat me at better tables than He Who Shall Not Be Named. Meanwhile my other celebrity is in rehearsal for Panto season, and I’m sure it’s him who keeps phoning me, blowing on his vuvuzuela and hanging up. And please, stop asking me who they are or I’ll have to hit you with a super injunction like my friend the TV presenter who’s entertaining his ex-wife. My lips are sealed.

By the way, is that anything like the omnipresent Superdry? Damn, they even made it into my newsletter with their trendy anoraks and t-shirts. How do they do it? I don’t even stock the damn stuff. Leave the envelope by the door guys. Job done.

Now, I was hoping that my friend Mark may have done something spectacular to brighten the month. You know, the guy who drinks the mini bar dry and then does a decent impression of a corpse found at the scene of a particularly debauched party.

Even Neil has been quiet. All he requires is to renew his visa for India, where I’m sure, in the most spiritual way possible he will climb a mountain in total silence, attempt to tattoo his eyeballs whilst hallucinating, intoxicated from smoking lichen collected from the north face of said mountain and blinded by staring at the sun, trying to work out how many hours of daylight he has left. If any of you have met Neil and stared deep into his eyes, you’ll know what I mean. As Pink said to us he has a fantastic bedside manner. “He stares at possible punters from his office (a table outside Cafe Tomate), and then only tattoos the ones who are too frightened to move, or those who are too stoned to run away.” Really, he is a very nice and talented guy.

Pop quiz answer: According to marine biologists, two. The other six limbs are arms used for feeding. Where else can you get top quality clothing and fascinating facts? All part of the service.


Copyright © 2010 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.