Tripping the Light Fantastic

I have, as I always have; been tripping the light fantastic.

There is some new stock, but this newsletter is merely window dressing, a little foreplay before the main event, call it a drip feed.

I could employ a ‘fluffer’ to keep you all entertained, plumping pillows, stroking cashmere, but already I can feel your minds starting to wander. In a future life I may come back as a goldfish, anyway, where was I? Whoa… stop: side of the bowl!

Empire State

Empire State

Lest we forget

Lest we forget

To begin the beguine, I would like to thank everyone for their support on my little trip to New York. It was a pleasure to see you all, some old friends, and some new.

And I fell in love, her name is Erica, she’s not yet 2 and adorable. Sorry Henry!

As you can gather I will be planning many more jaunts to quench my thirst for wanderlust, and for those of you who are unsure, ‘wanderlust’ is not a cocktail. I can already see this newsletter will be full of explanations, definitions and double entendres, and that’s starting to confuse the spell checker.

I could sit around all day reading philosophy, pretending I understood Seneca, but as a goldfish I swim in shallower water. The world’s sfumatore is a grey mist, I am a child of blue skies, and talking of blue skies, I was back in Ibiza at the weekend.

Neil world famous tattooist invited me out for a few days cycling, he is a changed man, his days of partying are behind him, now it’s all carbon fibre (fiber for the Americans amongst you), gear ratios and black Lycra.

Two great, long rides in two days, the first included a stop for lunch at Puertas del Cielo. I may have had a slight accident afterwards, whilst I was standing still. Why are there always paparazzi around at moments like this?

Tumbling Dice

Tumbling Dice

The second ride was on the beautiful island of Formentera. I had always assumed that the island was entirely flat! Well it is; apart from the long climb up to the lighthouse at Pilar de la Mola.

Creative writing moment… I climbed the hill up to La Mola, my legs still heavy from the previous day’s exertions and the tarmac was dragging on my tyres in the heat, I navigated bend after bend as I made swift progress towards the summit. My thighs were starting to burn and I changed through the gears to keep my cadence steady, beads of sweat forming on my forehead, each turn led to another, the air thinning and filled with the scent of the pine trees, the tight Lycra clinging to me, fifty shades of blue, not much further… OK that’s enough, my mum might be reading this!!!

Torpedoes away

Torpedoes away

The Hills have Hills

The Hills have Hills

The Hills of Formentera

The Hills of Formentera

Neil always carries a spare banana in his Lycra… Stop it!

On the way down to El Faro de la Mola he ate the banana and discarded the skin at the side of the road. We stopped at the lighthouse and took some photos, Neil drank a ‘Red Bull’, tucked the empty can into the pocket on the back of his shirt, we turned round to head back to the village, and a well-deserved beer.

We had cycled a few hundred metres when I was passed by a Police car, lights and siren on. There must have been some sort of emergency, perhaps a lost dog; you know one of those toy ones which live in a handbag, maybe it had locked itself out!

BUT no, they were pulling Neil over.

The older policeman who had been driving was lecturing Neil about the illegal dumping of a banana skin. Neil was saying as it was ‘residuos biodegradables’ (hablo español), he didn’t think there was anything wrong with it and then produced the empty ‘Red Bull’ can from his pocket which he was going to recycle!

The younger policeman in the passenger seat was laughing the whole time.

He’d noticed that Neil was smoking a joint.

This could only happen on Ibiza.

Neil was let off with a reprimand and offered to go back and pick the discarded skin up.

Meanwhile he had sent me the location of a dead hedgehog we’d seen at the side of the road; someone would be back for that later, to add to Neil’s menagerie in formaldehyde!

He was in London at the end of last week for a Tatttoo Convention, a great success and I know he was here to pick up a few special things!

Sadly we missed each other as I was preforming live on stage, well not on stage per say, more I was approached by a number of groupies to produce my best Robin Williams impersonation.

Judge for yourself!

Batman or Robin?

Batman or Robin?

 

Copyright © 2016 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

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.

December 2010 – Volpe Newsletter

I know you were expecting me to send this out before Christmas. OK, Sam, some of you weren’t. But then you’d have nothing to help you digest the turkey, and who knows, my sobering thoughts may even serve as a hangover cure.

And anyway, I expect a flurry of, ‘out of office’ replies by return.

Clearly, I know many of you don’t drink and those of you who tick the 21 units or fewer units a week option at the doctors will clamber on the wagon come January 2nd. You’ll all be back in the gym working off the last remnants of Christmas pud, not to mention the brandy butter, cream, etc. Starting to look a little green again, I see.

Well, hasn’t the year flown by?

There are those of you who ask how I manage to come up with this drivel month after month. To that I say: my friends, you are my inspiration. Meanwhile, keep doing what you’re doing and maybe you’ll get a mention. It’s just like the National Lottery but with better odds and the warm glow of recognition which is worth so much more than mere millions.

Between you and me there are things you could do to bump your chances and I’m keeping a Wikileaks-style file on the best. Naturally, it contains one or two items too depraved to mention here, but as Mae West said: ‘Keep a diary and one day it’ll be sure to keep you.’

Considering what I’ve posted in the past you’ll know that these will have been really bad, and in some cases involved a spell at Her Majesty’s pleasure. In the light of that getting a lifetime ban from an airline is nothing, so keep ‘em coming.

I suppose like those annuals you got as kids you’ll want a bumper Christmas edition full of goodies: things to tempt, things to shock, and perhaps the odd sugar mouse. Well that’s what I used to get, that and chocolate money. How do you think I manage to keep this business going? In the shop I have a two euro chocolate coin. It was left here three years ago and I’m surprised Carla hasn’t eaten it, but maybe she hasn’t found it. Meanwhile I’ve got a bet on which Euro will melt first.

I received a rather large tome for Christmas from my friend Karl. It’s a magnificent 35kilos of Ferrari Opus, so thank you to him. Now if only someone could help me move it. Any of you wanting to turn the pages will have wear gloves, hold your breath and probably take you shoes off too. And those of you thinking about presents for me, next year you’ll have to up your game.

I’ve been asked whether I’ll be Christmasing in Ibiza. The answer is no. Neil is in India, doing heaven knows what. He’s using Skype and the messages are intermittent so I can’t even pass on whether or not the new form of Buddhism he’s practising means he has to be kind to pigeons. But I do know he spent Christmas Day on a beach in Goa not wearing a pair of shorts I promised to have made for him in May. I will deal with the culprit in January.

This month it emerged that a family member is doing Sir Elton’s thatch. I can’t tell you any more than that because he signed a confidentiality agreement. But how much do you want to know about Elton’s thatch anyway? Unto Elton and David a child is born. And on Christmas Day too. What timing! And what a present! Wonder what they’re going to get next year? But truly, following my earlier comment, it’s not what I’m after.

Footie fans are never happy, even when they’re whining. I had poor Geordie Alan in here close to tears over the Alan Pardew affair – of course I mean the fact that he’s Newcastle’s new manager. I’d have a word with the owner, but he’d previously asked me to stay out of it when I intervened on behalf of the other Newcastle fan. I’d be crushed if I fell out with you, Mike. Possibly literally. Mike, you’re really quite cuddly and definitely misunderstood.

Now my other friend is starring in panto  playing Buttons in Cinderella at Abbott’s Bottom. I suppose he could be the Abbot’s Bottom, anyway, whichever way round it is, he will be convinced it’s the lead role. On another thespian note, stop giggling at the back, you’re not at school, this year we lost Barry, it was a great loss. Evenings with Barry and Ros were always entertaining, lively affairs, rarely sober and always raucous. Ros has continued to carry this torch forward, and at equally entertaining evening at The Attic, she said she’d given Barry’s clothes to the National Theatre. So, my panto friend is still no nearer to wearing Volpe.

They’ve been re running a load of old Robin Williams films on TV and it’s been like watching The Picture of Dorian Grey in reverse I admit there’s a small likeness…..no, Jake a small likeness, and if you say nanu, nanu again, there will be consequences.

Also before Jake brings it up, I am now to some degree an Apple convert. Obviously not as brainwashed as some, but I like my iPhone, and part of this newsletter was written on my iPad. Hopefully I’ll avoid chanting the mantra “Show me your Apps”. But the best part has been the X-mini speakers I bought, quite simply amazing. Highly recommended, I’ve bored everybody senseless about them. Once they get their hearing back. Only problem is I can’t get them to stay on in the gym. Look them up, you’ll understand.

Finally, I’d like to thank everyone at The Wolseley, my A list friend should be treated with the same disdain next year as this. Perhaps you could start turning him away. No room at the inn and all that.

Copyright © 2010 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.