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.

February Newsletter 2015

February is a short month, but I’ve been getting it out a lot. I think this is the third time, lucky you.

I was in Rome, Bologna and Florence at the beginning of the week.

Once again I must raise a glass and an empty plate to those who watered and fed me. Simone, Stefania, Edy and Emanuele thank you all.

Emanuele thought we’d found a symbol on the tablecloth of the infamous crime organisation SCHMEER (The Secret Company of Huge Male Egos, Eccentrics and Rogues), but it was in fact a wine spill that looked like a scorpion.

SCHMEER

SCHMEER

However I was in Rome on a top secret mission, well not so top secret now. They are shooting the new Bond movie along the banks of the Tiber outside Max’s office. Why was I there you might ask?

Well as you ask, as Monica Bellucci’s stunt double. I’d hoped it would get me closer to her, but it only involved me wandering round in a slinky dress and wig trying to look alluring before I was arrested, then told to take my business elsewhere. By all accounts from behind we could be twins, that’s if she walked like Dick Emery.

Phoaaarrr!

Phoaaarrr!

These mild mannered trucks contain Bond's Aston Martin and the villian's Jaguar

These mild mannered trucks contain Bond’s Aston Martin and the villain’s Jaguar.

I will be back there to shoot more scenes very soon, as soon as the restraining order that Monica has against me expires. Oooooh “Restraining Order”, that’s so 50 Shades…….

Talking of “That’s So!” I have been deeply disturbed by the Money Supermarket advert of the twerking man in denim shorts. My dear Sir, have you not heard of Spanx?

However it was made infinitesimally worse by having DC’s head transposed onto the video. I’m now waking up nights from a nightmare imagining all sorts of people twerking at the end of my bed in denim shorts. No of course it’s not what’s really happening. There is a list of miscreants at the end of the Newsletter!

DC.........

DC………

One of the items that the statistics offer me regarding these newsletters is the most popular searches and where the website has been opened from. No, not the exact address, but it allows me to see in which country on this planet it has been opened. So Sam, I have no idea if you are opening it on your way to Mars or just circumnavigating the globe.

Last week, imagine my surprise when one of the most popular searches for my newsletter, was “Bulging Tight Speedos”!!!

Well I wasn’t really surprised given my propensity for wearing Lycra. However at no point have I ever posted a photo of me in Speedos, not even in that Superman way of wearing his pants outside his trousers or undressing in a phone box.

However, closely related to the Speedo issue, a friend has been telling me because he wears designer stubble most of the time that he is starting to wear through the collars on his shirts fairly rapidly, but there is also a rather alarming side effect to this stubble beyond his problems with the collar.

Whilst swimming front crawl in his tight Speedos the stubble is giving him a nasty rash, on his shoulder, I hasten to add. Better that than a carpet burn on his chin. You know who you are, and in both cases, how it happened!

A friend, whose real name is not Natasha has moved back here from Germany to work once again for a friend of mine who is also not called Sergei. At this point I’ve lost track of where I am and who I am talking about, but I will bravely carry the story forward.

Oh yes, I remember! She shares a house with several gay men, goes to the gym and the sauna with the same said men who delight in pointing out the buff, semi-naked men around her are all of the same proclivity.

She has likened this to be being as frustrated as a kid in a candy shop with diabetes. Must be the German sense of humour!

But she has helped to solve the riddle about the whole beard thing, heavens I’m so stupid it’s all that hair around a pout, it’s so 70’s. Men move forward, try a Brazilian, a Hollywood, even a bit of glitter.

Finally before that list of people wearing denim.

A client from Texas has been telling me about their “Open Carry” Law. By that I thought that particularly ugly babies had to be wheeled round in closed top buggies. Apparently that’s not very nice and also incorrect. Well excuse me!

It pertains to the open carrying of weapons in public. He had been asking me if I could make him a walking cane with a thermal nuclear warhead in the tip. The handle is to house a trained Curare frog, which can fire darts made from its own poison, less of a killing machine and more of a personal statement.

Cute, but lethal

Cute, but lethal

By all accounts gun crime there is on the way down, but it would be when everyone is walking round with a Sherman Tank on a lead!

Now for that list:

At number 1: Dave and Gideon (George, to you commoners)

2: Dear Silvio

3: Vladimir P

4: Donatella Versace

5: Madonna – If she could stay on her feet.

6: Robbie Williams

7: Francois Hollande and now I’m feeling ill, so I’m going to draw a line under this…….

————————————————————————————-

 

Copyright © 2015 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

Mid-January 2013 – Volpe Newsletter

So I thought I’d get one out early.

Struck down by ‘Norovirus’ for New Year, I can only expect better for the rest of the year……. Anyway I’ve washed my hands of last year. It’s over.

A little good news for the end of last year, Eugenia married Ricardo, and they have returned to married bliss in Nicaragua. Gen, I hope you did a background check on the young man. Is he in the import/export business?

For those of you reading this via the blog page on the website, you will be able to see a photo of the lovely couple.

Ricardo and Eugenia.....Aaaaahhhh

Ricardo and Eugenia…..Aaaaahhhh

Anyway, as you remember Eugenia is the young lady that I was able to pick up by her ears! But, Gen is best known for her affinity with animals, she brings out the best of them. Many when in close proximity to her have decided they can have a little nibble.

On a trip we will describe as her ‘hen do’, she got a little too close to a monkey. The monkey must have been on something (It was of course in Nicaragua), it sneezed and after opening its eyes, spied the innocent Eugenia. At this point it launched into a manic assault in that flappy, kind of ineffectual kind way that some creatures do. Realising that Eugenia was a bit of veteran to this kind of thing, it then bit her on the leg. All of this was captured on camera and is available on Youtube if you know where to look.

She offered to show me the bite, but I am a timid soul and declined. She seems OK, but I’m not sure whether Ricardo should worry, she was foaming slightly at the mouth when she said “I do”.

Ricardo did tell me that on the honeymoon, an elephant started to take an interest in her, but then she did that thing that she does with her hair, and seeing a relative, it went serenely on its way.

I feel that I have not lost a daughter, but gained another way of accessing the US.

Talking of animal confrontations, my mother who lives on a hillside in Somerset was walking in the woods just before Christmas, when she was startled by a squirrel. In the ensuing melee she fell and broke her right arm. I’m not sure I believe her version! Although this happened fairly early in the morning, I’m pretty certain she’d been out to the still to check on the latest batch of hooch, Scrumpy to those of you who have tried it. If not she would have dispatched the squirrel with her white stick.

Congratulations to Sam on your promotion. I didn’t think you could go any higher, but once again you have proved me wrong. The new position includes a private jet in the air 24 hours a day, 365 days a year circling above his current location in order to whisk of him to the other side of the world for a 15 minute face to face meeting. When does living the dream turn into a nightmare? Is it a “Dreamliner”?

I returned to the shop on the 27th to find Mark curled up asleep outside the front door, thumb gently lodged in his mouth. I didn’t have the heart to wake him, but he forms a formidable obstruction, and I had work to do. Christmas had turned into a bit of a bender. He’d run out of booze at home and knew that he had a bottle of brandy in the shop for his personal consumption. He is the only person I know who sobers up the more he drinks! At least one of his New Year’s resolutions was not to give up alcohol or partying.

Jake has already broken his resolution, not to talk about Wolves, but he was ecstatic to have won £15 betting against his own side. Then he had an attack of conscience and felt he couldn’t do it again. Son, you could be rich, rich, rich.

 

Copyright © 2013 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

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.

August 2012 – Volpe Newsletter

Firstly, Jake is back from holiday – oh joy. And just as I was able to catch up on some work.

Congratulations to all our medal winners, a magnificent haul. It seems a shame that they won’t all be honoured in the time honoured way, a large contract with the BBC. They should be rewarded for their efforts, but somehow like exam results it is fashionable to move the goalposts just as the ball crosses the line. Perhaps to do a U turn, just to show we care. Of course by “we” I mean Dave and Nick, who I’m sure I will be snuggled up under the duvet of coalition as soon as it gets cold and the electricity prices go up.

Most of you seemed to scarper as soon as the Olympics started and were not to be seen again until we dropped the baton. But it did mean that you could get a table in any restaurant in London, and cross Piccadilly without looking.

Jake is now offering me his iphone 4S 64GB, so he can upgrade to the new iphone 5 when it comes out. At what he says will be at a preferential rate, he is even going to throw in a very attractive gold Wolves case! Aaaaaaarggghhhhh. Many of you missed the start of the football season. Oh, poor Jake; the first game a loss and now the board are selling off the crown jewels, left right and centre. Their season is over.

It is a similar dilemma for me, when asked, why there are never any plain blue or white shirts in the sale. It’s a simple answer, next season I will have to go out and buy the same thing again for more money. Have football clubs not grasped this simple concept? The key is in the word simple, or Joey Barton!

Talking of the crown jewels, I would have expected nothing less from Harry.

Well it’s not the first time, but once again I am writing this sat on an aeroplane. I have avoided jokes about the mile high club for the sake of the prurient amongst you. Is it really up, up and away?

Back to Florence again, life is full of hardship, but as Sam has been very quiet on the travel front, I thought I should take up his mantle. This weekend I should be meeting up with Sunil in a Castello near Viterbo. He is taking a holiday, wonders will never cease.

Things are going well there. But those of you who know, know, and those of you who don’t, I’m sorry for the moment my lips are sealed. Isn’t that so unlike me, but then I’m nothing but capricious.

And please, I am not helping “Dear Silvio” with his return. This is well underway, and they have found a stash of lire in a warehouse in Palermo which should boost the economy. ON everyone someone has written, please pass this on for luck……..

Obviously this was last weekend, but I was writing this beforehand, trying to show that there is input throughout the month.

Also I could recount every tube and bus journey, and the ins and outs of my Oyster Card, but I’d soon have you all asleep, and we’ve only just begun.

A few updates are in order. Jason is back from hols, and knowing his reputation, woe be tide any young ladies that might have been in his vicinity upon his Athenian travails, you know what happens. Shirley is not far from releasing her first born upon the world. By the time this is published she will have stopped working, and Marie tells me that the time is nigh. She could always spend her days reliving her pregnancy via my newsletters on the website, hoping the odd snigger may induce labour and get it all over with.

Some of you may remember Eugenia who used to come into the shop from time to time. Yes, she’s the one who we taught to see a second meaning in everything, a degree in double entendre. By we, I mean me, because poor Jake was too young and innocent. I did say he was! Eugenia is getting married later this year, to Ricardo from Ecuador. Eugenia is multi lingual. Good, avoided the obvious joke, but you know where I was going. She even speaks Swahili, which surprised the heck out of a friend of mine. I’m pretty sure she told him that his spear wasn’t as big as he thought. I think Ricardo knows what he is letting himself in for, and I did try to warn him, but perhaps he is blinded by her looks. She is very pretty. Sorry Gen, but you have grown into your ears. Oh, how I remember the days when we used to be able to pick you up by them!

Michael is in Mikonos, and has been on a diet for what seems like forever, and all he talks about is food, I think this has severely affected his mental state, and it’s made his legs turn yellow. Oh no, that’s the fake tan, and his feet are still cadaverous. B*$£h I can hear him say. I just wish I could be there to see him exit the water, a la Daniel Craig. I just hope he remembers to tie the cord on his trunks, up. But it would be so like him not to. However Michael is looking very svelte, he just tries to thwart me by buying macaroons from Pierre Herme (eat your heart out Laduree) this is the real deal.

Neil doesn’t appear to have noticed that I’m not in Ibiza, but I think his head has been turned by an Italian beauty supplied by Pink, who is down there helping Neil out.

Sorry another update, Neil has noticed that I’m not in Ibiza. By all accounts August has left him a nervous wreck. All of those acres of unadorned flesh have left his needles blunt, and only faithful Scratch for company.

And although he hasn’t been mentioned for a while my ‘D’ list celebrity “friend”, has been spotted promoting clubs on the beaches in Ibiza. This generally involves you walking around shirtless, tanned and surrounded by a bevvy of girls dressed the same way. However in his case it means dressed as a Pacha Cherry. A strange way of getting your five-a-day.

And finally Richard has been gone a year, but not forgotten. His chair remains, and perhaps I shall have a brass plaque made to honour him in his absence. Only recently have the emails been returned, perhaps he keeps tabs on my grammar via the website. He will always be able to return to somewhere, where he is known.

Sent from my ipad

 

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.