January 2013 – Volpe Newsletter

Well, for January I was going to give up writing newsletters, but I failed half way through, and now it’s an obsession. Perhaps that’s going a bit far, but I’ve started, so I will finish. My monthly stalking of my unsuspecting subscribers will continue

So, New Year’s Resolutions: Did I give up alcohol? No, is the simple answer. I tried, Oh how I tried, but I failed miserably, several times. Vash, you are to blame and you too Izzy. In these situations my glass was never half empty; you could say my cup runneth over. But of course it didn’t because I was never one to waste a drop. And then there was Terry, Michael and Tony who all valiantly assisted in my abstinence: or should that be downfall? Thank you to Spiked Milligan, I’m not sure how you make one, but it did the trick. I think the basement Spanish Bar in…. Do you know, I can’t remember!

Why did I take to drink? Well my personal email account was hacked. No, no not this one; have no fear you won’t be inundated with requests for money because I have suddenly been marooned in Asia. Thanks for that one Wolf, but we won’t raise much money for the round-the-world trip that way.

I know who, I know when and I know why, and it saddens me (although perversely I am also flattered by the attention I have received). Those of you who know me well, will know why, the rest; I will leave you to let your imagination run wild. You couldn’t make it up, except they did, trust me.

I have changed my password, my identity and according to what was done, my past, and they believed it? Look, if they have the ability to get in, they can make it say anything they want.

The next thing I will have Taylor Swift writing a song about me, or worse a medieval ditty by Gordon.

Those of you who have braved the cold and spent a large portion of January in the gym, I salute you; you are almost as dedicated as I am, but that requires a special type of obsession.

Although I do admit I have been a wimp with regarding to getting out on the bike. Sorry David, but it has been grim out there. So I consigned myself to the gym, firming the bits that needed toning, toning the bits that needed firming, and generally attempting to make myself more gorgeous than before. Tough I admit, but I shall not give in. I shall not wither with age; in fact I have now taken to sleeping in a bath full of cells cultivated from a small patch from behind my left ear.

The right ear was not deemed up to scratch. I haven’t told it yet, just in case it sulks because it thinks I have a favourite. (Layer Cake joke).

Neil has been in Beirut, doing his bit for Middle East relations. It’s strange how many of my friends have headed out east to try. He didn’t achieve what he had hoped, but I know he will soon be off to the Far East with superstar DJ David Morales. Poor Scratch, Neil’s faithful puppy will be pining again, but she will be living it up on her new blanket of recycled fur and cashmere. At least Neil can get his coat back. I shall make an effort to head to Ibiza for a tantric yoga retreat. Do I want to learn the art of being tantric and all it has to offer?

However first I shall hoist up my Monoski and head for the Alps, where I can put on my fagbag and ski from dawn till dusk.  Because of the cold, I shall be wearing my fur-lined boots. (See the blog site). Now I admit they are a little camp, but that is me all over. Oh please, not clad in fur and leather, I haven’t done that for years, well not in public anyway.

Those of you who have listened to my ranting’s and ravings, thank you. I hope you can stop laughing just long enough to spare my feelings. I am a sensitive soul. Yes, really.

Anyway, I shall move on, try to be an adult and wish those of you it applies to, a very happy Year of the Snake (oh, will you stop sniggering at the back). And “Danish”, get better soon.

So as we have mentioned another New Year, I suppose I’d better make another resolution: suggestions anyone?  And keep them clean… Please?

 

Copyright © 2013 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.

September 2011 – Volpe Newsletter

The “Closing Party Season” is upon us.

I am sat outside the shop adorned in a garment I will mention later in the newsletter, happily tapping away at the keyboard, enjoying the last rays of summer sun. Around me people are as inappropriately dressed as I am, oblivious to the onset of the evening air which will wrap its cold arms around them like a vampire’s embrace (creative writing course)!

Friends from far and wide are descending upon Ibiza to enjoy one last hurrah, before they hang up their Glo-Sticks for a few months.

The weather in Ibiza until now has been everything it hasn’t been here, hot, very hot and sunny, and did I say hot. However for the last weekend of the season we managed to send them a little rain and some thunder in an attempt to dampen their spirits, whilst they wander around Circoloco at DC10 or whichever club they can blag their way into.

Mateo, the mild mannered architect from La Coruna is there for a stag party. Not his own I should add, but he phoned me to ask me where he could buy a fluorescent “mankini”. How the heck should I know? I would have said something else, but the spam filters you know! We’ve been friends a very long time and because we are the same size, we’ve shared clothes, but never, ever again.  I mean I shudder at thought of sharing my mankini with anyone! Anyway I need mine for the weather here.

Neil, the tattooist phoned me yesterday to complain that I’d been neglecting him. So we chatted for a while on Skype. I have missed him this year, but intend to make up for it next. Well, that is if he ever speaks to me again after Mateo and his group of drunken mates turn up requesting tattoos of gecko’s, dolphins, stars and Pacha cherries.

Neil is going to hit the clubs of Asia and Slovenia in the company of superstar DJ, David Morales before going off to find himself. He did mention circumnavigating the earth in a coracle with Scratch his dog. Where do you start talking someone down from doing that? Hopefully the Ibiza madness will subside, and he’ll just climb a mountain again instead.

Sam has had a birthday this month, and as he is always reminding me that the newsletters are nearly always late, or is always nearly late? I will remind him that he will never be as old as me. Everybody else with a birthday and anniversary this month, many congratulations, I include Jake in this, it’s his birthday today and I have given him the day off. You see I can be merciful. Now I should be able to get away with buying him some useless gadget, like a pen or propelling pencil, as the wheels are already starting to come off Wolves season, they’ll be no need for the new away kit. He’d probably ritually burn it in a fit of pique whilst sticking pins in an effigy of Joey Barton.

Dorothee has been in to buy a “racy” burgundy knitted silk tie for hubby Colum. She didn’t know how to get a mention, so I took pity. Like so many of us she has been dealing with builders. Apologies to the builders amongst you, like retailers we know they are not all the same. Yes I know, in my case some are worse than others.

Now, I have to mention Jason from The Wolseley who has been unwell. In his absence Sara and the crowd have been masterful. Jason has lost weight and won’t mind me saying he looks better for it. It may have been the illness or the fact that the “Spring” in North Africa has moved north and his dictatorship is in peril. He has given up smoking and is worried that eating will be his only solace, when I thought just keeping the others in line should be stress enough. Secretly, or not so secretly as you all know now, he prints these out and I’m sure frames them for the smallest room in the house.

Anyway enough of Jason, my next target is the Maldives. According to James Delingpole and the Times Atlas they no longer exist. I thought this was self evident, they have been holding cabinet meetings underwater recently. Does this mean that Alan Duncan is going to have to stay out of the deep end? Personally I have been donning my Bacofoil suit to avoid the aliens and regularly commuting to Atlantis for years. From there the Maldives is just a short trip, and if I stay underwater the little green men won’t see me.

 

Copyright © 2011 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

September 2010 – Volpe Newsletter

How quickly the summer passes. No sooner were you slipping on the shorts and Birkenstocks than you were forced to put your shirt back on.

All right, those amongst you who support Newcastle United from the Gallowgate end never wear a shirt to matches as a badge of pride preferring to daub yourselves in black and white stripes of body paint, the name of your favourite player mis-spelt across your shoulders. My friend Alan with his black and white cashmere scarf will be labelled a sissy. What japes!

But, I may never go onto a beach again. Note the use of the word may, because, as you know I worship the sun. But though I laugh in the face of skin cancer there are some things that scare even me.

A recent survey had Princess Beatrice tied with Jennifer Aniston for the fourth best beach body in the world. The bit about being tied to Jennifer I can understand, but how on earth can Bea, out of Her Fergieness and stablemate of Huge Knees, have ranked so highly or indeed anywhere unless it was bringing up the rear in the 2.30pm at Chepstow?

Who makes this stuff up? And for once it’s not the wife.

Once again sciatica has raised its ugly head in the tattooing brotherhood. This time it is not Neil, who appears to be making a recovery (update below) but his now less able assistant Pink, not that big, shouty girl but a compact bloke and the least Italian Italian I’ve ever met.

The injury struck following a night of drinking Ricard and hierbas involving Neil, Scratch, Gillian and me.

I feel the tipping point was when Pink’s landlady Charlene, who doubles as the waitress serving said alcohol, popped up in the small hours to extract the payment of rent in kind. Pink is now wearing Neil’s corset, Charlene still being busy with hers.

It’s a flattering garment if you have the personality to carry it off and I will be stocking a few for autumn.

September has brought relief to Neil. An operation in Paris seems to have done the trick and restored some colour to his pallid complexion. He really was the palest man in Ibiza. “I don’t do beaches, man,” he has often told me.

Neil and I will continue our discussions about Adidas, and that fact that I wear the wrong type. It is a style statement for him and I wear it for exercise and never the twain shall meet. So I will not be out “sniping”, sorry – cheating – him out of that vintage Ivan Lendl jacket on eBay.

I think it is time to introduce a new celebrity. My D-list friend is still stuck with his vuvuzelas but has a panto gig for Christmas. I wish him well, it’ll give me a chance to torture him with Macbeth, while he rehearses as an Ugly Sister. He is already complaining that the make up artist, J’son, feels he may only need a little touching up and is unsure exactly how to take that remark.

This new celebrity considers himself A list. What sauce! He currently crosses the street to avoid me and shuns me in my favourite breakfast haunt, The Wolseley.

The shunning is made easier by the fact that I always get a better table. This is not the only location we cross swords over table rights and he always loses. Big up, all at The Wolseley, Jayne, Claudia, Jason and welcome back Shirley, keep up the good work, I know it really gets under his skin. No, it’s not Michael Winner, who was charming if a little sqwarky the only time I sat next to him – like being next to a tanned parakeet.

Recently Gillian and I went back to an old favourite restaurant. T’was an interesting evening. It prides itself on service and the quality of its food. Note, I say quality, not quantity. The service was slow and haphazard as if to mimic the lazy french driving style of a post lunch 2CV, desperately clinging to the road when a strong gust of wind would puff you into a ditch, if not the heady mixture of bordeaux and calvados. My rack of lamb was a lonely lamb chop, a single rib, artfully arranged to look bigger than it was. OK, those of you know me well will know this is a technique I have often used myself. Perhaps someone swiped the rest from my plate on the way from the kitchen; some hungry soul who may have still been waiting for his main course since lunch.

And finally a plug; we now have a stock of new winter merchandise. Well you didn’t think I was doing this for my health, or just promoting other peoples businesses.

 

Copyright © 2010 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.