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.

November 2012 – Volpe Newsletter

Firstly, as you know the newsletter is available through the website, and now has the benefit of having photos to accompany some of the stories. As we progress these will be back-dated over the years. Yes, those of you that doubted me, the newsletter will soon have been running for two years.

Siena Sunset

Siena Sunset

Currently outside it is cold, cold, cold, and my hands are hovering above the keyboard numb and unresponsive. Like a Saturday morning, after Friday night with Vash. There are those of you who have either shared or encountered me on these nights, and you’ll know what I mean, because you will have been there too.

Now November has passed, the number of you sporting facial hair for good causes has been a revelation, but I suppose you’ll all be looking forward to a nice clean shave.

Partners and wives, I have been told will be much happier, although some of the facial topiary has been spectacular. Now I feel I can say it, but a friend who considers himself to be very masculine; the word “butch” comes to mind, has been rendered as camp as Christmas with his handlebars. I daren’t tell him, because he’s bigger than me.

I will of course revert from being a wolf man, as after every full moon to my primped, preened and polished normality. Ramone specifically has complained that he will have to use the clippers before applying the wax. Hollywood. Careful man!

Talking of handlebars, I have purchased a bicycle. I bought a “fixie”, but being a southern softie I am running it on a free wheel. I do of course value my knees, which when using a fixie, is the only way of stopping. Yes, by peddling backwards! Gnilddep. Oh, forget it!

Thank you, those of you who have made suggestions of what I should buy, and David especially. He has always been quick to point out where I might go wrong!  But the main reason for buying a bicycle was to get into fluorescent lycra again. As I no longer ski, or club regularly, it is the only way I can legitimately wear lycra in public without being arrested, well as long as I am on the bike. So very “Emperor’s New Clothes”.  Remember the mankini?

A friend is a little nervous about his first mention in the newsletter, but not as nervous as he was when he met Neil for the first time. Neil looked him over like a blank canvas tattoo needle at the ready, poised to tattoo the Sistine Chapel.

Anyway I digressed. Yes I know, I always do!

This friend has been complaining that he hasn’t been using his Ducati anywhere near as much as he should. So, yesterday he qualified this statement by saying that his new home will only be 4 miles from the office, rather than the current 6. As he is pretty fit, he could perhaps push it to and from work every day. Given the reliability of the bike, and the opportunity to keep fit, I think this is possibly a win-win scenario. He is also the only person I know that can out techie Jake when it comes down to pistols at dawn over their iphone 5s.

The UK economy, like many in Europe is now under the control of a former Goldman Sachs employee, and a Canadian to boot. Not that I have anything against either, but it looks that Europe may be turned into a very large investment bank. Oh! You mean it is already. Apparently a former GS cleaner is being lined up for a job in the Italian Finance Ministry, she by all accounts a bit of a stunner. Dear Silvio’s influence from afar continues uninterrupted.

Inkadelic in India

Inkadelic in IndiaNeil has returned to Ibiza, after a very big party in India and a couple of weeks telling the Dali Llama where he’s going wrong. Peace will return, imported from Nepal, no expense spared back to Ibiza. The photos he sent me were spectacular.

I shall finish with a true story, not a joke!

So a friend wearing a pair of £5 sale sunglasses was walking along the beach with his wife. Like many of us he is a tad vain, but on this occasion his is amazed by the reaction of people staring at him as if he had a new found celebrity status. Just to make sure he gazed down to ensure that he was still wearing his swimming shorts, such was the response.

At this point the gentle stroll along the beach had turned into a swagger with all the subtly of a “pimp roll”. His wife was starting to worry, and suggested they stop in a beach side café for a refreshing glass of wine. Here the response was the same, so my friend asks his wife if she has noticed anything about his new found magnetism.

She replies straight faced, that apart from a missing lens in his sunglasses he looked no different.

Remember, you buy cheap, you buy twice.

 

Copyright © 2012 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

June 2010 – Volpe Newsletter

We wuz robbed, I tell you. And I’m not talking about the Budget, of which more later.

Like Don Fabio, I’ll brook no dissent. Mi casa, my rules. We were much the better side. Just look at the statistics and you know my thoughts on that.

Apparently Capello sent the team on to the pitch with the rousing cry: ‘Let’s make English football history.’ I feel that got lost in translation.

It seems even Paul the psychic octopus from the Sea Life Aquarium predicted a German win. Yeah, well let’s see how he fares against Spain where they like fried squid rings.

But as I said we were so much the better side; even my wife agrees and as I know by now, she is never wrong.

There was a moment during England’s nail-biting journey to oblivion on Sunday night when she shouted: ‘Lamps’ at the TV.

I share Don Fabio’s dislike of infantile footballing nicknames, and unless she was describing what she wanted Fat Frank to do to the assistant referee, then divorce beckons if she ever uses such a word again. And I’ll sue for alimony if she says Wazza.

Still, there are upsides to Sunday’s match.

The WAGs were waiting until this week to go out so no pictures of them shopping and falling off bar stools.

And the James Corden’s World Cup Party may be in for an early bath which means an end to the canvassing of opinions of such football geniuses a Pixie Lott by a smug fat bloke in a suit two sizes too small for him. I’m with Patrick Stewart there.

As you know at the end of May I visited Rome again. This time it was just for the day to visit a shoe wholesaler who refused to deal with me over the phone or via email. What strange world we live in. It’s right up there with: ‘The donkey’s sick, so I can’t get the parcel to the UPS office.’ Yes, a supplier has used that excuse. However it wasn’t an entirely wasted trip, I ate a decent lunch and spent some of the day with one of my best friends Max Pietrolucci, and even did a little sightseeing.

However a journey I will be making this month will be back to Ibiza. Those of you who think I have a home there, sorry to disappoint, and if I did, no you couldn’t use it. Also for those of you who have attempted to photograph me under the influence of something that isn’t wheatgrass, waving glo sticks like a five year old would sparklers, again you’ll be disappointed. Neil “the tattooist” has informed me that he will go back to doing stars, geckos, dolphins etc, because as yet I have not agreed to have the roof of the Sistine Chapel in miniature on my back. He has also offered both Eugenia and Carla summer jobs as his receptionist, and I don’t believe it, they are contemplating accepting. Now Eugenia has “previous” for this kind of arrangement. All I can say to her is remember what happened last time.

Not that I’m not going to dwell on it but yesterday’s referee Jorge Larrionda also has “previous” for “over the line” incidents. In 2004 he deprived Brazil of a winner so they drew 0-0 with Colombia in a World Cup qualifier. He once told an interviewer “I hope I never see the day when technology arrives that can help or replace the job I do”. Also in 2002 he was suspended by Uruguay’s FA for unspecified alleged irregularities that meant he was unable to officiate at the 2002 World Cup. Not that I’m bitter.

A thank you is due to Matthew who bought me some chocolates back from Bologna, a kind and unnecessary gesture, but he is a kind and thoughtful chap. I thought he’d go far, but then flattery and presents always bring out the best in me. The latest 3D gadgets wouldn’t go amiss.

This month we also lost Sam to Hong Kong once more. The family soon to follow and I must admit I will miss Xavier’s Saturday morning attempts to total the Ferrari. Sam and Claire be warned, let him loose with a Playstation before he gets his hands on the real thing. The new Test Drive game will be based in Ibiza, so next year it will be full of kids, driving dad’s Nissan Micra lit from underneath with blue neon, ear splitting music blaring from open windows. So nothing will really change. Oh dear, I do sound old.

Now, my friend who has admitted in the past that he was a suit short of a week still is according to him. He feels that a racy little linen number to complete his collection of linens would fit the bill. Not that I want to turn away business or condemn excess in any way, because that would be commercial suicide. I just don’t think that he’s likely to have five consecutive days of sunshine in this country. Apologies, this week has proved me wrong, but mark my words it won’t last.

The customer is king has always been my motto; or one of them. Maybe I’ll make a list of my mottos and add them to next month’s newsletter.

So were you a winner or loser in the Budget – or more accurately, a loser or a really big loser?

I’m still mulling it over so I’ll hand over to Sheherazade Goldsmith, the gorgeous ex-wife of billionaire Zac, newly-minted MP for Richmond.

It would be vulgar to speculate on the sheer tonnage of Mrs Goldsmith’s divorce settlement but it’s clear that even she feels some belt-tightening is in order.

‘If you grow your own raspberries, pick them and make them into jam, it’s a very satisfying feeling,’ she said recently.

‘Much more satisfying than buying it from Fortnum & Mason.’

A sentiment with which we can all agree, and as English as a World Cup defeat.

For those of you who have asked about my mystery “celebrity”. Well, he is currently staying on at the World Cup owing to a promotional role. I felt it would be too cruel to ask which particular animal he would be dressed as, but it would certainly need to be one of the veldt’s larger inhabitants, if only to accommodate his ego. He has been muttering about how poor Brien Blessed’s contribution has been, well at least his voice will be heard above the vuvuzelas.

 

Copyright © 2010 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.