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.

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.

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.