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.

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.