July 2012 – Volpe Newsletter

Before I start, it appears I have a lot to answer for, namely the weather. I shall quote from May’s 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.”

Oooops!

I take it all back in the hope that summer might make an appearance. Currently I am suffering from “Trench Foot”, and I haven’t even been to any festivals. I pity those of you who have. No, not really, you’ll only have yourselves to blame. Off in search of drugs and alcohol, and a few cheap thrills.

Talking of this Jake went to see Bruce Springsteen, had his foot trodden on and headed for the exit before Paul McCartney. He curses about it to this day.

And Jake is finally taking a holiday. Wonders will never cease. He is headed for Spain, and a week of sun, sea and sand, and probably alcoholic poisoning. It will be an all-inclusive resort, which really means he will head for the pool, lie down and have a tube inserted into his mouth. Via this method his food and cocktails can be regularly administered without the need to voluntarily move a muscle. The gag reflex and peristalsis will see to that. Yes, I had to look them up as well. But hopefully he will return refreshed, ready to except the reality of life in the Championship , for a season before relegation means free fall to the Conference. At least he doesn’t support Rangers.

Sunil has been to see me, and we did lunch. I only do this about once a year, because I am a breakfast man, and yes, we all know where! However this time we went there for lunch and Jason nearly fell off his perch. Have you been away Jason? Private joke and it was not at Her Majesty’s pleasure. More a day release I think.

One of this month’s highlights was supplied by Sunil who kindly serenaded us in the shop on the piano, via the hands free speaker on our phone. The young man is clearly talented, or perhaps he has Jamie Cullum trapped in a box, not quite as implausible as it sounds. But a little Bach went a long way to soothing the savage beast.

I keep being drawn back to Italy; Florence, Pisa, Parma, Roma and Lucca, funny how they all sound like ****stars. Or perhaps the names of children from bohemian families who spend their summer basking in the villa in the hills outside Ibiza town; too spaced out to venture into the pool, let alone a trip (substance abuse related joke), to the beach. Do I sound jealous and bitter? Yes? Good because I am. I will not be in Ibiza this year again, the pressure of work will keep me here, and as they say, home is where the heart is.

The only consolation is that I am in Italy regularly to keep an eye on a current project, and I have stayed in some interesting places. I woke one morning to find a note pinned to my door, informing me in Italian to keep the noise down, I was embarrassing their children who couldn’t sleep.  It was signed off with an angry face! Perhaps the visit of the waxer to my room was ill advised, but I didn’t think my howls of pain weren’t anything that their children hadn’t heard before. They’d obviously got the wrong room, and I had to have the note translated by the hotel who found it rather amusing. At least time I’d managed to avoid Madonna, she was in the room the other side of the family. I told you they had the wrong room.

There’s nought so queer as folk.

Well I’ve held off as long as possible.

The Olympics have started (or as unofficial sponsors have to refer to it – The Big Multi-National Sports Day).

I thought the opening ceremony was fantastic.  We had Ken Branagh dressed as Abraham Lincoln (yes, some people were not listening to the commentary), The Queen doing her bit for herself and country (was she on her own secret service…?) and of course the dulcet tones of Macca to round off proceedings – I say dulcet as I had nodded off by this point.

I think we have won a Gold Medal in nearly every event but I am finding it hard to keep track, so dizzying is our success. All have been won by our illustrious leader “King Yong Cameron”. There was a moment, when instead of the Union Flag, the cross of St Andrew was displayed, but this was smoothed over like our great leader’s brow. His ability to be present at more than one event has meant that we lead the medal table. He has also been making up the numbers in the crowd at those events where there were empty seats, and he will be playing in the tennis doubles as well as handing the baton to himself in the relay. It is rumoured that he will hop the 100 metres with Gideon tied to his free leg to slow him down. His personal best for this event is 6.2 seconds, I pity poor Usain, who I am sure will withdraw to avoid the humiliation.

However the star attraction will be his appearance at the beach volleyball. He will stride like a lion from his back door, a young Sebastian Coe unable to keep pace with his majesty. DC’s tight Speedos enhancing his reputation as father to the nation, the sand between his toes, the sun on his back…….

Eeew, I can’t keep writing this, I’m feeling slightly nauseous.

Oh, by the way, in the midst of all this excitement, I completely forgot to mention to anyone that we’ve started our “Closing Down” sale. You know the one, the one where we’re not really closing down, but everyone thinks we are.  Blame Dave for this.

Anyway, the sale is going on for a while and for the second successive year, I will be here for pretty much the whole time. Hang on, I’ve just realised why Jake’s booked a week off…

 

Copyright © 2012 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

May 2010 – Volpe Newsletter

It’s been an exciting month, jam-packed with, well, work, actually, so that’s the reason the newsletter is late  – before you ask, Sam.

God knows, my wife has tried enough times to get the News of the World to part with £500,000 for a meeting with me, but they weren’t interested so we have to fall back on conventional ways of paying the mortgage.

So, that’s why I’m off to Rome on a whirlwind visit next week and for the first time I’m flying Easyjet so I’ve sharpened my elbows and paid excess baggage in advance. At least I’m landing in Rome, not a different city or a different country.

It’s not that I don’t trust BA to get me there though they have just banned a friend for life. The way he tells it, it was over innocent joshing with a humourless stewardess over a request for a glass of water.

I believe him. Millions wouldn’t.

As he was being assisted down the aircraft steps at Abu Dhabi he queried whether the ban would be for his lifetime or that of the airline. But BA is tied up with other important matters and may never get back to him or the rest of us.

The stewardess should worry. This is a man often found by Housekeeping naked on the bed surrounded by empty bottles after drinking the mini-bar dry. They’ve never complained and have even commented on the thoughtful way he always passes out face down to spare any embarrassment.

What else. Oh yes, there was that election business which was interesting.

Who could begrudge the licence fee that was spent on the BBC’s election night broadcast from the Ship of Fools moored near the London Eye?  Andrew Neil mined nuggets of political gold from such top opinion formers as Joan Collins and Bruce Forsyth while the Pinot Grigio flowed.

But hats off to Sky for the most memorable coverage of the election for all the wrong reasons.

I’d have paid money for a ringside seat at ahem, heavyweight Adam Boulton slugging it out with Alastair Campbell. (Look it up on You Tube if you missed it).

Boulton nearly invited Campbell outside but then remembered they were. Outside the Mother of Parliaments. Made me feel proud to be British.

Boulton was transported to finger-jabbing, spitting fury as Alastair did his ‘I’m just a reasonable, stand-up kind of guy who never tells fibs’ routine.

‘Don’t you tell me what I think,’ shouted Boulton, stifling a belch, as Campbell told him what he thought.  Boulton looked close to creating an ash cloud that would have closed Westminster airspace when Campbell told him to calm down while smirking.

Later on in round two, poor Boulton was needled by the deceptively charming Ben Bradshaw, the Hugh Grant-lookalike and former Secretary for Culture, Media and Sport, who has a nicer tan than me at the moment.

Has Our Dark Lord been giving Ben tips and sharing yacht space?

Unconfirmed reports have it that Boulton was later wheeled off to a padded room where he could start an argument with the voices in his head. I’d love to see him interview Russell Crowe. Funny how you never see those two in the same room together.

So, Nick and Dave will be like good boys at a birthday party and play pass the parcel without any grabbing. How long will it be before Dave doesn’t agree with Nick and Nick cries over the meagre contents of his party bag?

Meanwhile Little George is still finding unopened final demands stuffed down the back of the sofa at Number 11.

I’ve noticed that in the words of that cheesy song, that it’s goodbye Sam, hello Samantha. The delightful Mrs Cameron has reverted to her proper name now the election is over and she doesn’t have to pretend she’s not posher than the Queen any more. Good for her. The poor woman’s facing the next five years having to pretend she actually likes wearing £19.99 shoes from New Look; she ought to be allowed some dignity.

Speaking of bargain basement shopping, as you can imagine, Primark is not my normal haunt, but I was told of an incident that shows the level of desperation to which our economic climate has driven people.

A young lady explained to me, how she had seen a man ejected by security staff for shoplifting….. I mean, why shoplift from Primark? They’re not far short of paying you to take the stock away. I know David (yes, he of the shorts) calls it as Primarni, so I can only assume that this poor fellow didn’t understand the irony.

I’ve just returned from a pleasant lunch in the West End, where I enjoyed a salad with tofu and a glass of freshly pressed wheatgrass, or also known as: ‘My usual, Landlord’. I’m always grateful for whatever is supplied, especially when Vash is the Landlord and the usual has a certain vintage.

On the bus back, yes, I know that you all expect me to travel everywhere by stretch Hummer, I was confronted by a man with a dog, who had obviously enjoyed an inferior class of wheatgrass.

He  was bothering an American lady who I doubt will ever travel on public transport in London again. The upshot being I assisted in ejecting him from the bus, with his long suffering chihuahua, Jackie, who the whole bus felt really sorry for and wanted to adopt. But she loyally followed her master. Dogs really are stupid. Bet he’s the sort to shoplift from Primarni.

Film reviews

This month Hardcore Mother In Law saw:

Lebanon: Das Boot in an Israeli tank

Hot Tub Time Machine: Cruder than the Gulf of Mexico but a lot of fun.

Cop Out: The worst film Bruce Willis has ever made and that includes The Last Boy Scout.

 

Copyright © 2010 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.