New Boots and Panties

In fact neither of those, I just wanted to use that title.

So a few little bits of prose, before the photos.

It is National Poetry Day.

I will also regularly post photographs of what I am wearing, or not, to bore you. In today’s photo I am wearing a suit, however what I am not wearing, is socks!

You get the gist, this isn’t Countdown.

Could be anyone!

Could be anyone!

So I was a guinea pig. No not in a previous life, however that would make a change from being an Egyptian Princess. It seems that everyone who has seen a ‘Shamen’ or tried Regressive Therapy will have been royalty of one type or another. I would settle for having been human.

Anyway, back to the guinea pig thing. I received an email from Jeremy of Corbin and King fame, offering dinner at The Colony Grill, how could I refuse? I’d get to sample dinner before the restaurant was actually open. Maybe they’d let me loose in the kitchen and I could wow them with my culinary skills.

So I emailed Jayne and begged. I explained that if I could come for dinner as a guinea pig, the gaping void left in my life by being left out of the trials for Viagra would be filled, once again I could hold my head up in public again.

Then I panicked and thought, what if I’d would have been given the placebo? Oh, the shamen of it.

No such problems at The Colony Grill. The Beaumont Hotel is beautiful, the bar; dare I say, sexy? The restaurant and food were everything you would expect from Chris and Jeremy. On hand to enhance the experience were Robert, Jason, Daniele and the fantastic Shirley.

I can highly recommend the experience.

I was chatting to a friend yesterday whose mother is in a Santuary for the Ederly (Old People’s home) in Rome. She is a little older than my mum, but a similar breed. She’s not happy being there, and her main gripes are as my mother’s would be; the quality of the red wine isn’t up to scratch and the Chippendales haven’t been booked to appear nightly.

I’m trying to think of something along the lines of “youth is wasted the young”, and all I could come with was “the mind is willing, but the flesh is weak”. So back to those trials again!

Anyway I have digressed; digressed, not regressed I am still here.

Some new stock, available in limited quantities, as always.

Email me if you have any questons.

BUT PLEASE, I can’t answer questions like:

Why Chelsea sold Daniel Sturridge to Liverpool and why Man. United sold Danny Welbeck to Arsenal or Wolves are doing so well? Sorry Jake, I’m sworn to secrecy and will take this knowledge to the grave.

Well OK, the real answer is; I don’t know!

Blue Gilet

Blue Gilet

Brown Gilet

Brown Gilet

Camouflage Gilet

Camouflage Gilet

Grey Gilet

Grey Gilet

Light Grey Gilet

Light Grey Gilet

Nylon ID Jacket

Nylon ID Jacket

 

 

Copyright © 2014 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

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.

March 2013 – Volpe Newsletter

March Newsletter 2013

Let’s get the weather out of the way first. It has been very, very cold and very, very grey and I know we are all fed up with it. Those of you who have managed to get away will mean once again I am deluged with “Out of Office” replies.

However have you thought that the minute the sun bursts forth, the too tight t-shirt, Birkenstocks, shorts and hairy leg brigade will be out in force? Not in such a hurry for the first shafts of sunlight now methinks.

OK, so I’m getting this one out a little early, but I’m off to Ibiza, and given the state I might be in, it might make even less sense than normal. Is that an incredible Burt Wonderstone mushroom I see before me? Quick call the police. On second thoughts no, the first two albums were OK, but then Stu started chucking drumsticks. Good shot! I will never play their music in the shop again. Well apart from Peanuts, but I have my reasons.

For those of you who read and remember my newsletters, my ‘D’ list celebrity friend is now a street artist on the island. There is a little patch of concrete by the marina where he plies his trade. He will be painted aubergine it’s this summer’s hot colour! He just lies there prone like a strange shaped vegetable, either that or he fell asleep and people started dropping coins onto his pile of clothes. He was trying to fashion one of those ‘fakir’ poses whereby he looked suspended in mid-air, but then the stick broke! Gone are the days of Panto, glitter and glamour.

Remember, I have no ‘A’ or ‘B’ list celebrity friends or customers, but we did have someone wear one our suits in “Skyfall”. It was only confirmed recently so I didn’t want to tempt fate.

To some it may seem I am a little too loose tongued in my newsletters, but I choose my topics carefully. I have a huge ego, so it’s all about me as you know too well, and now I have started a book about my colourful life. I shall not be inviting Wazzer Rooney to ghost write it.

Ibiza you ask. Well, I gave in, I was going to leave this trip until the end of May, but given the weather here, I couldn’t delay it any longer. It is for work! We are tattooing leather for a couple of clients, so I’m going to drop some off and pick some up, and do a fitting for a suit. Neil is carving skulls, plus clouds, some lotus flowers, perhaps even a butterfly into the shoes of the good and the great.

CWF 1

Charlie will be so pleased to get his shoes back, that’s such an Ibiza name isn’t it? Photos will be available on the blog, and on Facebook, for those of you who are allowed accounts.

I may add to my collection, but the customer always comes first. In my case it will not be shoes, it will be tattoos of the flesh. Neil thinks my latest design is a little effeminate, not the word he used, but I think this way is a little more polite. I’ll run it past Eugene he’s driven down from Copenhagen to spend a few days. There is a bar in the marina where a drink is named after him, and after my last visit when we were all together in September, I have absolutely no idea what it was called, or maybe I just can’t remember! If I call you at 5am to wake you, just ignore me.

One thing I can guarantee is that we won’t be sleeping a lot, but will I don the mankini? I think it will be Pacha, Amnesia, Pacha, Amnesia, Pacha, Amnesia. Sorry where was I? Then I won’t be able to pass up a foam party, and head off delirious to DC10 where I shall jump up and down trying to grab the undercarriage of incoming planes. You know I’m high on life.

Stop press…. Mateo can’t make it he will be spending Easter with the lovely Cristina, so the mankini will be mine! But, Martin from Argentina will be there, now the wheels will certainly come off. I have photos of him snorkelling in the snow in Verbier, wearing nothing more than a smile. At least that’s what it seemed like, but it was hard to tell it was so cold and he was face down. As a very good friend of mine would say “Bere”, it’s a great shame that on this occasion she won’t be joining us, hopefully next time.

I’ll be back Tuesday night, with Ryanair!!!!!!  I know, never say never. It was the only way I could get back to meet some friends who are coming from Italy for a month to learn English, but I will not be teaching them, I shall leave that to a professional.

With regard to last month, some of you were a little confused about the 24 not 22 comment, and one or two of you gave some quite surprising suggestions. Let me lay rumours to rest. The 24 bus takes me from home to Vash and back again, and the 22 goes past The Wolseley, I use the 24 not the 22. Thank you for the flattering remarks.

I supply the newsletter in printed form, in a plain brown envelope to one particular lady (she views me as her toy boy, she is after all hmmmm years old), because she says, and I quote “she finds them a little racy”. Once read they are shredded so hubby doesn’t see them. Well hush my mouth I didn’t think I was being that particular shade of grey. Let’s just hope she can cope with the book I’ve just given her as a present.

And finally and this is not a joke. We are now offering a new service we are hand washing and finishing your knitwear, so you can store all your cashmere and merino wool for the summer months, when they finally arrive. There will be a small charge, but I know that many of you are a little worried by the prospect of looking after your cashmere, so I thought this might help you.

To err is human to forgive is? Well sometimes forgiveness is deserved, sometimes earned, but should be given with an open heart. Gandhi said that the weak can never forgive; forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

Photographs of the trip will follow upon my return!

Copyright © 2013 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

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.

December 2012 – Volpe Newsletter

OK. So I didn’t get this out before Christmas.

I could give you all sorts of excuses.

1: Duran’s pet Chihuahua, “Elvis” ate my first draught.

2: I was abducted by aliens.

3: Every single computer where the original version of this was stored crashed, deleting all my work.

But, the truth is that I have only just surfaced.

Why, you might ask? Well I hid under the bed for a few days. You can’t be too careful what with the end of the world and all that. I managed to finish the ark I was building out of matchsticks, but then I couldn’t get it out of the bottle I’d built it in.

On the outside of the bottle, it did say “drink me”, and some of you who know me, know I can’t resist a challenge. Suddenly I was the size of a sugar mouse and I didn’t like the look of the Cheshire Cat.

So there it is. I stayed there until the effects of the hallucinogens had worn off. I missed Christmas and all the trimmings. I can only be glad I didn’t think I was a turkey or the Parson’s nose. Oh, the ignominy.

But now I’m starting to worry about the fiscal cliff. We have only 24 hours to save the world. How many times must we cry wolf, before we are all eaten? When close to the edge, I always feel like jumping.

Please hasten in the New Year when all will be serene, and I will feel less like a lemming. Then I started to think what lovely coats they’d all make, and I began to relax, and all was right with the world again.

Michael has headed for a beach with “Old Wood” in hand. On this beach they have a strict dress code. I’d tell you where it was, but I know you’d all be on the first plane there. He has threatened to thwart the dress code; Speedos are banned, but he has been honing his entire physique for a moment like this, and woe be tide anyone who stands in his way. Whoa Michael, don’t scare the horses! It reminds of the joke about making a horse laugh. You can look it up if you want? I’m not telling you here!

Those of you I have seen this year, or spoken too, or emailed, thank you. Also those of you, who have commented positively on ramblings, thank you. Those of you who were less than complimentary, also, thank you. I was glad I could get under your skin.

Thanks to Jason, Jayne and all the crowd at The Wolseley, to Vash, Michael, Darren, Suhul, Sunil, Mark and anyone I might have forgotten (OK Jake), I could mention so many more, but I am starting to well up like an Oscar acceptance speech, and we do only have 24 hours to save the world.

I know President Obama and ‘Dear Silvio’ will be reading this and they both have more important tasks in hand. The former the fiscal cliff, and the latter, well let’s not go there, but he’ll be back.

Normally I would make a list of all the resolutions you have imparted to me, but this year I think I will wait until the end of January when so many will be covered in glorious failure, and I can selfishly recount each one writ large in the newsletter.

Whatever your resolutions will be I wish you luck with them. I only have my best interests at heart. Remember I have a newsletter to fill. So whatever wagon you fall off of, makes sure it is large and fast moving, in this way you are guaranteed a mention.

For those of you want to save the world. Perhaps follow a little advice offered to Bono at a concert. Whilst on stage he proclaimed that every time he clapped his hands a child in Africa died. A helpful fellow in the audience suggested in slightly more vulgar terms, that he should stop clapping. Thank you for that one Darren.

So wherever you are spending the New Year, I hope you will have a wonderful time, and I hope that next year allows me to continue to follow this ideal.

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.”

 

Copyright © 2012 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

July 2012 Out of Office Update – Volpe Newsletter

Well Jake’s watching the Olympics, if it’s not the archery, it’s the canoeing, and if not the tennis, the weightlifting. And as tumbleweed is blowing down London’s empty streets, I thought I’d share a couple of bits of news with you, rather than publish it on Twitter.

Yesterday I was wandering around Piccadilly Circus, when I was approached by a young lady. Yes, you lot, not the other way around! It was Jayne from The Wolseley, she’d been checking out the competition with Emanuelle. Well, let me tell you, when it comes to me there is no competition! I was wearing something from my Emperor’s New Clothes collection. Well it was quite humid outside.

Don’t worry I’ll wait for you to get the joke. Madonna found it very alluring.

Anyway I digress; back to Jayne. She suggested a tour of Zedel, the latest opening in the Rexra Group of restaurants. As I’d not been I before I accepted, so we descended into the depths below Piccadilly Circus, to be greeted by Danielle, how we have missed he cherubic face at breakfast. Sorry Jason, but….

It looks fantastic, and as soon as I stop dashing around Europe, I’ll be in like Flint.

And someone has a stalker.

This is what happens when you get very drunk, meet someone; give them your phone number and arrange to meet them at the top of the London Eye 9 and a half weeks later.

First of all the texts start quite playfully, reminiscing over the evening when you met, the horrible drunken state you were both in, the particularly interesting outfit you were wearing. About how romantic it was to arrange to meet at some predetermined point in the future, when clearly you haven’t got a clue as to who this person is.

How the messages get more frantic when you fail to reply, when you can’t remember them or their name. Finally when they buy the tickets for the date on the Eye, and you start to worry that they might be mad.

At least you finally came clean and admitted you couldn’t remember the slightest thing about that night; but do they know where you work?

I await an update.

And as for Dave of the last newsletter, no David it isn’t you, and tell your dad I’m sorry about the Rangers quip, but….

 

Copyright © 2012 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

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.

March 2012 – Volpe Newsletter

This is not being written on my new ipad3, as it is currently taking a cold shower. Apparently it is running very hot, or so I’m told. So back to the original.

OK, after last month’s panic, I should clear up a few things for those of you that were worried. Jason is not leaving The Wolseley, he will always be an omnipresent being, and Jake isn’t leaving either. Although Jake applied, he was not accepted for the job as Mick McCarthy’s replacement, nor the vacant England position. Cue more ranting on Twitter. What did I tell him about the cover for his iphone? It is official, Wolves are going down……

This month’s big news? Shirley is moving house. Well, yes she is, but better than that, she is with child and looks radiant. This not how she feels, or so she tells me. Now, I am not laying the blame at Jason’s door, but this is the third young lady who has been affected in this way, by his mere presence. Hens and eggs! Perhaps Jason could be dropped into areas of low population density and left to roam the streets like a “Lynx” advert.

He sat Jake and me opposite my celebrity nemesis this week for brekkie. Best tables in the house. A veritable boxers staring competition, would I stoop so low, would I heck? You know me better than that, moi, pass up a fight? It was like Zoolander, I was Ben Stiller to his Mugato. Yes, I know the other character is Owen Wilson, but Mugato bears a closer resemblance. I think my “Blue Steel” needs a little work, but I was victorious. At least I can turn right, unlike someone I know. Whilst driving a car they are unable to turn right across oncoming traffic. This has led to some horrific detours, taking them miles out of their way, even into neighbouring countries, just to pop down to the shops.

Girls, I expect to see Duran today. He will bring me my new rollerblades. Yes, I know I’m too old, but the need for speed and all that. Oh, vanity thy name is Adrian. He will however have his shirt on given that summer has now been and gone, so form an orderly queue.

The new wheels coincide with a new App for my iphone “Endomondo”, which I use for running, it is excellent, and there is a free version. So I’ll be out tomorrow laying down some mileage, or just lying in the road just moaning. Siri could call me an ambulance, it will make a change from calling me darling!

Michael is back from Miami, where he had a fantastic time. I can’t go into all the gory details, but whatever he did has severely affected his memory. As far as I can ascertain, he can remember leaving his friend’s home every evening, but the return journey appears to be missing, a man after my own heart. One staff member was leaping for joy upon Michael’s return, running round the shop, shouting Michael’s back, Michael’s back. Well he’d promised to bring back “Jelly Beans”. He did not disappoint, bags full of them, we’re all feeling slightly sick now.

He is swapping jobs, and was hoping for a few months gardening leave. All kinds of extravagances were arranged. The release of a thousand doves, a week of intense massage on a beach in paradise, learning to make “Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut”, because, and I quote “I love cheap chocolate”. Well with his taste in other things, obviously he has to cut back somewhere. Unfortunately this story does not have a “happy ending”! He is being made to work his notice, not a happy bunny.

His mood improved after he was presented with a little gift I found him in Rome. As he said, “They are so me”! Fur-lined driving shoes, I was so hoping that he wouldn’t like them so I could have them for myself, no such luck.

Talking of Rome, I was back there last week. I realise that you all feel that I am solely a creative being and my hands have never seen a hard days work. I put it down to mild green “Fairy Liquid”. I stayed somewhere new, for the first and last time. The photos promised so much, and like an online dating site delivered so little. Considering traffic is barred from so many streets in central Rome, it is the noisiest place I have ever stayed in. It required 4 separate keys to enter the room from the street, the last of which to the room, was a wardrobe key. A further key was required to get into the breakfast area, which appeared to be run automatically, as I never saw another sole. Where on my attire I was going to find room for such a large bunch of keys, proved to be a massive challenge.

The bathroom was so dark, yes, even with the lights on shaving was a bit of a cut and thrust affair, and was the location of the only mirror. At no point could I view myself full length. Oh stop sniggering!

Don’t forget, if you would like to relive my past glories, or even find where you may (or may not) have been mentioned in a newsletter, visit www.volpeblog.wordpress.com for a trip down Memory Lane. Or Amnesia Avenue.

 

Copyright © 2012 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

February 2012 – Volpe Newsletter

Some of you appear a little bemused by the newsletters. In conversations recently, one or two of you have expressed concern over my well-being, and the fact that you don’t have a clue what the heck I am going on about. Has it crossed your mind, that I may not have a clue either?

But let me explain. In the universe where I live, the sky is always blue, the sea is always warm, the grass is never greener, snow doesn’t go slushy, Boris Johnson is London Mayor, Nick Sarkozy is 6’2” and baby sweet corn is banned. Why? Well for some people it is clowns, for me it is baby sweet corn, cracks in the pavement, and hairs on the palms of my hand. The list doesn’t stop there, but I can see that one or two of you at the back are starting to drop off.

Why do I think like this? Well, on a Friday evening when the temperature was -5C and the wind chill made it feel like -15C, I met Duran (underwear model). He was wearing shorts and rollerblades! OK he had a t-shirt on, for a change. No wonder I am, what I am.

As for poor M. Sarkozy, he has been getting some stick for spending 10K a day on food. Somehow I don’t think he’ll be eating baby sweet corn. Anyway back to the 10K per day. When I sit down to supper with Nick and Carla, they generally stump a week’s worth of cash on the wine alone. She and I may play footsie under the table, whilst she feeds me oysters. Sorry, did I just think that? Or did I really put pen to paper? It couldn’t be Nick’s feet, but I don’t think his legs are long enough, and the invite always say “no heels”, so what am I to wear? I’d taken up pole dancing to keep fit and I thought the stripper heels would be just perfect.

Sam is still living the life. This visit was sans famille, just between Mumbai, Dubai and goodbye. Apparently he’s off to Mars next year, lucky fellow, there and back in a weekend on Airmiles by all accounts. Let’s just hope he takes the family, if they will let the kids out of school.

Neil is in Norway staring at the Aurora Borealis. If I didn’t know better I’d think he was lying on his back in his flat in Ibiza surrounded by mushroom stalks. But photos of him exist outside Noma in Copenhagen, and he did go inside and eat with Eugene.

Greg, the cougar magnate, has been disciplined for sleeping overnight in the office after a particularly heavy session. I should hope so too. If the gutter is good enough for me, then it should be for him. No good falling asleep with your head on the keyboard. You’ll probably find when you wake up you’ve cost your employers several billion dollars. Anyway, he wanted me to get a table at The Wolseley for Valentines, then he didn’t, then he did, then he didn’t. Oh come on, I’ve got a newsletter to write.

On the quiet, The Wolseley has become my dead letter drop. I have a great friend in Marie, who I often see at breakfast. She doesn’t have an email or do the internet, so I supply her regularly with envelopes stuffed with the newsletter, usually via Jason or Shirley. They can then discreetly pass on the mighty tome. I am awaiting her feedback, but as she clearly thinks I’m mad already, I don’t think anything I have written will change her mind.

Jason may be moving on to greater things. He has intimated that I may have to learn an entirely new set of social skills to communicate with his replacement. Suddenly I am racked with self-doubt I think I may be too old to change. Surgery can only alter so much it may take years of therapy to cope with this.

But, I suppose this is what you’ve really been waiting for. The back pages, and Don Fabio and the saga of the invisible man ‘aka’ ‘Arry. Now I don’t care what you might think, but I feel sorry for Don Fabio.  At least he has been less colourful than some of his predecessors. Who can forget Mr Burns with Nancy, Ulrika et al, and Dutch my akshent ish schlipping. Perhaps Mourinho will throw his hat in the ring, buying a house in London. He’s never been known to play to the media, ever.

Don Fabio had a thankless task trying to marshal 11 hopeless narcissists into a team, with their ridiculous rivalries, quiffy hair and diamond jewellery. Suddenly I reminded of, me, me and me. I guess trying to manage eleven of me would prove too much for anyone. Fortunately no more than three of my personalities manifest themselves at any one time.

Stop Press: Big Mick has gone. I had told Jake to take the case off and leave it off, but no. Between games he’d put it back. It’s like England having a part time manager. In the end, I think it jinxed Mick. He’ll never forgive me for that one! But he has been on Twitter berating journalists about getting God the sack. However he is starting to accept the interim replacement. Thank goodness he keeps muttering, not Steve Bruce.

 

Copyright © 2012 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

December 2011 – Volpe Newsletter

Well dear all. Let me get the pleasantries out of the way and wish you a merry Christmas and very best wishes for the New Year, to some of you Seasons Greetings, and the rest of you Bah Humbug.

This year the newsletter will double as a Christmas Card. So those amongst you who have scant regard for the environment can print this out. The paper folding instructions are on YouTube, if you search for origami Christmas tree. It’s got to be better than George Osborne made out of balloons, but almost anything has to be better than that. I can never remember, is it life imitating art or the other way around?

Being a Christmas Edition, it should be a bumper version, including a sugar mouse and chocolate money, or alternatively something cheaper like the Drachma: No matter what any of you think, the Euro is here to stay.

It has been rumoured that there will be an “Opus” edition of the newsletters, after my dear friend Karl was mentioned in the Sunday Times Magazine last week. The newsletters will be accompanied by hundreds of never before published photos of me in Polaroid form. Often I was unaware or in no fit state to know the photos were being taken, and because of their candid and graphic nature, some may have been used against me. I am even shocked at some of the images myself, but then my life is about to become an open book. Perhaps a “super injunction” beckons.

Jason from The Wolseley was unwell, struck down by “man flu”. Is there nothing you will not do to get a mention? Shirley and Jayne were left to cope in your absence, and how well they did. They even knew to give me a better table than, he who shall not be named. Some of you have asked who this is; sadly my lips are sealed; well in this format anyway, but face to face it is entirely different. In the past, amongst many others, I have sat next to Clive Owen. Girls, exercise a little control please. He spent the entire time exuding an air of “Please don’t recognise me”. It may be a simple solution, but The Wolseley is not the best place to go if you want to be incognito. I like it for precisely that reason, nobody knows who I am. Well until the “Opus” rockets me to super stardom. My late dear friend Richard would have agreed, but then he would have never ventured into an establishment where he was unknown.

I have received best wishes from far and wide, and I thank you all. The gifts have been a little excessive. Paul, Ines and Sophia ensured that I will be spending most of Christmas in the gym, after the enormous basket of pastries. Share, I think not, they’re mine, all mine. Hands off, Jake. Others of you have ensured that I will be spending the New Year in The Priory, with more alcohol than I usually see on a Friday night.

I have seen a fair amount of Neil from Ibiza, who has been up here quite a bit. Visits to family and all that. I’m currently making him a jacket, where the quilting is made from the feathers of the pigeons he has dispatched, and also from the “fallen” that have flown into dear Michael’s windows, dazzled by their own reflection, or in an attempt to mate with the glass. I’m sure Michael uses some sort of bait to attract them. He is still waiting for a door handle, which doesn’t sound like much, but the delightful way Michael tells it, it could be the entrance to Narnia. I am a little concerned that come summer Neil may launch himself like Icarus from the cliffs overlooking Es Vedra, hoping to fly into one of those perfect Ibiza sunsets. At least he’s forgotten about circumnavigating the world in a coracle.

I’m starting to feel a little queasy after my 6th muffin from the basket, perhaps it was the 3rd cookie or the mince pies that are taking their toll. I’m going to have to stop for a minute and monitor my sugar levels.

This week I ventured across St James Park and into Mayfair. My friend Trevor Pickett always complains that I never go and see him. Simple explanation Trevor, you are never in the shop. The last time I saw him, he was looking very glamorous, swathed in pashmina. No, not just pashmina, but he was hanging round the Palace, busy being Father Christmas, and no the pashmina was not red, but he was sporting some designer stubble. Now do you need to be a designer to wear stubble? Will he get one of those special trimmers for Christmas? I’m fairly certain Jamie uses one, but I wish he wouldn’t wear his trousers quite so tight on telly. Matthew, please don’t comment on that one! But then our recent conversations have been about fitting new male and female parts. Studs, if you must know, to his jacket! There is nothing like bawdy pantomime humour to usher in the festive period, or is there?

Talking of that, I should comment on one or two of the stars of the newsletters this year.

David, there is no mountain high enough for one man and his bike.

Peter, who ran the Jungfrau Marathon, please, there is no joke there. But even I could have told him it would be all uphill. He probably passed Neil studying the lichen on the way up.

Emanuele, will be cooking his fingers to the bone, but he likes to do nothing better.

Dear Silvio will be…? Perhaps I shouldn’t answer that.

Mark, I imagine, may drink the minibar at home dry, stagger into the street to hail a taxi driver and head to Heathrow. He may board a flight to somewhere hot, where he can lie on beach safe in the knowledge that British Airways will not be getting their hands on his money. Ever! He has since intimated that it is a fantasy to turn up at the airport and buy a ticket to the first place that took his fancy. Better that than being escorted to it, to an unknown destination in chains, but then perhaps that is the return journey from the ensuing bender!

Celeb D as he is now known has landed a role in panto; apologies, as a roll. From the photos the costume appears more like a bagel or a doughnut, and the tights he is wearing do nothing for his legs, and the make-up the icing on the cake!

Sunil has stopped texting before 5am, which is a relief, but he now may have now dispensed with sleep altogether.

Duran, best known for taking his shirt off, has disappointed the girls by dyeing his hair dark brown for a movie role. They still prefer him as a blond.

Last and by no means least is Richard. I’m sure he is looking down upon me as I write this, tut- tutting away at my grammar. He is greatly missed, but he will know that if he ever wants to make an appearance somewhere he remains known. If you believe in re-incarnation (I do not) Richard will only come back as himself: His chair will be waiting.

Finally, there are a number of you I’d like to take the opportunity to say a personal thank you to. I do consider that everybody who crosses the threshold of the shop a friend. However some of you may feel this is a little unwise, and yes, on the odd occasion I have had to revise my opinion. But this year, there are some of you who have proved to be great friends. I won’t embarrass you by naming you, but I hope you realise you have been. Thank you again and may I wish everybody the very best for the year to come.

 

If any of you are feeling sentimental (note the senti at the beginning of that word), feel free to wander over to www.volpeblog.wordpress.com to relive any newsletters you may have deleted, missed, or simply tried to erase from your memories.  Feel free to leave comments on any of the postings, but please try to keep it clean: I have a reputation to keep and I don’t need the competition!

 

Copyright © 2011 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.