October 2012 – Volpe Newsletter

Cast your mind back 12 months, or at least take a look at last year’s October Newsletter, and I draw your attention to the closing line.

Finally someone got there, but we will return to this rich vein.

Now one or two of you out there, and there are one or two of you out there, have said last month’s Newsletter was a little flat; that I could have tried harder, more studio in Kensal Rise, than penthouse in Mayfair, just going through the motions.

Well excuse me, I was trying, not that you thought so. So I am hoping this is my Skyfall, when on reflection Quantum of Solace wasn’t all that bad. Bond is the only person I know with more gadgets than Jake, he is our own personal “Q”.

Jake’s hoping that he may discover a way of predictive, predictive text, spotting the errors before he thinks of them, or reading my mind, so not much hope of that then as I thought of it first. I know your game sonny Jim, and it’s not going to save the Wolves.

So I will continue to blindly stab at the keys on my now ancient ipad. However to avert total blindness I have resorted to wearing spectacles, because that is what they are. Most people have been quite complimentary about them, but little did you know they have an x-ray vision mode. I always wanted a pair of them after I saw them in the back of a comic as a child, however trust me you don’t always want them switched on. Ewwwwweee.

Saturday afternoons are amongst my favourite moments in the shop. Normally I have Darren and Michael around for company. Darren knows as much about clothing as anyone I know, and Michael, well Michael is Michael. His favourite scent as you now know is Auld Wood (sic.), Darren described the smell as the essence of Viagra and crushed Werthers Originals, so once again we are back with Jimmy Savile.

Between Darren and Michael I think they have tried most of Mr Ford’s fragrances, and they agree that Auld Wood is the best. As I do not use a fragrance and prefer to air dry after a shower, I couldn’t possibly comment. Try and banish that thought from your memory, but the multi-coloured toe nails and tattoos always provoke a comment or two in the gym. As you can see my coterie of waxers and polishers are once again dutifully employed.

Michael is going to have to move out of his house for nine months, after being flooded by a neighbour. The flooding was so severe that they are going to have to rip out the concrete floors, because the water has penetrated the under floor heating system, turning the whole house into a giant toaster. I’m going round with the brioche and foie gras before he moves.

Neil has been and gone. He came to arrange his visa for India and get drunk with me. Once again he is off to sit atop a mountain and gaze upon the setting sun, perhaps after trying a natural herbal remedy it might resemble the setting sun. Take some more remedy Neil, the effect is wearing off.

Italy is now jailing anybody who has predicted anything. After jailing the seismologist who didn’t predict the strength of the earthquake in Aquilla, they are lining up cases against the weather forecasters, and if you are interested in your horoscope they may well burn you at the stake, as a witch. As we know the results of Italian football matches are predicted weeks in advance, giving you plenty of time to get a bet on. Where the offside rule is wilfully misunderstood, and the refs cover their mouths so you can’t see what they are saying once they have finally made a decision and informed the powers that be, of the details of their Swiss bank account. In fact I predict the word “predict” may have to be removed from the language altogether, along with “taxes”. Oh, sorry they have done that already.

This weekend I saw the first snow of the winter. I was at Montesenario, a convent on a hilltop just outside Florence. In the summer it can be a little crowded because of the beautiful views over all of Tuscany. On days like Sunday it is deserted and there is a strange, eerie silence when the clouds are low and the rain has turned to snow. However there is a cafe to stop, take respite from the weather and enjoy a glass of wine. Once again I have returned to my creative writing course and I have become Sean Connery to Jake’s, Christian Slater. In order to control nature, one must first learn to obey it. As yet I am no Umberto Eco, as some of you have pointed out.

Recently when I have returned from Florence, I have been smuggling in various Neapolitan tarts, supplied by Rita, and one or two of you who live locally have been very keen to sample them, along with an espresso with a little something in it, perhaps a Grappa or Sambuca. Close to Florence there is a town called Montecatini-Terme, and it has a certain reputation, where you can also relax and sample tarts of all descriptions. However there is a local expression, “finito solde, finito amore”, I can assure you the love of our tarts lasts a little longer.

Dimme tutto cara.

If you are reading this the day after I sent it, then today is my birthday. It is a national holiday in many countries, how thoughtful of them. I am beyond celebrating them. They are just a reminder of how well I misspent my youth. How I would love to go back and take that callow youth to one side and explain to him that it will all be OK in the end, and that you should never really worry about what other people think, be yourself, enjoy your life to the full. So to those of you who thought last month’s Newsletter could have been better, my answer is ” Yes I know, and I thank you for your input, and I accept the criticism gracefully, you were perhaps right. However it’s my Newsletter and like my life, it’s for me to mess up. So I’m off to do more legal drugs, have more tattoos and get very, very drunk. So who else is coming?” Vash (Who also had a birthday this week), open a bottle, your work starts now.

Seneca said, “If you wish to be loved, love”.

Well I think that had a bit everything, humour, self-pity, philosophy and pathos.

Oh, and I forgot a little Jimmy Savile, thank goodness, he never fixed it for me.

Copyright © 2012 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

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September 2012 – Volpe Newsletter

What a busy month you have all had. It looks like things are back to normal.

My friend Mark had a birthday. The party, or should I say ensuing bender lasted for several days, and only ended when he remembered he should be working. However sleep deprivation has sharpened his reflexes, and on his way to work, he only fell out of the taxi rather than falling in. He is still not welcomed by British Airways.

Talking of birthdays, Sam had one and Jake is having his. If you are reading this on Sunday the 30th, then big up for Jake as he is 30 today, try not to choke on the Frosties. As an early adopter he has his hands on the new iPhone 5. However he is concerned about the size of his sim. Jake just how old are you? Oh yes, I forgot 30.

I shan’t mention the football to him, it’s not going well, but the way they are going, he’ll be playing for them next season, and then I really won’t get any work out of him on a Saturday afternoon.

This week I spent a day in Ibiza.  To cut a long story short…. No let’s not, I have a newsletter to fill, and I had an insistent customer who is desperate to have his shoes tattooed (his name is Charlie, how Ibiza is that?). As I had something I needed to do with Neil, and also to fit a customer for a couple of suits, I took the opportunity. The suits will be particularly sparkly, just the things for spinning the discs at Pacha or Amnesia. Now where was I, I’d forgotten.

Neil’s Leg

And then there was of course Neil’s special cargo, his skulls. I found these while I was poking around a flea market in Florence. His studio is full of strange objects stripped back to bare bones: monkeys, cats and lots and lots of skulls. I always expect to see him sitting in a corner running a gnarled nail over an old skull grinning manically into the middle distance. But then that’s his normal demeanour. Oh stop it Neil you’re freaking me out! His favourite piece of this delivery was an eagle skull which I am sure he will put to good use scaring off the pigeons.

I left London on Monday night with Easyjet and arrived at 1am. Neil and I went out for a drink and we didn’t arrive home until 6am. I can still do Ibeefa with the best of them. The night was been spent in the company of a man called Eugene and a couple of others, who were there for 5 days and had no intention of sleeping. However as I was breakfasting with Neil at 11am, Eugene appeared looking rather lost, not sure where the other two had got to, saying he wasn’t feeling so good, and about as pale as Michael’s cadaverous feet. It was taking its toll.

When I returned to Neil’s studio I met a very good customer of mine, who was with Neil for a marathon tattoo session, 6 tattoos in 7 hours. Oh, how I felt his pain.

I returned to the UK at 5am the following morning, after another Easyjet delay. No beach, no clubs and who says my life is fun…..

As I have mentioned my friend Michael, I should remind you of his trip to Naples and his adventures with male fragrance (see previous editions of these epic meanderings). His current “fave” is by Tom Ford, and called “Auld Wood”. Is someone having a laugh? Obviously not Michael, who hates the thought that he might be considered to be or to have old wood, but I know his bark is worse than his bite.

Well the joke wasn’t that bad!

The wedding of the year took place last week, and I was invited. A very beautiful, simple and elegant affair, but then the men were all dressed by me. Yes, you got it, forget the bride, it’s all about me, me, me. But she did look stunning.

Then on Sunday, the groom took his new wife on one of the most clement days this year, to White Hart Lane, to see the mighty Spurs defeat QPR. Yes, I know, I was slightly puzzled as to why? However he is a fanatic, and the wife, she will have to get used to it. Perhaps if she doesn’t enjoy it, she could buy the club, because she can, appoint AVB, and just wait for it all to implode. What do you mean that’s already happened? Now I’m not a Spur’s supporter and in fact I don’t support anyone (apart from Jake after yet another defeat), but I rather enjoyed the whole experience. My highlight was to have my photo taken with a couple of former Spurs players, Martin Peters and Pat Jennings. Now if only I was old enough to remember them. I was wondering if they had doubles that do the same thing at Arsenal and West Ham.

Martin Peters and Pat Jennings

If so could I get one to replace me, whilst I sail around the world.

Talking of which, Jason is headed for San Francisco, for yet another holiday. Does he ever work? I hear you all ask. Sorry Jason, have you been away?

Recently I have struck up a friendship with a chap. He is doing what can only be described as a “deal”. I can’t say what it is, but it’s legit’, although he and the other characters involved are doing their best to make it appear, otherwise. Clandestine meetings at Claridges or the Hotel Metropole in Monaco, lots of very large gentleman in tight suits, who don’t look like they are just there for show. Who might know how to dangle you out of a hotel window to see the colour of your money as it floats gently in the breeze towards the hotel pool. It’s beginning to resemble a Guy Ritchie movie, and my friend, who is also a well-built chap, is now known as “Danish”. It’s all in the name after all we had the character “Turkish” in Snatch.

Following last month’s newsletter, my friend phoned me from Tanzania to explain his spear was really quite impressive, and as I started to discuss this with him, he cut the conversation short, explaining this call was costing him 7 pounds a minute…. I thought he was a man of substance. His words are as shallow as his pockets…

That’ll have him back on the phone for impugning his credentials.

 

Copyright © 2012 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.