Following my admission that I am exercising prodigiously whilst in lockdown, I am grateful for all the support I have received.
With that in mind, I have decided to donate £1 for every kilometre I run, cycle or walk in April as exercise, to Charity. I haven’t as yet decided which one, but I will give it due consideration between now and the 30th, and keep you all updated. Currently I am at 276km, I hope to make at least 350.
That’s the serious bit done.
The Donald is back, and not in ‘The Man with Two with Two Brains’, not even a brain, but some object floating around in his head, that he always fails to engage before opening his mouth…
Why the film reference?
Simple, has The Donald morphed into ‘Merv Griffin the elevator killer’?
Will we find Melania slumped in a White House service lift, The Donald at her side, syringe in hand, still loaded with the remains of the Dettol…
What on earth stimulates the single cell organism doubling up as his brain? It can’t be possible for a single cell organism multi-task?
The makers of Dettol have had to hastily send out a press release warning people not to follow his lead, apologies, his advice. If it was his lead, he would have done us all a favour… And there will be those who will say ‘Simon said’, and as their head lolls from side to side, you can hear their pea sized brain roll from one ear to the other.
The lights are off, the grills are closed.
Whilst I am in shop during the day, I am sporting a pair of those natty little, white hotel slippers. I had hoped to be using empty Kleenex boxes, but they were in short supply, and my feet aren’t dainty enough to fit into that brown cardboard centre of a loo roll.
I could put on an extravagant dressing gown and wander round like the twisted love child of Howard Hughes, Hugh Heffner and Holly Hal****… (Please don’t look her up. No, I really mean it! Your browser may never recover, I used someone else’s… I only used her name to make the joke work!) Hahahahaha
I am doing my best to maintain a regimen, to keep myself clean, and neat and tidy… I did find a hair on the palm of my hand, realised that I had skipped the first sign of madness which is apparently looking for them, and now I’m wondering which of the nine circles of hell I will be cast into next.
At the moment, I am in Limbo. Days pass, I have no idea which day of the week it is. My mate Dante says he’s looking forward to the next one which is Lust, by all accounts Cleopatra and Helen of Troy are there, but who knows? The circles seem all mixed up, Dante clearly didn’t understand modern life.
Greed came at the beginning before Limbo, and at the same we got Gluttony and Anger, perhaps a little Heresy thrown in as well.
However, it is going to get better, we have only Violence, Fraud and Treachery to go!
Perseus fresh from a sojourn in Ibiza visited moi to try a pair of stretch cotton chinos…
Now I’m not saying he is high maintenance, but he was soooo tired after a rigorous session in the gym, that he flopped into the leather chair in the basement and beckoned me to pull the trousers off, as he was too tired to struggle with them.
After all, and I quote, “I’m exhausted after doing hundreds of one arm, leg curls!” I think I have to have a word with his trainer…
Let’s get back to matter in hand!
Monsieur Louboutin said recently that he is vaguely horrified… Quelle horreur!
Like all great designers, his existential struggle with his customers really mirrors my own.
Not that you are all tottering around in red soled, high heeled shoes… I said not all of you!
His boeuf, is that he can’t always control how his collection is worn, and by whom. Tell me about it!
Whereas, I do try my best, but sometimes, it’s in one ear and out the other.
Much of the time those red soles are seen gracing the feet of a certain type of professional person, of which the greatest concentration of pairs found in any one location is apparently in Chelsea Cloisters, also known as seven floors of… or so I am reliably informed.
How was Christian to know that his collection would be thrown to the lions of hooker chic?
Not that all of them are off the hook.
I am unaware of any of my clients who would wear my collection in such a fashion, yet I would not be surprised by the peccadillos of those whose needs I humbly attend to.
Perhaps I am Androcles in this story, after all he was a tailor.
Talking about being thrown to the lions.
Our poor Ambassador to the US, Sir Kim has had his red carpet pulled out from underneath him.
The whole thing ‘Smells of Teen Spirit’. Unfortunately, I couldn’t twist that into an anagram of treason.
In this modern age, while our youth is struggling with the dilemma and burdens of social media exposure, the rest of us are coming to terms with the fact, that each time we touch a key there is someone looking over our shoulder, no matter who we are, or where we are.
On a personal level, I have taken to closing my eyes and striking wildly at the keys. It is in the vain hope that like a chimpanzee writing the entire works of Shakespeare, what I produce; may at some time, mean something to someone, somewhere.
At least I can then say I didn’t know what I was writing.
Then you have ‘The D’, who is up all night telling us all to go forth and divide, he just can’t help himself. I can only imagine he wanders off to the loo in the middle of the night, in his red silken pjs, hair askew, his phone in those tiny little hands, leaving Melania like sleeping beauty, awaiting the return of her Prince.
He sits upon his throne, and picks up a copy of National Geographic, the ‘Red Mist’ descends, thumbs aflame.
Women adorn each page, an agender he has never fully understood.
Are we now all, weather obsessed, and with weather apps? Gone are the days of pine cones, holding up a wet finger, or even looking up at the sky. Our phones and watches now buzz with weather updates, a point zero one drop in temperature, severe weather warnings, relative humidity, a tree falling in the forest, a sensor to tell us that the fridge light is on when the door is closed!
Many years ago, Michael Fish was castigated for missing a hurricane.
But fear ye not, we have modern technology, do not be alarmed… It has not rained recently…
They were swarms of flying ants.
No, true; the ants apparently, look the same as rain clouds to certain types of weather radar. I can only assume that locusts resemble, snow. A plague on both your houses!
Just for when you are being a little Absinthe minded!
My phone buzzed insistently in the dark. For goodness sake, now I’m awake, what do you want?
Fifty seven Whatsapp messages, from anonymous of Washington; apparently his boss doesn’t like the way he dresses! Has his boss taken a long look in a mirror recently? So I sent anonymous a single, supportive response. ‘Pull yourself together. Never wear clogs with a dress and it is not something worth resigning over’. Just don’t ‘Ask Andy’, I’m going back to sleep.
He hasn’t replied, job done!
Fashion advice Donald style!
So, what should I do now, go back to running the free world?
Scarymucci, Scarymucci do you do the Fandango?
Those are the benefits of running a business with friends in 119 countries, or as some of you would have it said, I’m a bloke with a hobby that allows him to just skip off around the world on a whim! Sorry that hurts, but you all still want to come back as me. Please join the back of the queue, it stretches back to the gates of Hades, where Old Nick stands weeping at the loss of his disciples, but he keeps busy by weeding out the stragglers.
It’s a cause and you need to be committed to it, or at least be committed to be in it. Perhaps I could be the leader of a cult, a little glitterati, it sounds so much more sinister than the leader of the gang I am!
I could have something here, I’m on a roll. Apparently it’s what is called momentum, however Jezza is using that one, perhaps he will start criticising Tom Watson’s suits. At this rate I might as well shut up shop with the number of people sticking their oar in to tell us how we should, or should not dress. I will run for office as a MEP, on second thoughts that horse has bolted and the stable door is closing fast.
Spotted in London the elusive Cannoli
The BBC has been forced to publish the salaries of all employees earning over £150,000, which means Jezza would not be on the list. On a personal note, I think all of those people from the BBC who shop here are worth every penny.
Jeremy uses trains a lot and he will be happy that they are talking about scrapping the elitist luxury of First Class travel on some journeys, not a bad premise as long as it’s not on the ones I want to use. I will need some private space to make my own small Hadron Collider, once completed I will be able to travel the Circle Line for an eternity as if in a vortex. A huge factor in my favour has been the removal of the doors from the carriages leaving my copies of my Bradshaw’s Model Slope Angle flashcards floating as if weightless and in perpetual motion.
These are not to be confused with Bradshaw’s 1913 edition with margin notes used by MP.
I am not the new Doctor, I will not be responsible for tardiness.
Once you have waded through my latest dirge, you will be rewarded with photos of some new stock, but go on give my eminent tome a go!
I have returned, refreshed, reinvigorated, replicated and 3D printed. I also wanted a hologram, but was told I couldn’t be in two places at the same time.
What do they know, I’ve been doing it for years; my special powers are a cross between Captain Scarlet and the Scarlet Pimpernel! The walking through doors was just an appetiser.
And although technically not in the same place at the same time I have been both in Champagne and Arcachon this month.
The visit to Champagne involved tours of Champagne Vadin-Plateau, Nicolas Maillart, the fabulous Henri Giraud and Ruinart.
Now for a bit of promotion! I spent a day in the company of Eric Martin from La Vigne ru Roy on a private tour. Great fun and hugely knowledgeable, and I can’t recommend Eric highly enough, a brilliant way to enjoy Champagne from inside and outside the glass!
I have climbed and walked the Dune de Pylar in bracing conditions. I had hoped to feel like Lawrence of Arabia, but ended up feeling more Scott of the Antarctica!
PLUG – I was kept dry by my fabulous Field Jacket…only 7 left!
Dune du Pylar
So Tresamme has set the hair running.
She has her rollers in, this lady’s not for turning… She has curling tongs, rather than straighteners.
Will she add a blue rinse before the big Day? May becomes June, a rose by any other name would be as fragrant.
Politics these days is all about the hair, The Donald, Lil Kim and Boris Godunov are all making a topiary statement worthy of a place on the fourth plinth. It’s a thumb in a digital world.
Jeremy Corbin is akin to an angry garden gnome that has found a voice, apparently the Labour front bench are all wearing t-shirts with ‘I’m with Mr Grumpy’ printed on the front. Unfortunately I can’t make out what is printed on the back… OMG is that ‘I Puffi’, which just happens to be Italian for The Smurfs!
Did Herr Juncker employ a food taster at that fractious dinner or did he just skip the amuse bouche? Did their eyes meet in time honoured fashion over the toast? Theresa has well-hidden talents, first she’s guiding Donald by the hand down a slippery slope; next she is fixing her steely gaze on Juncker over the lip of a goblet. There is many a slip between cup and lip!
Tough Theresa is dealing with her split ends and the unruly mop that is that upstart Johnson; he’s hoping to be head boy after prefecting (sic.) his behaviour, but has admitted that he has more chance of being re-incarnated as an olive than coming back as me!
I love the idea of the tittle tattle, the jockeying for position, like being back in the classroom, telling tales to mistress hoping to be chastised; good cop, bad cop, another 10,000 of them.
Diane has spent that Corporation Tax windfall three times over. Do I hear a clamour for more maths teachers on the street, one on every corner!
But let’s get straight to the crux of the matter, the core of the Brexit issue, the one everyone refuses to confront, the elephant in the birdcage. Those of you not interested in football wander off and make a nettle tea, those who like my style and prose, hang on my every word like a canary in a coal mine.
No one has spoken of the effect of Brexit on the Premier League. Are the players and managers going to be given special dispensations so they can stay?
Bournemouth have fielded more English players for more minutes than any other team in the Premier League this season, which would mean the team from the English Riviera would turn the Premiership into a passeggiata.
Then all the ‘jolly foreigners’ (thank you Boris, please stop interjecting) would have to prove their worth, and just how many of these the primping prima donnas would make it on merit? Acting, histrionics and throwing themselves to the floor are more Royal Shakespeare than Leyton Orient. As my friend Tony would say ‘It is theatre for the working man!’
They could all be banished beyond the pines.
My own coterie of staff are starting to get a little edgy, Raoul my ‘Epilation Technician’ as he now wishes to be called is talking to himself more often than usual and removed most of my left eyebrow whilst taking a selfie for his new Irish passport.
So I am now left looking no more odd than usual!
Finally I shall finish by promoting an event which as many of possible of you should take part in. If you own an Italian bicycle, motorcycle of car it will be the place to be!
The Best of Italy Race takes place on 16th September 2017
For goodness sake, give me five minutes sojourn from travelling, and celebrating my birthday in order to write a newsletter.
I thought you’d all be glad of a rest from all this drivel, but I have been reminded more than once, that I hadn’t written anything in ages.
This has meant that I have had to break off from my Bacchanalian feasting long enough to press fingers on keys and give my own peculiar take on world events.
My birthday; if you were not aware occurs on All Saints Day, this was a source of mirth for one or two of you. Moi the third Duke of Pimlico in a vineyard in Bordeaux at 3am with my reputation?
But my thoughts are drawn to current affairs…. No, the news, not my private life. For heaven sake, do you have to look at everything from a juxtaposition? I tried it, my back has only just recovered, and I know there are some of you who will go home and try this tonight, I warn you it’s not what you think, so don’t blame me.
Politics on both sides of the Pond is starting to look like a really bad haircut, with politicians fighting for attention, like Donkey in the Shrek movies, pick me, pick me. Waiting for Simon to press his Golden Buzzer.
Unfortunately it seems our politics have never been more polarised and the speeches are being made from the wings each playing to their own gallery, too scared or unable to understand how to take the centre stage.
The Washington and Westminster villages are starting to look like bubbles where the people on the inside are the ones wielding the pins and seem set on trying burst them!
I leave it to the Bard to Prologue the scene:
Two households, both unalike in dignity,
In fair Parliament, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean….
Jingoism Unchained, the people are set free, we are all headed for Candyland.
Europe meanwhile, has been enjoying an Indian summer, et ego quoque.
I decided that this year the celebrations would mirror those of Bacchus, but only after I had returned to the white isle for one last swim. I have a small secluded beach I run to, where I can guarantee that I will not be troubled by people requiring my sartorial advice, where I can be at one with nature.
Even in the middle of October the water in Ibiza was warm enough for me not to require a layer of goose grease, anyway it would be a terrible waste of foie!
Neil was on sparkling form, we were going to cycle together now that we have formed the Inkadelic Cycling Club, but a short, sharp shower put paid to that and Neil decided that I required a little more work. Raoul my ‘waxer’ was mortified, but he does scare easily and Halloween was just round the corner. He just kept muttering, is that blood, real blood?
It was my intention to post a photo of Neil at work, but it has been censored following several complaints after I had posted it on Facebook.
Inkadelic Cycling Club Ibiza
Neil has finally put down some serious roots on the island, and is looking forward to moving into his new pad in D’alt Villa next year.
We both made a new friend this year and our thoughts are with this new friend and his dad after Shifty came off worse in an altercation with a car. Shifty is a miniature pinscher and those of you who are that way inclined can follow him on Instagram ‘Shiftys_world’.
My life is full of rich experiences, whether someone is chucking pound coins at me and demanding that I dance, perhaps this is what it is like being at a West Ham game (it transpires that the rent on the Olympic Stadium is less than I pay for the shop, how does that happen?); or an older lady telling me how much she admires how I fill out my clothes, it appears I’m on to a winning streak!
Bordeaux by night
My birthday celebrations took place in Bordeaux and Saint Emilion, swanning, not swaying round a couple of Chateaux.
My private tour was organised by ‘Bordeaux with Elodie’.
This was followed by a tasting of some magnificent wines, and before you ask, that is a bottle of Chateau Angelus, and yes we did taste 8 wines. Hic!
If I must!
And I may have bought the odd bottle.
This was followed by lunch and a visit to a more modern set up, at the newly renovated Chateau Tour Saint Christophe, set in the beautiful rolling hills around Saint Emilion. Wonderful wines with a different structure.
Laetitia drove us back to Bordeaux, via all the Chateaux of the area. The sun went down to end a perfect day.
Sunset over Chateau Angelus
The next day was spent at the Dune du Pyla, where I imagined I was Lawrence of Arabia… I can but dream, but by all accounts I have strange imagination and do not live in the real world.
Dune du Pyla
And lunch…… You can see the weather was kind.
We have many new projects afoot including a 360 degree view inside the shop on both levels. Just drag the little dangly man on Streetview over the shop on Google Maps and by the power of the interweb you are beamed by Scotty straight onto the ground floor, press the lift button and the basement beckons.
There will be a new website, it will be attached to this blog and also as a separate entity and much more impressive presence on social media.
And if you have read all the way to the end, there will be a wine tasting soon, including some of the wines I brought back.