I have that sinking feeling…

Venice in Peril

Radio silence is broken.

Calling Moscow, calling Moscow…

Apologies, I went all Bunker Hunt…

I had been gazing into my crystal ball, it has been staring blankly back.

The face I would normally see, should resemble either Dorian Gray or ‘The Scream’, but it’s not one face, it’s 41 million emotionless faces, silent against the Whimsy of Westminster.

Or at least I think that was her name.

Frankly it was all a blur! I wasn’t looking for business, but it’s strange how the extra 20,000 ‘bobbies on the beat’ all appear at the same time. Haven’t they got anything better to do? I will leave you to fill in the blanks, I have no recollection, as it was the last thing I saw before passing out!

Anyway, apparently, we should be ‘getting it done’.

Three trite words to describe one of the most important decisions in generations.

Getting what done?

A drinking session in a brewery, shutting the stable door, making snowballs in hell, holding a snowflake to a flame?

Perhaps, we should all be holding our Johnson to the flame… Ouch!

Yet, you might say we’ve spent the odd hundred million here, the odd billion on preparation there. Water, water, everywhere, and all the boards did shrink: water, water, everywhere, nor a drop to drink.

Since Pangaea we have been drifting away from Europe by a few millimetres every century, tectonic plates a breakin’, and all this time Venice has been sinking…

I’ve had my head down and my not insubstantial nose pressed hard to the grindstone, whilst all the time trying to avoid the cracks in the pavement.

Has all this been passing me by, or was I, in my apathy letting it wash over me like honey; and what have they achieved, sweet ‘Fanny Adam’?

It appears you can say, or do anything. Hang the consequences, or the legality of it, then debate it until hell freezes over.

And now we have an election to contend with.

We’re just going to end up with a Celtic, Five Star, Right Wing, Marxist coalition. Led by… a comedian with no sense of humour? Who may just be able to commit to a vague promise!

Meanwhile, across the ‘Pond’ life continues, the Donald eats, shoots and leaves, the words coming out in no order whatsoever. It appears he is also obsessed with anything that could be done doggy style.

Died like a dog, left like a dog, a bit of a shaggy dog story. I shall leave you to add your own references. It won’t be much of a downward dog stretch… as he leaves the room with the contented smile of a trumping dog!

Michael Bloomberg has thrown his ten-gallon hat into the ring, and The D is trying to work out if it is fake news or not.

D is biden (sic.) his time and threatened with in peach, which given the colour of his hair will make his face look apricot…

Someone I have never seen dressed in peach, is Susan my elegant, sometime breakfast companion who has taken up dancing to occupy some of her free time. Always spritely, she loves to flamenco, but has also been known to tango and being an extremely attractive woman, she is not short of admirers. At a recent tea dance one beau stepped forward, hand outstretched.

‘Would you like to tango?’ he asked, ‘we can dance it hip to hip.’ He added. Yet, they had turned less than half the floor when Susan had become aware that this was not Rosaline’s quivering thigh, more the demesnes that there, adjacent lies, and it were not a quivering!

Quick as a flash she grabbed her castanets and off she whirled, leaving the scoundrel floundering in her wake, holed below the Plimsoll Line, taking on water, rather than sipping champagne, pass me a doble!

Until now I have avoided any mention of HRH Prince Andrew, out of respect for that great Italian dish, ‘Pizza’, which has been dragged into this whole sordid affair through no fault of its own!

It has to be noted that Pizza Express is not in essence ‘Italian’, and owes more of its heritage to Peterborough than to Naples, but solidarity brother.

Ahhhh, solidarity… you’ll be hearing a lot more of that is Jezza gets in!”

Vintage wash Merino wool cardigans – £175

Copyright © 2019 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

 

A Newsletter lost in time

So let’s STOP the PRESS.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (The World’s Greatest footballer) has spoken, he will stay at Paris St Germain if; if they replace the Eiffel Tower with a statue of him, the arrogance of the man. I admit I had to climb down from the top of my column in Trafalgar Square just to make sure my eyes weren’t deceiving me. Surely, the answer is in his name, it’s all about ‘him’.

Looking down on you?

Looking down on you?

It seems like and age.

Where have I been?

Writer’s block?

Have I been preparing for hibernation like a snake, fattened up for Chinese New Year, and Snake Soup?

Gong Hey Fat Choy.

Have I adopted the Northern European model of taking a mid-season break? Have I adopted a Northern European model?

Have I been travelling?

Is Donald Trump a catholic?

So since the last newsletter, it’s been Venice, Bologna, Florence, Rome and Hong Kong again, Rome, Florence,Bologna and The Wolseley!

I’d like to thank all of you I have shared a meal with, in each of those locations, hence the reference to snake soup, although they were eclipsed by Luk Yu Teahouse in Hong Kong and their house speciality Pig Lung and Almond Milk Soup.

I was discussing this with young Jason at The Wolseley this morning, as I tucked into my Marmite on toast; Jason prefers Bovril on his, because, and I quote, “I prefer something a little beefier!” Ooh, you are awful!

In Venice my favourite restaurant was shut for a month, as were so many others for a holiday. So pickings were scarce and the tide was high.

By the Rialto

By Rialto, not Canaletto

So I bought these interesting over-boots which had a half-life of 2 hours and sprung a leak in the middle of Piazza San Marco, leaving me to hop glamorously to the nearest duck board and dry land!

I love Venice in January. The streets are quiet, at night the mist comes down, the waters rise, an eerie silence pervades the canals and I can put on a little red cape and scare people all I want!

It’s assumed that Venice shuts down at about 9.30 in the evening, but there are little, late night bars tucked away all over Venice. So, just when you think everyone has snuck off back to Mestre, you can turn a corner and there it is, a bar glowing neon in a darkened alley way and a final cocktail to take the edge off the chilly night air, and cut through the mist.

I wonder is ‘Venice Mist’ the same as ‘Scotch Mist’, or can you get mist anywhere?

Booties!

New Boots and……

Gone Dollars?

Gone Dollars?

Day view from my window

Day view from my window

Night view

Night view

I prefer to arrive in Venice by train, but it was not to be this trip. I love the fact that you walk down the platform after ‘alighting’ from the train and step outside to be greeted by the Grand Canal, rather than Alan Clark (he of the dairies) in red trousers, hurtling past on a Boris Bike!

The next day I hopped aboard a train and headed for Bologna, Emanuele’s cooking and Florence for the Pitti Uomo Trade Fair.

There's nothing on TV these days

There’s nothing on TV these days

Emanuele never ceases, never rests, he continues to produce consistently excellent food and an atmosphere and conviviality only matched by Issy at About Thyme, and Vash at the Cork and Bottle. It’s not only about the food, but about the people, the camaraderie, the conversations, not forgetting the food, time stands still, and the glass remains full.

Hard Cheese?

Hard Cheese?

I was working on next Winter’s collection, and what goodies I have in store for you will have to wait until next winter we have to get through summer first.

The summer stock is starting to arrive, and some interesting new developments are afoot. These I will outline in a following emails.

I followed this up with a day trip to Rome, for nefarious reasons, a long way to go for lunch, but I had my reasons.

I must admit, it was a struggle.

It followed a Champagne tasting with Vash, where Ayala and Bollinger flowed as if it were a mountain spring, and a 1.30 am finish was followed by a dash in a taxi to the airport at 4.30 am!

But breakfast Pietrolucci style and lunch at Edy, had me functioning on all twelve cylinders again. I’m now chanelling my inner Alan Clark, who as we all know should have been Foreign Secretary, if only he could have got Maggie to listen to him, sadly he was too busy fantasising about her driving a tank!

He’d have told those damn Europeans where to go, put a portcullis, a draw bridge and a moat (all on expenses) at the end of the Channel Tunnel and had this country back on it’s feet whilst doing donuts in his XK120 outside Fortnum and Mason.

Is that Mrs T in the passenger seat looking a trifle green?

IMG_6960

Strawberry Fields forever

Strawberry Fields forever

On the Saturday night I headed for Hong Kong to look after my growing group of friends and clients there.

Once again home was The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, and they do there very best to make it feel like home. So much like home, that the room had a dessert fridge, doesn’t everyone have one?

Dessert Fridge?

Dessert Fridge?

Now back on Terra Firma, I shall be adding further cities to my list, so if anyone requires my services in another location, I will entertain the thought!

More emails to follow, with lots of new stock.

 

Copyright © 2016 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 2011 – Volpe Newsletter

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the largest ever response to a newsletter: the tribute to my friend Richard Pulford.

There were so many kind memories and so many fond words. For this I thank all of you. Your words of comfort have been passed on to Richard’s family.

It’s that time of year when tumbleweed blows down London’s empty streets, and this year, I’m here instead of basting in Ibiza. Many of you have joked quite how much I don’t enjoy the Sale period, but you’d be wrong. It is important for me to quietly hide the mistakes I have made during the year.

Fortunately, I am learning, and after twelve long years there are only two pairs of the acid yellow cords left. Perhaps I could arrange a riot, a little looting, some lightning, and they might vanish off into the ether with my remaining stock of jeans. What else is August in London good for?

Anyway, Shane and family were here from Hong Kong (and at least his out of office reply meant he was coming to see me). And doesn’t he look boyish these days?  A new haircut and glasses in order to make him look more grown up? Perhaps I should explain to Katie (Shane’s wife) they have only made him look more angelic, although I’m not entirely sure it is a word I would normally use about Shane! They’re all off to some detox retreat in Ibiza but how detox and Ibiza go together I will wait to hear.

Ollie, who has also been in Ibiza, has just returned and he’s not happy. Left only with the clothes he was standing up in, he single-handedly boosted the Ibicencan economy, in order to feel that he fitted in at every event he was attending. He and his luggage parted company at City Airport on the way out, and were reunited only after his return to London.

The offending piece of luggage had visited seven European cities before its return, which is more than my wayward friend Mark will be doing with British Airways. Still barred, Mark continues to travel the world in search of new thrills. This leads him further and further afield, searching for a recently filled mini-bar and a maid that he hasn’t already unconsciously surprised in a strange and unusual way.

I have another friend who has taken to wearing glasses with normal lenses in order to lend him an air of intellect and gravitas. I’m not sure he wasn’t wearing specs before and has reverted to non-prescription lenses, because life through the correct prescription was just too frightening.

This year I have had to start wearing spectacles so I can thread a needle and it has added an entire new spectrum of accessories to my wardrobe. As you could predict with me, the collection is growing rapidly.

Soon I will have spex for every occasion. Perhaps even extra-spesh-spex that I will wear to choose which ones I will be wearing today or to look for the pair I’ve just put down or trodden on. I’m still searching for the pair that will make me look more brainy and more important. Andre calls it gravitas but he pronounces it in a vairy particular way every time we meet.

One or two of you are still trying so hard to get a mention: remember, actions always speak louder than words.

John kindly brought back a bottle of wine from Emanuele in Bologna, and Matthew sent me something made by Brasso to polish my gadgets. Oh, please!

But the prize is taken by the couple travelling to Venice on the Orient Express who were trapped in their cabin paralysed by OCD, only to be released once the number of railway sleepers they had counted exceeded the 1 million mark.

I sympathise, as I often feel I’m being followed, and the only way throw the stalker off the scent is to keep off the cracks in the pavement while shouting Macbeth. I have got used to people staring, but then, don’t they always?

However, let me finish on a positive note for Jake. Wolves have topped the table a few times already. The season is young, but Jake has handled his glee with maturity: the screaming and punching the air have been undertaken when customers are not present, or at least when he thinks they can’t see or hear.

If only he could share Mick McCarthy’s pragmatism, but that’s why Jake is a supporter and dreams of Europe next season. Sorry, buster, but if you think I’m giving time off to go to away games in Estonia, think again.

 

Copyright © 2011 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.