Major 'Cuth' Adami, who has died aged 72, was an unconventional Army officer responsible for inadvertently encouraging the career of the young Idi Amin; later he became one of the first British restaurateurs in hippie-era Ibiza.
As adjutant of the Kenya Regiment, Adami encountered the young Idi Amin, later to become dictator of Uganda. He was impressed by Amin's optimism and recommended him as a man to promote - not least because he was good at rugby and muscular in the ring. Adami would in later years say: "Idi was a big, strong boy, but it's a pity he didn't stick to boxing".
After a final posting as an intelligence officer with the Trucial Oman Scouts, Adami, by now struggling with his weight, left the Army. He built a restaurant on Ibiza but did not know what to call it until one of his partners' wives sat on the ground and yelped. She had been pricked by the sharp leaves of an asparagus plant.
Adami ran The Wild Asparagus like a military outfit, frequently ordering licks of paint, decorating the bar with regimental emblems, and installing a tradition of a Sunday lunch curry.
Major events in the life of the House of Windsor, such as royal weddings, were marked with fiestas and loyal telegrams to Buckingham Palace. God Save the Queen would be sung, and the self-styled "queen" of London's Soho, gap-toothed Eileen Fox, would strip to do an exceedingly fat belly-dance. By day Adami could be found relaxing on the island's beaches, clothed in little more than a wraith of cigar smoke.
Although he lived on Ibiza for more than 40 years, Adami never acquired more than a parade-ground grasp of Spanish. In later years he could be seen being wheeled through the streets of Santa Eulalia by his faithful Ecuadorean manservant. On his daily promenades he liked to sing In An English Country Garden in a wobbly tenor. If he saw female friends across the street he would shout out, for all to hear: "Thank you for last night, darling!"
Although long pursued romantically by Eileen Fox, Adami successfully defended his confirmed bachelor status.
Saturday, March 25, 2006
Another Telegraph Obituary to savour:
at 2:30 pm