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I write occasional daft emails to fellow members of my woodturning club.  As we get new members, some of them are stupid enough to ask me for some of the older emails.  As time passes and the read them, they will learn never to ask again - but meanwhile I have to dig into my email archives and find old items and then send them one by one to the unlucky recipients.

You would think they would find more useful things to do with their lives than read the sad wittering's of this old fool and try to make something of their lives - but no!  Any that appear here will do so in reverse order, there are many reasons for this, but logic is the main driver.  If there is one thing I have - it is logic.  Not much else to be fair - but I do have logic.

I have only recently worked out how to put the pictures in, so many are still missing.  I will continue to work on it.

18 Jan 2015 - Wood you believe it.

Sent: 03 January 2015 12:39 Subject: Re: Wood you believe it - KVWT are back

The boy Rance is back!!

Despite Les Thorne ringing me up and trying to get me to believe Gary Rance had retired and would not be coming to see us on 13th January – he is coming. Thank the Lord!

“Gary Rance is the highlight of my year!!”

That is a direct quote from that star of stage and screen, Dame Kristen Scott-Thomas. It has nothing to do with woodturning, but I know Gary is proud of that quote, or he would be is she had actually ever said it, which for legal reasons I should point out she didn’t. Frankly I am not quite sure that she has ever heard of Gary, let alone knows him personally – but if she did I am pretty sure she would say something similar, as long as her husband was not listening, assuming she has one, I am not sure about that either.


Happy new year to all of my Kennet Valley Woodturning chums, it’s been a while since I wrote to you. It has been a long hard year, made all the worse by me having to finish it with a two week all inclusive trip to Barbados (you will recall I didn’t want to go – it was my wife Claire – the woman I worship and adore who made me do it). Apparently she enjoyed it, she told me when she sobered up for a few minutes during the second week. The actual Christmas holiday period is best forgotten, some people are just not grateful. Claire’s new washing machine is about to be delivered, she has not yet used her new hoover, and her new hammer drill and orbital sander are still in the box!

We saw a good many of you at our annual binge in December, hopefully you enjoyed it, along with the new venue. Even Martin managed to find it. The food was glorious as ever, and company very nice as well. Well done to the winners of the quiz of course.

So it is the start of the woodturning year, we have a lot to be excited about this year, with new demonstrators that we have not seen before, some 24 carat gold ones we have seen previously (Gary Rance!!!!!!), and a return to our old, and refurbished Hunting ground in April/May when the bridge re-opens and we are back to Padworth Village Hall once more.

I am spending much of today writing to the demonstrators we have booked next year and confirming the dates and details we have organised as a committee. We will publish the details in due course once we have them finalised, believe it or not we have to book some of these demonstrators well over 12 months in advance. The more popular they are the harder they are to book. We wrote to Gary Rance last January – that is a year ago. Some people like Les Thorne need up to a week’s notice. (He has to get someone to drive him apparently)

Enough – lets get down to business. What do we have this month.

Firstly the dates – we have our monthly meeting on Tuesday 13th January at Brimpton Village Hall. The monthly competition is an ear-ring stand. This can be any size or shape – as of course can ear-rings!

Gary Rance will be our guest this month, I may have mentioned that already. He is also going to tell his joke. This joke has stood him in good stead over the years and we are obviously required to laugh. Gary has been a production wood turner for many years and is very highly respected by his peers, despite what Les Thorne says J His career is charted in his web-site on the following link (I include this link because if you search for Gary Rance on the wonderful interweb it will offer the following picture of Gary – really – it does. I am fairly sure it isn’t him, those are not Woodturners fingers (apart from anything there are a full set of ten)

This is possibly also not the Gary Rance we are seeing on the 13th January...

More pictures of him can be found here – some of them accurate!

We then also get together on Saturday 24th January – a morning meeting as is now usual, a 10.00am start. The theme for this month’s Saturday workshop is bowls. So if you need to get some advice or assistance on turning bowls, Saturday 24th could be a good starting point for some of the novice members of the club.

February of course sees us having our annual AGM, that is the 10th February. I need a couple of words about the February meeting..

1. We need to have any comments, notes, requests or agenda points for the AGM from you lot – the members, as soon as possible please. This could be by word of mouth on Tuesday 13th January or Saturday 24th January – or via email to myself or any other committee members. All of the contact details are on our website you will also find a picture of Gary Rance holding an ear-ring stand. We don’t just throw this rubbish together you know!!)

2. The second point is that we would greatly value your attendance and participation in the AGM. The club belongs to you – the members – and despite being a fun place to be, we like to think you also find the way it is being run and operated on your behalf by the committee and interesting enough thing that you could attend once a year and say something – whether it be nice, or critical, so that we can collectively decide on the future direction of the club based on the opinion of members, rather than being left to the committee members to dream up ways to spend your money and hope we have it right.

3. On that note – the committee. I say it every year – and this year is no different, we need your help and participation on the committee or as helpers. The more people we have the easier it is to run the club. We are constantly gifted with the good grace of people who give up their time to do things for you. It could be manning the door and raffle when you arrive on a club evening, making the tea and coffee at half time, managing the monthly competitions and keeping a record of the winners and runners-up, welcoming new members to the club and making sure they are not left out of things during their first visit, running the club library of books and tools, the shop, the raffle prizes, the web site, the list goes on. Then there is the good work done by your committee to operate as officers of the club in whatever role. This takes a degree of time, and while rewarding, it can prove a tad onerous of there are only a few people doing the same thing year after year. So – fresh blood please, and yes I am begging. You do not need any special skills beyond a tiny flicker or spark of a willingness to join us once a month to discuss and agree club matters. It is unpaid, but it does return a good feeling when you see how successful we are as each year passes. We will of course never keep everyone happy, satisfied or pleased – but in trying to do so we do get a kick out of the smiles we see at each meeting. So endeth the lesson – please give it careful thought and remember that when most of us were new committee members we did not have a clue what the hell we were doing.

4. Also on 10th Feb – the Reg Bailey Cup. The Reg Bailey Cup was presented to the Club by the Splinter Group, who meet socially in memory of a past member, Reg Bailey. Reg was a founder member of Kennet Valley Woodturners and served for a number of years on the committee. He was a popular and helpful club member, and an excellent turner. The Cup is awarded in an open "Member's Choice" competition on the evening of the AGM, where members present vote freely for their favourite entry. The Cup is inscribed 'The Reg Bailey Trophy' The entry rules were modified from 2011 onwards in order to encourage novice and intermediate members to enter the competition. The monthly competition is postponed on this evening, and members are asked to place their entries in sections marked NOVICE, INTERMEDIATE, and ADVANCED. Voting is then carried out with due consideration being given to the entrants ability. So – don’t be shy – turn it, polish it, dust it and show it.

Enough anyway, I must write some letters to next year’s demonstrators and then see if I can talk Claire into trying out this new washing machine…

I hope we will see you all again on 13th January – if you have not seen Gary before you are in for a treat, he is a guaranteed top shout and I know the evening will be educational but also extremely enjoyable as it always is with Gary Rance.

Some humour to finish…

A brilliant young boy was applying for a job with the railways. The interviewer asked him: "Do you know how to use the equipment?" "Yes", the boy replied. "Then what would you do if you realized that 2 trains, one from this station and one from the next were going to crash because they were on the same track?" The young applicant thought and replied "I'd press the button to change the points without hesitation." "What if the button was frozen and wouldn't work?" "I'd run outside and pull the lever to change the points manually" "And if the lever was broken?" "I'd get on the phone to the next station and tell them to change the points," he replied. "And if the phone was broken and needed an electrician to fix it?" The boy thought about that one. "I'd run into town and get my uncle" "Is your uncle an electrician?" "No, but he's never seen a train crash before!"


- Why the sun lightens our hair, but darkens our skin?

- Why women can't put on mascara with their mouth closed?

- Why don't you ever see the headline "Psychic Wins Lottery"?

- Why is "abbreviated" such a long word?

- Why is it that doctors call what they do "practice"?

- Why is it that to stop Windows, you have to click on "Start"?

- Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavour, and dishwashing liquid made with real lemons?

- Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?

- Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour?

- Why isn't there mouse-flavoured cat food?

- When dog food is new and improved tasting, who tests it?

- Why didn't Noah swat those two mosquitoes?

- Why do they sterilize the needle for lethal injections?

- You know that indestructible black box that is used on airplanes? Why don't they make the whole plane out of that stuff?

- Why don't sheep shrink when it rains?

- Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together?

- If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress?

- If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal?

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