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.

22 October 2015 Wood you believe it

Sent: 07 October 2015 23:14 Subject: Wood you believe it?

Turn again Dick! I’m not sure why I wrote that – perhaps because (sadly) we are approaching pantomime season (as evidenced by the English rugby team) How on earth did we lose to a bunch of taffs! Oh well. We will get our own back when we play them at darts.


Hello my wood turning chums, welcome back I am still alive and annoying you with occasional rants and daft notes about the state of everything – especially Kennet Valley Woodturners.


OK – order of business for this rant.

1. The Thatcham Festival of Art and Leisure.

2. Mark Hancock

3. The coming festivities

4. The next Saturday workshop

5. Whatever springs to mind

That should give us a few things to think about.


1. Thatcham Show

Let’s do next Saturday first. As in years gone past we have elected to demonstrate and display and (hopefully) sell at Thatcham’s annual beano. This coming Saturday, 10th October – we will be making rude faces at passers-by and scowling at them when they either fail to buy something, or don’t laugh at one of the jokes Tony Harvey swears blind is funny when he told it to me.

We will try to persuade small children to talk to us with a promise of a free spinning top, while at the same time trying very hard not to look like we once knew Jimmy Saville, (see picture of my eldest son who dressed up for work last year – the theme was “inappropriate”) – where does he get it from, I blame his mother.


Anyhow, We will be on the square in Thatcham town centre throughout the day on Saturday, spreading the good word about the club and trying to find a few new members to bring more fresh blood to our ranks. With luck we will gain one or two and continue to expand and bring in fresh faces and new ideas.


The weather is going to be first class this weekend and I know we will have a good time scaring the locals.


2. Mark Hancock

It has been a while, I looked back and we have not seen Mark for a while – 9th August 2011 to be precise.

That is a long time – too long. Although I was very young at the time – I can just about remember the last time he was with us – he is both clever and entertaining and should not be missed. Mark has a long history in wood-turning, and an impressive list of awards dating back to 1990 (when Harvey was a police cadet in short trousers) Just looking at his CV gets you wondering – see it here. Then – if you look at his gallery – also on his web-site – you can see why we would be hard pushed to compete with any of his spiral work, which is pretty wonderful!!

Out of interest I looked up Mark Hancock in the interweb – Google found two pictures shown here – not sure which one is him, or how long ago they were taken? However – they were on the WWWeb so they must be correct?


3. The coming festivities.

It is scarily not long until Christmas. I know – it was only just summer. So we need to build up stock of all the things we need to turn to save us spending money on Christmas presents that we could better spend on new tools. I know a couple of the members do hawk their bits and bobs around the various local Xmas fairs and do quite well, I wish my turning was good enough to sell, you only have to look at what Tony, Harvey, Jim, Denis etc all turn out to see how skilful they are and I must admit I am more than a little jealous of the time they put into the lovely pieces they turn, some of them make me feel both jealous, but also inspired to get better at this woodturning lark. I know they will not mind me saying it, but all of the people mentioned above (and more besides) are more than willing to spend time with beginners and intermediates alike and share their skill and experience. They will also help you with woodturning advice from time to time. I asked Denis Winter for some advice last month, he said “Don’t buy ready-made sandwiches with mayonnaise in them”

Useful I thought.


Anyhow, lest we forget we have our annual get-together in December. Scary – it is already October, then once November is done we will be ready for the Xmas do. I would quite like to ask people, by way of this missive, if they would like the traditional program varied somewhat. While we are happy to stage a quiz, we are also open to other ideas, so if you think you would like to see something different this year – feel free to say so and we will talk it over and see if it has merit – and is cheap!!


4. The next Saturday Workshop 31st October.

The theme in the October Saturday workshop is Christmas things. (Decorations, small presents, snowballs, etc…


THE DATE IS DIFFERENT!! Although we normally do the fourth Saturday in the month, this October we have agreed to do the final Saturday of the month because the hall has a prior commitment that cannot be moved. I am not sure what is happening, probably a daft meeting of some sort. We have daft meetings at work, (some of you may not remember work, it’s what I do while most of you are just getting up, or having breakfast, or watching daytime TV before spending the long hours that I can only dream about at the lathe. While you are doing that I am having meetings and enjoying idiots who come up with phrases like “If we just hit the right cadence on our sprint meetings” (whatever the hell that means) – or “Can I stir fry an idea in your think-wok?” (spoken by someone who can best be described by a word that rhymes with Tanker) How about “Can we do some Green-field thinking and leverage our blue sky learnings”

I mean seriously – we pay these people. I don’t want to wish my life away, but compare that cr*p to making something mildly artistic at a lathe (after rising at a leisurely pace at 9.00am and having a light breakfast while reading the paper). I know which I prefer.

Sorry I am ranting now, I shall go back to work in the morning with a smile on my face (in Ipswich? Really!) and pass on enough tax and National Insurance to pay your blooming pensions!!!!!!

…and breathe.


5. Whatever springs to mind.

Lots really. Had a good might out last Friday, went to the Hungerford Cricket club end of season bash. The after dinner speaker was Johnathan Agnew “Aggers” (he of Test Match Special fame). What a fine speaker. I took my Swimbo with me (She who must be obeyed) and she had a good time. She is not too shabby when dressed up, and I am quite happy to say she has the characteristics of a fine wine. Often Drunk.


So try not to forget – Thatcham Show – Mark Hancock, October 31st for the Saturday workshop this month, and also we are going to be at Axminster in Basingstoke on Saturday 14th November. We will be demonstrating on two lathes and trying hard to look like we now what we are doing.


Remember – 14th November. That is exactly one week before my birthday n 21st November. Don’t bother buying me anything, no really, honestly.

That must be nearly it. I need to stop, I have just driven to Ipswich after a day at Milton Keynes at a manufacturer who sells German cars with rather iffy emissions. Tomorrow I am with one of those dealers who actually sells the cars – and is wondering why they are not selling all of a sudden. I wonder!


Actually it is pretty much a load of fuss about nothing, and underneath it all the cars are bloody good, and I am about to buy one as my next company car because they are basically as sound as a pound.


To finish, as usual with a slightly iffy joke…

An Englishman a Scotsman and Terry Buckle were in a pub, talking about their sons. My son was born on St George’s Day,“ commented the English man. "So we obviously decided to call him George” “That’s a real coincidence,” remarked the Scot. “My son was born on St Andrew’s Day, so obviously we decided to call him Andrew.”

“That’s incredible, what a coincidence, "said Terry Buckle. "Exactly the same thing happened with my son Pancake.”


…and finally


Denis Winter opens his door and finds a snail on his front porch.

He picks it up and throws it across the street.

A year later Denis opens his door and finds the same snail on his front porch.

The snail looks up and says, "What the hell was *that* all about?"

See you on Saturday in Thatcham, or on 31st October for the Saturday workshop.

Don’t forget suggestions for the annual xmas party.

Kind regards


Vice-Chairman

Kennet Valley Woodturners

01635 826009

07836 274345

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