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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.

23 - Feb 16 - Well turned wood curses loose stools

Sent: Monday, February 08, 2016 7:21 AM

Subject: KWVT say "well-turned wood cures loose stools".

It’s me, I’m back again. How are you all, I trust you are well, had a great Xmas, a fine new year and are ready (armed with chequebooks or hard earned cash) for the start of a really exciting new Kennet Valley New year.

So – what have I got for you this time?

A tease for yet more new demonstrators this year, my normal plea for attendance at the AGM, news about changes to the judging, and a link to an exciting new wood-turner. (probably a few more bits too.)


We have no demonstrator of course this month because it is the AGM. Therefore I have no excuse to research anyone on the internet. So I decided to research one of our committee members – John Austin. So I looked for John on the interweb…

Each one is pretty scary in their own way I feel? I think that is best left alone. Oddly I saw John last week, he was a bit upset. I asked him why he was so upset – he said it was because a fox ate 8 of his chickens. I asked how this could have happened – he said, I don’t know how he did it – they were in my freezer at the time?


The AGM is important – of course it is. The club is run – as best we can – by your committee. The club belongs to you the members – quite literally. The AGM is a chance for you – the membership, to speak directly to the committee and discuss how it is doing, what happened last year and what will happen this year. We will all vote on who will stand on the committee and look after the club for another year. You know all of this of course – but nonetheless, it is no less important for being so obvious. A chairman, a vice-chairman, a secretary and a treasurer – these are the official offices of the club. If that were all we needed the club would fail very quickly – because there is much to do, much to discuss. We have 10 people who serve on the committee, and we meet every month on the Tuesday evening following the monthly club meeting. We discuss finances – competitions, letters to and from the club, insurance, and all manner of problems that arise with the venue(s) we use – with requests for demonstrations by us to various organisations, to booking demonstrators to come and educate and amuse us, and to plan Saturday workshops in an effort to make them varied and interesting. I know – get on with it.

Well we do, we get on with it.

Not without our helpers of course. Over the last few years we have been blessed with volunteers who do all sorts of things – who manages to door each time we meet, the raffle, the competitions, bringing wood to sell at a cheap price for all, the library, the tools, the kitchen to make your tea, getting chairs in and out. The list if pretty endless.

So thank you. Thank you to the committee. That you to our regular volunteers. Thank you Brian for always being there with the wood. Thank you to all of our irregular helpers for all of the other jobs you do. Thank you to people who are not members but still help us. Thank you to all of our demonstrators. Thank you also for being a normal member – for paying your subscriptions which makes all of this stuff possible.

There really is quite a lot to running all this stuff. One last thing then, please can we count on your support for another year. We need your subscription, your help, your support, your involvement, and above all, your two hands to pitch in every now and again when we need help to shift chairs, to sweep up, to give woodturning a go – even if people are watching. The more you join in, the more you enjoy it, the more you simply turn up, the more we – the committee – think it is all worthwhile.

Here end-eth the annual lesson, my sermon is over. Please join us on Tuesday 9th Feb – see what we have to say – vote for the people who you feel should run the club – and please – offer your help in some way.

Where was I?

You may or may not have noticed that I missed the January meeting. I was in Cape town. The good lady and I went to watch the cricket – which we did, and had a jolly good time. Cricket, sightseeing, wine, food etc. We stayed with a Friend of ours – Paddy. Paddy is a lady – a fine lady, the mother of one of Claire’s friends. She has a flat on the beach at Cape town and she offered us the flat for as long as we were in Cape town. It seemed rude to decline. Paddy stayed there at the same time, organised the sightseeing, and offered us her car if we wanted to go anywhere. Paddy was also quite direct. When we got there she said “Sit down, make yourself comfortable” I looked around the large open plan room which overlooked the beach and said – “before I decide where to sit – which one is your chair?” Paddy looked at me and simply said “They all are”. Obvious really!!

We did borrow the car one day to go to a vineyard. New to the region we naturally got lost. After a hapless hour going round in circles we stopped for lunch. I asked the rather vacant looking waitress which was the quickest way to the local tourist office. “Are you walking or driving?” I told her we were driving. She nodded and said “Yes – that’s the quickest way”

To judge or not to judge.

It is very hard to judge our competitions each month. The differences between styles, the decisions about whether it does or does not meet the requirements of the competition, and also how do we actually judge? These and other questions are hopefully going to be tackled head on by a new judging suggestion that we hope to discuss at the AGM. We would be very interested in your thoughts – please do come with an open mind. A lot of thought has gone into the suggestion – hopefully you will give it due consideration.

Please be reasonable. Some people are no longer reasonable. I went to see a customer in Canterbury the other day – If I am being completely honest - I was slightly late because the traffic on the southern section of the M25 was awful. So, being 45 minutes late I was in a bit of a rush and unfortunately drove into the back of another car at a set of traffic lights. I knew right then and there that it was going to be a really bad day.

The driver got out of the other car, and wouldn't you know it! He was a dwarf!! He looked up at me and said, "I am Not Happy."

So I said, "Well, then, which one are you?"

And, that's how the fight started.

Hoping for a new visitor

I do mess around on the interweb. The sort of thing I watch is what Claire calls “scary movies” – by which she means woodturning videos, mainly on you-tube. Lately I have discovered a turner called Martin Saban-Smith – an example is here,

I suggest you give him a look if you are looking to do some decorating, or look for different finishes. I think he is a pretty exciting chap. His web-site is down for the moment, but I have found it quite interesting to follow his videos which track him through his journey of trying to become a full time turner. I am going to ring him tomorrow and follow up an invitation to get him to come and demonstrate for us in January 2017 – fingers crossed.

All of next year’s turners are booked now – you will see the list on Tuesday evening. We have new people, and some old favourites – basically a good old mix.

That is pretty much it for now. It is getting latish and I have much to do in order to prepare for next week. I am out on Monday – back Tuesday, out on Wednesday and Thursday and back Friday. Her-indoors is not fussed – gives her some peace and quiet while I am away.

Tuesday then!!!


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