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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.

24 - October 2016 Knot you again - wooden you know it

Sent: 21/10/2016 00:20:30 Subject: Knot you again – wooden you know it.

Hello Kennet Valley Wood-turning chums and buddies.

(Remember to let me know if you do not want to get this occasional rubbish)

Yes – I am back. Although I have not written in quite a while I have been asked by your committee to write again to remind you about our all day workshop on Saturday 29th October – (remember this is not the 22nd October!!) – I will do that momentarily. I promised to pen a handful of lines – at which point the committee laughed and said I could not keep it short. Let us see.

What else will I present in my own little way?

· Upcoming demonstrations.

· The last demonstration

· The end of year party – it’s still free to attend.

· A Joke

· The beginners day of course

· Updates on Terry “Chainsaw” Buckle

· The January Demonstrator Martin Saban-Smith (early – but there is a reason)

· An update on the year so far in my absence.

Saturday workshop day on 29th October

Again – please remember this is NOT the 4th Saturday of the month for a change – it is the 5th – October 29th. An all day workshop for once. Being an all-day training day it is very good for beginners. Some of our advanced wood-turners will be in place ready to help and guide the less gifted. While less gifted for the moment – we aim to help bring you up a notch or two where we can. Hopefully also able to let you make something and take it home afterwards.

You do not have to be a beginner to come along, all are welcome as always and the only thing we ask is that you bring your own lunch. All day – and all if costs if a fiver! Where else can you get 6 hours of woodturning hands-on fun for only £5. We will have at least 4 lathes working, so plenty of time for all. I went to see Brian today to pick up the blanks for the workshop day – so we are good to go. On the way back I picked up a hitchhiker. (You should do really when you hit them.)

“Enough” I hear you cry – what else is happening? “What other excitement can we enjoy and look forward to?”

(You know I have to admire these phone hackers, I think they have a lot of patience, I can’t even find the time to listen to my own voicemails.)

Tony Halcrow

OK – slow down. I am only just getting over the excitement that is Tony Halcrow, the man, the legend, and the answer to every maidens dream (as long as she is old enough to draw a pension and a breath). I hope that you enjoyed Tony’s demonstration as much as I did, and that you will welcome him back once we re-book him. As Tony says – he is not a professional, he is self-taught and enjoys sharing his knowledge and skill-set to anyone who will listen. Tony is a wonderful “turn” (and is well off-centre) and I for one love to sit and listen to him, and also to help with the banter that I know Tony enjoys. We must have him back again before he goes totally ga-ga and senility sets in completely – I shall copy him in on the email to ask his permission to include him in our future plans.

Meanwhile we are nearing the end of 2016 now and getting close to the last few demonstrators of the club year. We are lucky enough to welcome one favourite and one new turner for our enjoyment shortly. Our favourite is coming to see us in November – John Aitken, the bowler-headed turner. The newbie is Martin Saban-Smith – Marin is new to the demonstrator scene and very exciting.

John Boyne-Aitken

The November guest first (8th November) – John Aitken. John was last with us back in January 2014 – and as usual his evening was very popular indeed. Just to double check that I was up to date I typed “John Aitken” into the interweb. This is what I found?

Not sure this is him. So I tried again….

OK – I know he has a beard, but still. A third attempt.

That’s better – I am pretty sure this is him. In fact if you click on the picture it will take you to his website. Damn clever these Japanese!

John Aitken has wood in his blood, working with it since leaving school and seemingly enjoying it ever since if his work and the images in his galleries are anything to go by. I aspire to be 20% as good as John obviously is. This sort of experience and knowledge is rare and also a gift when delivered in a way this is enjoyable and enthusiastic, which is one of John’s gifts.

Be there in November – it will be one of the highlights of the club year and one you will not want to miss. Other demonstrators strive to live in his shadow.

Yes – I am busy

In case you are wondering where I have been, let me tell you. Work, and cricket. Frankly not a lot else. I do have to go down to Batch every weekend and see my mother in law in her nursing home. I can’t run the risk of her getting out so I have to visit regularly to make sure she is still locked in. Obviously I take Claire with me – it is her mother after all. So far though Claire has managed to find her way home every time. While I was there last week I bought one of those anti-bullying wristbands. I say 'bought' - I actually stole it off a short, fat ginger kid

There is cricket as well, that takes up the rest of what is left of my weekend. I am still spitting at the sad last-minute loss of the championship by Somerset when we were so close to winning this year – only eased by the fact that Marcus Trescothick gave me one of his bats a few weeks ago. A real honour. I have already sawn it up into little pieces – more to follow on that story later – plus Marcus knew I was going to introduce his bat to Mr Band-saw in the name of charity.

So, yes – I am busy, work in the week, busy at weekends, and hence – I lost my greenhouse. It is 6’x8’ so it is not tiny. Here is a picture of it.

I promise you it is in there. The garden seemed to get away from me a little bit. Not a lot, a little bit. I decided to ask my neighbour if he wanted to earn a few bob by doing some light weeding, this is what he found…..

Frankly the tomatoes had seen better days. Don’t ask about the lawn. I keep asking Claire to get on with cutting it, but she keeps mumbling something about not being tall enough. Claire was raised as an only child, which really annoyed her brother.

End of year party

It is nearly time. We will be asking everyone to put their names down to attend the end of year Xmas party on 13th December at Padworth Village Hall. As usual this is a free function, a chance to bring your partners with you and hopefully enjoy some food, a little drink and a chance to win the quiz. Our special guest this year – Len Goodman (the strictly come dancing judge) is still refusing to attend.

We do have a giggle at this event, the food is always good, the quiz is a good chance to laugh and also be frustrated at the questions you know the answers to – but can’t quite remember. Remember – Tuesday 13th December.


A quick word – at last weeks committee meeting we were musing over the wonderful entries we have had this year at our monthly competitions. We seem to be going from strength to strength, particularly in the novice section. We should remember that as little as 2 years ago some of these people had never turned wood before – and now some of them are ready for the intermediate section after turning some really very good pieces. Well done indeed to the novices – it is very impressive.

Terry “Chainsaw” Buckle

The club’s resident danger man has managed to make it to the end of another month without completely killing himself. He still has a couple of fingers left (he shows two of them to me at the last meeting – charming!) – so we are only left to wonder what the bloody hell he will do next. He has volunteered to be a judge at the next Olympics, but heading the shot-put and catching the javelin is apparently not allowed.

His recent attempts at Pyrography have not gone well (see picture). Terry – for goodness sake take care out there, and if you are coming to the all day workshop please bring a first aid kit and a fire extinguisher.

Did you hear about the wood turner who died when he fell into a vat of varnish? It was a terrible end, but a beautiful finish.

January – Martin-Saban Smith

We have a new face to demonstrate for us in January, Martin Saban-Smith (click in his name and other things here for links to his “places” ) is new to us, but becoming a very well know face in other mediums. This includes, but is not exclusive to the interweb, facepaint, twit-her, youtubeunited and whatever social web-site you know of. Martin publishes a regular on-line magazine – the Turners Rest. Martin is also a founder member of the UK and Ireland Woodturning Symposium, held in Coventry in July earlier this year. Oddly enough, next month’s demonstrator John Boyne Aitken was one of the demonstrators at this year’s event. I believe next year is booked already for 15th and 16th July 2017.

Why talk about Martin so early? Well, you need to spend time looking at his many videos, believe me there are plenty of them, and they are very more-ish. I am very interested in his new venture – the Black dog workshop.

I met Martin at Yandles a few weeks ago (yes – a week-end away from mother-in-law) and I was just as impressed by Martin in person as I am by his videos. I am looking forward to January. How the heck he finds time to do all of this stuff beats me – but he does it. Please check out his videos, they are really worth it.

What has happened since my last drivel.

I was stunned when I looked and realised I had last send out one of these emails in Februaryr. Since then a lot has happened.

· We have turned the hall through 90 degrees and now sit sideways in the hall.

· Ken Saxton retired from his position as chairman, one of the best.

· Mike Allen took over as our new chairman, and is the best one we currently have in that position.

· Derek Moate can back to see us at the last Saturday workshop – a true legend – I nearly cried.

· We have maintained a good level of membership – currently 65 members.

· Terry Buckle still has some of his limbs

· Donald Trump - seriously?

· I re-learnt 25 of the 26 letters of the alphabet... I don't know why.

· I discovered that my poor knowledge of Greek mythology really is my Achilles elbow.

· I Bought the wife a fridge for our 20th Anniversary - you should've seen her face light up when she opened it

Enough already – my 6 lines are up. Also, it’s been raining all night and all the wife has done is look sadly through the window.

If it gets any worse, I'll have to let her in.

· Remember – 29th October – an all day workshop.

· Tuesday 8th November – John Boyne Aitken

· 13th December – Xmas Party – all member and partners welcome FOC!!!!!

· 10th January 2018 – Martin Saban Smith

Where did the year go?

Later people.

I am off to play with my new band-saw and make some very neat and tidy firewood.

Phil Boulter

Vice Chairman

Kennet Valley Woodturning Club

(Remember to let me know if you do not want to get this occassional rubbish)

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