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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.

28 March 2017 - Beware the Whippets

Sent: 20 March 2017 23:58 Subject: KVWT - Beware the Whippets.

Greetings my woodturning friends, and if you are reading this then it means you are still able to pick up electric email. It’s like a letter but no stamp, no paper and the postman is not required. So if you have managed to get as far as reading it you have my heartfelt admiration for figuring it out.

A little but thinner this time…

1. Where am I – yes – up North again?

2. Saturday workshop

3. Chris West

4. Still Up north

It’s Monday night and I am up North again, looking forward to a relaxing trip home down the M6 on Thursday night to a loving wife and a hot meal. Who am I kidding!! M6 – relaxing trip. J

Wigan is……. Well Wigan just is. Apparently it has a pier. Bugger-all coastline, but it does have a pier. They say Southerner’s are odd!

Saturday Workshop

When I get back it is only 1 day away from this month’s Saturday workshop, which means a morning full of fun, interest, education, tutoring and listening to Terry ask where the chocolate biscuits are Derek will be there to sharpen your tools for you or with you, and the shop will be there if you need supplies.

Mainly though the theme this month is pen turning, so if you have not done pens before come and make one, if you have done pens before come and show someone else how to make one. I have prepared some pen blanks at various stages of completion and have some new pen kits so we should have a giggle going through how to make this simple item, always good for beginners and intermediates alike. We may as well piddle about with different finishes as well if you like. I know Ian McGuire and John Austin like to do CA glue finishes – I prefer either friction polish or the new Micro-crystaline and carnuba finish from Martin Saban Smith. All good fun.

Up north again

I started the week in the office this morning in Hungerford, still mourning that sad loss on Saturday to a team of Irish vandals who clearly have no respect for their betters and were happy to demonstrate it by making us appear like complete twats in front of 80,000 people wearing ridiculous red wigs, beards and carrying an inflatable shamrock, and the men were no better. The result completely ruined the rest of the evening, I could barely watch Flog-it and Ant & Dec’s Saturday night takeaway was completely spoiled, despite Scarlett Moffatt’s mini skirts.

The hotel is slightly better than what I am used to, the room is clean, the bed looks comfortable, but there is no grub? I went to a pub to eat, it is pretty much next door and so I didn’t have to drive. An odd place though, it went quiet when I walked in, a bit like “You’re not from round here then” type of place. It is run by a Scottish couple who I think are in the witness protection program, and if you think a Wigan accent is hard to understand - this one is an art from. The lady (I think that’s what she was) walked out of the kitchen, a roll-up fag stuck to her lower lip and slapped a beef burger under each armpit. I asked the guy next to me if he saw her do it “Oh aye” he said “They need defrosting before they can be cooked” I made a mental note not to order sausages.

Apparently you go and find a table – get the table number then order at the bar.

Hmmmm. I tried it, but being by myself, every time I sat down at the table – made a note of the number, then went to the bar, someone took my place at the table I had just vacated so that I could order my meal at the bar. You can see the problem. I could have left something on the table to show it was occupied, but all I had was my ipad, and that was not going to be left alone and defenceless while I wandered off to negotiate vittles’ so I kept it with me. Now if you follow that to a logical conclusion, that would mean I would order a meal, pay for it, only to return to the table to find my food being given to a mean looking northerner in a flat cap who at this point is very happy at being presented with a free meal, and who stabs me with a fork every time I try to take it away. I opted to sit at the bar and try to eat there.

Did I mention they were Scottish? I can cope with a lot of accents, but after 15 minutes of broad Billy Connolly I apparently ordered a “wee pally scally “ (as suggested by someone sat next to me at the bar – at least I think that’s what he said) and as a result got a packet of crisps and a cold mince and potato pie put in front of me. No amount of sign language, shouting or arm waving was going to get me a drink, so I did what any decent Englishman would do in my place – I apologised, picked my food and went to find somewhere to sit. There was an empty table in the corner – so I sat down and was about to start eating when I realised I had no cutlery. I wandered off, grabbed knife, fork, spoon and paper napkin, and on my return found someone else my table, tucking into my food, possibly wondering why it had arrived so quickly after they had ordered it at the bar – even though it did not appear to resemble what they had ordered – but frankly they could probably not understand the accent either.

I wonder if there are any projects happening in Surrey in the next few weeks….

Chris West

I am really looking forward to our next (and very new) demonstrator, his name is Chris West. Tuesday 11th April. Chris has not been to us before so we need to behave. I have been on contact with Chris in recent days about what he is going to be doing and I am really looking forward to it. “What is he doing?” I hear you shout. Ah – well I may tell you or I may make you find out on the evening, it depends if I am still sober when I finish typing this rubbish. It is not looking favourable. Chris West – it is said – pretty much wrote the book (actually two books) on designing and creating Salt and Pepper Mills, there a few better than he at this and he has made it an art form. What is more important – he explains it but practically and visually in the best way. You will get a taster if you visit his web-site here.

Obviously, as usual I looked up our demonstrator on the interweb, hoping for someone younger and better looking that Gary Rance – let’s face it Gary is starting to look a bit frayed at the edges, although he still has one or two of his faculties. Anyway – Chris West – Interweb – I found this…. (Honestly – WTF is Ken doing in there!!) Google search has a lot to answer for. One of them has to be Chris.

I for one am really looking forward to Tuesday 11th, and as long as we behave ourselves I am sure Chris will educate, entertain and impress. Bring pencil and paper – it will be educational.

Can you see any of our members here?

Or perhaps here….

Still up north

It is a bit like going back in time up here. Not that time travel is possible of course, can you imagine – someone suddenly pops up from the 1990’s and asks how things have changed? How on earth would you explain Rolf Harris? Mind you, there was that one woman I used to know in the 1980’s – not the marrying sort – but back then (a long time ago) the sex was good.

She used to dress up as Margaret Thatcher – and I was the 1980’s manufacturing industry….

So central Wigan tomorrow then. I am going back to a dealership I was at a few weeks back. Not the largest one in the world, they have a small car park which you enter at your peril. They have the car park attendant from hell – a little semi-retired chap who got turned down for promotion in the first world war and has held a grudge ever since. If you are careful and as long as you time it carefully you can nip in quick and park before he notices. I tried it last time but was too slow. It got ugly and it only stopped when his handlers were called in and dragged him away.

Sod it – it is late and I have had enough. So I am calling it a night.

One last thing. I tried to do my good Samaritan thing last week, a very good and long standing friend of mine was feeling a bit down after finding his wife was cheating on him, so I promised to cheer him up, I chose something that was on his bucket list - a helicopter ride. I picked him up and took him to the outskirts of Reading as I knew a place where they offered helicopter thrills from a place near the motorway. Even though I say so myself it was pretty successful, at least at first. It all went pretty well, you should have seen the excited (albeit slightly nervous ) look on his otherwise saddened visage.

Then the disappointment as the 20 pence ran out and he had to give way to a three year old who had just come out of Sainsbury’s with his mum and insisted it was his turn.

I offered him a ride on Thomas the tank engine – but the moment was ruined.

Phil Boulter

Vice Chairman

Kennet Valley Woodturning Club

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