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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.

31 August 2017 Kennet Valley Woodturners playtime

Sent: 03 August 2017 00:25 Subject: Kennet Valley Woodturners playtime

Hello playmates.

I trust everyone is enjoying the warmer weather in their workshops, making shavings without shivering. Lots happening in the next few weeks, so much to pay attention to. I will be asking questions.

It is 2nd August today and this is what is coming up….

· A members evening 8th August

· Saturday workshop 26th August

· Swallowfield show – 27th and 28th August

· Phil Jones on 12th September

I shall cover each in turn – I am particularly excited about Phil Jones.

I have taken a turn, whether better or worse is to be decided, but instead of spending half my life in the North – a place of desolation and doom as is commonly known, I am now on an 18 month project in the South East – in this case largely Canterbury. No whippets, no flat caps, just lots of TIR lorries with strange people jumping out the back at traffic lights and trying to hitch a lift. There are some cockneys about mumbling something about hop-picking – don’t understand that?

I am in a Holiday Inn this evening just outside Canterbury, along with three coach loads of very noisy Italians who seem to think the etiquette in the bar is to be as noisy as possible when ordering drinks, paying for drinks, drinking drinks, and spilling drinks. They are mostly short, hairy, unshaven and smelly – and so are their husbands.

Is it me – am I doomed to a life of idiots in hotels.

True story – yes I promise it is true

Firstly – I cannot wait to tell this. Talking of idiots – and I mean this in the kindest blonde way (sorry Hazel) – I have a very true story which I still find hard to believe. I was sat at home on Monday evening when the boss, SWIMBO (She who must be obeyed) walked into the drawing room (yes – I have class) and said she had just got off the phone to her friend Lorna. It seems that Lorna was having a little soiree on Tuesday with some of her coffee morning friends, and Lorna’s kettle – which was quite petite – was possibly not up to the job in hand. Could Lorna borrow our kettle? Feeling like my good lady-wife had confused me with someone who either a: gave a damn or b: had a choice – I mumbled my confused assent and suggested she take it over. “I am too busy” came the reply – but I have agreed with her that as you are going to Canterbury on Tuesday (which I did – and I am back there again today as I mentioned) and as SWIMBO herself was off to the office in Hungerford very early on Tuesday – she was going to leave the kettle in the porch for Lorna to pick up while we were out.

I feel I should paint a picture for you at this juncture – so here is a representative picture of the very kettle in question with its little cordless stand and a realistic human hand illustrating its ease of use.

I know what you are thinking. “Where are you going with this Boulter – this is mundane household admin – what could possibly go wrong?” Bear with me please dear reader.

Canterbury was busy on Tuesday but I left early and got home sooner than planned at about 6.45pm. Forgetting the domestic arrangement I went to the kitchen to make a cup of tea. It was at this point that I stopped – laughed out loud as I stared at the base of the kettle, still plugged in to the wall, but no kettle sat on top of it. Like me you may be thinking two things.

1. What use is a kettle-stand without a kettle.

2. More to the point – what use is the kettle without it’s stand and associated 13amp plug.

Laughing to myself – imagining the fun I was going to have with this when SWIMBO got home – I retired to the library with a glass of something.

At 7.30pm the phone rang, I looked at the caller ID “Claire – mobile” – oh what fun. “Evening – it’s late – are you stuck somewhere?” The response was pretty straightforward “No – I am at Newbury retail park shopping”. “Jolly good I said – buying clothes for you weekend away next week?” I said, expecting the answer to be yes.

“No” – I am buying a kettle” she told me. Obviously I could not resist the next line and mustering all of the innocence my 60 year old voice could muster I said “Did Lorna say our one didn’t work?”

I could hardly contain myself. Imagine if you would – I was full of one-liners, I had every wise-crack known to man lined up and ready to go, except……. I had even made preparatory notes – depending on what she said next I had 8 carefully crafted responses………….

“No – she said – she melted it on the hob”


A members evening 8th August

We are preparing for the Swallowfield show – we want to sell a platter of fruit – so the members evening is all about making fruit. Probably mainly apples and pears. As usual we will split into teams and in keeping with tradition my team will come last. The individual competition theme for the members evening is a natural edged goblet. Do come along, it is a good chance to meet, greet and enjoy, as well as hear some of Terrys stories about being in the army. It is hard to get him to talk about it I know, but if you are very patient and wait long enough you may be able to wear him down.

I did speak to Terry at our last Saturday workshop, he was a tad worried. He had gone to his doctor the previous Friday and told the doctor he wasn’t able to do some of the normal things around the house that he used to do. When the examination was complete, terry said “Now, Doc, I can take it, tell me in plain English what’s wrong with me”

“Well in plain English” the Doctor replied “you’re just lazy”

“Okay” said Terry – “Now give the complicated medical term so I can tell my wife”

Saturday workshop 26th August

Again – preparing for the Swallowfield show – we will be making spinning tops of all shapes and sizes and type. We would like to make some to give away to the little kids, bless them and love them (someone must) it’s the only way we can get the little blighters to bugger off. Another plan could be to colour some of the fruit we made on the members evening (or some you may have made at home). I am also always open to the 30 second challenge with Harvey to make a spinning top inside 30 seconds. It would be churlish of me to say I always win this challenge – but I always win this challenge!!

I am very excited about the next bit. We are very lucky to have Phil Jones coming to visit us on 12th September. There is little doubt that Phil is one of the best turners in the country and his skill is something to envy. Phil started Wood Turning in 1982, serving a six year informal apprenticeship with a family run business specialising in hand and copy turning of various types. He started Acorn Woodturning in 1988 and after a few moves is now based in a workshop in Ford in Buckinghamshire. Phil produces beautiful hand turned pieces in wood. His favourite native species of wood is Ash, because of its natural colours and beauty. Phil also enjoys commissions such as large candles sticks which are both creative and challenging but very enjoyable. Phil has taught wood turning evening classes at the well-established and recognised Rycotewood college of woodwork. He was also accepted on to the register of “The Worshipful company of Woodturners” in 2004. He also offers demonstrations of wood turning at clubs and is a regular member at Middlesex woodturning club where he frequently helps on the workshop evenings.

Naturally I looked for a picture of Phil Jones on the interweb. (Frankly I think at least one of these is Sandy Tosqvig – and at least one of them must be Phil Jones.

I was particularly pleased when we got Phil Jones on our list of demonstrators for this year – but as things have turned out I may be taking a holiday in September when he is with us. I will know more in a few weeks, and while I would be unhappy to miss Phil – I need a holiday.

As another aside – the competition on the 12th September is anything with an inlay. Plenty of scope there for a little imagination to run riot I think.

Swallowfield show – 27th and 28th August

To business. This year we are trying a new summer show venue – and in place of the Aldermaston and Wasing show we are venturing to the Swallowfield show on August bank holiday. Click on the name to go to the web-site. We will be there for 2 full days and I for one cannot wait. We will of course promote our club with gusto, and have displays of our very best wares on show for the public to purchase. If you have anything you want to sell then please feel free to tell us on 8th August – and to arrange to get it to us in time for 27th (probably brining it on 26th August to the Saturday workshop. You will see from the web-site that this is a larger show that ones we normally go to, this one regularly attracts over 7,000 visitors, so hopefully we will get our fair share. As well as perhaps making some sales – we also want to be able to attract new members to the fold.

We will demonstrate at the show and make fools of ourselves as we try to educate and entertain.

There is one other wood turner there at the show – a chap called Arthur Martin – I hope we will make his acquaintance.

So – short and sweet this time – I have a lot on my plate at the moment both at home and at work – and it is now very late and I should really send this out and then go to bed. I look forward to seeing all of you next week on the 8th August – come along and have some fun.

I leave you with this – it is old – but accurate.

How To Shower Like a Woman

1. Take off clothes and place them sectioned in laundry basket according to lights and darks.

2. Walk to bathroom wearing long dressing gown.

3. If you see husband along the way, cover up any exposed areas.

4. Look at your womanly physique in the mirror – make mental note to do more sit-ups / leg-lifts, etc.

5. Get in the shower.

6. Use face cloth, arm cloth, leg cloth, long loofah, wide loofah and pumice stone.

7. Wash your hair once with cucumber and sage shampoo with 43 added vitamins…

8. Wash your hair again to make sure it’s clean.

9. Condition your hair with grapefruit mint conditioner enhanced.

10. Wash your face with crushed apricot facial scrub for 10 minutes until red…

11. Wash entire rest of body with ginger nut and jaffa cake body wash. Rinse conditioner off hair.

12. Shave armpits and legs.

13. Turn off shower.

14. Squeegee off all wet surfaces in shower.

15. Spray mould spots with Tile cleaner.

16. Get out of shower.

17. Dry with towel the size of a small country.

18. Wrap hair in super absorbent towel.

19. Return to bedroom wearing long dressing gown and towel on head. If you see partner along the way, cover up any exposed areas.

How To Shower Like a Man

1. Take off clothes while sitting on the edge of the bed and leave them in a pile.

2. Walk naked to the bathroom.

3. If you see partner along the way, shake willy at her making the ‘woo-woo’ sound.

4. Look at your manly physique in the mirror.

5. Admire the size of your willy and scratch your bum.

6. Get in the shower.

7. Wash your face.

8. Wash your armpits.

9. Blow your nose in your hands and let the water rinse them off. Fart and laugh at how loud it sounds in the shower.

10. Spend majority of time washing privates and surrounding area. Wash your bum, leaving those coarse bum hairs stuck on the soap.

11. Wash your hair.

12. Make a Shampoo Mohican.

13. Wee.

14. Rinse off and get out of shower.

15. Partially dry off.

16. Fail to notice water on floor because curtain was hanging out of bath the whole time.

17. Admire willy size in mirror again.

18. Leave shower curtain open, wet mat on floor, light and fan on. Return to bedroom with towel around waist.

19. If you pass partner, pull off towel, shake willy at her and make the ‘woo-woo’ sound again.

20. Throw wet towel on bed.


Phil Boulter

Vice Chairman

Kennet Valley Woodturning Club

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