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.

37 Feb 2018 - Turn it up

Sent: 08/04/2018 11:33:23

Subject: Turn it up

Hello my dusty (yet mostly retired) chums.

Why is abbreviated such a long word?

I trust this missive finds you both rested and stress free (what with 95 percent of you having no work commitments and little or nothing to do between the weekly task of putting the bins out)


Personally I yearn for the serenity of retirement, I look forward to waking up at 6.00am picking up the alarm clock, yelling “Feck off” and launching it to the other side of the bedroom before rolling over and going back to sleep.


It would give me time to relax, time to think, to muse over the comings and goings of the day and dream up something to write in these daft emails.


This month, as I sit here looking at the rest of the page I have nothing. I am spent. Bereft of inspiration and starved of muse or witty banter. What am I to do?

Lets do the proper stuff first.

  1. Members evening on 10th April

  2. The Welsh are coming

  3. Saturday Workshop on 28th April

  4. Greg Moreton 8th May

  5. Yandles Spring Show is cancelled

  6. Stop me buying wood.

  7. Should I retire and do nothing

Members Evening 10th April.

We are about to go forth and produce a set of Napkin Rings. No demonstrator this month, however fun to be had by all as we form ourselves into teams and produce a set of matching napkin rings. It sounds easy – and to be honest it is not the hardest thing in the world to do – and yet they will have to match and sit together as a good looking set.

I am sure we will find something ingenious to so between us all, and no doubt be happy with the results.

Lest we forget – the competition this month is interesting – it is a sewing accessory. Let your imagination take you to pastures new as you come up with something that can be utilised as a sewing aid by someone in the family who is an expert sewist.

I remember well the tanks I made as a kid using a cotton reel, a candle, an elastic band and a matchstick.

Happy days!

See you on Tuesday evening with your tanks!!


The Welsh are coming(this one is especially for Owen who I still need to go and see and try to help him sell his wonderful equipment)

The Welsh film industry is to remake many well known films, but this time with a Welsh flavour.

The following are planned for release next year...

  1. 9½ Leeks

  2. Trefforest Gump

  3. Cwmando

  4. The Lost Boyos

  5. An American Werewolf in Powys

  6. Huw Dares Gwyneth

  7. Dai Hard

  8. The Wizard of Oswestry

  9. Cool Hand Look-you

  10. Sheepless in Seattle

  11. The Eagle has Llandudno

  12. The Magnificent Severn

  13. Haverfordwest Was Won

  14. Austin Powys

  15. The Magic Rhonddabout

  16. Independence Dai

  17. The Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch That Time Forgot

  18. Dial M for Merthyr

  19. Look Back in Bangor

  20. and a Welsh version of Silence of the Lambs called "Shut up ewe"

Saturday Workshop 28th April

Something new for the Saturday workshop as we do some off centre turning. I am actually looking forward to it myself as I have done none of it up until now – although I may practice a little bit tomorrow as I have a very rare few hours to spend at the lathe for once.

So – between now and the 28th April get yourself looking at you-tube and practising a little off centre turning. I am reminded of Tony Halcrow – his very first visit to us involved off centre turning and I remember it still. Remember – Tony is back with us on 12th June. (I don’t just throw this together you know.)


Greg Moreton on the 8th May

Formerly kown as the bowler hatted turner – and old friend of the club, Greg Moreton is back with us in May on the 8th and I for one am looking forward to it. More about Greg next time – but meanwhile make a firm date in your diary. It is worth it believe me, I know what he will be doing.


Yandles Spring Show is cancelled.

I was actually looking forward to it this year – I was even going to take the day off and go there on the Friday instead of the Saturday. Apparently it is off because of the recent inclement weather? Not too sure about that myself – but whatever the reason – it is off so we will have to wait until later in the year for our Somerset fix.


Stop me buying wood

I do it almost every month – I see some wood – have an idea what I will do with it and then stack it up in the garage and find I have no time to turn it. Working for a living sucks. I have two days a week where I can actually do some woodturning, and it also has to be shared out with whatever else a Saturday or Sunday brings. The house doesn’t clean itself – no matter how much Vodka I throw on the lawn it refuses to come up half-cut. The car has to be cleaned some-time Second week in September). I have to cut the hedge – wash, iron and I have relatives who are not in the best of health and whom I really want to visit. I worked out that last month I did no woodturning at all apart from the Saturday workshop – and I probably did all of 20 minutes there.

Who said we had to go to work anyway? I still hope to win the lottery – I bought a ticket ten years ago and the numbers have still not come up, perhaps I should buy another one?

So, stop me buying wood next time you see me walking towards Brian Giles on a club night! I don’t have time to turn it.

...and another thing - while I am on the moan and groan……


Should I retire and do nothing.

Life is a bitch, and then you die. That is what an old boss of mine told me once. To be fair could be a miserable bugger sometimes - which belied what a grand bloke he really was, but he retired when he was 57 and is still going strong today. He worked very hard when he was at work, but since he retired he has had a permanent smile on his face that a lot of people thought never existed in his previous life. He got it right.


The problem is you cannot live your life through other people. I know people who are retired and are just as miserable as they used to be when they worked. I guess we all know a few individuals who retire and then waste away almost immediately. So what is the secret?


I had a look at my finances the other day and worked out that I have already saved up enough money to allow me to retire in January next year and have a reasonable amount of money for the remainder of my life, as long as I die in February.


I suppose that is the real gamble, how long should we expect to live, and therefore how much money do we need? I have no idea, and it is scary.


The only thing I do know is that if I don’t work 5 days a week I do stand a chance of using the lathe I bought at the end of last year. I should also be able to spend more time annoying the kids. I will be able to sit and have a coffee with friends in the middle of the week and watch the world go by, looking at people rushing about, with intent in their faces – and stress in their eyes!!


Good lord this is all very heavy. Not like me at all, but when I think the number of good friends I have lost recently, the number of relatives who are no longer here, or who are ill. The number of people I know who never got to retire and enjoy the autumn of their years – whether they were well-off or not – is painful.


A really very good friend of mine died recently, he was the life and soul, he and I shared the same sense of humour and the same outlook on life – but sadly he was struck down with Motor-Neurone disease and lost his life in just a couple of very short years. He left a young family, and a lot of admiring friends.


We actually wrote a pantomime together about 5 years ago – it was wonderful. I found the script recently and I laughed, then I cried.

We never did get to perform it.


Billy (not his real name by the way, his real name was Steve – but everyone called him Billy) has taught me a valuable lesson, and that is not to wait too long.


There is only one sure and certain thing, I really will find out if I am going to be very busy in retirement, and will finally discover if I shall turn into one of those people who wonder how I ever found the time to go to work.


Denis Winter (a.k.a. Foggy) and Tony Harvey (a.k.a. Clegg) may well be joined by yours truly (a.k.a. Compo) for the KVWT version of Last of the Summer Wine.

We only have to find me a Nora Batty and we are complete.

OK – enough of this morbid rubbish, Billy would not like it. Besides – I have just had a gin and Tonic, so this will never do.


The web site is not coming along awfully well I’m afraid. philboulter.com remains unpublished at the moment – but I do have a draft in production, I just need to crack on with it.


I did upset one of the girls at work last Thursday, I swapped her lip-balm with superglue. She’s still not talking to me.


To finish – here are a few words of Wisdom;

If a pregnant woman goes swimming – does that make her a human submarine?

Which letter is silent in the word Scent the S or the C?

If you expect the unexpected, doesn’t that make the unexpected expected?

Why is W called double-U– shouldn’t it be double-V

“Queue” is just Q followed by 4 silent letters

Why do noses run and feet smell

If you drop a bar of soap, is the soap dirty or the floor clean?

What is Oxygen is slowly killing you, it just takes between 60 and 100 years to work?

…and finally.

At some point this year I need to remove a 75 foot hedge from the back garden, 40 feet of very tall privet hedge from the front garden, and replace both with fencing. Does anyone have any good contacts? I also want a new garage door, and the outside of the house needs painting. All contacts and recommendations for suitable people for the job welcome.

Love you long time!


Phil Boulter

Vice Chairman

Kennet Valley Woodturning Club

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