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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.

39 - May 2018 - Wood you like more?

Updated: May 29, 2018

Hello my post-wedding buddies.

This might be the last email you get from me – (stop cheering!!) I do not have a flashy un-subscribe function, so instead of asking you to tell if you don’t want me to send these emails – I have asked you to tell me if you DO – this is unlike other emails you will have got for the last few weeks where they will ask you to do nothing.

Enough – I am just getting over the big wedding weekend.

I hope you all got a bit of cake and that you are well rested after the disco in the grounds of the castle. I must say – Harry can crack a few moves when he’s had a few can’t he.

Enough said.

Another month has flown by and I am no wiser. There are a few things to report, and some up and coming items to note.

1. Greg Moreton

2. That horrible subject and the BBC news

3. Tony Halcrow

4. I have had a week off

5. Up and coming shows

6. Keep it clean

7. The next Saturday workshop

1. Greg Moreton

Those of you who were there will have enjoyed it, hopefully as much as I did. Three items, a Tube, an off centre bud Vase and a sphere. This is what demonstrators are all about (No pressure Tony Halcrow) and we were certainly treated to a good evening. I had a go at making the bud vase – and the results were not too bad initially, until it split because the wood was not dry enough. My fault – but a good exercise. See photo here – what you don’t see if the small hole in the stem, the fact that at this point the bark on the natural edge is still attached, and the base has not yet split.

Oh well, like I said – it was good fun to turn and I will try another one, this time with very dry wood.

2. That horrible subject and the BBC news.

Apologies for the GDPR email – we did feel it was necessary and wanted to play on the safe side. Steve Jamieson (the intelligent member who reads the Telegraph – and can probably do the crossword as well) did email me and point out that there is a train of thought in an advice web-site that recreational clubs may not need to adhere to the rules. While it is welcome and calming advice for us all, I have done it now so we may as well record the acceptance that some people have returned and go with it.

Thank you to those of you who did reply, I am sure I will get more as the days go by.

On the BBC news this morning, it seems that we have achieved world peace, North Korea love America, there are no wars and little happening in Syria. Although there is a wedding happening apparently. There was a second story though about the CCTV cameras that we seem so fond of, they reported that in 91% of cases the security forces facial recognition software did not work. Qu’ell surprise!! 85% of the worlds population is Chinese – and they all look the same – so that is most of the 91% taken care of right there!

3. Tony Halcrow Tuesday 12th June

He is back. Man of the moment and the only one that Meghan Markle wanted to marry if only Harry has not been available. Tony Halcrow is very much a friend of KVWT even though he is embarrassingly old and knackered. Even though you all know him, I thought to be safe I would look him up on the internet.

I was surprised to find the following come up in my google search – try it if you don’t believe me.

Tony Halcrow has made multi centre turning something of a speciality with subjects ranging from female figures to canoes. He is ex chairman at the Oxfordshire Woodturning club where he is still a very active member. Tony has a sense of humour and a charm that people would pay good money for, and the banter when he comes to see if is always very lively. Tony will certainly make the most of the evening, and if you want to spend time looking at what can be done on a lathe, with a few simple tools by someone who really does know what he is doing – then Tony can probably recommend someone. J

Be there – come and see Tony and unless the world is about to end – he will be as fantastic as he normally is and will give us all a really good night and is bound to show us something thought provoking.

4. I have had a week off

More retirement practice. I had the week off after the bank holiday, and had a cracking good time. Apart from the fact that I was able to follow up and turn something after Greg Moreton’s wonderful demo, I was also able to get a few things done around the house.

A coffee with my mate Ian at the Mortimer Café (very nice). I did some clearing out and a trip to the tip. I cut the grass and got a few estimates to get work done. The best bit was discovering a new mantra that will follow me.

These afternoon naps don’t take themselves you know!” Sound advice – and I followed it. The only down side is that Kylie didn’t ring – I think she was busy.

5. Up-coming shows this summer and autumn

Not too shabby this year - we have the following in the book. I will be at Thatcham and at the Royal Berkshire show - but a recent phone call advised me of an upcoming family event (My grandson's second birthday) and of course this does trump the 30th June at the Yew Tree Inn so we need people for that. (I can say we have the stand closest to the pub - so driving may not be wise!

  • A show at the Yew Tree Inn coming up on 30th June for which we will need volunteers to man the stand and sell some wares.

  • A shot at the Newbury Show aka Royal Berkshire Show – September 15/16th 2018

  • The Thatcham Festival of Arts and Leisure. Saturday 13th October.

If you have items to sell, if you have a desire to talk to people, if you have a desire in one case to spend all day at a pub drinking several pints of something frothy, or just a desire to have a day out - come and tell us please.

6. Keep it clean

So I have finally decided I can't keep a house clean. Last weekend I had good friends coming for dinner. You may think this is reason enough to tidy, hoover and dust I hear you say. It is worse than that though!! Ian and Ruby know me, and they will take me as they find me, but it is just not good enough.


I have decided to get a "lady-what-does" to come and do a few hours a week (no- she doesn't do that apparently so don't even ask). She is coming to check me out and see if she wants to take me on at 2.00pm on Sunday, and as I write this (on Sunday) I have been up since 6.00am hiding the dust and removing the stains (once again - just don't even ask), hopefully I just about finished on time....... She arrived at 2.00pm sharp, I shall call her Julia - (because that is her name), and she is lovely - nothing to do with the sight of her in marigolds.

Sadly - she is now seeing the house after I have intensively cleaned it for both her, and for my dinner guests. When she comes for her first proper cleaning visit it will look different. Julia will do me once a week on a Monday morning. I would have preferred Friday - then it is done for the weekend, but sadly the only slot she had left was Monday. I now have visions of spending Sunday cleaning the house ready for Julia to come on Monday. Then I had a brainwave - I shall get another woman in on Friday to clean the house for both Julia and I on the Friday.


I was easier being normal.

7. The next Saturday workshop.

The next Saturday workshop - which happens to be this week, we are going back to basics. So if you are not sure about beads or covers, scared of a skew or wondering how to get the middle of your bowls flat - then come and see us on the 26th May and we will try to help you. I have it on good authority that Hazel will be there bearing cakes.

I would put a smiley face after that statement on some occasions, it depends on how the mood takes me I think. You all know about emoticons, the smiley face or the wink. However they are not always there when needed and sometimes you can be sure how people take what you have written, even if you mean it to be taken in good grace. As Frank Skinner says - there is no emoticon for "Reticent".

I have much to do, I have spent a couple of days this week in Gloucestershire. Just by way of a change it is not underwater yet, but I am sure it will be as soon as it rains. I went there recently to see an old mate who I knew years ago. I was trying to be a drummer back then, but I was awful. We did a gig once, and the local paper said "The only difference between this drummer and Radox, is that Radox bucks up your feet." Fair enough I guess. The band we had at the time did split up. The singer/guitarist and myself did try to go out on our own using our stage names - Mike Novak and I was calling myself Phil Good (see what I did with my name there - it sounds like Feel Good? Oh never mind - I am wasted here.

Anyway we toured as Novak & Good. It had a ring to it. Not long after we added a better singer called John Still. We were then known as Still Novak & Good, but it didn't work. I think it was because John Still was not totally all there, he was from Somerset - somewhere near the Mendips. He thought Bugger all was some posh stately home. His wife used to sing italian songs, she called herself Donatella Anyone but she disappeared completely. They were happy days.

Any road up, I have to crack on, I am just finishing putting the bits into my web-site. There are some sad gits among you that ask if there are any back issues of this rubbish. There are - but they are scattered across several PC's and different email accounts and hard to putt together when people ask, so I have decided to create a web-site containing some sort of blog so that I can collate them all, and add new ones, or other ramblings, as the mood takes me. This little muse culminated in me purchasing my own web domain name -

Thus - in the next day or two will be born. I am still putting it together and will make many mistakes - but I will give it a go. If I can figure it out I may add an email thingymejig which will mail you if I add stuff to the site - but I have not figured out how to do this yet.

So I will close for now - but another quick reminder. Some of you who are reading this will not see another one unless you reply to me at or because I will remove you from this email list to try to adhere to these GDPR rules. So if you want to keep hearing from me I do need you to let me know otherwise we will have to part company.

I know some of you will see this as a positive boon, that is fair. Some of you however may prefer to keep getting stupid emails, in which, and if you did not answer the GDPR one I sent on behalf of the club - then do please tell me, it is important.

Phil Boulter

Vice Chairman

Kennet Valley Woodturning Club

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