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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.

52- Come on Baldrick, Theresa needs a plan B

Come on Baldrick, Theresa needs a very cunning one

It snowed last night.

I mention this for no good reason apart from the fact that it snowed, and I didn’t know what to write first. Looking at BBC breakfast this morning Carol Kirkwood (a fine figure of a woman in my humble O) said it was “flurries”. She has a way with words that woman.

It has been a while you see, I have been a tad busy – and things have happened at home which have prevented me from being in the right frame of mind to sit and vomit a whole lot of words al-la blog.

Anyhoo – like I said – a lot has happened since my last blog in early November (Blog number 50!) I left you hanging on while I built up towards taking my driving test on the bike – well much to my surprise I passed. It was wet – it was a wee bit intense as we rode out of the test centre onto the main road, I immediately sped up to 55mph in a 50mph speed limit area and decided I had failed without even getting half a mile. Apparently however because I took immediate action and slowed down again, I got away with it.

Someone was smiling down on my that day!

Having passed – I bought the bike I wanted – and have been having a ball since. It has rather taken over what I had been doing previously (which was being sensible) and I have felt young again because most days until this week I had been out on the bike for one reason or another – because I can!!

I have used it a little excessively perhaps – if I need a pint of milk I will jump on the bike and go the nearest Tesco, actually – second nearest – make that third or fourth nearest.

A pint of milk can take me hours to buy.

Just imagine - “Oh goodness – there is [no milk/not enough milk/sour milk/wrong milk/spilt milk] so I should nip out and get some. I know, my bike would be quicker – so I will use that.” So, I have developed a good route from Thatcham to the local Tesco Extra (which passes 3 smaller Tescos, 1 Sainsburys, 1 Co-Op and a brace of Waitrose as well as Aldi and Lidl and only takes me about 2 hours if I avoid the A34.

A man cannot have enough milk.

Also, when I get back, I normally realise I forgot the bread and have to go back for it.

My route to Tesco for a Pint of milk

“Symptom”-Ian and I (he has a bike as well) have been out quite a lot and riding around to see if we can find places to eat – drink and annoy the local inhabitants.

Who is Symptom-Ian – he is the poor sod who came to America with me – he is stricken with age and also stricken with about 17 other ailments that make his life a bit of a challenge, and makes it difficult sometimes for him to maintain a happy countenance. Sometimes he doesn’t bother to try – ah well – with age comes choice. Ian makes me laugh – he has a sense of humour that is as dry as a kangaroo’s jockstrap and an outlook on life which is incredibly realistic.

I see Ian for coffee several times each week, normally in the morning, to watch the world go by, and catch up with his latest symptoms to discover what ails him on any given day. His right shoulder is in season at the moment – as is his neck. Lets not go there with his “internals”

When I was working I seemed to have time to write all sorts of crap in the evening, but now I am retired the messages, mails, memoranda and missives are missing. The dispatches, disseminations, distributions, documents and details have disappeared.


As many of you will know – by middle son Robert is a thespian (they can’t touch you for it) – he happens to be a bloody good one – as is his lovely wife Stephanie.

Robert has just finished a run in the West End in an award-winning play “The Inheritance” with a great cast which includes Vanessa Redgrave.

It was a long watch – two separate halves to the production (which you could see on separate days) which totalled almost 8 hours.

Needless to say, I thought it was amazing – but so did the critics and the public, as it had a sell-out run.

Stephanie meanwhile has also recently won an award for Favourite actress in the 2018 Napa Valley Film Festival.

What goes into my blog and what goes into an email to the club?

I took the shell off my racing snail yesterday because I thought it would make him go faster, if anything it made him more sluggish

Sorry – where was I?

I need to separate the email and the blog to an extent. I have posted the email and the blog this month – and there is some overlap – but I am lazy. I am aware however that people who read the blog are not wood turning club members and their needs are slightly different. The email and the blog will be available to everyone. However, the separation will allow readers some degree of self-editing.

As many of you know (because so many of you are old) – although I am retired, it only means I have no excuse to avoid the decorating, the gardening, the tidying up and the clearing out of the garage. All these things will of course serve to stop me having fun, so I have had a couple of months of fun since last October just in case. It cannot last – so I will have to split out my time accordingly so that the house does not fall apart.

I have promised Tuesday open days – and they will come – as soon as I stop messing about and complete the re-organisation of the garage. This was marred of course by the purchase of a bloody great big cruising motorcycle which takes up a lot of room and demanded the re-design of the layout – which has not worked too well. (As well as the pile of rubbish I still need to throw away.)

I am aiming for Mid-February – weather permitting

Looking back at my last blog, I ranted about Christmas – and it turned out pretty much as expected – it was great fun, we fed a lot of people, and it felt good. I got to see my beloved children before Christmas as well which was a bonus, but as per the last blog – I left them to enjoy Christmas in their own way with people their own age and with similar views/drinking habits/appetites/dreams.

I will admit I am missing the people I used to work with. The daily banter – the to & fro of simple insults and the laughs. Luckily – although I don’t have that – I also do not have the stress, the deadlines, the annoying meetings and the issues that constantly need solving. I still miss the people like mad though. I sort of solved that a little bit in the new year by joining in on a bit of a reunion party on January 4th.

A good friend of mine Geordie was the driving force behind this silly idea, and it worked a treat.

I did a daft piece of stand-up, other people did their thing

– and I also joined in on an act I first did in 1996 which resulted in me wearing little but a strategically placed frying pan. (It was a large frying pan ladies!)

I will not bore you with pictures as I don’t want to spoil the ladies for other men, suffice to say dignity and reputation was maintained even though the frying pan wasn’t.

Geordie is a real Geordie of course – hence the name. He is from Newcastle (a town twinned with 1975) and is the only town in the UK where JD Sports has an evening-wear department and sell anything that goes well with White Shoes.

Geordie did tell me he was watching TV and the announcer said there was a program about the clitoris on the red button, but he couldn't find it.

Here’s one for the older people among you, last night on Dave they showed an old Stars in their eyes – A guy came on and said Tonight Matthew I'm going to be Glen Miller - he went through the opening doors in the fog - and he's not been seen since!!

I went to my dentist yesterday. Did you know that they can tell lots of things about you and your lifestyle when they look at your teeth? She took me a little by surprise when she said to me that I needed to stop masturbating. I asked her why and she said, "because I'm trying to examine your teeth and you're shaking the hell out of the chair."

I don't know if you knew - but they are doing a remake of Tenko - do you remember Tenko - about the Japanese prisoners of war.

They are filming it in the old airbase at Greenham. I’ve always fancied following in my son’s footsteps and wondered if I could get a part as an extra.

I know – I don’t really look Japanese, and even ad 5’6” am probably too tall to be a Japanese soldier so my choice of role would be somewhat limited – similar to my acting ability I suppose.

Regardless of this I somehow saw one of my futures treading the boards in provincial theatres and reciting long soliloquies provided by the bard.

Anyway - I went along, surprisingly I got a part. Apparently, they were very short of people that day.

They dressed me up on old battered rags and said I was a prisoner of war. There was me and three other fella's – the only problem was they were looking very gaunt and they were all stick thin. As people assembled to prepare for filming the director walked across and looked us over.

When he got to me, he took a second look and said - what are you?

I put on an injured look and said “a prisoner of war” - he said “but hang on - you must be 18 stone?”

I looked back at him, and proud of myself for my quick thinking, I said “I only got captured yesterday”

I was sent home!

I’ll leave you with this.

I went to the Downgate (pub on the edge of Hungerford Common) for a meal.

Inspection of their menu revealed a promising comestible, (their new signature dish) – the Atlantic Octopus which I duly ordered.

They said Ok - but it takes about 4 hours. That came as a bit of a shock to be fair.

I said "4 hours for the Octopus!" - they said "yes - we cook them alive - and they keep turning the gas off. "

Oh well, I guess the holiday is over, back to clearing out the garage ready for my Tuesday open days, think about decorating indoors, ride my bike as much as possible and do some woodturning.

(And the first test is on the telly!!)

Life’s a bitch. 😊

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