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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.

56 - April Showers and a maintenance day

Where does one begin.

I guess the maintenance day – threatened for so long – but now arranged.

This Wednesday 3rd April from 12noon at the village hall. If you feel like giving a hand let us know. There should be at least four of us – but all help is handy. We aim to re-shoe the main lathe with a new base and 4 new wheels. Clean and dust out all of the lathes and chucks, and generally clear out the cupboards and have a good tidy up of the tools – perhaps sharpen some as well.

If you are available from 12 noon on Wednesday 3rd April don’t be shy – come and have a chat and lend a hand.

I have been playing the fool as usual – being retired and avoiding doing all of the things I promised I would do when I retired to make sure I have a good time.

I am starting to run out of the initial “Tigger” – type of bouncy excitement about all things motorbike (not that most people would notice) and start to think that I should really get a grip and sort out the garage and garden. On the other hand – the weather looks good next week….

Got an e-mail today from a "bored housewife 33, looking for some action!" I've sent her my ironing, that'll keep her busy.

Actually, on the email front – I do have more time to read emails now because I get fewer than I used to when I worked. I used to average about 200 each day – but now if it wasn’t for Axminster, Amazon and Waitrose (that’s me showing off) I wouldn’t get any emails at all.

That said – I have now had more time to read emails from Kwami Adebowale. Seems like a decent chap – albeit he has a fixation on the size of my “gentlemans sausage” and getting it enlarged. I should say at this point that I have what can only be described as a satisfactory instrument, albeit it has not been played a lot recently and could do with tuning. I replied to Mr Adebowale, explaining that it really didn’t need to be interfered with, I added that he should also have a word with what I can only assume is one of his quite extensive family because I am happy to help them move the $80 million dollars from their bank account. I pointed out that this Thursday should be avoided as it is half day closing and they don’t take kindly to large transactions when they need to close up and 12.30. I also need to go to the library. He hasn’t replied yet – I’ll keep you up to date on the money transfer situation as it happens.

Enough – what do we have….

  1. Members evening on 9th April – fruit. Apples and Pears etc

  2. Saturday workshop on 27th April – Making bracelets bangles and jewellery

  3. Road Trip to Wales

  4. Barbeque in June – early warning

  5. Easter Egg Run

As I get older and remember all the people I've lost along the way. I think to myself maybe a career as a tour guide wasn't for me.

Members evening on 9th April – fruit. Apples and Pears etc

It is pretty much what it says on the tin. We will gather at the club next week, Tuesday 9th and in our teams make fruit – or something that in our minds resembles something like fruit.

Apples and Pears are the obvious ones. If they go badly – do not lose the faith – you can continue and make them into lemons, failing that, plums, and if you really get it wrong – a grape.

I have already made arrangements – we are going to adopt a Brexit style of voting for the best team, therefore no-one will win.

Sad news today – by obese parrot died yesterday – it is at least a huge weight off my shoulders.

Saturday workshop on 27th April – Making bracelets bangles and jewellery

This one is actually back by popular demand.

It should be said also that some of you are pretty good jewellery makers along with bangles etc.

Saturday workshops will also continue to be there to help you learn how to sharpen your tools and to help beginners in their first steps with the whole woodturning topic. I don’t think anyone is going to bring any uncut diamonds to the workshop – but you would be amazed at how ingenious some people are when making necklaces.

I am hoping to get Tony Harvey, Harvey Grimwood and John Barrie Smith and of course Jim Coombs to splash their expertise on this subject. (that is what we call a blunt hint chaps!!)

Road Trip to Wales

Symptom-Ian wanted a cheese and ham toastie. I’ll be honest – I am also a great fan, and never knowingly have I turned one down. This bought about a trip to Abergavenny (in Welsh Wales) last week, obviously.

Why is that? What is the link?

Regard if you will.

Owing to the success of the Steam Iron that Ian purchased 2 weeks ago (see my diatribe from last month) Ian has become slightly enthusiastic about domestic hardware. When taken short on the food front, Ian is well known for his “emergency pasty” which constantly lurks, thoughtfully - nay menancingly, in the back of the fridge.

Outside of this staple food item, Ian is often taken with the urge for a cheese and ham toastie. This is the link mentioned above and the reason for the Welsh trip. You see Ian, like the rest of us has a toasted sandwich maker. Let’s face it, even the most remote tribe in the upper Amazon will have at least one toasted sandwich maker. As with all of us it sits on a shelf – underneath other unwanted items, and was used almost exclusively just after purchase.

Since that time it has resided out of sight – with a residue of untoasted cheese stuck to the plates (they are so hard to clean). It would have been during those three weeks that he – like others – came to realise that once cooked, the delicacy (we shall call it that for the time being) attracts two distinct properties that are universal.

The inside temperature of the piece is akin to that found on the surface of the sun. Anyone foolish enough to bite into it for the first three minutes after the recipe culmination (allowing for point 2 below) will receive 3rd degree burns to the mouth and tongue and need urgent medical treatment.

The outer edges of the item, having been pressed shut by the mechanism, have been welded together – and turned into some sort of indestructible material similar to Kevlar. Trying to eat this outer edge is simply not possible. You are better off collecting the bits and using them as hardcore for a new driveway, or as some sort of body armour perhaps.

The answer to this culinary dilemma is simple – get a toaster like Pete & Sharons. Sharon (little sister) and Pete (Bro-in-law) own an expensive toaster that has wide slots. These wide slots will accept a fully assembled cheese and ham sarnie. The idea is that the toaster itself both toasts the bread, and also melts the strategically placed cheese. In order to achieve this feat of Michelin one-star cheffery, one has to place the delicacy into a cage of sorts which grips the bread – holding the slices together while the cooking magic happens. They are quite expensive – which is why I don’t have one – and why we set off on the road to Wales to try out Pete’s.

Success!! It tasted lovely, so good that I nearly had another one, however we had been there nearly 15 minutes and were getting itchy feet and wanted to ride back home from Wales, so off we went. (It is dangerous to stay in Wales for too long unless you have had the jabs – and Ian – being delicate – was at risk) We got out just in time, as we were about to turn the bend at the end of the road I spotted six men with lights on their heads rounding the other corner with papers to transfer us from the English RFU to the WRFU. Phew – that was close.

Barbeque in June – early warning

Just by way of advance warning we are looking to have a barbeque on the Saturday workshop in June. That will be 22nd June. More details will follow – but if you want to come and enjoy a full day on Saturday 22nd June – put it in your diary now and we will update again later.

Easter Egg Run

A selfish one now, some of you will know about the Reading Egg run. (I do like a runny egg). This is a charity event organised by the Thames Valley Vultures – a local motor cycle club, whereby Easter Eggs are collected from generous benefactors and these are then distributed by the Rotary Club to children who would not otherwise get to have one of these little Easter treats. As I am one of their number I was at Asda in Lower Early last weekend collecting eggs with the Vultures, (they were also there the weekend before but I was with you last at the last Saturday workshop) and over the two weekends have collected just short of 4,000 Easter eggs. More will be collected on Easter Sunday when we do a Motorbike run. Between 250 and 350 bikes will gather at the Scours Lane end of Stadium Way Industrial Estate in Reading from 11.30am on Friday, April 19. From 12.30pm they will then ride to the Abbey Rugby Club in Emmer Green, where they will present more Easter eggs and take part in a presentation. All eggs will go to children in care. If you have a bike – come and join in.

I rode a practice run last Sunday with people who will be marshalling the run event - this was only 10 other bikes, and it was good fun. I can’t even pretend to know how it will feel with a couple of hundred bikes. I have not been involved before, but I do know this event (which is in it’s 16th year) gets bigger and bigger every year.

On the subject of Motorbikes. There is a story about a mechanic who was busy removing the cylinder head from a Harley Davison bike when he spotted a well known cardiologist in the workshop. The cardiologist was waiting for someone to take a look at his bike when the mechanic shouted across the workshop “Hey Doc – want to take a look at this” The cardiologist, a bit surprised, wandered over to where the mechanic was working. The mechanic straightened up, wiped his hands on a rag and said “So Doc, look at this engine, I open its heart, take the valves out, repair any damage, and then put them back in, and when I finish it works just like new”.

So how come I make a pretty small salary and you get the really big money when you and I are really doing the same kind of work.

The cardiologist paused, smiled and leaned over, then whispered to the mechanic…

“Try doing it with the engine running”

See you later….

Phil Boulter

07836 274345

01635 826009

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