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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.

63 - God Bless the NHS

Apparently, some of you now I have an iffy leg at the moment. I don’t like to make a fuss.

I now know that it is broken and I expect plenty of sympathy, cake, sweets and women-what-hug. More below.

Lots going on here – the woodturny bit is busy because we have an all-day social event coming up – as well as the annual County Show (aka the Newbury Show). I have a couple of things to ask, but mostly it is just the standard dribblings.

One nice piece of news – I decided to start looking for a new car. I saw a guy last week about a nice large saloon car – he was keen to sell; I can gauge these things. I said there was one very important check to make, “Tell me if you can hear this” – then I climbed in the boot, shut the lid and started to scream.

September is here already and school time again. I am sure many of you have new pencil cases, a new school tie, new clothes (that you will grow into) and smart shoes which will be scuffed by the time you come home. Please don’t be rude to the teachers, and stand still while mummy takes a picture of you looking like a prize idiot on the doorstep (this is a picture she will show your first serious boy/girl-friend at every opportunity).

OK – what have we….

  1. Club night – 10th September. Martin Saban-Smith

  2. Where is David Bailey when you need him?

  3. Do you need a sweatshirt?

  4. County Show

  5. Turned Fruit required

  6. Don’t forget our buddy Scheme

  7. The Free KVWT Summer Family Social

  8. Broken Leg

  9. And to close…

Club night – 10th September. Martin Saban-Smith

We should open with good news. We are joined in September by the inventor and still major shareholder, of the internet – Martin Saban-Smith (the hyphen is important – it sets us apart from apes). Martin Saban-Smith – the man that does for woodturning what Dolly Parton did for limbo dancing.

Martin has about eleveral thousand web-sites on the interweb, and creates about 350 new ones every day. Martin also says he is good looking, his mother says we should agree with him when he says that!!

As well as making his Hampshire Sheen catalogue of products (many of which will be on sale on the evening, so bring cash or plastic with you). Martin also teaches woodturning, finishing, colouring and even pyrography in his fully equipped workshop on Four Marks in Hampshire.

Martin has a very relaxed - but also very informative presentation style and has an absolute wealth of knowledge on all things about finishing and colouring. If you are not sure which wax or finish to use for what – Martin will probably be able to give you the very best advice.

Some of you will know that even though I tried to retire I do find myself with Martin for a few days each month packing boxes and helping label products, they really are hand made by Martin and I do get to see the care he takes about making sure that they are the very best they can be.

I also know a small something about a brand-new product that we will be the first so see. You need to be there on the night to see it – literally.

I also know what Martin will be doing for us, and I am sure you will enjoy it. We are in for a relaxed and fun evening, and with luck we should get a full house. I am looking forward to this one. Our new members will find it particularly interesting.

Of course – along with all the other demonstrators who come to visit, I looked Martin up on the goggle-interweb thingy and found this;

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping we would get one of the ladies – but I am pretty sure it is Martin in the last photograph. Other photographs to get conversation flowing are shown below.

One from his twenties when he was a wannabe pop star and released his first post-grunge-industrial- techno album called “Mellon Collie and The Infinite Posset”.

Although he had high hopes that it would sell millions and go “Gold”, it only achieved 10 sales (mainly to family) and went “Tupperware” instead.

Meanwhile, Martins hopes of political greatness we dashed in the 2008 local elections when he came 6th (out of 5 contestants) in the local by elections.

He was beaten by the three of the Monster Raving Loony options of Lord Buckethead, Elmo and Mr Fishfinger.

Due to the imminent Brexit fiasco reaching a head in the coming weeks, Martin has decided to concentrate on wood turning instead of politics.

He passed his electoral notes and plans on to someone called Nigel Farage and wished him luck.

Where is David Bailey when you need him?

OK Folks – a quickie. You may have noticed that we have been missing a few photographs recently of competition entries and winners.

We are looking for a volunteer to take a picture of three each month and then email them to Denis so that he can have them added to the web site. Whether you use the camera in your phone (most of which are very good indeed on most modern phones) or if you use a digital camera is up to you. You will need to take pictures of a sensible quality, and make sure they are the right suitable format (which Denis can advise on). Assistance from someone out there I the membership would be greatly appreciated.

Do you need a sweatshirt?

I bought a new sweatshirt a couple of weeks ago, the moths in my wardrobe made my other one shrink slightly. I have two people who want to buy one – prices are as follows. Polo Shirts are £12.50, Sweatshirts are £15 and Hoodies are £20. Please email me on and let me know what you want (and what size) or see me at the Tuesday meeting.

County Show

OK – it is nearly Newbury Show time. As Mike mentioned at the last meeting, we need some volunteers to help us man the stand – particularly important this time as the committee is falling to pieces with various injuries, accidents, diseases, ailments and STD’s.

In the next week or so I will be writing to the kind people who have already volunteered to assist in the Newbury Show weekend. We will be getting some passes for people who are helping us – they are limited – but we will do our best to deal them out as fairly as we can. Mike Allen is chasing for more passes at the moment to try to one for everyone.

I doubt if anyone reading this has not been to the Newbury Show – but just in case you haven’t, it is a worthwhile visit for all things “country” and shows off what Berkshire does at its very best.

The shape of what we will be doing with you and for you is as follows:

Friday 20th Sept 1pm – Load up at the hall at Padworth (including people’s items for sale) and then go and setup at the showground.

Saturday 21st Sept First day of the show – an early start (we must be ready for 0800hrs I believe) and manning the stand according to the rota agreed with volunteers.

Sunday 22nd Sept – Second day of the show and again manning the stand according to the rota. We will pack up and unload on Sunday afternoon/evening and return items to those who come to the club house to pick them up.

Weather permitting, as ever, it promises to be a fun weekend. The number of people visiting the show, and our stand, will be measured in the thousands rather than the 10’s or hundreds registered at other shows. Last year there were 60,000 tickets sold. Pricing should be keen, I have written about this before, but we should price our items accordingly, people who come to the show are prepared to spend money – and we will take credit or debit cards so sales will be easier.

If you have items to sell at the show you can bring them to us on Friday 20th at the hall in Padworth. We do insist there is a label on there with your name on it – and a good price for the item. We hope to sell a lot of items, so please don’t be shy.

On the subject of selling – please remember we will be looking for lots of spinning tops to give away to kids, so if you have some, or can do some prior to the show believe me they will be well used and appreciated. Giving these away to children draws people to the stand, and it also gives us a chance to collect a donation to our charity, and gets their parents looking at items for sale.

Added to this we are trying to sell a large platter containing turned fruit for the club funds. We have the platter – we just need fruit. If you have a piece we can use then please let us have it – perhaps some of you may want to donate an item from our turned fruit competition earlier this year.

Buddy Scheme

During the passage of a year there comes a time where we need a little help or guidance with our turning experiences. We do try to offer help on a Saturday morning workshop, or a members night – but in some cases we need to spend time with someone who may be able to spare some time on a buddy basis.

We currently have three buddy members who are prepared to offer some time to try to help people out – this can be at a member’s own workshop – or by arrangement (they have busy lives) theirs. Current Buddy members are; John Austin, Phil Boulter and Denis Winter. With John just out of hospital, and me (Phil) trying to cure my broken leg that only leaves Denis – and he can’t handle everyone. Are there any members out there who are willing to make a little time to help anyone who needs a buddy from time to time? Let me know.

The Free KVWT Summer Family Social 28th July

By the way – this is FREE!!!!!

Hot on the heels of the Newbury Show will be our Saturday workshop. This month it is a bit different as it will last all day. As previously mentioned, we will do our best to amuse you and your families for a day.

  • We will have a Saturday workshop as usual, however we hope to enhance the experience with some extras. We are really hoping that;

  • Tony Halcrow may be able to join us for a few hours and take us through some off centre turning.

  • Sheila Hughes will take us through pyrography

  • We will spend time working with a treadle lathe (courtesy of the late Robin Percy)

  • Wood decoration – possibly with a chain saw – to be confirmed

  • Sharpening experience – we want to have as many sharpening systems as possible for people to try

  • Food and drink – (we have decided against a barbeque as it is late September and we can’t trust the weather) but we will make full use of the kitchen.

  • Bring and buy sale? If you have unwanted tools or equipment – bring it along and see if someone wants to buy it.

So - a whole day, and it is above all else – a social occasion. New members can get to meet us, and hopefully we can all meet each other’s families.

Did I mention that this is all free – no cost at all, gratis!!

All we ask is that you come along and hep make this a success by simply being there.

Broken Leg

It’s a simple thing, I broke my leg. Technically it is my knee, but it is attached to my leg, I think there is a song about it that says what is attached to what.

The short version, I went to park the bike in Hungerford, I dropped the side stand, but sadly as I got off the bike the stand slipped, the bike fell onto my left knee.

If I said it did not hurt, it would be inaccurate. After I got home it got worse, and I was taken to hospital. Cutting out the middle bit – three visits over a period of 3 weeks and a CT scan later they found two breaks in my knee.

In no way does this compete with people who have chronic illnesses, liver disease or cancer – but it did hurt!!

I go back in a few weeks and hopefully everything will be healed up, meanwhile a limp, a walking stick and a leg brace are fantastic magnets for a whole lot of undeserved sympathy.

and to close…

It is a busy time – I seem to be running out of time to do anything really. There have been a few hospital visits, both for family and friends, and one or two for me. It is a generational thing I guess, as I pass into my late 30’s I know more and more people who are of an age that makes it liable that they will suffer the odd ailment. It doesn’t make it easier of course – illness is a bitch.

Retirement has given me the freedom to do a lot more – and the things I do seem to fill up the time available. Doing a little part time work here and there during the month with Martin is a nice break, it is both interesting and rewarding. Having a little job directly related to your hobby is something not everyone is lucky enough to be able to experience, and it is a joy.

When I retired 11 months ago I was full of good intentions. I wanted to decorate, clear the garage out, get the garden under control and even start up a Tuesday open day at home. What I ended up doing was buying a motorbike and continuing a long and happy childhood.

I have been travelling a bit – I have been to Somerset a couple of times to Yandles in Martock – once with Tony Harvey to get investigate and your new club lathe – but also last week to their Autumn Show. You may not know about this odd piece of trivia, but Britain's oldest known song was written in Martock in about 1240. It's early English title "Zummer Is E'Coomin' In E'Hoodas Sing Cuckoo", which to our modern ears seems quite meaningless, but translates as "Agadoo-Doo-Doo, Push Pineapple, Shake The Tree".

Also William Lord, Archbishop of Yoevil from 1633 was born in Broad Street, Martock, (where W.H. Smith stands), which is evidenced by the Lord family crest of crossed pen and pencil set ardent, topped by readers' wives rampant.

Modern Martock is famously home to the Kenwood Mixer, named after its inventor...Ken Woodmixer.

Life was transformed for a generation of 1960's housewives experiencing the joys of his chopper attachment on the kitchen table.

A notable grave at Martock’s church - St. Wulfrun's – next door to Yandles, is that of Britains first recorded fatal case of asbestosis. The poor chap was buried there in 1827, but not until after they'd spent three weeks trying to cremate him.

Finally – a couple of notes for you.

  • You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice

  • I'm supposed to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder for me to find one now

  • Have fun making shavings. Don’t for get to make us some spinning tops!!

See you on Tuesday evening

Phil Boulter

Vice Chairman

Kennet Valley Woodturners

M:07836 274345

H: 01635 826009

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