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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.

71 - I am bored now

Woodturning at the club is off – more on that story later - or perhaps another day.

The good lady wife keeps telling me I don’t listen – she mumbled something really daft this morning about me getting into shelf insulation – at least that’s what it sounded like.

The world has gone mad, and some of us with it.

We are scared to shake hands with anybody, cannot get too close and kissing is out of the question. (Yes – I have left many women high and very dry over recent weeks!!)

There is a serious point to all of this of course and we should not make light of it too much, but there is also the very ridiculous side.

I shop several times a week, I don’t keep too much in the fridge and like to buy fresh ingredients to allow something a little different for dinner which has perhaps not come out of a packet. This is now getting to be almost impossible.

Last night I wondered what to do for tea, so I had a little peek in the ever-faithful Delia book. What can we have that’s different for tea I considered as I flicked hesitantly through the pages? Delia recommends quail in an aspic sauce with mange-tout and a white wine vinegar reduction - but all I had was a tin of spaghetti hoops.

I shall try to go shopping tomorrow and see what is left on the shelves that all the hoarding masses have decided they don’t like. I suspect it will be Marmite on crackers.

Someone out there, one of you must be a scientist, or a medical person, or a researcher, or a boffin of some sort – perhaps a member of a secret medical society… What the bloody hell is the magical property that toilet paper has that stops Covid-19? Apparently, you don’t get the runs – so someone is either easting it or stuffing it up their noses?

Just yesterday morning I was in the big Tesco Store at the top of Newbury. They had completely run out of toilet paper. I asked the lady at the information desk if they had any at all, she peered over at me with a stern look and said firmly “No”. Believe me – that walk back to the customer toilets with my trousers round my ankles is not one I would like to repeat.

I am starting to wonder how big people’s freezers are. Surely to goodness there is only so many beef burgers you can put in there, under the chickens, the frozen loaves of bread, the ice cream and the frozen veg. Don’t get me started on salad – surely most of it is going to be thrown away because they will never have time to eat it all before it rots into a festering damp glob in the bottom of the fridge.

Meanwhile little old ladies have empty shelves to look at because retards have swept the shelves clean. In a couple of weeks time it is the first Sunday of the month – the day we go and feed soup, bread and sandwiches to the homeless in Reading. It is fair to say we have soup – but lord knows where we will get the bread from this month? Again – there is plenty – but the retards have emptied the shelves and have it all in their freezers!!

I did ask at a supermarket about whether they could keep some back the day before we need it, I felt like I was asking for the blood of her first-born. She looked at me like she had just discovered a skid mark on a hotel towel. What has happened to the world where we empty the shelves so that the less able are not themselves able to buy basic necessities.

Boy this is getting deep and woeful, lets not.

I heard that the police are cracking down on locally grown drugs. An policeman from Reading called at my friend Steve’s farm near Theale yesterday evening...

“I need to inspect your farm for illegally grown drugs”, he said.

“By all means officer, just don’t go in that field over there”, Steve replied.

The policeman exploded, saying “Do you know who the hell I am?!

I have the authority of the government with me!”, he shouted before pulling his badge out of his uniform pocket,

“Do you see this f*cking badge?! This badge means I can do what I want, when I want and I’ll go wherever the f*ck I want, have I made myself clear?!”

Steve said he nodded politely, apologised, and went about his work.

A short while later, he heard loud screams, looked up and saw the policeman running for his life being chased by Steve’s angry bull.

With each step, the bull was gaining ground and he seemed sure to be gored before he reached safety. The policeman looked terrified and continued to run for his life.

Steve threw down his tools, immediately ran to the edge of the fence and shouted at the top of his lungs,

“Your badge, show him your f*cking badge!”

That’s better.

Now – what’s next. As a lot of us are having to stay at home there is a video aimed at making sure we keep busy and make the most of our time. It was posted by Martin Saban-Smith – if you are a woodturner of if you have a workshop – see it here.

I won’t be seeing Martin for a couple of weeks as he and his family are self-isolating and

I can’t go near until he gets and all clear. 2 weeks off then!

So I now have to work out what to do for 2 weeks.

I had a look at some things to do online – look at this picture…

It is called “Organise all the food you have hoarded”

As I said – the world has gone mad – or at least this person has definitely slipped over the edge if they think that you can store all of your hoarded items on two shelves of a wall cupboard – especially when half of one shelf is full of condiments and herbs. (Salted toilet paper perhaps?)

Whoever they are they know cluff-all about hoarding.

I can feel a list coming on.

  1. Change the beds.

  2. Wash the sheets

  3. Catch up on the ironing

  4. Catch up on everything you recorded and have not yet watched

  5. Tidy the workshop at last – and do some turning.

  6. Make a list of things to do

  7. Go to item 1

  8. Repeat (in case you missed item 7.)

Not a lot then – I may have to ration the ironing to stop myself getting over-excited.

Talking of getting over-excited, well – not quite. I ran a few errands yesterday – picking up membership cards – a trip to the chemists, a speed awareness course (more on that in a minute) and a call to another committee members house for a little committee job – lets leave it at that.

I pulled up outside his house, I was on my motorbike and took a few minutes to remove my gloves, open the top box to store my crash helmet etc and I heard a voice.

I still had my lid on so it was a bit vague – but I heard it again.

I looked around me and saw nothing startling – certainly nothing human shaped – so where did the voice come from?

I heard it again! Once again, I spun round and tried to find the source – nothing. I wondered if I was losing my mind, but quickly satisfied myself that I had lost that long ago so I didn’t need to panic.

I removed my helmet and heard “morning!”

This time I heard it better – but where from – there was nobody in sight, so instead of looking round I looked up.

I really, really, wish I hadn’t.

The person I was visiting – for the sake of anonymity we will call him person X – was standing at his bathroom window talking to me. His open bathroom window. This was not a good moment.

To be fair – the window was split into two parts – one half at the top and one half at the bottom, sort of sash-window job if you know what I mean.

Person X was hanging out of the top half of the open window, that is to say the top half was. Sadly that was not all that was hanging out. The bottom half of the window, being a bathroom window was at least frosted.

The issue with frosted windows is that you have to be at least a few inches away from the window for the frosting to take effect. There were specific elements of Person X that were not frosted.

Not frosted at all.

Both myself and the little old lady that lives over the road who was just emerging with her little dog for walkies – both if us, we now know that person X is definitely not Jewish.

Even her dog now has a completely different view on things.

I hadn’t even had lunch!

The day was not yet finished however. I had the naughty step still to attend.

A few weeks ago I raced recklessly through Four Marks in Hampshire – tears streaming from my eyes from the wind as I passed into a 30mph zone doing 34 mph.

It was at this point that the local constabulary chose to take a photograph. The picture in question is not for use in a passport – it is better suited to be used in court whereupon no excuse under the sun is going to stop the local magistrate (a descendent of Judge Jeffries apparently) deciding to hang me at dawn. I had but one escape – and that was to attend an educational driver awareness course, at my own expense.

Oh well, it was a polite invitation, and one which I elected to accept as I am just that sort of gracious person. It has been said. A date was mutually agreed and I rocked up at the Hilton at Junction 13 of the M4 at a few minutes past 12 noon.

Now I am in no doubt that some of you will have been on such an event, a few will have treated it with a small dose of sarcasm, perhaps some of you will have slept for a lot of the time, I dare say a few would have adopted a small degree of dislike for a squeaky-voiced jobs-worth who was tasked with reading the riot act for four hours in a monotone voice that demanded strangulation at the very least.

I loved it.

Perhaps I am weird – but it was actually very interesting – I learned a few good things, and John, the ‘presenter’ had a way about him that made it both enjoyable and informative. Some of the stories were a little odd.

“How did you get caught” John had asked us.

I was sat next to a fair haired lady – actually a very nice lady – and she had been lost in Southampton and was on a dual carriageway doing 40mph. Sadly the limit was 30mph ON A DUAL CARRIAGEWAY! I honestly had a lot of sympathy.

A slightly older lady – lots of make-up and bleached hair, best described as a blonde bombsite – moaned about being done my a speed camera outside a school

No sympathy there then.

The best one – the very best one was another lady on our table. She must have been in her 80’s. Think of the lady on tweety bird – very sweet looking. Butter would not melt. She had never been stopped for speeding at all, ever, and was as polite as it was possible to be. She was writing everything down and taking the whole affair very seriously. So many notes and all going into her notebook. All written down in the way I imagine Mother Theresa would have done if she’d had better Wi-fi.

She had glasses so thick they were like re-entry shields.

Lets call her Granny.

John “What happened to you then Granny”

Granny “I got spotted by one of those speed cameras”

John “Did you know it was there?”

Granny “Oh yes – I remember when they installed it”

John “That’s unusual why do you remember something like that?”

Granny “it’s outside my house”

FFS – how fast does she pull into her driveway?

Apparently, she will feature if John ever writes a book.

So – it is Friday morning – its dustbin day. I have just been out and put a tracker on the dustbin and put it at the end of the drive – lord knows where they will put it today after they have emptied it all over the road.

I am about to go and do the rounds of the supermarket and do my shopping.

The list is;

  • De-scaler

  • Bananas

  • Apples

  • Potatoes

  • A loaf of bread

  • Something for tea

  • Sweetener

I may be back before it is dark, but I have made sandwiches and a flask just in case.

I shall report back in a day or two.

Now – go and wash your filthy hands.

Phil Boulter

Vice Chairman

Kennet Valley Woodturners

M:07836 274345

H: 01635 826009

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