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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.

74 - July 2020 Turn it on

Hello my dusty friends. I hope you are covered in shavings and enjoying time on the workshop.

July already and getting warmer – it is nice to get in the workshop and not freeze to death. I hope this email finds you all well and healthy, and not too heavily laden with gloves and masks etc. It is still a bit of an odd time, and we are still having to make things up as we go along. A lot of woodturning clubs are struggling to keep together and move along with the weekly changes in rules – all of which basically mean we have to stay away and keep ourselves to ourselves for the time being. More on that later.

My hands are a bit sore today. Last evening the good lady her-indoors asked for me to be more romantic so I gave her a massage with essential oils –Castrol GTX and WD-40.

Lets talk about other things we can do together.

The Car Park Event

We had a fairly successful socially distant gathering when we opened the shop in the car park at Padworth Village Hall a few weeks ago, so much so that we are going to repeat it – but this time also with the addition of wood as well.

On Saturday 25th July, as well as having the club shop in the car park again we are delighted to say Brian Giles will be there as well with his normal selection of wood and blanks, so if you are running down on supplies or on wood we will have both for you. It was so nice to see club members get together 2 weeks ago – despite the wind and rain, and I hope we will get the same again. We will be there from 10.00am onwards – hopefully this time in decent weather! 😊

It was good to see Denis Winter there as well last time even though he was a bit tired. It takes a lot of energy for him to look after the garden, well - that and all the dogging.

When will we see you again?

I have been asked by several people, both KVWT club members and also people from other clubs, when will we get together again? It is difficult to be sure of anything at the moment. We have committee members who would prefer to wait until the new year – preferably after a vaccine is available. So many of us are of an age where sitting shoulder to shoulder for 3 hours is hard to justify. That said – we have younger members who are possibly happier to get together, albeit in a somehow socially distanced way – whatever that might be.

As I write this – the hall remains closed, but we don’t know for how long. Do we have a middle ground perhaps, could we continue with out remote demonstrations, but have some of it broadcast in the hall with those members who are happy to sit there and watch, and others watching from home. Hard to say, but it is possible. The debate will continue of course – but at the moment we stay at home.

Let me know if you do think you would be prepared to meet indoors at the club at any time, either Tuesday evenings or Saturday mornings and we will gauge responses.

Even at home though – we are a club with a rich heritage and an active membership and an enthusiastic committee that wants to make sure we continue to do our best. The program for the year is changing, but we do want to have something each month for those that can join in.

Sharing with Berkshire Woodturners

As many of you know we have been sharing online bookings with the Berkshire Woodturning Club. This has been an active decision to try to make the best of a bad job, but also to try to be prudent with our finances which are suffering as we cannot get together. This means that even without income from people turning up at the door each month, we can continue to bring you some entertainment. Sharing demonstrations, and costs, between the cubs has been successful so far, and allowed us to see so very entertaining “turns”. We have more to come this year, and I suspect it will roll over into next year from time to time as well when we will see a mixture of live demonstrators, and online experts being broadcast onto big screens at Padworth.

Next year we think that some demonstrators will increase their costs if two clubs get together when they are being broadcast into village halls where door fees are being collected. It means we can afford to pay more – and the demonstrators can have a bonus of extra income.

We must remember that we rely on demonstrators for our treats each month and we should support them. Without them the monthly meetings would lose a lot of their appeal. In a normal year we have several hands-on club nights instead of booking a demonstrator, sadly we cannot do that while we are remote and therefore are having to pay for someone each month and doing so without our door-fee income. I am not moaning – luckily we are sharing the costs, so that helps tremendously.

Emma Cook - The Tiny Turner

Tiny perhaps - but with a very big presence on screen.

While I feel like I want to say many of us have enjoyed the company of Emma Cook over the last 3 months I suspect her husband Roy might not appreciate the accusation. Those of you in the know will have seen her on You-Tube in recent months as one of the intrepid band of professional turners who have kept the light burning while we were/are in lockdown. You may recall how, at our AGM, I bemoaned the fact that we could not easily afford to get Emma down from Yorkshire for an evening demo because of the travel costs. I had thought of offering accommodation but my wife refused to move out of the house on the night in question so it was destined not to be.

Emma however has accepted our request to demonstrate remotely for us on 14th July. I have a suspicion that we may be her first official remote booking in fact. Emma is a delight. She has a natural relaxed presentation style that washes over you and immediately makes you feel comfortable. Emma is an experienced carver as well as woodturner and this will be very evident in the presentation she will be giving us. It is something I asked for specifically so that she can turn something for us while also giving us the benefit of her carving knowledge and expertise.

Emma is to be found on the internet of course. I googled her (apparently she didn’t feel a thing) and found these pictures. One of them is Emma, but my screen is a little dusty and I can’t make out which one it is. Only one of them is wearing a frock of course – that maybe a clue?

As many of you know - I am a huge Emma fan. So much so that I have been taking an open university course in “Understanding Yorkshire” so that I can try to understand what she is saying. I am therefore happy that I can offer real-time translation for those of you who have trouble understanding people who live north of the Watford Gap.

I have booked an interpreter as well because lovely though Emma is, she is from Yorkshire. (Apparently where tea and rhubarb are made). I do sometimes say a demonstrator is not to be missed – but this month I really mean it. Some of you responded last month and already let me know that they want to be included for Emma’s demo, so I have that logged. If there are any extra takers – please let me know.

Emma is not only a turner - she is also a talented carver, woodturning offers her a chance to use both skills and they merge beautifully. The demonstration she is going to do for us is something that covers both turning and carving, and with Emma’s enthusiasm for carving it is something I really enjoyed last time I saw it.

Still to come this season!

Prior to the current unpleasantness we had John Boyne Aitken (The Bowler Hatted Turner) booked to come and see us in July. I was very unhappy when I had to cancel John as he is a great advertisement for woodturning as a whole. John was gracious enough to say he would rather cancel and make sure we were all healthy, and to return when things are better. I am absolutely delighted to say that John will join us online on Tuesday August 11th. I am also looking to ask him back next year in person, stay turned for more on this.

September sees Chris Fisher the Blind Woodturner - more on that in the next email.

November has a very good friend of the club, Martin Saban-Smith. October remains to be seen, but may possibly be filled with another overseas turner - this is being investigated at the moment.

…and so

I will be off now as there might be a bit of play in the cricket. Lovely weather so far this year, but as soon as the cricket starts it bloody rains!!

Apparently Chris cox used to play cricket - at least until his accident.

Doctor: Hi Chris - what seems to be the problem

Chris Cox: I have a cricket ball stick up my bottom

Doctor: How’s that?

Chris Cox: Don’t you start!

Mike Allen doesn’t watch cricket, I think he prefers “indoor sports” He said he and his lovely wife have found a new position - it’s called the Plumber Position. Apparently you stay in all day and no-one comes.

Phil Boulter

Vice Chairman

Kennet Valley Woodturners

M:07836 274345

H: 01635 826009

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