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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.

78 - Covid is a bastard

Well well, it seems we are in lockdown. I guess that means we either spend more time eating chocolates and then wandering the streets aimlessly along with all the other people wearing track-suits and trainers trying to lose the weight, or we eat chocolate and then go into the shed and make something on the lathe!!

We could also spend time in the warm looking at the computer screen while someone else does all the turning – what a cracking good idea – let’s do it!

I was going to pen and send this on Sunday, but I was revising. Same on Monday – similar on Tuesday. Today I finished revising and put it into practice. More on that story later.

Did I ever tell you that the young lady over the road is very keen on bird-watching. Twitching I think they call it. I asked her if she wanted to come into my garden the other day to see my twelve finches.

So another month has meandered past us all too quickly – what do my November dribblings hold?

  1. Martin Saban-Smith re-appears as if by magic next week.

  2. We were going to meet in the car park on the 28th November

  3. We have a quiz in December

  4. Are you short of supplies?

  5. Yes – I will drone-on about me and my motorbike!

  6. ..and another thing

I wonder what my parents did to fight boredom before the internet. I asked my 17 brothers and sisters and they didn't know either.

1. Martin Saban-Smith

Next Tuesday (10th November) we have a chance to watch more “oozings” from the mind of Martin Saban-Smith. Martin will be broadcasting from his new workshop directly into the screen of your PC or i-pad – goodness only knows how he does it, I have no idea how he even knows where you live let alone how to pop up on your screens.

There are a couple of woodturners in the UK who have “got it” when it comes to demonstrating online. Martin has spent at least the last 6 years filming his progression as a professional woodturners, his early work, starting on 14th July under the title “The Four Marks Woodturning Shop” – he made a fountain pen!

There are at least 101 episodes of his journey from a beginner to where he is today in a specific series of films on you-tube along with probably about as many other ones – his delivery is second to none – and it is matched by his imagination when it comes to design and (very often) decoration of his work.

I do know what he is going to be making for us next week, and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I will. I was lucky enough to watch him demo the project he has planned for us, and it is well worth watching.

I am aware we have been blessed with a couple of members who may not have seen Martin before – so as in the past I typed his name into google and this genuinely what I found. I know which one I would like to see, and it isn’t the final picture which I tihnk is of George Clooney.

Martin owns most of the internet which he secretly powers from an old 5hp petrol generator behind his workshop – apparently that is a secret so don’t tell anyone in case Bill Gates finds out about it and tries to buy it.

You can find martin on ;

There are more – like I said – he owns most of the internet.

There will be another link to follow, and this will be the one that will link you to the exclusive live demonstration that he will do for us on zoom next Tuesday – I will send that to you as a separate message in the next couple of days as soon as I get it. I just need to check with Martin to see if he wants us to use his zoom account or ours.

If you have not yet seen a live Kennet Valley on-line demonstration – then for goodness sake watch this one at least – it will be great fun, educational and should leave you looking for more. I am hoping that we will get Terry Buckle involved on-line for the first time as well!

See you on Tuesday evening!!

A Joke

A man walks into a bar with a roll of Tarmac under his arm and says: "Pint please, and one for the road”

2. We were going to meet in the car park on the 28th November

Sadly Bojo has put the mockers on that as we are once again in lockdown because some selfish idiots decided either not to wash their hands, wear a mask, got too close, coughed in the wrong place, caught a nasty cold, or in the case of a lot of them, allowed their parents to breed!!!!!

Effectively then, because of the behaviour of some of the people who came from the wrong end of the gene-pool, or who have been breeding with the wrong species – we can no longer meet on 28th of November.

It is difficult to know when we will next meet in person, frankly the chances of us having an “in person” Christmas party this year are zero. I will have more to say about that below, but also on later emails.

Quick tip

If you are flying with RyanAir make sure you have the correct change for the oxygen masks

3. We have a quiz in December

This is the bit below, where I have more to say on the Christmas party.

Obviously, there will not be a gathering at the hall. That is the bad news.

The good news is that you can join us from the comfort of your own home.

There is a second bit of bad news, Laney will not be cooking for you so you will miss some very decent grub.

We mix this bad news with some good news, your favourite drinks will all be readily available and not only that – you can have as much as you like because you don’t have to drive home!!

The bad news is that Malcolm will not be bringing along his traditional Christmas tree.

More good news though – we will still be having a quiz!!!

Still more good news – you will be at home – so you can cheat to your hearts content by looking up the answers on the interweb and no-one apart from you and your conscience will know!!

The bad news – I still have to write a sodding quiz!!!!!!

4. Are you short of supplies?

The club shop is still open – it is just slightly harder to find. Everything we normally have in the shop is still available, it might be a tad dusty as Ray is keeping it safe under his bed – but it is still there nonetheless!!

Ray has said that is anyone wants to contact him to buy anything they are more than welcome, and he and you can arrange collection between you,

5. Yes – I will drone-on about me and my motorbike!

It was only when I bought a motorbike that I found out adrenaline is brown.

So why was I revising so much and not writing this rubbish – because I finally had my advanced motorcycle test today – and I passed it with flying colours meaning I got what is known as a F1rst. The ROSPA scheme award a Bronze Silver or Gold. The I.A.M. will give you a pass, or a F1rst which is the same as a ROSPA Gold. I am a bit chuffed and more than happy because as many of you know I am really keen to volunteer for the NABB (National Association of Blood Bikes) – an association made up of advanced riders and drivers who deliver Blood products (among other things like platelets, test packages, rabies serum, test results, donor breast milk for premature babies and lots of other things).

New volunteers are taken on each January and I am on the waiting list for the draft of 2021 in about 8 weeks, and to say I am excited is an understatement of massive proportions. Having managed to get the qualifications, I am just hoping that I make the selection!

If anyone wants to know more, I can bore you rigid at any time!!

My friend Carrie

She lives in Gloucester, she nipped out yesterday to meet her new gentleman friend. They’re going on a driving tour of Wales next week as their welsh lockdown is finishing, and he’s looking forward to showing her Cardiff and Cardigan Bay, before going on to Bangor in his van.

6. ..and another thing

I must tell you this. You may know that I go out most days to meet a good friend (Symtom Ian) that the Memsaab and I have known for many years. We meet up and have coffee in various places before we go our different ways to each do whatever the day brings along.

Popular haunts are the Costa Coffee place at the retail park in Newbury, and the café at “The Base” at what used to be Greenham Common airbase.

I was waiting for Ian at the base last week, two things are of note. Firstly, I was sat almost next to Sol Campbell. If you know football you know who this is. I don’t know or like football, and even I know who he is. This however is an aside – it is not what I wanted to tell you.

Sol was on my left, but on my right were two ladies talking. I believe the correct term in “yummy mummies” Young mothers who “do coffee” is another description. These two ladies were deep in conversation, and while I was sat wondering whether to say something to Sol Campbell (what do you say? I had no idea) – well, while I was trying to think of something, I could not help but listen a little bit to what the ladies were talking about.

I forgot all about Sol Campbell…….

My ears pricked up as I heard this – although they did use their names every now and again, I have changed them to protect their identity – just in case you know them.

Sue “…Paul’s business trip abroad, you know the one I was talking about last week”

Ann “Oh I remember – he said he couldn’t take you this time but would ring you every night”

Sue – “He didn’t”

Ann – “He didn’t go!! Oh brilliant – you were worried about it for some reason”

Sue - “No I mean he didn’t ring me. Four bloody days and he rung me once from the airport!”

Ann – “Oh I see what you mean.”

Sue – “Anyway I decided to help him unpack when he got back, he was taking a shower, so I started to empty out his suitcase.”

Ann – “You do too much for that man!”

Sue – “No that’s not the point – I was unpacking and found there was a strange white stain on one of his blue shirts?”

Ann – “what the hell was it?”

Sue – “Well (and at this stage Symtom Ian blundered in and started saying how sorry he was for being a few minutes late – did I want the usual, his back hurt he couldn’t sleep, his guts were giving him jip and some other rubbish which means I missed some of the girls conversation) – I told Ian to shut up, get me a skinny latte (at which point he buggered off to get it) and tuned in again.

Sue was continuing “ because when I googled it in an effort to find out what it was I found I had to use this strange light-thing which would tell me if my suspicions were right”

Ann – “you can’t be serious!!”

Sue – “I know – but I got one and it arrived yesterday. At first I was too scared to try it out, I had to get batteries so I couldn’t use it until this morning – I’ve had sleepless nights I can tell you!!

Ann – “so did it work?”

Sue – “Oh yes – worked a treat. I opened the bag that I had the shirt in, took it into the walk-in wardrobe – apparently you had to use it in complete darkness”

Ann – “Go on – what happened”

Then the phone rang, it was Sue’s

Sue “Yes – Oh Paul! – no I am having a coffee with Ann. What! You are joking!!!!”

Ann – “what? What is he saying”

Sue “What now? – bloody hell Paul – OK then”

…at which point she beckoned for Ann to join her and they left in a rush.

Sod it – now I will never know.

The Latte was nice though – I had a bacon roll as well.

See you on Tuesday evening!!

Phil Boulter

Vice Chairman

Kennet Valley Woodturners

M:07836 274345

H: 01635 826009

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