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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.

87 - KVWT - Turning the midnight oil

Hello my dust covered chums - the nights are drawing in.

Welcome to the latest KVWT missive.

I won’t beat around the bush. Man-flu is not a thing to be messed with. Generations of chaps have held back on describing the effects of it to their womenfolk, let’s be fair – they would hardly believe it anyway - so there is little point in distressing them with the details of the pain and distress inflicted on the men they so faithfully admire, adore and love in so very many ways. Girls are doomed to just sit back and look in wonder at how we manage to live through such angst and agony with hardly any complaint in an effort to protect them from the despair that they would be bound to suffer on our behalf.

Yes – I have been under the weather for a couple of days. I am grateful that the lack of delivery drivers has not caused a shortfall of Kleenex Balm tissues in the local supermarkets – although no doubt Tesco’s infrastructure has probably noticed the upturn in demand in recent days and their automated stock control system is doubtless running extra checks to redress the local balance.

Enough of my anguish – chaps reading this will understand and I hesitate to upset the refinement and delicacy of any ladies who may be reading this.

It will not have escaped you that we find ourselves in October, having dealt with most of whatever 2021 has deemed to chuck at us things continue to do their best to throw us off-balance. Fuel is hard to get, inflation looks set to rise, apparently turkeys are going have to make their own way to the butchers on foot in late December, and I am sure people will be queueing for toilet rolls before the year is out. Luckily Santa’s Sleigh is 100% solar powered so BP and Shell don’t need to upset anyone by letting him queue jump.

Prior to my current ailments I have been trying to gain brownie points by starting to redecorate the kitchen/breakfast room. Painting doors is not so bad, a lot of the door is at, or above, knee height and therefore within reach. Sadly the skirting boards are not and to a gentleman of my years and shape some of you may be aware that getting down to floor level is something that has to be planned in advance so that as much as possible can be achieved while you are down there.

Anyhoooooo – this is getting us nowhere. Let’s think about what is coming up and discuss the thrill of it all.

  1. October members evening

  2. Saturday workshop

  3. Gary Rance in November

  4. December event

  5. Events next year

October Members Evening

Once again we are set to gather at Padworth with a view to all of us trying to turn something as a set of small groups. The general theme will be that of faceplate driven bowl turning. We don’t have a plan for the outcome of those bowls yet – do we need them coloured, embossed, patterned in some way? We will let you know on the evening.

As usual we will be trying to get novices as involved as possible to give them a chance to get experience and guidance from the more experienced turners in the room. We need four teams and will try to get novices into each team.

With luck and a following wind (wind is not a thing to joke about at our age) we will end up with some presentable bowls and have a few laughs along the way.

Something else to bear in mind for the October meeting is the competition which is bangles: One for Novices, two for Intermediates and three for Advanced. I wonder if we can get a record number of entrants for this month’s competition?

The best bit is that you get to give the bangle to a young lady of your choice.

Many years ago I remember my first date with a girl I had wanted to out with for months. After about 20 minutes of fooling around and fumbling in the back row of the cinema she sighed and said “You don’t have much experience removing bra’s do you” I said “What gave me away” she said “The scissors mostly”

  1. Saturday Workshop NOTE THE DATESaturday 30th October

Apparently some spotty faced oiks are going to be playing games and doing questionable things on the internet for the whole weekend on 23rd and 24th July in Padworth Village hall so we have slipped back by one week to accommodate them.

We are working on a theme for our weekend, as yet to be decided. Hopefully the one thing it will allow you to do is get away from shopping while enjoying some witty banter with the likes of Terry Buckle, and sip on a thoughtful cup of tea or coffee while you dunk a stale biscuit or two.

If you do talk to Terry then please remember not to mention the army. Terry does not like to let slip that he was once in the forces, and god forbid you ask him to tell you about it because he will naturally clam up and be too embarrassed to talk about it. Much the same as I don’t like to mention my retirement, or motorbikes.

So – the final Saturday of the month this time round, Saturday October 30th from 10:00am until 1:00pm.


This old bloke I know just passed away. He was well known in the community for his wood turning - bowls, furniture - you name it, he did it. So for the funeral, they decided to bury his prized lathe right there next to him. - It's a nice gesture - but I know he'd be turning in his grave if he knew.

Gary Rance November 9th 2021

Long overdue. Gary - a long-time friend of the club, was originally booked to come and see us last year but was struck down with stage fright and invented Covid to allow him time to get his act together for this year. Thankfully he is now fully recovered and will be with us on Tuesday 9th November assuming we have enough petrol in the country to get him here from his palatial country pile somewhere near Essex.

Gary is of course Les Thorne’s half-brother, courtesy of a tempestuous relationship between their mother Delia Smith and her two previous husbands, the late Benny Hill on one hand and Des O’Connor on the other.

I am not sure what Gary will be doing yet – but we live in hope that it involves the lathe in some way?

More about that next month when his visit is imminent.

December event – 14th December

There are those in the club who look forward to our Christmas bash. Help is available for those poor people of course and one day they may come to learn the error of their ways.

Once a year we depart from the usual monthly meetings, whether they be members evening or demonstrations, and we attempt to have a social event whereby our partners get to venture out with us and try to understand why on earth you come along once a month to do whatever it is gets you covered in dust. We should be forever grateful to our partners who allow us to spend seemingly endless hours in our workshops with no complaint. Indeed, for some, the only complaint is that we come out occassionally and try to get back into the house!

I fear the usual pattern will be re-introduced this year. We will provide a free evening, along with prize giving for the competition winners, a free meal from the magical hands of Mike Allen’s wife Laney who continues to give pleasure (with her food of course – let’s keep it clean please). This is safely enclosed in an apology for entertainment – that being our annual quiz – hosted by me I’m afraid. I have repeatedly tried to offer something else, but apparently, I am under contract until I die. Believe me it is looking more and more attractive as the years roll on.

So reserve a place in your diary for Tuesday 14th December to be washing your hair, or feeding the cat – anything but Padworth Village Hall for our annual social evening!

Events next year

Very much on the back burner at the moment I’m afraid. We don’t know what the winter will do to Covid so we have to be careful.

I think it is a fair bet that we will ask Martin Saban-Smith fairly early to come and see us in the new year, possibly even January. The AGM will be in February – after which we will have to see what happens. I would prefer to have a live demonstrator each month – just like the god old days – however we have learned not to think too far ahead in the last 18 months – so let’s work on that basis for now.

That as they say is that for now.

I sat and had coffee with Symptom-Ian this morning. I made the fatal mistake of asking him how he was. Let’s see, today is Thursday, so there was lots to complain about from yesterday's trip to the coffee shop.

There's venue itself, the queue, the lack of smoking amenities, the other visitors, the staff, the bathroom facilities, the coffee, (or if it's Tuesday - the tea), the other transportation that inexplicably uses *his* road, use and misuse of the chairs and tables by other users, especially children (noisy kids - can't live with them, can't shoot them), the cost of the coffee, foreigners in this country (bad), foreigners in their own country (not quite so bad but still not good), standards these days and the falling thereof, Europe even though we don’t belong any more, glad that they don’t have our jobs any more, moaning because they won’t come over and do our jobs any more and a general all-purpose criticism of things not previously covered.

Symptom-Ian will normally drop-off and doze peacefully in his electrically operated armchair after lunch and dream of an England where people were the same origin and religion as himself, young people not doing national service had mysteriously disappeared from the planet and the country perpetually dozed in the afternoon sunshine circa mid 60’s. A time when the butchers boy delivered on his bicycle, shops would shut on Thursday afternoon, bank managers were real men in pinstriped suits and not teenage oiks who couldn't spell and policemen were all time-served wise sergeants happy to clip kids around the ear when they were rude (the kids, not the policemen).

I generally sit and sip coffee while I listen to this entertainment with interest, along with stories of his time in the RAF or his 3 years in Antarctica as a radio operator – that’s what friends are for. Besides – he makes me laugh.

He told me this morning that he dreamed of heaven where the toilet seats were always up, and every man had three remote controls.

Phil Boulter

Vice Chairman

Kennet Valley Woodturners

M:07836 274345

H: 01635 826009

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