Saturday, 27 October 2007

A week in the life

As you see, I haven't logged on for nearly a week. This wasn't reluctance to do so but because the neighbours whose broadband I use had the cheek to go away and switch it off !

Put together a short film of me making a spurtle for Dorset Cereals. You can see it on their website at:
Its a bit jerky so I'm going to try and send them a higher resolution copy.
Dave Elliot came round with a nearly finished version of the Mk1 Pole Lathe Drive for me to have a look at. He came on a course with me a couple of weeks ago and I found out he was an enthusiastic amateur engineer. I explained what I was after and he agreed to have a go. I made a boxwood bobbin and he's fitted in a Delrin core, brass bushes, ball races etc - it looks very hi-tec and impressive.
In the evening we went to a concert at Broxbourne Civic Hall - "Vivaldi by Candlelight" - by The Locrian Ensemble. They were all dressed up in wigs and costume of the period and played some lovely baroque music. The second half was The Four Seasons and the encore was a tongue-in-cheek baroque version of "My Old Man" which they called "The Cock Linnet Song" - very funny and uplifting.

Wasted quite a bit of time driving round trying to piggy-back on someone elses broadband but no luck.
Dave Elliot came round again with the finished version of the Mk1 Pole Lathe Drive - he must have been working all night ! Well we fitted it onto the lathe and had a go but there were a few teething problems so watch this space for news of Mk2. When it's working I'll publish a photo and explain what it actually does.
Phoned Oliver, the webmaster, about something to do with the website. He seemed upset and close to tears. Told me his Mum had died the previous night. I commiserated and told him not to think about anything as mundane as websites at a time like that

Packed a load of gear into the van and went off to Norfolk for three days.

First two days in Burnham Market with Alec & Ben (10 & 11 years old) teaching pole lathe turning and green woodwork. We went up before at the end of March and afterwards Ben almost made his own lathe except for the poppets (that hold the work) so I spent the first day helping him to make them. They both made a fire making bow drill based on one found in Tutankhamens tomb and we all used up vast quantities of energy trying to produce an ember. Which we did several times but probably due to inexperience didn't quite manage to turn it into a flame but I did burn my fingers a bit so we eventually counted it as a sucess and went back to doing some turning.

Stayed in a Travel Lodge at Norwich and in the morning drove down toward Diss for a woody event at Tyrrels Wood (a Woodland Trust woods) organised by Mike Ryder as a thank you to the volunteers there. Had to schlep all the gear quite a long way into the wood but luckily there was a horse (Perkins) and cart to do most of the carrying. Will Wall had his bowl turning lathe and a have-a-go lathe, there were basket makers, hurdle maker and a lady weaving a willow figure of a Green Woman. Fire, tea, cakes etc were provided, everyone had a good time and we finally arrived home at 8pm after a horrible journey down the A11 & M11 feeling absolutely shattered.

Chilling hard !
and catching up on this blog. It reminds me of keeping a diary when I was young - sometimes I would miss doing it for a while and then feel guilty and fill in each day with something like: Got up, had breakfast, went to school, came home, watched telly, had tea, did homework, went to bed. Sometimes I can't remember what happened yesterday let alone last week.

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