Thursday, 30 April 2009

The Bad News

My Dad may be getting looked after better but now they've said that he may have to stay in hospital for 6 MORE WEEKS ! to fully recover from MRSA which he caught in hospital in the first place.
I honestly think that the hospitals are full of patients/inmates recovering from this.

Monday, 27 April 2009

National Beanpole Week

Our weekend event at the Dutch Nursery, Bell Bar, Hertfordshire marked the start of . . .

The idea is to promote the use of locally cut coppice as opposed to imported bamboo canes. This will help to regenerate the coppice which, in this area, is generally underused, overstood and in a derelict state so it's quite hard to find the long straight poles which are so useful.

Quite a few bundles of pea sticks and beanpoles were sold to switched on members of the public

The "shop" of Tony Gallow who is a part-time coppice worker - he'd like to do it full-time but can't make a living at it.

Jed is great and growing up quickly . . . a week tomorrow he'll have his second jab and be able to come out with us on a lead.

My Dad...
They finally brought in a "top" man to insert the drain to remove the fluid from his lungs. Hopefully he's on the mend and will be able to come home soon.


Tuesday, 21 April 2009

NHS Rant

I feel extremely angry about the way my Dad has been treated at William Harvey Hospital, Ashford, Kent and by the National Health Service as a whole. Shall I go down there with a sledgehammer and have it out with the fucking incompetent arseholes who are supposed to be treating him but are actually causing him to suffer ? Of course I won't as it would affect him badly but I feel so helpless and impotent. What else can you do apart from worry and hope and visit him and try to cheer him up ??
He's being shifted to a respiratory ward next - let's hope they can sort it out.

Monday, 20 April 2009

First bowl


This is Ranger Kris turning his first bowl on the pole lathe.

We all had a gas at the Green Woodwork Weekend that he organised at Capstone Farm Country Park. The weather was a real blessing and hopefully everyone learned something.

My niece Jessica also has a touch of puppy love. Jed was really good and adapted to all sorts of situations and people - unfortunately he's sick every time he goes in a car . . .

My Dad's getting better and I really hope he can leave the hospital and come home soon.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Puppy love ?

Mmmm . . . might not be doing much blogging in the next near future

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Register of Professional Turners

Today was the annual Craft Meeting of the Register of Professional Turners supported by the Worshipful Company of Turners.
Malcolm Cobb who is the chairman of the RPT phoned me a couple of weeks ago to ask if I would give a short talk about how I became a turner, what I do and how I do it. Good job it was only short as the guy talking before me rambled on and only left me about 10 minutes.
I emailed the photos I wanted to use to Stuart King - they started as JPEG images but somehow turned into bitmaps at his end. This completely destroyed the order they were in and threw my presentation somewhat. In fact there were some real gremlins active in Stuarts laptop today. Files wouldn't open, films wouldn't play and in the afternoon a new bursary was announced for Stuart to go on an IT course !

Monday, 13 April 2009

Easter chicks

These hatched out on our Stall overnight on Saturday at the Bexleyheath Country Show . . .

This is Albert Smith who was my apprentice for the weekend.

He managed to make a rounders bat. He said he wants "to do this sort of thing" as a job when he gets older . . .

Went to see my dad in Ashford Hospital last night. He looks better and has his appetite back - said he'd love some food that tasted of something !

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Heritage Crafts Association

At the bottom of the links list you'll see a new button. This is the link to the new organisation formed by Rob Wood and Co to :-

" Support and promote heritage crafts as a fundamental part of our living heritage.

It is unique as an organisation in believing that craft skills should be protected, promoted and recorded as part of our living heritage in their own right, not merely in terms of the objects they produce or their conservation value to old buildings."

Sunday, 5 April 2009

What is it ?

In answer to David's question on the last post - it's a breast bib.

I had been carving spoons for quite a while until I realised that when making certain cuts I was bracing the spoon against my breast bone - and it was sore and tender. So I cut the shape from ash, drilled two holes to hang it from a piece of string round my neck and carved a depression in the middle to stop the spoon slipping off.
I have it on good authority that lady spoon makers can get away with a strongly underwired bra !

Framers in the High Wycombe chair factories also used a similar device to bear on the top of a brace when drilling leg holes - and for a similar reason. This eventually became a "badge of office".

Dad update -
Had a phone call from Velma at 6am yesterday to say that he'd been taken to Ashford Hospital in the middle of the night in a lot of pain. We drove down and spent the day with him - he's had fluid drained from his lungs and antibiotics to clear up an infection in the drain from the bile duct. He looked a lot better when we left than when we had arrived.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Spoon carving lesson

Roger Chapman with the result of his days labour. A double-ended spoon/scoop from Elder and an Art Deco fork from Apple.

I let people design and make whatever they want and show them the necessary techniques to achieve their goal.

I must say I was very impressed that he turned up with a full set of virgin Frost knives including a crooked knife and a drawknife. Nice & Sharp!
Roger is, as he said, an 'armchair' member of the APT and is aiming for a creative lifestyle as he looks forward to retiring from the day job.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Birdsong Radio

Check this out for a very relaxing sound.
Blackbirds abound here.