“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do and liking how you do it.”
Us RUDE Guys were originally planning to drive to one Victorian repair cafe a month. In the last couple of months we have been volunteering weekly at different repair cafes, and a fortnight ago we went to two repair cafes in one weekend!
What do we get out of these events? The smiles and expressions of gratitude for starters.
From February this year until now, we have calculated that we have driven a distance of 4,000 kms on our mission to mend!! To provide a visual of how far 4,000kms is, refer to the map of Australia below. Represented by the hand drawn red line, Darwin is a 3,741kms drive from where we live in Melbourne.
Great to get this vintage Singer Sewing Machine stitching again.
Tinker travelling to repair cafe or similar events is a great way for us to share our passion for reuse and repair, as well as engage with other like-minded people. Each repair cafe follows a documented model but there are some tweeks made to proceedings that make each cafe unique. And us RUDE Guys get to experience these delightful differences as we tinker travel around.
And what can you bring to a repair cafe? Anything you can carry in the door.
In an attempt to explain our role to the individual repair cafe groups, it was important for us to be clear about what we were doing and why. Tinker travelling to different repair cafes on a weekly basis is not the same as a local volunteer turning up to their town’s monthly repair cafe event. And it is not the same as a non-local turning up to the same monthly repair cafe in a suburb just down the highway.
So far this year we have tinker travelled to six different repair cafes, and regularly returned to two of them, under the banner of Mend It, Australia. When we arrive at these events, along with other volunteers, we are kept busy repairing, mending and fixing from the get go.
However, we are always mindful and sometimes vocal of Mend It, Australia’s goals, which are to stand up for the individual’s right to repair, to champion self-mobilised volunteering and to promote [via our networks] some of the amazing repair work of individuals, groups or businesses involved in keeping stuff out of landfill.
Most people are amazed that we travel such a distance to help them. And we get some lovely commentary on-line:
“Great work Karen & Danny, such wonderful generosity to help other people and the environment.” Gillian
“Your just such wonderful repairers. You have such a beautiful passion.” Karen
“We need more of this in our world today.” Trudy
The most common comment people at repair cafes make is that maybe we can start a repair cafe up in Melton [where we live in Melbourne]
We highlight that we will not be doing that, because we are happier tinker travelling to non-formally volunteer in communities with a stronger focus on sustainability and with supportive bureaucrats who trust their communities to ‘get on with it’.
However, if a repair cafe ever started up in the City of Melton, we might support and tinker travel to it. But probably not because in 2019, we hit the back roads to tinker travel to other Australian states. And in between times we still want to visit our repair cafe families in Victoria which are only going to grow bigger.
Beat The Man and tinker travel if you can!!