Tinkering Travellers


It probably comes as no surprise that RUDE Girl read Katherine Wilson’s book in a day.  What would have taken Katherine a couple of years, if not more to research and write, I was able to enjoy the fruits of her labour in less than eight hours.  It was an easy read for me because tinkering and tailoring are my passion.  And everything that was written, was pretty much what us RUDE Guys experience and more.  It was wonderful to have all the theory on tinkering [and there had not been that much, until now] in one place.

Katherine Wilson follows us on Facebook at Rude Record, and it was bittersweet when she commented that she wished she had met us, before she had written her book.  We will be here for her, when she returns to write the sequel, featuring a different lot of tinkerers.

This year we reached out into the community to share our tinkering skills.  In July our participation was ended by bureaucrats.  Yes, The Man was telling us we had to officially sign up as formal volunteers, in order to be able to tinker in a grassroots community program of our creating.

Of course, that was never going to happen.  And we recently found validation for our big fat NO WAY in the most unlikely of places.  In the book Jesus for President, its author Shane Claiborne writes,

“Jesus calls us to be peculiar but also engaged in the world we find ourselves in.  We are to be relevant nonconformists.  We are to develop countercultural habits and norms and live them in the midst of an insane world.”


The above quote from Jesus for President, inspired us to post this video below.  Some how we think that Jesus would approve of our radical stance, against our over governed and risk avoiding society, that’s now under the control of the insurance industry.

Organisations in our local area are in crisis mode after a cluster of avoidable baby deaths at the local State funded maternity hospital.  It appears to us, that since this tragedy, they are in a scramble to mitigate risk and are going overboard. 

The world has gone insane because governments, multinationals, insurance companies and local organisations are colluding to condition the masses, in an attempt to make them believe that they [the masses] will be protected and better off.   We are not buying it and in our opinion, it’s all about control of the masses, and making profits for the multinationals etc.

And when a local church run facility costs $40 per hour to hire a room, for our FREE three hour community mending event, you really are left questioning where are we heading as a society.

We were reading last night how Australian liberalism is at threat and we could not agree more with Peter Greste as follows:

“Australia likes to think of itself as a larrikan country, that country that calls a spade a f…ing shovel; straight talking, no bullshit kind of country that had maintained that sort of frontier spirit…..it feels like we’ve become incredibly bound up by rules and regulations….”

On page 250 of Tinkering: Australians Reinvent DIY Culture, it highlights that Keal, a state police prosecutor and recent migrant from the UK expressed contempt for Australia’s ‘risk avoiding over governed society’ , where Katherine Wilson, the book’s author wrote that Keal’s comments suggested a beating-of-the-system pride that characterised all the tinkerers interviewed for her book.

Or in Rude Record‘s words Beat The Man!!  Us RUDE Guys are committed tinkerers and we will continue to share what we do from our home [not totally controlled by Big Brother…. yet] via social media.

We have cars and will travel to spaces and places that promote and encourage us to connect and engage with our community, as Jesus did, hence the birth of Mend It, Australia – The Travelling Tinkerers.  We refuse to sign away our right to repair without interference, to large agencies or governments.

“Beat The Man and tinker travel.  The road is where you are free to help others and not become a slave to an unjust system, based on control and a lack of humanity.”






Photo Image:  Walden ~ A Camelot Classic 1886


What H.D.Thoreau beautifully writes in Walden, Dr. Samuel Alexander poignantly expresses in this Subtle Disruptors PODCAST interview by Adam Murray [refer podcast link below].  Dr Alexander is a modern day Thoreau, inspiring and teaching the wisdoms of slow living, in a contemporary context.

Us RUDE Guys suggest that you download this podcast, as it is over an hour long.  You will then be able to listen to it at your convenience or leisure.


RUDE Girl is currently re-reading an 1886 publication of Walden [refer book’s image at top of blog post].  With my interest in textiles, garments and mending, it’s interesting to note that Thoreau devoted five and a half pages, in the first chapter titled Economy,  to clothing.

I had a chuckle that even back in the mid 1800s corporations were viewed by Thoreau to be enriching themselves!

“I cannot belief that our factory system is the best mode by which men may get clothing.  The condition of the operatives is becoming every day more like that of the English; and it cannot be wondered at, since, as far as I have heard or observed, the principal object is, not that mankind may be well and honestly glad, but, unquestionably, that the corporations may be enriched.”  Walden, H.D.Thoreau, Walter Scott Publisher, 1886, pg 25.

A couple of days ago, I travelled by train to visit a friend from my childhood.  I was engrossed in reading Walden, but on looking up I noticed a lot of commuters on their iphones.  I made a note to myself to keep doing different, and take time out from technology.  Us RUDE Guys will continue to go slow through the haste.

If you have not yet listened to RUDE Girl speak with Adam Murray about our frugal lifestyle in the suburbs here is the link to my PODCAST interview with him.  This podcast too, is over an hour in length, so consider downloading it for listening at your convenience or leisure.

Henry Thoreau invites us to see things in Walden.  That according to A.G.Grayling is what an education should be about.  Beat The Man!

The Purple Stitch


To be radical is to grasp things by the root.

— Karl Marx

This past week has been busy.  Not frantic busy, just full on.  Us RUDE Guys are staying away from the mall, and Christmas parties are few and far between these days.  However, it still is a busy time of year, when you start to wrap [excuse the pun] things up.

RUDE Girl spoke on local radio at 979FM about Rude Record and Mend It, Melton.  Part 1 of the interview is on our Facebook page @ruderepair.  Part 2 of the interview is to follow shortly.

It seems like it has taken forever to get the launch of Mend it, Melton up and happening.  Earlier in the year, us RUDE Guys had been briefly involved with the launch of the first Repair Cafe for MelbourneThe folks of Melbourne’s inner west, are wonderful, however we had to venture out of our town, to attend repair events.  And we also were keen to create and establish an Aussie back-to-basics, no bulls**t  grassroots ‘in ya backyard kinda’ model.

When the opportunity came up, we cautiously accepted the challenge.  Why?  Melbourne’s western fringe dwellers have very set ideas on how things should look when rolled out.

A steering group was formed by Linking Melton South and it met to discuss possibilities.  It was unanimously decided that our town, would establish its own unique model and use the word mend.  Hence the title Mend It, Melton ~ Fix it, Don’t Flick It.

[Thank you to my Facebook friend and grammar cop Glynis, for the instruction to add the comma between the two words, It and Melton.  It was accepted by the group]

The above flyer by Ben, is advertising the launch in a week’s time.  The logo’s graphic depicts a mechanical cog/wheel and sewing stitches, but these also represent the train and track of the event’s railway location.  The colour green is for nature and keeps environmental issues around waste in the limelight.  Us RUDE Guys requested a single purple stitch be included.  It depicts the radical ‘right to repair’.

Mend It, Melton for us RUDE Guys, has been inspired by those make do and mend generations that went before us, our own personal hands-on trades’ backgrounds, and an unflinching ‘right to repair’ and Beat The Man attitude.  We feel it’s time to share our skills and abilities within our local community.

It is hoped that Mend It, Melton will invite some interest in our local community.  We know it will start slow.  And of course the train station location, whilst ideal for a launch, will have it’s limitations. Why?  There is a small shipping container on site with minimal room for fixers and their stuff.

Time will tell……and if Mend it, Melton does not work out for us, we will still be RUDE Guys, reusing and repairing at home and on-line.  Oh, and there is always that community that awaits our full retirement…..keep watching this blog!


The Shopping Container at Melton Railway Station.  Image via Linking Melton South


The Little Library at Melton Train Station.  Image via Linking Melton South


Mend It, Melton Launch – It’s Official!  Image via Linking Melton South

Grasp things by the root, that’s the grassroots and Beat The Man!!

The inspiration for this blog post came from Reece Harley


Like Reece Harley, RUDE Girl loves street art.  This was circa 2003 in Port Melbourne.  It was the last time I bought new clothes and shoes.  I only recently discarded the Just Jeans brand jeans.

Mending Sole Mates



“Mending really matters, whether it’s a broken heart or a pair of slippers.” 

Karen Ellis / Blogger & Mender of Things

When RUDE Girl’s daughter, Beck,  visited the other day, she commented that my fabric slippies are cute.  I told her the story of Jaimee, a Facebook friend [who I have never met] gifting  them to me.  And, that I had another pair, that were also made by Jaimee.  Here is the link to that story.


At the time of Beck’s compliment, it reminded me that I had to mend the soles of these cute slippers, as soon as possible.  They have such sentimental value, and have been worn by me, most days, for a couple of years.

This is the second time they have been mended.  The first time the soles were replaced.  Here is the link to that blog post.


This time the old soles have remained in place, and have been reinforced with new soles over the top of them.  The Japanese visible mending technique of boro has been used.

Below is the recent video, that explains how I continue to boro mend my favourite slippers.

Beat The Man by mending your favourite things, especially those things that have been made with love, time and effort.


Boro Time

This Friday’s RUDE blog post is inspired by an article in Womankind magazine titled The Stuff of Life by Jo Immig.

“A growing band of people are tying up what’s precious in a handkerchief on the end of a stick and stepping out to create a different culture…….  A culture where the people understand we are but one of the millions of species on this blue planet; where people like to shop locally, re-use and up-cycle; where we make community gardens and cherish the hand-made, bespoke and unique. One where we once again embrace a life entwined with nature. A life with less stuff.” 

Jo Immig / Writer

And RUDE Boy was on borrowed [not boro] time recently when he came to RUDE Girl and indicated that his boro mended Levis #3, that I had spent 5 months patching and stitching, were too tight around his middle!

“Men are allowed to age. Men are allowed to gain weight. Men are allowed to be quirky looking” Janeane Garofalo


Seriously, I was once again aching to feed my addiction to boro, and took RUDE Boy’s weight gain as a good excuse to immediately make alterations.

Here is the You Tube video link to how I went about this boro project and RUDE Boy muddling….whoops modelling his altered pair of Levi’s #3.


Beat The Man and work on boro time not boss time!

Stuff with Soul

Ordinary men live among marvels and feel no wonder, grow familiar with objects and learn nothing new about them.  George Henry Lewes

Eventually everything connects – people, ideas, objects. The quality of the connections is the key to quality per se.  Charles Eames


Two Japanese women with a Sony Aibo robotic dog

This morning RUDE read this article about how Sony has closed down its Aibo robotic dog repair service.  We hope our followers read the article because it is what inspired our blog post this Friday.

The title of the article indicates it’s a sad story.  RUDE does not see it that way.  Yes, the story is heartfelt but for us it is also hopeful.  If these robotic dogs are repaired for as long as possible, they will not end up in landfills, and their spare parts will be reused.  By all accounts the repair of Aibos is keeping a technician in rewarding work.  But he does indicate getting the parts is difficult, and going to become more so.  What a challenge for someone to come along and solve this dilemma.

There is research written about humans and why to varying degrees we love inanimate objects.  RUDE Girl can relate because a few years ago I performed a funeral for our 37 years’ old oven.  It just could not be repaired anymore, and parts were getting harder to source.

Old Oven

Westinghouse wall oven with a fahrenheit scale that was given a fitting funeral after 37 years service.

Oven's Funeral 1

Before leaving for the appliance graveyard.

Oven burial 2

Our Westinghouse oven at its final resting place.

The link below is a good read and also makes mention to a funeral for a microwave.  And in the video about the Aibo robotic dogs, in the above article, there is also a funeral for a pack of them.

There can be no denying that RUDE likes certain stuff or objects.  We rescue and repair unloved and oftentimes broken and worn things.   How do we reason our love of other people’s junk.

RUDE believes there are all different types of love, and we think if people get their heads around love in this way, then it becomes more comfortable to express love for their stuff.

RUDE is big on repair and mending stuff, we love to do it.  Therefore we require objects to work on and must go seeking them out.  We do not always love the stuff we bring home but we do love the potential that this stuff may contribute to our lives.

Snapshot 2 (10-07-2015 3-27 PM).jpg

RUDE Boy’s second pair of sashiko mended red tab Levi jeans.

The love for the object grows as our hands and brains move into action to inject some of our soul into the thing.  For example, many of you know I have been sashiko mending RUDE Boy’s Levi jeans [above photo] that he loves to wear.

Whilst I appreciated the fact that these jeans were secondhand and cost very little, I have developed a stronger connection [or love] to them, now that I have spent many hours mending them.  When I look at my hand work, walking around on RUDE Boy’s legs, it stirs in me something special, that I never felt before, when I looked at his jeans.

Here is a link to an article about loving inanimate objects.

Beat The Man and lovingly care for your stuff.  In RUDE’S opinion, it will be more meaningful if you develop a relationship to your things by spending time and effort saving and repairing them.

Dumped Denim

Dumped Denim 29 May 2015

I feel most comfortable in an old pair of jeans, Converse, and a man’s jersey. My best friend cuts my hair with kitchen scissors.

Jane Birkin

RUDE Girl is relating to the above quote by the gorgeous Jane Birkin.  I rescue and wear old jeans from landfill.  I love my Converse sneakers also from landfill.  I cut off most of my bob with the kitchen scissors a few weeks ago.  Then RUDE boy finished the trim with a No 4 Furiosa inspired by the current Mad Max movie.

2015-05-11 17.15.07
Photo above: My Furiosa No 4 hair cut.

When you spend a fast amount of time on the Wastelands [landfill] like Furiosa, you do not need to be primping and preening oneself.  Shaving my hair off frees up time to go scavenging and scrounging whilst looking the part.

I am currently sourcing denim garments from landfill.  I seek out the denim made with cotton as a preference.  I have been inspired to collect it because I have been getting into sashiko mending in a big way.  And the other reason is that I have been reminded of its beauty and functionality after borrowing the book Denim Dudes by Amy Leverton.

Denim-Dudes-Book-01-960x640Photo above:  Sourced from http://www.selectivism.com

RUDE boy is wondering why he has not been featured in this book about guys and their denim duds.  Actually I am too, because there is no serious attention given to sashiko mending and denim jeans.  RUDE boy is obviously setting the Sashiko Scavenger Style trend here in Australia.  The rest of the world is a bit slow to catch on!!

Check out another RUDE sashiko mending project on the video below.


Beat the Man and rescue dumped denim to sashiko mend and then wear!