Tinker Travellers Clock Up 4,000 Kms

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do and liking how you do it.”
Mary Angelou

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Mend It, Australia arriving at the Rye Community House for its monthly repair cafe

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!

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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Let there be light…and there was!

 

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.

 

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If you’re lucky you may get more than one thing fixed at a repair cafe.

 

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

 

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It’s rare for Mend It, Australia [Kaz+Dan] to have a photo together at a repair cafe.  

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!!

Darwin 3741 kms from Melbourne

In seven months Mend It, Australia has tinker travelled a distance equivalent to driving from Melbourne to Darwin and some more.

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Tinkerers & Waste Warriors

 

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Our Waste Warrior mission is about keeping good items out of landfill by mending, fixing and repairing them at organised repair cafe events.  We also mend, fix and repair at home.



Our story features on the about section of our Facebook page at Mend It, Australia.  Us RUDE Guys [Kaz+Dan]
would like to share it here as well.

Karen Ellis has always been fascinated by the resourcefulness of individuals who mend, fix and repair their things.

“As a child, I vividly and affectionately remember moments of my mother mending and making do, such as turning my father’s thinning work shirt collars. Whilst I have always been mindful of not being wasteful with my things and with my money, it was not until I retired that I found time to share my mending and resourceful ways with others on Facebook at Rude Record.”

Karen’s husband Danny has trade qualifications, and has many transferable tinkering skills. When the couple was blindsided by bureaucrats and prohibited from informally volunteering their mending, fixing and repairing skills in their local community, they decided to tinker travel to other Victorian communities, and share their passion for reuse and repair.

“Together, Danny and I became known as Mend It, Australia. We are self-directed, self-funded and self resourced volunteers who currently travel to organised and free repair cafe events in Victoria. And in 2019 we are planning to travel interstate and volunteer at more of these repair cafes.”

Karen administrates the Facebook group Mend It, Australia which features stories from their tinker travels. She also shouts out about other individuals, groups and repair businesses doing great things, related to keeping good stuff out of landfill.

“I am a staunch advocate for the right to repair and to reuse recycled materials. My all time favourite quote is about thrift by G.K. Chesterton.”

“Thrift is the really romantic thing; economy is more romantic than extravagance…thrift is poetic because it is creative; waste is unpoetic because it is waste…if a man could undertake to make use of all the things in his dustbin, he would be a broader genius than Shakespeare.”

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Tinkering Twosome

“Thought allied fearlessly to purpose becomes creative force; he who knows this is ready to become something higher and stronger.”  James Allen

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Beat The Man by not waiting for permission to be involved in your communities.  Get out there without fear, and do grassroots good stuff.  It’s fun, challenging and very rewarding!

Us RUDE Guys have been busy attending Repair Cafes in regional areas.  As Mend It, Australia, we make ourselves available to volunteer at these events about twice a month.  We are self directed, self funded and self resourced.  We are travelling philanthropists who, if invited,  give our time and skills to communities hosting repair cafes.

Repair Cafes are free events organised by local communities.  People bring items to be repaired, fixed or mended by volunteer fixers.   Toss it?  No way! is the slogan from the International Repair Cafe Foundation

Fix It, Don’t Flick It, is our Mend It, Australia slogan. This year to date [February to May], we have attended and volunteered at a total of seven Repair Cafes in Geelong, Castlemaine and Rye.  In June we will go to La Trobe Valley Repair Cafe in Morwell for the first time.

Above:  Geelong Repair Cafe ~ Highton – 10 February, 2018

Above:  Castlemaine Repair Cafe – 25 February, 2018

Above:  Geelong Repair Cafe ~ Highton ~ 17 March, 2018

Above:  Geelong Repair Cafe ~ Highton – 14 April, 2018

Above: Castlemaine Repair Cafe – 29 April, 2018

Above: Southern Peninsula Repair Cafe ~ Rye – 20 May, 2018


Above:  Castlemaine Repair Cafe – 27 May, 2018

“He never wrote theories, or for the sake of writing; but he wrote when he had a message, and it became a message only when he had lived it out in his own life, and knew that it was good. Thus he wrote facts, which he had proven by practice.” 

Mitch Horowitz from James Allen: A Life in Brief

 

 

Mend It, Australia

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Social media is changing the way we communicate and the way we are perceived, both positively and negatively. Every time you post a photo, or update your status, you are contributing to your own digital footprint and personal brand.  Amy Jo Martin

 

Brand is not a product, that’s for sure; it’s not one item. It’s an idea, it’s a theory, it’s a meaning, it’s how you carry yourself. It’s aspirational, it’s inspirational.  Kevin Plank

Us RUDE Guys have added a new concept to our brand that piggy backs off the ethos of Rude Record.  Mend It, Australia launches itself out in the community on the 10th February when we tinker travel, over an hour away from home, to volunteer at the Geelong Repair Cafe – Highton.

Our RUDE and Mend It branding reflects reducing consumption, reuse of available resources and the right to repair without interference.  Locally at Imagine Melton Zero Waste, we promote resource recovery and say no to landfill, preferring to champion alternatives, such as zero waste measures, like composting.

At Mend It, Australia Facebook page we showcase Australian and global mending, fixing and repairing events.  We post interest articles and videos about the mission to mend movement.  And most days, we also like to shout out about what we are reusing and repairing.  We hope our posts inspire our page followers to think twice before chucking things out and heading off to the mall to buy new.

As for this blog, RUDE Girl was writing a weekly blog post, however it looks like I will only be able to manage monthly/bimonthly this year, as we will be busy trekking around the countryside, participating in Repair Cafe events.

RUDE Boy has worked part-time for many years, as he is transitioning to retirement.  He has just told me he plans to fully retire this year in October [it’s not common knowledge yet, but who reads what I write anyways!]

We have been making some plans for this milestone forever really.  However, we started to focus more on it last year.  In 2017 we were involved in mending at Mend It, Melton [MIM] events in our local community but MIM did not work out for us.  Bureaucracy decided to take over and its reason for doing so failed to align with our Rude Record brand.   There are no more Mend It, Melton events in our local community, however I  still administrate the Facebook page here

Thanks to the bureaucratic meddling of Mend It, Melton, us RUDE Guys turned a rotten situation into a positive and voila, Mend It, Australia was created.  And our idea around flexible tinkering travel was born.

Stay posted for some stories back from our tinkering travels by following us daily on Rude Record or Mend It, Australia.

“BEAT THE MAN AND BRAND YOUR LIFESTYLE” ~ Karen Ellis aka RUDE Girl

House of Straw

Image Source: www

Image Source:  www

Us RUDE Guys do not live in an eco-designed house.  It is an early 1970s glorified tent!  It has some features that are sort of ‘green’ like roofing insulation and energy efficient globes in our light fittings.  Some rooms have curtains that are lined, and we have outside awnings on the windows.

We do however strive to reduce our carbon footprint in other ways.  We reduce, reuse and repair.  We rarely travel preferring stay at home mending and making do.  We are wary of expensive products that are labelled/certified ‘green’, refusing to be green washed by The Man.

What we do admire is others who owner-build with sustainability in mind.  And we would not rule out buying an already built eco-house on a small parcel of land in some sleepy seaside town.  Time will tell when RUDE Boy retires later in 2018.

On the topic of sustainable housing, National Sustainable House Day 2017 is fast approaching.  We just had to share with you Peter and Natasha Miles’ straw bale house in Merrimu, Victoria just up the highway from where we live.

A few years back, we spent an informative hour with this lovely couple .  Us RUDE Guys went to their property to collect some items they had generously listed on Freecycle.  They invited us into their home after we expressed a great interest in their building method.  At the time RUDE Girl had just completed a carpentry course and my eyes were wide open to future possibilities.

We would highly recommend that if you are looking to visit a sustainable house on September 17th take a drive to Merrimu and visit the Mills.  We know for a fact that they will make you feel most welcome.  Refer newspaper cutting below.

Oh, and what did they generously offer on Freecycle that we collected from them.  A digital camera that we used until were handed up mobile phones with cameras.  A computer hard drive that is still operating in RUDE Boy”s desk top computer.  And a lovely electric throw rug that was used many a time, and one such time was when RUDE Girl was very ill and suffering from shock.

 

Straw Bale House Merrimu Aug 2017

Straw Bale House ~ Merrimu.  Image Source: http://www.starweekly.com.au/pub/melton_moorabool/

Community repair: a pop-up alternative to the throwaway society

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RUDE Girl mending the purple check flannelette shirt at Mend It, Melton on 8 April, 2017

Us RUDE Guys will head off to Mend It, Melton [MIM] this Saturday 13th May, 2017. We are collaborating with a local organisation to deliver our community’s unique model of mend and make do.

MIM was launched late last year, with a small mending event, at our local railway station in Melton, Victoria, Australia.  The event this weekend is our second for 2017.  MIM has scheduled monthly events up until the end of the year.

You can check out all about MIM and see the photos and videos on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/menditmelton/

The re-blogged article below is recommended reading and validates why Rude Record is involved in the not-so-quiet repair revolution.  Beat The Man!!

Discard Studies

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By Christine Cole, Nottingham Trent University and Alex Gnanapragasam, Nottingham Trent University

A not-so-quiet repair revolution is taking place in communities across Britain. Consumers, fed up with having to throw away broken phones, toasters and other appliances, are instead meeting to learn how to repair them and to extend the lifetime of their products. These repair “pop-up parties”, where like-minded people can improve or learn new skills in a supportive environment, can prevent still-useful products from ending up in the bin, while saving money.

Advances in technology and new applications, combined with faster product obsolescence, means that electrical and electronic equipment make up one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world. The growing demand for these products is also driving unprecedented levels of resource extraction to keep up with increased rates of manufacturing of everyday goods – something that the planet can hardly support.

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Evan Biddell’s VVbyEB 81lb Challenge

 

“I think that if you do have a voice, and you see something wrong in the world as an artist, you have to point it out. It’s the only way it’s going to change.”

Evan Biddell ~ fashion designer

Check out the short promo in the link below, as Evan rocks the runway.  [longer versions of this video are at the end of this blog post]

https://www.facebook.com/CBCArts/videos/1482984508392079/

Us RUDE Guys point out the wrongs of rampant fast fashion, by wearing our signature folly which is Scavenger Style.

We walk our talk and dress in the discards of others.  We have grown up wearing hand-me-downs and remade clothes.

For over a decade we have worn Scavenger Style 365 days of the year and 24/7.

95% of textiles can be recycled therefore we say NO WAY to landfill when it comes to our clothes and bed linens.

Stop buying it and beat The Man.  It’s the only way it stops!

 

 

 

Check out the 81 pound collection’s images below.

https://myalbum.com/album/ZisBoPybgc3M