Mending ~ red tape not required


People go back to the stuff that doesn’t cost a lot of money and the stuff that you don’t have to hand money to over and over again. Stuff that you get for free, stuff that your older brother gives you, stuff that you can get out of the local library.

Frank Black / Musician



IMAGE via www

Us RUDE Guys have been participating in our community, giving our time and some of our resources, for free to others, and helping them mend their things.

We had a vision that we would be engaging in a no-strings attached activity.  And for many months we were, and it was awesome!   What could be easier than partnering and collaborating with others and delivering a free mending service .   Helping people in our locale to save money by repairing items they would have had to otherwise buy new.  And saving the planet by keeping their stuff out of landfill.

Sadly, as in the cartoon above, nothing is free in life.  There may be the appearance of no strings attached.  However, it’s rarely possible.  Why?  There is always the looming threat of bureaucracy with its red tape.  And the more free and awesome your activity develops, in mind, in stuff and in service, the more the bureaucrats want to regulate and control it and you.

Us RUDE Guys have been following the demise of Urban Food Street in Buderim,  Queensland which is a community food growing and sharing neighbourhood activity that was destroyed by Sunshine Coast Council.  An example of green crime by local government bureaucrats, fueled by their addictions to power, regulations and red tape.  We would not be surprised if these bureaucrats were acting like spoiled brats at a party, just itching to spoil the fun and joy others were having.

Chatting with RUDE Boy over today’s lunch, we agreed that we still have free will no matter what type of restrictions are imposed on our community participation.  Rather than react in a negative way, it’s best to keep positive and think creatively.  And that’s where the bureaucrats flounder.  And that can be frustrating – not much space for creative and innovative thinking when they are threatened for whatever reasons.

So how do we remain positive whilst dealing with threatened and risk averse bureaucrats?  We know us RUDE Guys have free will, free time, free hugs, free services and free things to share with others.  How we share all these freebies is up to us and not them.  And there really really are lots of creative ways, without red tape, to Beat The Man.

We are really really loving the Really Really Free Market in Preston, and we are really really hoping the local Darebin Council embraces the joyfulness of the freedom it brings for a few hours, to the mostly regulated ‘to every inch of their lives’ people attending.





IMAGE via The Age ~ Hailie Sommerhalder setting up for the Really Really Free Market. Photo: Simon Schluter


IMAGE via The Age ~  The Really, Really Free Market gets into the swing of things. Photo: Simon Schluter

“It is a refreshing sanctuary from money … because money is everywhere, and very few things in life are free. So it’s a nice change to see all this honest, open, giving going on without any strings attached.”  Hallie Sommerhalder /Stallholder ~ Really Really Free Market

Below is the link to the article in today’s Sunday Age article titled “Money Doesn’t Work Here’


Renegade Repairers

“It is the neglect of timely repair that makes rebuilding necessary”  Richard Whately


Snapshot 1 (9-02-2016 9-43 AM).jpg

RUDE are volunteer fixers with the Melbourne (Inner West) Repair Cafe supported by Transition Town Maribrynong


Snapshot 1 (22-02-2016 5-28 PM).jpg

RUDE Girl on her hand cranked Singer 179N sewing machine at the launch of Victoria, Australia’s first Repair Cafe





RUDE Boy demonstrating how to repair pesky garden hoses and leaks.  Photo: Doug Palmer


RUDE [reusers of unloved discarded excess] are mad about repair.  It’s a good skill to have a passion for, when you like to reuse all kinds of secondhand stuff that has been thrown away.

The quote above by Richard Whately resonates with RUDE because we are extremely practical people.  We are owners rarely consumers of stuff.  Being owners we care for and maintain our things.

We want to have a good working relationship with our things.  And any relationship needs to be cared for and maintained.  And for those things, we simply love and that give us joy, we want to care and maintain them too, just like any loving partnership arrangement.

We suspect most people these days, are more consumers than owners of things [refer graphic from PLAN  below].  However, we do believe we are seeing a shift to more consumers, wanting to know how to mend and make do.  Changes to household finances, an increasing awareness of resource depletion, poor quality new products etc are some of the reasons for this shift.



And that’s where RUDE feels it is time to share with interested people, what we have both been doing for a lifetime.  Yes, it’s repairing stuff, but mostly we maintain our things from the outset.  This ensures we have better quality things to repair when they fail.  This of course, is an important message when first learning about the art of repair.

Many of you who follow on our Facebook blog at Rude Record, know that we participated in the launch of the Melbourne (Inner West) Repair Cafe on 21 February.  And this Sunday we are off to the first in-cafe Repair Cafe.

RUDE Boy will be testing and troubleshooting electrical appliances.  I will be carting my 1980s very basic Janome sewing machine along, for any fabric/garment mending that presents.  This sewing machine was rescued from landfill and is a similar model to my first machine that ended up with the metal recycler recently.  Of course I striped it of all parts first!


Snapshot 2 (22-02-2016 6-31 PM).jpg.png

RUDE Boy troubleshooting a vintage theatre lamp



RUDE Girl making a festive bunting in the beautiful Yarraville Gardens to demonstrate off-grid sewing with a her hand-cranked sewing machine.  Photo: Dominique Hes


You can check out some photos and read about our launch on the link below.

And this is a video I created, of our wonderful Repair Cafe coordinator Michelle Fisher setting up for the launch.

Beat The Man and own, really own and care for your stuff.