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04 November 2009 @ 05:21 pm
Oh Boris ...  
I have long had a very disturbing thing for Boris Johnson. I rationalise it away by saying that he's a cyclist, so aside from his questionable use of his penis and occasionally nutty policies, he must be a decent chap underneath. As it turns out, he is! (And for those who are click-phobic, he rescued a woman who was being menaced by young girl thugs armed with an iron bar, chasing after the girls as they ran off before returning to escort the young woman home, where he left her in peace (in case you were wondering).)

On an unrelated matter, I took my comfiest shoes in for resoling today. I mentioned this to a friend who looked at me as though I was an alien. 'When shoes wear out,' she told me gently, 'it is a sign that you need to buy new shoes!' When she discovered that I am also a repairer of handbags and clothing, she laughed and asked if I darned socks, too. 'If they're really nice ones!' I answered, at which point she rolled her eyes. So ...

Poll #1480605 Repairs!

Repairing items rather than buying new ones is ...

Completely responsible given concerns about the environment
12(14.1%)
Completely irresponsible given the GFC, think of the shoemakers!
0(0.0%)
Yet another sign you are old.
3(3.5%)
Essential if you only buy things you genuinely love.
23(27.1%)
Something that had never occurred to me before.
2(2.4%)

Personally, I think repairing is ...

Something old people do.
3(3.5%)
A life skill that should be taught widely.
30(35.3%)
A way of keeping repairfolk in work.
6(7.1%)
A delightful way to spend a rainy weekend.
3(3.5%)
Not applicable, that item won't be in fashion by the time I get it back.
1(1.2%)

Your opinions on repairing have been informed by ...

Your generation: waste not, want not!
7(9.1%)
Your politics: whether they be 'Support the Market!' or 'Save the Earth!'
15(19.5%)
Your bank balance: buy one good pair of shoes and they can last you 15 years with resoling!
12(15.6%)
Your bank balance, you've never had enough cash to buy a good pair of shoes.
5(6.5%)
Your generation: you older people are weird.
6(7.8%)


 
 
 
It's that Bucket woman!curia_regis on November 4th, 2009 07:09 am (UTC)
I couldn't really find an answer that fit me. I think that repairing is something great if a) you love the item and b) if you're good at said repairing and c) if it's worth it. Sometimes it's better for the bank balance to buy a new pair of shoes on sale rather than repairing an old pair that pinches your heels or something. Then again, I have shoes and coats that I love and I'd definitely go and get repaired because I'll never be able to find the same pair again. I've been planning to get one of my shoes re-soled and re-heeled because they're the most comfortable pair of heels I've ever owned.

So yeah, I think my opinions on repairing depend on whether I like the item or not! I tend to buy a lot of clothes and shoes. I keep the ones I like and give to charity the ones I don't end up liking. :) Which reminds me, I ought to do a clean out of my closet.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 7th, 2009 02:36 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, shoes that hurt should be sent away asap! Have you ever tried a swap party with similarly sized friends? I have a few close pals who have similar feet/clothing sizes and colourings to mine and anything that seemed like a good idea at first and was quickly revealed not to be can often be passed along to one of them.

But the good ones? Yes, keep them going as long as possible!

I need to have Mr Brammers clean out, I have ONE drawer out of nine. It's not natural!
Potteresque Irepotteresque_ire on November 4th, 2009 07:10 am (UTC)
Repair work can be fun!!!!! :) Not sure about my answer for the last question though ... Mmm. I keep my shoes forever but they're not really good shoes either; and usually the sole has a 30 degree incline on them due to my poor balance! :D
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 7th, 2009 02:37 pm (UTC)
HEE! I wear out the outside of mine something shocking, so I know what you mean ;-) And yes, there is a real satisfaction to *fixing* things!
inamacinamac on November 4th, 2009 07:16 am (UTC)
I get my shoes re-heeled regularly, but I usually go through the toes long before the question of re-soleing comes up (yes, my feet are weird).

But mostly I put broken things aside with the intention of repairing them - but never get around to it.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 7th, 2009 02:39 pm (UTC)
That is a little odd ;-)

I walk through mine awfully, probably because I only have a few pairs that are really good for walking, and then I walk a lot (I can't drive, so it's the only option). Though I do know what you mean about the repairing intentions: I have a terrible problem with piles of things, too. Happily, I have the odd rainy weekend to deal with them (Two or three a year in these days of drought ...)
ladyjanevaladyjaneva on November 4th, 2009 07:17 am (UTC)
I'm 26 years old, so I'm not from the older generation as my grandparents who survived the war and really had to repair everything.

However I've always had shoes repaired when something was broken that could be mended. All my precious Doc Martens: They're expensive and the only thing that broke was the zipper, and resoling is so cheap! I cannot understand how people do NOT repair shoes! If I would not take them to the cobbler I'd have to buy new Docs every two years! Also: yes, think of the resources one would waste otherwise! Just because it is possible to always buy new and throw away doesn't mean it's the smart or good thing to do.

This year I've also started darning my socks (the good ones). So far I'm still the only one I know, but given time I know a couple of friends I can convince. There's a really good video on youtube about how to darn socks, that's how I learned.

And I guess I don't have to mention that when my Jeans tear at the ass (I ride my bike daily) I also take them to the alteration shore and have them patched up again.
And yes, I also repair my wool sweaters (from Iceland and Norway) and my wool hats and scarves....

I guess I'm either older than my birth certificate says or a complete Öko-nut ;-D.

It's just...aside from the environmental angle I also want to have good quality things, you know? And good quality means that little things can be repaired easily and are worth the repair. I don't want to own stuff that is not worth repairing!

And I am very thankful to you to know that I am not the only one out there who repairs and resoles :-)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 7th, 2009 02:41 pm (UTC)
You're the good kind of Oko-nut! And I know exactly what you mean. I think it speaks of respect for the people who made the things originally, too, that you value their work enough to want to keep it going. You're not alone! There are many of us!
(no subject) - ladyjaneva on November 9th, 2009 09:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
alienor77310alienor77310 on November 4th, 2009 07:23 am (UTC)
I even darn tea towels...
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 7th, 2009 02:42 pm (UTC)
*Applauds*
prone to mischieftreacle_tartlet on November 4th, 2009 07:26 am (UTC)
Eek! I'm only clicking boxes as I wait for dinner to cook!
Do I get bonus points for repairing the small girl's clothing before I pass it down to other families?
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 7th, 2009 02:42 pm (UTC)
Yes, you do ;-)

I recently found myself ironing shirts for the charity bin, which I put down to the influence of people like you ;-)
(no subject) - treacle_tartlet on November 9th, 2009 11:04 am (UTC) (Expand)
Loyaulte Me Lieshocolate on November 4th, 2009 07:53 am (UTC)
I have always had a soft spot for Boris. He... he probably doesn't lie to us, which makes him a rare beast.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 7th, 2009 02:33 pm (UTC)
Yes, I do respect his honesty. And he seems basically nice, which is more than can be said for many pollies.
Shivshiv5468 on November 4th, 2009 07:57 am (UTC)
The choices presented are false. Repair one buy another have two. Simple.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 7th, 2009 02:32 pm (UTC)
Hee! Easy for you to say, your feet fit into more shoes than mine! Some days it seems as though I am doomed to Birkenstocks for eternity ...
(no subject) - shiv5468 on November 8th, 2009 07:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
pingridpingrid on November 4th, 2009 07:58 am (UTC)
I get old things repaired (or repair them) if I love them, because they'll invariably be much cooler than the current fashions. AND buy new stuff to replace them, that way I'm sure to have things on-hand! ;) I can't for the life of me seem to find anyone willing to replace the steel thing that's broken in the soles of my pair of very comfy patent leather boots, though. I weep salty tears of loss!
rosathome on November 4th, 2009 07:58 am (UTC)
I like Boris too. I thought the nicest thing about that story was that he hadn't bothered to tell anyone about it.
rosathome on November 4th, 2009 10:30 am (UTC)
Well, that's what it said in the first article I read .
(no subject) - blamebrampton on November 7th, 2009 02:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
trichinopoly ash: stock: cassette tapesaldehyde on November 4th, 2009 08:01 am (UTC)
i am all for repairing comfy/fave shoes, accessories and clothes! in fact, i will be taking my fave pair of fringed suede boots to the repair shop quite soon. i've posted quite a few photos of myself in those boots so you might even know which pair i mean - they're extremely comfy but also fashionable, and i always get complimented on them.

my mum sews a lot. she used to sew all her siblings' outfits while growing up, made most of my clothes when i was young and special outfits as i grew older, and still makes extremely fashionable blouses when i wear sarees. here is an example! i am COMPLETELY HELPLESS/HAPLESS when it comes to sewing, and i wish my mum had taught me basic repairwork so i could do those things myself.

in fact, since she'll be visiting soon and will be spending 3 mths with me, maybe i should get her to teach me some valuable sewing skills..

but yea, i definitely think investing in repairs is warranted if the outfit/accessory/footwear is comfortable and cherished, and something that i want to continue wearing :D
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 7th, 2009 02:31 pm (UTC)
I LOVE THOSE BOOTS! And that saree top is gorgeous. You should definitely have her pass on a few of her skills: I have to say that being able to do my own repairs is a skill that has saved me a great deal in both cash and angst!
Kareinakareina on November 4th, 2009 08:01 am (UTC)
There is fashion after the 12th Century? Nah, couldn't be. Make things you love, repair them if something goes wrong. Be comfortable. Don't buy store-bought stuff if it can be avoided. If it can't be avoided, you will probably have to alter it, anyway.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 7th, 2009 02:29 pm (UTC)
I have found some people who make clothes I like and that fit well, but they tend to be young designers working locally. I don't mind supporting them since I earn enough to, and lack the time to make more of my own clothes. And my shoemaking is AWFUL ;-)
(no subject) - kareina on November 8th, 2009 08:41 am (UTC) (Expand)
Welcome to Ant Countryant_queen on November 4th, 2009 08:04 am (UTC)
I grew up with parents who strongly believed in buying good quality things that will last and can be repaired, be it clothes, shoes, appliances, or cars.

I buy good quality shoes and get them re-heeled regularly. I kick myself when I've been too busy and the heel has worn down beyond the little bit on the end. I recently got a pair of boots repaired that needed a 1/2" added to the heel (had worn down too far) and the steel shank inside replaced. Cost $80. Boots originally cost $450 and they're now 6 years old, so it was worth it.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 4th, 2009 09:24 am (UTC)
Yes, I learned that lesson as a child, too, what with hippies, the farm, the post-war ethos and the 'Oh, your great-grandmother's frock would fit you, I think it's in X room ...' thing my family does.

That boot equation is the exact reason I believe in repairs, that and once you have the perfect pair perfectly broken in, it's a tragedy to lose them. Although you have such beautiful feet, it must be easier to fit them than my stumpy paddles!
(no subject) - ant_queen on November 4th, 2009 09:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
Meredythmeredyth_13 on November 4th, 2009 08:17 am (UTC)
I'm a big believer in repairing good things - but then, my baby saddle is over 100 years old.

Having said that, shoes are the bane of my life, as I have little money to spend on them, and very difficult feet to fit - so even expensive shoes do not survive the heels of d00m, and it's very hard to justify spending money on shoes when the inside of the heels will be in pieces within a couple of months of use.

I have had zippers replaced on suitcases, and I do make home repairs to items of clothing that are worth it. My darning is awful, but then I buy cheap socks too (see above).

If, some time in my future, I did actually find shoes that fit me, and were comfortable, and in good enough style to be 'timeless' (and if I trusted my judgement of fashion one little bit) I would be prepared to spend money on them, and have them repaired ad infinitum.

blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 4th, 2009 09:05 am (UTC)
Have you thought about asking the people at Preston Zly if they could mock something up for you? They do a lot of bespoke cordwaining and have some lovely styles. That shop we couldn't get to in time in Fitzroy stocks their stuff. Otherwise, pick a design you like and go shoemaker shopping!
(no subject) - meredyth_13 on November 4th, 2009 09:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on November 4th, 2009 09:20 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - meredyth_13 on November 4th, 2009 09:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - drgaellon on November 5th, 2009 05:21 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on November 7th, 2009 02:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - meredyth_13 on November 7th, 2009 09:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
mousiclesmousicles on November 4th, 2009 09:08 am (UTC)
As you know I'm a compulsive sock darner. I've never had shoes resoled, but then again, I'm not a shoe person. I buy sneakers about once a year and other shoes about maybe once in six years. Perhaps I'll see if the blunstones can be fixed.

I love second hand stuff with plenty of life in them, be it clothes or furnature or kid's toys. The downside is that by the time I'm prepared to part with something there's no life left in it and no one wants it.

I probably would hoard so much junk if I though someone would take it and use it.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 4th, 2009 09:19 am (UTC)
You were the reason I learned to darn! And yeah, trainers are crap at being resoled. I nearly bought some cute English shoes the other day, which are made of 95% recycled materials, save that they can't be resoled: where's the logic?!

Second-hand things are often so much better than new things, build quality was just better for the most part. I wish as much care went into clothing, kids' stuff, furnishings and accessories now as it did even 50 years ago :-(

But NO HOARDING! ;-)
(no subject) - treacle_tartlet on November 4th, 2009 11:24 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on November 4th, 2009 11:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - i_autumnheart on November 4th, 2009 02:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - treacle_tartlet on November 4th, 2009 08:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on November 7th, 2009 02:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
E McGeemelusinahp on November 4th, 2009 10:21 am (UTC)
Re: Boris -- It's the floppy blond hair. Gets me every time.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 4th, 2009 11:26 am (UTC)
That and the Latin.
Libbylibby_drew on November 4th, 2009 11:36 am (UTC)
Hey, you said peins. :D
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 7th, 2009 02:44 pm (UTC)
PENIS! (just for you. Also, cock!)
waterbirdwaterbird on November 4th, 2009 01:39 pm (UTC)
I fear for your friend post-apocalypse, LOL. Seriously, I'm trying to learn all sorts of useful skills to become more self-sufficient and have a gentler impact on the world: gardening, preserving, knitting. Granted, I'm pretty rubbish at all of these right now, but hoping to improve before the end of the world.

Yay, Boris. Don't love him, but he was certainly in the right place at the right time.
Randy: You'll stay with me?drgaellon on November 5th, 2009 05:19 am (UTC)
Join the SCA; we're the largest non-mechanized standing army in the world, and the only ones who still know how to fight without electronic or gunpowder. And we can teach you anything you need to know to survive after the apocalypse.
(no subject) - blamebrampton on November 7th, 2009 02:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
AutumnHearti_autumnheart on November 4th, 2009 02:33 pm (UTC)
Good boots are *far* too hard to come by to not get them repaird when necessary. Ditto comfy jeans and formalwear... but I to the repair work on those myself.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 7th, 2009 02:47 pm (UTC)
Yes! When you find the good things, hold onto them. I live in hope that I will be able to find boots for the chunkily calved back in London. The ones they sell here are not really designed for women who have ever actually done anything with their legs.
Azure Jane Lunatic: UAFazurelunatic on November 4th, 2009 02:44 pm (UTC)
I was raised in Alaska, and in the event that I hadn't outgrown something by the time it had developed rips, it got patched. Though most of my shoes have been the sort that are too cheap to get properly repaired. I have one lovely good sort now, and it's got an elastic strap that needs seen to.

Every now and again I'll settle in front of the computer with a spool of thread and a needle and those things that have developed blown seams. I'm liable to wear clothing into the ground now that I'm an adult and won't get too tall for it in a year. I see no reason to get rid of a perfectly good pair of shorts if it's only got a blown crotch; that's time for the needle. (The habitual wearing of skirts and the not habitual inclination to be ladylike, and the presence of strong winds, results in the habitual wearing of shorts, with their excellent pockets, under my skirts.)

I wear cheap opaque knee-high stockings, and they tend to fail in ways that can't be invisibly darned, so they tend to get binned.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 7th, 2009 02:49 pm (UTC)
POCKETS! That's a genius plan. And yeah, by the time clothes get their first little rips, they've usually just reached that really comfy stage ...
carnadosacarnadosa on November 4th, 2009 04:49 pm (UTC)
I picked "should be taught widely" because 1) I wish it was something I had been taught (making a pillow in home ec that one time in eight grade seriously doesn't count) and 2) I'm looking for a job right now after graduating with a masters and kind of wish I had some tangible skills. It would make me feel better.

My opinions on repairing, to be perfectly honest, have been mostly informed by my family (I kind of find it weird it wasn't an answer in the poll). My grandmother has knitted me many awesome blankets (and despite the fact that I'm 26 she's completely tickled by the fact I still sleep with the baby one), built us a wooden dollhouse, painted some china dolls and made me many awesome sundresses. I only wish I was that cool.

Also: you have to have something worth repairing. I mean, if I spend 200 USD on a good suit, I'm not going to chuck it for a hole. If I spend 5 dollars on 2 thin cotton tees and they get a hole...I'm going use them for rags.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 7th, 2009 02:53 pm (UTC)
I always forget to put in at least one obvious answer ;-)

You know that there are lots of good basic books on mendind, especially sewing out there? Readers Digest has a few fabbo ones that I always see in second hand shops around the English-speaking world, or try a public library; it's certainly not a hard skill or I would not have been able to learn it!

And yes, I have some things that just get the boot; though to this day I live in hope of finding the pairs of some of my socks ;-)
(no subject) - carnadosa on November 8th, 2009 04:12 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ladyjaneva on November 9th, 2009 10:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - azurelunatic on November 7th, 2009 03:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on November 7th, 2009 03:37 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 7th, 2009 02:54 pm (UTC)
I think the tendency to Latin scares some girls off ;-)

And I wish my mum had taught me to darn: I learned when I was 29 from a friend. SUCH a useful skill!
Jamfranalan on November 4th, 2009 07:13 pm (UTC)
I tend to do less repairing and more remaking...I'm forever turning trousers into skirts!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 7th, 2009 02:55 pm (UTC)
That sounds very sensible! Is it when the inner seam wears out, or do you do a cunning gored pattern?
(no subject) - franalan on November 7th, 2009 04:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Rosefourth_rose on November 4th, 2009 09:36 pm (UTC)
Of course I have my shoes resoled - do these people have any idea how hard it is to find a really comfy pair of shoes? If you have found one, you should hang on to it until it starts to fall apart to a degree that even the best shoemaker can't mend anymore.

Plus, I hate shopping.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 7th, 2009 02:55 pm (UTC)
YES and YES! There are so few shops that I genuinely like the look of, and then they rarely have things sized for the short and duck-footed ;-)
Bryoneybryoneybrynn on November 5th, 2009 01:31 am (UTC)
I couldn't resist all the old timer answers. Hee!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 7th, 2009 02:56 pm (UTC)
And wholly fair enough! One of my friends couldn't, either, which is VERY rude considering she is only 30 months younger than I am. At least you have actual youth ;-)