Sunday, November 24, 2013

Ten, in the overcoat and the sandshoes.

Today is my sister's birthday. I made sure that I rang her in enough time that I could sit down to watch Dr Who.  She's my sister, she understands. My verdict was Ten, in the overcoat and the sandshoes, although Eleven's superb glasses do get an honorable mention.  

It's an indicator of my great age that I remember William Hartnell, back in the day, but  Patrick Troughton was really the Doctor I grew up with.  He was the one with the dark Beatles 'do and the baggie suit.  In those days, families were lucky to have one TV set, and the thought of children having their own set would have caused a parliamentary enquiry. Somehow, I was allowed to scare myself silly for 25 minutes a week, with cybermen and daleks, while my parents rolled their eyes.  I never did grow out of it, although even I was sorely tested by the McCoy regeneration. Dark days indeed. Thank you, Mr Eccleston.

I'm still a Who tragic, and even at this late stage Two and Ten remain fixed in my affections. Tonight, however, has raised most vexing questions - is Ten Ten, or Eleven? Does that make Eleven Twelve? The Twitterverse will be alive tonight.

While we ponder that, those who aren't keen on Doctors can chat amongst
themselves and have a look at some things I did this week, to do with cyber-dragonflies and an occasional fish.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

"Little pots of toasted death..."

On Saturday night, I stumbled across Dylan Moran on the television, recorded live in London.  I love his work, his humour, and his use of the language.  I particularly loved "Anyone who's given up on God or the devil has never been properly kissed, or travelled on RyanAir with a hangover." 

These days I guess you could substitute any Australian domestic carrier for 'RyanAir', since any of the possible fun which used to occur in flying has been sucked out by security checks, squishy small seats in cattle class, and restrictions on everything. I haven't flown with a hangover for eons, decades - last century.  I have been properly kissed: it didn't necessarily change my views on God or the devil, but I understand what he meant.

Sometimes the simplest things are the purest definitions of heaven or hell, perfection or putrefaction. Little things, going out to the garden and digging up some potatoes and picking some fresh beans.  Re-reading a favorite book, or finding a new favorite book. (No-one says you should only have one favorite book.) A big hug from a dear friend you haven't seen for a long time. Someone who makes you smile. A sunny morning after some rain. These would fall on the heaven equivalent side.

Maybe we should spend more time noticing those things, and less time wanting bigger, newer, better, more expensive. Coco Chanel said that the best things in life are free, it's the second best things which are really expensive.

Nice Mr Moran went on to do a very clever impression of a man in the morning: eyes closed, inequitable blood distribution, needing a pee. There was a Frankenstein's monster likeness, not sure which side that falls on. He made me laugh, though. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Bitchin' and whinin' about bangs

You may have read here that I have been known to spend an idle hour browsing Pinterest, one of the most wonderful timewasters known to woman.  I was idly scrolling through the 'history' section, when I noticed a picture of Maggie Thatcher. Apart from her usual cat's bum look, bad hair and frightening fashion sense, it was uninspiringly dull. I was set to scroll on, when I noticed the caption - which said 'Maggie Thatcher - controversial policies but her background and the fact that she still remains the only female Prime Minister makes her inspirational to all women, regardless of political opinion.'

Now those of you who know me would be aware that I am not a big fan of the lately departed Maggie. I remember her in power, and the harm she caused to so many, including close friends and their families. When I read that caption, the bit that stuck in my mind was 'inspirational to all women'. I don't know any women who are inspired by that wicked old woman. I know there must be some. Somewhere.

In the spirit of sisterly education, I thought that I'd share a brief note with the pinner, since she had obviously made a huge error of judgement. The exchange went like this.  (The name has been changed for reasons which will become blindingly obvious.)

Me: Not ALL women, there are a huge number of women who deplore her policies, her actions, and the economic disaster which she brought down on a large number of people in the United Kingdom, not to mention the deaths she caused in an avoidable war. She is by no means an inspiration to those who lived through her era. 

Her: You can't find one thing to learn from her? Lol, you must be a liberal.

Me:  You must not know much about English politics, economics, history or social history! She decimated the economy of her country, caused huge civil unrest, caused needless deaths, and left a lasting social legacy of poverty, unemployment, and economic downturn. Your point was that she was inspirational to all women. Mine is that she is not inspirational at all, even the Conservative party in the UK tries to forget.

Her: I'm sure she's to blame for global warming and cow flatulence too. Are you going to blame her for your bad haircut? Lol  

Me:  It's interesting that you haven't actually countered with any facts, and that you have taken the slippery path to personal insult, rather than attempt any sort of discussion about the points I've raised. 

Her: All you have done is insult me. If I find Thatcher inspiring, you just assume I'm stupid. I don't agree with any of your boring babble about her! I bet you are one of the scum that celebrated her death. Well over a hundred people have pinned this pin...but you're the only one who had to bitch and whine about it. I'm so sick of bitches and whiners! 

Me: All I have done is provided information regarding a figure in history, I note that you have offered no facts to disprove what I've said, only stooped to puerile and not even creative personal insults. Apparently facts are 'boring babble'. So much for world history. At least we are agreed that not so many find her inspirational, since only a handful of Pinteresters have repinned, perhaps because they agreed with my comments, and yes, the people she oppressed celebrated her death - hardly all women finding her inspirational. If you had written simply that you found her inspirational, that is one thing. But to say she inspires all women patently incorrect.  I find it telling that you consider anyone who doesn't agree with you a' bitcher and whiner', rather than simply offering a factual argument. In simple grammatical terms, 'all women' are not inspired by Thatcher, by simple definition of the term.

Her: I never once asked you for your opinion...and yet you're still bitching and whining. You are boring and predictable. Just because you hate Thatcher so much, makes me admire her even more. Stop taking your anger out on your bangs...unless you're going for the Harry Potter look. 

Me: So... you don't like Harry Potter either? Possibly because J.K. Rowling wasn't a Thatcher fan either. Now J.K. Rowling IS a woman who is admired by a lot of women. I don't 'hate' anyone, I merely pointed out that Thatcher is no role model for thinking women and that her policies did lasting harm to her country. It is, of course, amusing that you will now forever have a little niggling thought in the back of your mind whenever her name is mentioned, reminding you of the bad things she did. So at least you are absorbing information and learning, although it appears a slow process. You keep trying to insult me, because you know that I'm right and you still don't understand that ALL women do not find Thatcher an inspiration. You will no doubt be thrilled to know that Thatcher did not change the comprehensive British public health care system, whereby everybody, including the poor, the homeless and the uneducated, are entitled to free health care there. Why are you so fascinated by my hair? You are beginning to obsess on it. 

Her: You're clearly a mental case. I don't care what you think. Please find something better to do with your life, and leave me alone. Thanks!  

Me: Unfortunately, your skills in psychological diagnosis are as lacking as those in political argument. Nevertheless, I am not the one with an unhealthy obsession on someone else's hair. Provided you can control your urges in that direction we shall say no more on the matter. 

Her: Thank God. I thought you'd never shut up. Creepy! 

Me: Still with the insults? Now you've moved to simple child like name calling, which although puerile, at least shows that you've moved on from your hair obsession. Did no-one ever tell you that if you have nothing nice to say it's better to say nothing at all? Or have you simply no inner monologue? Disappointing, but not entirely unexpected, given your previous outbursts. Manners maketh the woman, and all that.

Her: I don't go around leaving ugly comments on other people's pins. I didn't even write the caption on this picture...but I completely agree with it. Funny though, Thatcher has been re-pinned with the same words, 13 times today. That must make you upset! Lol...better go grab the scissors. Please spare me any more of your psycho babble. Leave me alone!

Me:  Ugly comments? I simply made some factual comments on a public pin. You were the one who leapt to immediate vilification and hair obsession. You haven't worked out that people may be pinning it to view your growing (and apparently unstoppable) obsession with my hair. Your daily counting of repins is beginning to become somewhat obsessive also, I would only be upset because your obsessional behaviour seems to be growing. Your are a slave to your baser hair urges and your self control appears lacking, as I had thought you had agreed to try to move on with your life, perhaps to someone else's hair. I wonder is there some sort of self help group you could join? I shall see if I can find you one. Although the repeated use of the term 'psycho babble' does indicate some resistance, still, I am hopeful that you will eventually be able to move on.

At that stage, a third pinner recognised the humorous content in the exchange, something I suspect came as something of a surprise to the hair obsessed and grammatically challenged.  It certainly stopped the conversation.  

Ah, the interweb, it's an educational tool. For some. Lol (sic).

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Unemployed, but not homeless

I'm unemployed, for the first time since 1981.  Technically, I'm 'retired', but I've just given up the day job to concentrate on - oh, that's right, having a life.  I joined the public service first in 1978, it was my third full time job after being rejected for a job as a data processor (those were the days) in 1976 because I was only young, had a boyfriend and "was likely to get married and have children". I kid you not. 

My Dad was beside himself with joy when I said I had a permanent public service job.  He impressed upon me that the superannuation was wonderful and that I would retire on a good income.  As a 20 year old, I could really grasp the concept of being retirement age.  Damn it, he was right. 

The workplace was a different world back then.  People smoked at their desks and anywhere else they liked.  The cleaner used to regularly vacuum around another staff member who would crash on the floor behind his desk after a big night at the pub, he would emerge from his sleeping bag about 9ish and get on with the day. It had only been 12 years since married women were not allowed to work in the public service, up until 1966 you had to resign when you got married. ( I guess that made the whole maternity leave thing moot.)  We worked without a calculator, let alone a computer, and data went off to be 'input' into the computer.  There was no freedom of information, no equal opportunity, occupational health and safety was casual at best. Statistics happened somewhere else.

But there was a transparent selection process, a career structure, promotion prospects.  Training was
a new work in progress
delivered professionally in person BEFORE you were let loose on the public.  You had to know what you were doing, because there was no computer to say 'no'. I made friends who have been my friends for the rest of my life.  Loyalty and hard work were valued and rewarded.

There are some people who say that if they won Lotto they would keep working, because they wouldn't know what to do.  In my view those people should not be allowed to play, because wealth would be wasted on them.  I barely had time to go to work, so many things to do, places to go, people to see.  Work was seriously inhibiting my social life.  I didn't win Lotto, but I have a lot to do and enough to do it with.

And suddenly Mondays have been reinvented as a day worth getting up for.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Savoring Sarah's Story

Sarah had her book released this week. It's called Salt Story, and you can find out more about it here, on her very excellent blog called The Wine Dark Sea. I had it on pre-order, picked it up and am allowing myself to read it in smallish bites, because the urge to just devour it is strong.  If I do I'll regret it because Sarah's stories, her use of language are to be savored and not just consumed. Someone said 'you know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.' This is one of those books.

I have a great affection for certain ex-fishermen, but I've always been drawn to stories of the ocean, ships, boats. Water, along with Celtic music, is part of my basic genetic makeup, it took a long time to understand why, but some things can't be denied, a little like fisheries officers in uniform.

I met Sarah a long time ago, we lived across the road from each other. Her children and mine were of similar ages and over the years they played and went to school and made up parts of the neighborhood mob.  I remember her in the relentless pissing down pouring rain, digging a huge hole to bury her dog, the size of a small pony, one of the most poignant things I've ever seen. I can still see her practicing her fire twirling on a sultry Saturday evening, and it still makes me smile to remember it. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

My payday treat this week was some magazines.  Having found that once I bought the magazines, I couldn't afford the gorgeous things in them, I entered into a self-imposed magazine moratorium a couple of years ago. (The general exception is airport purchase, but last time I flew I was replete with book.)

There's a famous line in Cold Comfort Farm (the book and the film) in which a communique from Flora, on said farm to her Aunt in the city ends "Send Vogue." 

I strolled back to work with an armful of glossy paper covered with ridiculously skinny airbrushed teenagers wearing stuff I could never afford. My untidy mind segued from Cold Comfort Farm to Dorothy Parker, a great humorist and poet, and along with Nancy Mitford one of the major influences on my twisted point of view. For Dorothy said "What fresh hell is this?": a quote I remember every working day.  

She also said "Brevity is the soul of lingerie"; and  "Men seldom make passes / At girls who wear glasses". Although I have evidence which renders the latter untrue, it has a certain metrical amusement value. I know one individual who may cite the former as empirical truth.

Vogue tells me that the New Look is - well - new again. Again.So the return to vintage has worked it's way into the fashion 'mainstream' - it's back to vintage corsetry, beautiful dresses,the silhouettes of the 50's. If only I was an uber-rich skinny teenager who could afford airbrushing. 

I can afford "The Collected Dorothy Parker", a better investment, probably.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Consumer capitalist commitment copout

Cocky cage for repurpose into a chook tractor
So my friend dropped me at the airport, and asked  'Do you have everything?'  Then we burst into hysterical laughter, because we had just unloaded a uteload of junk into her garage.  Not to mention the carload the previous day, and the bits we hid in there the day before that, on the way from the airport.  There was a circular saw, amongst other things, in my suitcase.

We have more fun at this time of year than should strictly be legal. And this last weekend it was verge collection in some of the uber-rich and super-tasteless areas of Perth. At first we thought that the two facial expressions of the residents were directed at us, as we drove slowly and examined their junk.  Then we realised that those expressionless, non-smiling women had had botox, and the ones with pursed lips just look like that all the time because it's so stressful being wealthy.

I get that it's below their dignity to have a garage sale,
Ooooh, wrought iron...
although we did observe some activity which looked surprisingly like listing things on Gumtree. I don't, and never will understand how the women who lunch for a living don't have time to drop stuff at an opshop, or call a charity for pickup of larger items.

If your house is big enough to have it's own postcode, and your housekeeper has a secretary, why would you prefer to send perfectly good stuff to landfill?  We picked up some lovely things to drop off in charity bins, rather than let them be ruined in the rain. I salute their capitalist commitment to consumerism. 

So many options for repurposing.
For that matter, no-one was playing tennis on the private courts, or lounging on the expensive up to date patio furniture,or even strolling in the landscaped grounds.  We did see some functionaries, functioning. 

The competition out there is killer.  One guy circled past 5 times while we considered options for rather a lot of wrought iron. At another places there were as many as 5 cars competing. I literally threw myself out of the car and onto a vintage David Jones leather suitcase just as a car screeched up behind us, intent on the same thing. We exchanged insincere pleasantries as I threw the suitcase into the back seat. The owner came out and went through the remnants, trying to talk up some items.  We left them to it.  

The early bird gets the suitcase.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

once again onto the verges....

My favourite time of year has begun.  I'm a bit pressed for time so I'll just give you the highlights from week one:

A nomination for second in 'best finds ever'* is this young gentleman.  He positively leapt into the vehicle, several thoughts about how he may end up.  I'd love to know why someone painted his face green, and set fire to one knee. 
*Best find ever: the church hymn board last year, in case you were wondering.

In the same pic, polo stick things.  I'm going to need 2 horses, and a 'Polo for Dummies' book, especially if my new armless friend wants to play.

50's metal chair, faux wrought iron folding chair, and circular stand in the style I call 'curly'. How could I leave them? TLC required, consider these the 'before' pics.

An electric base guitar, in case, with amp.  I'm putting the band back together.  The mannequin will have to play harmonica, for obvious reasons, probably not very well. 

A vase, English, 1890-ish. Classic Nouveau shape. Sir Christopher Dresser design.
Gotta love Google.

On the practical side, a new awning for the back veranda, to replace the ones blown to shreds this year, another easel, 2 working Dyson vacuums (for friends), a new trolley, and bits and bobs, various.  I like the unused chantilly cream maker, like a soda syphon, complete with a full box of gas cylinders. I never wanted to make chantilly cream till now.

Now, I have to put my stuff out, so that I can fit the new stuff in. Lucky I got the trolley...

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Dating advice from John Waters

I haven't posted for a while, the weather has been awful, the finds in the opshops have been minimal, and I'm adapting to retro not just being a style alternative but a way of life for all of Australia.

As the joke goes, due to cutbacks the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off.  Morning tea, the Pit of Despair. Last week. Off-pay week, always a dark time.   Due to belt tightening, the morning papers have been cancelled.  There was a brave social experiment - more capitalist, really - whereby everyone was to chip in a few cents to pay for a paper.  That failed, epicaly, because it turned out that people preferred the socialist, government provided papers and long pockets and very short arms were the order of the day.

Due to my jaundiced view of the quality of press reporting, I avoid the world according to Murdoch (has nobody seen that James Bond movie* with the media mogul manipulating events for news? It was a documentary.)  I take a book to work.  A chap who sits nearby is also an avid reader, we have similar tastes and often share books.

The workforce, depleted by natural attrition, has divided into
three groups, the readers, the iphone game players, and the one who stares into space. Luckily, we haven't had to resort to conversation yet.  It transpires that the space starer hadn't read a book in 16 years. Not because of any learning disability, but purely by choice.  As you can imagine, I was stunned. Gobsmacked. Amazed. He has children, did he not even read them Pooh (the proper one); Harry Potter; Alice in Wonderland?

My son outgrew Harry Potter, but I had to have closure and kept on lining up for the books on the day they were released.  My daughter insisted I read the Twilight novels.  I would have preferred to poke my eyes out with a 2B pencil,  I was so relieved when she lost interest. I was losing the will to live. But at least she was reading. So read them I did.

There's a thing on Pinterest,  allegedly a John Waters quote, which says something like 'If you go home with somebody and they don't have books, don't f*** them.'  I have to say, I think Mr Waters has a valid point. My jaw dropped even lower when my esteemed but bookless colleague actually went on to ask what could be gained from reading a book?  The reading chap may have actually groaned at that point, and I believe I may have whimpered.

Knowledge. Amusement. Wit. Imagination. History. Exercise for the brain. Expanded horizons. 

A house is not a home without books. A person without books is liable to remain single and unloved for a very long time. And I can't believe I'm taking dating advice from John Waters.

*Ironically, not a Fleming book.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Seize the Book

It was Book Week, and quite coincidentally I've been finding lots of good books.

Those who know me know that although books aren't my only weakness (OK, obsession), they are certainly up there in the top three. Due to a tightened personal fiscal policy, I've been avoiding bookstores and even online booksellers.

Unfortunately, the inclement weather last week had me strolling home from work via the protection of the verandas of the main street retailers. Paperbark Merchants yielded another in the Jim Butcher Dresden Files series, Ghost Story. My son lent me the previous books, but he said that he couldn't get this one at the time. I have it up next on the reading rota and am doing secret little happy dances, as I've missed Harry. Thursday was a book disaster in waiting, as I called into another local purveyor of book happiness with time on my hands and books on my mind. 

Sometimes you can drop into a bookstore and find nothing that makes you go weak at the knees. On this occasion, however, any self control was seriously compromised.  

I don't know about you, but I have an established pattern for bookshop browsing. First, the fantasy paperbacks, such as the previously mentioned Jim Butcher books, and, of course Terry Pratchett, my indisputable King.  I am re-collecting all of the Discworld books, having given my paperback collection to the boychild (I'd say having them prised from my grasp, but that would make me seem selfish). I noted a couple of possible acquisitions and moved on, pausing to briefly re-live the reader betrayal that was the last book in the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. I reflected quietly on the hurt the woman had caused me, and decided that the wound is too raw for me to consider taking on another of her characters.

I moved on to Crime and Thriller, noting that a new Lee Child book in the Jack Reacher series was due out the next day. Happy Fathers' Day to me... They do know that lots of women read Jack, don't they?

Somewhere in Latest Releases, I found  my nomination for possibly best book jacket of all time. I wouldn't generally buy a book solely on it's cover, but this one made my heart beat faster. Luckily, I like Robert Drewe's books.

I moved onto Art, Craft. I need new and different in this category, original ideas, inspiration. Books which advise me on how to put curtains on wire across the front of cupboards simply don't cut the mustard. I grabbed Push Print, I loved the presentation, content - and with appalling restraint, put it's companion Push Paper back. There was just a schmick less new inspiration in the paper volume. 

I very nearly threw myself at Margaret Olley - love her work, an
amazing book, but once again, grown-up bill-paying need-to-eat-cannot-live-on-books-alone-dammit sensibility won out. I hate being a grownup.

I then move to Biography, Travel (books about Paris, mainly), History, non-fiction (general),and specials.

Friday's opshop round provided a mix of crime/thrillers, Karin Slaughter, Linda Fairstein, and so on, and I also picked up Evelyn Waugh's Scoop in Penguin paperback, as well as sundry others. 

Happy Book Week to me.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

I got home from work on the only halfway decent day this week, to a gift from my next door neighbour.

It's a strange squelchy tiny thing that looks like a tiny internal organ, wrapped in some seaweed and served on a scallop shell.

Not edible, and accompanied by a note explaining that my neighbour and my dog had been to the beach but found no interesting dead fish.

Such a lovely little parcel and a lovely surprise.

I've been spending far too much time trawling the far corners and darker recesses of the internet of late.  It's part of my strategy to avoid becoming a homicidal maniac as a result of watching election propaganda on television, and is an extension of my vow to read only the garage sales columns of newspapers. 

Since garage sales are sparse in the depths of winter, I've been reliant on the op shops to cheer my cold heart.  There have been a few bargains to cheer me, a Liberty of London silk scarf, and an excellent book detailing the correspondence between Albert Tucker and Sidney Nolan.  

I love their references to breaking into the Paris art scene and their references to Picasso, who apparently spoke French with a Spanish accent. The descriptions of living in Paris as artists are sublime.

In a week which has not been in my top one thousand of weeks worth living through, I managed to break the adorable glasses which I found in Paris, after walking kilometres and searching every optician. I have broken one pair of glasses in my adult life, and it had to be the ones I loved most.

I hope my eyeglass obsession does not overrun a planned trip to Melbourne, the mecca for deluded Australian eyeglasses tragics. Luckily, I will be able to see, as I have spare pairs, and hopefully I will be able to distract myself, or be distracted, from any optical urges.

In the meantime, I picked up some tres chic classic French sunnies this week, so I shall not be squinting in the daylight as I venture out onto the streets of Melbourne.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Balls of steel

Spotted at the Kalamunda Markets this weekend, some of my favourite things: balls.  Spherical metallic constructions. Varying sizes. Different metals.  I could not restrain myself, I took a lot of photos. No self control, me.  Here they are.

Made by Martin Jaine.

In another location, all about wood, I found something called a nibbler.  A very nice man demonstrated it's use.  He had nine years experience and wielded it with great style.  It attaches to your drill, cuts wood, metal, perspex and plastic into curves, shapes and straight lines.  I'd heard of them, never seen one used.   I had to have one.  I have one now.  I shall nibble. My partner in trinket procurement for the day also satisfied a wanton desire for one.  We spent the rest of the weekend thinking of nibbling opportunities.  It was really quite thrilling. You will hear and see more of this from me.

The wood show at the Claremont Showgrounds also yielded some pics of some wonderful old tools, and a motorcycle hearse.  Wood is such a tactile material, wonderful textures.

I find it easier to manage than metal, since I can't weld, although this is a most desirable skill.

I didn't buy these lockers, spotted at the very fabulous Balcatta Tip Shop. (But only because I couldn't see how I could get them home.) I did buy the small oak shelf which is sitting on the red chair.  I can never have enough ways to store books.

The chair just happened to be there.  My collaborator in acquirement for the weekend got a red Webber kettle to repurpose as a herb garden, amongst other things.

And here is a small sculpture I completed on Thursday, instead of vacuuming the floors. In the spirit of the great philosopher Yosemite Sam: Ah HATES housework.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Winter churns on...

It's official, I'm in winter hibernation mode.  What is there to do, when the wind is howling, and the rain is sideways, but make a cup of tea, take a good book and go back to bed, where it's warm and cosy. With internet access, almost all my needs were met.

I surfaced for a quick but unimpressive opshop round on Wednesday, but by Thursday I was running out of milk for my tea.

So on Friday, I staggered out to the shops. As well as milk, I stocked up on paper for art prints, ink, and discovered some picture frames on sale.  I have some new fish, including some on charts of King George Sound and Princess Royal Harbour, as well as Kalbarri and the West Coast of Western Australia.

Damage from the storm was limited, and largely fixable with gaffer tape.  By the end of the week I was able to do some work outside, including on the old butter churn (which would look very nice with plants in it). It's ready to go to a new home.

I'm slowly reducing the piles of stuff on the back veranda.  You can see the chairs now.  

I've started on a new group of steampunk sculptures, so the kitchen table is hidden again.  I've been gathering the parts for a while and I'm using some of the bits I brought home from the last roadtrip.  There will be several balloons, some boats, a ship, and there's a land vehicle which is looking like it has potential. I don't often do cars/trains/trucks but this one is incorporating some old brass motorcycle fuel pump bits.

I think I need an angle grinder.  Or perhaps a nice man with an angle grinder and an interest in art, that might be a good thing.