Upholstery – Restoration – Howard Reede-Pelling

This post is part of a series of short writings by a small writer on particular topics and stories named Howard Reede-Pelling, he lives in Victoria, Australia and is in his older age now. Here, he has written about upholstery and restoration.

That shabby old chair or divan one has in the attic or garden shed, either Grandma’s old couch or Dad’s favorite chair, just laying there gathering dust; now is the time to restore it! Upholstery is not a mystery any more, even you can do something about making an effort to at least give it a new outlook. One does not have to be an expert to restore it to something of its former glory; just a little common sense will suffice. A couple of metres of new material just draped over it and tucked in at the seat will give it a new, clean look. But, if one needs something a little more substantial – read on!

Now if the need is for diamond or spade buttoning, perhaps then one should have the piece expertly done; however, for just the odd easy chair or divan, they may be restored with a minimum cost and be made to look good. The secret is to first remove the outside arm and back covers. Now one can see how the inside arm and back materials are fastened. When covering your furniture it is basic to stretch the material evenly and firmly into place. Replace springs that are broken or have slipped, and be sure to tie them properly to prevent them slipping again. Sometimes the supporting hessian has to be replaced as it may have worn. Carefully note how it is attached before removing it, so that you can replace it as it was.

If your furniture has stab buttoning, then that is easily restored. Just get the button which has come undone or a replacement, and a trip to an upholsterer will supply you with the necessary needle so that the button may be re-attached. Look how the others were done and simulate them. If extra padding is needed, that is where the upholsterer will come in handy again. If you wish to have the tacks covered, be sure to take note of how the outside back and arms were attached. Back tacking is the simple means of cutting strips of cardboard and putting the tacks in a straight line along it; the cover is then folded down and tacked to the underside of the furniture. The sides are then slip-stitched and your furniture is as good as new.

If it needs a polish, do not despair; a quick wipe over the woodwork with a touch of shellack and metho will take most surface scratches off and give your piece a warm sheen. Make sure if you are recovering, that you do not make the mistake of putting on a too gaudy cover as it may not suit the polish. Pastel colours are the evergreen trend and a safe guide for a comfortable unit. Remember, you may have to live with it a long time.

Howard Reede-Pelling.

Bird Observing – Howard Reede-Pelling

This post is part of a series of short writings by a small writer on particular topics and stories named Howard Reede-Pelling, he lives in Victoria, Australia and is in his older age now. Here, he has written about bird observing.

This is a most relaxing and serene of recreational activities, the observation of our natural bird-life.
The feathered creatures that abound in our habitat are indeed a natural treasure, but on the whole, we, the so-called ruling majority; take little if any notice of one of nature’s wonderful gifts to mankind. Bird life is an amazing and diverse feature of our universe, yet we take most of it for granted without looking deeper into this vast and informative area of living beauty and diversity. Take just a little time out to think and ponder of the possibilities in this field. Think well of the various sizes, shapes, types and colour variations of these our feathered friends, set there for our enjoyment to wonder at and witness, yes and even to learn from and gain much in living together in harmony, even as we of multiple races have not yet learned to do.

Bird life has its own set of rules for the harmonious co-existance of the species. This is a rule, not of kill or be killed, but more of a Took before you leap’ existance. True, birds do prey upon each other in many cases, however, this is not the rule; there are many species of birds that are not cannibalistic or indeed, meat-eaters. Although the vast majority of our native birds are insect or honey-eaters, there is a large field where the bird-life are grain-eaters. Even the carnivorous of our feathered neighbours are not so aggressive as to be warlike; no indeed, their aggressiveness comes merely as a need to eat to survive. Birds such as the eagles and kestrels. Many
birds need sea-life upon which to live; Gulls, Pelicans and the like. But this paper is not just a guide to the eating habits of birds but a prelude into the wonderful spectacle of witnessing the colour and beauty, and indeed, the idiosyncrasies of the more common types of birds to be found in our neighbourhoods.

It is a fact that more and more clubs and gatherings of bird observers are now becoming quite the norm, it is a relaxing, peaceful pastime and is gathering much momentum because the interest and beauty are there, to witness free of charge and to get one out in the open air. When first one takes the time to sit quietly in a natural country-like setting in one of the areas set aside for the purpose, close to the city; say for instance Yarra Bend Park, when all about is still. That is when one can see the native birds in their natural habitats doing what birds do, chirping, flirting, eating and even playing. To witness a couple of tiny tits seeking insects, although they may be just a drab grey colour, their lively antics keep one enthralled. Then there are the more colourful varieties, parrots etc. Swallows and the fleet swift. I am a Bird Observer, are you?

Howard Reede-Pelling.

Bottle Collecting – Howard Reede-Pelling

This post is part of a series of short writings by a small writer on particular topics and stories named Howard Reede-Pelling, he lives in Victoria, Australia and is in his older age now. Here, he has written about bottle collecting.

I was a member of The Western Antique Bottle Club for eighteen years. In that time I sat on the committee in various portfolios. Social Secretary, Secretary, Treasurer, Editor and President. We had many memorable shows including one at the Showgrounds in 1983. At that time I was Secretary and had the pleasure of firstly inviting and then presenting with a gift, the Miss Australia winner, Sharon Me Kenzie, whom I then escorted on a tour of inspection; of our Bottle Show. Many shows at town halls and exhibition centres were made. Including one at the Williamstown Town Hall where I had the pleasure of escorting The Right Honourable Joan Kirner, just before she became Premier.

Antique Bottle Collecting is a lucrative and very interesting hobby. The value of these pieces is remarkable. Two thousand dollars for a single bottle is commonplace. One must specialise in particular areas as the house would tilt otherwise. Bottles are quite heavy when one gathers huge amounts of them. My first experience with bottle collecting came during my days at a Gem Club. A mate and I were a little tired of delving fruitlessly for agates and haematites in a gold mining area at Castlemaine, when my mate suggested that we dug out one of the mullock heaps of an abandoned gold digging. We toiled for a half of an hour before we found our first bottle. It was only Kruses Oil bottle, but it was an 1880’s piece and it was found by myself; my very own link with the past. I became quite interested in Bottle Collecting.

With Bottle Collecting it is most important to specialise. My first area was with the then quite common milk bottle. There are 625 different dairies in the Melbourne district and I had one or two bottles from each of them by the time I sold the lot to the Clunes Historic Society and concentrated upon the stoneware Ginger Beer Collection. I still have the best collection of Victorian Stone Ginger Beers in existance. Some of my bottles are valued at over two thousand dollars each. On an average the Victorian Collection of Ginger Beer Bottles are worth one hundred dollars a bottle. I have a total collection of five hundred and ten Ginger Beer Bottles. My complete collection including the Codd Bottles, Pointy enders (Hamilton Patents) and various others including Wines, Scents and Stone Flagons; would exceed $80,000. As well as antique furniture, I might add.

To properly relate the exciting possibilities with Bottle Collecting one would need an entire newspaper. This I don’t have access to, so I hope that I may have inspired some of you a little. Advice is free, so if you so desire feel free to be enlightened by myself in regard to Bottle Collecting.

Howard Reede-Pelling.

Boomerang Throwing and Making – Howard Reede-Pelling

This post is part of a series of short writings by a small writer on particular topics and stories named Howard Reede-Pelling, he lives in Victoria, Australia and is in his older age now. Here, he has written about boomerang throwing and making.

Mine tinkit you long way from somewhere — ay?
Aborigines have come a long way since the days of such sayings. Nowadays the Aboriginal people are vieing for an equal place in society along with many so-called, foriegners. They become polititions, judges and in fact pillars of society. We ourselves, are just newcomers to this wonderful land. We have much to learn, especially in the art of fashioning and throwing that ancient of weapons – the boomerang.

Now I am no expert but I do have a little expertise in this direction. I was instructed by Bill Onus, whom I first met at Koranderrk just before Healesville on the yarra flats. He was the caretaker at the time of the aboriginal burial ground there. I was just eighteen and driving a motorcycle, I camped upon the property. He taught me to shoot properly and how to hunt and track animals. One thing that I dearly wanted to learn, was the correct way to throw a boomerang; this he taught me. Bill Onus was a fine aboriginal and a gentleman. Later, he set up and produced for export many varieties of boomerangs and other native artefacts at his factory at Belgrave, on the way to Kalista.

To make a boomerang, the best material is seven-ply. Cut the shape of a boomerang at about 160 degrees, slice flights on the leading and trailing edges of the bottom flat surface. The top flat surface has to be rounded on the circumferance. A pattern may be etched if one so desires. This rounded edge in conjunction with flat bottom of the boomerang, gives the article ‘lift’. The flights also assist in this area. Once you are satisfied with the finished product, it is time to seal it with a coat of laquer. This is necessary to protect the wood if it gets onto damp grass.

The art of casting your boomerang is laid down in most manuals. First it must be held correctly. Firmly hold the short end in your hand with the index finger facing the ground and set to give the boomerang a flick. The boomerang should be held at shoulder height and firmly cast in a straight line parallel to the ground at shoulder height and in an upright position. At fifty metres it will lay over and travel in an upwards direction from which it will begin to circle around and return. If the wind is blowing straight at one, the boomerang (for a right hander) should be aimed at ten degrees to the right whereupon it will return at ten degrees to the left. There are two ways to recover your boomerang. If it returns above you and hovers, a hand can be placed through the centre hole as it spins; if it returns at a lower and faster velocity, then it is wise to close the open hands one above and one under, the weapon. Have fun and enjoyment with your boomerang.

Howard Reede-Pelling.

Beach Combing – Howard Reede-Pelling

This post is part of a series of short writings by a small writer on particular topics and stories named Howard Reede-Pelling, he lives in Victoria, Australia and is in his older age now. Here, he has written about beach combing.

The pastime of beachcombing sounds a little like seeking pieces of flotsam, far from it! This can be a very lucrative activity, more in the line of gold seeking; in fact it is very much the same. I must admit to having spent much of my time in the latter years of my life, wading the shallows in an effort to keep fit, as arthritis has permeated my body. It was purely by accident that I discovered how lucrative beachcombing could be!

Early one morning I was wading the shallows. The tide was out and the sea was calm. Looking where I was stepping because of the rocks and reefs in the area, I was amazed to see the glitter of a coin. I picked up the coin, a twenty cents piece, and glanced about in case the were others. There were. In all, over an area of ten square feet, I retrieved eight of these pieces and a couple of six cent pieces. Greedily I looked further afield. Not only did I find coins but there was a gold ring and a bangle, also a chain with a crucifix attached. Due to the changing tides a large area of sand had been washed from the sea floor, leaving the heavier objects such as I had found, well exposed. Bolts from boats, sinkers, bullets (the area was a rifle range during the war) and an old rusted gun, just a few of the items found.

I fashioned for myself a rectangular plastic basin, two thirds of a metre long and half a metre wide and deep. This I fashioned into a window with a plate glass bottom similar to a van window. Now I could see the sea-bed clearly even on a day when wind rippled the water. Over the next ten years I managed to recover from the sea, five thousand dollars worth of old coins, damaged gold and dozens of toys of the leaden type of years gone by. At times it was back-breaking work, especially when the sea became rough; I persevered.

Beachcombing is related to gold fossicking in that one has a need to use a flat bat as a paddle, something the size of a table tennis bat, to wash away the sand from deep crevices and ridges on the sea bed. Many a gold ring and even the odd gold coin can be covered by the sand in these pockets. On a sunny day I detected a glitter in a shell hole about six inches deep. Upon paddling with my bat I made a gold sovereign of English origin, emerge from the hole. It was dated 1850 and was in E.F. (Extremely Fine) condition due to having been protected by the elements down the hole; possibly for a whole century. The piece sold for two hundred dollars. I also found a two ecru gold piece (about the size of a threepence). I’ve had fun beachcombing, have you!

Howard Reede-Pelling.

Gold Panning – Howard Reede-Pelling

This post is part of a series of short writings by a small writer on particular topics and stories named Howard Reede-Pelling, he lives in Victoria, Australia and is in his older age now. Here, he has written about gold panning.

During my times as a Lapidarian, I learned and practised the art of panning for gold. It is a very basic and fundemental thing to do, Gold Panning; however there are some pitfalls for the uninitiated. The first of which is ‘keep an eye out for snakes’, the second is to be aware of the dangers of getting in over your depth and to look out for snags. Safety considered, and one should already have checked equipment, the next step is ‘where to find the best spot to do your fossicking.’

Usually a gravel bed of a creek will afford a good source of ‘specimens’, if that satisfies one. Me, I look for natural ‘riffles’ along the side of the creek or river. Usually these are found by studying the lay of the land around about the area. A rock formation that extends into the water often has water-worn gullies or riffles. These are caused by many decades of water running over the rock, leaving the hardest surfaces to jut out above the softer surfaces, thus causing these ‘riffles’. Gold being one of the heaviest of the minerals usually settles into these riffles amidst the heavier stones and mud.

Method of extricating the gold from the mud and stones is by panning. A small spade or scoop, even a spoon can be used to get the residue out of the riffles and into one’s gold pan. Now the trick is to separate them. Having put three or four shovels full of gravel,mud and hopefully gold, into your gold pan; give the whole lot a vigorous stir with your hand, making sure that you do give final rinse of that hand to remove any specks that may adhere. The heavier gold will almost immediately find its way to the bottom of the pan, therefore one may remove forcably, the majority of sticks larger pebbles and muddy water.

The residue left, usually about an inch of muddy water, will have what gold is there, in it. Now by gently stirring and letting a little of the muddy water at a time escape from the pan, one may notice many specks and perhaps a small nugget, to appear. With care, one is able to drain the entire lot of muddy water out of the pan, leaving only the gold, which is heavier, in the pan. With a small phial of water at hand, one may be able to press a finger onto each speck and transfer them into the phial. Upon contact with the water in the phial, the specks of gold will again sink to the bottom. Very soon, a continuity of this practice will see the phial fill appreciably. Good fossicking!

Howard Reede-Pelling.

Lapidary – Howard Reede-Pelling

This post is part of a series of short writings by a small writer on particular topics and stories named Howard Reede-Pelling, he lives in Victoria, Australia and is in his older age now. Here, he has written about lapidary.

Lapidary is the art of gemstones. I first joined the Lapidary Club of Victoria in 1962. It was inaugurated by Dame Elizabeth Fry at the I.O.O.F. hall in Valetta Street, Malvern. This is the club where I got most of my experience on committees.

Before long after having joined, I was enticed to do committee work to keep the club viable. I was initially under secretary, then after a year I became showcase manager, a position I maintained for most of my thirty years at the club. During this time I held positions as social secretary, field officer, secretary and then I did a seven year stint as editor of the local magazine, The Lapidarian. For most of my time there I submitted three or four articles a month to the magazine.

Lapidary is an art form whereby one collects the raw material from the earth and with the aid of experienced club-mates, turns them into things of beauty and value. I began by embarking upon a field trip seeking jasper, clear quartz and also tourmaline. In this I was successful to the extent that I was able to fashion some beautiful cabachons. Many field trips followed. Sapphires, gold, peridot, topaz, garnets, citrine, serpentine etcetera. I became well-versed in the art form. As many of these field trips took us to rivers and streams, we were constantly delving into the riffles seeking that elusive el dorado – Gold. My many forays into the waters gave me the expertise I needed to pass on my considerable knowledge to others – the ‘new chums’ as it were. I have samples of gold from numerous areas – all different.

With many of these clubs there were exhibitions put on for the public to gape and drool over, hence my expertise into the ‘show world’, many shows were set up in all sorts of places, mostly local town halls. We often had to hire school halls and gymnasiums as the town halls were inadequate for our growing wealth of specimens. I can recall hiring the Lower Melbourne Town Hall for one exhibition.

There is no greater satisfaction than taking some raw material from the earth, a stone if you will, and cutting, shaping and polishing it into a glamorous art-form. All one’s own work. The satisfaction of having done so is far and beyond the bonds of imagination; it is factual! Have yourself a ball – join a Lapidary Club and experiece the out doors. One memorial trip was to Flinders for zeolites. We gathered gmelignite, clear quartz crystals, aragonite and sharks teeth. I’ve experienced the outdoors life -have you?

Howard Reede-Pelling.

Numismatics – Howard Reede-Pelling

This post is part of a series of short writings by a small writer on particular topics and stories named Howard Reede-Pelling, he lives in Victoria, Australia and is in his older age now. Here, he has written about numismatics.

Coin collecting is known as numismatics. This covers the collection of tokens, medals and anything of bartering capabilities, such as Bone Money, Wampum Beads and the like. It can be a nightmare for the uninitiated.

I first became a numismatist in the late forties, when I was a teenager. My expertise at that time was just with pennies – all that I could afford. I never ever managed to collect the whole ‘set’ as it were, because that is an impossibility. Some years just did not have the coins minted. As I grew, so did my collection. In 1960 as a mature adult I had over two hundredweight of specially selected coins of all denominations, from all countries. One soon realizes that it is almost impossible to complete one country’s coinage, so I began to specialise. I collected from Australia and then only varieties. Even so, my collection was still unwieldly but I persisted. I fast became the Guru of Australian Coinage.

At thirty years of age I joined the Numismatic Society of Victoria and it was not long before my writings and papers on the subject became ‘must read material’. I became such an expert on the subject, that I could look at the obverse and accurately tell what the date of the coin was on the reverse. This was accomplished because of various factors in regard to the manufacture of the piece and the wear and tear of usage. I was thirty years a numismatist.

In regard to numismatics, one should first learn the basics. Obverse means – heads, reverse means – tails. Pellets are the dotted edging, legend is the wording around the peripheral – usually Latin and patina is the surface finish of the coin. A numismatist always holds any piece between finger and thumb by the outside edge; NEVER place a digit upon the surface of a coin as that causes disfiguration and disintegration of the piece in time. Even when on is not hot, there is often dampness on one’s fingers and deterioration of the collectable is begun. Ten years hence the piece is often damaged, the patina is gone, the value of the coin diminished.

Too numerous are the varieties, but here a few of the rarer specimens:- penny 1918 Heaton Mint, 1930, penny (uniface), 1937, penny 1946, penny 1948 Perth Mint. Halfpenny 1923, halfpenny 1939 roo, threepence 1916 Three-legged emu, threepence 1921-2 overdate, threepence 1933-4 overdate, threepence 1942 Melbourne Mint. All silver coins of 1910. Sixpence 1916 Heaton Mint (Eng.) Shillings 1913, 14, 15, 20, 21star, 29. Two shillings 12, 13, 14, 14h, 15, 15h, 20, 23, 32. All coin of the abdication in 1937 are extremely rate and collectable. These are just a few of the rarer pieces.

Howard Reede-Pelling.

I Don’t Care [Hype Music Remix] – Delta Goodrem Lyrics

 

Audius Mtawarira: Ohh common’.
Now what cha gonna do?
Yeah.
Audius.
Common’.
(Song begins)

Delta: Now, oh yeah.
Audius: Delta.
Delta: Guess what they say.
Audius: Now what cha gonna do? Ohh common’, oh.

(Reasonably paced rap)
Now I’m with it again, I’m tryna’ get in, with your best friends telling you “you’ve gotta give in.”
What?

Now you talk about it every single day, baby, since you seem to buy every little thing baby.
Too long you’ve had it, back to front.
Gettin’ tired of your friend they just talk too much
Baby why you gettin? What, now? Uh. So you want to give it up now?
Uhh common’.

Delta: That boy is working you, be careful what you do.
They say he’s nothin’, but trouble with an attitude.
I’m needing intervention, my friends with good intentions say “if you don’t walk away, girl you must be crazy.”

[bridge]
They don’t see through these eyes, they don’t feel with this heart, they don’t know what it’s like, ohh ohh ohh.
They’re not kissin’ your lips, they’re not touchin’ like this.
I feel the passion and the fire ignite me.

[chorus]
I don’t care what they say, I don’t care what they do, they can lock me up forever try to stop me lovin’ you (can’t stop).
They try to keep Romeo and Juliet apart, babe it doesn’t matter what they say, I only listen to my heart.

Ohh ohh.

Audius: Delta, now what cha’ gonna do?

Delta: Ohh ohh.

Audius: Oh, common’.

Delta: Your body feels so right, laying by my side.
And if the world should end tonight, baby I’d be satisfied.
I know you’re a better man, I’m sorry that they don’t understand.
You make me feel like, like I never before.

[chorus]

[bridge]

Woahh woahh.

[chorus] x2

I Don’t Care (The down and low on not caring) – Delta Goodrem Lyrics

 

No, oh yeah, guess what they say (go away, can’t stop me).

That boy is working you, be careful what you do.
They say he’s nothin’, but trouble with an attitude.
I’m needing intervention, my friends with good intentions say “if you don’t walk away, girl you must be crazy.”

[bridge]
They don’t see through these eyes, they don’t feel with this heart, they don’t know what it’s like, ohh ohh ohh.
They’re not kissin’ your lips, they’re not touchin’ like this.
I feel the passion and the fire ignite me.

[chorus]
I don’t care what they say, I don’t care what they do, they can lock me up forever try to stop me lovin’ you (can’t stop).
They try to keep Romeo and Juliet apart, babe it doesn’t matter what they say, I only listen to my heart.

I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care.
I don’t care what they say (listen to my heart).

Your body feels so right, laying by my side.
And if the world should end tonight, baby I’d be satisfied.
I know you’re a better man, I’m sorry that they don’t understand.
You make me feel like, like I never before.

[chorus]

Ohh ohh, nobody can tell me how to feel.
Ohh ohh, nobody can show me what is real.
Ohh ohh, words can’t change what I know is true.
Ohh ohh.

[bridge]

Woahh.

[chorus] x 2

I don’t care what they do, nothing’s gonna stop me lovin’ you (I don’t care).
I don’t care what they say, I’m gonna love you anyway (I only listen to my heart).
I don’t care what they do, nothing’s gonna stop me lovin’ you (can’t stop me).
I don’t care what they say, I’m gonna love you anyway (I only listen to my heart)