All Aboard the Steampunk Express……..

| July 23, 2016

Experience the Golden Age of train travel! Get that steam train smell into your lungs, close your eyes and travel back in time.

What’s the experience like? Since 1962, trains from the Trainworks collection have gone on tour right around New South Wales (in Australia) and beyond. Sink back into vintage vinyl covered seats with individual tray tables in impeccably restored, wood panelled carriages.

The dining car has an excellent selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks with which to wash down some tasty morsels. Martini, anyone?

Ladies and Gentlemen, leaving Sydney stations throughout the year, we thoroughly recommend exploring the many stunning regions of New South Wales in a First Class lounger. What could be a more authentic travel experience for the Steampunk aficionado? There is no experience more authentic than this!
Book your tickets, buy your friends a Gift Voucher, pack a little portmanteau and dress up in your 19thcentury finery (but we know how you like to PUNK it UP a bit!)
http://www.heritageexpress.info/

Where could you go? You board at Sydney’s Central Station to go on a day trip, a luxury weekend adventure, have a moving dining experience, or go to one of many special events…be sure to check back in as we’ll cover some spiffy occasions in upcoming posts.  

Should you book a Day trip in the First Class Lounge, you may very well be treated to a delicious Devonshire Tea.  The sterling service is explained by the manner in which Heritage Express is run: many of those assisting on board are volunteers and are there because of their love of train travel.

From the First Class Lounge – and only from this rarified section – you may choose to access the Observation Deck. Those with new fangled photographical equipment will be thrilled with the views they will capture from the vantage points on offer.



We beheld one of the Heritage Express steam trains chuffing out of Katoomba Station in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, collecting visitors who had arrived earlier that day to attend the Winter Magic Festival – held in June around the winter solstice in the southern hemisphere every year.

We heard whispers that those who had booked a dining car experience en route to the Winter Magic Festival were served a superb breakfast and plied with copious cups of tea until arriving at their mountainous destination.

To get your very own vintage Yuletide table, you may also visit the Victory Theatre Antiques located in Blackheath in the Blue Mountains (west of Sydney) where Radical Brochante (Stallholder “FRE”) upstairs has all your tableware needs covered.

Runcible is almost here…

| July 20, 2016

Runcible is an elegant, powerful mobile device. Circular & palm sized. As powerful as a smartphone, but designed with a sense of quiet serenity and longevity. This anti-smartphone can do “smartphone things” like make calls, type, take pictures & video, explore the web and get directions. The rest of the time, Runcible is quiet, beautiful, and truly yours.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/runcible-circular-open-source-anti-smartphone#/

Calling all steampunk enthusiasts!

| July 7, 2016

I have now had this blog running for a number of years and want to open it up to Steampunk Artists who would like to display their wares here.  I will not charge for this and will allow you to be on my front page for 2 days.  You can email me with a picture, description and cost with a link.  I will acknowledge receipt of your email and will let you know if is suitable for Steampunk Way of Life.



I have around 1,500 to 2,500 visits per month on average and only started monetising this site for the last two months.  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me in the comments box……

YES! I bought the Profainomatic!

| July 3, 2016

This is a beaut machine which I bought at a Splendid Day Out…if you haven’t read the previous posts, you are in for a treat you will see where I found this marvellous contraption…..the PROFAINOMATIC!  It comes with this description:

Profainomatic: Imaginated by Verne Industries Ltd

Have you ever been in a room and accidentally overheard some one using bad language or profanity?  Even in some of the best homes in the country accidental profanity will sometimes rear its ugly head.

May we introduce the Profainomatic, a clever device developed by Verne Industries.  This small marvel is simple to operate and even easier to empty.

The eye on the front of the device uses the very latest in air spring vapour compression which teases the language out of the air.  Once captured the profanity or worse is then stored in the 2 pressurised amulinium (Author’s Note: Must be a new kind of aluminium I have never heard of?!) containment vessels at the rear of the device.  When the vessels are full, they can be emptied by one of our technicians at any time at your convenience.  A true marvel!

Here it is:

You can see the amulinium cylinder protruding at the back right, there is another one on the left.  Not showing are the lights…I didn’t need to turn it on at this moment in time as I was on my own!  The eye scans every bit of space for profanity and is very efficient at doing this..  It is a surprisingly heavy machine…no plastic was used in its primary engine!  Operation of this device is simple, even a 10 year old can operate it (heavens, I hope not, they should not be exposed to this level of profanity) by flicking the switch on the front.  It operates silently even at full bore!

Pros: Ease of operation, economical to run, does as described and doesn’t take up a lot of space.
Cons: The advertising says and I quote “Simple to operate and even easier to empty”.  The first is true but later on you read: “Can be emptied by one of our technicians”  I live in Australia and they are in the UK…this contraption should have had detachable cylinders!  Still I haven’t checked with the company if they provide free package and posting.

I will give this a five out of five star rating…but I would like to see an easier way to empty the cylinders.  We will see if they have any comments or advice to offer on this?

We have been using this device for a few weeks now and it has operated flawlessly and the cylinders appear to have plenty of room…maybe they last for one year like the battery?  As soon as people see this device it’s almost like they have forgotten to swear (This must be how the device works?) they just have a good laugh!

If you would like to see more of these wonderful contraptions, go here: Verne Industries

After my incredible time at the Steampunk Festival…

| July 2, 2016

If you have read my last few posts you will know that I had an incredible time at ‘a Splendid Day Out’ in Morecambe, UK.  It is located in the North of England and on Morecambe Bay.   I flew back a few weeks after the end of the festival and spent the time thinking about the experiences I had and I have to say it was an amazing few days….it felt longer.  Trust me I wanted it to be longer but as always…all good things must come to an end!

The flight back was with Etihad and the staff were very good and cheerful…which is what you want on a very long flight!  I was lucky enough to take a couple of photographs out of the plane’s windows as you can see…..pretty amazing!

Flying out of Abu Dhabi…


Flying into Perth….Western Australia

I will be posting about some of the venders I met at a Splendid Day Out whose wares are worth mentioning.

If you get the chance read some of the previous posts….you will be pleasantly surprised and it wouldn’t surprise me if it brings a smile to your face….especially Captain Nemo’s Ball!  Thanks for reading my blog and enjoy yourself!

Steampunk coffee

| July 1, 2016

How many of you love a good coffee?   I know I do!  But where do you go to find it?

There is this brilliant, or so I have heard, coffee shop in 36 Buitenkant St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa.


Now isn’t that a good reason to Travel?

For those of you not in the know, coffee beans originated from Ethiopia,  the Arabica coffee bean plant as it is known.  Arabica grows on bushes and Robusta (another fruit) grows on trees …the ideal conditions for these to grow is along the equator at different heights.  Generally in the mountains.

The beans are picked by hand because of the difficulty of using machines on mountains, but Brazil has an automated system where the land is flat.

So now you know a little about coffee go and make yourself a cup or take that long needed vacation and do it in Steampunk style at Truth Coffee Roasting….

The excitement is over…..

| June 12, 2016

I have left Morecambe behind, sadly, the Fayre is over!  Now I have to go back to a normal life that most of us lead in a humdrum world.

One thing I have been able to take away from this wonderful event is the gift which I received from Ziggatino if you read my previous post you will know what a talented young person she is!  Here is one of her pencil drawings which is only the tip of the iceberg of the many things she has created!


Steampunk Wolf by Ziggatino

I wish you all a happy and fruitful day!  Regards, Michael

Captain Nemo’s Masked Ball

| June 7, 2016

On Saturday night I attended Captain Nemo’s Masked ball!  I wasn’t able to book in for the ball and meal package so only attended the ball.  Apparently I hadn’t missed anything with the meal provided.

On entering the venue, the Headway Hotel in Morecambe, Lancashire I was greeted my many splendidly dressed (I hope you are getting the ‘theme’ of this weekend?) Ladies and Gentlemen!   My ears were assailed with some fine music coming from the back of the Hotel.  There is a large dance floor in front of the stage with a fully stocked bar to the left serviced by ‘men from the future’.  I quickly grab a glass of ale of the more international taste, Carlsberg, the preferred drink of my father!

Turning to the back of the Hotel are a number of tables scattered around the edges with diners eating the last remnants of the dinner I had not been allowed to partake in.


Captain Nemo’s Masked Ball at the Headway Hotel

Turning back towards the stage there are two well dressed performers engaging the audience with their music and repartee.  I was enthralled, the music was lively and I noticed that my hips were gently gyrating which I quickly brought under control.  Not a gentlemanly thing to do!  But as soon as I got my hips under control my foot started tapping, apparently to the beat of the music.  This was too much to bear so I took a large swig of the golden nector!  This seemed to aggravate the situation, I found that not only were my hips gyrating and my foot tapping, I was moving towards the dance floor.  Of course I immediately turned back towards the bar and took another swig of that fine ale.  But it made matters worse not better!  What was going on?! I stepped onto the dance floor and lost control and joined another group of people who showed no self control!

The band, I hear you ask?  Who are they?  I had it on good authority they were called Victor and the Bully.  One had a guitar and the other a ukele, both were masters of the singing voice!  These were no ordinary gentlemen, these were entertainers of the highest order!

At some point my body spoke of perhaps slowing down and taking a break from these gyrations I had so foolishly given in to.  I couldn’t argue with this logic and headed back to the bar a little breathless.

Victor and the Bully

Quaffing more ale and enjoying this splendid (there’s that word again!) mixture of music and repartee, I decide to watch from the bar having made a perfect spectacle of myself from which I have very little hope of recovery from!

Not long afterwards we are introduced to a Canadian band by the name of the New Jacobin Club!  A friendly bunch of musicians, with guitarist, cellist, drummer, singer/theremin player and keyboards.


The New Jacobin Club

Included with their music one of the performers showed us how to balance a sabre (this was big!) on their head, then later danced with a ring of fire.  Soon after we were entertained with her coming back with extended fingers all aflame which she doused in her mouth….ouch!  The entertainment continued long into the early morning at which time I had to bid everyone a fair adieu!

Climbing back up to my ivory tower I promptly fall into bed with uninterrupted sleep……zzzzzzz!

More to come…..the Sunday gig!

The Fayre at Morecambe!

| June 6, 2016

I owe my gratitude to the organiser of this splendid event: Rob Bracewell!  This man is a ball of energy, a driving force to be reckoned with and ever helpful and quick of wit!
  
Rob Bracewell & Michael Greensmith
The following morning I was beguiled by the Palace of Curiosities!  Our hosts entertained and told stories that bent our ears, they had Vincent Van Gogh’s other ear!  You could buy fresh tinned Mermaid from Tesco, I believe they are Dolphin safe but I didn’t check that out, I’ll be sure to ask but they said all questions will be answered 2 days after they have left, so I’ll have to get back to you on that one!  There were many wonders to behold!  Apparently they have a device that generates electricity and they showed us a working light bulb, bringing the sun into your home!  They said that we would have this new fangled technology into every home within the next 100 years……I had to laugh!  Snake oil salesmen!
Fresh tinned mermaid
Entering the hall I paid my entry fee and was stamped on the hand which would allow me entry all day.  The hall was packed with finely dressed people from all over the world.  There were magicians, musicians, street performers, stalls and food.
Ian from Verne Industries
The first stall I came across was Verne Industries, established 1848.  Ian (The owner) sold wonders to behold! I had to buy the Profainomatic which scans the room for bad language and teases it out of the air compressing it into two aluminium containment vessels and when full you can call one his technicians to empty the containers.  

Another stall run by Raychel from ‘Angels from Demons’ offered beautifully created steampunk dolls, each one hand crafted with hours of dedication at very reasonable prices! 

Here are some of the many finely dressed gentlemen and ladies at the event:

Tomorrow I will cover Captain Nemo’s Masked Ball…be sure to catch up!  The entertainment was WOW! 

Have you met Ziggatino?

| June 4, 2016

Last night I went to Krak’n Night Out.  It was held in the Hothouse in Morecambe, Lancashire, UK.  I was told it would be a casual night and not to worry about dress code. I decided to wear me best togs!  Luckily I did, nearly everyone was dressed to the ‘9’s’!  I grabbed the local beverage:

Black sheep ale…….mmmmmm!  I tried a couple of local ales which the bartender recommended. She also asked would I like my beer chilled or at room temperature, to which I replied, what would you recommend, the bartender replies, the locals drink it at room temperature and I said I’ll go with your recommendation….so she hands me a chilled beer!


Ziggatino with hand painted watch

I then look around to find a place to sit.  Two tables from the stage is a solitary figure with three empty chairs around the table.  I ask this person if I may sit on one of  these empty chairs to which the reply is to the affirmative.  The room is hot or maybe I am hot, anyways I take off my coat and put it on the back of my chair and put my bag on the floor and then take a sip of the local beverage.  I then have a polite conversation with the other person at my table who I find out is Lauren.

The conversation goes along the lines of favourite music (hers is jazz and rock, Moody Blues, the Tremoloes and anything up to the 80’s, nothing worthwhile after that….her words not mine, even though I am in agreement) why Steampunk?  Where do you work, live etc, etc……
Then I find out Lauren is an artist….has been drawing since the first time someone put a pencil in her hand…possibly 4 years old!  Lauren pulls out her portfolio…which she always carries with her….and to say it was impressive is to undermine her work!  The range and scope of her work is to say the least, awesome!  Of most interest to me were her animal pictures, there is a complete love of her subject, the dogs looked so alive you felt you could pat them and they would respond……and then Lauren showed me a drawing of a crusader with a machine gun!  The detail was meticulous, nothing missing, this was a warrior not to tangle with!  Yes I am waxing lyrical about this young women’s talents (18 years of age!) but watch out for her, her professional name: “Ziggatino” which Lauren assures me has no meaning in any language, a name that came to her.


Alice’s Night Circus

You would think I’d said enough, but no!  To top it off Ziggatino gifts me a framed Steampunk Wolf!  I had to force her to accept a gift of orange juice!…………………. I wish her all the best in her studies at Teesside University Middlesbrough!

Tomorrow I will be attending Morecambe’s Steampunk Festival

| June 3, 2016

I have arrived in Morecambe, Lancashire, England.  They are perparing the old railway station, called the Platform, in readiness for the Steampunk Festival.  This is their third year and each evening there will be a Steampunk Ball!

For those of you who don’t know, Morecambe is the birthplace of a very famous British comedian, Eric Morecambe who took his last name from this town.  His original name was Bartholomew!  He was one half of a duo known as Morecambe and Wise, Ernie Wise was the straight guy which made Eric Morecambe the funny guy.  They had a huge following in the UK.  One Christmas they pulled in over 17 million viewers to their show in the 60’s!  This was unheard of at that time!  So it was my duty to make sure I am seen with this icon of British comedy!

Tomorrow I will be attending this festival and reporting on all the activities and events that will be taking place and posting some pictures here….I hope you will be able to join me in this adventure?!!

My Last Steampunk Mod – The Steampunk Roadster

| June 1, 2016

As of 6/1/2016 this car is for sale! Asking price is $6000 but I’m willing to haggle. I had considered listing it on eBay but I’d rather offer it to the Steampunk and Burner community first. Contact jake@vonslatt.com if you are interested. I would be particularly excited if someone doing a film or TV project, or […]