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Calpe, Madrid, the Western Front … ein Schweizer gegen das Haus … der Dübel 5th of February, 2007 POST·MERIDIEM 04:07

Things that are cheering me up lately:

  1. Work is by the Oberbaumbrücke, and quite close to it is a hairdressers called ‚haarspree‘. Multilingual puns for the win!
  2. Ich will nach Spanien, and I’ll be in Calpe for a week from the 15th—must mail Mackers and Jen and buy them dinner in Valencia—then a week in Madrid, hanging out with Inma.
  3. Saki, The Complete Short Stories. Though those at the end where he’s writing from the Western Front, someone well-travelled enough that he should have known how stupid the First World War was for everyone outside of Serbia, fighting and dying in its mud–they made me shiver.

Things that aren’t:

  1. Using the screwdriver on a Swiss Army Knife to put a screw into masonry feels like, oh I don’t know, implementing a web-facing decently-loaded database on Microsoft Access. Frustrating. But hey, won’t have to do that again, thankfully.

Word of the day: der Dübel is German for ‘dowel,’ and much more relevant to me over the weekend, also for ‘rawlplug,’ (or ‘wall plug’) the plastic plug affairs that are needed to make screws hold sufficiently in masonry for hanging pictures or blinds or whatever.


One of the finest investments you can make is a good set of screwdrivers, although, I find that of my many screwdrivers I only use 2, a mid-sized philips head and a mid-sized flat head which fit 90% of anything I have ever needed a screwdriver for.

Another tip, is to never use a power screwdriver with rawlplugs, they can fuck up the plug and you’ll either end up in a world of pain if you ever need to remove the screw or the whole thing will just fall down after about 5 minutes.

Even with the best of tools, doing anything with masonry is a right pain in the arse.

Ste, I’m annoyed at myself already that I own so much stuff in Berlin that I can’t get on a plane with it without paying extra. Someday I’ll settle down, and I’ll look into screwdrivers and drills and jigsaws and so on then. :-) .

My next-door neighbour had a heavy-built drill from the DDR that made dealing with the masonry that particular time relatively easy. I did manage a false start or two; I should have known about the steel lintel above the window I was attaching the blinds to, since Joschka my flatmate had the same issue in another room.

Ah, I guess that is true, although you can get fairly compact screwdriver handles with interchangable heads, which would make life easier I’m sure.

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