Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Monday, 2 June 2008

BB tries to defend his shortcomings

Lucy’s comprehensive comment on garlic crushers raised a point about received wisdom. It’s often assumed (Plutarch excepted) women do the cooking and men the DIY. But surely this is a false distinction.

Those who regularly engage in either evolve techniques which improve efficiency, adapt to varying end-products and produce better results. An escalope de veau à la Zagreb (one of my very rare culinary successes) may differ from a well-installed bookshelf but the self-teaching process they both require doesn’t.

There’s a jot of self-interest in this. I feel inadequate in the company of those who are able to use kitchen grammar fluently. So while Lucy and Plutarch were discovering new uses for their Sabatiers I offer in my own defense the decades spent getting the best out of Rawlplugs during which I probably rose to the equivalent of a sous-chef.

All of which became out-of-date when we moved from a 1930s semi (walls predominantly of brick and breeze block) to a modern detached villa where plaster boards complicate attaching things to the walls. My brother (a DIY perfectionist and a cook) recommends locating the wooden mounting frames and screwing into them. But I’ve lacked the requisite confidence. What I do know is: (a) forget the butterfly screws which start sagging under their own weight, (b) in some instances the coarse self-tapper combined with the finer concentric screw (see photo) can work.

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