Pick-A-Day

October 2020
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Whatchamacallit 125: Brandenburg Tor as a sand castle model

Brandenburg Tor - Sand Castle Model

This is Brandenburg Tor as a toy – one that you fill with sand, compact, moisten, then flip and, voila! Brandenburg Tor has come to the beach.

Ignore the fact that it has an incorrect number of pillars – it should be six.

I bought this in 2015 in preparation for my around the world trip – I knew that I would be spending time on the beach and I thought it would be cute to bring something Berlinerish with me. Thus, this toy has gone around the world, slipped inside a ziplock baggy and stuffed in my suitcase.

It did come out of the suitcase in Samoa, it was filled with sand, and a version of Brandenburg Tor has stood on the beach.

In my mind’s eye it would make for a fun photograph: make it, get on my hands and knees, photograph it, then fun for Facebook or Twitter.

Alas, I miscalculated one important fact: a Sand-Brandenburg Tor on a sandy beach does not really stand out all that well.

I think the photos never got past the “WTF – I did not really think this idea through” stage, dying in my photo management software.

Since then, the toy has sat in its plastic bag on a shelf, not really basking in any glory, just disappointment.

It deserves better – but I don’t know how to deliver.


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

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