Yesterday was my last day in the office until 5th July. Doesn't that sound like a blissfully long time? Actually it's only a week, but with the cheeky Friday addition, it makes for a nice loooong break.
Not a break at all, as it happens, for the time off work is essentially so that I have a good run of time to crack on with some work on the house. I suspect that I'll go back to work for a rest after this week.
My intentions are to:
-paint my dining furniture
- hang a shelf and some pictures
- construct a wall unit
- strip a chest of drawers and two bed side tables
- make some curtains
- order bedroom carpet
- get a radiator moved
- get a TV aerial on the roof
- order the furniture for my bedroom
- start work on the paintwork in my bedroom
How far down this list do you think I'll get ...?
Well I ticked off a few preliminary jobs today, which included a need to go to Ikea, Croydon. Oh, the horror!!!
I went today expecting it to he hell, expecting not to be able to buy the one piece of furniture I really wanted, expecting to talk to morons and expecting to send money on things I didn't want or need. And in fact, I was pleasantly surprised. I found the wall unit that I wanted pretty easily, found a man to print out the reference numbers for all the bits for me and offer to help drag the heavy bits off the shelves, and came home with only one item (costing just 99p) I didn't need*. I even found a way to break free of the blue arrow route that they MAKE you go around. It was an almost pleasant experience. Hoorah for me!
There was a moment, however, when I was reminded of the purgatory that Ikea can be. In the bed department were two women. A mother and daughter, at a guess, the daughter being in her late twenties. The mother was sitting on the edge of a bed, doing that half hearted bounce that English people do when they are trying to establish whether a mattress will be comfortable. The daughter was standing, arms by her side, tears slowly rolling down her cheeks.
The mother asked her what she thought. Is this one better than that one? Would you prefer mattress Sven, or mattress Abba? It was an innocent enough question, but I could see that any reason had gone out the window a long time ago. I could sense that the daughter had Ikea Syndrome. She was going to bite. So naturally I hovered around to listen ...
"Mattresses? MATTRESSES?! I don't care! I don't care any more! How long have we been here? HOURS! And you KEEP picking up vases! I want to go home, but I don't even know where I am anymore! I don't even know where in London I am, so I can't leave, even though I want to! I WANT TO GO HOME!"
I gawped. I couldn't help it. I mean, we all know how easy it is to snap in Ikea, but MY WORD, she had totally flipped!
As I was driving home, smug, with my set of stacking Lubdarg boxes on the back seat, I got to thinking that Ikea have missed a trick. They have a creche and a cafe, and they have those little wooden pencils everywhere, and even a home delivery service, but they don't have a counselling facility. I might write a letter to someone (who'll presumably be called Bjorn) with a suggestion that they install a spa facility. After all, if anyone knows how to do it, it's the Swedes.
* A fish shaped ice cube tray! I might not need it, but BOY did I want it! My summer beverages can now have minnows bobbing in them. Amazing!
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