The Teenager needed a desk, so we bit the bullet and drove to the big blue box on Sunday.
‘Mum, why is Ikea, like, all yellow and blue?’
(weeps into steering wheel) ‘Er, Swedish flag?’
We parked up alongside thousands of others and joined the masses who were swarming through the doors. Only the cafe was open so we followed the same masses to the restaurant.
One rubbery-looking bargain breakfast (The Teenager) and a grotty coffee (me) later, we got in line to follow the infuriating, snaking queue past everything we didn’t want until we got to the desks. Ikea appears to be a destination of choice for wandering tribes of families clutching bags of tea lights and pushing empty ankle-snapping trollies, smugly superior in the knowledge that they watch Scandi-dramas on BBC4 every weekend with a few bottles of Swedish beer.
‘Oh, decisions, decisions! Should we go for the (very bad Swedish accent) Glivarp or the Norden table? But, oh, the Melltorp is divine….darling, did you pick up the tea lights?’
Anyway, desk. Sorted. Scribble down where to pick it up. Swivel chair? Check. Onto the pleasantly-named Market Hall where I whisked The Teenager swiftly through to the bay where we attempted to lift a couple of one-tonne boxes onto a wonky trolley.
Joined the long queue, where The Teenager decided to abandon me and buy an ice cream (‘had to, only 25p’). Pay, pick up a couple of catalogues (hard currency among my friends) and join the masses at the supersized lifts. Car, struggle, swearing. Home.
Then comes the fun bit. Let’s just say, who knew a swivel chair could be broken down in to 150 different components? Who knew I would break down, allen key in sweaty hand, wishing I had bought another packet of mini Daim bars to soften the blow?
Chucked the cat out of the discarded boxes. Cried a little bit more. Chucked the allen key against the wall. Finally, desk assembled (drawer’s a tad loose but don’t tell The Teenager, it’s dark in his bedroom, he won’t notice).
End result – one Happy Teenager (shock). One shell-shocked parent. I was reminded of a van I saw on the motorway last year. Their slogan was ‘Why DIY?’ Why indeed….