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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Shopping in IKEA

Daniel is returning home next week. He's got a job-interview in Milton Keynes. He's only here for a day or two and will return afterwards. He's been at university in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. It seems crazy to think he has to come back a good 200 miles for a job on our doorstep. I'm not sure exactly where the company is or what they're called, but never mind. We have to get the spare bedroom prepared as it's currently being used as a storeroom and you can barely see the bed as it's covered in all manner of things, books mainly. I had spent some of the morning cleaning it ready and had to go out and buy a mop and bucket as the floor was in something of a state. On the way to Homebase in Winterhill I took a load of stuff to the tidy tip in Bleak Hall. Old bit of carpet and a bean bag which had definitely seen better days. I think it would have crawled there itself given half a chance, it was so battered and torn and unmentionable. Also a load of cartons, the packaging for some large-scale item we'd had delivered from Amazon or another on-line company or other. Well, I was prompted to do all this because it was bright and sunny, and if the weather is fine it's a good excuse to do some clearing out. I'm not sure what happens when it's dull, overcast or raining. Probably has the opposite effect.

When Carol came in from work I showed her my efforts with the spare room and she was pleased with the results. We usually get a take-away on a Friday and go to the Brother's Fish Bar in Eaglestone. But before going there Carol suggested we visit IKEA to have a look at book shelves as the one's we have currently in our lounge are not really in a particularly fit state and we could do with a new television unit. She said there was one we could have which was a sort of -all-in-one design, having a television unit at the centre with book shelves around it. You get my meaning. Well, I imagine you do. Also, it was a good excuse to replace the bit of rug I'd taken to the tidy-tip. 

I quite like wandering around IKEA. Not everybody's idea of a pleasant outing. I rather like the stupid names the come up with for their products. I'm not so sure of the amount of walking you have to do within their store. If you've never visited an IKEA store, you won't know how strange the layout of the different departments is. You walk in a sort of strange seeming labyrinth of inter-locking rooms or departments and have to go through each to reach the next. It's as well to remember to take a trolley with you and to collect items you want to buy as you go along, otherwise, if you suddenly decide to buy whatever it is that takes your fancy and want to go back, it's not each to remember where that item was and end up walking miles, or what seem like miles.

We started off in the restaurant/café. Carol is diabetic and she said she thought her blood sugar was low so she would need something to eat and drink. We queued in the self-service section of the café and I had a piece of apple pie and Carol had a sort of chocolaty confection-thing made with butterscotch or what looked like butterscotch. We had to get drinks, as you pay once and can fill up your glass or mug several times if you have an IKEA Family card, which we have. Unfortunately we have so many of these loyalty cards that when you get to the till to pay it can take some time to find the correct card. You get points for shopping in Tesco with a Clubcard, another in Sainsbury's if you have a Nectar card, and another in Waterstone's. Every store has one now. Boots has their Advantage card, Costa has one, Holland and Barratt's and so on. My wallet is stuffed full of the things and it gets to the point that we have to leave a lot of them at home or in the glove compartment in the car. They are a good idea and can be good especially when you get money off on certain products or a free paper when you spend so much in Waitrose or a free coffee or tea. We had to spend a couple of minutes searching for the confounded IKEA card.

We sat in an area in the café which had IKEA furniture in it. Well, nothing like being able to try out what a company sells by actually using it. We bought a chair to replace the armchair I used to sit in some while ago. It came with us from the house in Crownhill. It had not worn well; the springs in the seat were coming through and the arms were hanging off and it had been patched up with tape and was certainly past it's best. We went to IKEA to look at a replacement and the one I chose isn't actually as comfortable as it might be, which is a pity. Not something to sit in for any length of time. With my shoulder and neck problem I really need something with a bit more back support. We tried a new model which is more like a traditional wing-back chair and has a good deal more back support and a more padded seat. We'll come back when we have been paid to buy one next month.

Carol went off to find the toilet and I was left with the trolley in the café. There was an older couple sitting nearby, I don't think they spoke one word to each other in all the time I was sitting in there. They looked so miserable. I don't think he wanted to be there. No doubt taken there against his will and wanted to be somewhere else. Quite a few other husbands with wives looking just as miserable. Well, they must have had odd relationships or something to be so grumpy and miserable.

We spent some time looking at rugs in the rug and carpet section. A great many to choose from in every shape and size imaginable in in an absolutely enormous range of designs and colours. We choose a round rug for the spare-room with a sort of spotty design in a radiating pattern and door mats from the front door and the patio door as the old ones had become really dirty and tatty. On the way through the children's section we saw lots of stuffed animal toys. Over the years we have bought all manner of birds, animals and assorted strange stuffed toys, more than one or two mice and rats which the dogs have played with, a couple ending up in the bin due to being over-shaken or sucked by both Alfie and Poppy. We have a rabbit-toy which sits near the television and a few other assorted creatures but Carol saw a puffin toy which we had to buy.

So, we wended our way through the remaining departments and ended up at the checkout where we paid and ended up back at the carpark. We had to decide where to get out Friday-night take-out. We had to drive back towards Eaglestone and the traffic was building up along the road near the football stadium. It took about ten minutes to reach the roundabout where Saxon Street meets Groveway and then near Beanhill, near the junction into the road where Ashfield Medical Centre is located. Not surprising as the time was around 5 o'clock, going-home for most businesses in and around Milton Keynes. We were making for Brother's fish and chip shop and it took us some while to get through the heavy traffic. We parked near the shops in Eaglestone and took some cash out of the A.T.M. machine near the shop and then  noticed that the fish and chip shop was closed, with the shutters down. There was a notice stuck to the shutter. 'Closed due to family bereavement.' Sad to read this, but there was no way we were going to get our weekly fish and chip supper. So we decided we would have to go back the way we'd just come and go to get a meal from the Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet near the stadium, which we had only just driven past about twenty minutes earlier. Having collected our K.F.C. meal we drove back home and were glad that we had completed our evening's travels.
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