Since moving into a non studenty flat with my boyfriend I have discovered a new hobby. It’s called the ‘Thursday Night Ikea Flail’. What happens is that at about 8pm we spontaneously decide we need to go to Ikea.
We could just make a list of everything we need, but that would be boring.
We usually get lost in a random housing estate on our way, and pull up to Ikea’s carpark at about 8.40pm. The shop closes at 9, and that is the key factor that really makes the sport fun. What comes next is a sort of constipated speed walk, our eagle eyes scanning the horizon for useful stuff.
One party shouts out a keyword, like ‘spatula’, to which the other replies ‘Not slatted!’ or ‘FSC certified wood!’ We almost always don’t get the things we need. We’ve been trying to get a kettle for ages, but paralysed by indecision (‘tall or cone shaped?!’) we’re still using a saucepan on the stove to boil water.
Great mountaineers talk of the moments of complete awe they feel at scaling dizzy peaks. We have similar moments, overwhelmed by the sublime variety of vases, garden furniture and everything-that’s-good-in-the-world that Ikea offers. Instead of trusty sherpas, we get bemused shop assistants to lead us for miles to the chopping board section.
We’ve picked up some lovely things on our flails (hand blown glasses! A framed picture of a bathing lady! A balloon whisk!) but still have no wardrobe to hang our clothes in, which is why, just before writing this blog, I had to use tights to strain lasagne sauce.