cleaning up part 9

When Mood Music
2006-01-10 18:16:00 contemplative Sun is Shining-Bob Marley vs Funkstar De Luxe-Cream Ibiza

Most of Friday morning was a write-off for reasons I can’t recall. On Friday afternoon I finished emptying the lounge, then swept and mopped the floor, then touched up the paintwork which had been damaged by the desk rubbing cables against the wall. I also clipped the cable from the phone-jack to the USB microfilter to the skirting board. Then I headed to Edinburgh to go furniture-shopping with Elly.

We ate at Omar Khayyam, the nearest (and very good) curry-house to Haymarket station, before retiring to her flat to chat and plan our foray for the morrow. I wanted to buy a new bed, a new sofa, some chairs for the table I’m keeping in the lounge and to at least look for new curtains for the lounge. I’d already found possibly the cheapest bed available online but wanted to be see if before committing.

Elly had a piano lesson in the morning so, as I recall we headed to Ikea just after mid-day. Ikea is a yellow and blue monstrosity to the south of Edinburgh. Every product has a name in (mock?) scandiwegian, most of which make me cringe. After all, what does it matter whether your new glasses are called Äsgärd or Arsehole so long as they hold the right amount of memory-erasure fluid?

Ikea’s also renowned as the place to go if you and your partner want to be sure of an argument, so Elly and I were very pleased to be just friends – neither of us could cope with an argument just now. We saw nothing we liked in Ikea’s bed range and only one sofa we did like. Of course it was out of stock in Edinburgh, Glasgow and even Gateshead. We did find some cheap wooden chairs that would fit with the lounge. I also bought a bog-brush and some dish-washing brushes so it wasn’t a total loss.

We then headed for the nearby branch of Bensons to try out the cheap bed they offered. It looked fine, was in stock and could be delivered within the timescale I wanted. However, the mattress was squishy, so I spend an extra £30 on a better mattress. By then night had fallen and we were both shopped out so we headed back to Elly’s flat for pizza and relaxation. It’s amazing how tiring furniture shopping can be – you walk a bit, talk a lot and otherwise do almost nothing. However, I suppose the tredness is caused by the stress of thinking about spending maybe £1000 on stuff you don’t quite like (or in my case, will not use). Given the choice, I’d spend the money on a cluster of 17-in powerbooks but they’re not so comfortable to sit or sleep on. We tried to find a vegan cheese substitute in Tescos to augment my pizza and bought something called Cheezly. I’m glad I’m not the only one who found it utterly ghastly.

Around 10.30 we packed up Elly’s wagon and headed for St Andrews so we could attack the kitchen together and then try furniture stores in Dundee. Sunday started late but well – we moved the cooker and fridge freer out of their slots and I cleaned the floor while Elly hemmed my kitchen curtains.

Furniture-shopping in Dundee was a similar riot. The stores are huge rambling things, full of ‘ideal’ kitchens and bedrooms that are the size of my entire flat. They’re also full of Dundonians. Much rambling later, we saw in SCS a display model that exactly matched the green of the lounge ceiling. I was ready to buy it there and then but Elly sensibly suggested that we look elsewhere, then come back and and buy it if nothing else showed up. Nothing else did, mostly because neither of us could remember our way around Dundee’s nether regions. I don’t hold this against Elly at all – she hasn’t lived near Dundee for at least 10 years.

So we returned to SCS and Elly coached me in how to bargain for a better deal. SCS needed the sale today so I wasn’t to appear too interested. Elly also butted in to make them deliver the sofa for free. Her personnel and negotiation skills show why she’s a senior civil servant and I’m an unemployed layabout.

So far I’ve bought a bed (complete with mattress, duvet and linen), a sofa, two chairs and cushions, a bog brush, two dish-washing brushes, 15 metres of co-axial TV cable and two end-plugs, two white shower curtains, two tubes of bathroom silicone sealant, two packs of cable clips, a pair of rubber gloves, alleged mould remover, superglue, a tape-measure and a hammer for £814·38. I think my cooker will be £250 so I’m quite pleased with the costs of making Mycelium Mansion fit for human consumption.

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