On this clear, cold, and sunny morning I took yesterday’s walk in reverse. Smoking chimneys enlivened the line of the horizon. Distant cattle lowed; cocks crowed; steam rose from one sunlit ditch whilst a blackbird spuddled in another; the occasional cyclist whirred, and the occasional car sped, past. Otherwise it was just me and the ponies.
Walking back through London Minstead, I was greeted by another Father Christmas (see yesterday’s post). The word must have got around.
Later in the morning we decided to assemble our IKEA bed. Extracting the headboard, Jackie realised it was too wide to fit our carefully measured space. Too wide by 17cm. I got out all the paperwork and checked the identification numbers on the boxes against the measurements given on both our Self Service Picking List and the Sales Receipt. Consistently shown on each docket and on each box are the measurements 140 x 200; thus the three bed frame items are marked BED FRM 140 x 200. Our bedstead was 157cm wide.
Now, as my readers know, I will always find the humorous side of any situation. If it is possible. We were not amused. Not in the least. I reached for my phone and dialled customer services. A machine warned me that there was a waiting time for calls being answered from between 20 and 30 minutes. After being notified for the second time that I was number 13 in the queue, I blew a gasket and was all for going straight back to IKEA there and then. In the meantime, Jackie had consulted a 2013 catalogue which she had picked up on departure from the store. She found the bed frames listed as 157 x 211cm. These were to take a 140 x 200 mattress. If that were so, then why are the boxes and documentation for the frames given as 140 x 200? And why didn’t our extremely helpful shop assistant not make this clear? Did she know any more than we did? I was no calmer. They could have the whole lot back and refund all the money including delivery charge.
Jackie, however, remained calm and thought again about the layout of the room. If we moved a portable cupboard and brought the bed up to the large French windows we could just about make it feasible. We could squeeze past the bed to open the windows when necessary. What we couldn’t have was a bedhead jutting into the doorway. So far, so good. All we have to do now is put it all together. Tomorrow.
After lunch we drove to Totton for a vast Lidl shop. In the process we found a very good quality double airbed for 10% of the cost of the IKEA bed. So we bought one. There is plenty of room in the sitting room for this, which means we can now accomodate two couples. We had momentarily considered that we should have had an airbed for the spare room and still sent the IKEA one back. Then we remembered nights in Louisa and Errol’s spare single room on a double air mattress on the floor with no way of heaving ourselves up because there was no space around the bed, and thought better of it. Have you ever tried to prise yourself up from the middle of an airbed whilst in intense pain from a hip requiring replacement?
Before dinner I made a few amendments to my next Independent crossword puzzle scheduled for 27th. We then ate spare ribs in barbecue sauce with vegetable rice followed by baklavas. Jackie, having taken the entire contents of Lidl shelves, drank Hoegaarden, and I consumed Cono Sur reserva 2010, an excellent wine of which, unfortunately, we cannot remember the source.