I was walking into IKEA when I realised I looked like a hobo. Something about all those glistening surfaces put me out of joint. Henry and I had got caught in a July Special rainstorm at the temple, and so there was lion hair, and there was a stupidly baggy cardigan, and there was a ludicrous triangle-shaped brand on my forehead from where I burned myself with the curling iron and yelled very loudly. STTOPP, said one product name, and VERKLIMPT, said another, and they all sounded disappointed with me.
Still, I consoled myself, you can look like a hobo and still eat meatballs and chips at IKEA. They are egalitarians, the chaps at IKEA. You can be anyone. The creed and the colour and the name don’t matter to them when it comes to meatballs, unless you’re a vegetarian, in which case it’d better be the tomato pasta, which isn’t nearly as good.
I always come to IKEA brim-full of plans to make us more stylish, but it nearly always falls through. This time I thought of replacing the lampshade in our living room with something that made a Statement. I found one that made the best Statement I ever heard, but it was a pendant lamp, not just a lampshade, and it was also £50 and too big. And there weren’t any other nice ones, so that was that. And then I wanted another cushion for the living room sofa, so that it could be one of those casually stylish collection of mismatching cushions, but I couldn’t decide whether they mismatched in the right way.
We did, though, get a duvet cover for Henry and picture frames for my vintage maps (AT LAST). They look stellar, and I will show you when I’ve got a few other things done in that corner and the sandwich toaster isn’t so greasy.
The other rule when going to IKEA – apart from having stylish plans that fall through – is the random purchase rule. I don’t know, it just doesn’t feel right unless I’ve bought another potato masher, or a selection of forty tea-light candles, or a small stuffed toy in the shape of a broccoli floret. This time we got rubber floor matting for the rug and some little paper globes for some reason that was perfectly legitimate.
Also, today, there was this.
The temple is where you go if you want to quiet things down in your head. I am always, always in need of it. It was glorious, especially followed by meatballs.