A Weekend Project

Posted on Sunday 30th September 2007 at 00:00
It is a sign of the fast paced modern world we live in that attitudes to home furnishings have changed somewhat. My parents for example bought their current house in 1982 and spent a full 5 years making it habitable. In fact, it was only in 2002 (I think) that they bought a sofa specifically for the house, their previous one having been handed down from one set of grandparents.

(As a side note: When we finally dismantled the thing & a task that made taking down a tower block seem as easy as loosing at Jenga & we discovered some old coins down the back with the date of production given as 1942.)

Me on the other hand, I'm not all that patient. Instead of taking 5 odd years to 'finish? my apartment, I've attempted to do the whole lot inside two months. Having bought masses of furniture in August and a ridiculous number of lamps earlier this month, this weekend it was time for the finishing touches: cushions, mirrors, pictures and blinds.

Oddly enough for a Saturday, the Ikea car park was almost empty by virtue of a massive traffic jam on the M32 just outside. I'd like to think that I was fairly near the front of the tail back when I joined it, and yet it took me nearly an hour to get down the slip road and across the roundabout. The cushions were easy enough, and so was the mirror, in the sense that they didn't have the one I wanted in stock, and so I didn't have to buy it.

The venetian blinds had been chosen in advance, which simplified things in the shop and so I was left with the pictures. This took some deciding on, and I gather I was considered quite a spectacle by the crowds of shoppers as I left the store with a trolley full of awkwardly balanced frames and one particularly large example being dragged along the floor beside me as it was just too big to do anything else with.

Fortunately for me, the audience was somewhat smaller whilst I wrestled the bloody thing into the back of my Ford Fiesta, and no one was watching at all when I arrived home and tried to unload it all without breaking anything.

Today I woke up with just one thing on my mind: like all men everywhere, I needed Power Tools! A couple of hours later I was in B&Q feeling thoroughly emasculated by the sheer range and complexity of drill bits, screws, picture hooks and Rawl plugs. I had thought that this little project would be as simple as switching on the kitchen light, but I quickly realised that, for all my hours of watching my dad doing jobs around the house when I was a kid, I didn't know shit about DIY.

That said, I can't help but feel a certain sense of pride as I sit back now and survey the damage my achievements. The pictures proved to be a breeze in the end, although I've since decided that one might look better on the other side of the room from where it is now. The venetian blinds however, were far more tricky, and with the second one I put up, it was down to sheer luck that it stayed, rather than any great technical ability on my part. Sadly I did a piss poor job of measuring this one up, which was odd as I used the same method for both and it totally worked the first time. As a result the holes would have been uneven even if the drill hadn't slipped a couple of times.

Now all that remains is to make a start on clearing up the heaps of packaging and spares that litter the room. I think hoovering up the dust and debris will have to wait until after work tomorrow.

As will reattaching whichever of the blinds decides to fall down in the night...

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