Hastings Battleaxe goes to IKEA

What, you may say, a whole post about an outing to IKEA in Croydon? What a dull life that woman must lead… Well, for us Hastingas, where the most happening interiors stores are the over-priced vanity projects in the Old Town, or Dunelm Mill, IKEA is pretty darn exciting. We had an excellent time!

     Croydon is our nearest store, and it still took over 1.5 hours to get there. Why IKEA? A while ago our WI Reading Group read ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ (which I had read before and hated) so we decided to have a Swedish-themed outing. Meatballs were compulsory. So cheap, too £3.95 for 10 meatballs, chips and lingonberry jam. Funny, I remember the meatballs being served with mashed potatoes…. Then we had apple cake as well, but you needed it for the walk to follow.

Meatballs and chips – Swedish?

     The Croydon cafe is absolutely huge – interestingly, we noticed a few people who looked like Social Services homeless cases, lying on the sofas and getting endless free refills of hot drinks – I guess it would be an ideal day centre for them.
      In Birmingham, Philosopher and I used to go frequently to the IKEA in West Bromwich, despite the fact it meant a hideous trip up the M6, so we are well familiar with the whole business. Allen keys are us. We have three Billy bookcases downstairs right now, and have had generations of sofas, classic POANG armchairs, LACK tables…. and a set of blue everyday crockery that lasted all through our Birmingham life, and which I eventually, in despair, sent to a charity shop all intact and looking as good as the day we bought it.
     IKEA in Croydon is famous for its landmark chimneys.  Here they are, and here is a bit of information about them and the old power station site the store is built on. Who knew that the chimneys, and the derelict power station, featured in Terry Gilliam’s film ‘Brazil’ in 1985?

Croydon chimneys

      Us nine jolly women travelled up to Croydon on the Ore Community Centre mini-bus (I hardly dare to say it but it had ‘Ore Seniors Project’ emblazoned on the sides. However much we hated that, it did enable our driver to park all day in one of the disabled spaces right by the door!)
     We did the usual marathon walk through the maze – looking at the room sets, picking up odd items of rubbish on the way, and then got stuck heavily into the Market Place.  To me, the IKEA concept seems a bit tired and predictable, but I guess we are too familar with it all.  The maze just feels plain annoying, even though I kept on looking behind me to find the short cuts. I still used up my entire Fitbit daily step allowance just getting to the checkouts.  Here is an interesting piece about it, quite old, from the Guardian.  

 Needless to say I bought things:
– three SKUBB wardrobe storage boxes
– a BYLLAN lap tray
– three GURLI cushion covers
– and a nameless roasting tin.

   Quite modest, really. Some of the others got much more – including rugs, shelves… All in all, we had a good day out!
   Just to say Philosopher is making a good recovery from his hip op. You will see that Matron Battleaxe had a whole day off yesterday – in fact, more than a day, cos I rushed home and then went out again to Poetry group. He went for his two week hospital check up today – they seemed pleased with his progress.

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