It was the 1st of March; the dawn of a brand-new month. A perfect opportunity for my latest instalment in what has become a regular series of trips to and from Ikea!
A few years ago, I’d have gone to a greater effort not to even mention that name on this blog. But, as needs have adjusted to certain circumstances in life, I’ve grown to adopt an appreciation for the store and its service (though it’ll be cold day in Hell before I ever buy something made of chipboard that attempts to impersonate real wood).
Having purchased a firm Malvik foam mattress shortly before Christmas, I’d decided that, after more than two months of patience with it, I needed to change. While my lower back pains have eased, then extra firmness was causing aches higher up my spine. Adding a mattress topper has helped to ease that but with Ikea’s genrous ninety-day return policy on mattresses, it was hard not to take them up on it.
My main concern at that point was the challenge of transporting the double mattress back to Bristol. I collected it tightly roll-packed and, after contacting the store in advance, I was informed that they’d happily accept a ‘re-rolled’ mattress as long as it’s in a re-saleable condition…
Rolling it up on my own was a challenge that only caused an increase in my body’s temperature. As much as I wrestled with it for a good twenty-minutes, it just wouldn’t roll up as before. I did my best and secured it with a kind of rope that I have always kept in the back of my vehicles (this goes back to days when I would often overload a car with hardwood). It was manageable for one person and, with a 40p blue bag on one end, I could stand it up when required.
Next, I’d have to return it to the store.
On my previous visit, I’d noticed a separate entrance marked ‘Customer Returns’, a few metres away from the main entrance. This one is accessed by a lift. I walked in, pushing the button for the relevant floor and waited. As the lift reached the desired floor, I stood still, patiently waiting for the door ahead of me to open… Only to then turn around and realise there’s another door that was already waiting for me to leave!
From there, the returns department is only a short walk to your right. You push a button, take your ticket and wait for your number to be called. I had to wait a good twenty-minutes for my turn, feeling increasingly embarrassed at the sight of all these other shoppers who’d loaded their items on to trolleys… Yet there I was, with a giant rolled item, up to my neck in height and stuffed in to a blue shoe! There were no qualms about my return as I had my receipt on hand. They gave me a card with the relevant credit on it, as they cannot refund cash on mattresses.
So, heading back in to the store, I was off again to the bed section trying out different mattresses; knowing all along that I’d be going for the Morgedal memory foam mattress, paying an extra £60 on top of my credit. Testing the range of mattresses left me in no doubt that this was the one I would go for. Along the way, I also picked up a £5 uplighter:
This is an item I first witnessed at a friends house on Christmas a few years ago. Then, the concept was alien to me. I couldn’t conceive how expelling light upwards would add any benefit to a room but, somehow, they do light the corners of a room very well indeed – as you’ll see from these photos.
It helps to illustrate just how poor the lighting is in my flat, with its high ceilings. I recently learned that both of those ‘alcoves’ in the photo above were once windows, that remain boarded up from the outside. I’ve no idea why this was done (privacy may be one excuse) but it’s a great shame there isn’t one window there for the sake of natural light, even if it was to be partially disguised with privacy film.
Those uplighters are so cheap, I could easily buy another on my next visit. They vertical length screws together in sections, so you could easily leave one piece out if you wanted to reduce the height. I begin to wonder how these Not Uplighters could be adapted or ‘hacked’ to suit other purposes, around the home and, perhaps even, a workshop.
I payed £7 for the LED bulb… They had various options that were compatible with this lamp, rated up to 1000 lumens, if I remember that correctly. I decided I didn’t need something as bright and so, in the aim of consuming less power, I went for a 600 lumen bulb (equivalent to about 8W, I believe – where my overheard lightbulbs each consume 11W).
So, that’s hopefully my time at Ikea spent for the remainder of this month…
I like to think I’ll also grow to settle down with my new mattress. It’s staggering now, to look at what I’ve spent on this bed; taking in to account the mattress and also the topper pad and protector sheet I have also added! But when you’re averaging three-hours sleep each night, change becomes necessary, even if this is only the beginning.