A place to call our own

So this is going to be the closest I have gotten to this blog’s origin in a while. Obviously I have gone away from the daily diary approach to this blog partly because once in Full-Time employment every day is kind of the same and partly because lets be honest it was kind of dull and I never did a whole lot that was interesting.

We had been looking at flats on and off since October, in December we viewed about 5 places. Some of these were an improvement on where we currently are, others weren’t. Our favourites were both bungalows, one went before we had a chance to get it. We therefore took the other one as quickly as possible. Before Christmas we settled on 22 January for moving in and so it turned out to be.

Saturday morning we got up and headed over to Touchstone Residential as today would be the day we got the keys to our new bungalow. We signed most of the documents last weekend and so just turned up, paid the first months rent and some other money as well (quite a lot actually) and then got the keys. We headed back to our current flat and packed Beth’s mother into our little car and drove her to Ikea at Lakeside. The drive was fine and uneventful, the traffic was light even as we reached Lakeside at 11:30.

My gosh the building was huge, I expected big but not this big. Even the American’s were surprised… On arrival we went and got our lunch, we had heard about the meatballs and so Beth and I got those. They were pretty good in a meatbally way.

The store was organised by item type so we started with living room furniture which was handy as we largely came for a sofa. After trying out far too many sofas we eventually settled on the sofa I thought we were likely to end up with.

We then decided to pick up a matching armchair as well and moved onto the next section which was living room storage where we found ourselves a £15 coffee table. We got to dining and found some nice dining room chairs and in workspaces I picked out my desk. We rounded out with a huge chest of drawers and then we were done with the showroom. The showroom is only one third of the store though. Next came the market hall which seemed to be a haven for items Beth likes, we picked up a few small things and some lighting items in this section.

Finally we ended up in the furniture warehouse. Which unsurprisingly is a warehouse. If you’ve done everything right to this point you should have a nice list of where the items you want are stored. Fortunately we had done this properly. The first two items we wanted were easy to find, I think they were the coffee table and dining room chairs. We quickly filled up our second trolley and got our third which after umming and aahing I pretty much filled with the parts for my desk which is going to be all black. Might have to stick New Zealand rugby stickers on it or something.

Then things got more difficult, the chest of drawers we wanted came in two boxes and we could only find box 2 in the right colour. Eventually we found the corresponding half at the back of a row. Now all that remained were the armchair and sofa. For the armchair we needed our fourth trolley, with three of us this was problematic but a helpful store type came and helped us while also lodging our order for the sofa. We made our way to the tills and paid, it came to… a lot. and we headed off to get the sofa. On arriving we were told that we hadn’t paid for the sofa despite having handed the till person the order for it. Que getting annoyed and going back to the till we had been at to find that our sofa order had fallen on the floor under her till. We paid and headed back. After a short wait we got the um… sofa covers, I convinced them that this was not a full three seater sofa and after they got confused for a while they agreed and went to look for it. When the whole thing was complete we headed to the delivery desk and paid… a lot more for next day (Sunday) delivery – I wonder if it would have been less if they had let us wait till Monday. By this time I at least was annoyed and wanted to go home so after a look at the Swedish food we headed off.

We arrived at our new house at about 4pm and opened the door to our new house for the first time, remembering to turn the alarm off in the process. We hung around there for about half an hour and then left. One thing I will say though is that the drive is far too tight. Our car just about fits in the driveway so long as no-one actually wants to leave the car. This could get interesting when we have visitors. It was also interesting reversing out of the driveway with a car on the other side of the road. A slight love tap later and we eventually managed it… fun fun. We went out for curry in the evening and all was well.

Sunday we took Fran to the station fairly early and then went to church with the almost certainty that the ikea order was either going to come during church or would arrived late forcing us to sit waiting for it. It turned out to be the former and Beth had to dash off to help get it into our bungalow. Church was fairly uneventful and I counted the money afterwards (I’m a church steward now don’cha know). We took the students (well two of them) out for lunch at Wetherspoons later and caught up after the Christmas break but we were itching to get back and start on the furniture.

Over the course of the next couple of hours we put together the sofa, the armchair, three lamps, four dining room chairs and a coffee table. I also laid my desk out on the floor but will save putting that and the chest of drawers together for Saturday when I have coerced my parents into moving our things across. Its all very exciting and we are looking forward to moving, we shall finally live somewhere quiet.

More photos are available here, more will be added over the next couple of weeks as we finish moving in.