“…Ikea, that’s good.”

Now if your fledgling relationship can survive the idea of cohabiting at just six months down the line then a trip to Ikea should be a piece of cake right? Perhaps not if you drive a Hyundai i10 and you’re planning on getting a 4 seater sofa bed home.

The list of things to do was growing but now that we had the accommodation sorted it was all rather exciting. Whether we were at home in Somerset or here in London we spent most of our time finding cool stuff to fill our apartment with.

It really was a great little find. It was an open plan duplex with a very large bedroom area on the mezzanine floor. Downstairs there was a large living / dining area and small kitchen tucked away under the stairs. The bathroom and hall was nicely tucked out of the way under the mezzanine floor next to the kitchen. To the front of the room facing west, were two huge windows that you could easily stand up in, reach your hands up and barely reach the top of the frames. Which was great until you realised how difficult that made it to pull the curtains at night, however it did mean that we got some pretty awesome views of the sun setting over the nearby terraced streets.

We wouldn’t get the keys until the first of Feb. As ever when you’re willing time to go fast it seems to slow down to a snails pace. We took a trip to Camden with a few of my friends. It was one of the first times Megan was really introduced to everybody I knew here in London. That’s the day our worlds really collided, she seemed to get on well with everyone and it felt good to have my friends see us so happy together.

One of my friends did some stellar bargaining in one of Camden’s little bazaars and got me a fantastic deal on some London street-sign placemats that would look great in our dining area. The spending had started in earnest before too long and we probably managed about three Ikea runs in as many weeks.

We did alright during our trips. The biggest purchase was the before mentioned sofa bed. It was huge and came in a flat pack requiring assembly. Now to call it a flat pack was a bit much, it was still one of the biggest items for sale in that massive behemoth of a shop.

Our adventure wasn’t helped by the fact that we only had one car. In our efforts to ‘squeeze every penny’ I had said farewell to Glow (Gloria, my stunning little Renault Clio) and settled my car loan so that we could afford to put a roof over our heads and eat from time to time. Still it was a sad day, made even worse when days later I realised I had left one of my favourite Beyonce albums in the CD player. That hurt.

Megan got me insured on her car and I agreed to help pay for half of her car loan from then on so we could both be a little better off. After all her car loan was smaller than mine and I would only be paying half of it. Yet, I didn’t get on with the Hyundai. It was a measly little petrol thing with no oomph. Nevertheless I drove it around London as required and we naively measured up the inside of the car with all the seats down and assured ourselves the ‘flat pack’ would fit it.

In our earlier trips to Ikea we had mostly been window shopping in our excitement of the house-hunting. Now it was all real and we had a list of things that needed buying. We had managed to get most the things on our list and we had even stolen display cushions when we realised there was no more stock in the warehouse. We had to wait a while in the collection area for the sofa to be brought out, when the guy came wheeling it around the corner that’s when we realised we might have a problem.

It looked huge, but we read the dimensions on the packaging again and were assured that we would be Ok. We had already put all the seats down in the car in preparation and bypassed the home delivery section in favour of trying to get the items home ourselves. By home, I mean my house-share in Ealing where we would have to store these items until we could get the keys.

We got to the car and looked at the task ahead. The whole thing was held together by some plastic wrap and cardboard trays. It soon became abundantly clear that the thing wasn’t going to fit. There might indeed have been enough space in the car for all the items but manoeuvring it in would be impossible. It was insanely heavy.

We decided to pull the packaging apart and start playing Tetris with the pieces of the sofa. Making sure we didn’t throw out any of the fixtures and instructions we got to work. A very frustrated ten minutes later we gave up. We had contemplated doing two runs, even though we couldn’t get the boot to closed with only half the sofa in there. We had heaved and shoved and heaved some more and it just wasn’t going to happen.

So instead we decided to head back into the store and opt for the home delivery. At least when it came to our actual moving day my Dad would be able to get a van from his work to help us out. The one thing you need to coordinate home delivery of any items at an Ikea store in a receipt.

Yep that’s right, in the melee of all the Tetris playing sofa antics we had somehow managed to lose the receipt for our £400 sofa that was now in bits on an Ikea trolley. Probably not helped by the impromptu confusion of the store being evacuated due to a fire drill and us generally getting peeved about the situation we were in.

In the end one of the delivery drivers with a sizeable people carrier took pity on us and offered to help us get it the short distance from Wembley to Ealing for the price of £20 (which seemed to increase every minute after agreeing to his services).

We arranged for him to follow us back to the house as we had to take our car back. It was done within no time. Any large purchased or removals from that point would certainly not be achieved using the pathetic little i10. Silly little excuse for a car, I was already missing Gloria. It was going to be a big adjustment.

The one thing I remember quite clearly is that during the whole ordeal we still both managed to keep our sense of humour. There was perhaps a moment or two when we each had our frustrations but it was very short lived and so easy to forget. In fact, we were laughing about it in no time at all.

Everything with Megan was easy. Even the stuff that should be annoying as hell was funny and insignificant. I’d totally forgotten about any misgivings I might have had about us moving in together too soon. We were clearly meant to be.


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