Apologies for the skip in post yesterday; was in France for a conference. Without further ado, here is today's post and I'll post another to make up for yesterday's absence.
So the weekend was upon us again and what were our magnificent plans for the break you ask? Fantastic explorations of London? More wonderful plays or musicals? Perhaps even some gourmet foodspotting?
Ah, no, my good friends. It was time to go...back to Ikea!
Yes, as it turns out, I had mistakenly bought some things that didn't work for the apartment. Lampshades that didn't fit, coat hooks that didn't work with my lease (or rather I was too lazy to install them after finding out I'd need to repair the walls once I moved out), and a red toilet brush that just grated on my soul every time I looked at it in my gorgeously stark white bathroom. (You try being raspberried at every time you're peeing and there's a bright red toilet brush with black bristles staring back at you from your immaculate glossy white tile floor).
I decided enough was enough, and we were going to make the adventure out to return them and get the last remaining items on the list to complete this apartment decorating adventure. Oh yes, the design was almost done and things were looking good. But first, these tasks.
Unfortunately the day we chose to go out to Ikea (Saturday, since it's open the longest and we have the most chance of getting there while it's open, given how long it takes to get there) it was...
...snowing. Snowing in London. At the end of March. Ugh, I thought I moved away from you, snow!
Apparently it was now though, and it was pretty blizzardy when we went out. Unpleasantly so. Surprisingly cold, considering none of the snow was settling.
We went to a few stores before we hit Ikea as well, all in my relative neighborhood of Ealing/West Ealing (where I actually live) and Ealing Broadway (the bigger neighborhood to the east of mine). There we dropped by an excellent family-owned hardware store to get some parts to reinforce my Aneboda wardrobes (the weight of my clothes was apparently outmatching the original design intent of the bar and anchor that were provided...so my engineer dad decided to take matters into his own hands and make is own solution...let's just say mine is now better than anything you can get on the Ikea market...way better) and a wonderful store called Wilkinson's, which is oddly like a Target. It sells everything from housewares to groceries (like packaged snack foods), to gardening supplies and other household items (cleaning supplies, general all-around household stuffs). I, lucky me, found replacement lampshades there so I didn't have to choose once again from the limited Ikea selection. Woot woot! They look like a set from an eastern harem. I kid you not. They're awesome. Pictures to come in a later entry when I do the finished apartment tour.
After those stops and a quick drop by home to drop off our goods and scarf some cookies (the "biscuits" here are incredibly cheap and delicious...I have an unfortunate feeling London is going to make me fat), and we were off once again to Ikea. Luckily, since I'm now moved out of Paddington, the path there is much more straightforward.
One bus to Ealing Broadway, then one bus all the way to Ikea. And all free for me with my not-so-futuristic bus pass. Or transit pass, I guess I should say, since I can ride any type of transportation.
Our trip this time went a little bit smoother...sort of. We still had a hell of a time figuring out where the pedestrian entrance was, despite doing research ahead of time. We got off on the bus stop after the one we got off last time, as per the Ikea website's suggestion, only to walk an entire block in both directions with no help whatsoever with how to get past the fences that circled the parking lot and into the store.
We eventually found an opening in the gate and got in. And walked through the parking lot. This is not better, my Ikea friends.
Anyway, my returns went smoothly and shopping was pretty breezy, since we knew what we were there for. My household shopping was finally through.
We decided it was time to eat at the restaurant again and we piled upstairs (for the third time this trip, since they awkwardly make you go to the exit for returns, then you need to go back outside to get to the entrance since there's no convenient way to go back through to get to the front of the warehouse...and the restaurant is at the entrance...).
This time though: the meatballs had returned! Guess they had finally tested clear of horse DNA enough for them to feel confident enough to serve. I was relieved. It'd been over a year since I'd eaten those tasty cheap meatballs. And unfortunately since the meatballs were back, my number one choice, the ribs that were on the menu last time, were taken off as replacement. Guess the ribs were only a substitute until the real boss was back in town.
We gobbled down our food as the snow continued to pour outside. It was seriously blizzarding outside. I've never seen so much snow in England before. It's ridiculous.
We asked a security guard on the way out how to get out the best way so we could finally figure out the appropriate way we were supposed to exit and enter, after fumbling three times trying to find the official way. He told us to follow the walls of the warehouse (on the outside) until we hit the stairs to the parking garage, following it through, go through a fence, go over a small bridge to the parking lot of the Tesco next door, follow the gate to the street, and there would be stairs to a pedestrian bridge to cross the street to our bus stop.
Wow Ikea, that is the worst laid plan for pedestrians I have ever seen. Considering how many people don't own cars in this country I am appalled. I do understand that more people use cars here than in Finland but jeebus. Horrid. Just plain horrid.
So we gathered our belongings and trudged our way through the sleet and snow and made it home in one piece, where we installed everything that had been newly bought and continued organizing and clearing up the house. The apartment is really shaping up, and it's a beaut, not gonna lie.
Thanks again Ikea, for your delicious cheap food and ridiculous experiences. I have no intention of ever going back to you if I can avoid it here in London.