Swedish Flat-pack Furniture Assembly

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The snow has been drowned out by a healthy downpour, which has warmed the country and removed most of the deadly ice, even the ninja variety. My parent’s garden, which during early Christmas looked like this:

Last of the Snow

 

was drowned back into colour by the thawing rain, along with the rest of the country. The vibrancy was soon lost to an onset of fog, which held throughout my journey back to Plymouth earlier today. While driving back we could barely see a few cars ahead. Thank goodness the ice made it’s exit before this secondary adverse weather condition set in.

Foggy Fog

 

For the past six months I’ve been using a garden table as a work desk. It’s square, and wooden, and barely has room to accommodate my computer let alone other writing materials, and so before starting back to Plymouth, I stopped off at Ikea to procure a new one. If you’ve ever been to an Ikea outlet, you’ll know they resemble labyrinths and force you to view everything they have on offer before allowing you to leave. The hugeness of the store is accentuated by the quantity of maps placed throughout the departments, and the arrows alighting you to which direction you need to travel. Of course, I had limited time, and I only wanted an office-desk.

If you’ve never had the bazaar pleasure of visiting an Ikea, allow me to enlighten you as to how it works. First, you wonder around a large showroom, where the furniture available for purchase is on display fully-assembled, equipped with a long number of digits and a pick-up point reference. This is the part of the experience I like to refer to as the Argos catalog, except everything is in 3D. After you have scribbled down what you want on a little card, you follow aforementioned pathway of arrows to a large stock-room where everything you have witnessed in the previous division is packed neatly away into boxes, flat and in pieces.

It’s then up to the buyer to take it home and assemble.

An Assortment of Parts Ready to Assemble

We started with a collection of various size panels, ranging in thickness and piercings, several bags of screws in varying styles, and an odd set of instructions. The booklet consists of only pictures, like a weird ‘how to make furniture’ picture book for five-year-olds. I’m not kidding – their are no words, not even in Swedish, just an assortment of odd diagrams advising on how to twist wood, and which screw to place where.    Even the safety page is simply made up of pictures with crosses for ‘don’t do’, and smiling happy faces on the cartoons for ‘do this’. I never believed it would take me five minutes to work out the safety information on anything, but I must admit, this had me momentarily baffled.

Wha ... ?

 

The last one looks like ‘question this booklet, go to Ikea and borrow a phone, and run as far as the cord will allow, and then call someone’. Ironically, IKEA is the only word given from then on in the booklet.

'How to Assemble your Micki'

 

An hour and a half of rearranging planks of wood later, we finally had something resembling a desk; we also had sweaty faces, irritated tendencies, and a hate for all things cheap and Swedish.

Finished .... almost.

 

Once we had the main body of the desk together, we still had to install the attachment, but my camera died, so I took no final picture. It looked like the above with a shelf system towards the back of the desk; use your imagination. I would also just like to mention that when I say ‘we’ I haven’t garnered an annoying habit for referring to myself in plural. My parents were present.

I now have a unit big enough to house both my computer and writing utensils, as well as an assortment of books I use throughout the creative process, so I don’t have an excuse to not right in the coming year, which is only two-days away.

A novel in 2011, or an axe upon my head.

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