Last week started in a very energetic fashion for Devon as Offspringette and I headed out to help furnish her with teacher training equipment, i.e. a desk, chair, printer, clothes suitable for looking like you're in control of the classroom hordes as opposed to being one of them etc.
I was providing the wheels so we scoured Plymouth City boundaries and beyond thoroughly, and I really do mean completely and utterly, to find a desk that would suit (corner fitting, curved at front, nice-ish looking but within budget) so we actually never got as far as clothes.
Don't flat pack things look lovely when they are all made up in the shop?
Bookhound insists that the word Ikea is a Swedish suicide cry and a danger to health; presenting him with a flat-pack 'anything' does nothing for the entente cordiale around here, it's best to flee at dawn and return after sunset.
Anyway, we saw the desk and knew it was perfect; pine, curved to fit a corner, nice drawer pack, would fit the space perfectly, Offspringette can look out of her window and glimpse Plymouth Hoe and the sea beyond and write teacher-ly essays and even better the shop agreed it wouldn't fit in the Fiesta so they would deliver it within the hour.
We picked up a flat-pack chair from somewhere else and decided we'd be fine with the construction, what's all this fuss about a few bits of wood.
We dashed back to the house and decided to cast on and knit up the computer chair as a preliminary to the big one.
Emptied all the bits out...no screws.
Not even a sniff of one, nada.
Typical Britain we thought, here we go.
Phoned the shop and quite honestly I think it's rather a daft idea to sell chairs with the screws already screwed into the relevant holes so you've got to go through all the bother of looking stupid on the phone and then having to unscrew them all to screw them back up again.
Well, I suppose it gave them a laugh until closing time, but the chair then went together in a jiffy and we were on a roll.
True to their word the desk arrived and we emptied out the bits in systematic fashion...many hundreds of them because drawers have runners and then there were these wooden peg things and complicated invisible screw fixings. Then of course 'corner' means things at right angles and left angles, like shelves underneath for printers and well, how many fixings do you think it takes to assemble a corner desk?
Let me tell you it's easily into three figures.
But the instructions had helpfully numbered every part so of course this was going to be Build-a-Desk-by-Numbers, just follow the pattern. We'd just find the numbered pieces and knit it all together, except the pieces aren't numbered at all, that would be far too stupidly helpful.
The diagrammatic calculation in pictures on the box declared 1 person + 1 screwdriver + 2 hours = 1 desk.
This was going to be a walk in the park ... 2 people + 2 screwdrivers + I hour = 1 desk
Well...er not quite..2 people + 2 screwdrivers + half a pine forest + hundreds of screws + a little bit of bad language + several cups of tea + several re-makes + 3 hours = 1 desk + 3 drawers still waiting to be made.
Getting dark and time for mother to call it a day and head home.
This grainy picture has come over the mobile as proof, the drawers it would seem are now done, just look what we made!