Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Return of Fitted Wardrobes. I Wish. by O. Reader

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post here on the earth-shattering subject of Fitting Wardrobes. I ended that post talking about Murphy’s law... But I never honestly dreamed it would turn out like that.

We’d cleared our bedroom for a carpet to go down, and the fitted wardrobes that served us for over thirty years had been rendered into little bits (well, sufficient to pack into the car for five journeys to the municipal skip). All was then waiting for a company called IKEA to come and fit new wardrobes up to the ceiling and around the corner of the room, and then, surrounded by luxury, we would recline before starting on the guest bedroom next door.

Nothing could go wrong, could it? Well (using my best Jane Austen impersonation) dear reader, IT JOLLY WELL DID!

The men came and started unpacking and re-measuring and pronounced that we were one lousy centimetre (half an inch) out. It was sufficient to abort the whole installation. It appears that corner units require a fraction more space than it says on the box, and anyway, a miner’s cottage that is over 130 years old is not blessed with straight walls. Now I knew the latter from my early futile attempts to paste patterned paper on the walls. But this was disaster.

Had I been a bit younger I would have taken a lump hammer and knocked off some plaster, and hammered the wardrobes into place. I kid you not. Something like that was done in the spare bedroom... But this did not make for a very happy Mr and Mrs Occasional.

So the men departed and the next day we travelled down to the IKEA store and organised the redesign, which sort of takes out some sliding doors and puts extra mirror doors in, so our bedroom will now resemble the last scenes from Orson Welles’ Lady from Shanghai - and will leave a 50 cm gap at one end. Actually if it leaves a 50 cm gap I will spit! - because that would mean the original plan would have fitted. So, presumably a 49 cm gap, which we can plug with a clothes stand or Mrs O’s guitar or my Laurel and Hardy DVDs - or something.

But IKEA’s special deal of building things for just 25% on the price is heavily oversubscribed. So the first date they could return to do the job was about six weeks away. Actually you would not believe it, but on the same day my daughter and son in law are arriving to stay for a few days. They are basically coming to take us out for a meal and a folk music concert for our anniversary.

You just would not believe (I’m repeating myself) how much stuff came out of our bedroom. I try and remonstrate with Mrs O, but there’s a saying about people in glass houses not throwing stones... So a mountain high of bedroom contents is currently piled up in the guest room, apart from what is covering the living room floor. Because now of course there are no wardrobes to put it all in. I have rustled up a wonky rail used when camping, but we’ve had a month of stumbling over boxes, not finding any clothes, and - until we struggled to get our bed back amongst the boxes - sleeping on blow-up beds on the living room.

So there will shortly come a day when the workmen will arrive and build our cupboards. Assuming nothing goes wrong - (insert maniacal laughter) - they will finish about 4 pm. We then have to clear the other bedroom floor and fill our wardrobes before the family arrive that same night. And I’m supposed to be speaking at a meeting that night too. I think we are going to need that special meal and show the next day. And a stiff drink. Or two.

The Brits use a slightly cruder expression to Murphy’s law, with an extended meaning. Murphy’s law suggests that whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. The Brits expression carries the idea that it will ALWAYS go wrong and at the worst possible time.

Still, I’m not a fatalist. And even if I were, what could I do about it...?


  1. An occasional reader11:04 AM

    A correspondent sent me the following "scriptural" quotation:

    "Come now, you who say, “Tomorrow or on Thursday we will install IKEA built-in wardrobes"; whereas you do not know what will happen on Thursday. For what are your hopes? They are even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and install this or that.........”

    Yeah - thanks...

  2. An occasional reader12:30 AM

    Nice one, Harry.

    To adapt a D-I-Y home improvement phrase from Descartes - I ache, therefore I am...

  3. Ehm..... good luck Occasional.