Ikea and me


Today I spent five hours attempting to assemble Ikea furniture while also drinking beer.

I decided to document it because, well, I knew it probably wouldn’t end well (at least for the furniture). It’s a departure from my normal blogs in that it’s mainly photos and maybe the “odd” video of me fighting a losing battle, so here goes…

imageIt’s surprising how much you can fit into a Fiat 500 and please note the six pack of beer because I had a sneaky suspicion that I might need it.

imageI had to carry this box, which weighed more than 30 kilograms, up a flight stairs to get to my new “writing room”. It was 30-plus degrees today with high humidity so that was really fun. I also am so awesome that I didn’t ask anyone to help me. What a superstar.

This was the moment I realised that the instruction booklet for my new writing desk ran to more than 20 pages and I didn’t own a flat head screwdriver. So I decided to have a beer.


Even though the instructions are in English they might as well have been in Swedish and I soon realised that I’d put the “sidey, rolley bits” for the desk drawers on backwards.


One of the top moments of the day was surely realising that I had put the top of the desk on backwards and would need to de-construct almost the whole fucken thing. So, here I am pondering whether my life has any meaning, and whether I am in fact a dumbass.


After “successfully” assembling my new writing table, from which a plethora of Pultizer and Oscar-winning stories will no doubt be created, I see that the drawers are a little off-kilter and I am a victim of premature celebration. So, after nearly three hours, because I was clearly winning, I decide I might as well assemble the book-shelf. Here’s what happened not long after…

I’d had about four beers by this stage so I decided to take an Ikea “Kallax”  reflection selfie.


I must admit that having beers makes the whole Ikea process much more enjoyable but you also get a little distracted. Such as this photo when I realised that my lady-bird was on a precarious lean. I knew the feeling.


While listening to some very good, and increasingly loud, tunes I had a moment when I thought I was the Ikea Queen. This is a piece of piss I thought while simultaneously dancing in my study. Then I realised that my joy was about to be curtailed by the dreaded Ikea hinges.


And then this. I mean, what the fuck is this supposed to mean?


So the “ghost hand” freaked me out so much I had to do this.

Then I spent an hour trying to decipher how to turn two of the empty spaces in my book shelf into cupboards and, well, seriously fucked it up. I have never been so confused in my life. So here is the denouement of my efforts. What a glorious victory!

Sure beats the blog I was going to write about my ex coming around to pick up his furniture.



The unbearable lightness of low-alcohol beer


For the first time in quite a few years, I decided to have a few drinkies on New Year’s Eve. Unfortunately my choice of beverage was less than ideal and significantly diluted my dance moves on the first early morning of 2016.

I think it’s been about four years since I’ve had a drink on the last night of the year. For at least two years before I had my 18-month hiatus off the stuff (a blog topic coming soon), I’d had sober New Year’s Eves by choice. I guess when you get to a certain age, there aren’t that many decent parties you’re invited too and hanging out at nightclubs with all the youngsters is lame, and let’s face it, a little creepy, too.

So this year, with my party invite in hand, I decided to crack open a couple to see where the night ended up and to say good riddance to a pretty sucky 2015.

The problem with the holiday season, though, is that Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve are so bloody close together. Why can’t they be a few weeks, or better yet, a few months apart so you can get into match fitness for both?

I asked this question at a family barbecue last night and it was suggested that perhaps we could celebrate Christmas in January or February sometime instead? That idea lasted all of two seconds before everyone decided that our family being our family meant we’d probably just end up with one extra excuse for a party and be worse off than we were before.

This Christmas Day was a spectacular one with all the stuff everyone loves, including a highly memorable game of “what’s an alternative use for this crap shoe horn that one of us received in our festive bon-bon?” The winning idea, although debatable and somewhat hazy I must admit, was either Keith Richard’s cocaine scooper or an eyebrow shaper.

There were no family arguments, in fact it was a huge success until someone (who may or may not have been me) decided that it was time for some Scotch on the rocks. In hindsight, I realise now that was a mistake and that going to sleep in a hallway probably wasn’t one of my finest hours. I blame it on the 5km run I did that morning, mind you.

So it was this episode that convinced me to consume low-alcohol beer on New Year’s Eve instead. No more Scotch shenanigans. No more waking up on the air-bed wondering how I got there.

The New Year’s party started and the low-alcohol beers actually tasted pretty good but as the night wore on I became increasingly annoyed. You see, everyone else was getting into the festive spirit, and I was not. Those goddamn light beers were keeping me in a twilight zone of very mildly, not really much of a glow-on at all, state of mind. Which is their job, but I didn’t know it.

While all the other party-goers started talking and laughing louder, for me not much changed at all. I wouldn’t have minded being sober for my fifth New Year’s Eve in a row if I hadn’t paid so much for the beer and known that each one was also about 100 calories. My wallet and waist-line would’ve been much better off if I’d just stuck to water.

I was staring down a sober midnight when about an hour before, someone (who may or may not have been me) suggested that a few sneaky shots might get the party really humming. My suggestion, however, was a fait accompli as one of the guys had pre-planned for such a happening and brought along an assortment of “masculine” liquers, which would be fashioned into something sickly-sweet called a Jam Donut.  They then decided that Baileys, another testosterone-laden drink I might add, was also a very good idea.

It was at this point that my soberness became my best friend because after only a few I said no more, while the group of guys went on to knock them back one after another. I hear they paid for that big time the next day.

After midnight came and went, someone (who may or may not have been me) reminded the “stayers” about the infamous interpretative dance-off we’d had at the same location at one of the host’s 40th birthday parties a few years before.

As soon as I said it, though, I knew that I wasn’t drunk enough by half to take part but, yet again, I’d backed myself into an embarrassing corner that only a few split-leaps and pirouettes could extricate me from.

So it was that after a marvellous interpretative dance by R that was worthy of a standing ovation, I found myself in a “dance battle” with the said same person to, of all tunes, Welcome to the Jungle.

But I knew within mere moments that my sick dance moves just weren’t there. In fact, the contest was over before it’d even began. The unbearable lightness of that low-alcohol beer had, alas, left me with nowhere to turn except sheepishly back to my seat mid-song with my head bowed in eternal shame.

My self-appointed crown as the interpretative dance-off queen was well and truly lost. Although, I now admit, that my dignity remained intact, which was the whole point, so perhaps not such a bad result after all.


Let’s talk about toilet texting


The other day I learned in crystal-clear, surround-sound audio that some people text while on the toilet doing a poo.

This epoophany came about when I frequented the toilets at work. Now, these loos are the communal-type – not meaning boys and girls, but they service the entire floor, which is made up of a number of different and diverse businesses.

This is an interesting dynamic in itself, because the chances of bumping into someone you work with is quite slim so I must admit there’s probably more “number two” action than normally would take place during the hours of nine to five.

On that note, why is it that the walls of cubicles in so many public loos don’t go all the way to the floor? Cost-saving measures? In my opinion, they really should so everyone can just get “on with business” with some modicum of pride.

In my opinion, there’s nothing worse than, after making a break for the toilet when nature’s calling big-time and thankfully finding it empty, you suddenly hear someone entering the facilities when, you know, you’re halfway through. And you have to freeze and wait and wait and wait for them to leave, which seems to take an eternity at that particular point in time. The joys of workplace toilets, right?

Anyway, on this day, I was in one of the cubicles when I heard something rather strange happening in the stall next door. Someone still had that clicking noise activated on their mobile phone so I could hear they were texting someone – while on the toilet. Then all of a sudden the texting stopped and the person’s bowels opened very loudly. Obviously, unlike me, she had no qualms about the length of the cubicle walls.

Then the texting started again – all the while her bum farted and burped like a colon opera because she clearly believed she was actually in our own home all alone. She wasn’t. By this stage, I’d exited my cubicle and was washing my hands. I was also thinking: “Really? Is texting while you’re doing a poo a thing today? Was the message so urgent that she had to kill two birds with one stone in the office loos? Did the person receiving the ‘poo-text’ know that it was created in such a scatological fashion?” I dried my hands, and to the sound of more bum-gas explosions, exited the facilities with a quizzical look on my face.

Now I can understand parents of small children having to resort to such tactics, although their time on the loo isn’t necessarily always sacrosanct, but at work? Surely no text has that degree of urgency?

To say I was poo-plexed is an understatement so I turned to my 12 and 13-year-old nieces, who aren’t related to me by blood but whose mum is my bestie, the following week and “delicately” asked them: “Is texting while doing a poo okay to you?” and without skipping a beat they said in unison “yes”. Silly aunty, they laughed, everyone does it. Of course, I was morally outraged. “What has the world come to?” I cried. “Where’s the dignity?”

And so it came to pass that yet again, I learned that I might be getting a tad older – and a little “wiser” about such modern-day shenanigans. Seemingly, according to the young folk, texting while you’re in the loo doing a poo isn’t a biggie – I guess, unless you accidentally hit FaceTime while you’re in the middle of it.