... Barry Bucknell (Google it, youngsters), or Man At Ikea.
The 'Study' had been for several years ankle-deep, nay knee-deep, in crap, and impossible to use for any purpose other than opening the door, slinging something in, and slamming it shut again before things tumbled out. Hence the scare quotes around the name: studying of any sort was simply not possible. Since we have been on our Make Nowhere Towers Habitable crusade (am I allowed to use that word?), we have plumbed the depths of, and made liveable accommodation out of, the kitchen and living room, and this week it has been the turn of the 'Study'. All the rubbish (and 90% was indeed rubbish) has been examined, and by a process of triage either a) taken to the skip, b) put in a recycling point for the Sally Army, or c) put in the spare bedroom for further consideration. Anna is a hoarder, so there was a lot of 'c'.
Last week, we ventured up to Cardiff to visit those nice Swedish people at Ikea and purchased a set of bookcases. (The deal is, we go shopping, I don't complain, and we have Swedish Meatballs for lunch. Works for me.) The bookcases are called 'Billy', which I think is rather nice. They were delivered on Wednesday, and yesterday I spent the day putting them together. I still have all my fingers and toes, and my sanity, so it wasn't too bad an experience. I can say that I was well impressed with Ikea's stuff. The materials are of good quality, and the fixtures are neat and well-made, and altogether it is not too much of a trial to spend half a day with a few hand tools and get the things built up. I reckon it took me six hours to go from a bare room to this:
Probably two of those hours were spent getting the whole thing lined up and square, and anchored to the wall correctly. Lumpy carpet and walls that are not square in any plane made it a challenge. Also, lots of tea was drunk and breaks were taken ("need a new drill bit - probably easiest on the bike ..."), so the time taken was pretty reasonable.
A couple of things stop me giving Ikea 10/10 for quality and service. One shelf had half an inch of veneer missing, and another had a scratch on the front (visible) edge:
I am going to contact them to see if they can do anything about those, but it's hardly the end of the world and I can live with a couple of blemishes. I think that remembering how the room used to be helps with this zen-like calm.
Today has been Book Day. Or, rather this afternoon has been Book Afternoon, after this morning was Potting Compost And A Few Other Things While We Are Here Morning. This is the state of play as of knocking-off time tonight:
Looking good. We are going to run short of bookspace, I can see that coming, but all that means is another comb through the residue, being one notch more ruthless than last time.
That's beige, that carpet. I had forgotten.