The big day is rapidly approaching now and, having put it off for as long as possible, we buckled earlier this week and found ourselves eating meatballs in Ikea. It was the culinary precursor to the inevitable Market Place sweep for last minute nursery bits and bobs.
Prior to arrival at the Swedish furniture mecca, however, Mrs B and I had sworn an oath to enter the building, head directly to the nursery section, pick up the changing mat and covers we needed and aim directly for the checkouts. It was a simple mission, in and out in as short a time as possible and head home for supper and Coronation Street.
Needless to say, it didn't go to plan.
Within seconds of walking through the insanely large revolving doors we had talked ourselves in to eating out, or rather in Ikea. It took nothing more than a quick; "ooh, the meatballs look good," to ensure that we found ourselves with trays in hand and time ticking away. The oath had already been forgotten.
Dinner over and having deposited our trays in the tray racks (for some reason eating at Ikea reminds me of school dinners), we grabbed our compulsory yellow bags and headed for the Market Place, pausing to study the floor plan before entering. For some reason we couldn't see the children's area and, assuming it was an oversight on our part, began following the arrows through the Market maze.
It was clear from the eager faces of our fellow shoppers that we had all fallen in to the Ikea trap, wondering as we were whether we could actually live without the bargain cutlery sets, over-sized mugs, mixing bowls, storage boxes, picture frames, shelves and lights that gravitated towards our trolleys or yellow bags. How easy it would be to come home with a new kitchen, when all you went in for was a spare bulb for that annoying lamp in the lounge!
Bereft of daylight and any indication of the time - despite the miriad of clocks on offer - Mrs B and I trekked aimlessly around the Market Place, eventually realising that the children's zone was upstairs in the showroom and that we had, in fact, wasted the past half hour perusing curtains and bedding (despite being fully equipped with all the curtains and bedding we could ever need).
And so it was that Ikea stole our evening. Coronation Street was missed and we returned home with a bag of odds and ends that we didn't know we needed.
Mind you, the meatballs were good!