The five things you break down and buy in a fit of madness at IKEA

GOING to IKEA? You’ll end up leaving with nothing that you came for and a heap of junk you don’t need. Here are five big offenders:

A sheepskin rug

This disaster of a rug looked so cool in the Scandinavian show-bedroom and you got carried away imagining a different life where you ski every weekend and are a natural blonde. When you get it home it just looks like you’ve carelessly thrown a dead dog on the living room floor.

A massive potted plant

The idea of having a huge, exotic plant in your living room is better than the reality, which is that you live in a tiny studio flat and won’t be able to see past it to the television. Luckily, because you got it from IKEA, it will die within three weeks, allowing you to repeat the process next time you shop there.

Twenty different sizes of sandwich box

For a moment there you briefly imagined yourself as the kind of person who brings lunch to work in tiny, reusable see-through boxes, not someone who eats a Pret sandwich at 11am and another at 2pm. These boxes will serve no purpose other than annoyingly falling out of the kitchen cupboard every time you open it.

Nine bags of miniature Daim bars

You wouldn’t in a million years consider buying a Daim bar from any other shop, because they’re both sickly sweet and hard enough to snap your teeth on. However, you pick up several bags near the checkout every time you go to IKEA, for no reason that you could ever explain.

A Splörn

You saw this on offer in the kitchen section and just had to buy it. But when you get home the panic hits. What even is it? You can’t remember, and the instructions only say that it needs AA batteries and not to put it in direct sunlight. Good luck.

Check-in 10pm, check-out 4am and other unreasonable rules of your holiday accommodation

FINDING a holiday home in the time of Covid is not only a coup but also a massive faff, involving more inconvenient rules than ever, like these:

No check-in until 10pm

Due to strict hygiene protocols, the cleaners will need all day and most of the night to wipe away the filthy germs from the last guests. Unfortunately this means you will not be able to arrive until it’s too dark to find the key box, let alone unpack the car or feel any excitement about this lovely break you have planned.

Tolerate the weird decor

If the place you are staying is some git’s second home, they will have filled it with all the weird shit they are too embarrassed to have in their own home and yet too tight to replace with new stuff. Prepare for a set of plates from an old tin mine museum, a random wooden African sculpture, and five well-thumbed John Grishams.

Separate the recycling according to the local council’s 527 rules

The last thing you want to do on holiday is be responsible for the environment but chucking everything in the bin will not go unnoticed by your militant hosts. The 153-page laminated folder that comes with the property will offer detailed instructions on exactly where to put tins, when at home you normally bung everything in one bag and hope for the best.

Vacate the property by 4am 

You can’t pack up and go in the early hours without leaving the property looking like a total shit heap, but this is what the Covid cleaning protocol dictates. This means you must undo the minor amount of relaxation you accrued on holiday and stay up all night bleaching the bannisters until it’s time for check out.

Pay five times the normal price

At the end of the week, you will be depressed and angry that you have paid an eye-watering amount of money to uproot your life and spend a week cleaning someone else’s badly styled home. Next year’s holiday will be camping in the garden.