There is a downside to buying "quality", people.
Take it from me. Oh yes there is. I still have the towels my mother bought me when I got married. They were attractive shades of yellow, olive green and tan. All the rage back in 1976, I can assure you. They are Martex towels. From America. And even though they are 32 years old, and in desperation, I cleaned the insiode of the car engine with them, so help me, they still wash and dry perfectly and there is nothing wrong with them. Except they are now a little thinner, and consequently dry so much better than new towels. They have been used for the dogs over the years in a vain attempt to wear them out too. Anything gross? My towels rush forward to do the deed. And the wash and come up beautifully.
However. I HATE those towels. I want new and beautiful ones. I am sick to death of them. But my parsimonious nature means they stay in the cupboard. Sigh. Quality? It has drawbacks.
This is a very long-winded way to report that I have just spent the morning in the garden. Getting rid of weeds in the patio, dead stuff, old twigs and leaves and branches etc. And then I cleaned the garden furniture. Quality. I bought Allibert (French white patio furniture) back in 1985, because it wouldn't collapse after 2 years. Now I wish it would collapse. I hate it with a passion. And while there is nothing structurally wrong with it, it has patchy dark bits all over and looks dire. But it doesn't fall apart, because it is QUALITY. Snarl. It has been out facing the elements all year round, and it survived. My displeasure has nothing at all to do with the fact that I spied a beautiful garden table and armchairs at Homebase this morning. It would be so perfect for my garden. It is made for my patio. I need it. It is calling me......
But quality rules here. And until things die, they have to do. That is why I love Ikea. When I was younger, everything you bought was designed to last a lifetime. My parents only ever had 2 lounge suites, which they had recovered when the Sanderson linen expired. So ringing the changes was a trifle more difficult back then. I love the fact that nowadays, it is actually possible to change your furniture more than once a lifetime. I also spotted a beautiful leather couch at Homebase. On sale. Buy one, get one free. I don't need one. But it was beautiful. And a bargain! And no, of course I didn't buy one.
If you could have been a fly on the wall, you would have howled with laughter, people. Jean needed to go and get the tiles for her new kitchen floor, and asked me to go with her, so that is why we were at Homebase at the crack of dawn. We got a friendly man to assist with loading the 23 boxes of floor tiles on to 2 trolley things, and he also helped load them into her car. Yes. That was when we noticed a slight problem. I looked at the rear tyres. They were flat.
The tiles weighed a ton. So we looked at each other, and she said...Right. We will go very slowly along the dual carriage way to the nearest garage. I looked at her, and rolled my eyes , and said...Or not. Let's call Simon. (He has a tyre pumping up thing for cars), so we did, remembering that of course he loves getting up at the crack of dawn on a Saturday to rescue his friends, and that it is actually Jackie's birthday today. He said they were on their way to help. He is a star.
They arrived with the babes, who decided the carpark was a playground, and he inflated the tyres while we had a resounding chorus of Happy Birthday to you to entertain the masses.
Jean said all she could see out of the rear view mirror, while driving home, was the road, the back was so low. I watched as she drove off after dropping me and I swear the front wheels were doing wheelies. Without me for ballast!
Ah well. It made us laugh. And I am doing the dreaming thing, by coming home with brochures of unlikely things to peruse. The sun is shining, and once I have uncreaked myself, we are off to have tea with the birthday girl. And cake. And scones. And don't forget....my garden is tidy!