I have a confession to make. I’m not sure how people will take it, but I feel like I have to come clean. Okay, here goes...
I love Ikea.
I’m sorry, but I do. I went there the other weekend, and, although I only came back with a new picture frame and a furry rug, I could have spent a small fortune. I’ve been craving one of those wooden framed rocking chairs for ages and, if I had the room, I’d have one in every colour. Coupled with their current special offer of a cinnamon bun and coffee for 50p and their range of weird and wonderful food (reindeer salami anyone?), it is, for me, a shopper’s paradise.
I know people who pride themselves for having never set foot in the place. Others who refuse to enter their local Tesco Metro and look down their noses at anyone who has ever indulged in a KFC. Guess what? I am guilty of both of those offences too.
And yes, guilty is the right word. With my left-leaning morals I should know better. And, living in London where there is such an abundance of independent retailers, I have no excuse. But the truth of the matter is that although I love local, sometimes I just want the convenience of walking into a shop and walking out five minutes later without having spent half the afternoon rummaging around for that unique/organic/vintage something special.
Don’t get me wrong. When the mood hits me, I can quite easily spend an entire weekend mooching around London’s markets. Whether it’s brownies and bratwurst at Borough Market, art and fashion from Spitalfields or fun fifties furniture down Brick Lane, when the time is right, I can’t get enough of it. But when I’m on my way home from work, pay day is a million light years away and I just can’t be arsed? Sorry but there’s no competition. And every little really does help.
So there you have it. Now, if you’ll excuse me I have a locally purchased bottle of wine to devour and two Birthday presents to get in the post. Yes, one of them was purchased last night in Grotesqucoes. The other? My favourite independent retailer in Kings Cross. Now where did I put that re-cycled wrapping paper?