Long-time readers may remember I used to work at the only Independent Department store in Norwich. It's been two years since I worked there and it's still my favourite place to shop. Firstly, because I get to see all the girls and catch up on the gossip and secondly, because I really do believe in supporting local business.
This department store has always been a family-run business and family remains at the heart of it. It's not unusual to find several family members working there, or people who've worked there for years calculated in double digits. The recession has hit the business hard, but I'm pleased to see it's still going strong.
When I ventured into the sales, that's where I went first. It's great to be served by someone I knew. Boy now has new bedroom furniture on order and while I was there, I bought a sofa. Now, I've had the futon for the past 10 years. It was a cheap alternative to a sofa bed and for the first 3 years it was comfortable. Futons aren't meant to be sat on regularly. The stuffing compacts into concrete. I got round that by draping a duvet over it. About 3 years ago, I'd had enough and bought a proper sofa bed. In chocolate leather, so the cat doesn't shred it to buggery. Obviously, with the sofa bed innards it was more expensive that it needed to be, but I wanted shot of the futon.
Boy was not happy. He liked the futon. He spent most of his time stretched out on it...his prefered position. So, I kept it. We moved house and I grumbled about the futon. He insisted. But then he started to relent when I brought the subject up. In the run up to the Festive Season, I saw lots of adverts for new sofas and began to covet one that has reclining seats. I looked one up on the internet...I put it to the back of my mind.
On Tuesday, I went shopping. The furniture section was quite busy. Shoppers looking to snag a bargain before the VAT increase on the 4th of January. While I waited, I sat on a very comfy sofa. It had a little lever on the side. I played with it. Suddenly, my feet were raised and I was lying back. I looked at the price and made the decision.
Yesterday, I got a call from their warehouse to say they would like to deliver the sofa in the morning between 8 and 12. Oh yeah, thought I, being of cynical nature and having previous experience of waiting in for such things and plumbers. I was dozing at about 8 o'clock this morning. I was aware of time, having prised my eyes apart to look at clock, but I figured it would be at least 11 before they showed. The phone rang. They were just dropping some furniture off down the road and they'd be 20 minutes.
I got dressed, woke the teenagers, put the kettle on and went outside for a smoke. Boy kept me company. I'd had two puffs and there they were. The delivery guys were cheerful and chatty. They put a mat down before they hauled the bits in. They explained how it all went together. They needn't have wasted their time, all I heard was 'blah, blah, blah', but they looked happy delivering their explanation, so I let them carry on. They made sure it fit where it was to go, they made sure everything was working, drank their tea and off they went.
Needless to say, I am writing this upstairs in my study. As soon as the delivery men had gone, the teenagers comandeered the new sofa and the x-box to play Call of Duty.
I see who's in charge in this household.
What became of the futon? I hear you ask. Well, Gee said she could use it for one of her lads. JD (her husband) came around yesterday and evicted it for me. So all in all, I'm a very happy bunny.
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