Is 1 hour and 10 minutes long enough to visit Ik*a?

December 9, 2016



The short answer is no – especially if you don’t have anyone helping you – but let’s start by pronouncing things properly. If you go back to the shop’s nordic roots, the name should be pronounced “i-kay-uh” (with the i sound as in igloo) and not as us Aussies tend to say “eye-key-uh.”
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I would like to share with you my visit to a retail prison.

It was a cold and rainy night. I thought it would be best to visit after work because there would be less people. This was certainly true, but I faced some other difficulties: finding all the items on my prepared list, deciding whether the items met my standards of quality, resisting unnecessary purchases, completing the circuit before close, getting back to my car and escaping the carpark.

I piled my plastic containers and half-size bookshelf into the trolley, paid and wheeled myself out to be met by steel barriers- no trolleys past this point. I wheeled out to the pick-up area and asked the last teenage staff on deck how I could get to Lower Ground Green.
“I can look after your trolley for you while you get your car”…
“But don’t you close at 9pm?”
“Oh yeah. You’ll have to get back here by 9pm”
“Well it’s 8:55 so I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
“You can’t take the ikea trolley out.”
Fenced in. Trapped. Would I sleep on this loading dock? Or would the boy be kind?

“You can use that” he said pointing to the small Coles trolley standing in the rain. The trolley for unorganised single people. The trolley allowed into the carpark.
I transferred my purchases into the smaller, wet trolley – playing a special balancing game. The teenager had to “buzz” me out of the carrells – a privilege saved for wheelchairs and prams. I moved carefully toward the carpark lift – no access to Lower Ground.
Ok then what? A long ramp. I rolled down and checked for another lift- no access to Lower Ground. Ok then what? A long ramp. I rolled down and checked for another lift- nothing – but a crash. One of my plastic containers fell onto the concrete and cracked.

No lift or ramp in sight. I went back into the shopping centre towards the travelator. A sign: “No trolleys -please use lift” (with vague arrow)..But where is the lift? I started to sweat. I finally found it and I found my car, but where was my parking ticket? The one I thought I put in the small pocket in my backpack. I was thirsty. The ticket finally appeared – creased. I managed to get free parking, but was it worth it? My plastic was cracked.

In a tizz. Drink bottle, wallet, parking ticket, receipt, phone, strewn across the passenger seat. I accelerated out of the boom gates. I had escaped the labyrinth, but the night was not yet over. The orange petrol light came on.

I will leave you know to ponder the most perplexing riddle of my visit – why does the green pear-shaped lamp cost $24.99 whilst the exact same version in white costs only $9.99?



How to leave the house in 40 minutes

August 25, 2016


Like a good recipe, the key is to prepare the basics the night before.
This includes:

  • selecting your clothes, socks and shoes and placing them in the lounge room;
  • packing your work bag with your wallet, keys & transport ticket at the top;
  • putting your non-refridgerated snacks in a lunch box.

Now let’s begin Version 1.
Put alarm on for 6:50am. Press sleep for 10 minutes. Loll about for 5 minutes. Get up.

7:07 Go to the toilet. (Number 1s).

7:10 Prepare breakfast and make a coffee at the same time. Save moments by swiftly doling out oats whilst the coffee machine warms up. The key at this point is to leave the toaster out of the morning equation. Drink the coffee whilst checking the news and ptv alerts on phone. Set aside breakfast for journey.

7:33 Jump up saying “Shit, shit, shit,  I’m going to be late.” Put your coffee cup in the sink, fill it with water. Leap towards the bathroom and jump in the shower.

7:39 Dry yourself, brush teeth, get dressed, run towards your shoes. Call out to partner/ animal/imaginary friend for help collecting some important item that you forgot along the way: eg. underpants, towel or lunch from fridge.

7:47 Leave the house jogging towards the train with breakfast in take-away-container.

Version 2
Put alarm on for 6:50am. Press sleep for 10 minutes. DON’T loll about for 5 minutes- use the extra time to do a bog. Follow the remaining instructions as per Version 1.




2014 in review

December 30, 2014

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Click here to see the complete report.

Woman cradles dog in arms whilst swinging in swing

August 5, 2014


I was walking through Fitzroy with Melon* last week and we needed to stop and rest. I saw a small park ahead and suggested that this could be a good resting place. As we approached, I saw an elderly lady cradling a poodle in her arms. The poodle had its hair tied up in a red ribbon. The lady was sitting on the playground swing, gently rocking her dog back and forth. I quickly motioned towards a park bench with a direct view of the swinging poodle. We sat down. To my dismay, our view was blocked by a mother and her children playing on the tan bark. I got agitated, I needed to observe more of the special rocking dog scene. I craned my neck as the lady (and poodle) alighted from the swing. She carried the poodle towards us.

“Your dog’s not walking today?” I politely inquired.
“I love this dog. I carry this dog. I look after this dog. You want to know why?” she replied.
“Oh yes,” said I.
“I’ll tell you why – this dog saved my life.”

I cannot be sure how the dog saved the owner’s life, as we did not converse much further. She placed the dog down on the footpath. It looked bewildered, calm and very still – as if remembering how to use its legs and paws again. The lady then attached a leash and coaxed the dog into walking – slowly – away.


*name has been changed to protect identity


Santi’s Workspace

March 22, 2014


This is my current working space in my parents’ flat in Brussels. I came to live here in September 2013, just before my parents retired and moved back to Spain. So at the moment I am working on music at this desk in the living room.

It’s full of my things, comics I have brought from London, my soundcard and microphones, a tuner and a capo. Behind you can see my parents’ shelf full of Borges books and china from flea markets. It’s not a bad place to work, but it looks fairly cramped when I look at the picture. This is partly because it’s still full of the family’s furniture and items, but also because I have always worked in tiny spaces, bedrooms, etc, whatever space was left and this feels normal.

I am not particularly fussed about where to work and can usually manage to concentrate on what I’m doing wherever I am, but, eventually I will have to think a bit more about how and where I would like to work rather than just reproducing these really small spaces I have always worked in. There are more options in Brussels than in London, though, so I think I’ll have to get used to nicer spaces.

Claire’s Workspace

March 10, 2014


Here’s a shot of my ‘work’ space with a little visitor.

Fine’s Workspace

March 7, 2014

Fine Foto

This is my workspace at home/
I’m workin on music at the moment/based in Berlin/
Although doin animations and experimental film/writing lyrics/djing.