Life

Our new carpet might offer a better night's sleep than our new mattress

My mother, who spent many long years guiding people about marriage, always says that you can forget the sex – the issues in a marriage usually concern money and in-laws. In our case, the joys of marriage include one person's ability with flat packs

The joy is, reader, I married a man who knows how to assemble a flat pack. I have lent him out to friends who marvel at his skills

FATE has hurled us back into the jaws of Dante's Inferno, also known as the Swedish furniture shop where you enter a babe in arms and exit a granny with a beard.

O the halcyon days of youth when weekends were for pizza n pint down the Empire for £1 and a bit of trouser chasing.

We have moved on from six pack to flat pack, lover... how the years are unkind.

“We need to get you a new set of drawers,” says my other half.

“Oo err missus,” I say doing my best Frankie Howard on a saucy seaside postcard. That dates me too.

Cue much eye rolling.

The deal is brokered. We are returning to the furniture shop but I give him a little talk straight off the Monopoly board.

I play that card: “Go to Jail, do not pass go,” – well, it is along those lines, as in, “Go to drawers, hit the flat packs, get out. Do not stop for a Swedish meatball, do not take that little pencil and pen and do not waste precious hours of what's left of our lives studying vegetable mandolins, apple corers and grapefruit knives for the Lord's sake.”

What fresh hurdy gurdy hell is this.

We go, we collect the flat packs and marvel at strange Swedish furniture names.

“Gotmorgan is surely good morning,” I tell the linguist I married. Cue more eye rolling.

But the joy is, reader, I married a man who knows how to assemble a flat pack. I have lent him out to friends who marvel at his skills.

My mother, who spent many long years guiding people about marriage, always says that you can forget the sex – the issues in a marriage usually concern money and in-laws.

In our case, the joys of marriage include one person's ability with flat packs and a shared love of a crossword. (Aquarius, I like a man who's sharper than an Ikea pencil).

Faithful readers shall remember that we first darkened the doors of Swedish furniture hell earlier this month for a new mattress. Indeed our new mattress was recommended by Which and was an incredible buy.

We also splashed out on a new carpet that did not look quite so cream in the shop. Rest assured, the porridge slops will blend in nicely – by the time we've had a year of breakfast in bed, the floor will resemble the Mountains of Moria, straight out of Lord of the Rings.

But it is soft, so very soft, our new carpet. My big toe thinks it has died and gone to toe nirvana.

My back? The new mattress... well, there's the rub.

On the first night, it proved a challenge.

“How did you sleep,” I asked my bedmate.

“Like I was spread out on the living room table,” he sighs.

I imagine serving dinner on top of him – an apple in his mouth like a suckling pig.

“How did you sleep,” he asked.

“Like I was laid out on a mortuary slab,” I told him.

It proved a moment of reckoning. I always fancied I'd give my body to a medical faculty. The would-be doctors of tomorrow would learn much. Yes, they might call me Mabel or Maisie, but I do have a few interesting scars and they could take a scalpel to my innards.

It seems like a worthy thing to do.

However, a night on the flat top mattress had me thinking again about being laid out cold and dead on a dissection table.

After that first night of new mattress hell, we looked at each other and savoured the irony of the situation... hard bed, soft floor. It's just not right. The new carpet was so soft underfoot that we actually considered decamping for a few nights to sleep on the floor.

Suffice to say, we are persevering. Like cold baths, it's probably good for us.

As my guru might say, do not seek out sleep. Lie flat and count the spider webs and cracks on the ceiling.

I assume a traditional yoga pose and practise deep breathing.

I count sheep, sigh, count my breath... go through every mistake I ever made in my life, my faults, recite the 10 commandments, list the seven deadly sins, twist and turn.

And eventually, sleep finds me, if only at five minutes to 6am when I have to get up at 6am.

But hey, the carpet is soft as a lush green pasture under foot.

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