Hello my friends, firstly I got to see Beauty & the Beast finally yesterday. Completely wonderful, great casting, visually brilliant, and the even the 3D was great. I even discovered a Ben & Jerry’s flavour that has knocked Peanut Butter Cup off the top spot (whispers, you’ll always have a place in my heart….) Cinnamon Bun!! Even the little brown nuggets that looked somewhat similar to dog food were actually, little buttery cinnamony clusters of joy!! Disney and Ice-cream to start off the weekend – oh yes! I’m still humming Be Our Guest as I write this, and to date have managed not to buy all the merchandise in the Disney Store but I don’t know how long I can hold out. Mrs Potts and Chip Pop Vinyl figures though!! Gah!

Anyhow, I shall fill you in on the saga of the getting stuff to France so that our very first house guests have something to sleep on and sit on….

I found a shipping agent about an hours drive from us over in Cheshire that have some great on-line reviews. They gave me what I thought was a very reasonable quote for shipping across a list of items that for the sake of ease, was all going to be delivered by Ikea directly to them. This was all fine until I tried to place the order and found that the armchair I wanted was not available for on-line delivery. Yet cushions – CUSHIONS! are? I know what I think is the easiest to fit in a car but hey, never mind. So, progressed to order the other items, a bed frame and base, mattress, duvet, 4 pillows, an outside coffee table, some cushions and 2 light fittings. Done, order placed.

How hard can it be to order an armchair I thought.

Laura Ashely have a sale. I found a lovely Harris Tweed Wing-back chair – 12 week lead time – Nope.

I found another chair I liked, it was three times the price – nope.

I found another chair I liked then the website went down for maintenance. – Nope.

Had a strop, tried John Lewis. All expensive and with long delivery lead times. – Nope.

Next was er, Next. Brilliant, armchair in a nice bold check pattern, lead time 4 days. – Yes!

Proceed to try and order said armchair, but it insists on needing an address to be chosen from a drop-down menu and the address I need isn’t there. Gah! Calls the help-line. Speaks to a very helpful lady who informs me that as I have a new account the first delivery has to come to my home address. I point out that it isn’t a new account, all I’ve done is update my address details. Oh no, that’s a new account now she explains. Right, can I order something else to be delivered to me at home and then order the chair. It doesn’t work like that she explained. You’ll have to wait up to 12 days after your delivery as we have to be certain you’re keeping the first item. Gah, I politely explained that you’re losing a sale as I’ll go elsewhere, got the usual company policy nonsense and fumed for a good hour.

Right, we’ll try Lots of things on there, all of them a bit contemporary for the woodland cosy vibe I’m trying to create, much as I love the shark wingback chair (it looks like an actual shark) it’s just not right.

So. pre Nandos, pre cinema, I trot into Homesense and the beauty that is the featured photo accompanied by the music to Handel’s Messiah in my head pops in to view. It’s also half the price of anything I’ve previously looked at and I like it way more. Much texting of pictures and will it fir in the car questions later, I buy the chair with a view to picking it up the next day and driving it to Cheshire along with the deck-chairs we’re also wanting to send across.

Saturday morning comes, deckchairs in the back of the car with the seat down, Hubs doesn’t look happy. “I don’t think it’ll fit” says he. We get to Homesense and it absolutely does not fit. Wife is in trouble.

So off we trot to hire a van. Van hire place is heaving, Craig doesn’t have secondary proof of address, and we needed a code from the DVLA that for whatever reason wouldn’t work on the mobile. So we went home, picked up a household bill, got the code, hired the van, went back to Homesense, got the chair, and drove for an hour to drop everything off.

Imagine my delight, when within touching distance of the shipping agent in Cheshire is an actual sodding Homesense!!

We passed a lovely big John Lewis on the way home, so popped in for a spot of lunch. There were a lot of very well turned out footballer’s wives types in there. All towering wedge sandals, perfect pedicures, skinny jeans and botox. Usually with overly shiny-shoed husbands in toe, hefting around all the baggage. Enjoy your salad’s ladies. Fish and chips and chocolate orange cake for me…..

We got home about 5 hours after we started but a nice sunny dog walk and cheeky beer in the pub beer garden has taken the edge off. Can’t wait to unpack everything and see how it looks on our next France trip now, which can’t come soon enough!





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