The title of today???s post comes courtesy of TB and friend R who simultaneously responded with it when I asked “what should I call a post about our visit this weekend to Ikea?”Yes, I???ve fallen off the wagon when it comes to retail therapy. I???ve been working hard this past year to overcome years of consumer training. Never doubt that our capacity to consume is being honed by retailers and marketers every day. Common sense will tell you as much and there is plenty of easy to find information about how stores, particularly supermarkets are laid out deliberately to encourage spending. Elizabeth Farelly’s book Blubberland – the dangers of happiness (New South press, 2007) is an interesting read on Australian consumerism. Ikea has store layout and people movement honed to a T. While I did adopt several strategies which somewhat lessened the impact of the visit, it must be acknowledged that I fell at the first hurdle when I actually agreed to go with my friends in the first place. Let???s face it avoidance is always the best option. One good call was to take a list with me of items to be purchased for other people ??? I consumed, but I didn???t end up spending (all) my own money. Secondly take the time to sit in the comfy lounge room displays and read a magazine. This is surprisingly easy to do as all the display rooms come dressed with books and magazines to enhance the ???lived in??? effect.Given the aspirational demographic they are targeting the magazines are invariably glossy home magazines. I found a Japanese magazine featuring indoor/outdoor living that was full of interesting designs. There were even some DIY books, albeit in Swedish, which had some good home and garden ideas. I was particularly taken by a small and easy to build wooden garden shed, roughly the size of a wardrobe, which fitted out appropriately could be used as a compact tool shed or house an outdoor kitchen. Great for a small garden.
It was definitely a mistake to re-join the line-ride of shoppers snaking around the store. There are shortcuts across the store, which are very helpful to avoid large chunks of the store and should be used more frequently. Per usual it was the market hall that was my downfall. I bought several lengths of Annamoa fabric designed by Lotte K??lhorn for purposes as yet unspecified. There were also two new reading lamps for the bedroom, a bag of 100 tea lights, a couple of kitchen spatulas, a remote control organiser etc, etc, you get the picture.
Check out the checkout!Suffice to say that by the time all four of us were done the afternoon had flown and the sun was setting! Back down the road for dinner in Goulburn at the Paragon Caf??. It is true but scary fact that I have been visiting this august institution for nigh on 40 years, ever since the day I went on my first school excursion (primary school), via train from Sydney, to see the wool industry in Goulburn. Lunch was had at the Paragon Caf??. I have no recollection of what I ate, but I am prettycertain a fair bit of it is still on the menu. The Paragon lives up to its name. It still serves the most authentic and high quality example of early to mid 20^th century, Australian middle-class cuisine, in the country. I love it.