It is, in no particular order:
- pleasingly-laid out
- like looking around people's houses without having to talk to them
- aspirational (who doesn't want a library comprising Billy bookcases?)
and it has:
- great storage solutions
- pleasing textiles and design
- simple children's toys
- useful children's equipment
- play areas all over the place
- indoor and outdoor playgrounds
- a free creche (free! We haven't got to use this yet, "Maybe when I'm four," says Jacob)
- all kinds of free crap for Family members (free fruit, cheap children's meals, free coffee, free ice cream, reduced other things)
- RIDICULOUS reductions on Christmas decorations (I bought a load of stuff for next year, which should have cost about £50, and cost me £4.50)
- a comfortable nursing area if you're shy about getting your baps out, and lots of seating areas all over the place if you're not (I made use of both today)
- amazing meatballs and cinnamon rolls
Essentially, it's like a great family day out, if you want to dress up a shopping trip as a great family day out. If I lived in Cardiff, I'd be there all the time. We spent nearly 5 hours there today, at least 3 of which were walking around, and I'm really feeling it in my legs now.
Following Josie's birth, I had some tests done on my 'offensive-smelling placenta' (oooh, there's a phrase you want to hear after forty hours of labour) and what first showed Group G Strep (not overly worrying) then showed up as Group B Strep (lots of panicky 'AWOOOOOGA!' noises from everyone and a readmittance to hospital). This meant that (I'm going to try and be delicate here, I'm probably going to fail) my stitched-up lady-area also got infected with GBS, and caused me lots of mobility difficulties and unimaginable pain. I got stuck in the bath, purely because I couldn't bear the pain of trying to get out. I was prescribed rest, rest, and more rest. I wasn't allowed to go for a walk round the block. I went a little stir-crazy, but as I could barely get off the sofa, there wasn't much I could do about it.
When I started to feel better and could walk again, I went for a walk around the village, and ached afterwards as though I'd run a 10k (I say this, never having run a 10k. I imagine your legs are quite sore on the following day). That was a mere 3 weeks ago, and I haven't really built much stamina up since then.
Which all goes to say that a 3-hour walk round IKEA for me, is like running a marathon for your average person, and I'm therefore entering it as my exercise for today. For good measure, I did 19 minutes of Wii Fit (according to which, I've put on a pound since yesterday) and beat my high score in the Hula Hooping. I rock.
I'm off to devour my new IKEA catalogue while my delicious girl snores quietly in my ear. Good night ;)