A Little Taste Of Sweden

Northern Ireland traditionally grinds to a halt this week for the 12th of July band parades as the Unionist community celebrate the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 where the army of King William defeated King James and so began over 300 years of political and religious hatred between the two communities. It’s a long, long story but suffice to say Fionnuala and I are seeking to raise our own kids to turn their backs on these cultures and traditions. We believe there is a better way.

We don’t need flute bands, bonfires and gallons of alcohol to have a good time. Nope, for today we took the kids to IKEA, the huge Swedish furniture and home fittings store just outside Belfast. Who needs DisneyLand or Universal Studios when you have fun factories like this on your doorstep. The kids were a tad underwhelmed but Fionnuala needed some raw materials for her crafts business so off we went.

No need for expensive rollercoaster rides when you can have your father career up and down the ramps of the largely deserted multi storey car park in a Fast & The Furious stylee. Even better was to follow when we got inside the store. The dual English/Swedish signage caused much mirth as the kids attempted to get their tongues around some of the more exotic Scandinavian pronunciations. IKEA also kindly place arrows and maps throughout the store so you cannot get lost. It was just like a huge treasure hunt. With walk in wardrobes!

The relief that we were not actually purchasing any of said flat bed furniture was a huge personal bonus. I can barely dress myself in the morning, never mind deciphering impenetrable instructions. The last wardrobe I assembled resembled the Leaning Tower of Pisa and could barely survive a mild breeze, let alone two teenage wrecking balls and an eleven year old tornado. I’m more DOA than DIY when it comes to home improvement and any act requiring a semblance of hand to eye coordination is normally beyond me.

The highlight of the trip, however, was undoubtedly the visit to the IKEA bistro after the shopping was concluded. Hot dogs, Swedish meatballs and French fries for five people. For under a tenner! The tomato ketchup dispenser was a personal favourite. And as for the bottomless refills of diet soda. Well let’s just say if I hadn’t already got my money’s worth beforehand then I certainly did then. Four visits to the drinks machine later and I was fit to burst. Sorry, too much information I know.

We drove home a happy bunch. Well I say that. The kids were bickering in the back seat by the time we hit the motorway but that’s par for the course. The entire day cost very little money and all our needs were met. Fionnuala made her purchases, the kids were fed, watered and entertained and yours truly obtained more blogging ammunition. What’s not to like about IKEA and the Swedish? I could almost forgive their football team for their abject showing against England the previous weekend in the World Cup. Almost.

It’s the people you are with who make the memories as opposed to the lavish location or amount of money spent. It has taken me a good part of my life to realise that. I spent years down no end of rabbit holes seeking happiness when it was right before my eyes the whole time. As long as I have my loved ones around me then I have everything I need. Nothing else really matters in the end. There’s a lot to be said for cheap and cheerful.

Have you had any memorable day trips recently?

32 thoughts on “A Little Taste Of Sweden

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  1. That sounds like a fun trip. I haven’t been to an Ikea in ages. There’s one about 40 minutes away from me. I’m glad you’re able to create your own day trips and not following all the traditions out there.

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  2. Sounds like a fun trip! I’ve never been to an IKEA. The closest one to me is several hours away but not for long! They’re building one here in Norfolk and should be ready by next year. I’m super excited because I hear good things about this place!

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  3. Ikea is indeed an event. They opened one in my own home city (Indianapolis Indiana USA) last summer. The Mrs. and I have been waiting for the crowds to die down so it is probably time for a visit now.

    You have proved that Ikea seems to bring the world together in a way few other things do. I am not sure if this is says something good or bad about our world. Probably both.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a fun post and “trip”. 🙂 I’ve always enjoyed jaunts to IKEA. Never buy much, save for little items and food, but it’s enjoyable walking the many aisles and seeing what’s what.

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  5. Ahhh, the great IKEA. Love it! How can one not? Except perhaps on a bank holiday weekend. The only problem I have with it, is that it’s impossible not to come out having spent less than fifty pounds. There’s just so much ‘stuff’ that I feel I need when I walk round which of course I don’t … temptations and all that.

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  6. My husband and I love to just get in the car and find a country road we have not been on and see where it takes us. Sometimes no where but we have found some interesting small country towns along the way. Cheap day until the gas gets too expensive – then we have to cut back on those trips.

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  7. Oh ja fer sure I UFF DA tee hee!! I am Second Generation-Norwegian American in the USA!!

    MAY our ONE TRUE GOD the HEAVENLY FATHER Bless All my Sisters and Brothers in Christ-Messiah Jesus-Yeshua and Your Families and Friends!!

    Love ❤ Always and Shalom ( Peace ), YSIC \o/

    Kristi Ann

    Liked by 1 person

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