11 March 2015
IKEA Wembley (but it's in Neasden really)
1. The starlings in the car park are everywhere, seem to have forgotten how to fly, and are unafraid of human contact - it's spooky.
2. The food and people's relationship to it is out of the ordinary - lots of reliance on the Dime Bar as a basic ingredient, but also there are people eating hot dogs and meat balls who, you would imagine, wouldn't normally go near them - Hindus, for example. Blueberry juice, fish in jars, chocolate and butterscotch spread, Kecks, lots of biscuits, Choklad Mork - it's food Jim, but not as we know it.
3. Everyone talks to one another and helps one another out - I think it might be the "we're all in it together" mentality - the trenches, the blitz, and IKEA: you join the dots. Some people love the place, clearly, and even go when they are abroad, far from home.
4. Serviettes - can't leave without them, can't leave without them. 50p for a pack of 30 with a Christmas theme? Oh go on then.
5. Try not to buy stuff that is too big to go in your car - it takes ages to get it in the first place and then when they bring it out you look a fool when you have to return it for a refund.
6. Cheap tat is cheap tat, brightly coloured or not.
7. The place is stuffed with buy-to-let landlords. Or so it seemed on a day when I woke up to a five-year-old episode of Under the Hammer (thanks to Sam, aged 6, for putting that on at 6.30 a.m.).