In mourning

Join me, gentle reader, in a moment or two of contemplative and respectful silence, for my uplighter is dead.

In fact my uplighter is not just dead, but I killed it attempting to light a pile of books in my fireplace to illustrate the resurrection of Londonist’s literary listings (obviously) and this involved lying the upligher on its side (obviously) because I couldn’t be bothered to bring my bedside lamp into the living room. Then, when I put the uplighter back, it was suddenly wobbly. So, in the manner of a female James May, I immediately took it apart and started tinkering. I’m a little embarrassed that it took me about five minutes to notice this

which is, here delicately held between my thumb and forefinger, a nut with the snapped-off end of a threaded shaft (shush) that held the uplighter into its base. The more eagle eyed among you may spot that this is a fairly meagre-sized nut to hold in an entire lamp, but that’s what you get when you spend £3.99 on an uplighter from Ikea.

It might have been dirt cheap but it served me well. Ikea came to Leeds around 1995 – it must have been, because my entire sixth form was very excited to get Saturday jobs there. (I wasn’t; I was too busy earning, sorry, ‘earning’ £2.10 an hour at the local Showcase cinema. Hey, we got free tickets every week), and I recall buying the uplighter before I went to university. I don’t think it actually went to university with me, because we had to pack up our rooms and put them in the attic every bloody holiday, or maybe it ended up in the shared house. I don’t really remember. But it definitely ended up with me in London, and has been illuminating my reading for the last ten years.

But more than this, much, much more than this, I have enjoyed spotting my uplighter in all manner of places. I’ve seen it on TV shows, in posh hotels, Cambridge colleges and other people’s houses. I quite like knowing that these places – some quite salubrious – have chosen to light their ups wth my £3.99 Ikea uplighter. And now it’s dead. Clearly Ikea still sell it, and still at £3.99, but to get a new one I’ll have to traipse to Croydon (train and / or bus and tram) and I’m still weighing up whether it’s worth it. On the one hand: I get my uplighter back. On the other: I have to go to Croydon.

Mind you, I could pick up a new dish drainer while I’m there. Everybody wins.

(Incidentally, because of the WEEE regulations – let’s say that again, shall we? WEEE – I am now drowning in broken electronic equipment. I have a knackered inkjet printer, a busted blender – which, admittedly, may just need a new fuse, which I’ll get round to checking in about 2011 – and now the uplighter. I can’t take all this to the special place in New Cross! Surely even Freecycle wouldn’t rid me of all this shit?)

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One response to “In mourning

  1. Clare December 1, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    I’m going to IKEA tomorrow – want me to buy you a new one? I live round the corner from you so would be easy enough.

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