diamond geezer

 Saturday, January 28, 2012

I'm writing this from my new sofa.

You won't know how exciting that is, not unless you're one of the six readers who've seen the old one.

My old sofa is a design aberration, a ghastly concoction of mostly-orange striped fabric. There are some brown lines in there too, for good measure, plus a colour that probably used to be white, but no longer is. The fabric looks like it was created in the 1970s, which is the last decade in which this particular combination of orange, tan and tangerine was deemed fashionable. You wouldn't have it in your house, not even on a pseudo-retro vibe.

My old sofa has a thin upholstered base, barely enough to lift a man off the floor. On top of that are a pair of limp cushions, all thin and weedy, encased in the same garish orange fabric as before. These don't attach anywhere, they merely drape feebly from the back of the seat, attached by a combination of friction and misplaced optimism. That's until gravity kicks in and they slump uncomfortably downward into a squished heap, leaving nothing to support my back.

My old sofa is bloody uncomfortable to sit on, and hideous to look at. That's not a great combination for any living room furniture set-up. I dimmed the fabric by covering it with a throw - still mostly orange, but rather more muted. But the uncomfortableness could only ever be hidden, not disguised. Sitting and watching anything on the telly, long-term, was never a truly relaxing experience. So why the hell did I put up with it for so long?

Ah, because my old sofa wasn't mine. My landlord must have bought it, because it was here when I arrived, and I've been lumbered with it in my living room ever since. When you rent somewhere you can't chuck out furniture just because you hate it, you have to put up with its hideousness for far longer than any owner occupier would. But nag enough, or moan occasionally, and a miraculous new dawn may one day occur. And yesterday, I'm delighted to say, was that day.

My new sofa isn't orange, not in any way. It's a very 21st century shade of dark grey... probably charcoal, I don't know, I didn't order it myself. It has proper cushions that are actually comfortable to sit on, and don't slide all over the place after you sit down. It has presence, and a bit of style, and doesn't look like it was picked up for a tenner from one of those dodgy second-hand furniture shops down a London backstreet. Blimey, I finally have a non-embarrassing sofa, one I won't need to apologise for should visitors arrive.

My new sofa has arms that are nearly flat, but not quite. I went to rest a drink on one earlier, hoping to take advantage of exciting new beverage-location options, but held back just in time before the instability caused liquid spillage. I'm still not quite sure how wipe-clean the fabric is, and would rather wait longer than a few hours to find out. I've already had to fish out a TV remote control from down the side of the seat cushions, in a gap I never used to have, although I'm fairly sure there are no coins lost down there yet. Give it time, and my sofa won't look quite so delivery-fresh as it does today.

I'm writing this from my new sofa. I'm stretched out from end to end, resting my back against a support which never used to be there, tapping away on a carefully positioned laptop. It's unbelievably comfortable, not in any objective way, but based purely on the difference between then and now. I might even be more likely to sit and watch the telly for longer, or relax with the paper, or even nod off, now I've entered my new sofa era.

I'm not entirely sure where my old sofa has gone. I'm hoping it was taken to be thrown away, because it has absolutely no redeeming features, and I'd hate to think any landlord was foisting it on some lesser undeserving tenant. But if you see my floppy orange-striped sofa down at the tip this weekend, do let me know. I never want to see the horrible thing again, but it'd be great to know that no other poor bugger ever will either.

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