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Dear All,

I trust this edition of our newsletter finds you all well. I went to Ikea last week to buy a desk and chair for my son. He’s been complaining that the one he currently has doesn’t have any drawers, so he doesn’t have anywhere to put his books and pens and other school/study related things; also, the chair is too low down and every time he tries to place a cushion on the seat to raise the height a bit he falls off it.

I have to say that I don’t really like going to Ikea: it’s very crowded, and I don’t exactly know why, but for some reason the food and refreshments area bothers me. Although I understand the business idea behind making furniture out of cheap particle board that that is meant to snap together with screws, pins and wooden dowels in a very short space of time, it is not what I really want to buy. However, Ikea goods are cheap, they serve a purpose and when you don’t have much space or money they’re about the only sensible option worth considering.

After looking at what was on offer, my son and I ended up buying a desk with drawers, a side cabinet on casters with drawers, a swivel hydraulic chair, an LED desk lamp, some hooks meant for hanging bags and rucksacks on and some boxes for putting pens, pencils and other things into. The total cost for everything was just over 20,000 yen, which I believe is considered quite cheap in this day and age. The bit that my son seemed to like the best about our trip out to Ikea was at the end when we went into the warehouse to pick up our goods. This is/was a great opportunity for him, or any kid for that matter, to jump onto a trolley and have fun being pushed around from isle to isle collecting and placing goods onto the trolley and then trying to position himself back on it in between the boxes to continue his free ride around.

On the way back home, my son said something to me that really warmed my heart, he said “Daddy, I’m looking forward to building the desk and cabinet with you when we get home.” To which I replied, “What a nice thing to say Oliver, and I’m looking forward to building them with you, too. We both then looked at each other and smiled a smile that only a father and son in such a situation can truly understand the meaning and value of. I don’t get a lot of chances to share such important moments with my children, in particular with my son, but when I do it makes me feel so much more whole as a father and I can see my children know that they are loved.

My son and I hope to finish putting together his desk this weekend, we managed to get the chair and cabinet assembled last Monday, and the desk only partially, so the plan is to complete the desk and enjoy the bonding time together in the process. Until next week, please take good care of yourselves and I’ll probably be back with a bit a poetry for you next week.