The backache was causing us too much grief and if there is one thing we've learnt about modern living its that you have to invest maybe a little more than usual in two types of material goods to keep the body and mind in some sort of half decent condition. These are; a decent pair of comfortable shoes and a comfortable bed. On this occasion it was the bed that was causing us the problem and it wasn't just a pea that was causing the discomfort.
In late April, after the best part of 7 or 8 years in active service, our bargain basement divan bed frame gave up its structural integrity and repairs were not enough to keep in any sort of cube like form. It had a good innings to say it was also quite well travelled having joined us in several moves, including one across the Irish sea but it was time for it to be retired to the recycling centre. It was time to start searching for its successor.
Now we're a working married couple with a little more income than we had as students, we felt as adults we should probably find something sensible but practical, most of all though, comfortable. Sadly, our eyes turned to the elaborate as well as the childish, from swirly metal bed frames that would grace 5 star hotels, to solid oak frames that our rented house floor's probably wouldn't be able to bear the load of - we were checking everything out. From on-line stores that looked a bit dodgy and like the back of a garage on Google Street View, to the usual high street brands. We got our eye in and started to find a type that would suit our needs.
Sadly the novelty kids beds only came in single sizes! This was immensely disappointing so it was our choice to go for something that would give us storage as well as access to the storage. Something that should hopefully hold up to two lunatics throwing themselves onto it. So in the end we found our match with a fake leather Ottaman bed. The handy thing being that unlike a divan you get the full use of the underside of the bed without having draws or having to take the mattress off and lift the whole thing over. They're the type of bed that has a frame inside the frame which can be lifted by pressurised cylinders which allow you to easily lift the frame and mattress to a gentle incline in order to access the space underneath.
We ordered from a well known high street store on line after seeing the same product for more up at a store near the Abbey Centre. It seemed sturdy enough and comfortable enough there so we were happy to take the plunge. We knew we were going to be building it from a flat pack but we didn't fathom quite how long it would take until we got back from watching Jimmy Carr at the Waterfront and headed home needing to make the thing up before we could go to sleep. As it ended up, we read the instructions and pushed everything to one side of the room. The old bed came back into place and we quickly made it up and went to sleep for one last uncomfortable 'sleep'.
The next day we started construction. The tools we needed were a screwdriver (so we used the electric drill Norn Girl had cleverly thought ahead to include on last years wedding gift list) and a lot of patience. Sadly some of the instructions were not so clear. We made light work of the first part which was putting together the outer bed frame. The trickiest part came when we were trying to put together the inner frame. Unfortunately for us, the instructions neglected to show the difference between which way around the frame should sit as there was a small bar on both sides which could sit either way but had mysteriously failed to make it onto the construction guide. This is much like an architect failing to note there should be a door on a wall and leaving the builder to guess where it is wanted. As you can probably tell by the world unfortunately being used, we got the guess wrong and so had to undo half of our good work.
At this point I'd nipped down to watch a game on TV that I was hoping to catch. Norn Girl being the pro and (I'm sure she'd be the first to admit) slightly neurotic in not being able to leave things half undone, carried on without me. She switched the frame over after taking it apart again. After the game we got stuck back in with a religious like fervour and in record breaking time put all the slats in their plastic holders and forced them into position. Last but not least were the small boards that sit on the floor to put your stuff on top of to keep it off the floor. They didn't work so well due to the small screws and the thin boards - the casters just fell off if they were knocked - but we found hand tightening them gently, so as not to over screw, gave the best results. The bed was complete.
Here is how it looks. If you like, ignore the not so nice bed sheets, we do have nicer ones but due to a broken washing machine (and as of the time of finally typing this - a machine we've just managed to replace), those were the best we could manage.
So far its been excellent, very comfortable and it holds plenty of guff underneath it, which is all we could really ask for - we're just hoping it can do as well, if not better, compared to the last bed. Only time will tell. Hopefully we'll both sleep and enjoy our bed happily ever after.