1) The company is the world’s third largest user of wood and sells two billion meatballs a year;
2) 25 million Bibles were printed in 2011 compared to 208 million Ikea catalogues;
3) One in ten European babies is conceived in an Ikea bed.
These fascinating nuggets come from my QI 1,227 Facts To Blow Your Socks Off book, but one fact the authors omitted concerns the curative properties of Swedish self-assembly furniture.
It was a pretty rotten New Year in the Parrot household. Mrs P came down with the norovirus that has been sweeping the nation and was laid up with all the unpleasant symptoms for a couple of days.
Miss P was away in Yorkshire with friends, Master P was out with a pal, so I spent New Year’s Eve on my own, apart from when Mrs P roused herself to watch the traditional Jools Holland Hootenanny, which was excellent.*
I thought I had escaped being ill, but over night on New Year’s Day I began to feel decidedly odd. It wasn’t norovirus thank goodness, but some flu-like bug that meant I spent most of the next 48 hours asleep.
I made it downstairs yesterday and plonked myself weakly in front of the tv, heroically waving away offers of Lem-Sip and beef broth.
Mrs and Miss P left me to my understandable misery for a trip to Ikea. They were only meant to get a few bits and pieces, but Mrs P found the very glass display cabinet she’d been looking for and for only £40.
I allowed myself to be persuaded to help carry it into the house and as the pack contained four large pieces of thickened safety glass it weighed an absolute ton.
Mrs P said I should leave it until I was feeling better, but there is something about a tall flat-pack propped up against that is hard to resist. It just stares at you until you give in.
To cut a long story short, I spent two hours dismantling an existing piece of furniture before constructing the new cabinet amid much cursing and wiping of brow.
The thing is though, I felt much better when I’d finished. I don’t know if I sweated the bugs out of my system, or whether concentrating on the complexities of the instructions did the trick, but I was cured.
* Back to Hootenanny though, it was great to see Bettye Lavette on the programme singing Let Me Down Easy, one of the favourites of my youth. In fact I’ve still got the vinyl single somewhere. I couldn’t find the Jools Holland arrangement, so here’s the original: