Susan Morrison: Sofa so good in a comfort zone

When your husband takes on the mantle of Laurence Lleweyn Bowen you know you are in trouble. Picture: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images
When your husband takes on the mantle of Laurence Lleweyn Bowen you know you are in trouble. Picture: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images
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So, after much agonising and checking those magazines (again) about how your home should look, we finally settled on a new suite for the living room.

We went to Sofaworks. There, I’ve said it. Product placement holds no fears for me.

At the risk of sounding like I’m on the payroll or something, I have to say that the atmosphere in its showroom is just like the little sloth it has as its mascot – in a good way.

You won’t get salesfolk stalking you round the reclining chairs or hurdling over button-back chesterfields to bring you down at a run like ravening hyenas after a particularly dim, damaged gnu.

No, here at where the sofas work the sales people are relaxed, calm and laid back, giving you the time to browse, sit, ponder, and argue with husbands who suddenly take on the mantle of Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and start expressing opinions on colour, design and feng shui, like they know what they are talking about.

It’s the right atmosphere to choose your suite, until the moment the dice is cast, and the choice is made. Oh, the gentle joshing and the relaxed air remains, but suddenly, you are no longer just a couple on the verge of ­divorce ­because he made some random ­comment about the size of the armchair in relation to the width of your bahookie, oh no, suddenly you are being trained to care for a Sofaworks suite, and not just anyone can do that, you know.

We were taken through a firm but thorough training course about cushion-plumping, feather-bashing, weft-brushing and stain removal – although this last was mentioned in tones so hushed it was clear that stains were the work of Beelzebub, and the word should never, ever be said three times whilst looking in a mirror.

Prior to delivery, the floor should be swept, the windows cleared and a flypast arranged by the Red Arrows. I made the last one up.

The suite arrived bang on time (another great plus) and we’ve been living together now for a couple of weeks. It looks amazing.

I am exhausted. I don’t think I took this much care of the kids when they were babies. This new family darling is groomed, hoovered and plumped up on a regular basis, because I live in ­terror of failing those onerous suite-owning responsibilities vested in me, and one day, one awful day, there will be a knock on the door and The ­Sofaworks Enforcer will be standing there, ­having been summoned by a distress signal emanating from an uncared-for cushion.

Sofaworks, I shall not fail you.

Little Neal is the stuff of nonsense

It is a good place to buy furniture, no doubt about it, but they appear to be a very modest bunch, and seem to be under the misapprehension that the main reason we’d chosen them to supply our wonderful new suite was to acquire the small stuffed toy you get free with your purchase.

We received several updates on the progress of Little Neal, and also incredibly detailed instructions on how to care for him when he arrived. I don’t think I can commit on this level to a fake furry animal.

Between him and the sofa, the pressure is getting to me.

Spot of bother with Grumpy

Did I mention the Grumpy Yorkshireman fell a few weeks ago? Yes, he walloped down on the icy path and he thinks he broke three ribs.

He only thinks he broke them because he didn’t feel the need to ask anyone medically qualified for an opinion on the matter.

He also ripped a whack of skin off his elbow, resulting in the sort of spectacular scab that would have gained serious kudos in any ten-year-old’s school playground.

He was sitting in the new armchair just the other day, when he realised he was bleeding. Don’t worry, love, he said bravely, I’m not bleeding much. I said, you bleed at all on to that armchair and you’ll end your days bleeding heavily in the back garden, capish?

Sorry to sound unsympathetic, but the Sofaworks Enforcer could appear at any time.

Chimps deliver a double whammy

It’s not that surprising that the Dutch chimps in Edinburgh zoo began “speaking” with Scottish accents. Chimps are smart. They could probably plan a bank job or a successful tram system on budget if we let them.

No, what was surprising to the researchers was the amount of time it took for the one marker “word” to show the change from the Dutch hi-pitched yelp to the Scottish grunt sound.

That one “word” was apples. This shows a touching innocence by the very clever people doing the research. These are Scottish chimps, through and through, and surprise, surprise; our chimps don’t seem to use the “word” apple very much.

Fruit, y’see. Now, had they taught them the ‘word’ for Wham Bar...