Sunday, February 23, 2014


I said good-bye to a dear friend the other day.

Not Toby - that would have been devastating. Just the old green couch. And by old I mean it was starting to fall apart. Some of the support underneath the cushions had torn and there was a huge chunk missing from one of the legs thanks to a very naughty puppy. Plus there was a permanent Sammy-shaped dent in the cushions from when he'd spent weeks on end napping there during his bout of glandular fever.

It was time to make a change so Iven and I had gone shopping a month or so ago and ordered a new couch. But we didn't know when it'd be delivered, so when I got a phone call on Thursday to say it was ready to go, I decided it'd be a surprise for the family. I organised for it to be delivered the next day and I didn't tell a soul.

Sometimes I don't think things through very well.

I spent Friday morning in a lather of excitement about my impending surprise. Luke and Becky had been at home all morning and I'd worried that the delivery would come while they were still around but luckily they had to leave. Then, as it got later, I started to worry that the delivery wouldn't come before Iven got home from work.

But I needn't have. I got a phone call at around 1pm. The delivery men would be around in about 30 minutes.

Great, I thought. Just enough time for a little nap!

I lay down for just a second before realising that there wasn't time for a nap. I certainly hadn't thought this through well at all. Everything in our lounge room needed to be moved. And there was quite a lot of stuff. And some of it was pretty heavy. And it was one of those days when you only need to move your finger just a little to start to sweat.

Once I'd moved the old couches, I realised just how much dirt can accumulate in a decade or so. I'm of the school of thought that believes that if you can't see it, the dirt doesn't exist. It was mostly dust tumble-weeds, but I did find one of Toby's long lost toys. I was still vacuuming when the delivery truck pulled up into the driveway.

The delivery men had the old couch taken downstairs in no time and then they deposited all six pieces of the new one in the room. They left me tearing off the biggest plastic bags I've ever seen. Once that was done all I had to do was hook the bottoms of the couches together. I say ALL, because one would think it was a fairly simple task.

It wasn't.

The first chair hooked in pretty easily and I patted myself on the back for being so damned awesome. But I'd started at the wrong spot and only realised that when I tried to hook on the second piece. I was trying to lift two sections of the couch to slot onto the third and, despite using testosterone on a regular basis, I'm really not that strong.

I had to work my way around from the left to the right. Starting in the middle had been a stupid move. If only they'd supplied me with assembly instructions. Oh, who am I trying to kid? I wouldn't have read them anyway.

I unhooked the only bit that I'd managed to assemble. Then I restarted from the right spot. I got all the way to the corner piece before remembering that maybe I should have tested the recliner to make sure it was working. It wasn't.

I had to disassemble the couch again. The only thing is that this time I couldn't. I tried and tried. I tried from the front and from behind. I lifted. I pushed. I grunted. I sweated. I broke a blood vessel in my finger. I sweated some more. I swore. But nothing I did helped. The seats remained firmly hooked together.

I was starting to get a bit frustrated at this point. With myself. For not thinking it through. A smarter person would have checked all the bits with moving pieces to make sure they moved. A smarter person would have realised, without have to make a mistake, in which order the couch needed to be assembled. A smarter person would have told the rest of the family about the impending arrival so she wouldn't have had to do it all herself. And a smarter person would have known when to admit defeat and wait for another pair of hands to arrive.

But we marathon runners are not known for giving up when the going gets tough. I kept trying for another half an hour before I admitted defeat. I was sodden with sweat - my hair was dripping and my t-shirt could be wrung out - and that's how Iven found me. Of course he couldn't understand how I could have gotten so sweaty standing in my air conditioned workroom cutting out fabric so I took him upstairs.

We had the lounge disassembled and reassembled in no time. The recliner did work (not sure what I was doing wrong). But I wasn't allowed to sit on it until I'd had a shower.


So the moral of the story? Being stubborn and persistent is a great trait as a marathoner but not so good as a furniture assembler. Sometimes it's better to admit defeat and ask for help earlier rather than later.

So much for the dog not sleeping on the new couch. This is how I found him first thing Saturday morning.
I was incredibly sore and tired the next day from my impromptu weights session. Not sore or tired enough to stop me from running a pretty slick 20k Saturday morning. But definitely sore enough to make me spend most of the rest of the weekend in my new favourite spot. And I've already trained my faithful hound to guard it when I'm not around.

Such a ferocious guard dog - with his pink stuffed gorilla.


  1. looks like the whole family is getting really comfortable with your new couch - all worth the sweat and potential tears in the end!

  2. Don't EVER begin a post with that first sentence, followed by a pic of Tobster again!!! I literally got a pit in my stomach, and though, "Who would ever post a pic of a sweet, non-breathing dog??? What's wrong with Australians????"

    You have no idea how many times I've "helped Santa" assemble toys at 2am, only to find out half-way through the bike, I'd put the back wheel on the front, or the left handle on the right side. I feel ya.

  3. Looks fabulous! I think the delivery men should've set it all up.

  4. OH MY GOSH. My heart fell to the floor when I started reading this. ACK! So glad all is ok, lol!

  5. Did you log that as a cross training session? sounds like you should have...

  6. I laugh because I did The. Same. Damn. Thing.

    But our lounge was in BOXES and the delivery guy just dumped it near the door.

    We are fabulous but a little stupid sometimes.

  7. I love that your dogs have their own little pets. So cute. Love the couch - it's huge!

    And... I'd do something like that!

  8. Phew! For a minute there I thought this was a sad picture of your dead dog! I'm glad it was all about the couch.

  9. I feel like this post is missing a photo - of you sprawled on the couch with your feet up in compression socks post-run nursing a cold drink and eating a slice of fabulous-looking cake. In fact we hear about these Herculean efforts all the time but never see the rewards! You've got to train Toby to take pictures.

  10. Love the picture of Toby so quickly on the couch. Sounds like quite an ordeal. Glad you had help in the end. I am terrible at putting things together and would have thrown the towel in much sooner.

  11. We are looking at a new couch after our dogs destroyed ours but no idea how we are going to keep them off. Your new couch looks wonderful!

  12. It certainly looks like it was well worth all the effort! And Toby clearly approves. I have an old chair and a half that looks like crap and must go, but I keep clinging to it b/c I love it and b/c I got it when my son was born. So I have an old, tattered chair in my house b/c I am emotionally attached to it. Silly!

  13. I'm surprised that the delivery guys didn't set the couch up for you - it seems like that should be part of the delivery!
    The new couch looks awesome and looks like everyone is already adjusting to the change.
    I love that you tried to surprise everyone.
    When Chris is deployed I usually do things like that - 2 summers ago he came home to - new furniture in our living room, a dead tree chopped down, painted window frame to match new door....It helps me to stay busy and it's fun to have surprises.

  14. You had me scared at the first sentence too but got me smiling reading through this post. And while you were struggling to assemble the couch I was already wondering when Toby would be on it. I didn't have to wait long :)

    It looks like such a comfy couch, I want to come over and hang out on it with you.

  15. Looks like Toby has found himself a new favorite spot. My dog loves the couch too. We desperately need to replace our old warn out couch. It is almost 9 years old, but with the dog laying on it every day and Jim only sitting in one place all the time, it's a mess.

    I love your new one! I wish we had room for something that big in our living room. That is awesome.

    Glad you finally got it all together and are enjouing it!


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