• Thu. Jan 20th, 2022

Sideswipe: December 27: Skinned and ready to go

Dec 26, 2021

The Curse of Ikea

Ikea names their products after locations all over Scandinavia and a bunch of those places in Sweden are fighting back against the practice with a clever “discover the originals” ad campaign. Bolmen. Now there’s a word you don’t use every day. In Ikea it’s the name of a cheap toilet brush – but it’s also a pristine lake in southern Sweden. And now that you do know, that lake doesn’t sound so pristine anymore. This from Strange Maps: “Call it the Curse of Ikea. A curse repeated hundreds of times across the map of Sweden. Beautiful places with exotic names, their appeal diminished by association with mundane items from the world’s most popular furniture catalogue. Where does that leave the tourist industry around Lake Toiletbrush? Down in the dumps, is where.” Voxnan is “more than an Ikea shower shelf”; it’s home to a marvellous river for fishing, paddling, and hiking. Björksta is “more than an Ikea picture with frame”; it’s an historic Viking site.

Op Shop Finds – Taupo

Driving test nostalgia

Ralph Williams of Pahi writes: “Apprenticed as a 16-year-old diesel mechanic in 1949 on the West Coast about to have my practical HT driving test that afternoon. After a nervous lunch I spotted a uniformed traffic officer entering the workshop – middle-aged Irish fellow who seemed quite friendly. I climbed into the three-ton Bedford and adjusted the rear vision mirror, mainly to impress him. He seemed rather tense and indicated that we should drive into the middle of the town. As we did so he kept on reminding me of the heavy traffic (two cars) in the main street. Indicating that we should turn into what he termed a very tight alleyway. I then pulled up at the loading bay behind the store. He then climbed out and conferred with the yard man who loaded six bags of cement on the tray of my truck. Then over the Cobden railroad bridge – the narrowest bridge in the South Island. We eventually arrived at his place. Climbing out of the cab he then opened the gate and warned me not to run over his rose bed. I backed the truck up to the door of his garage and helped him unload … 20 minutes later I was back at work watching him fill out my licence. He informed me he had never experienced such skilful driving in his career. This event happened 72 years ago.”

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