The time had come and the old couch just has to go. I felt a little emotional getting it ready for collection this afternoon. I have cursed the old clunky thing for years now, resenting it’s ripped fabric, broken zips and ungodly stains. But you know in the end it was a little like saying goodbye to an old, old friend. Each mark filled with memories: where my son drew with blue ink and chalk on the back, where my daughter, aged three, scribbled with wild abandon the most beautiful Mackintosh red roses I ever saw. It was hard to be stern with her while trying not to laugh, and feeling just a little proud all at the same time.
The couch was one of the first items of IKEA furniture we bought when we arrived in London 10 years ago. It’s huge expanse graced our spartan, childless Putney flat. Fast forward a few years and it kept me company during long, long hours of nursing my daughter, and later my son. As they grew up it would transform on a daily basis into a den, a pirate ship, or the three little pigs house. And it held them generously when they were sleeping, resting, or ill.
It has been so much more that just a couch, it is filled with the memories of life, and I am a little sad to say goodbye.
The new couches landed and sat at first like three awkward strangers in the house. But it didn't take long before they were draped in old blankets and transformed into a velvet den. After a weekend they have settled in just fine. I think they will be making some new memories of their own for the next 10 years.