Arriving at 12.35pm I was lucky enough to find a free parking spot adjacent to Borders on the West Quay Retail Park after my initial attempt to park by TGI Fridays was thwarted by a fat man with a battered Ford Mondeo and absolutely no respect for the concept of the one way system.
Looming ahead of my was a giant blue and yellow box-like construction of such enormity that I couldn't help but be drawn towards it. It turned out that it was a new branch of IKEA and this was OPENING DAY!!!!11
Opening day at Southampton's new IKEA proved to be a somewhat bizarre affair, first I had to negotiate dozens of police officers and crowd control barriers and then there was the inexplicably complex way of entering the store. This involved a combination of lifts, stairs, conveyor belts and alleyways, many with misleading sign posts. I walked around for sometime, but it was way too crowded. I briefly considered chowing down on Swedish meatballs in the restaurant, but aborted that plan when I saw how many others had had the same idea.
Next I went to Gap where I failed to find the jeans that I wanted (medium grey, straight fit, 32/32) so I went to the Levi's Store where 501s were retailing for 69.99 (Seriously, when did 501s leap from 40 to 70 quid? Madness).
Determined to source new denim pantaloons I headed to some retro/vintage/fancy dress boutique in the heart of Southampton Solent University's wacky quarter. A series of UCAS Point challenged funsters sauntered in and out of the shop and LOL RANDOM!!!11 japes were had by all whilst I comprehensively failed to find any 501s that I liked.
Thirsty by this point, I went into Walkabout (well, it was the closest pub at hand) where I drank a pint of Guinness with rather more head than I would have liked. Unlike in Bournemouth, the bar staff in Southampton don't even pretend that they like their jobs and the bolshy prick confided that whilst he knew how to do 'that Irish flower thing' (Shamrock, surely?) in the foam he couldn't be bothered. Retreating to the beer garden I overheard a conversation between various male members of what was once known as the white working class. They were discussing the city's new IKEA (OPENING DAY!!!11, remember?), initially excited by the prospect of meatballs they had elected against lunching at the aforementioned Scandinavian budget furniture emporium on the grounds that 'it'll all be cooked by Pakis and that'.
Tearing myself away from their scintillating anecdotes and somewhat laissez-faire attitude towards equality and diversity I ventured into the West Quay shopping centre where I purchased a dozen mixed Krispy Kreme donuts (let's humour our colonial friends with their downright lazy approach to spelling) and Cormac McCarthy's 'Suttree'.
I have consumed a 'Glazed Lemon Filled' and a 'Maple Iced Ring' so far and am about to start the book.
All things considered I would award this day off work a Pitchfork style 5.2.