ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

Activities like pouring his heart out to a complete stranger at three in the morning on a school night are slowly becoming less attractive to one local youth, who’s slowly discovering he’s not one anymore.

Speaking to The Advocate this morning at IKEA’s grand opening in Betoota Ponds today, Andrew Cowell and his partner Linda Jones said that when they lived in the big city, going to the Swedish megastore was more of a chore.

But after turning 28 earlier in the year, the couple now say they enjoy visiting the homeware giant and even find it fun to put the furniture together when they get home.

“Linda has always liked visiting IKEA and blowing half her paycheck on shit that I have to put together when I get home,” said Andrew.

“And the times when I’d get dragged along on a Sunday afternoon, I always had to fight the urge to throw myself under a Pajero in the carpark before we went in. Not now though, now I can see the merits of this activity.

The turn around has been amazing, says Linda, who once feared she’d lose Andrew to a life of midweek drinking and Sunday mornings spent throwing up on himself in the shower.

The 24-year-old analyst at PricewaterhouseCoopers Betoota told The Advocate that it took years of subtle conditioning and behaviour correction to get Andrew where he is now.

“I’ve always been an old soul, at least that’s what my parents tell me,” said Jones.

“IKEA is like heroin to me, even though I’ve never tried it or would try it. All the cheap options, the Scandinavian design and convenient locations. I just love this place,”

“Whenever I took Andrew here when we lived in Brisbane, I could see the contempt in his eyes. I’m glad we made the channel-change and moved out to the Diamantina. Life’s good.”

More to come.


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