Friday, 28 February 2014

Mattress Angst

This week I have had mattresses on my mind.
Before you get alarmed, there is a context.
Two weeks ago my neighbourhood had the quarterly event of the "council cleanup". This is when every household in our local government area is allowed to put out on the curb a collection of their junk that will then be picked up and disposed of, free of charge. There is a size limit to the pile and numerous regulations about acceptable materials etc.
So for a week or two the neighbourhood resembles a tip. That's the down side. The up side is that it seems to energise the community. Previously quiet streets can become buzzing hives of activity. People appear. Families even. They walk the streets, not pretending it's for exercise. It is so that everyone can comb everybody else's pile of throw outs. All things appeal to all people.

Trucks drive by, day and night. Some look like they are straight out of Steptoe and Son, with strange collections of paraphernalia roped to the sides and hanging off the back. They are the scrap metal dealers. The recyclers. From clothes dryers to drying racks, saucepans to birdcages, they forage, they pick it up and throw it in to their truck.

At least 50% of houses will throw out a mattress. Sometimes two, or more. This time around in the council cleanup, only about half of the mattresses were collected. Why? Why? Nobody seems to know. This meant that when the curb sides were swept clean of their rubbish, and what had not already been taken, the detritus cleared...many mattresses were left behind. I counted 20 in our street and the adjoining one, alone!

Inexplicably the council waste people had spray painted large pink crosses on all the mattresses they did not take. Did this mean they were deemed, for whatever reason, as noncollectable? Had the council trucks run out of room? More importantly, many of us were left wondering, would anyone be coming back to pick them up?

Our neighbourhood now resembles something like a mattress graveyard. With mattresses strewn across footpaths, propped against telegraph poles, leaning on hedges and now, also, sodden with rain…



Which brings me to my next mattress musing.
In 2009 we bought a new mattress for our bed.
The new one had one of those snazzy fandangled wool toppers. It was the latest thing, guaranteed to provide more comfort and enhance the powers of sleep.

I haven't been that impressed.

What impressed me less was the fact that our new queen sized mattress, complete with topper, not only meant that the mattress could not be turned over (which used to be imperative advice for all mattress owning and caring souls) but suddenly, our queen-sized sheets no longer fit.

That's right, for four years, I have been wrestling with fitted sheets, breaking fingernails as I tried to ram too tight corners over too high mattress edges. Bemoaning disturbed sleeps due to flat sheets that only stayed tucked in if NO ONE was in the bed. Thrashing about with corkscrewed sheets…aghhhh, the agony!

"Just go and buy king sized sheets!" My husband, begged/whinged/commanded. I had never acted on these requests. I think now that I was just too busy resenting the new mattress to do anything about the problem I now had. This new queen size, deeper than the normal queen size, is apparently being completely ignored by the majority of sheet making companies. They keep churning out the standard sized queen size sheets, which now no longer fit most new mattresses.

I like all of my old sheets. I have french ones that a department store angel solely directed me to buy…. Also, as I informed my husband, king sized sheets also mean a king-sized price hike.
You can sense my aggravation?

Yep for four years, I have been stubborn and silly (and okay, I'll admit it, wrong), just to prove a point.
But this week, no more.
I went to an outlet centre.
I found an 80% off table. I found a fabulous KING SIZE sheet set (that means 1 fitted, 1 flat and 2 pillow cases) straight away for $39, reduced from $190. The second set were sateen (read: sort of silky cotton) with brocade lace edging. They were 375 thread count and I paid $45. They were originally priced at $279.
Yep, two sets for under $100.
Four years after we bought a new mattress that was too big for the rest of our sheets.

Like most of my clothes, these would look better ironed. But who has time to do that??

Last night Jonathan said he felt like he was sleeping in a snazzy hotel bed. That's right, one where the sheets all fit!
I didn't answer. I was too busy luxuriating in sheets that were all tucked in and snug. And they stayed that way. All. Night. Long.
Hooray!
And Good night.

p.s. These Morgan & Finch patterned sheets (above) suit my quilt cover, and fit in with our green walls. If you have plain painted walls and plain curtains, then you should be brave and go for patterned sheets! The visual interest is needed, and they are much easier to change than a wallpaper!


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