I got a 20GB iPod for Christmas and it’s super. I briefly considered an iPod Mini as I like small toys, but 4 times the storage for only 40GBP more was too much of a temptation to ignore.

I won’t bother justifying myself to those of you who think Apple products are over-priced and consider other MP3 players to be better – I’ve had far too many arguments on forums already. I wanted an iPod so that’s what I got.

I wasn’t sure if I’d use it that often because I rarely get time when I can shut off the world long enough to enjoy a song or six. Being physically disabled means that often I’ll stay in the car whilst N goes in and buys the groceries, so a shopping trip from my point of view consists of: drive to supermarket; sit in supermarket car park; drive home. With my new toy, the times spent watching shoppers pushing trolleys past my bonnet are now quite bearable with two and a half thousand songs in my pocket.

Nightime is a good time, too, as I often stay up later than N – an hour or so of some decent classical music has turned out to be a damn good way to relax before slipping under the duvet, and I can do this in the comforting dark of my bedroom without being in the lounge where I’d disturb the dog, who’d be curled under the kitchen table.

Many of you may already know the advantages of an iPod or similar device, but to me it’s new thing that I’d convinced myself was an unnecessary luxury … and, as usual, I was wrong.

“We must destroy the doctor!”

I was thinking the other day about the different equipment I own and use to make my life easier. It was prompted by me having the four batteries in my two tracking hoists replaced, batteries which can usually be bought for around 8GBP each but which cost the company who replaced them 90GBP and cost the housing company 500GBP to have them fitted! I have one tracking hoist in the bedroom for getting on and off the bed and a second one in the bathroom for toilet and bath use. My favourite piece of equipment, though, is 4000GBP worth of motorised office chair:

It might not look like it’s worth that much, but (here’s comes the cliché) it’s priceless to me. I used to just scoot around on a stand office chair, but it was beginning to tire me out and it was getting to the stage that I couldn’t get to the door or telephone quick enough when I needed to. So, I did a bit of research, tried out a few chairs and settled on a Stannah S201.

The one I picked probably isn’t the best available, but it’s by far the best one out those I tested – for one thing it can turn around on the spot and this makes it incredibly manoeuvrable. Add to this the fact that raising and lowering the height of the seat is motorised and that it will run for three days on a full charge.