About this time two years ago I bought a small (70cm square), table, on the assumption that it would enable me to carry out a substantial amount of kitchen prep while seated (no room for even a perching stool in my kitchen).

Like most things affordable these days, it was self-assembly. It was also heavy which, as I was in the process of starving almost to death at the time, meant I couldn’t even lift the buggerdly thing, never mind assemble it. And if I had been able to, it turned out I had no room for it.

Today, I have room, and I’ve been able to assemble it. Still can’t lift it but I was able to drag it into the living room and put it together.

This is it:-


It’s all got a bit feminine – the model designation for the chair is “Martha” and the table is “Daisy”!

The table is a bit too high to eat off, so I’ve kept the bedside table I used previously (tucked underneath it), for meals.

There’s room on the table for my meds (the blue boxes, of which one is visible), my Kindles (Paperwhite 3G and Fire HD), and other tablets and a Kobo Touch ereader (crude compared to the Kindle), a rack of books, mostly food-related, with a BNF at the end and a small bookcase on the other side of the chair, again mostly food but with a leavening of fiction and overhead, out of shot, is a reading light attached to the bookcase, and out of shot to the right is my computer set-up. The red and white box is my morphine solution. It should really be in the fridge, kept below 25C but experience has shown that it’s far more effective at room temperature.

The biggest advantage of these changes is that I now have ample room to use my wheelchair, without the risk of banging into something expensive and electronic.

There’s still work to do. The corner by the bookcase is full of junk that needs to be sorted and mostly dumped and, once more, my bedroom is full of empty boxes and packaging that also need to be dumped.

A small folding table that used to also live where the new one is, will be put alongside my bed, to hold my nebuliser and other meds, giving me more space on the bedside table that’s currently hopelessly overcrowded with a water jug, a mug, Kindle, Samsung Tab 3, Galaxy S3 phone, inhalers, tissues, sputum pot, alarm button (which I’m supposed to wear but rarely do as it’s too easily pressed by accident), and alarm clock. This is a last resort – if I sleep through the 15 or so alarms programmed into my phone the clock will wake me (hopefully), at 08.00, though for the past week I’ve had little difficulty getting up at around 07.30.

Finally, plugged into the wall socket is a 4-gang, switched and surge-protected extension for charging all my electronic gizmos, plus a battery charger for my phone. It’s much faster to swap out the battery – 10 seconds – than wait several hours for the phone to recharge.

And despite what alarmist numpties like Fire Safety Officers might try to tell you, these things are NOT a fire hazard. They might be if I plugged in 4 high-demand appliances, like TVs or electric heaters, but low-demand gadgets like phones, tablets or ereaders – anything, in fact, that you can charge from your PC via a USB cable – are most certainly not a hazard at all.

I do, in fact, have two such setups in the kitchen, running 10 appliances from two sockets, but here’s the thing – I never have more than one running at a time so it’s perfectly safe. Idiots who run all the appliances they possibly can from one socket via a Christmas tree of multiple extensions are a very real danger. Those of us who actually know what we’re doing are not.