One brought about because some things are getting beyond me, the other which should enhance my life.
The first is a kitchen trolley.
Not for use in the kitchen, but for two tasks that routinely reduce me to a gasping, wheezing, wreck. One is moving the bucket of warm water I use for disinfecting my leg ulcer at every dressing change, from the kitchen to the living room, and thence, when finished, to the bathroom for disposal, and the other is moving my grocery delivery from the door to the living room. In both cases we’re talking about single-figure yards, and in both cases they wipe me out.
The trolley will solve that problem.
The other item is an overbed table.
I already have one of these tables, alongside my bed, which holds everything I might need overnight (water, overnight meds, smartphone, Kindle, next morning’s meds, alarm clock, tissues), and another in the living room that I use as an overchair table.
The new one will go on the other side of the bed, and will actually be used over it to hold my laptop. That way I can be online more easily, if I can’t sleep, than I can just using my smartphone or a tablet and, if I just need rest, I can relax and watch movies – much cheaper than having my Sky installation extended to the bedroom. I can stream movies and TV content both from Sky and Amazon and whoever else out there is offering a free service.
It’s important that you shop around online when buying stuff like this as not only do prices vary wildly, some firms offer disability-related VAT exemption and some do not.
For example, one company offers exemption on all but one of its kitchen trolleys. When asked to explain this anomaly they replied that they didn’t know why. But here’s a thing. Among the many jobs I’ve done in my time is that of customs clerk, which embraces VAT and Duty. VAT is applied to classes of items, not individually-named items (to do that the Customs Tariff would have to be a more vast and multi-volumed tome than it already is), so if the class “Kitchen Trolley” is exempt for disabled buyers, that means ALL kitchen trolleys – or it did in my day and I can see no reason why that would change. Either the orphan, unexempted, kitchen trolley is an error, or all the other kitchen trolleys are in error.
If the latter, asking HMRC for clarification could conceivably cause nationwide chaos as, if kitchen trolleys have been exempted in error, I have little doubt that HMRC would be keen to claw back the VAT (and possibly – worst case scenario – re-examine the whole system of exemptions). The disabled community is a much easier target than Starbucks or Amazon, after all. So I decided the sleeping bear of HMRC was best not poked with a stick, and I should buy from a firm that not only applied the exemption scheme logically, but was also substantially cheaper.
Which I duly did – see links above.