The right tool for the job

Sometimes there’s just so much satisfaction in getting the right piece of kit for the job. Often it seems to be the culmination of a long process of trying out less satisfactory alternatives. When you’ve already paid out a significant sum for something, you baulk a little at the extra cost that will make it convenient as well as enjoyable.

It’s exactly 12 months since I invested in an iPad. Finally, this week, I acquired a proper sound dock for it that allows me to do what it was meant for all along – entertain me, mostly in my little corner of the kitchen/lounge area while I do my cross stitch or my ironing. I joined Audible.com a while back and have some lovely downloads lined up. It’s taken me a while to figure out how to transfer them to my various devices but now I can have them right at hand, and reasonably audible. I’ve muddled through with speakers on my laptop but the kids invariably carry them up to their rooms, never to be seen again. I have a little iPod dock on my bedside table, but that doesn’t fit anything bigger and – a small matter but annoying – the time resets every time I unplug it and carry it around, and it’s a bit of a swine to sort out. It just never seems quite worth the hassle.

My iPod with new dock

The little dock I’ve bought from the Philips Fidelio range is so straightforward they don’t even enclose an instruction booklet. You just plug it in and the time’s right, and everything. It can fill a room comfortably with acceptable sound and I’ve been sitting here listening to Beethoven’s Seventh on Spotify while eating my lunch. A bonus I hadn’t expected is the app that allows you to listen to a huge range of radio stations. It’s ideal, and all for around £50.00. Why did it take me so long?

A similar purchase was a proper, floor-standing frame for my latest stitching project. Again, having paid £32.00 for a kit, I tried a lot of cheaper workarounds. I tried a frame on my lap, but the material just wouldn’t fit. And I even picked up a second-hand frame from the Oxfam shop and sewed my new project on it, only to find it flapped around all over the place and only stayed put if I rested it against my tummy, a set up guaranteed to give me chronic backache within the hour. So I finally gave in and got a lovely beech Eseebee frame – very adjustable and comfortable to work with, and a huge time and effort saver. It’s allowed me to see the whole project as I work and have my chart and threads handy. Again, such a time saver.

Cross stitch project - Henry VIII and six wives

As I get older, I think these are probably the purchases that give me the most pleasure.

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