Let there be lights …

I wonder when you first switched on a light this morning? Did you even think about it when you clicked the switch, got out of bed and started the day?

I doubt it. You just did it.

Now, I do not want an army of Health & Safety experts to come down on me like a ton of bricks – that would be a real risk to my health – but just imagine how they would react today if this whole electric and gas thing was a new invention – with you wanting to install it in your home. Not a hope! What – live electricity being available on demand? Inflammable gas being pumped into your home with NAKED flames! Drilling holes in walls to allow unprotected sockets! Invisible gas swirling round the house like Saturn’s rings!

Couldn’t have that could we? You see it is against EU Reg155/Dangerous Items/451/999. Go and chop wood for Heaven’s Sake – if it was good enough for Grandad it is good enough for you.

Whatever next – running water?

Please now put a big marker in your diary for 28 March 2021. That is the date on which British Summer Time starts. However many times you are reminded of the changing dates for BST and GMT statistics show that 12.7 %of the population forget to make the adjustments, which mean that 12.7% of all appointments for the following days are ruined. Spring forward – Fall back. And, by the way, the word Fall was in general use especially in Norfolk in the 16th Century – it is not an Americanism.

On the assumption that Roehampton Club Members do not comprise membership of the 12.7% (perhaps a wrong assumption?), I wonder how many of you will on Sunday 25 October 2020 have a conversation with your ever-loving about losing an hours sleep, the VERY dark mornings and how in Scotland children go to and from school in the dark? ‘Or is it the other way round?’ Someone is bound to recall that we had double Daylight Saving during the War thus allowing longer days – as it were – and shorter nights thus helping the blackout. (note to self : encourage Aunt Daphne to have her blackout curtains taken down)

After 25 October the next lights to look forward to are – turning on the Oxford Street lights and Christmas lights. Well, the first one ain’t going to happen but the normal domestic Christmas light drama will occur as it does every year. I was going to say ‘without fail’ but that of course is exactly what does happen as you unwrap the Gordian Knot of last year’s lights on Christmas Eve and they do not work. After carefully checking that each of those small knobbly ones are securely fitted and they still fail to light up, just do one more thing please – check the plug and the fuse. It’s a funny thing but it is always the last thing we do. Actually, that is wrong as the last thing you do is to throw them away and have a stiff drink.

A few final thoughts on lights – solar lights are dismal things, traffic lights are necessary but annoying when no one is crossing at 3 AM, Port and Starboard lights are useful except when you are in American waters and they have exactly the opposite colour system for entering and leaving harbour, torchlight processions are always threatening especially when carried by people wearing triangular hoods and ‘tripping the light fantastic’ has nothing to do with lights and much more to do with tripping.

So – only 150 nights until 28 March 2021 – the light at the end of the tunnel.
Duncan Christie-Miller