Sunday, 24 December 2006

Christmas lights

Back at the start of this month, well December 2nd to be exact, we had the switch on of the Christmas lights in the village. In this Cornish village this isn't solely a matter of flicking a switch, we had some three hours of street entertainment to enjoy! The Scottish pipe band from Plymouth visited us again and led a torchlight procession from higher up in the village. At last year's Christmas light switch on a morris dancing group supplied a contrast to the Scot's pipes and drums; this year we again had morris men (and ladies) but from our local Cornish Wreckers group whereas last year I think it was the Dartmoor Border morris. An innovation this year was a steel band from Plymouth: they were in the dance studio, I was told later that it is imperative that their instruments stay in the dry.

Shops had been encouraged to stay open and I'm glad to say that Steve and Mary at the post office came up trumps again with their mulled wine!

I'm pleased to say that we didn't have very much rain that evening although a healthy dollop had been forecast for later on with severe gales as well. Lively music in December is just the tonic. We found it fascinating to watch the steel band - I would like to see more of them, it's absolutely brilliant to see young people making music. The event brought the community together for the evening, just the way things should be.

Christmas lights are becoming more controversial because of increasing concern about using less electricity and the effects of climate change. My natural inclination would be to agree that we should cut back on using non essential electricity but the feel good factor of the illuminations is worth the small negative to the environment. But if only ALL lights were switched on much closer to Christmas. The very long lead up to Christmas totally devalues its meaning I believe.

Some properties in the village are a little OTT with the number and types of illumination but a few others elsewhere are gawdy in the extreme. I notice that Maurice Parnell in Torquay, who is one of those with tens of thousands of bulbs festooning his home, is retiring from his Christmas "hobby" after this year. I certainly wouldn't want to go and see his light show but over the years he has collected thousands for charity because of his "attraction". So it isn't all bad by any means.

I just may not make a blog entry tomorrow. Should there be anybody reading this can I wish you a Happy Christmas.

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