• Mary McCarthy

Let there be light!


Twelfth night has passed and it’s a sad day when we have to dismantle the baubles and glitter, wade through the Christmas detritus and pack it away for another year. All the delight and joy that we relished as we re-discovered each glittering string of beads or long cherished relic from our childhood that still makes the tree each year, is swiftly forgotten as we hoover up the pine needles and restore order to the house and our daily lives. But as I strode out for my daily walk today…not everyone has adhered to the Twelfth night rule…some houses still glittered defiantly through their dusty windows. Good gracious…what horrors will befall them as they fly in the face of the golden rule of the 12 day ‘lights out’!. Should they expect some terrible plaque of bad luck such as is assumed to follow after smashing a mirror?.


Of course not.


Why not leave the fairy lights on, I say. Why shouldn’t we enjoy their comforting flicker way into the cold winter nights?. After all, we are happy to adorn all budding shrubs and unstable garden parasols with our ‘will they, wont they?’ solar fairy lights as soon as the summer barbecue season hits, so why should we endure an enforced few months in between of gleam-less gloom? My house is always shimmering with the reassuring glister of a fairy light. Cosseted in their magical flicker, I feel I can combat the sad seasonal disorder of the short winter days and ponder instead, warm summer evenings and long hours of evening garden lounging. Go, on…retrieve them from the attic right now or buy a box or two in the sale. Wind them around that huge yucca plant, pack them artfully into a vase or jar or drape them deliciously from a stairway. Re-light your life!

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