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Sunday, December 11, 2005


Christmas lights

Early evening foot patrol yesterday. I’m up at the northern end of town on my way back to base for late tea break. Everyone is behaving themselves for ten minutes so my eyes are feasting on the tail end of an attractive sunset.

A few of the houses on this beat have been decked out in a wide variety of Xmas lights (Deliberate Xmas there, not Christmas.) which say nothing but that the householders have had their sense of taste and any artistic talent surgically removed. For the most part it’s all rather cheesy and tasteless. You know the sort of thing, inflatable Santa’s and snowmen, light ropes highlighting 60’s and 70’s architectural detail that should be quietly buried at midnight in a dark cellar. Real two fingers down the throat stuff.

This is not to say that these things have their place. In a 1950’s shop window as part of a display maybe. Perchance. Possibly. We-ell, maybe not eh? There are some things so tacky and tasteless (10ft inflatable snowmen made by slave labour in China) that they should be banned by international treaty. If you really think the Kyoto accords mean anything.

On a more tasteful note. Along a stretch of one road someone has draped strings of little lights in loops and whorls on a line of trees. In one of my few idle moments I found myself thinking; “Wonder if that means something insulting in Arabic?”
We’ll soon find out when some PC zealot starts whining that their ‘rights’ are being infringed by having to look at coloured lights in a pattern that just might look like some ancient Middle Eastern cursive script saying ‘have a nice day, dickhead’. No doubt we’ll see the news on Ken Frosts site. Think it looks quite tasteful myself. Simple yet appropriate. Worth a thousand garish inflatable Santa’s and Reindeer.

The more Christmases I experience, despite being an agnostic, the more I appreciate the more traditional version. You know, proper carol singers or even wassailers, even midnight Church services (Doctor, doctor, I think I’m a closet Christian!) At this time of year there’s something comforting in the sheer continuity they provide. An anchor. Something solid to hang your feelings on. A reason to feel good for surviving another year, perhaps a little quiet ‘thank you’ to the universe for the good things in your life (Love of a good woman, the odd laugh or two and a full belly.). That sort of simple thing.

Decorations for the festering season are going up this weekend in the Sticker household. Youngest has her own ideas, so Mrs Sticker and I have given her permission to deck out the house in her own fashion, with the exception of two rooms. We have pre-emptively put up some modest lights and baubles in the front hall and window to forestall any Christmas overkill. The dog is totally confused and hiding under the living room table. Even his fleas have been keeping a low profile (See photo of dog).

No doubt eldest will not say a word until Christmas lunch when she’ll engineer a spat just for pure devilment, saying ‘why didn’t she get a say?’ in her imperious fashion.
This year I have my big shut up line planned. “Because you didn’t want to, or you’d have said.” Then when she tries the big dramatic exit, we’re all going to ignore her and carry on as if she wasn’t there, followed by the “Oh hello” gambit upon her dramatically staged return to the fold two hours later.

Oh the joy of the festive season. Pass me that bottle, son. I’ve a-feelin’ I need some of that thar sippin’ whiskey.


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Location: British Columbia, Canada

Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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