Of course, our little town cannot compete with Oxford Street in London, but we do make the effort every year. There is no dramatic “switch-on”, with accompanying oohs and aahs from the spectators, it is much more low-key than that. An hydraulic cherry-picker, with a yellow flashing light, carries two men aloft, and slowly wends its way down the High Street, stopping at each lamp post. The yellow light is Greek lip-service to health and safety rules; traffic continues to speed around this stroboscopic obstacle, even though the road is effectively reduced to one lane. At each lamp post, one man hoists the Christmas light up, and hangs it onto the cross-beam of the lamp. The other man (hopefully an electrician), opens a magic hatch in the lamp post, and screws some wires into the live supply while it is, er, live. Then, if all is well, the Christmas light bursts into action, and they trundle onwards. At least they can immediately see whether this light is working, before they move on to the next. Καλά Χριστούγεννα!
© Stuart Simon