Ours is not a house where decorations are gone into in any great quantity but I do usually stretch to a tree and a few bits and bobs.
The tiny fibre-optic tree in the dining toom was simple – out of the box and plug it in.
Then came the front room – something more of a mission. But as it was a cold day and Yule is just 11 days away it seemed as good a time as any to deck the halls. I had tested both sets of tree lights a couple of days ago. Both worked so I didn’t buy any more whilst we were out shopping yesterday. This afternoon when I got them all out I tested them again.
All was well…
I put a small set of battery op lights on the mantle and all was well.
Then I put a small set of lights up the centre of the tree. Tested. Fine. Then I put a longer set of lights around the branches and switched on… Nada! Or to be more precise the longer string were working but that pesky short string remaining stubbornly dark.
I knew that it was not the extension cable at fault. So why? What law of Christmas lighting dictates that lights will work until you have them in situ, at which point they will go kablooey. I mean… how many times do you need to check the effing things before they can be passed fit for use?
After some fiddling and much artistic language Peter found that one of the wires on smaller set had decided to de-couple from the (sealed) control unit and was, of course – not repairable. Bloody typical!
Now because that set went on first I had a choice – to strip them all off and start again or somehow remove the broken lights from behind the rest. Then came the question, new lights or not new lights? Bearing in mind it was snowing, a Sunday afternoon and my knee was hurting like a bastard.
More to the point could I be bothered? When it’s just us two old farts in the house the whole seasonal decorations thing seems an awful lot of effort. My immediate thought was, meh… and we all know that we should always trust our instincts.
Being lazy and, as my Nain always said, “lazy people always do work hardest,” I plumped for the removal of the broken item and with Peter’s help , rather than taking off the second set, cut out them away.
It was… a tricky operation, which required patience and the obligatory round two of colourful invective but done it was.
We stood back and gazed at tree – and wondered once again if we (I) should venture out to buy a new set.
Our old tree had ended up at the dump in the pre-house moving clear out, as it has shedding bits of branches for a the past few years now. The new tree is the same height and though it has thicker ‘foliage’ it also has less sideways spread than its predecessor. The single set of lights appeared to be sufficient. Though for next year I may l invest in some larger lights.
I threw the rest of the decorations at the tree as is my usual habit. The black decs were left off this year as they really do need a lot of light for best effect, and though I still may need to get more white or silver baubles to lighten it a tad it seems to work enough for we two 🙂
In days past I spent a great deal more time on decorations with masses of greenery dragged in from the hedgerows and several miles of paper chains! That experience was used in the Christmas chapter of my rural novel Sussex Tales.
These days, though I enjoy the season generally, I can’t get as enthused as my ten year old self was back then 🙂