‘Tis the season

As the festive season bears down upon us, rather than being a time of peace and goodwill to all men, it’s a time for arguments and unhealthy competition with one’s neighbours over the state of their Christmas lights. I’m more one for a subtle splash of white and gold sparkles here and there; whereas Mrs P favours multi-coloured 10ft reindeer on the roof. However, it seems that even she is outdone by some of the displays up and down the country. Until this year, when it has apparently been stopped over safety concerns, one of the largest displays in the UK was in the Cambridgeshire town of Turves, where the owner had installed over a million lights over 3 acres. Looking further afield, the tallest lighting decoration is an illuminated tree created by Toshiba in Japan at ~40m tall. Meanwhile Malmedy, Belgium holds the record for the most lights on a single tree (19,672) and a property in New York State took the record for the most lights installed on a single house (601,736). Mostly, being temporary installations, these don’t require planning permission; however, a band of neighbours in Ayrshire did once succeed in injuncting their neighbour from installing more than 8,000 bulbs. Thankfully, for my neighbours, they will not be subjugated to this from the Pickerings this year – we will be escaping Down Under to take in some sun and crack open a few cold ones. Before I do, however, watch out for next week’s annual Futures /Cut Christmas Quiz™ for your chance to win big(ish)!