Today has been quite instructive for me. And I have had mood swings that would not disgrace Rasputin, although I hasten to add that no women were involved!
You see it was time to take down the Christmas decorations and as I started I will admit to a slight level of depression. But I had a quick word with myself and re-framed how I was viewing the process. Yes, it was marking the end of Christmas, but it was also a time to think about the next time we would be putting up the decorations once more. It was an example of the year’s cycle and as such it should be celebrated.
That kept me smiling even as I scrabbled under the tree to collect the various baubles that had fallen off. In this I was being hindered superbly by our cat. Clearly her view was that shiny round baubles were made to be chased and batted around the house.
I even kept cheerful as I collected up the various pieces of tinsel and put them away tidily all ready for their next outing in eleven months or so. All in all, I was determined to make this undecorating a part of the Christmas schedule, but then things changed!
Oh, my friends what can I say? It was time to deal with the Christmas Tree lights. And they have been a bit of a nightmare all through this festive season. You see we have had quite a large tree and over time have bought different sets of lights.
In fact, this year we had no fewer than seven sets of lights on the tree; which therefore involved multiple plug boards and sets of wires that now resembled some kind of nightmare in a knitting wool basket.
Not only were there seven different sets of lights but they all had multiple settings on them from static to flashing, dimming and brightening and random switching on and off. My son summed it up perfectly when he referred to the tree as “an Epileptic’s Nightmare”.
That meant that whenever I switched the lights on I had to spend the best part of twenty minutes reprogramming each set so that it just did the one thing I wanted, to glow happily. None of your manic sparkling and flashing thank you. All I wanted was a simple gleam which would reflect off the various silver and white and glass baubles.
But things got worse over the festive period. It became clear that a couple of the older sets of lights were past their use by date and they would suddenly switch themselves off as they grew tired or too hot or whatever it was that upset them.
So, I had to boost the festive glow with the help of a few sets of battery operated lights. This was naturally at the direction of Da Boss who felt that standards had to be kept up. This meant that part of my plan today was to retire the dodgy lights and have some new ones for next Christmas.
Indeed, I was pretty pleased with myself when I nipped out and bought new sets in the post- Christmas sales at half price. I was well ahead of the game for once, and by buying much longer strings of lights I was also going to be able to cut down the number of plugs involved.
But I had forgotten one thing. I needed to work out which were the dodgy sets of lights so that they could be culled and the good ones given another chance to shine next Christmas.
Yes, once again I had to figure out settings and programmes and sit amidst a wild light show that would make even the least light sensitive person start to tremble. And it got worse.
In fact, it got so bad that I started to become radicalised. I wanted to have absolutely nothing to do with Christmas and its bloody lights ever again. I was now not only suffering from light flashes but also the savage reality that wires naturally spend their entire time ravelling themselves into knots and refuse to let go of their friends (aka) all the other strings of lights!
Patience may well be a virtue, but it is not one of mine! After twenty minutes of unsuccessfully trying to isolate just one set of lights my heart was filled with murder. All my good intentions and calmness had been replaced with a desire to kill. I now fully understood the way a crazed ISIS member felt.
Fortunately, Da Boss spotted that I was getting a little het up and sent me out on an errand so as to give me time to cool down. It must have worked because when I returned I set to the task in hand a little more steadily and so I gradually separated one string of lights after another and gleefully set them aside – the doomed crew, destined for the dump!
I had no feelings of mercy for those evil lights who had let me down mid Christmas and then clung desperately to their friends when it was clear that their time had come. Yes, those worthless creatures would be consigned to the depths without a second thought. I was finally free of them!
But then I realised that it was me who was more at fault. I had not thought things through right at the outset. In fact, in my haste to get everything looking nice and sparkly I had never even given a thought to the un-decorating afterwards.
Yes, the lights had inherent problems with their multi-mode programming, but a little foresight should have enabled me to work a way around them. A note attached to each set of lights would have told me how many times I needed to press the buttons in order to get them to a static mode.
Even worse I had failed to keep the strings of lights separated and had in fact been the author of my own misfortunes. All of a sudden, my Radicalisation ended. But even better, I have a plan for next year. And I have even written myself a note and put it with the lights before they get put away.
Now all I have to do is contact the moderates in the Middle East and let them know about how they can de-radicalise any members of ISIS. In fact, I wonder if I should offer them the three or four sets of Christmas lights in order to start the whole process. On the other hand, it may well be regarded as a sneaky form of torture and I could well find myself in front of the Court of Human Rights. So, on balance I think I may let this opportunity pass!