Thursday 17th November saw the all too quick return of our annual family trip into town for the Christmas Lights Switch on. Sitting at work earlier that day watching the rain pouring down, it set me thinking about the night ahead, different scenarios rolled around in my head, my personal favourite being the kids telling me they don’t want to go so I could curl up in front of the fire rest assured I am still a good mum. However, the guilt for having this thought and fear of not keeping up with the Facebook proper mummy page, we were going. So with mind made up it was back to coffee, adult chats and resting or if you like to call it, work! God, I love my job.
Fast forward home-time and the reminder that it was the big switch on was met with groans of noooooo I don’t want to go and that was just hubbie. “Mum, do I have to go, its sooooo boring and anyway I’m too old for it now…..” said the ever so old 9-year-old Niall, so faced with the dilemma of which way to play this, was it the usual bribe tactics, the force them card or just accept he doesn’t want to go and leave him at home with his older brother thus ensuring the evening would be a moan free zone, was a no brainer the latter won.
So, with 1/3 family in tow off we set into the night to join the queues of traffic all heading the same way. The running commentary on ‘bloody traffic’ paled into the background as I focused on the bigger challenge, finding a parking space. So with a lot of ‘what are they doing’, ‘Christ, they’ve beaten us to it’ a space was found at the side of a road and only a 15-minute walk from the High Street.
With a fast building audience of other motorists, hubbie was now committed to getting in the space, not one too shy away from a challenge and after a 45-point turn he successfully wedged us in a spot so tight I realised why it had been free. So, with a smug ‘that’s how you park a car’ from him off we set on Shanks’s pony.
Walking down it struck me, how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful town. It may have changed over the years but the basis remains firm, the cobbled streets, side alleys, beautiful buildings and castle all add to the charm and beauty in this cosmopolitan town. We even have a Primark.
So, our evening traditionally started with the dodging of anything that’ lights up and is wand or sword shaped, however this year with only one child in tow and a bit of distracting the dodging was easy and it was straight to my favourite bit, Starbucks for a Christmas cup of liquid delight, this year’s choice, Fudge Hot Chocolate.
So, cup in hand and starting to feel a tad festive we headed out into the crowds to navigate our way through to our favourite spot to wait for the Christmas Lights countdown. With a spot of people watching thrown in, the feeling of festivity and community spirit was rich, almost as rich as the sellers of those bloody flashing wands & swords but who am I to moan even the attention seeking, look at me shouts of the lad beside me wasn’t annoying this festive embracing woman.
5, 4, 3, 2, 1……and with the flick of a lucky winners finger the all new Christmas lights were on. “Well they could have had more colour” said hubbie as I stood oohing and ahhhhing at how beautiful they were, ‘how boring are they’ he said, I call it grown up and sophisticated and very fitting to the town we live in. So agreeing to disagree it reminded me all too well why hubbie is never tasked with the job of decorating the Christmas trees.
BOOM!!!! colour lit up the sky as the evenings finale of fireworks began, again this year they did not disappoint. ‘Now that’s much better” said hubbie as a rainbow of colours flashed above him, ‘everyone likes a bit of colour’.
As the evening’s entertainment drew to a close, we again waited, this time for Ciara who had enjoyed these festivities with her preferred company of friends, so now ¼ family, it was back on Shanks’s pony and homeward bound with the realisation that I better get my arse in gear as Christmas is coming.