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I spent all flaming afternoon looking for the wretched things. You couldn't move without falling over them in virtually every shop last week and now you can count yourself lucky if you can find one box. I tried three Woolworths and finally found one torn box of 120 lights pushed under the shelving, the lights looked to be in an OK state though so I bought it and treated myself to the extended edition of Two Towers while I was at it (Jo, Sam and Poot - I blame you). After a row with the cashier who initially charged me £5 too much, I finally got my credit card back and set off to scour town (or my local bit of it anyway) for any remaining fairy-lights as 120 don't go very far - about half way round - on a 7 foot tree. Another three shops along and I found a box of 100 which matched the Woolies ones nicely and wouldn't cause my credit card to incinerate in a flash of abused plastic. Oh did I mention my credit card? The one the shop's card machine wouldn't accept? I made the shop staff swear in blood that they wouldn't sell the lights to anyone else while I legged it up the road to my bank and back again. Success! I finally had my lights. Of course I should have known it couldn't possibly be that easy.

Got home, dumped the lights into the middle of the sitting room, had a cup of tea, rewired one set of lights so they'd plug into the centre light socket and ready to rock and roll with operation deck the tree with lots of lights. The bottom set, the Woolies ones, went on fine, looked great and caused no problems at all. The top set were a whole other kettle of fish. To start with, they came in a bloody loop rather than a single string which means as soon as you remove them from the box they immediately form a great tangle which takes twenty minutes to sort out and they manage to re-tangle almost straight away anyway. Then there's having to wrap them round the tree, either dealing with them as two layers on the tree at once or one string either side and trying to get them to meet but not overlap at the front and back. Having almost finished placing them suddenly the whole set switched off. Replacing the fuse bulb did nothing, rewiring (again) the plug did nothing, they were dead. Collapsed on the sofa and screamed long and loud into the cushion.

I was still lying there when mum got home and she'd had pretty much as bad a day as me what with waiting for the insurance company to get back to her and tell her who was fixing the car, when, where and whether she'd get a replacement car in the meantime. She's still waiting, they haven't phoned back.

After about an hour and copious alcohol, I'd recovered enough control to remove the dead lights from the tree and check through them to see if I could see any obvious blown bulbs or anything that would cause the whole set to go. Around a third of the way through I discovered an empty socket, looked down under the tree and yep, there was the damn bulb. I put it back in, plugged them in and hey presto, there was light. The bulb wasn't inclined to stay in it's socket however so eventually I had to bluetack it in place (the bulb doesn't work so there's no fire hazard but take it out and none of them work). Decided to watch TT while hanging the lights for the third time and managed to get that done, hang the rest of the decorations, and collapsed back on the sofa to watch the last few minutes. I have to say that even though my attention was not fully on the film, it did seem to make a lot more sense than the version I saw at the cinema, especially Faramir and his motivations.


Sherlock Funny Brains

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