I actually wonder if I should rename this blog ‘The Inner Stalinist’. Don’t get me wrong, I love my new house, and I love being back in the North. Every day there’s a new twist of phrase, a new jump of logic, which is quintessentially North-Eastern. It is definitely true that they – we! – talk more to each other. It took me ten years in a Devon village to feel accepted in the post office. Here, I’m already best mates with the chemist, for heaven’s sake.
I’ve never lived in a nearly-new house before, and, while it is true that, by and large, everything works, the one thing that is new to me – the series of things that are new to me – are the light-bulbs. The houses I know in Devon have only two or three types – screw-in, bayonet and that new-fangled energy-saver which is, let’s be frank, dimmer than the stub of a second-hand candle, and not so well-designed. King Alfred himself would have given it no house room.
But here, it’s all halogen. I haven’t counted, but there must be between thirty and forty of the little blighters. They last of course, for ten years. How old is the house? Er, ten years. So they are doing the final winking act on me, which means laying in a store.
I am now going to give you Exhibit A. I can’t be bothered with B, the one that says you mustn’t touch the bulb when you put it in (eh?). I’ll just open and close the case with what’s in my kitchen ceiling, several times over. Here it is:
Now let me be clear. I have nothing against the makers. You can get this gizmo from more than one supplier – on the internet. It’s hexagonal and putting it in requires balancing on a chair and fiddling with a spring. It is as bright as the proverbial button. But it is hexagonal. Where’s the sense in that? I know that bulbs need not be bulbous (is that why they are called bulbs: I guess so). But hexagonal? For goodness sake!
Bulbs are now on my list of things I would like the new government to get straight. One sort, please, like plugs. There is no need for designers to give us infinite choice on the bulb front.
Incidentally, you know, I think the Tories might yet lose the election. Why? Because people get bored easily, and I think they may be bored of the certainty of change. This does not mean I think I know who will win. I think there will be no winner.