A Tale of Terrible Tinsel

First published in Steve Cross Hampshire Chronicle: Photograph of the Author by

If I was being chatted up by James Bond, courted with shaken but surprisingly not stirred vodka martini’s, and entranced by stories of the glamorous goings on of a secret agent, I’d be pretty disappointed to go home with him, and find his abode to be a manky one bed flat at the top of some creaky stairs.

Yet as we approach the festive season, our rather glamorous illuminations which amaze and delight every person who chooses to meander up the High Street, most definitely last year disappointed at the very centre.

The Christmas tree, forever a staple centre piece of any Christmas display whether domestic or commercial, seemed to have become a victim of the onset of the credit crunch last November when it was powered up.

Visitors marvelled at the beautiful Market in the Cathedral grounds, the thousands of lights (well, the ones that worked), the stunning shop window displays, yet they were left opened mouthed (in a bad way) at the rather shocking decorations and the way they were added to our lovely tree.

As people wondered by, I overheard comments about our tree that could never be reproduced on this website, and I was left ashamed at the thoughtlessness which had gone into wrapping the pines with lights and shiny decorations on what should be our city’s festive centrepiece. So, as I have done year after year, I will stand amongst the happy people readily looking forward to finding presents for their loved ones, as we count down to the lights being set alive.

But this year, I will have my fingers crossed especially firmly – not for the latest James Bond action figure, but for an excellent display that really makes our city stand out in a way that shakes and stirs those walking by.

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