One of the things I love at Christmas is seeing bright coloured lights strung in the streets as well as in homes. However for the last couple of years the Christmas lights in Lymington have been well, virtually non-existent really. This is in stark contrast to Lyndhurst and to a lesser degree Brockenhurst, further to the north in the Forest. Apparently this is in no small way due to legislation policed by everyone’s friends at the HSE preventing us from hurting ourselves. What a good job they do.

This year however, under the auspices of the newly formed Lymington & Pennington Christmas Lights Committee, we have indeed seen the light(s) and had a modicum of civic pride restored. Lym is always going to be at a disadvantage due to the fact we have a wide enough High Street to hold a substantial market in every Saturday. Handy for shopping, but a bit on the wide side for stringing lots of lights across without attracting significant cost and apparently also some risk. Now we have lights and decorated Christmas trees from the top of St Thomas’s Street all the way down with extra lights in the trees outside the Post Office. In truth the effect is best at the narrow St Thomas’s Street end, but very pretty none the less.

In contrast Lyndhurst High Street is one lane and narrow and whilst that doesn’t allow much in the way of a street market, it does make it look almost magical when it gets dark and the lights come on. In fact we normally go for a stroll down the high street sometime before Christmas just for the simple pleasure of the experience. The high life it may not be, but utterly charming it most certainly is. I recall being told once that there are two ways of missing something, either it goes by too fast or you go by too fast. This is merely our attempt to slow down a tad during a season which seems to go full-pelt and handbrake turns into Christmas Day. It’s doing things like this that maintain what passes for our sanity at this time of the year.