An everlasting lightbulb brighter than the Dog Star was installed in the street lamp outside my house one morning as I watched the two engineers being lifted up on a crane.
I knew it was trouble as they took out the soft yellow bulb from the antique holder and installed a bright-white LED. I had been dreading this, but when it finally happened the result was worse than I could have imagined, because they didn’t put it on a timer, like the old one.
They switched it on and left it on. All day and all night it blasts out its blinding white light. It is never night time.
What the devil is this light for? I live up a track on a quiet village green. Counting mine, there are only eight houses up here.
No one comes or goes at night except for the odd dog walker. Come to think of it, they do wear powerful head torches, as though they were ascending Kilimanjaro. One woman ties a second torch around the neck of her Alsatian. Has some deranged cockapoo owner demanded that the green be health-and-safety-ised?
The lamp is so bright that as I drive up the unmade track after dark, I cannot park without putting on sunglasses. As I turn in, my heart skips a beat. ‘Oh no! Did I leave the gas on?’ I think, because it looks like a scene from a disaster movie outside my house, as if emergency lighting equipment has been trained where the unfortunate victim has been found in a pool of blood, or in the debris of an exploded kitchen.
I could have kicked myself for not taking issue with the men in the crane but I assumed it was like a central heating timer, and would revert to the timed hours once the timer switched it off during the night.