I live on an ordinary street but in the last week something strange happened.  The glaring street lights were suddenly dimmed.  Each  lamp now only produces a tiny pool of light directly underneath.  Darkness has descended, the houses and cars are wrapped in black mystery.  The familiar landscape has disappeared and the scene is almost what it would have been before electric street lamps, so very dark.  I have not yet been able to see the stars, I’m hoping that on a clear night I will see them twinkling in the black night sky.

I heard the British astronaut, Tim Peaks speaking in terms of wonder at his view of the small glittering planet earth in the huge blackness of space.  I hope  there will be some pictures soon on TV.

On the subject of twinkling lights our next door neighbour has put up Santa and his reindeer galloping across the garden complete with shooting stars and very pretty it looks too.  Christmas is of course the time for putting up as many coloured lights as we can possibly manage; in the market place on the Christmas tree, in the living room and on the front of the house.  It makes us feel cheerful and maybe we can enjoy acting like a child again.  Darkness on the other hand can make us feel a little fearful, what is out there that we can’t see?  

 We in the affluent countries are extravagant with our use of electricity, almost regardless of cost.  The short dark days of December would seem almost unbearable without our well light homes, yet it seems we cannot afford clean, renewable, green energy.  A paradox  of our times.




Yesterday  I watched an inspiring programme about the ballet dancer Carlos Acosta.  The height of his leaps and the athleticism is wonderful to behold.  He grew up in a poor family in Cuba, to keep him out of trouble with gangs his father insisted he went to ballet lessons.  His amazing ability was obvious from a very early age, he was discovered by a dedicated teacher.  A real life Billy Elliot.  Two things are necessary for  success talent and the determination to work hard.  Carlos Acosta had plenty of both; for some years he has been the Principal dancer at The Royal Ballet School, now he is coming to the end of his performing career.  The strength and grace he expresses with his whole body is thrilling to see, the human body at its absolute peak. 

 I also watched some of a programme about Contemporary Ballet; no costumes, no lights, no scenery NO FUN!