Friday, 11 November 2011

Let there be light

Some years ago I gave myself a present. I had previously been satisfied with standard lamps and paper lampshades from IKEA; but as a part of my personal development toward a more liberal attitude to material possessions, I decided I wanted a new light for the dining room. It may make sense to mention that it was the first time ever we had a dining room, when all the children had moved out and what used to be first our  bedroom and then my study could be turned into something as useless in a child-dense household as a dining room. While it was my study, I had a minimalistic office lamp. Now the environment with the oak table and the pretty carved cupboard with china display called for something better. And one day I saw it in a shop window and wondered how I could have done without it. A Tiffany lamp. It was terribly expensive, and it was a whole story to put it up, but it made all the difference. Then I decided I wanted a table lamp to match, and it took ages for the shop to order a matching one, but it added to the glory of my dining room.

I brought the lamps with me, and Staffan changed the plug on the table lamp. The ceiling lamp we couldn't use in the house we rented, so it spent several months in the storage. When we moved to Old School Lane, I carefully unpacked the lamp and was about to ask Staffan to assist me in putting it up in our new dining room when we realised that the fitting was wrong. Not only plugs, but all electric fittings in the UK are different from the rest of the world.

We had enough of other concerns, such as kitchen and bathroom, heating, plumbing and gas leaks. Every now and then we would have electicians in the house to do all kinds of jobs, and we would show them the tiffany lamp and ask whether they could change the fittings. Invariably, they confirmed that it was "doable", and invariably, they never came back and did not answer their phone. Until today. Two and a half years after we have moved in, my tiffany lamp is up, smiling happily at its little cousin on the table.

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