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Friday, November 16, 2007

Boom Bang-a-BangIt's Christmas! And as usual, I'm slightly disappointed with what I received.

Brighton's Christmas lights were officially switched on last night in a ceremony which included five minutes of fireworks and... um... not a lot else. I haven't felt so let down since I touched denim at the museum.

After all, the event promised so much. According to, "Kim and Aggie are appearing at the Theatre Royal and will be compering the switch on", which is the kind of news guaranteed to get me out of the house on a Thursday night. It's not every day you get the chance to meet a couple of cleaning women under the light of an illuminated reindeer, and I could do with a bit of help with the hoovering, so naturally I went along.

Unfortunately no one else did. But the good thing about arriving ten minutes early is that it gave me plenty of time to stand on a deserted pavement at the Clock Tower, staring at the Argus promotions girls, who themselves were staring at the Southern FM promotions girls, who in turn were staring into space wondering what to do with their balloons. It wasn't quite the party I expected.

So instead of waiting for Christmas to come, I wandered off around the shops and came back half an hour later, by which time a small crowd had gathered. It's hard to estimate numbers, but it was about as many as you'd find at a bus stop. I know, because there was one nearby. But just as we were all thinking we were wasting our time, the clock struck six and The Pogues' 'Fairytale of New York' started blasting out of a speaker on the roof of Boots. Then, to the sound of Shane MacGowan's mellifluous voice, fireworks began launching into the air and threatening to set light to Holland & Barrett.

It was all very spectacular, which is just as well because it only lasted five minutes. Mind you, with a song about New York, and massive explosions going off at a big tower, they were wise to cut it short before people made the connection with 9/11.

Lights, Camera, InactionAs the last firework fizzled into the air over The Body Shop, the music faded away, and without so much as a public announcement, the Christmas lights suddenly came on. Everyone went "Oooh..." for about two seconds, then immediately walked off, leaving me standing there with the promotions girls, wondering what had happened to Kim and Aggie.

Frankly it's just not good enough. If I'm going to walk all the way to the Clock Tower and stand in the freezing cold for half an hour (well, look around the shops for half an hour), the least I expect is a celebrity cleaning woman wishing me Merry Christmas and leading the crowd in a Thunderbirds-style countdown. Is that really too much to ask?

Anyhoo, in other news, the winners of this year's Brighton Web Awards were announced last night in a glittering awards ceremony at the Sallis Benney Theatre. So that might explain where Kim & Aggie were. My invitation must have been lost in the post, but the results have been published this morning, so I'm now in a position to announce that Wellies With Wings is officially the best blog in Brighton. Marvellous. Only nine posts since June, but my, what posts they are.