If there is one good reason to enjoy the onset of winter, it is ambient lighting: table lamps, fairy lights and candles. Ahhhhhhh, bliss, relaxing in the cosy warmth of your home while the wind howls outside and the rain lashes the windows.
That is, until your husband gets home.
What is it about the male genetic make-up which prevents them from enjoying soft, ambient, calm lighting and compels them to exist in either absolute gloomy darkness or in the harsh, stark brightness of the 'Big Light'?
Every evening it's the same routine - I go around creating a pleasant, calming mood in the house and he then goes around muttering about too many lights being on and asking what the fairy lights are doing up in October (I personally blame Nigella Lawson for this particular lighting issue - if she can have a fairy light covered kitchen all year round, why can't I?). Then, he switches off all the pleasant lights and turns on a couple of 'Big Lights' which give me a migraine and unsettle my biorhythms.
And surely, there can be no greater disappointment than returning from a rare evening out to find the entire house shrouded in absolute darkness.
'You sure this is your house love?' the taxi driver enquires as we pull up outside.
'Yes,' I sigh.
So much for coming back to a warm, welcoming, softly lit glow through the windows. Oh no - I go inside to find him sitting in total and utter darkness with just the flickering lights from the TV for company.
'Why didn't you turn the lamps on?' I'll enquire, turning the lamps on.
'I didn't need to - I can see fine without them,' he responds.
So, it seems that for my husband, lights are purely functional. They provide light, if any is needed (which it, apparently, frequently isn't). End of. And why, oh why, would you add lots of additional lights when you have one perfectly good 'Big One'?
Nevertheless, I shall persevere with my nightly routine and will continue to switch on my lamps and fairy lights and will light up my Yankee Candles and tea lights and flood the house with pleasant scents and warmth in the vague hope that one of these days, a light will switch on in his brain and he'll 'get' it.
Fairy lights are for life you know, not just for Christmas.