Why did I get a late night call, just as I was going to bed? Read on to see why Wivenhoe beats Blackpool and London hands down when it comes to the illuminations.


Yesterday the big Switch-On occurred.

Solar energy is our future, and it's free. My local friend Martyn helped me connect up my solar panel to my regulator to my battery to my inverter to my iPod to my old Grundig amplifier to my old Grundig speakers. The good people of Wivenhoe Quay didn't know what hit them this afternoon when they got blasted with a few minutes of Dire Straits, as they sat outside the Rose And Crown and I cranked up the volume. Just testing.

Also to my delight I discovered that the internal boat lights still work after all this time, so no more clambering around in the dark for me and 'Erindoors.

But I got a call late last night just as I was getting tucked up in bed. It was Mike, who lives on the quay. "Did you know you've left your lights on, Neil?"

He didn't know that I had stuck some colour-changing garden lights, powered by the sun, in between the winter pansies.

I thanked Mike for his concern. You can forget boring Blackpool and disregard lousey London. The only illuminations worth looking at are right here in Wivenhoe, on the deck of the Boat For My Potplants.