That’s it, I might have to go for a light-up reindeer

Inspiration: Madeleine Shaw

LESLEY KEATING: Sugar-free for a year and I’m glowing

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It was six years ago this week that I moved to Priddy’s Hard in Gosport. It was a dark old place, I seem to remember, but I soon changed all that.

With boxes strewn everywhere and only one seat to sit on, I found my row of Christmas lights and hung them from the guttering outside.

The following year, my neighbours put up a row of multi-coloured flashing lights and the cul-de-sac settled down to this festive scene for the next few years.

But last year, the new neighbours on the other side started to ramp up the pressure with some brighter LED lights sending out lots of strong white and blue flashes.

I could live with that, but this year things have started to get out of hand and I may have to react!

I spied our even newer neighbours, two houses down, attaching clips to all the guttering of their house. Not only on the lower level, but roof level too. What were they up to?

On Sunday all was revealed. As we returned from the Victorian Festival of Christmas at the historic dockyard, warmed by the festive atmosphere and by a large glass of mulled wine and a pint of bitter, we were greeted by the brightest, most impressive lights our close has ever seen.

Giving Gunwharf Quays a run for its money, bright rope lighting hung from every available pole. Some lights were looped around and trailed down to the drains.

These were accompanied by beautiful shimmering icicle lights which added a slice of drama.

My wife read the expression on my face. Looking at our somewhat pathetic yellow lights dangling down, she knew what I was thinking.

‘I wonder how much a light-up reindeer would cost?’

I blame the Americans for this fashion of outdoor decorations at Christmas-time, but I admit that I now have the bug.

There’s definitely an element of competition and I feel the urge to up my game to compete with the neighbours. Hence the light-up reindeer thought.

So free up Fawley power station, because the National Grid needs more juice to keep all these beauties shining.