Late yesterday afternoon most (all?) Britons were asked to live under stricter restrictions to help control a more infectious strain of the virus that has become prevalent in parts of the country.
Not good news at any time, and especially hard to take at Christmas and New Year.
As if by design, an hour or so later, together with a sizeable proportion of the country, I spent a couple of hours immersed in the fierce joy and razzmatazz that is the Strictly Come Dancing final.
Our island nation pushed out the boat with a heaping of good cheer, glittery costumes, bright lights and dubious special effects. (I can sway with the elephant, but I was underwhelmed by lights shooting out of arms in the opener, though it’s as close as we’ll get to a Doctor Who special until 2021.)
Under the glitter, Strictly is all smiles and tears. By the end, as the British are inclined, we had all got so maudlin that Claudia, our steely-eyed heart of gold, struggled to deliver her closing words of gratitude through tears.
When the titles had rolled and the music faded, I turned off the TV and the house felt very quiet. To fight off that flat feeling, I started digging in my photo files for brightly coloured lights. Don’t ask me why I thought that might help. I suppose stranger things emerge in a crisis.
So here you are: six pictures that celebrate light in the darkness taken in either Manchester, North West England or Jackson, Mississippi in more normal times.
If you fancy guessing which was taken where, please do, or you can vote for your favourite(s) in the comments below. Anything to keep the party going!
I’m linking to Sunday Stills: Lights following a kind comment from Terri.