Byron Road Extravaganza

Christmas cards were completed today; Christmas shopping was continued; the tree was placed in situ, and a few lights draped on it and around the walls.

Our Velux kitchen window leaks. There is no connection between the amount of rain and the leaks. Sometimes beneath very heavy rain the table remains dry; sometimes less rain slips in and plops into various collection pots. Today we have experienced the latter phenomenon, with heavy rain. The first picture presents a reflection of the table covered by an old dressing gown and containing a bowl; the second has a container placed at the next likely site; the mop and an old towel catch what bounces off the plastic container on the windowsill.
It is a bit like Chinese water torture as I type – not on my forehead, but certainly in my ears. Wikipedia speculates thus about the origin of the idiom: ‘The term “Chinese water torture” may have arisen from Chinese Water Torture Cell (a feat of escapology introduced in Berlin at Circus Busch September 13, 1910; the escape entailed Harry Houdini being bound and suspended upside-down in a locked glass and steel cabinet full to overflowing with water, from which he escaped), together with the Fu Manchu stories of Sax Rohmer that were popular in the 1930s (in which Fu Manchu subjected his victims to various ingenious tortures, such as the wired jacket). Hippolytus de Marsiliis is credited with the invention of a form of water torture [in Italy in the 15th or 16th century]. Having observed how drops of water falling one by one on a stone gradually created a hollow, he applied the method to the human body. Other suggestions say that the term “Chinese water torture” was invented merely to grant the method a sense of ominous mystery. The victim would be stripped of their clothes, shown to the public, then tortured. They would be driven insane while bystanders watched and mocked them.’
Early this evening we visited the Christmas lights display at Byron Road. This time the water was dripping on my forehead; and on my head; and in my eyes. Nevertheless the 35mm SIGMA lens was up to the job, even though I couldn’t really tell whether the subjects were in focus as I sped around the glorious front gardens.

The main thrust of the exhibition is along a terrace on one side of the road.

Each of the facing gardens features their occupants’ own take on the festive season.

A few more gardens on the other side of the road than usual have joined in the fun,

which is reflected in residents’ parked cars.

We went on to dine at Lal Quilla. We both drank Kingfisher, and shared an egg paratha, special fried rice, and lentil and cauliflower bahji. My main meal was lamb vindaloo; Jackie’s chicken buna.


  1. I went mostly solar lights this year and just kept to special ones on electricity. We switch these ones off around 11pm but probably just leave them on the last few nights before Christmas. I’m keen to see if it makes a difference to our electric bill in the new year.
    These are lovely lights. Thanks for sharing.
    Merry Christmas!

  2. I bet those living in the houses opposite love Christmas lights – all the fun and none of the cost 🙂 It is a stunning display – makes my little gnome mounted atop his tiny tree look a little sad 🙂

  3. Fantastic pictures, Derrick! I think the rain helps to create a somewhat mysterious atmosphere and makes them all the more vivid.
    I am sorry about the leaks in your house, or what we, in Florida, call “raining inside.”
    Hope it doesn’t dampen your enjoyment of the holidays!

    1. Thanks very much, Dolly. The leaks are not really serious. They were here when we came four years ago. We just haven’t found anyone to fix it. I agree about the rain.

  4. We feel your pain with the leaky window, Derrick. Our bay window is a constant problem with no one being able to determine how the water is coming in…frustrating!
    Wow! The lights are amazing. Thanks for sharing your festive photos!

  5. Sorry about the leaking window. We just had that experience with our renovations in progress. But the lights are absolutely delightful!

  6. The invocation of Chinese water torture is apt (don’t I relate to it?), as it conveys your predicament powerfully. You have deftly put to use the Sigmas, temptation enough for me to go one for one, except that the leaking ceiling of my finances would rather not withstand the adventure.

  7. I wonder what Sax Rohmer would have thought of the “being put on hold for ages” torture or the “person in front of you with their indicators on for miles” torture?

  8. OH! What wonderful festive Christmas fun! I love all of the lights! The white and blue lights are my favourites! Thank you for sharing all of this with us in your beautiful photographs, Derrick! 🙂
    Oh, gosh! on the Chinese Water Torture! 🙁 I hope torture ends and doesn’t return again.
    (((HUGS))) 🙂

  9. Beautiful display of lights. Our kitchen faucet is leaking too. You can fill up a small basin overnight. Need to contact a plumber after Christmas.

  10. So sorry about your leaking window… I hope someone can figure out what causes it soon, so the damage doesn’t spread to areas around it. With the ingenuity of us humans, one would hope that we’d use that power toward good, as opposed to inventing methods of torture, but alas… That extravagant light display makes me think that some have way too much time on their hands – LOL! Your dinner choices told me that at least you have your priorities straight. Happy Holidays, Derrick + family!

  11. Sorry to read you have a leak .. But the amount of rain we have had.. so pleased its rain and not snow though..
    Loved the Festive Lights Derrick.. Yes all our cards completed now and sent off and everything packed off to Father Christmas too…
    Enjoy your family time this festive season Derrick..
    take care
    Sue <3 ???

  12. Great lights. I’m too lazy to put any up, and not festive enough to spend money on them. 🙂 Like so many things, I admire people who take their lights seriously, but wouldn’t want to do it myself.

Leave a Reply