Walking through the burbs, albeit the inner city burbs, I am caught like a shimmering moth in front of hideously kinky Christmas lights, bold, baroque, unashamedly tacky, but I am completely won by them. It is my dirty little secret. I despise the ridiculousness of consumer Christmas and the wasteful environmentally destructive force of coal for energy, the isolation and sheer desperation of ‘keeping up with the Jones’s’ and yet I am struck like a six-year-old with sheer wonder at the lights. I think ultimately it reminds me of travelling through the streets of Northern Pakistan or Murree and those crazy buses with blinking lights or those roadside shops all lit up, like little casinos. These places despite the guns, the poverty and meanness of some places lent a personality to even the most destitute of places. These lights flashing tawdry and obscene made me feel safe. Because when you are in Pakistan it is like an apocalypse, it’s living on the edge every day, even if you’re rich, even if you have people to do your washing. The abyss was ever-present, maybe that’s why mosques are so prevalent and successful.