I know that I shouldn’t write this blog. It is simply tempting fate, but I find that I can’t remain silent; not when I am in the presence of something miraculous.
Now, I am not claiming any kind of earth-shattering miracle here; nothing up there to rival the feeding of the 5,000 or Leicester winning the Premier League in 2015/16 but, on the scale of a household miracle, I think it is something worthy of comment.
It is the miracle of the everlasting fluorescent tube in my bedroom.
The fluorescent tube in question resides in a small recess directly above the headboard of my bed. The light that it provides nightly illuminates my bedtime reading, and has done so now every day for almost twenty years.
Twenty years! Should a fluorescent tube last twenty years? (The average lifespan of a fluorescent tube is recorded as being somewhere between 7,000 and 15,000 hours. Ed.) And it is twenty years plus. The tube came with the house when I bought it. Goodness knows how many years it has been performing its nocturnal illuminations before me. Twenty-five years? Thirty? Maybe forty? In a consumerist society based on a system of in-built obsolescence, it seems like a miracle of manufacture to me.
And it’s not even as if the tube has reached that flickery, stuttering will-it-or-won’t-it state of fluorescence. It still sparks into life without a moment’s hesitation; still provides a bright, brilliant glow suitable for reading even as my own eyesight has dimmed and faded during the same period.
But, of course, now that I have extolled its virtues, the inevitable is bound to happen. The next time that I go and press my reading-light-switch it won’t work. No fluorescent light. Nothing. I must prepare myself. Unless, of course, it really is a miracle: a fluorescent tube that provides eternal light and is capable of confounding Sod’s Law.
It would be too good to be true.
© Simon Turner-Tree
Simon Turner-Tree is happy with small miracles.
Simon’s latest collection of writing This Pedestrian Life is now available from Amazon.