Well, once again, Christmas is creeping into our thoughts, like it or not.

Present lists are being drawn up in hope, kids are noticing all the adverts on TV about the latest ‘must have’ toy, for which some mothers will kill to get for their little darlings, even if it means camping out in front of a store in freezing temperatures.

With us, it’s working hard on all the things to sell on our stall at the winter carnival for the Thames Hospice.

Having learnt a hard lesson last year, when we were literally working through the night to produce enough items to sell, we are in advance this time!

With me soldering thousands of connections for my light box displays, Mum is busy cutting up strips of wire and copper tape, Muttering that she always gets the plum jobs (!)

It will be interesting to see how the council plan all the stalls given the nightmare of wire mesh mazes throughout the town!

We have planned a new layout having realised last year what sold best due to the way they were presented on the stall. You live and learn, and we have advanced faster due to learning short cuts in all the light circuits.

It has saved me hours and a lot of blood, sweat and tears. Oh, and tantrums! Such as when I’d arranged 75 ping pong balls containing LED lights on a board ready for soldering next morning. I went to bed, tired but happy.

Next morning I came downstairs and skated on something. Flailing wildly to keep balance I trod on something else. Reaching the lights I realised most of the hall floor was covered in ping pong balls….with two smirking black cats sitting in the middle!

My fault, should have shut the door.

I do enjoy it, and we made £300.00 last year for the Hospice. After all, we all may need help one day!

So please come along and support us all on the day, as we stand, quivering in freezing temperatures!

See you there.

Colin Antink