This week I needed to do some work at home changing a light fitting. As I did so it reminded me of our first days in our new Canadian home and how lights had been an unexpected challenge.
We rented a furnished house when we were here first. And we moved into our new home a week or two before our furniture arrived from the UK.
We felt that we had been pretty clever in our planning. We bought beds here in Canada, knowing that the bed sizes were different. The afternoon we took possession of the house, Sleep Country turned up as arranged. They set up our beds, brought the mattresses in and took away all the packaging. Sweet eh?
We did not have much in the way of furniture, but we had enough. So we thought.
Being the fall, the daylight had gone by 4pm. And so had all the light in the house. In many of the rooms, and all of the bedrooms, we found there were no lights. Not because the previous owner had taken all the bulbs (as you would expect in the UK). No. It was more fundamental. There were no overhead lights in the bedrooms.
The light switches on the wall did nothing. Not at least until you had plugged a lamp into the right wall socket. (I would love to know why Canadian and American homes have avoided overhead lights for so long. A wooden house must be an easier place to wire in a few lights.)
So as the light faded outside, we were faced with finding some lamps. It is funny how stressful not knowing where to buy something can be. It is part of the whole relocation stress. We thought we were adapting well. We knew our way around the supermarket. Could find specialist shops even for some things we missed.
Suddenly we were back to square one. Where do we go to find a lot of lamps that look good and are well priced. It is somehow worse to think that if you were in England you would know exactly where to go. It can be overwhelming. Lucky for us we had friends who gave us suggestions of where to go (the late lamented Linens ‘n Things). And now we find that we are the ones passing on the tips. After all we would not like to leave you in the dark.