Story Starter: Garden Lights

What do you give a lady who has everything and doesn’t really need anything else?

I have my Friend colleague Margaret to thank for this week’s Story Starter image. Can you see the coloured lightbulbs amongst the foliage? It was one of Margaret’s sisters who came up with the idea to mark their mother’s 90th birthday – the lady of my intro. What they gave her was a magical evening view when she looks out of her window on to her garden as night falls.

And how did they do that? The sisters planned a garden party, and at the party gave each of the guests one of these bulbs to decorate any way they liked, just for Mum/Gran/Auntie Cathy. Some put their names on them. Others pretty beads, daisies, patterns, messages….

They set to work, sharing materials, squabbling gently over trims, laughing, joking, having a lovely time.

Each one is different and contributes to the special twilight garden, a visual delight whenever Cathy or any of her many visitors step through the gate.

But it’s more than that. Each bulb is a very personal expression of love and affection, unique, special, and just for Cathy. And I guess they’re expressions of gratitude, too, for what she’s brought them throughout their lives – that same love, affection, and tender care.

Such a gorgeous idea. Truly lightbulb moments.

So that would be my starting point this week. Wonderful gestures. Kindly thoughts. Appreciation. Paying it forward; paying it back. Bright ideas. Light bulb moments.

Maybe magical gardens. Fairy lights.

Anyway, I’m sure you’ll come up with lots of your own ideas, totally different from mine, which is the fabulous thing about our imaginations.

Oh, and if you fancy doing something like this for your own mum, the bulbs were from Poundland, they’re singles, and they’re solar powered. Even better.


Like the idea of the story starter? Check the previous story starter for inspiration

Shirley Blair

Fiction Ed Shirley’s been with the “Friend” since 2007 and calls it her dream job because she gets to read fiction all day every day. Hobbies? Well, that would be reading! She also enjoys writing fiction when she has time, long walks, travel, and watching Scandi thrillers on TV.