Points of light

I think it was Michael Craig-Martin who said: 'there is no diference between drawing with a point of light and drawing with the point of a pencil' (or words to that effect) in reference to working with a computer. I agree absolutely. There is a kind of exception to that, which is where the computer does all the work, but there are exceptions to that, too.

When I was a little boy, I think I saw Santa.

Bear with me, there is a tenuous connection.

I was perhaps five or six years old. It was Christmas eve, I was in bed, and it was dark. I may have been asleep, or at least I had my eyes closed, because I opened them suddenly and saw two red points of light in the darkness. They moved towards me, together, echoing the gait of somebody walking across the room towards my bed. It had to be Santa Claus! I remember squeezing my eyes closed and keeping perfectly still - if he knew that I was awake there would be no presents for sure! I vaguely recall hearing movement, but not much after that - at least not until very early next morning.

I got a cowboy outfit! I remember it so well; a cowboy hat, a waistcoat, leatherette chaps(!) a holster belt and gun, and a sheriff's badge. I also remember putting it all on over my stripy pyjamas, and jumping up and down on Mum and Dad's bed: "Look what Santa brought! He was here!", and being told to go back to bed, it was only three in the morning.

This event stuck with me, for all these years, because of those two red points of light. Mum and Dad both smoked, and in later years I decided that I must have seen their cigarettes glowing in the dark. But that doesn't really stack up: why would they take their cigarettes into the bedroom, in the pitch black, and how did they move them in perfect synchronisation? It would have been a very elaborate stunt just to fool a little boy. Maybe it was Santa, after all.

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