Lighting up for Christmas (with Billy Ocean and Showaddywaddy!)

Matilda already for the Christmas season!

Matilda already for the Christmas season!

When the going gets tough … there really is only one thing to do! Have a Christmas lights celebration – involving decorating a tandem for the festive season ahead, a ride out and Billy Ocean … oh and Showaddywaddy as well!

Yes I know you don’t get many blog posts which have an intro like that … so let me explain.

As some of you will know the “old git” is a bit of a Christmas zealot so there was much excitement in Matilda’s Rest this weekend as Saturday night was the big Christmas lights switch on in nearby Perth – with some golden oldie pop stars topping the bill.

But before that  the “old git” decided he would decorate this “old lady” with some fancy Christmas lights for the festive season ahead – despite the deep reservations held by the “old gal” as to whether this was actually a good idea.

But when the “old git” gets an idea into his head – there is no stopping him! So one day when out for his lunchtime walk from his office in Glasgow he discovered that the nearby Poundland store was selling strings of battery operated led Christmas lights and small fibre optic trees. (and yes, they were priced at £1 incidentally!)

He invested a few pounds on a collection and returned to Matildas Rest to show off his purchases – with the idea of decorating my ageing frame. As I say the “old gal” was somewhat less enthusiastic – but knew that total resistance was futile!

So she humoured him instead telling him it was a great idea and to “go for it”! Well the “old git” likes a bit of encouragement so on Saturday morning he spent several hours attaching these battery operated lights to my frame.

But I have to say he actually made a good job of it – believe it or not – and I now look extremely festive sporting a set of ice blue led lights along my top bar, and two sets of multi-coloured led lights to my z frame. The finishing tough was a “classy” red fibre optic mini Christmas tree for the handlebars!

And it would have to be said that when the “old gal” saw the finished result – she changed her tune and was actually quite impressed! Yes, really!

The "old git" actually did a reasonable job of my decorations and I am feeling all Christmasy now!

The “old git” actually did a reasonable job of my decorations and I am feeling all Christmassy now!

Now there is no point in decorating for Christmas if you are kept in the garage, so the “old git” promised me  that we are going out for a ride-out on Sunday to show off my new lights – despite the forecast of near zero temperatures. The plan is to go out in the afternoon so it will be dusky by the time we return to show off the lights to best effect!

But before that my dynamic duo had the mega excitement of the Christmas light switch on event in Perth – about 12 miles from Matilda’s Rest.

The city was absolutely buzzing when the “old git” and the “old gal” arrived early evening – enjoying a walk through the Chocolate Festival on the way to the main stage.

This was effectively a Farmers Market style event of local chocolatiers selling everything from tasty and unusual chocolate flavourings, wonderful hot chocolate drinks and even a chocolate gin!

The “old git” had to pull the “old gal” away – but only after a few purchases were made – so they could get to the main stage as believe it or not this year’s switch on event took the form of a mini music festival.

First up my dynamic duo enjoyed bopping away and singing along to an hour-long set from Showaddywaddy – including their Three Steps to Heaven hit.

The "old git" and the "old gal" watching Showaddywaddy!

The “old git” and the “old gal” watching Showaddywaddy!

Then there was the countdown to the light switch on – with a wonderful firework display magically lighting up the River Tay.

Fireworks over the River Tay at the switch-on.

Fireworks over the River Tay at the switch-on.

Next on stage was a trendy boy band, apparently called Lawson. Seems they are quite famous among the screaming youngsters – but not the music for my dynamic duo so they retreated to a local hostelry for a small beverage!

And then to finish it was time for an amazing performance from Billy Ocean – quite incongruous really! The hits kept coming from Love Really Hurts Without You, Red Light and Caribbean Queen.

Billy Ocean - belting out the hits - live in Perth.

Billy Ocean – belting out the hits – live in Perth.

But the biggest cheer was saved for his signature song – When The Going Gets Tough – which had the many thousands in the audience singing along.

In previous years the local organisers have kind of messed up the event but all credit to them, this year they got it spot on. Something for all ages to enjoy. Check out more details of their related Winter Festival events here.

So after a good blast back in time with the retro pop acts, it was time to head home to the warmth of Matilda’s Rest and get some zzzs for the tandem ride – with the official unveiling of my festive lights!

Sunday dawned with the day frosty and chilly as had been forecast so wrapping up warm was essential with temperatures hovering around zero. My dynamic duo donned multiple layers – with the “old git” even managing to wear his day-glo t-shirt over his cycling jacket!

We all waited till after lunchtime to head off, hoping the temperature would rise. But it was stuck at frozen so any plans for a long ride were curtailed. But we headed off in good spirits through the cold air on the country back roads towards Dunning.

And it was cold! Very cold! And the cold air was playing havoc with the breathing of the “old git” and the “old gal” – and thus restricting the speed we could ride at, especially on the inclines!

Just outside Dunning we stopped (briefly) to take in the magnificent Perthshire countryside – complete with snow-capped hills – and a quick photo opportunity.

The "old gal" with snow-capped hills behind her.

The “old gal” with snow-capped hills behind her.

We were keen to get going again and soon made it to Dunning just as the sun started to fall behind the  hills.

The “old git” was in his element as he got to switch on my new light display for the journey back. It maybe wasn’t in the same league as the gala switch-on in Perth the night before, but it was just as exciting (for him at least!)

The “old gal” was starting to feel the cold by the time we got to Dunning and even turned down the chance of a g&t in the local pub – saying she didn’t want to stop in case she froze (literally) up!

So we headed back to Auchterarder – somewhat slower than our usual pace due to the coldness. The “old gal” was complaining she couldn’t feel her toes any more and even the “old git” – who claims not to feel the cold – admitted his hands were freezing!

I must admit even I was quite glad to be back at Matilda’s Rest as it was a tad on the chilly side – and you know us “old ladies” don’t really do cold weather. Both me and the “old gal” were dreaming of being back in the sun-kissed French countryside, tandeming through a vineyard track, going from tasting to tasting, before one of our wonderful Team Tandem Ecosse picnics!

And then we wakened up and realised we were still in Scotland! But before a welcoming hot cup of coffee and some shortbread for my dynamic duo, we had to get a few photos of my new festive decorations as darkness beckoned.

I hope you agree I look rather attractive with my Christmas lights. And if you agree please leave a comment for me and I will promise to get back to you!

So do I look festive with my Christmas lights? Leave a comment and let me know!

So do I look festive with my Christmas lights? Leave a comment and let me know!

Two other things before I go! Firstly the “old gal” has promised that next Sunday I can be part of the Christmas lights switch-on celebration in our home town of Auchterarder. It seems I can be parked outside the “old gal’s” hair salon to add a festive touch. I don’t know if I’ll be able to sleep all week for the excitement! And I know the “old git” will be equally excited. He is even trying to persuade the “old gal” that a quick ride up and down the high street complete with Christmas jumpers and Santa hats would be a fab idea! Watch this space! Ho! ho! ho!

And finally, I am rather chuffed as the “old git” received an email recently inviting him to enter Matildas Musings for the UK Blog Awards 2016! What an honour! More of that as the weeks go on – including how you can vote for us!

Matildas Musings has been entered in the UK Blog Awards 2016.

Matildas Musings has been entered in the UK Blog Awards 2016.



13 thoughts on “Lighting up for Christmas (with Billy Ocean and Showaddywaddy!)

  1. Hi there Matty. Great to hear you are going strong in spite of the now cold weather. I must say you look a million dollars in your Xmas get up but I feel you would have made a wonderful addition to the Perth lights! You should have gone along for the celebrations and you could have given a good rendition of “Go and get stuffed” which is really what Billy Ocean is singing! Another string to your bow-or should I say spoke to your wheel ?


    • Matty here – well after all I am going to be a star of the local Auchterarder light switch on this Sunday so I will get plenty of admiring looks then! And I like your version of “When the Going Gets Tough!”


    • Hi Dot !
      “Go and Get Stuffed ” is what I said when the “old git” suggested going out in sub-zero temperatures !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  2. Your tandem looks brilliant and I will be off to a certain shop £££ today !
    Your blog is lovely too, as an old gal myself, I identify with a lot of it !


  3. Wow! The festive lights on Matilda look absolutely fab…but if the ‘Old Git’ is thinking of donning his festive jumper to cycle up Auchterarder high street for the Christmas lights switch-on, I think sun glasses should be handed out by the council!


    • Well Skelbo Cyclist the council are a fan of my blog! Today they came across the post about the Perth switch on and put a link up on their Facebook and also Twitter feeds! So I am now famous across Perthshire!!!


  4. Wow what an event, Matilda you look just amazing. Bluebird is going to dress up before Christmas but she won’t be able to outdo you. Perth did themselves proud, that’s quite some switch on, hope it stays dry for Auchterader, will look forward to seeing the pics from there. There seems to be two things missing in the photo of Matilda with the “old gal” — namely gloves on her hands. Mitts in that temperature ??? You really are hard up there !!


  5. Oh I think there may be a couple of pics taken on Sunday! And even another blog! All in the name of publicity for the “old gal’s” hair salon in the town – obviously. Aye and we are a hardy (and mad!) lot up here … but am sure the “old gal” will reply herself re icy hands!


    • Hi Jane ! Let me assure you , that will be the last time the mitts are out this side of July !!!
      It took ages to thaw out my hands and my toes have frostbite on the chilblains !!!! It was
      sooooo cold !! (hand warmers on my xmas list !)


  6. Great tip re lights and may decorate my desk at work! Can’t wait to see the Auchterarder switch on report and find out who the mystery guest is . With my mystic powers I am putting forward the guess of snooker player Stephen Hendry . Off to bed now dreaming of chocolate gin


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