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November 25, 2020
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Requiem for a lamp

I’m saying “goodbye” to an old friend this morning. For the last 23 years, whenever I’ve been working at my desk, across three different properties, this old, battered lamp has lit my work. Last week — in the middle of a lecture — it finally, catastrophically fell apart.

A broken anglepoise lamp.

I didn’t even choose it. It came into my life because my girlfriend of the time was working at Terry Farrell & Partners, a firm of architects. They were having an office refurb (or was it a move? I can’t recall at this distance) and she grabbed some things that were being thrown out.

She left it behind when she exited my life and, amusingly, my relationship with the lamp has lasted well over ten times longer than my relationship with her… But I’m proud that I’ve used this thing that came my way for so long. This lamp has had over two decades of extra use after it was first consigned to the bin, and in an era when we’re ever more aware of the climatic cost of a throw-away culture, this small choice has proven to be surprisingly satisfying.